MOUNT CARMEL - On a 7-1 vote Thursday night, Mount Carmel Area School Board accepted the resignation of high school social studies teacher and basketball coach Joseph Varano for personal reasons, effective immediately.

No other details surrounding Varano's resignation were given by board members because of it being a personnel issue discussed during an approximate 40-minute executive session at a special meeting.

Other personnel issues also were discussed in the executive session, but no other action was taken by the board.

In addition to his teaching duties, Varano, 39, served as head junior varsity girls basketball coach for the past six years. The veteran teacher formerly served as head baseball coach and junior high boys basketball coach at Mount Carmel Area. Varano also was a former president of Mount Carmel Area Education Association.

Voting to accept the resignations were board President Donna James, Ed Zack, Brian Shurock, Mike Venna, Tony Mazzatesta, James Britt and Joseph Zanella. Bill Brecker voted against both resignations. Board member Jessica Delaney was absent.

After the meeting, Brecker said, "I know Joe Varano as a well respected teacher who really liked his job. His resignation was abrupt. I felt I didn't have enough information from what was discussed in the executive session to accept his resignation. I don't know if Mr. Varano did something to leave the district down or if the district did something to let him down. But I know he was a good teacher and I hope we don't lose more good teachers in the future."

After the meeting, Superintendent Bernie Stellar, James and Zack said they couldn't comment on Varano's resignation.

Stellar and some board members also reserved comment when asked if Varano had recently been suspended. James said the suspension of a teacher would be an administrative decision and wouldn't be voted on by the school board.

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