At superintendent's request, board will vote on contract

A band student's mother praised the superintendent.
SHARON, Pa. -- Superintendent Richard Rossi's contract with the school district expires June 30, 2002, and he wants to know if the school board intends to extend that agreement.
By law, Pennsylvania school boards must notify their superintendents at least 150 days before the expiration of their contracts whether to renew the agreements or open the job to applicants.
In Sharon's case, that means the board would have to make that decision by the end of January.
Rossi is seeking an earlier decision from the board, however, and has asked that the matter be placed on Monday's school board agenda. The board will do so.
Rossi, 52, would need favorable votes from five of the nine school directors to get his contract renewed. He said he wants the board to make a decision before two new members take their seats the first of the year.
Under Pennsylvania law, a contract renewal must be for three or five years, no more and no less.
The board hired Rossi, who grew up in Greensburg, Pa., in October 1997.
He was given a contract that falls three months short of five years, coming here from his post as superintendent in the Franklin, Pa., school district.
The board got some pressure on the subject at its work session.
Parental praise: Peg Portal of New Castle Avenue, who said her son is in the high school band, praised Rossi for his "very visible presence" with the band.
She suggested his interest and involvement in practice sessions showed that he was interested and cared, and that was important to the students and to their parents.
Rossi, who suffered a heart attack Aug. 10, has been on a medical leave that expires Wednesday. He is expected back at work after the Thanksgiving break.
His duties have been picked up by Dr. Donna DeBonis, supervisor of curriculum and instruction.

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