ShareThis Page
Belle Vernon superintendent, 3 board members resign | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Belle Vernon superintendent, 3 board members resign

Megan Tomasic
| Friday, February 22, 2019 1:30 a.m
782999_web1_School-hallway
Three school board members resigned from Belle Vernon School District Tuesday, along with the superintendent.

The Belle Vernon Area School Board this week accepted the resignation of three board members and received the intent of resignation from the superintendent, according to board solicitor Victor Kustra.

Superintendent Michele Dowell and board members Aaron Bialon, John Nusser and Dan Sepesky all resigned, taking the nine-person board down to six members. Board President Lou Rood was not immediately available for comment regarding how the vacant positions will be filled.

While the resignation occurred on the same day, Dowell said her decision to leave was not related to the board members’ resignations.

“I had to put my family first,” Dowell said Thursday. “The hours that it takes to do this job is very challenging.”

Dowell confirmed she accepted a position as director of curriculum at Ringgold School District in Washington County.

“I love Belle Vernon,” she said. “I have had an amazing experience. It was a very hard decision.”

Working in the district for almost 10 years, Dowell served as acting superintendent since May 2018 after former Superintendent John Wilkinson resigned. Before she accepted the position, she worked as principal at Marion Elementary School.

Her resignation does not go into effect until the board takes action, Kustra said. Dowell said she’ll help the board find her replacement and make the transition.

After serving on the board for 22 years, Bialon decided to resign for personal reasons.

“I wish the current board … well moving forward. All things must end,” he wrote in a letter to the board president.

Bialon said his resignation was submitted prior to the other two board members.

Sepesky, who sat on the board for almost 12 years, and Nusser, who served for nine years, had a similar reason for leaving — the board was moving in a direction that didn’t line up with their beliefs and values.

“It’s just one of those things where my thoughts didn’t align with theirs,” Nusser said Friday. “I didn’t believe a lot of those decisions were true. Again, that’s just my opinion.”

Sepesky and Nusser declined to go into further detail regarding the board.

“I’d like to thank everybody that supported me over the years, and I’m sorry if I disappointed anybody,” Sepesky said.

The board meets twice a month, once for a workshop session and again for a public meeting. The next workshop is scheduled for March 19.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, mtomasic@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.