New Castle News

Closer Look

October 30, 2013

Rich relishes the opportunity to lead at vo-tech

NEW CASTLE — Leonard A. Rich has been hired as the director of the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center.

His salary, set at $104,000, will be pro-rated for the 2013-14 year.

He was hired at a special meeting Monday night on a 7-5 vote.

Voting yes were Debra Allebach, Union; Alan Carlson, Laurel; Robert Curry, Wilmington; Mark Kirkwood, New Castle; Ron Martin, Shenango; James McFarland, Neshannock; and Scott Singer, Mohawk.

Opposed were Leroy Cortez and Jennifer Grossman, both Ellwood City; David DiGiammarino, New Castle; and Anna Pascarella and Mary Ann Tofel, both New Castle.

Rich, whose title will be administrative director/business manager, is the assistant to the superintendent for secondary education in the Sharon school district, a position he has held since last year.

He will replace Andrew Tommelleo, who retired in June.

Dominic J. Ionta, retired Union superintendent, was hired June 20 to serve as acting director. He said seven candidates had applied for the position and the board interviewed the top two.

Rich said he has submitted his letter of resignation to the Sharon district, but has not yet received a release date.

A lifelong Lawrence County resident, Rich lives in Shenango Township.

He is a graduate of Westminster College and the Laurel School District, where his father, the late Leonard Rich, had served as superintendent.

Rich began his career in education in 1992 as a teacher in the Seneca Valley school district, where he remained until 2003. Although certified as a social studies teacher, he taught in the alternative education program there.

From 2003 to 2005, he was assistant principal at the Frew Mill School.

He joined the Sharon school district in August 2005 as principal of the middle/high school for grades seven to 12.

“I am deeply indebted to and grateful for the opportunity at the Sharon City School District,” he said. “They have been great to me for more than eight years.

“I’m also thankful for the opportunity the joint operating council of the Lawrence County Careen and Technical Center is giving me. I look forward to moving that organization forward.”

Rich said he has not taught in a vocational school, “but I have been involved with students in not-typical settings.

“Whether it’s academic education or vocational education, it is all education. Our goal is to prepare our students by producing career-ready candidates for the Lawrence County work force.

“That is part of what attracted me to the post. I applied for this because I wanted the opportunity for change, growth.

“I was attracted to the post because it gives me the opportunity to lead an educational institution. This is a school of choice for the students here and we will provide quality education and renew a valuable resource for our community.”

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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