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Pine-Richland School Board Debates How to Hire New Athletic Director

Athletic Director Clair Altemus is retiring.

The retirement of athletic director sparked a discussion on the school board Monday night about how his replacement will be hired.

Clair Altemus, who also is the Quad-A high school's football coach, is retiring effective June 29. Altemus came to Pine-Richland in 1997, after working as a coach at North Allegheny High School, Seneca Valley High School and Grove City High School. 

Pine-Richland School Board Director Laura Ohlund proposed chartering a selection committee to create a detailed job description, vet the applicants and make a recommendation to Superintendent Dr. Mary Bucci.

Ohlund said the committee would be composed of district administrators, community members and coaches.

"This would really bring the community faith in how we do things," she said, referring to transparency.

The motion failed when the board split 4-4 on the proposal with Directors Ohlund, Ginny Goebel, Dennis Sundo and Peter Lyons voting in favor. 

President Stephen Hawbaker, Vice President Dr. Jeffrey Banyas, Directors Therese Dawson and Richard Herko voted against. Director Kevin Nigh was absent.

Hawbaker said he was comfortable with the process started a month ago in which applications are handled by the administration.

After the vote, Bucci said she is willing to meet with members of the public to hear them out on what qualities they are looking for in the new athletic director. She also encouraged the public to email her.

Anthony DiTommaso, director of legal affairs, said the district received 104 applications by its April 20 deadline.

He said the district is looking for applicants with a bachelor's degree or higher in business, education or sports management. It also is looking for the applicant to have prior experience as an athletic director or manager of athletic programs and activities who is knowledgeable about PIAA/WPIAL regulations.

At the start of Monday's meeting during the "recognition of visitors," Dr. Bob Petcash of Gibsonia addressed the board about the importance of the position. 

"This is a very important position for Pine-Richland School District and the community," he said.

"It is super imperative to hire the best qualified applicant," said Petcash. "We as a community are expecting and demanding that."

 

Dave Tramontana April 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM
I am curious and concerned why there is no mention of the potential furlough of 15 teachers that also took place at this meeting. I suppose replacing the athletic director is important, but to have no mention of district furloughs from this meeting seems like a massive oversight.
Lori Roller May 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I am a strong believer that the athletic director not be any type of coach. I think that is somewhat of a conflict of interest. The director needs to focus on the coaches, their ability, and how they interact with the students. This person also needs to listen to the concerns of parents and address them appropriately.
Pamela Monroe June 28, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Was that fired, not retired? Poor judgement call on the AD while in his position and Pine Richland PR by not firing him for his actions.

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