Jessica Pellegrino was a top candidate when the Greater Latrobe School Board hired a new principal at the district’s Mountain View Elementary School last year.
While the board ultimately chose Lindsay Scarpo for the job, Pellegrino remained on staff as a social studies teacher at Greater Latrobe Senior High School.
On Tuesday, the board accepted Scarpo’s resignation and assigned Chad Krehlik, assistant senior high principal, as her replacement. The board also moved to appoint Pellegrino as Krehlik’s replacement. Pellegrino will earn a salary of $80,000.
All moves are effective July 1.
“Mrs. Pellegrino actually went through the interview process when we hired Mrs. Scarpo and came out extremely highly ranked,” said said Superintendent Georgia Teppert. “But at that point in time … we (felt) with her not having any administrative experience to run a building on her own would be tough.”
Now, Pellegrino will step into a role as assistant senior high principal.
“I just wanted to thank everybody for this opportunity,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to serving our students, parents and teachers at the high school in a greater capacity.”
Scarpo, a Hempfield Area High School graduate, was hired last week as principal of the district’s West Point Elementary School. Krehlik, her replacement at Mountain View Elementary School, will maintain his current salary.
“We’re very excited to have Mr. Krehlik at the elementary school at Mountain View,” Teppert said.
“Mr. Krehlik has been with us for 15 years now. He actually was one of my assistants when I was high school principal. I know he will do a fabulous job.”
The board also approved Krehlik as the district’s transportation liaison with a $4,000 stipend for the 2021-22 school year. That position was previously held by current athletic director Mark Mears — who is set to retire Aug. 1.
Teppert announced that Tuesday would be Mears’ final school board meeting as there is no meeting in July.
“He has dedicated over 30 years to the school district as a teacher, as a mentor, athletic director and coach, and we just can’t thank you enough for not only your service, but also your leadership and friendship,” Teppert said. “We wish you the best of luck. I know you’ll still be around coaching and in and out of our building.”
Mears, who has served the district for 31 years, will turn 55 on Aug. 5.
He was previously a learning support teacher within the district before being hired into an administrative role as the director of Child Accounting and Transportation in July 2007. In March 2010, Mears was tabbed to fill a consolidated role of athletic director and director of transportation during an administration re-alignment shakeup.
“Thank you to everyone; it’s been a great career,” Mears said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I’ve worked with so many good people, so many board members. The kids from Latrobe truly are blessed and the future is bright.”
The board in April approved appointing assistant athletic director Zachary Heide as the district’s next athletic director, effective July 1 at a starting salary of $65,000. He was initially hired by GLSD as an in-school suspension supervisor in 2016 before becoming a substitute teacher for the district. He has been employed in the school district’s athletic department for the past four years, first as an athletic secretary and later as assistant athletic director.
Also Tuesday, three new teachers were approved by the board including:
- John Yester, senior high secondary mathematics teacher, at a salary of $46,607 effective Aug. 23.
- Emily Stevens, special education teacher, at a salary of $48,607, effective Aug. 23.
- Stephen Dominick, senior high technology education teacher, at a salary of $54,207, effective Aug. 23.
“This is an exciting time of the year as we welcome new employees to our district,” Teppert said. “...We look forward to working with you.”
In other business, the board approved the Updated Phased School Opening Health and Safety Plan for the 2020-21 school year and authorized administration to submit the plan to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and post publicly on the district’s website.
Updates to the district’s Continuity of Education Plan for the 2020-21 school year were also approved which include:
- The COVID-19 tracker ended as of June 4.
- Gov. Tom Wolf ended mitigation strategies as of May 31, which includes the attestation process for public school districts and masking orders for persons who are not vaccinated. The masking order will expire on June 28 for all students and staff per the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
- The district’s model of online instruction concluded at the end of the 2020-21 school year.
- Following the state health department’s reference to CDC guidelines, classrooms will be arranged so that social distancing is achieved at three feet.
Additionally, all students are expected to attend the full-time brick and mortar (face-to-face instruction) setting for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
“This is for summer school. That’s why we did it,” Teppert said of the approved Continuity of Education Plan. “This could change for fall. We have students in the building now through July so we had to update it to reflect the latest recommendations and guidelines.”
Summer programs include summer credit recovery, summer school instruction, STEM-tacular Camp, skill remediation and extended school year.
The board also voted to authorize the 2021 homestead/farmstead exclusion and re-enact Act 511 and per capita taxes for the 2021-22 school year, as well as insurance renewals for the 2021-22 school year.
Under the homestead/farmstead exclusion, PDE will pay the district $754,403.69 for the 2021-22 school year as a property tax reduction allocation fund by gambling tax funds.
Also on Tuesday, the board approved:
- A memorandum of understanding for an employee personnel matter from the 2020-21 school year.
- Student disciplinary matter No. 3 of the 2020-21 school year.
- A Westmoreland Intermediate Unit Lending Library agreement for STEM kits and equipment for the 2021-22 school year.
- A Clelian Heights Service Agreement for the 2021-22 school year.
- For the Westmoreland County Music Educators Association 6th-grade County Chorus Festival to be held Feb. 11 in the Greater Latrobe Senior High School auditorium.
- Tuition rates for the 2021-22 school year of $9,760.22 for elementary students and $10,287.28 for secondary students.
- An extension of Section 125 Cash Benefit Cap for the 2021-22 school year regarding medical, dental and vision benefits.
- A five-year auditing services proposal with Horner, Wible & Terek, PC with a base rate of $32,000 in the first year and annual increases of $1,000 per year.
- Disposal/sale of a 1987 maintenance truck for $500.
- Tax appeal settlement proposals for two residential parcels in Unity Township that would generate a total of roughly $3,638 in additional tax revenue for the district.
- Awarding quotes and bids for 2021 capital improvement projects, including $290,235 to Poolpak-Deckman Co. for natatorium dehumidification system replacement at the senior high school.
- Authorizing the board secretary to advertise for bids for winter sports equipment for the 2021-22 school year.
- The 2021-22 Free and Reduced Price Meal Policy, National School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program.
- Awarding the multipurpose paper bid for the 2021-22 school year through the Joint Purchasing Consortium.
- Accepting the resignations of varsity boys’ and girls’ tennis coach Chad Kissell, junior high boys’ volleyball coach Courtney Stynchula, classroom assistant Melissa Bartels.
- Amelia Stynchula and Kaylah Hopper as summer workers, Karen Townsend and Donna Hauser as substitute secretaries.
- Appointing Yester as football first assistant, Nathan Snizaski as band director assistant, Rachel Murphy as cheerleading assistant coach and Paige Alviani as junior varsity golf coach.
- Granting the administration permission to realign staff.
- Teacher leader positions and salaries for the 2021-22 school year.
- Classified personnel hourly rates of pay, effective July 1, with new rates ranging from $9.50 per hour for student workers to $11.60 per hour for part-time secretaries.
- Anthony Basciano, Jason Bridge, Joseph McCombie and Scott Sapir as on-road driver education instructors for the 2021-22 school year at an hourly rate of $30.50.
- Sabbatical leave to employee No. 3407 for the 2021-22 school year.