District Picks Top Official

Posted: May 21, 1992

Robert A. Jannone, the principal of a small high school in rural Pennsylvania, will be the new superintendent of the New Hope-Solebury School District.

The school board voted, 8-0, to select Jannone at a special meeting of the board Tuesday.

Jannone signed a three-year contract, effective July 1. His first year's salary will be $85,000, with annual salary reviews.

He has been principal of the 585-student Canton Junior-Senior High School in Bradford County since 1983 and has a total of 15 years' teaching experience. Jannone holds a doctorate in organizational leadership in curriculum and development from the University of Pennsylvania.

Jannone will fill the slot that is being vacated by Superintendent Irene Bender, who announced her resignation in October. Bender has said that she and the fiscally conservative majority of the board "were running in different directions."

Board President Wesley G. Pericone praised Jannone at the brief meeting that was attended by about 30 parents and teachers.

"I think Dr. Jannone will be an asset to the school," Pericone said. "He works well with teachers."

Board member Peter Augenblick, whose decisions are often opposite of Pericone's, also approved the selection of Jannone. "We have hired a capable, bright and enthusiastic individual."

But board member Peter Reiss and several members of the audience expressed doubts about Jannone.

Reiss arrived at the meeting after the vote was taken but said that he would have cast the lone dissenting vote. Jannone lacks the "educational sophistication" to be an effective superintendent, Reiss said.

Resident Bob Goldman also opposed the selection of Jannone, citing his lack of elementary-level teaching or previous experience as a superintendent. Goldman was part of an advisory panel of parents, teachers and administrators who interviewed Jannone and the other finalist, Donald Houck, the assistant superintendent of the Keystone Central School District in Clinton County, Pa.

Board member Myra Coon told the audience that she supported Jannone and shrugged off the criticisms raised.

"If we'd have selected God, you might not have been happy."

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