2012-09-27 / Front Page

TIU Director To Serve As CF, SF Interim Superintendent

Trail offered sizeable raise to stay as SF’s top administrator
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

Richard Daubert, executive director of Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 in McVeytown, will serve as the interim superintendent at both the Central Fulton and Southern Fulton school districts following action taken by the local boards last Tuesday.

Members of the Central Fulton School Board convened last Tuesday evening for a brief, special meeting regarding filling the vacancy left by outgoing Superintendent Dwayne Northcraft. The board unanimously agreed to appoint Daubert to begin serving effective September 12.

According to reports, the board has begun advertising and is expected to continue advertising over the next several weeks to fill the vacancy. No timeline has been set for the interview process that will follow.

Daubert was also approved on September 18 to serve as acting superintendent at the neighboring Southern Fulton School Board that wrapped up its monthly meeting at around midnight. Superintendent Kendra Trail had announced at the board’s August meeting she would be resigning effective immediately even though the board can hold her to contract for a period of 60 days.

“A tremendous chance has opened up for me; therefore, I am seizing that opportunity,” she said in her letter of resignation to the board.

However, in an unexpected move last Tuesday, the board announced in the moments prior to adjournment it would be offering Trail an annual salary of $130,000 to remain on board as superintendent. The motion to make the offer to Trail was accepted unanimously on a 6-0 roll-call vote. Board member Danny Crouse had left prior to the motion being made, while fellow members Dale Sigel and Sam Souders were not in attendance.

In speaking with the “News,” Trail said she had no comment on whether she was considering the option of remaining at Southern Fulton. She did indicate she was unaware of the action the board took until she arrived at work the following morning.

Trail received a significant amount of praise at last Tuesday’s meeting from members of the public for a job well done. In addition, a large number of teachers were also on hand to show their support.

“It was encouraging to finally hear some positive remarks about the Southern Fulton School District, since I feel that the last few board meetings, prior to September’s, have included some rather negative remarks during citizen’s participation. I sincerely appreciate everyone who showed up in support of Southern Fulton and want to see the district move forward in a positive manner,” she said in response to the outpouring of support.

In the event Trail accepts the board’s monetary offer, her salary would jump $32,000 from its current annual rate of $98,000.

This new chain of events comes months after the board had to make some difficult staffing decisions. In May, the board announced it would demote instructional band director Benjamin Arnold by eliminating study hall duty and junior high block classes. The least senior individual in the music department, Arnold came to the district in 2008.

In accepting the recommendation of the superintendent, the demotion was made “in order to promote a more effective and efficient educational system and to conform with budgetary constraints and declining enrollment in the high school band.” At the time, board President Timothy Mellott noted “sufficient evidence” was given to support the recommendation.

The decision to cut Arnold’s duties was expected to save the district between $20,000 and $25,000. However, since that time, the board reinstated Arnold to full-time status and the band’s participation numbers have increased and the program has flourished.

Moving on to the cafeteria department, the board unanimously agreed in May to eliminate or furlough part-time cafeteria employees Mary Harding and Bobbie Jo Peck effective with the 2012-13 school year. The two part-time employees did not receive any benefits, but their furlough was expected to result in savings of around $12,500.

Furthermore, full-time cafeteria employee Deneen Fogal saw her status reduced to part-time, saving approximately $24,000 in salary and benefits. Fogal’s employment status is slated to change effective the beginning of the next school year.

Both motions regarding cafeteria employees were also made to “promote a more effective and efficient educational system and to conform with standards of reorganization.”

Daubert is slated to come on board October 20 as interim superintendent unless Trail accept’s the board’s offer.

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