Vote on Super Monday

They’re ready to make a decision.

After nearly five months operating without a superintendent, the Warren County School District’s board of directors is slated to vote on whether to appoint Dr. William A. Clark as District Superintendent at a special meeting scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Monday at the Warren County Career Center.

Clark has served as Tech-Prep Principal, High School Principal and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction with the St. Mary’s Area School District between 1993 and 2004 before serving as Superintendent of the Milton Area School District from 2004 until 2010, Superintendent of the Manheim Central School District from 2010 until 2012 and, most recently as Interim Elementary Principal and Educational Consultant for the Solanco Area School District.

Clark holds a doctorate in Educational Administration from the Pennsylvania State University.

The board will also vote on approval of an accompanying employment agreement.

Under the agreement, Clark’s term would run from July 1 until June 30, 2018.

Clark’s initial annual salary under the five-year agreement would be $142,500, an increase of $17,500 from the initial salary included in previous superintendent Brandon Hufnagel’s employment agreement. The board would review Clark’s compensation prior to June 1 of each year between 2014 and 2017 to consider an increase in salary. A satisfactory evaluation of Clark’s performance in his first year in the position would automatically trigger a minimum two percent increase beginning on July 1 of next year, resulting in a salary of $145,350.

The agreement also includes a stipulation entitling Clark to 117 days of sick leave he had accumulated at prior employment. While under the agreement Clark cannot be compensated for these days should the agreement with the district be terminated, a contribution into his 403(b) account equal to 25 percent of the per diem rate for each accumulated sick day over 100 would be made. At a salary of $142,500 annually, 25 percent of the per diem rate would be approximately $97.60.

The agreement also allows up to $10,000 in reimbursement for relocation and moving expenses including shipment of household goods and furnishing, storage and travel during the transition to Warren County. The agreement also allows for reimbursement of 3 percent of the purchase of his first residence in Warren County up to a maximum of $5,000.

The agreement does not require that Clark move to Warren County.

The district has operated without a superintendent since the resignation of Hufnagel in February.

Hufnagel’s resignation later led to revelations that he had used a school district credit card at the Seneca Allegany Casino, charging about $6,000, something neither Hufnagel or the district revealed at the time.

On Feb. 26, the district’s board of directors approved spending $10,950 on a package of services from the Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA) to aid in the search for a replacement for Hufnagel.

At the directors’ regular board meeting in May, Board President Arthur Stewart announced the PSBA search had netted approximately a dozen applicants. Those applicants were then reduced to ten candidates later the same month, before the field was narrowed to a single individual in June.

At the time, Stewart said the district would not necessarily be hiring Clark, as they could begin a new search if he were rejected.

Clark was then put forth as the sole candidate before a series of focus groups including district administrators, teachers, support staff and members of the community on June 13.

The district has now decided to move forward with presenting Clark to the board for appointment.

During the focus group sessions, Clark was asked why his tenure as superintendent at Manheim Central School District was relatively brief.

He said he came into the position during a period of “building turmoil” and a majority of the district administrators left as a result. Two years later, Clark said, the chemistry of the board changed and, with it, changed, “the direction that people wanted to go.”

According to reports published by the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, Clark was placed on administrative paid leave in September 2012 after an outside law firm was consulted to review the district’s operations and personnel.

At the time, Manheim Central School Board President Brian Howett would not provide any details regarding the situation but did say, “it’s nothing of a criminal nature.”

The Intelligencer Journal reported in December that Clark resigned his post in November and settled with the school district.

No official reason was given for the resignation, and, as part of the settlement agreement, both sides agreed not to make disparaging remarks about the other as per a “non-disparagement/neutral reference” clause.