MONACA, PA – In a dimly lit steakhouse some 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, two school superintendents – one current and one newly retired – crowd into a booth illuminated by neon signs.
The smell of barbecue permeates the air at PJ’s Bar-B-Q & Steak House, as Nick Perry and Dan Matsook grab menus and talk school mergers.
For Matsook, it’s a familiar setting for such a discussion.
In October 2005, Matsook, then superintendent of the Center Area School District, sat in another restaurant, the Ground Round in nearby Moon Township, where he and school officials from his district and the neighboring Monaca School District laid the foundation for what would be the first voluntary merger of two school districts in Pennsylvania.
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