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Search for new superintendent down to one candidate

April 10, 2001

Search for new superintendent down to one candidate



By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer, Waynesboro


Members of the Waynesboro School Board have narrowed their choice for a new schools superintendent to one applicant, board member Marilyn Smith said Tuesday.

The top candidate was among 19 who applied for the post since February in what became the second round of interviews for the job of replacing former Superintendent Robert J. Mesaros, who left the district in October.

The board first began the search for Mesaros' successor last fall when it began advertising for a replacement in professional publications.

Several applicants from that effort were interviewed, but none met the board's criteria. A new round of advertising was opened in January, which netted the 19 new candidates.

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A screening committee of board members, teachers, administrators and community representatives selected four of the 19 for interviews by the full board.

One of the four dropped out when he accepted an offer at another district, Smith said. The board interviewed the other three and selected one that the members liked best. "We're going to visit him on Thursday," she said.

Smith said a decision by the board could come as soon as next week.

"We really don't know at this point," Smith said. The goal is to have a new superintendent on board by July 1 in time for the beginning of the 2001-2002 school year.

Three of the final candidates are men, including two from Pennsylvania and one from Maryland.

Three retired Pennsylvania school superintendents and a current assistant superintendent in Waynesboro are running the district while the board picks Mesaros' successor.

Mesaros had run the district since 1996. He announced his resignation in August.

Herbert Phelps, a retired superintendent from Hanover, Pa., was hired to run the district right after Mesaros departed. Phelps works two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and attends school board meetings.

Filling in on two other days are Lance Landauer, a retired superintendent from the Conewago Valley School District, and Dale Schaeberle, a retired superintendent from the Southwestern School District.

Gloria Pugliano, assistant superintendent, is at the helm one day a week, Phelps said.

According to Phelps, the district is saving money on its superintendent's salary during the interim. The salary being paid to the retirees doesn't match what Mesaros would have earned had he remained in the district. The retirees do not receive benefits, Phelps said.

Mesaros' five-year contract in Waynesboro, which he signed last year, called for an annual salary of $98,200 the first year, with raises of $4,000 annually over the next four years.

Mesaros' new job running the Marple Newtown School District in Delaware County, Pa., pays him $130,000 a year to start.

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