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June 24, 2013

School board ready to hire superintendent

NEW CASTLE — New Castle’s school board expects to hire a superintendent Tuesday.

A special meeting has been called for 6 p.m. for a public vote. The board had interviewed three or four hopefuls and narrowed the selection to one during a special executive session Wednesday.

John Sarandrea, superintendent of the Sharon City School District, is in consideration for the job. The former New Castle High basketball coach was seen entering the administration building during Wednesday’s executive session.

The board reportedly took a straw poll on the hiring. No formal vote or public decision has taken place.

The hiring process was initiated after former Superintendent George Gabriel submitted his resignation and retirement at a public meeting in October during a heated meeting over the Lockley Early Learning Center project.

The board hired the state Department of Education for $15,000 to conduct the search for his successor.

The district received interest from 18 candidates. Of those, half were interviewed, according to board president David DiGiammarino.

Meanwhile, Stanley Magusiak, who was assistant to the superintendent, has been serving as acting superintendent until a choice is made.

DiGiammarino said the board met in executive session Tuesday and gave him direction by straw vote to contact a candidate for an informal meeting.

He said would not reveal who the candidate is before tomorrow’s meeting.

That informal meeting took place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, DiGiammarino said, adding that the board agreed that if the informal discussion was acceptable for hiring the person, “we would call a special public meeting (tomorrow) to vote for the candidate.”

Regarding proposed salary, DiGiammarino said that a contract has not been firmed up yet, and that the salary and benefits currently are being worked on toward a contract that complies with State Act 82 including evaluation procedures.

Sarandrea, 56, agreed to a contract with the Sharon City School District in January to serve as its superintendent for another 41⁄2 years. His salary was frozen at $117,000 for the 2013-14 school year, making this the third straight year without a raise.

During his tenure with Sharon, he has overseen a construction project for a new Case Avenue Elementary School on State Street.

The new superintendent will handle the completion of the Lockley Early Learning Center project, which is scheduled for December.

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