- Grove City, Pennsylvania

February 19, 2014

Rock superintendent search, stadium project moving forward

By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
Allied News

SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock school board members on Monday approved two significant projects for the district: hiring a consultant to help with the search for a new superintendent, and moving forward with plans to possibly renovate the entire football stadium and field.

Todd O’Shell, who works with consultant Dr. Victor Marrone on assisting school districts with superintendent searches, spoke on behalf of Marrone, who was unable to attend the meeting.

Slippery Rock Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Nogay is retiring June 30.

O’Shell briefly reviewed Marrone’s proposed consulting agreement, which outlined a search process expected to take 4 to 5 months, depending on what kind of timeline the search committee wants to establish; committee members are the Rev. Michael Scheer, chair, Matt Pyle and Diana Wolak.

“You can reduce it or extend it however you wish,” said O’Shell, a former school board secretary; Marrone worked as a superintendent for 21 years.

The agreement also suggests: that applications for the position be turned in by late March or early April; and that interviews be conducted in late April or early May, meaning a new superintendent could be in place for the 2014-15 school year.

The committee will need to help craft the job description and decide where to advertise it, especially since running the ad in multiple media outlets can cost several thousand dollars, he said, adding it can be posted for free with various educational organizations.

Candidates will have to access the application online and can submit it to Marrone electronically or through the mail.

Slippery Rock Area School District residents will also have a chance to give input on what qualities they’re looking for in a new superintendent - a survey will be posted on the district’s website during the search process, O’Shell said.

“You can go down and pore through everyone’s thoughts,” he said.

Marrone will screen the applications for the most qualified candidates - that includes background checks - and then proceed with the actual interviews.

Scheer recommended the board hire Marrone to coordinate the search at a cost of $4,000, and the board unanimously approved the contract.

Also on Monday, the board approved the athletic committee’s recommendation to commit to additions and renovations to the football stadium and artificial turf grass field, which could cost about $2.5 million.

The board’s approval was needed in order to move forward with a $200,000 grant application that’s due Feb. 14, and it would help cover the cost of replacing the lights and bleachers, which likely won’t pass their next inspection, said Greg Angerett, committee chair.

A requirement of the grant is for the district to have plans in place to renovate the whole stadium and field, and the committee will seek additional grand funding, he said.

The district shouldn’t have to cover the remaining cost of the project with the capital reserve and general fund accounts - that money is set aside for expected retirement expense increases, Scheer said.

If the district gets the grant and the field isn’t ready for the first home game, they can play at the away team’s stadium or at Slippery Rock University, Angerett said.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the board:

• Met in executive session for a half-hour before the meeting for personnel and legal issues.

• Approved advertising for bids for the 2014-15 school year for various equipment, furniture and art, physical education, music, industrial arts and audio visual supplies.

• Approved a memorandum of understanding with the Slippery Rock Area Education Support Staff for the use of Americorps workers and volunteers that confirms Americorps is intended to assisted contracted members of the bargaining unit, not replace them.

• Approved an upgrade from a nine-passenger van to a 22-passenger minibus for Grove City Christian School students at a cost of $195 a day, which is an increase of $26 a day.

• Approved membership for the district in the Butler County Community Development Corporation at a cost of $250 annually.

• Approved the junior class’ request to have prom on May 9 at the Marriott in Cranberry Township; the students will travel by bus from the high school.

• Heard from Nogay that the district was approved for a $40,000 Safe Schools grant that will pay for a police officer to patrol the schools.

• Decided to wait until the next meeting - 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 - to determine how to make up one snow day since all four previously set snow makeup days have already been worked into this school year’s calendar.

• Was recognized by Nogay for their service with certificates of appreciation in honor of January being School Board Recognition Month.

• Agreed to discuss at their Feb. 24 meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m., potential plans for Har-Mer Elementary, the closed school building owned by the district in Harrisville.

Published Feb. 5, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.