Unionville’s Batch­e­lor gets Rad­nor top job

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Stein lstein@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @lstein­re­porter on Twit­ter

RAD­NOR >> With much ap­plause and well wishes, all eight mem­bers of the Rad­nor Town­ship School Board present Tues­day, voted to ap­point Ken­neth Batch­e­lor as the dis­trict’s new su­per­in­ten­dent.

Batch­e­lor, 45, of Thorn­ton, is the as­sis­tant to the su­per­in­ten­dent for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Dis­trict. He will be­gin in Rad­nor on Jan. 30, 2017.

In brief re­marks to the board, Batch­e­lor termed him­self “very hum­bled and hon­ored” to

be of­fered the po­si­tion.

He quoted writer Tracy Kid­der, say­ing, “Good teach­ers put snags in the river of chil­dren pass­ing by, and over the years, they re­di­rect hun­dreds of lives. Many peo­ple find it easy to imag­ine un­seen webs of malev­o­lent con­spir­acy in the world, and they are not al­ways wrong. But there is also an in­no­cence that con­spires to hold hu­man­ity to­gether, and it is made of peo­ple who can never fully know the good that they

have done.”

Batch­e­lor also promised to part­ner with the school board, staff and com­mu­nity “to pro­vide the stu­dents of Rad­nor with a tremen­dous ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Batch­e­lor agreed to a five-year con­tract with an ini­tial salary of $220,000. The board also ap­proved 15 days of “con­sult­ing ser­vices” at $842 per day and not to ex­ceed $12,643.

Batch­e­lor grew up in West Ch­ester County in New York and was a stu­dent at Vil­lanova Univer­sity, where he met his wife, Kathy, a lawyer. The cou­ple has six chil­dren rang­ing from 12th grade to kinder­garten.

He started his ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion as a stu­dent teacher at Over­brook High School in Philadel­phia, then taught U.S. his­tory, eco­nom­ics and le­gal and po­lit­i­cal sys­tems at East Forsyth High School in Win­ston Salem, N.C., be­fore com­ing back to Penn­syl­va­nia to teach cul­tural stud­ies and honors Amer­i­can stud­ies at Unionville High School, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the dis­trict.

Batch­e­lor taught at UHS for six years and also co­or­di­nated and su­per­vised the high school gifted pro­gram, coached lacrosse and bas­ket­ball, and served as a club

ad­viser to stu­dent ac­tiv­i­ties. He was pro­moted to as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal in 2002, a po­si­tion he held un­til 2005. He left Unionville to serve for two years as the prin­ci­pal of Pen­ncrest High School in the Rose Tree Me­dia School Dis­trict be­fore re­turn­ing in 2007 to Unionville-Chadds Ford in his cur­rent po­si­tion.

Jim Fulginitti, a col­league and a friend, who is a re­tired ad­min­is­tra­tor from Unionville-Chadds Ford, told the board, “I know you have not voted yet but you have hit one right out of the park.” Later, Fulg-initti called Batch­e­lor “an ace” and “just out­stand­ing.”

Be­fore he started teach­ing,

Batch­e­lor was a leg­isla­tive as­sis­tant for Con­gress­man Hamil­ton Fish Jr.

Af­ter earn­ing a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in po­lit­i­cal sci­ence from Vil­lanova, he re­ceived his mas­ter’s in ed­u­ca­tion from the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia. He is cur­rently a doc­toral can­di­date in ed­u­ca­tional lead­er­ship at Wi­dener Univer­sity.

RTSB Pres­i­dent Su­san Michael­son said the board chose Batch­e­lor af­ter re­view­ing some 40 can­di­dates and con­duct­ing in­ter­views with “a se­ries of out­stand­ing can­di­dates.” His “deep knowl­edge base, in­ter­per­sonal skills and pro­fes­sional ac­com­plish­ments as an ed­u­ca­tional leader make him a su­perb fit for Rad­nor,” she said.

Amy Gold­man, an­other board mem­ber, said that “from the get-go one of things that re­ally struck me about Mr. Batch­e­lor came from his cover let­ter.” In it he said that a su­per­in­ten­dent’s role is to em­power and in­spire ex­cel­lence, Gold­man said. While many peo­ple write good cover let­ters, when she in­ter­viewed him “that re­ally came through as truly gen­uine,” which is what the dis­trict’s “stake­hold­ers wanted.”

Dur­ing pub­lic com­ment, res­i­dent Cindy Spur­dle ques­tioned the need for the 15-day con­sult­ing con­tract prior to Batch­e­lor’s start in the dis­trict. Judy Sherry, an­other res­i­dent, asked the dis­trict to re­veal the value of the ben­e­fits the dis­trict was of­fer­ing Batch­e­lor above his salary.

David Wood, the pres­i­dent of the Rad­nor Town­ship Ed­u­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion, wel­comed Batch­e­lor and said that he was pleased that the board signed him to a five-year con­tract. The pre­vi­ous su­per­in­ten­dent, Michael Kelly, left af­ter only three years.

Ken­neth Batch­e­lor

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