YATESVILLE — Pittston Area has a new superintendent, officially.
For the past four months, former district Principal Kevin Booth was serving as interim superintendent. His title was made official at Tuesday’s Pittston Area School Board meeting.
Booth won the majority vote 6-2.
Booth was one of nine candidates for the position, which was posted in December. Two of those candidates, Booth and Janet Donovan, were recommended by the board. Booth earned the majority vote with board members John Adonizio, Bruce Knick, Maria Noone, Patrick O’Boyle, Martin Quinn and Kent Bratlee voting yes. Joseph Kelly and Rosanne Ricotta voted no. Michael Crawford was absent from the meeting.
“It’s definitely a relief to be able to move on to the next chapter,” Booth said following the meeting. “To have it finally be over and done with is hopefully going to provide stability to the school district.”
Booth takes over for former superintendent Michael Garzella, who announced his retirement in September 2015. Garzella’s contract expired on Oct. 8, 2015. Garzella spent three years at Pittston Area and ended a 41-year educational career last year.
Garzella replaced George Cosgrove in 2012 when Cosgrove announced his retirement.
Booth comes to the superintendent role as a Pittston area native. He graduated from the school in 1989. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University, he earned his master’s from the University of Scranton. He also received his superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Scranton.
Prior to becoming district principal, Booth was a Pittston Area fourth-grade teacher and assistant principal at Pittston Area Middle School.
At the end of the meeting, Booth thanked the board members for their vote of confidence.
“I think it speaks to how well we work together over the last few months,” he said. “I’m happy that they have the confidence to move forward.”
Board approves preliminary budget
Business Manager Albert Melone gave a presentation to the board on the 2016-17 preliminary operating budget. Melone stressed to the public in attendance that the budget proposed is just preliminary and non-binding. The board adopted the budget unanimously.
The total expenditures of the preliminary budget is $47,586,186 with a millage rate of 15.2632. The 2015-16 operating budget had total expenditures of $45,658.236. Last year’s millage rate was 14.4989. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value.
The proposed final budget of Pittston Area must be approved by June 3.
The next meeting of the Pittston Area School Board will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the high school library.
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick