Fort Cherry superintendent to retire

January 30, 2014
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Courtesy of Robert Morris University
Dr. Robert Dinnen will retire from Fort Cherry School District at the end of the school year.
Image description
Courtesy of Robert Morris University
Dr. Robert Dinnen

Fort Cherry School District’s superintendent will retire at the end of the school year after holding the position for 16 years.

The school board accepted Robert Dinnen’s letter of retirement during a meeting Monday. His retirement goes into effect June 30 at the end of his current five-year contract.

Dinnen, 62, said he has spent “a long time doing wonderful things with wonderful students and wonderful staff” and is exploring a number of options after retiring from his position.

“I just thought it would be time to pass the torch to somebody else,” he said, adding that he was happy to contribute to “creating a culture for student success” during his time with the district. He said he has seen Fort Cherry change and grow over the years.

“We’ve advanced the academic achievement of our students, instituted numerous professional development activities for our staff, created a collaborative process with parents and moved technology to state of the art … and went from $20 million in debt to debt-free.”

Business manager Paul Sroka said “it’s been an enjoyable 12 years” working with Dinnen.

“Dr. Dinnen has been very helpful to me in my professional development and mentored me in understanding school finance,” Sroka said.

Dinnen said the board will likely begin accepting applications for superintendent within the next couple of months.

The board also accepted the retirements of several teachers, including Rose Stempler, Carl Grinage, Linda Perkins, Claudia Diamond, Tom Diamond, Nancy Fowler Lescovitz and Mandi Gordon.

Board members also voted 6-3 to end a contract with longtime auditor Cypher & Cypher in Canonsburg. Board members Larry Heirendt, Cynthia Gaskill and James White cast the dissenting votes. Voting in favor were Tina Cottrill, Melinda Errett, Chris Lauff, Jodi McKay, Jeanine Miles and Joanne Wagner. A new auditor has not yet been approved.

The board also voted to move forward with plans for the construction of a running track by approving architect design specifications for track lighting at the football stadium.

Emily Petsko joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in June 2013. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor's degree in journalism and global cultural studies.

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