The school board of the Kennett Consolidated School District voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Dr. Barry Tomasetti’s contract on Monday, Jan. 12.
The five-year contract extension runs from Jan. 27, 2015 through Jan. 26, 2020.
At a meeting last July, in accordance with the employment agreement, the school board voted to formally notify Tomasetti that an extension was in the offing. the school board is required to give the superintendent that notification at least 150 days before his contract expires.
Tomasetti was selected to helm the district during a national search in 2009, joining the district in the middle of the 2009-2010 school year.
School board president Heather Schaen marveled at how quickly the first five years of Tomasetti’s tenure passed. Schaen explained that the state allows for three-, four-, or five-year contract extensions.
“Our board unanimously decided on another five-year contract for Dr. Tomasetti,” Schaen said.
She added that there are now additional state-mandated provisions that must be included in the employment contract of a superintendent, so there was some additional work necessary to complete the agreement.
Several of the school board members lauded Tomasetti’s performance since he joined the school district.
Schaen talked about how he capably led the district's administrative team as it worked to overcome the financial challenges the district has faced.
Board member Aline Frank said, “We have tremendous respect for Barry and the leadership that he has brought to the district.”
Board member Joseph Meola said that he was impressed by how many after-school events Tomasetti attends, an illustration of how dedicated he is to the students in the district.
“We’re glad to have you another five years,” Meola said.
“It’s a pleasure to serve,” replied Tomasetti.
When the board notified Tomasetti that his contract was being extended last July, the superintendent said that the most challenging aspect of his time with the district was overcoming the financial issues that arose during his tenure. School districts across the state have dealt with declining or stagnant revenues at a time when the state-mandated contributions to the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) have skyrocketed. Despite the budget constraints, Kennett has been able to avoid making cuts to educational programs.
“I’m most proud of the fact that learning has improved and we haven’t cut programs,” Tomasetti said. “We’ve had to make difficult decisions to keep all the programs intact.”
The extension of Tomasetti's contract will continue the Kennett Consolidated School District's remarkable track record for stability in leadership positions. That was the hope when the district hired Tomasetti five years ago. He previously served as the superintendent of the Mifflinburg Area School District in central Pennsylvania for ten years. Tomasetti was also the director of elementary education in Harrisburg’s Central Dauphin School District, which has one of the largest student populations in the state.
During Tomasetti's 30 years in education, he has also worked as a teacher in a school on the border between the U.S. and Mexico and as a principal of elementary schools in both the Easton Area School District and the Fort Bend Independent School District in Texas. He earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in instructional leadership from the University of Houston. He earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.