Mars Area honoring superintendent

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Students and staff in the Mars Area School District will be served meatloaf and receive a free pretzel in all school cafeterias today.

The food choices are to honor superintendent William Pettigrew on "Dr. Pettigrew Day."

Mr. Pettigrew is retiring after 26 years as superintendent.

Although his official retirement date is Dec. 1, he is taking vacation time this month, making Friday his final day.

Meatloaf is Mr. Pettigrew's favorite food, and arrangements were made with Nutrition Inc. to serve it today, board President J. Dayle Ferguson said. Each student and staff member also will receive a free soft "Pettigrew Pretzel" that day.

"I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have a driveway named after me, a day named after me -- and, now, a pretzel," Mr. Pettigrew said.

The school board Monday approved a resolution honoring Mr. Pettigrew.

The board previously named a new driveway leading to the elementary school "Doc's Way" after Mr. Pettigrew.

Students and staff are asked to wear the school colors, blue and gold, and staff members are permitted to wear jeans, said James Budzilek, the incoming superintendent.

Mr. Pettigrew recorded a message for students and staff that will be played during the morning announcements.

He will visit each school to say goodbye.

"We hope in between the trips to all the buildings, you take a ride around the community and take a look at the messages some of our local businesses will have out," Mrs. Ferguson said.

Board member Becky Brown said it was a pleasure serving with Mr. Pettigrew.

"During my years on the board, I have had the opportunity to observe your many talents in action, to appreciate your vast knowledge of the diverse issues in education, and to admire your efficient abilities in decision-making," she said. "It was always fun coming to work. I enjoyed it," Mr. Pettigrew told the board.

He said he will do consulting work in his retirement. "I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life," he said.

In other action Monday, the board accepted a $20,000 grant from the Edward and Bethel Kean Charitable Foundation, which will be used for scholarships.

High school principal Todd Kolson said the foundation chooses school districts at random every year for the scholarship grant.

He said the money will be administered by the Mars Planet Foundation and will be used to award $1,000 or $2,000 in scholarships each year.

The board also gave the high school student council permission to put in a bid to host the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils state conference in 2015.

Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer:

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