Tube City Almanac

October 28, 2011

Board Splits 4-4 on Appointing New School Director

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McKeesport Area School Board adjourned another regular meeting on Wednesday with an empty seat. And if residents file a petition asking a county judge to fill the vacant position left by former board president Wayne Washowich, the matter could end up in court.

On Wednesday, the eight remaining board members were divided 4-4 over a replacement for Washowich, who resigned from the board in September as he and his wife have moved to Elizabeth Township.

Nominated to fill the remaining two years of Washowich's term were Ivan Hampton, former dean of students at McKeesport Area High School, and Trisha Gadson, social worker and wife of high school basketball coach Corey Gadson.

School directors Christopher Halaszynski, Joseph Lopretto, Thomas Maglicco and Patricia Maksin voted for Hampton, while James Brown (by phone), Joseph Chiaverini, Mark Holtzman and Steven Kondrosky voted for Gadson*.

The board is also without a president since Washowich's resignation.

Solicitor George Matta said any resident of the school district could petition the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas for a hearing to appoint a new board member. The board would also have the option of calling a special meeting to vote on another candidate prior to a hearing on that petition, Matta said.

Residents can file a petition starting Monday, as the 30-day period following Washowich's resignation will have expired.  Petition forms will be available at the MASD administration office.  

The board also recognized its former president at Wednesday's meeting, presenting Washowich with a plaque commemorating his "selfless service to the students of McKeesport Area School District" during his 14 years as a member of the school board from 1998 to 2011.

Washowich, who served as president for seven of those years, thanked the board for the time he spent with them.

"We had a lot of fun, we had some difficulties throughout those years," Washowich said. "Our heart is in McKeesport and always will be."

* Editor's Note: This story was edited after publication to correct the spelling of Trisha Gadson's name.

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