Higher-Than-Normal Turnover Seen among School Superintendents

By Niederberger, Mary | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), June 3, 2016 | Go to article overview

Higher-Than-Normal Turnover Seen among School Superintendents


Niederberger, Mary, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


As students line up in their caps and gowns for commencement marches in the coming days, they are not the only ones leaving their K-12 school experience behind.

This year, there is also a graduating class of sorts of superintendents in Allegheny County - a handful of longtime educators who are retiring and turning over the reins of their districts to new leaders, and a few additional superintendents who are leaving under different circumstances.

Who's leaving

In suburban Allegheny County, superintendents Nancy Aloi Rose of Bethel Park, Michael Panza of West Jefferson Hills, Jeanine Gregory of South Park and John Hoover of Hampton are retiring.

In the Pittsburgh Public Schools, superintendent Linda Lane is retiring from the post she has held since 2011.

Northgate superintendent Joseph Pasquerilla, who held that position since 2012, became the new Bethel Park superintendent in April.

Gateway superintendent Nina Zetty resigned in April after being on a leave of absence that followed a board vote in February to not to renew her contract, which was set to expire in June 2017.

In Moon Area, superintendent Curt Baker was placed on leave in December with the board moving to terminate his contract in March.

And in Wilkinsburg, where there has been a revolving door of superintendents in the past three years, the board last week accepted the resignation of acting superintendent Joseph Petrella, who had been on sick leave since February.

Allegheny County seems to be having a higher-than-normal turnover in leadership in its school districts, acknowledged Jim Buckheit, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators.

But, he said, it has happened in other counties as well and that the turnover of superintendents "ebbs and flows."

"The bulk of the resignations are simply because people are aging out and because of all of the stress of the fiscal challenges and public scrutiny and demands on student achievement," Mr. Buckheit said.

New faces

Pittsburgh Public Schools named its selection to replace Mrs. Lane two weeks ago - Anthony Hamlet, director of accountability transformation in the School District of Palm Beach in Florida.

In some of the other districts, filling the empty top spots has prompted the shuffling of upper level administrators.

The Gateway school board appointed assistant superintendent William Short to be the new superintendent.

Moon Area is being led on an interim basis by retired superintendent Donna Milanovich, who will remain through the 2016-17 school year.

John Frombach, a retired Baldwin-Whitehall administrator, is serving as acting superintendent in the Wilkinsburg School District

Northgate recently named Caroline Johns as its new superintendent to replace Mr. Pasquerilla. She is currently assistant superintendent in Moon Area and will start in Northgate July 1.

In Hampton, Michael Loughead, assistant superintendent in South Fayette, will replace Mr. Hoover on July 1. Mr. Hoover has served since 2006.

The South Park board plans to name a new superintendent in the coming weeks. …

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