Keystone Central School District board unanimously approves Martin

SARAH SMELTZ/THE EXPRESS The Keystone Central School Distict unanimously approved Jacquelyn Martin as the district’s new superintendent at Thursday night’s voting session. Back row, from left, outgoing superintendent, Dr. Alan Lonoconus, Charlie Rosamilia, Billie Rupert, Roger Elling and President Boise “Bo” Miller. Front row, from left, Debbie Smith, Jacquelyn Martin, Jennifer Bottorf, Tracy Smith and Wayne Koch.

MILL HALL — A new era is about to begin in the Keystone Central School District.

At Thursday night’s voting session, the school board unanimously approved Jacquelyn Martin as the district’s new superintendent. She will replace Dr. Alan Lonoconus, who tendered his resignation. His resignation will take effect on Jan. 31. Martin’s first official day with the district will be Feb. 1.

Martin was presented with a plant and a pair of gift baskets following the unanimous vote.

“I’m just excited to get started and learn from the people in the district,” Martin said following the meeting. “Interacting with students … I haven’t had any opportunities to interact with students yet and that’s what I’m most excited about.”

Martin’s annual salary is $137,000. The contract is a five-year term. There will be increases based on performance incentives, according to board president Boise Miller. By comparison, Lonoconus made $140,000 as acting superintendent for the past year. His salary, however, did not include benefits, Miller said.

Martin said that her last official day with the State College Area School District is Jan. 31, though she does have some vacation days to take before tying up loose ends there.

“I want to use those days to start transitioning here. Get some calendars and things organized before my official start date,” Martin said.

Once Feb. 1 rolls around, Martin plans to roll up her sleeves and get to work.

“We have a plan for the first five months on the job,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m a planner. I’m excited to map out my meeting schedule and day-to-day schedule very soon.”

The board’s vote to hire the new superintendent was the highlight of the night. Prior to the vote, there was some discussion about Martin’s hiring – all positive.

“I see great things coming for this district,” said board member Jennifer Bottorf. “This is a great step.”

The board also accepted Lonoconus’ resignation. That vote was not unanimous, however, as board member Charlie Rosamilia jokingly voted against accepting the resignation.

Board member Roger Elling said that he hated to see Lonoconus depart.

“I’m not real happy about it. But we’ve got a good replacement, so we’re good to go,” Elling said.

Bottorf thanked Lonoconus for his service to the board.

“I just want to say a sincere thank you to Dr. Lonoconus,” she said. “You’ve righted the ship and we’re headed in the right direction through your hard work and dedication.”

Lonoconus had some words of his own for the board and the public as his departure date nears.

“I will miss that special time I got to spend with students,” Lonoconus said during a few moments of reflection. “That is what it is all about.”

The board also voted to change meeting times to make them more convenient for board members and the public. Moving forward, the new meeting time will be 6:30 p.m. The next work session – Martin’s first as superintendent – will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7 in the Central Mountain High School auditorium.