An­other ad­min­is­tra­tor is leav­ing the district

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

You can add the name of the school district’s long­time chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer to the list of top ad­min­is­tra­tors leav­ing the Boy­er­town Area School District this year.

On Fri­day, Nov. 3, Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer David Sz­ablowski, 58, con­firmed that he has ac­cepted an of­fer from the Colo­nial School District and ex­pects to be con­firmed by that school board on Nov. 16.

“I loved be­ing at Boy­er­town and I had planned on end­ing my ca­reer here,” said Sz­ablowski, who has been with the district for 15 years.

How­ever, he said, he is leav­ing both be­cause of the raise he will re­ceive at his new post, and be­cause “the sit­u­a­tion in the (school) board room has changed in the last two to four years. It’s been very dif­fer­ent, very com­bat­ive and I get the sense that we’re

“The new board will not per­mit leaks and there will be sanc­tions against any­one who leaks to the me­dia.” Clay Breece, vice pres­i­dent of the Boy­er­town School Board

not all there for the same rea­son — which is to im­prove education for the stu­dents.”

He said he was proud of the job the board and ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der­took on build­ing ren­o­va­tions at the high school and Ju­nior High West.

“We ex­e­cuted that plan al­most per­fectly. It was on sched­ule and un­der bud­get and it is not a Taj Ma­hal,” Sz­ablowski said.

But “if things don’t change, de-

pend­ing on how this elec­tion turns out, I’m not sure the district is go­ing to get a whole lot ac­com­plished go­ing for­ward,” he said.

“Six months ago, I had planned to com­plete my ca­reer here in Boy­er­town, but the tone in the board room started to take its toll and I had to do what’s best for me,” Sz­ablowski said.

In the last year, there has been a lot of change in the top of­fices of the Boy­er­town Area School District.

In March, the Fleet­wood School District hired Greg Miller as its new su­per­in­ten­dent. Miller spent 11 years at Boy­er­town, six as an ele­men­tary prin­ci­pal. He had been Boy­er­town’s chief stu­dent achieve­ment of­fi­cer for five years when he left.

In June, for­mer Su­per­in­ten­dent Richard Fai­d­ley left his $186,661-a-year post, and the three years re­main­ing on his con­tract, to take the su­per­in­ten­dent’s post in the Wil­son School District in western Berks County.

In Au­gust, for­mer Pottstown and Wy­omiss­ing schools su­per­in­ten­dent David Krem was ap­pointed Boy­er­town’s act­ing su­per­in­ten­dent un­til July.

In the last month, the district has been hold­ing com­mu­nity fo­cus groups to get in­put on hir­ing a new su­per­in­ten­dent.

In Septem­ber, the Wy­omiss­ing School District hired as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent Robert Sco­bo­ria away from Boy­er­town to be its new su­per­in­ten­dent.

He has been re­placed, tem­po­rar­ily, by Mary­beth Torchia, who has been named act­ing as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent of op­er­a­tions.

And two weeks ago, be­fore Sz­ablowski’s de­par­ture was an­nounced, as­sis­tant fi­nance of­fi­cer Stephanie Hack­ash went back to work for the Read­ing School District, said Krem.

Krem said he has not been in his post long enough to of­fer up an ex­pla­na­tion for the ex­o­dus, but he of­fered high praise for Sz­ablowski.

“Dave is a great guy, as good as they get. He was al­ways very pro­fes­sional and very wel­com­ing when I came on. I had com­plete trust in his judge­ment,” said Krem.

At­tempts to reach school board Pres­i­dent John Landino for com­ment were un­suc­cess­ful.

School board Vice Pres­i­dent Clay Breece ex­pressed sur­prise that a reporter called him about a “per­son­nel mat­ter be­fore we have had a pub­lic board meet­ing. I am amazed.”

“When this elec­tion is over and we take over the board, I can tell you this will never hap­pen again,” he said, re­fer­ring to the Nov. 7 gen­eral elec­tion.

Asked who he was re­fer­ring to when he said “we,” Breece re­sponded, “the new board will not per­mit leaks and there will be sanc­tions against any­one who leaks to the me­dia,” said Breece.

On his web­site, Breece has rec­om­mended the elec­tion of, and in­cludes links to the cam­paign web­sites of Ruth Dierolf and Robert Caso in Re­gion 1; Dana Knowl­ton in Re­gion 2 and Roger Upde­grove in Re­gion 3.

Rodney Boyer is the other can­di­date run­ning in Re­gion 1. Jill Denin is the other can­di­date in Re­gion 2 and Bran­don Foose is also run­ning in Re­gion 3.

Breece also took is­sue with Sz­ablowski’s com­ments about Boy­er­town board meet­ings be­ing “com­bat­ive,” call­ing that char­ac­ter­i­za­tion “base­less and un­founded.”

Breece para­phrased a state­ment on his web site say­ing “po­lit­i­cal spar­ring is not bul­ly­ing or mean-spir­ited. We must ask pointed ques­tions to peel back the lay­ers for full trans­parency.”

“Board de­lib­er­a­tion should be po­lite, but also pointed and di­rect,” he said, again quot­ing state­ments on his web site.

He added that Sz­ablowski “is prob­a­bly re­ally leav­ing be­cause he’s go­ing to get a big raise.”

“The sit­u­a­tion in the board room has changed in the last two to four years. It’s been very dif­fer­ent, very com­bat­ive and I get the sense that we’re not all there for the same rea­son.” David Sz­ablowski, Boy­er­town’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer

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