The Peters Township Board of Education Monday night voted to extend the contract of school superintendent Nina Zetty, and hire a new high school principal to replace Dr. Thomas Hajzus. Frank Brettschneider has been acting principal.
Lori Pavlik, who is currently an assistant principal at Mt. Lebanon High School was approved as the new principal by an 8-0-1 vote, with Dr. Mark Buzzatto casting the abstaining vote. Pavlik will receive a salary of $105,000. Her official starting date has yet to be determined.
The board meeting started an hour late, after board members finished an executive session to discuss personnel matters.
The action to retain Zetty came when a personnel committee motioned to open the superintendent’s position to outside applicants failed by a 5-4 vote. Voting to open the position were board members Buzzatto, Thomas McMurray, Sue Smith and president Diane Ritter. Voting against opening the position were Lori Cuervo, Lynn Erenberg, Cindy Golembiewski, David Hvizdos and Julie Ann Sullivan.
Zetty’s three-year contract with the board expires Aug. 1, and under Pennsylvania school code, districts must act to open a superintendent’s position 150 days prior to the end of their contract. Zetty ‘s annual salary is $130,000 under terms of the current contract. According to board solicitor John Cambest, the board will now work on a new contract for Zetty to be approved prior to the end of the existing one.
Township resident Mike Aburachis, a long-time critic of the district’s special education program was critical of the board's decision to retain Zetty, and during public comment time at the end of the meeting, attempted to question board members about their individual votes. Cambest, who spoke for the board, said that members are not permitted to comment on personnel matters regarding district staff and administrators.
Personnel committee chair Golembiewski stated, “We are all a team. We will make this work and we will all move forward together. The students of this district are our top priority.”
In other action at Monday night’s meeting, the board awarded a contract to Ramp Construction Company, for $668,000, for roofing at Peters Township High School and McMurray Elementary, and approved a feasibility study for the high school for renovation. HHSDR Architects will do the study in an amount not exceeding $8,500.
The board also approved the district’s anti-nepotism policy by a 6-3 vote, with members Buzzatto, Hvizdos and McMurray casting the "no" votes.
Board president Ritter announced that a committee of teachers, students, administrators and parents will be formed to review the district’s graduation honors policy. The committee is expected to be formed in the next several weeks, to make a recommendation to the board before the end of the current school year.