FARRELL SCHOOLS Business manager plans to retire

The high school principal is getting a $5,000 raise this year.
FARRELL, Pa. -- The Farrell Area School District is looking for a new business administrator.
Ronald A. Pendel, who has held that job, as well as board secretary, since 1989, submitted his resignation to the school board Monday, saying he plans to retire Sept. 10, his 62nd birthday.
The board approved the resignation and voted to advertise the position.
Pendel worked the last year without a pay increase, serving at a salary of $71,660.
He had requested a two-year contract extension in May 2001, offering to work at the same salary and benefits package until his retirement. The board accepted that proposal effective July 1, 2001.
Pendel, who served as a school board member himself for 131/2 years before being hired as business administrator, said the toughest challenge of the job was trying to make ends meet in an ever-tightening financial budget.
Farrell is one of seven public school districts considered to be financially distressed by the state.
Pendel said he liked his job despite those problems.
"It's been nice. It's been an enjoyable 13 years," Pendel said.
There has been some discussion but no decisions made yet regarding proposals for requiring school uniforms for elementary school students and increasing grade point average requirements for eligibility in interscholastic athletics, Michael Wright, board president, said this morning.
The board has yet to appoint a committee to study either proposal and didn't discuss them at Monday's meeting, Wright said.
In other matters, the board:
U Set the salary of Charles Sanitate, high school principal, at $69,000 for the 2002-03 school year. Sanitate had served as acting principal from June 2001 until January 2002 when the appointment was made permanent. He was making $64,000 as acting principal.
U Approved an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to get free labor through the Community Work Program at the State Regional Correctional Facility at Mercer.
Prison inmates volunteer for that program and provide free labor to nonprofit groups and local governments. They will make repairs and paint the field house at the Farrell football field.

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