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January 17, 2013

New Castle gets interim superintendent

NEW CASTLE — Stanley Magusiak is the acting superintendent of the New Castle school district.

The board appointed him by an 8-0 vote Wednesday night. Mark Kirkwood was absent.

A salary will not be decided until later in the month, according to board president David DiGiammarino.

The board also voted 5-3 to spend $15,000 for the search for a superintendent through the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

Voting yes were DiGiammarino, Mary Ann Tofel, Anna Pascarella, Barb Razzano and Dr. Marilyn Berkely.

Stacey Fleo, Allan Joseph and Karen Humphrey voted no, indicating they wanted to use the services of Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV.

A new superintendent will replace George Gabriel, who announced his retirement in October amid heated board discussions over proceeding with the Lockley Early Learning Center project. He will end his work with the district Jan. 31. Magusiak will assume his new duties Feb. 1.

DiGiammarino said Magusiak’s pay as acting superintendent could come up at a special meeting with auditors, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29. Magusiak also will continue his duties as administrative assistant to the superintendent for Title I and technology.

The board presented a united front supporting Magusiak Wednesday night, despite reported divisiveness during an executive session Monday.

“I think it would have been in the best interest of the district to have Mr. Gabriel stay on in the district as superintendent,” Humphrey commented. She added she will support Magusiak in his new position.

“Accepting this position has been a very difficult decision for me,” Magusiak said to the board after its vote. “Not because of the challenges ahead, but because of how it happened.

“Mr. Gabriel has been my boss, my administrative mentor, but most importantly, my friend for many years. My gut feeling is that if it were not for his passion for the early learning center project, this change would not be taking place.”

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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