NESHANNOCK SCHOOLS District eliminates assistant chief post, to hire administrator

Some board members wanted to keep the assistant superintendent's position.
NESHANNOCK, Pa. -- The Neshannock School District will advertise to hire a new administrator.
The board eliminated the assistant superintendent's position and created a supervisor of curriculum and instruction.
The assistant superintendent position has been vacant since Daniel Matsook took a similar job in a Pittsburgh school district in April.
The elimination of the position was not unanimous, however. Board members Dr. John Dietz, Gina Hennon, Karen Houk and Walter Kustra cast no votes.
Board member's concern
Kustra stated his concern was that the assistant superintendent's position is contractual, and the supervisor of curriculum and instruction will be a tenured position.
Houk said: "I think having a greater latitude of responsibilities [by an assistant superintendent] is an asset to the district."
Board member Richard Canciello, who voted in favor of eliminating the position, said, "If you look at the job description of a superintendent vs. an assistant, they are almost exactly the same. It's not needed for a school district this size."
Newly hired superintendent Dr. Michael Hink said he favors the new position.
"This description focuses on education and improvement on instruction," he said, adding that he was capable of handle the district's administrative decisions.
Other business
In other business, the board unanimously agreed to place a temporary hold on a $63,000 payment to Eckles Architecture of New Castle for services rendered in August.
Eckles is the firm the district hired to design the renovation of the elementary school and possible layout of a middle school.
Board members said they would like to see an itemized statement for the month from architect Daniel Engan.
Kustra questioned how much work could have been done last month when the board had asked Engan in June to place the project on hold until the new superintendent was up to date on the renovation.
The board also tabled again for further discussion a decision to permit the varsity baseball team to travel to South Carolina for spring training.
The coaches and parents originally requested players to be excused for five school days.
Board member James Kearney gave a report from Gary Hinkson, Hickory High School baseball coach. Kearney said Hinkson has been taking spring training trips for the past six years and has only requested one day off from school for players. He schedules the training around a vacation day.
Hink said, "Education is my top priority, I can't personally support five days."
A decision on the team's request will be made at the Oct. 10 meeting.

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