Gregg Paladina decides to stay on as P-O superintendent

Gregg Paladina announced Tuesday he plans to stay in his role as superintendent of the Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District.

The decision came a couple of weeks after Paladina took a job in the same role at Punxsutawney Area School District.

“It was nothing against Punxsy; people just kept coming up to me at P-O, and I kept getting emotional,” he said. “It was a family decision. We will make the longer drives to Pittsburgh work.”

Paladina told the CDT in March his decision to move to Punxsutawney came as way to be closer to a Pittsburgh children’s hospital where his youngest son is treated.

His three-year contract expires at the end of the 2015-16 school year, but the P-O school board is holding a special meeting Friday to vote on a contract renewal with Paladina that would extend his time through 2021.

Paladina said the new contract could put his salary in the $120,000s.

“It’s less money than I would have been making at Punxsutawney, but it’s not really about the money,” he said.

The five-year superintendent’s contract at Punxsutawney would’ve had Paladina starting with a salary of $131,600.

“For the last month or so after I made my decision to go to Punxsutawney, I kept hearing from members of the community about regrets for me leaving, and every time we talked, I saw a greater degree of sadness,” Paladina said. “We talked about it over as a family and decided while it would be nice to be closer to Pittsburgh for my youngest son, we decided to stay where we are. I apologized to the Punxsutawney Area School District, but there is still work to do (at P-O) and I want to see that through.”

Paladina said he’s working to revamp and upgrade curriculum with the district’s math and social studies programs. He also added that facility improvements are also in the works including upgrades to the soccer complex and science labs.

“We have a good trend going, and we’re still improving,” Paladina said. “I wanted to still be a part of P-O’s growth.”

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo