Hufnagel Resigns

Brandon Hufnagel, who has served as the superintendent of Warren County Schools for about 18 months, has resigned his position to return to York.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as your Superintendent. I love my job, and I am very proud of the direction in which the School District is pointed,” Hufnagel said in a letter of resignation written to the residents of the school district and delivered to the school board on Monday.

Hufnagel said he was leaving his post to join his wife and children in York. Prior to taking the Warren County position, Hufnagel was assistant superitendent of the York School District.

In a press release Tuesday night, Warren County School Board President Arthur Stewart expressed the board’s sadness at Hufnagel’s leaving.

“When we met with Brandon to discuss this matter the nine board members and Brandon all wore long faces. The Board’s relationship with Brandon has been excellent, and under Brandon’s superintendency our school district has prospered. But we also recognize Brandon’s personal circumstances and we wish Brandon and his young family the best,” Stewart said.

The board has appointed Amy Stewart, currently district director of administrative support services, to fill Hufnagel’s position on a temporary basis.

Stewart said the board would appoint an interim superintendent at its next meeting.

The interim superintendent will serve while the board undertakes the search for a new superintendent.

He predicted the board would use a similar procedure it used in the previous search for a superintendent, using input from members of the public and school district employees to assist in the interview process.

“As much as I love my job, my personal circumstances have to be my first priority, and taking those circumstances into account, I need to join my wife in York, PA, where my wife still lives and works,” Hufnagel wrote in his resignation letter. ” I feel I cannot fulfill my personal obligations to my wife and two children, without taking this step.”

Hufnagel’s mark will be seen for many years to come, despite his short tenure. He was the architect of a facilities plan that retained four high schools, while converting two of them – Eisenhower Middle/High School and Sheffield Middle/High School – to kindergarten to grade 12 facilities.

The plan, a sort of compromise in the midst of a contentious battle over educaitonal facilities in the county, forestalled an effort by residents in the Northern Attendance Area to establish Eisenhower as a public charter school outside the management of the county’s school district.

“I am most proud of the building plan that we implemented,” Hufnagel said. “It is the right plan because it guarantees good buildings for your students at reduced operational savings of over $2 million per year.

“I am also confident that we met the drastic State budget reductions in a thoughtful process, with the result that education prospered as best it could, and that we did not bankrupt your savings,” he said.

“I want to thank your School Board for both its understanding and its support. I have said it publicly many times, and I say it again here: your Board is a remarkable group of dedicated volunteers. They made my job a joy. I also want to express my sincere thanks to the staff and students of the Warren County School District. You welcomed me into your hearts, and I leave with many warm memories.

“Finally, to the residents, I have thoroughly enjoyed being your Superintendent. The many words of encouragement have meant more than you know. I think this is a great community, a place one can truly be proud to call home, and it is a bittersweet proposition for me to leave this position and this community,” Hufnagel wrote.

Stewart expressed optimism in the search for a new superintendent as well as the future of the district.

“We are in the midst of an intelligent building plan and we now have time to focus on areas of educational improvement. I expect we will have applications from several good candidates,” he said.

Hufnagel was hired in September of 2011 at an annual salary of $125,000 under a five-year contract that would have ended in September of 2016.