Two new school psychologists hired in Plum – Tribune

Karen Zapf 412-856-7400 x8753
Staff Reporter
Plum Advance Leader

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Wednesday - April 25, 2013

By Karen Zapf

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Updated 3 hours ago

Dana Iera had considered a career in international business.

Iera, 27, studied in London during her first semester at West Virginia University.

Iera decided during her college years that traveling for a career was not what she wanted to do.

“I am family oriented,� Iera said. “I love kids, and traveling in the business world was not the right fit for me.�

Iera and Kelly Gibson, 26, are the new school psychologists in the Plum School District.

Both were hired in February. Each is being paid $50,000 a year.

The two replace Dawn Andrews, who retired in January.

Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said the decision to hire two school psychologists was made, in part, to offer more to students.

“We want to provide additional and increased levels of personalized services to our growing special-education and gifted-education children and their families,� Glasspool said.

About 11 percent of the district's 4,000 students are enrolled in the special-educations programs, Kathleen Shirey, the district's supervisor of special education, has said.

Both Gibson and Iera said they were interested in the job opportunity in Plum because they wanted to return to the Pittsburgh area.

Gibson said she and Iera have had a busy month since they began their jobs with getting to know their colleagues, including Shirey, and administering testing to special-education students.

“Mrs. Shirey has a wealth of knowledge,� Iera said.

“We are lucky to be working with her. And the three of us are working well together.�

Shirey could not be reached for comment for this story.

The two expect a more clear delineation of duties as they start the 2013-14 school year.

“I am happy to be a part of this district,� Gibson said.

“I've heard a lot of good things about it.�

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or


New hires at a glance

Kelly Gibson

2005: Graduate of Greater Latrobe High School

2009: Graduate of Juniata College with a bachelor's in psychology and a minor in education

2010: Master's in educational psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania

2012: Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in school psychology

2011-12: School psychology intern in the Greater Latrobe School District

July 2012-March 2013: School psychologist in the Wellsboro Area School District in Wellsboro, W.Va.

Dana Iera

2004: Graduate of Elizabeth Forward High School

2007: Graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor's in psychology and a minor in communications

2011: Graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a master's in school psychology and a certification in school psychology

2012-13: School psychologist for a school district in Centre County and independent contract work

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