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New schools chief 'just clicked'

June 08, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Tuscarora School District's new superintendent said something "just clicked" in meetings with local school board members, administrators, teachers and residents that made him feel he was making the right choice in taking the job here.

William T. Konzal, 57, will succeed Ted F. Rabold, who retires June 30 after 20 years in the system and 17 years as superintendent. Konzal comes on board Aug. 1 with an annual salary of $78,000, about $3,500 less than Rabold was making.

Konzal is leaving the Iroquois School District near Erie, Pa., where he has been superintendent for the last six years.

He said he liked what he saw of Mercersburg and is looking forward to moving to the area. He said local school board members are sensitive to school issues. "I also enjoyed my contact with the administrators, teachers and the people I met," he said.

Ina Ray Corey, president of the Iroquois School District, said the school board will miss Konzal. "We're a small district and he's been good for us. He's done some creative things here and has helped us solve our financial problems," she said.

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Konzal said the district has historically been supported by a General Electric locomotive plant, which for years has paid about $1.5 million a year in local taxes to the schools. Downsizing and property reassessments have cut the amount each year. When Konzal took over the district six years ago it was getting about $525,000 in GE taxes, he said. Today it's is closer to $320,000, he said.

Corey said Konzal proposed consolidating some services with a nearby larger school district, including substituting his job with an assistant superintendent. She said the board did not favor the plan.

Konzal said he feels he has done all he can for his district and is looking forward to supervising a larger school system.

The Iroquois School District has three buildings and about 1,500 students. Tuscarora has twice as many schools and 2,700 students.

Konzal was born in Queens, N.Y., and later moved to New England. He taught in Maine and New Hampshire and served as superintendent of the Lisbon, Maine, school district for 10 years before moving to western Pennsylvania.

Konzal has degrees from Long Island University, the University of Arizona and the University of Maine. He and his wife, Jean, have a grown son who lives in Boston.

Konzal was selected from a field of 11 applicants recruited for the Tuscarora School District by the Pennsylvania School Board Association. The three finalist toured the district's school buildings and met with administrators, teachers and support staffers. Each met with parents and district residents at individual public forums.

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