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Waynesboro school superintendent to resign

August 15, 2000

Waynesboro school superintendent to resign



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Robert A. Mesaros, superintendent of the Waynesboro Area School District since 1996, said Tuesday he is leaving the post for a more lucrative superintendent's job near Philadelphia.

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He is to take over the Marple Newtown School District in Delaware County, Pa., on Oct. 16 at a beginning salary of $130,000.

His resignation, read to School Board members Tuesday night, becomes effective Oct. 15.

Mesaros' current five-year contract in Waynesboro, signed last year, was paying him $98,200 with $4,000 annual increments.

Mesaros, 57, said he was not looking for a new job when he was asked to apply for the Delaware County position. "I really felt I would work here in Waynesboro until I retired," he said.

He also said he was looking forward to the move since it will put him and his wife, Cathy, closer to two of their three grown children who live in Connecticut and New York. Mesaros' first grandchild was born five weeks ago, he said.

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Mesaros said he lived in the Marple Newtown School district in the early 1970s while teaching in a neighboring district.

Mesaros told members of the Waynesboro school board during an executive session that he was leaving. He was interviewed for the Marple Newtown School District's job in July and again earlier this month.

J.D. Cashel, chairman of the five-member search committee, said nine candidates were interviewed for the Delaware County job. "Bob was the first choice of all of us. We all had second and third choices, but we all felt he was the best candidate. He's outstanding and we're thrilled that he's coming."

Dr. Robert Ternes, Waynesboro school board president, said Tuesday, "This is a sad day for the district. Dr. Mesaros has great knowledge of the district and its employees. We wish him well. We now have to start the replacement process."

Ternes said that could include appointing an interim superintendent until a permanent one can be hired. Board members K. Marilyn Smith, Lawrence M. Glenn and Hector Gomez expressed comments similar to Ternes' about Mesaros' resignation.

"It's a great opportunity for him and his family. He's worked hard and he's earned it," Glenn said. "I'm sorry to see him leave. He's been good for the district and he's positioned it for the future."

"They're getting a good man. He's good at what he does," Smith said.

Gomez said that while he wishes Mesaros well and recognizes that he accepted the new post because it's best for him and his family, "His timing is lousy. It's the beginning of a new school year and we're going to start block scheduling."

Block scheduling will move the high school to semesters with students completing course requirements in a semester rather than taking shorter classes over the whole year.

Recent disagreements among local school board members over growth, school construction and other issues had no bearing on his decision to leave, Mesaros said. "It's going to be extremely difficult to leave this system with its outstanding administrators and excellent teachers," he said. "I have grown professionally with these people. This is a solid school district that has always met the needs of its students."

Mesaros grew up in Johnstown, Pa., and graduated from East Conemaugh High School. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Millersville University, his principal's certification at Western Maryland College and his doctorate in education administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

He taught in Catholic parochial schools in south central Pennsylvania before coming to Waynesboro in 1973 to teach high school science and coach football. His starting salary as a teacher here was $12,000.

Cashel said assistant superintendents in the Marple Newtown School District earn $110,000.

Mesaros was promoted to assistant principal of the high school in 1977 and in 1982 became principal of the now-defunct Antietam Junior High. He was named assistant superintendent in 1988 and replaced Michael Moskalski as superintendent on Jan. 1, 1996.

The Waynesboro Area School District has 4,200 students and 275 teachers in six schools including four elementary, one middle and one senior high. The Marple Newtown School District has 3,500 students with 275 teachers in a six schools with the same configuration, Mesaros said.

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