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School Board Extends Superintendent’s Term

In unusual move, superintendent resigned and was rehired

By Siana Emery
The Tube City Almanac
July 08, 2021
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

McKeesport Area School Board has rehired Superintendent Mark P. Holtzman Jr. for another five years.

But in an unusual move, Holtzman first had to resign his position and then be re-appointed.

At a brief special meeting Tuesday, school directors voted 5-0 to accept Holtzman’s resignation, effective July 6.

School directors in attendance were Diane Elias, Tom Filotei, Ivan Hampton, Jim Poston and board President Joseph Lopretto. School directors Jim Brown, Dave Donato, Steven Kondrosky and Mindy Sturgess were absent.

The board then voted 5-0 to rehire Holtzman as superintendent for a five-year contract, beginning July 7, 2021 and ending June 30, 2026.

Holtzman was not present at the meeting.

Holtzman has served as district superintendent since March 2017 and had two years remaining on his old contract. The state’s Public School Code states that a district superintendent’s contract can be renewed only “during the last year of the term of the district superintendent or at any other time when a vacancy shall occur in the office of district superintendent.

Before being hired as superintendent, Holtzman had served as the district’s director of secondary education and teacher evalulation and as principal of the high school. He previously worked as dean of students at West Mifflin Area High School and as a behavioral specialist for both MAHS and UPMC Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

Before the meeting adjourned, Lopretto announced that Kristen James, the district’s public relations & communications specialist, is stepping down. James also served as the homeless and foster care liaison.

“She’s a big piece of the puzzle and that's going to be a puzzle piece that's going to be hard to fill,” said Lopretto. “I wish her the best of luck on her new job, and I hope she never forgets about the MASD family — once a tiger, always a tiger.”

The next school board meeting is an agenda-setting meeting at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4, with a regular board meeting Aug. 11.

Siana Emery is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh’s South Hilltop. She has also written for The Mennonite World Review, Goshen College Communications and Marketing and The Goshen College Record. She may be reached at sianaemery@gmail.com.

Originally published July 08, 2021.

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