B-A superintendent leaving district

BELLWOOD – Bellwood-Antis School Board members are looking for a new superintendent.

St. Mary’s Area School District board members Friday hired Brian Toth as their superintendent to replace Ann Kearney who is retiring.

Toth was approved by a 6-1 vote, according to board President Robert Luchini.

He will assume the position on Aug. 18 and be paid a salary of $140,000, Luchini said.

On Tuesday, Toth, who became superintendent at Bellwood-Antis in August 2003 when he succeeded Rod Kuhns, had agreed to accept a pay freeze for the 2014-15 school year where his salary was $130,500.

Toth, an Altoona native and 1978 graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle High School, began his teaching career in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown parochial school system in 1983 and returned to the area after serving as director of human resources for the Chartiers Valley School District in Allegheny County since 2001.

Toth said the time was right to move on.

“I think there comes a point where everyone has to look for different experiences, and it is time for me. Of course it is difficult. There are a lot of people you make connections with,” Toth said.

Toth said construction of the new Myers Elementary School was the biggest accomplishment during his tenure.

“Not one person does everything. We had a good team of folks. It is a showcase building,” Toth said.

He said he hopes he is remembered in a good way.

“I hope folks would say he did some good things for the kids, that we were able to support our students so they will be successful after they leave here,” Toth said.

School board members said Toth will be missed.

“The district will certainly miss him. Many times you don’t realize what you had until it’s gone,” said President Steve Winterstein.

“St. Mary’s apparently sees what he is capable of doing. When I went to the school where he was at (Chartiers Valley), I walked the hallways and talked to teachers. They didn’t want to lose him. I personally will miss him,” Kenneth Loucks said.

Board members will immediately begin the search for a new superintendent and will likely seek help from Intermediate Unit 8 and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Loucks said.

“I don’t see us doing our own search,” Loucks said.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.