Seneca Valley Welcomes New Assistant to Superintendent
A former editor for Golden Valley Patch, Mary Costello Vandergrift also will assist in writing marketing and advertising material for the district’s communication department.
There’s a new face at Seneca Valley school board meetings.
The district has hired Mary Costello-Vandergrift as assistant to Superintendent Dr. Tracy Vitale. Costello-Vandergrift, who started in the position last week, also will split her time assisting communications director Linda Andreassi with the district’s marketing and advertising campaigns.
A former editor for Golden Valley Patch in Minneapolis, Minn., Costello-Vandergrift also will serve as the school board secretary. She replaces Joan Rinaman, who served as board secretary and secretary to the superintendent at Seneca Valley for more than 20 years.
Andreassi said Rinaman resigned from her longtime post to take a position as secretary in the district’s special education department.
Costello-Vandergrift will be paid a salary of $45,000 per year, Andreassi said.
A 1999 Northwestern University grad who majored in journalism, Costello-Vandergrift said she, her husband and their 13-month-old daughter, Olivia, moved to Zelienople in March to be closer to her husband’s family.
“I’m thrilled to be here,” she said. “I love Zelienople.”
Costello-Vandergrift, who grew up in Green Bay, also has been a television reporter in Minneapolis, Clarksburg, W. Va., South Bend, Ind., Green Bay, Wis. and Dayton, Ohio.
Dancing for Another Year
In other school news, Seneca Valley officials at Monday's school board meeting approved contracts with the Pittsburgh Ballet House in Cranberry for dance instruction for the Seneca Valley Cyber & Arts program's 2012-13 school year.
Andreassi said the program has tripled in size since it was introduced last fall. There are about 30 students registered for this year's ballet program, which is led by instructor Kwang-suk Choi, a former principal dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Company.
"We fully anticipate the program will continue to grow," Andreassi said.
Choi, who founded the Pittsburgh Ballet House, and his instructors will be paid a rate of $50 per hour to teach a variety of dance classes as part of the contract, Andreassi said.
Officials also approved a service agreement with the Children's Institute of Pittsburgh for consultation, professional development and direct services at a cost not exceed $51,178, pending review by the district solicitor.
Andreassi said the consultants will provide training throughout the year for the district's special education teachers working with autistic students. The agreement is new for the 2012-13 school year, she said.