NESHANNOCK SCHOOLS Board relents, gives raise to principal

The board vote was less than unanimous in granting the raise.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- After being denied a salary increase last month, the Neshannock school board had a change of heart and gave a raise to Matthew Heasley, elementary school principal.
Board members Richard Canciello, Dr. John Dietz, James Kearney, Cheryl Kimmel and Jay Vitale voted Thursday in favor of the 3.5 percent increase that sets Heasley's salary at $73,702 retroactive to July 1.
Board President Frank Rondinelli along with members Mary Jo Coyne, Joseph Gierlach and Tracy Stevenson voted against the pay increase.
Canciello, who voted no last month, said, "Although I don't agree upon the level and range of the salary or the evaluation, I feel obligated to vote yes since this is the last year of Mr. Heasley's contract."
Dietz commented, "I am tired of seeing the majority of the board low-balling everything. We are not going to be able to keep a high quality of faculty and administrators if this continues."
The board agreed to reduce by half the time needed for Dave Preston as clerk of the works for the district's building projects.
Preston's salary will be adjusted to $990 biweekly. Superintendent Dr. Michael Hink said the construction projects are reaching completion, requiring less time for Preston to oversee the work.
A rededication ceremony for the elementary school is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 17.
The board accepted a donation of a trailer from the Neshannock Band Boosters. The trailer will be used primarily to transport band instruments to events.

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