SANDRA K. REABUCK
NORTHERN CAMBRIA —
The Northern Cambria school board has hired a district native who is now a principal in Greater Johnstown School District to replace school Superintendent Thomas Estep III, who will retire June 20.
Taking over as the new top school administrator will be John Jubas, principal of East Side Elementary School and a central administrative assistant in the Johnstown district.
Jubas was hired this week in a split 5-4 vote by the school board for the $102,500-a-year position
Two other candidates also were considered for the position – Frank Frontino, who is with the Greater Johnstown School District, and Mark Kudlawiec, with Admiral Peary Vocational-Technical School.
The school district has 1,250 students and 97 teachers. During Estep’s eight years as superintendent, the district remodeled its elementary-middle school. Last summer, the district was recognized by Gov. Rendell as among the top 50 in Pennsylvania showing the most improvement on educational scores from 2002-2009.
“We were 22nd, and out of 500 school districts in the state, that’s pretty good,” Estep said.
For Jubas, the move is a bittersweet one, he said.
“It’s been an exciting
educational experience in Johnstown. But when it was announced that Dr. Estep would be retiring, I started thinking about professional opportunity of leading a school district and community in which I grew up. I did a lot of soul-searching and thought I’d like to return to my roots,” Jubas said.
Jubas, 54, a Duncansville resident, has been an educator for 32 years, starting as a elementary-middle school teacher in the Glendale Area School District.
He has been with the Greater Johnstown School District for 22 years, working in a number of administrative positions.
He formerly was a coach in football, wrestling and baseball and now is a PIAA football official.
He received his undergraduate degree at St. Francis University in Loretto, a master’s from Penn State and a doctorate from Nova South Eastern University in Florida.
He and his wife, Anita, a registered nurse, have one daughter. He said that they would like to relocate to the Northern Cambria area in the future.
Jubas brother, Gary, an Ebensburg attorney and a part-time assistant district attorney, is the school district’s solicitor.
Gary Jubas said Thursday that it would not be a conflict of interest for him to continue in that position. He said that as solicitor, he works for the school board, not the superintendent.
Estep, who will be 61 in June, said that he had decided to retire after 381/2 years as an educator, the last eight years as superintendent.
His wife, Susan, who is principal of Central Cambria Elementary School, also will retire in June.
Estep continues to live in his hometown of Ebensburg. He formerly was a grades 7 and
8 social studies teacher at Central Cambria Middle School for 18 1/2 years, and then principal of that school for 12 years before moving into the superintendent’s position.
He received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
He and his wife have three children and 12 grandchildren.