Manzer, who has been working as Freeport Area School District’s business manager, was one of five finalists for the Plum job. Zahorchak is expected to leave the district at the end of July to become a financial consultant in another community.
The Plum board approved a five-year contract with Manzer, 38, of Butler, that includes a starting salary of $135,000. His start date has not been finalized.
Zahorchak was hired by the district as director of business affairs at a prorated salary of $98,000 in August 2016. His final salary with the district was $125,000.
Plum Superintendent Brendan Hyland said the district is working with Freeport Area officials to ensure a smooth transition with the hopes of welcoming Manzer aboard by late July.
“Ryan was by far the strongest candidate,” Hyland said. “He has some big shoes to fill, but there is no doubt in the team’s mind that we have the right person at the right time, and with a depth and breadth of experience and expertise to help keep the positive momentum of this district going in an upward trajectory.”
Manzer has 11 years of school district administrative experience, including the past eight at Freeport Area. He also served as assistant director of finance for Pine-Richland School District for three years and as a financial analyst for PPG Industries for nearly two years before working at Freeport Area School District.
He also has experience as a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
Board president Mike Devine said he spoke with Manzer before and after Monday night’s vote.
“He seems like a very, very sharp guy,” Devine said. “Really excited about the opportunity to work with him. I told him I think John (Zahorchak) has us set up to be very successful in the future and we want to keep that vision going. We understand that his way of doing things might look different than John’s. We’re open to let that play out and do things his way. He seemed very excited about the opportunity and I can’t wait to start working with him.”
Manzer, still listed on Freeport Area’s website as its business manager, issued a statement about his new Plum post through a district release.
“My wife Lauren, along with our five children, could not be more excited for this opportunity to join a district that is definitely on the move,” Manzer said. “I believe my experience and an ethics-first approach can continue to guide this district forward, building off of the great foundation that has already been built over the past number of years. I was drawn to what I believe is an exceptional team, and also the student-centered environment that was evident throughout the process and my research of the district.”
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .