New Weatherly Area super will come from outside the district
Exiting super, board president unaware of any current staff with certification
Weatherly Area School District’s outgoing superintendent believes the school board could have a successor named by early February.
School board President Girard Fewins said that while the school board wants to permanently fill the position as soon as possible, he said the screening and hiring process could extend beyond March 3, which is outgoing Superintendent Thomas McLaughlin’s last day at Weatherly Area.
If the latter scenario unfolds, the school board would likely have to rely on services of an interim superintendent, Fewins said.
The school board wants to fill the position “as soon as possible, provided we get the right person,” Fewins said Friday, just a few days after McLaughlin’s resignation was presented for a vote.
As a gesture of support, the school board voted 5-4 earlier this week against a recommendation to accept McLaughlin’s resignation. The vote, however, gives the school board no legal standing to require him to stay.
His last day with Weatherly Area is March 3. Three days later, McLaughlin will begin serving as human resources director at Palmer- ton Area School District.
Weatherly Area’s previous superintendent search and hiring process took about two weeks to complete, Fewins said.
McLaughlin handled various administrative duties during his tenure with the district and also had a letter of eligibility to serve as superintendent, Fewins recalled.
“That went pretty smooth,” Fewins said. “He was a principal already and had his superintendent’s (certification). With applications or interviews, maybe it took a total of two weeks.”
This time around, that luxury won’t be available.
Neither McLaughlin nor Fewins said they are aware of any current Weatherly Area employees who are certified to serve as superintendent.
“That would’ve made things a lot easier,” Fewins said.
The school district posted the position under a “jobs” link on its website. It also has been advertised in newspapers and other publications.
Applicants must submit resumes and other pertinent documents to the school board president by Jan. 20, according to a notice posted on the district’s website.
The process might also take a bit longer because candidates that are currently working in other school dis- tricts would have to give those school notice before leaving, Fewins noted.
“They’re going to have to give their schools, or wherever they’re coming from, (notice),” he said. “The schools can hold (them) for 60 days.”
If the position is not filled by the time McLaughlin leaves, the school board would have to consider hiring someone on an interim basis until an applicant is permanently appointed, Fewins said.
McLaughlin said he will not be part of applicant screenings or interviews. The school board will handle those responsibilities.
“I think they want to move quick,” McLaughlin said of the school board.
McLaughlin spent six of his 11 years with Weatherly Area as superintendent. He was appointed to the top administrative post in 2011 and said the biggest challenge is balancing programs with fiscal responsibilities.
“The biggest is the budget,” he said. “That’s by far — trying to maintain all you programs while being fiscally responsible at the same time.”
Although he’s moving on, McLaughlin said that he plans to maintain the professional relationships that he forged at Weatherly Area schools.
“I’ve been very impressed with the faculty and staff and commitment they’ve had for the kids,” he added. “I certainly wish the best for the district in the future. Hopefully, they can find someone and continue to grow and prosper.”