Some Concerned with Process, But Brockway Still Hires Vizza as New Principal

5:24:16 jeff vizzaBROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT) — At Tuesday night’s Brockway School Board meeting, there were residents concerned about their taxes going up, and others concerned about the lack of transparency in hiring a new principal.

But, at the end of it, Jeff Vizza was hired as the new principal at the Junior-Senior High School. Vizza, currently a principal at DuBois Area High School, was voted in by a 6-2 count. His salary will be $105,000.00, and the district will accept the transfer of 50 sick days from the DuBois Area School District.

Two weeks ago, the Board met in an attempt to hire Vizza, but it failed, due to the fact that there weren’t enough “yes” votes. Vizza did get a 4-2 count in favor of his hiring, but there needed to be at least five in favor.

The nine-member board was at six as Directors Tim Britton, Renee Allenbaugh, and Jacqueline Manno were excused from the meeting.

But this time, eight of the nine were in attendance, and Vizza had more than enough votes.

Brockway Superintendent Dan Hawkins, in charge since 2009, had a prepared statement that he handed out to everyone in attendance.

5:24:16 dan hawkins

“Jeff has done a great job throughout the (DuBois) district as a teacher, elementary principal, assistant high school principal, and high school principal,” Hawkins said. “He worked for me as a science teacher and later was a colleague of mine. He brings 28 years of experience with him from the district.”

Bill Sabatose, a Brockport resident and former school board member, attended the meeting and said he was troubled that the job was not advertised.

“When I found out, I was befuddled that a high school principal could be hired without interviews being done or the position being advertised,” Sabatose said. “I also don’t believe this is a time to hire a principal at the cost of $105,000.00 when you just got done raising taxes.”

“I know the board’s work isn’t easy; I was on it for 18 years. But, can you do something within the district to hold off hiring a new principal? When you are raising taxes, you need to cut back. I wish you would consider my comments.”

Another woman was concerned about her taxes going up to the point where she couldn’t pay them and would have to sell her land.

School Board Director Bob Cherubini voted “no” two weeks ago because of the fact the regular process of advertising the vacancy and interviews wasn’t followed.

Hawkins did answer the criticisms.

“I would like to make it perfectly clear that the process that the board used here tonight to hire Jeff was different than what we had done in the recent past, but appointments have been made here before in Brockway schools for administrative positions,” Hawkins said. “The Brockway Board met with the candidate for nearly two hours, not the usual 20 or 30 minutes. Administrative policy has been followed when filling this position. For anyone to infer that the process we used in hiring Mr. Vizza was not legitimate or valid is completely false.

“Mr. Vizza will be filling a vacancy on our administrative team; this is not a new position. Let me remind you that if the former principal would still be in place, her salary next year would be $109,319.56.”

Vizza’s hiring will fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Dee Dee Carlini in August 2015.

Also, Brockway made two other hires.

Jeff Rakvin was approved as the new head maintenance supervisor at a salary of $55,000.00.

Rick Clark was approved as the new head boys’ basketball coach with his salary to be determined. Clark was a long-time assistant to Kurt Becker and was also a head girls’ coach at DuBois Area many years ago.

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