2012-08-30 / Front Page

Trail Resigns As SF Top Admin.

District begins search for new superintendent
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

Southern Fulton’s top administrator has decided the time has arrived to move on.

An additional agenda item announced at the conclusion of the August 21 meeting, school board President Tim Mellott read aloud the letter of resignation penned by Superintendent Kendra Trail. In her letter, Trail said her time at Southern Fulton has allowed her to grow professionally.

“ ... I count it a privilege to have worked in such a wonderful school district and community,” said Trail, who served as elementary principal for eight years before moving into the position of superintendent for an additional two.

“A tremendous chance has opened up for me; therefore, I am seizing that opportunity,” she added. Trail did not divulge in her letter where her new position would take her or what it would entail, nor did she share that information with the “News.”

“I encourage the board to remember to keep students at the forefront of every decision that you make. Also, remember the hardworking and dedicated staff this district has, because there are many employees who exceed expectations. Do not take them for granted,” Trail concluded.

The superintendent requested her resignation to take effect immediately. However, the board is able to hold her to contract for an additional 60 days until October 20.

She did not publicly elaborate as to where her new position was or what it would entail.

The board would eventually agree to advertise for an interim superintendent and have Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 conduct a superintendent search, but not until several board members aired their concerns over her departure.

Reading from what appeared to be a prepared statement, board member Mark Mosemann was among the most vocal last Tuesday night, speaking about what this change will mean for the district. Saying he “kind of figured this was coming,” Mosemann questioned fellow board members as to how many of them had children under the age of one. Damage, he said, will continue to compound over the coming years.

Noting that the district manages money the best way it can, Mosemann said the loss of personnel, especially administrators, results in the district taking a step back. He later stated he was sad to be a part of the board.

Board member Sam Souders countered the resignation was not just about the board but also the economy, finances and resulting stress placed on the superintendent. “You can’t blame us ... .,” Souders said. “She (Trail) does the best job she can.”

Fellow board member Patrick Bard pointed out PSSA test scores are “phenomenal” at the district, and the budget has been maintained without real estate tax increases. He attributed the resignation to people continually undermining situations for their own benefit.

Allen Morton would thank Trail for her service to the district, and his thanks was reiterated by many on the board on hand.

The day following Trail’s announcement, board members were still reeling from the potential loss. In an e-mail penned last Wednesday, Mosemann asked community members to pray for the district.

“As a board member, I cannot begin to tell you the good this woman has done for our children’s education and also the faith and integrity she stood on while doing it. Sorrowfully, a small group of voices in our district have undermined her work and were the main cause for her resignation. If we as a church and as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and supporters of better education don’t start standing up against these voices, our district will have nothing me,” he said in the correspondence.

“Our school’s staff and administration need to hear our voices of encouragement in these next few weeks – not the voices of this small group,” he added.

As a follow-up to her letter, Trail told the “News” the board of directors took a chance on her when she took the position of elementary principal in 2002.

“I have always tried to do what is in the best interest of the students while realizing I could not please everyone. The students were always at the heart of my decisions,” she said. “I feel honored to have worked with an outstanding staff. They are hardworking and dedicated people, who do not always get the credit they deserve. I have considered SFSD my family for over 10 years and will miss the community a lot!”

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