New Castle News

November 22, 2013

Meehan leaving New Castle to become Leechburg superintendent

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Terence Meehan is leaving the New Castle Area School District to assume his first school superintendent’s job.

Meehan has been named superintendent of the Leechburg Area School District at an annual salary of $125,000. He was one of 14 applicants for the position.

Leechburg Area, which straddles Armstrong and Westmoreland counties, has been operating with an interim superintendent since June.

Meehan’s position at New Castle has been assistant to the superintendent in charge of curriculum, instruction, federal programs and transportation.

The 50-year-old Meehan, who was raised on New Castle’s North Hill, is a 1981 graduate of New Castle High School and says he has mixed emotions about leaving his home district, where he has worked for nearly eight years.

“I have roots here in New Castle and family obligations but I will have a dual residency,” he explained. He also owns a residence in Allegheny County.

“I will never leave New Castle completely, especially my connection to St. Mary’s Parish,” he said. “St. Mary’s is very important to me. I do adoration in the middle of the night, and those things I will still do, even if I have to drive in the middle of the night.”

Before working at New Castle, Meehan was a principal of Greensburg Central Catholic High School and before that he was principal at St. Gertrude's School in Vandergrift. He also taught business education at Fox Chapel Area High School for 10 years.

For the past 14 years, he has been an adjunct professor of education at Duquesne University and lectured at Seton Hill University four years before that.

He is studying to earn his doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh.

He anticipates taking over his new position in the wintertime, but wants to tie up loose ends with New Castle’s federal and other educational programs before he goes.

Meehan said he was “honored and pleased” to learn he was Leechburg’s choice.

“It was a long and extensive and comprehensive (hiring) process,” he said. “They put us through quite a process to establish candidacy. There were several rounds of interviews with a lot of good candidates.”

Although he will miss his New Castle position, Meehan said “it seems like the time in my life to do it and I’m excited about it.”

“With change comes growth,” he continued.

“The New Castle School District has so much talent and so many great teachers, and it was such an honor to build the curriculum, working with George (Gabriel, former superintendent), Joe (Ambrosini, business manager) and Stan (Magusiak, assistant to the superintendent)  — and of course later, John (Sarandrea, superintendent) —  but the original four of us were quite a great team.”

He said he also is thankful for many of the school board members with whom he has worked.

“I do leave with mixed emotions,” he said. “ I can’t say enough what a wonderful opportunity I’ve had here and I’m forever going to be grateful for that. But I’ll always be around the neighborhood.”