Amherst Regional school district hires finance director

AMHERST — The man who has been filling in since the sudden, unexplained departure of the School Department’s finance director has been hired as the permanent replacement.

The appointment of Sean Mangano, formerly the assistant director, was unanimously approved by the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee Tuesday at a salary range between $95,000 and $105,000. It followed a search advertised in nine print and online outlets from which Mangano emerged as one of four finalists, according to Superintendent Maria Geryk. The board went into executive session at the end of its meeting to discuss his salary as well as those of Assistant Superintendent Michael Morris and Geryk.

The former director, Robert Detweiler, a nine-year employee who earned $104,977, was first put on paid administrative leave Jan. 15 and then unpaid leave. Geryk has declined to specify why Detweiler left his position, saying it is a personnel matter that she will not discuss. When questioned about Detweiler’s status by a Town Meeting member at the May 7 session of that body, Geryk would only say that she did not expect him back. “I will be speaking no further about the reasons he is no longer in his role,” she said then.

Mangano took over Detweiler’s duties at the beginning of the School Department’s annual budget process, which school board members said went well. School Committee member Katherine Appy said she attributes that to Mangano.

“I am not surprised that Sean rose to the top of that list” of finalists, Appy said. “Having worked with him in that role I think he’s done a wonderful job.”

She also praised Geryk for conducting a widely advertised search with a five-member screening committee that included Paul Carlson, who retired from the finance director position he held for 26 years before Detweiler was hired. Carlson helped part-time in the finance office after Detweiler left.

Geryk said that Carlson was impressed with Mangano’s work. She said he described Mangano as being one of top five business officials in the state.

“I want to say congratulations to Sean,” she said after the School Committee vote. “We are unbelievably fortunate to have him in this role.”

Debra Scherban can be reached at dscherban@gazettenet.com.

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