Trinity, Kasunich reach separation agreement

May 28, 2014
Trinity Area School District Assistant Superintendent Michael Lucas, left, was recommended for the position of superintendent at Thursday’s special board meeting, where directors reached a resignation agreement with Superintendent Paul Kasunich. Beside Lucas are board president Jennifer Morgan and Pittsburgh attorney Alan Shuckrow, who was hired as special counsel following Kasunich’s arrest for DUI. - Karen Mansfield / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

Trinity Area School District and Superintendent Paul Kasunich reached a separation agreement Wednesday night.

The school board voted unanimously to approve the agreement, which calls for Kasunich to resign July 1.

He has been on paid leave since he was arrested Feb. 2 in Ohio Township, Allegheny County, for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Kasunich will be paid one year’s severance pay and benefits. The school board did not release the amount that Kasunich will receive, but said it is in line with what is provided for in the Pennsylvania Public School Code.

The board will vote June 5 on a recommendation to hire Assistant Superintendent Michael Lucas to replace Kasunich. If approved, the new superintendent will assume duties July 1.

Board president Jennifer Morgan commented on the separation agreement in a prepared statement.

“This result enables both Dr. Kasunich and the district to move forward. We acknowledge Dr. Kasunich’s service to this district. We are looking forward to a bright future for this district and community,” she said.

Morgan said Kasunich approved the agreement.

Kasunich, who has a background in both business and education, was hired by the school district in April 2010, and his resignation comes more than three years before the end of his current five-year contract.

Following Kasunich’s arrest, the school board hired Strassburger McKenna Gutnick & Gefsky at a cost of $36,818.83 as special counsel for direction in the matter.

More than 40 residents, Trinity administrators and former school board members attended the special meeting.

Kasunich was admitted to the state’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program May 16. First-time offenders who successfully complete the 12-month probationary ARD program can have charges against them dismissed and their records expunged.

Kasunich declined to comment Wednesday night when reached by phone.

Karen Mansfield is an award-winning journalist and mom of five who has been a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter since 1988. She enjoys reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good glass of wine and nice people.

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