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Peters Township Appoints Acting Superintendent

Current Superintendent Nina Zetty is heading to Gateway School District.

Peters Township School Board appointed Dr. Joseph C. Dimperio as acting superintendent at its Monday night meeting. 

The move came after the board officially accepted the resignation of current Superintendent Nina Zetty. 

Zetty's last official day on the job will be Nov. 21. She's leaving to become superintendent of the Gateway School District in Monroeville. 

Zetty said this is the right time to leave Peters Township and move on to a new challenge. 

"When you look at where we are in the district right now educationally, we're doing very well and there's a great plan to move it forward. Economically, we're in great shape. We balanced the budget last year. As far as construction is concerned, we have some plans for maintenance. So everything is really on track and ready to go. Now is the time to leave so that I can go and hopefully do that in another district," she said.

Zetty added that leaving is bittersweet. 

"I'm not excited about leaving Peters Township because it is a wonderful district," she said. "There's a lot to be grateful for here: The great families, the kids are wonderful. There's just a lot of good here. That's the tough part in leaving. I feel like I made a positive impact here and I hope to do the same at Gateway."

Dimperio is a Pittsburgh native and currently lives in Mt. Lebanon. Dimperio also served as acting superintendent for Peters Township in 2008 prior to Zetty's appointment. 

Dimperio brings more than 40 years of education experience to the position. He has served as superintendent of schools for West Mifflin and Ambridge and as interim superintendent for Carlynton School Disrict. 

He began his career as a social studies teacher and spent time as a principal and assistant principal in Pittsburgh Public Schools and Mount Lebanon School District. Dimperio says stepping into the acting superintendent role is a challenge.

"I do love it and I love the school district," he said. "The board has been terrific and I know most of them. A few of them are new to me. I know the schools. Peters Township is a wonderful school district and I'm anxious to be a part of it even if it's for a short period of time."

Dimperio holds a bachelor's degree in political science and history from Franciscan University, a master's degree in history and a doctorate in education administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a juris doctorate from Duquesne University. He said he will not be applying for the permanent superintendent position. 

The school board has begun a search for a permanent replacement for Zetty. They will discuss the search process at a closed personnel meeting next Monday evening. 

Zetty was named superintendent back in 2008 and has a current salary of $142,870. Her contract was set to expire in August 2015. 

Dimperio will earn $500 per day as acting superintendent.

Roger October 16, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Can somebody explain the meaning of a contract for these folks? Dr Zetty was considered by Gateway, while under contract to Peters. Apparently, she agreed to be a candidate. After due consideration, she was offered the post in Gateway, KNOWING she was under contract to Peters School District. And, she accepted the offer. Then, she went to the Peters School Board, asking for a release from her contract. If I have the sequence wrong, please help me out. If my sequence is right, then what value is the contract? What is the message to the students of Peters? It seems to be a message something like, "... yes, I made a commitment to Peters and signed a contract, but when something better came along, I chose to ignore my commitment, and accept another job elsewhere." How can our public school students be expected to abide by commitments, when the Administrators openly, and blatantly do not abide by their commitments? Sorry, an answer of "everybody does it," will not work.
Eric Rouillard October 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM
@Roger I agree with you that a contract is binding, but the public wasn't privy to all the details. What if there is an early termination clause, like on your cell phone contract? The fact that she left on friendly terms - I say this because nobody is suing each other yet - means that he departure is an agreeable thing for all involved. The story could be more complicated than is shared here in a few paragraphs. Executives, although more visible to outsiders, have the same problems are regular employees, and a few extra ones unique to a leadership position. What if she simply wants to live closer to her aging mother? Sometimes things can look complicated but sometimes they aren't.
Roger October 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Eric, you are right about not being privy to the details. These details are "personnel matters," and are discussed behind closed doors. However, the public perception remains the same: Zetty chose to accept another place of employment, while still under a contract with Peters School District. If she wanted to follow another employment path, why didn't she go to the District Board BEFORE discussing employment with Gateway, asking that the contract be voided? She waited until AFTER Gateway announced her intentions of moving to their District. Someplace, another person (Jill?) posted a comment about the decision. I don't know where to find that comment, unless it was deleted from this thread. This comment suggested that the separation was a good thing for both parties. This may be the case, but it does not provide relief from her choosing to break the contract. Yes, there may have been an early termination clause, but that fact, and the penalty for taking this action, would have provided a more complete explanation about the separation. I am sure the District treaded lightly on this case, knowing how badly they were burned with the Hajuz case a few years ago. Exactly what happened with not be revealed. However, on the surface, seeing a high-profile official in the school administration breaking a contract, choosing not to fulfill the terms, sends a wrong message to the students of the District.

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