Carroll school officials canceled contract talks last week with the five groups representing workers because of the death of Kenneth F. Mussari, the district's longtime personnel director and a former English teacher.

Mussari, who had served in the position since the mid-1970s, was an integral part of negotiations with the groups representing teachers, plant and maintenance, food service and clerical workers.

Duties within Mussari's department have been reassigned among thestaff to provide help to William R. Rooney, Carroll's supervisor of personnel, until the district feels it is appropriate to advertise and conduct a search to fill Mussari's position.

"Existing directorsof the various departments are picking up duties in the interim," Superintendent R. Edward Shilling said.

Mussari, 56, of Westminster,died of a heart attack the weekend before New Year's while in Florida, where he and his family had traveled to see Penn State play in the Blockbuster Bowl. The former Westminster High School vice principal was an avid Penn State fan.

Funeral services for Mussari were held Friday at St. John's Catholic Church, Westminster.

Meanwhile, negotiations will resume this week between Board of Education representatives and the Carroll County Education Association, which represents about 1,300 county teachers. Talks are scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Room 271 of the Board of Education office.

Board representatives are slated to meet with the Carroll County Food Servers Association, which represents 170 cafeteria workers and managers, at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 271.

Other meetings have been rescheduled for the following week. They include contract talks with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents about 230 maintenance, custodial workers and bus drivers. Talks will resume at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 16 in Room 271.

The Carroll Association of School Employees, representing clerical workers, will meet the same day at 2 p.m. in Room 275 of the Board of Education office.

School officials have not yet rescheduled talks with the Association of Public School Administrators and Supervisors of Carroll County.

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