Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Consultant to Act as Superintendent Board Follows Solicitor's Recommendation, While Defense Department Hires Past District Head

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Consultant to Act as Superintendent Board Follows Solicitor's Recommendation, While Defense Department Hires Past District Head

Article excerpt

The Montour school board is bringing in a heavy hitter with a statewide reputation to serve as its acting superintendent.

Donald Boyer, president of Education Management Group and a consultant to the state Department of Education, was named in a special board meeting Tuesday to replace Patrick Dworakowski, who announced his resignation late last month.

EMG has a standing contract with the state to analyze the functions of troubled school districts. It recently did an analysis for Sto-Rox, which implemented a major recommendation by closing its kindergarten center.

The firm also studied operations and finances for Center Area and Monaca school districts, helping to guide them to a merger that was culminated this summer, and has done studies for Penn Hills, Moon and other districts in the area.

Dr. Boyer has four decades of experience as a school administrator, and has been involved with several building projects.

Montour board President Bill Ewonce said Dr. Boyer's construction experience was attractive to the board, which is in the midst of a high school renovation project. The biggest factor,, though, was the recommendation of solicitor Ira Weiss.

"We went to [Mr. Weiss] and asked, 'What do we do now?' " Mr. Ewonce said, noting that the board was caught off guard by Dr. Dworakowski's resignation.

Mr. Weiss recommended Dr. Boyer, and "we decided we were going to go on the recommendation of our solicitor," Mr. Ewonce said. "We can't be floundering around here waiting to make a decision."

Along with guiding the district through the high school renovation project, Dr. Boyer will help the search for a new superintendent. Mr. Ewonce said neither a time line nor a process has been set yet for making that decision.

Dr. Boyer is the sixth man to lead the district this decade: Joe Karlik retired in 2002; Ron Mento was superintendent in 2004-06; Carl DeJulio was acting superintendent in 2006-07; and Dr. Dworkowski served in 2007-09.

That period also was marked by debate over building and renovation plans, with various scenarios being proposed and shot down as the makeup of the school board turned over.

Renovation work on the high school finally began with demolition in fall 2007, but stalled last year when bids came in high. …

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