MOUNTAIN TOP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — An embattled Luzerne County School district has a new leader. The Crestwood School District in Mountain Top has named a new superintendent.
He takes the reigns of a school district that has been caught up in controversy after controversy over the last several years. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick sat down with Robert Mehalick on Tuesday afternoon.
Robert Mehalick says he has no illusions about it. The Crestwood School District needs a steady hand. And he will provide it.
“I’m coming with a lot of energy, a lot of motivation. I’m very community-oriented and I have a keen interest in all of the stakeholders especially our students,” he told Eyewitness News.
The district has been under scrutiny in recent years. That included a state audit late last year that found inadequate background checks for school bus drivers. That resulted in classes being canceled for two days and the previous superintendent and operations manager placed on paid leave. The superintendent ultimately stepped down–although he was not directly blamed for the school bus problems. The operations manager also left his position.
Mehalick–who is currently the superintendent for the Carbondale Area School District says he understands why some folks in the district may be disillusioned.
“I think the district has already moved past. The students are resilient. They have done so well,” said Mehalick.
And most of all, be transparent with everyone in the district
“We need to communicate. We need to have an open-door policy. We need to be accessible at all different times,” stressed Mehalick.
“The community and the parents are really hungry for strong leadership,” said Lauren McCurdy of Wright Township.
McCurdy says she was so disgusted with the goings-on in the school district that she ran for a school board seat and won in the primary election. She’s confident she will be victorious in November, but most of all she says she wants the school district to be victorious and to focus on education and not controversy.
“We need somebody who has the ideas and has the vision that can help lead us out of the trouble we’ve been seeing the last few years,” said McCurdy.
Mehalick is also a member of the Hazleton Area School Board and served as Director of Special Education Programs for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District.