Dr. Randal A. Lutz will be the 's superintendent ... eventually.
The Baldwin-Whitehall School Board elected Lutz on Wednesday night by a 9-0 vote to replace Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak as the district's superintendent, effective July 1, 2012—the day after .
Lutz is B-W's assistant superintendent of elementary education, and he will continue to fill that role until June 30 (or earlier if Korchnak is relieved of his duties).
Under his new title, Lutz will earn an initial annual salary of $135,000. His first term of office as district superintendent will end on June 30, 2015.
Prior to voting on the item to elect Lutz, longtime B-W School Board member Martin Michael Schmotzer thanked first-year board member Sam DiNardo Jr. for being proactive in .
Schmotzer then spoke of his reasons for voting "yes" on the item.
"With Dr. Lutz, we were fortunate enough to watch him grow in front of our eyes the last number of years," Schmotzer said. "He is ready. He is able. He's intelligent. He's polished. And he's one of us. I don't know what more someone would want in a superintendent."
Another longtime board member, Kevin J. Fischer, said that having Lutz learn to be a superintendent while working under a more-experienced superintendent such as Korchnak has worked out in B-W's favor.
Fischer also said that locking up Lutz now is the right decision.
"I think that it is prudent upon this board ... to secure Dr. Lutz ... ," Fischer said. "(Lutz) has been a good soldier for this district. He has worked his way up through the ranks—from a (B-W) student nonetheless. And I think he's earned it."
"I'm exceedingly proud that he's going to succeed me," Korchnak said. "I know that he's going to be great for the community (and) for the children of Baldwin-Whitehall."
Korchnak has been B-W's superintendent since March 2008.
Lutz came to the Baldwin-Whitehall School District from the Bethel Park School District in 1996 to be a vice principal, but he was already a 1986 graduate of .
Since 1996, Lutz has also held the titles of principal, director of curriculum and director of federal programs in addition to his current role.
"I'm very happy," Lutz told the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch after Wednesday night's school board meeting. "I'm excited about the challenges (and) the opportunities.
"There's lots of work to be done, but I think I understand where the pitfalls can be and where the (district's) strengths are. We have a lot of great people here. It's just a matter of getting that work started, so I'm very excited about it."
Lutz earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1990. He also received a master's degree in elementary administration from Pitt in 1996 before finishing his doctorate in administrative and policy studies at Pitt in 2004.
"After (the initial three-year term), hopefully, (the B-W Board) will think enough of my work and renew me and keep moving forward," Lutz said.
"My kids are here. I've lived here my entire life. If given the opportunity, I'd finish my career here."
Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch later on Thursday for more odds and ends from Wednesday night’s school board meeting.
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