Highlands superintendent notifies district of intention to retire
Highlands Superintendent Michael Bjalobok will be retiring next year.
Bjalobok notified the district by letter that he intends to retire effective April 1. The school board accepted the letter at its meeting Monday night.
The district would not immediately release a copy of the letter.
Bjalobok, 57, a Marshall Township resident, has been on a medical leave since July 2.
Reached for comment Monday, Bjalobok declined to comment on why he is on medical leave, saying he preferred it remain private. He said whether or not he returns to Highlands between now and April will be based on his doctor’s recommendation.
District Solicitor Ira Weiss said Bjalobok is using sick days.
Assistant Superintendent Monique Mawhinney, who started at Highlands in April, has been named substitute superintendent in place of Bjalobok. An acting superintendent can be named after Bjalobook retires, Weiss said.
A native of Stowe Township, Bjalobok has been the superintendent at Highlands since March 2013. He had been assistant superintendent there from 2007 to 2009, when he left to become superintendent at South Side Area in Beaver County, according to his bio on the district’s website. He had started his career as an elementary teacher at Mars Area in 1986.
Bjalobok said he could have spent the rest of his career at South Side, but came back to Highlands because his experience as an assistant superintendent there had been so good.
“I really loved the community and the people I worked with,” he said. “Coming back to Highlands as superintendent was the greatest honor for me. I was very proud and honored to serve that community for the time that I was there.”
In addition to Mars, Highlands and South Side Area, Bjalobok has also worked as an administrator or educator at the Moon Area, Hampton and Seneca Valley school districts.
Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.