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New Pleasant Valley AD resigns

Published July 16. 2019 12:49PM

Within three weeks, Pleasant Valley School District went from hiring a new athletic director to having him resign.

The former athletic director at Penn Manor School District, Jason Mattern, of Millersville, was approved in a 5-4 vote on June 20.

It is not clear why Mattern turned in his resignation on July 11. Messages left for Superintendent David Piperato have not been returned.

However, a citation for harassment was filed on July 5 following an incident between Mattern and his wife at their home in Millersville. The police report said he pushed her to the ground and grabbed her face. The matter has been filed at the office of a magisterial district judge.

Before coming to Pleasant Valley, Mattern had been with Penn Manor for one school year. Before that, he was athletic director from 2012 to 2014 at DuVal High School in Lanham, Maryland, in the Prince George’s County Public Schools District, where he taught social studies since 2006.

He left Penn Manor School District on May 6, according to a separation agreement obtained through a right to know request. His resignation was effective June 17. The district paid him the balance of his salary through June 17, which included five personal days and 20 vacation days from May 13 to June 17. He was told not to report to work during the entire time period and agreed to return all district property (keys, security badges, equipment) by May 10.

New position

The appointment at Pleasant Valley sparked controversy with the teachers’ union.

The athletic director position was changed in March from that of a teaching position, which included eligibility to be a member of the Pleasant Valley Education Association, to an administrative position, which doesn’t.

Piperato said at the March meeting the former athletic director often worked throughout the summer and dealt with issues related to other employees. These were items he thought were better suited to a full-time administrator.

In June, Mattern was hired as new athletic director and the department chair for gifted education; health, physical education and driver’s education; speech and language; STREAM Education (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and mathematics); and music departments with a salary of $90,000 a year.

Four school board members voted no to hiring Mattern — Donna Yozwiak, Len Peeters, Laura Jecker and Delbert Zacharias.

“The four negative votes were because of the unfair labor practice the PVEA said they would file against the school district,” Yozwiak said.

John Gesiskie, president of the PVEA, said in a statement after the March meeting, “PVEA will file a lawsuit against the district if work, which has been done by our member, is transferred to an administrator. If it happens, the case will be simple. It would clearly be an illegal diversion of bargaining unit work.”

He contended that it was an unfair labor practice.

Following Mattern’s hiring, the PVEA filed the unfair labor practice complaint.

Gesiskie has not returned a call for comment.

Now that Mattern has resigned, it is not known what will happen with the complaint or if the school board will retract its decision and return the position to that of an educator.

The Pleasant Valley school board will go into executive session to discuss personnel matters prior to its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday evening.

It seems that Pleasant Valley likes to hire those whom other school districts turn away because they did not want them around their children. It is hard to believe that it was not looked into why he left a district after only 1 year. The article does not mention this either; only the recent domestic abuse.

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