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Chambersburg superintendent search narrowed to 4

November 02, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Residents of the Chambersburg Area School District will have the opportunity this month to meet and ask questions of the four finalists, two from Franklin County, on the list to replace Superintendent Edwin Sponseller, who will retire at the end of the 2005-06 school year.

One of the finalists, Eric C. Michael, 47, of Chambersburg, is Chambersburg's assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, according to a press release from the district. Dana R. Baker, 51, of Pleasant Hall, Pa., is the superintendent of the Fannett-Metal School District in Willow Hill, Pa.

Richard J. Domencic, the superintendent of the West Shore School District in New Cumberland, Pa., also made the final four, along with Joseph O. Padasak, superintendent of the Windber Area School District in Somerset County.

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School Board member Renee Sharpe said seven or eight candidates for the job were selected to answer a series of questions and that these four administrators were then chosen to be interviewed.

Following their interviews last month, Sharpe said the board decided to consider all four as finalists for the superintendent's position. Each man will spend a day in the district meeting with staff, students and the community, according to the news release.

Each finalist will follow the same itinerary beginning with a morning meeting with central office staff and tour Sharpe and Scotland elementary schools, followed by lunch at and a tour of the high school. In the afternoon, they will meet with student, faculty and staff leaders, according to the district.

Each will also attend a 7 p.m. meeting on the day of their visit in the auditorium of Faust Junior High School, where members of the public will be able to ask them questions.

Michael's meetings are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 7; followed by Domencic on Wednesday, Nov. 9; Padasak on Thursday, Nov. 10, and Baker on Monday, Nov. 14.

Sharpe said biographies of the men will be made available before the interviews on the district's Web site, www.chambersburg.k12.pa.us, and at the district office at 435 Stanley Ave.

Sponseller, 61, said earlier this year he will retire June 30, 2006, after 40 years in education, 38 of them with Chambersburg. He has been superintendent for almost 18 years.

The board plans to hire his replacement in time for him to work with Sponseller during a transition period, according to the release.

Chambersburg is the largest school district in the county, with approximately 8,300 students in 17 elementary and three secondary schools.

West Shore is comparable in size with about 7,200 students in 10 elementary, four middle and two high schools, according to Pennsylvania Department of Education. Windber has approximately 1,500 students, while enrollment at Fannett-Metal is about 575, according to department figures.

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