Peters Township names new superintendent

Published Jun 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm (Updated Jun 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm)

The Peters Township School Board of directors on June 10 unanimously voted to hire Dr. Jeannine French as the district’s new superintendent.

“I cannot wait to begin to serve,” French said, after receiving a Peters Township Indians pin from acting superintendent Dr. Joseph Dimperio.

French will begin serving as superintendent July 1 and has been given a five-year contract with an initial salary of $160,000 per year, plus benefits.

Via phone, school director David Hvizdos said in the motion to employ French that he was pleased that after months of searching for a new superintendent they had found one.

“We hope the community will welcome Dr. French with open arms,” Hvizdos said.

The district conducted a five-month-long nation-wide search for its new superintendent after Dr. Nina Zetty resigned last year to take a position with Gateway School District.

“We are excited to have found such an excellent candidate in Dr. French,” said Cindy Golembiewski, Board President. “She is the right person to lead this District to the next level.”

French currently serves as deputy superintendent for Pittsburgh Public Schools and has spent 16 years working for the district. During her tenure with Pittsburgh Public Schools, French held positions including behavior specialist, coordinator of health services, coordinator of student services, regional coordinator, principal, assistant superintendent of kindergarten through eighth-grade and middle schools, as well as chief of school performance.

French also worked for the Allegheny Neuropsychiatric Institute, Allegheny General Hospital and Western Psychiatric Institute, concentrating on the treatment of children with externalizing disorders.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Allegheny College and her master’s degree in psychology and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Duquesne University. French earned her principal certification from Carnegie Mellon University and her superintendent’s letter of eligibility from the University of Pittsburgh.

Other business

In other business at the June 10 meeting, the board tabled action on selecting dance company volunteer coaches and co-sponsors. The vote to table was 5-4 with Lori Cuervo, Lynn Erenberg, Cindy Golembiewski, and Hvizdos voting against tabling action.

The vote to table action on dance company volunteer coaches and co-sponsors Domonique Schuster, Ashlee Olivo and Megan Chicone came after some parents spoke out demanding that current dance team sponsor Barbara Deliere be added back to the list of sponsors for the dance team for the 2013-14 school year.

The board room was packed with dance team members, parents and community members who said that Deliere’s name was taken off the agenda just prior to the meeting.

Parent Robert Scott, whose daughter, Sydney is a member of the dance team, said the team, which recently won a national championship, is successful because of what Deliere has done to encourage the girls. He said that since Deliere is a staff member that she encourages the team members to do well in school and that the average grade point average for members of the dance team is 3.4. Scott added that she also encourages the girls to raise money for charity.

Sydney Scott, a rising senior and member of the dance team, was near tears and said it is “critical for a sponsor to be actively involved.” She said Deliere helps to coordinate activities outside of dance and engages the team in volunteer work and also school work.

“She knows that school comes first,” Sydney Scott said, adding, “Barb Deliere is the heart and soul of the Peters Township dance team.”

Parent Denise Abraham was concerned with what she called “the late change to the agenda.” She added that the dance team “desires no change to the sponsor and the coaching staff.”

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