Northern Lehigh School District has opted to stay in-house and split business administration duties between two seasoned employees.

The school board unanimously agreed on Monday to appoint Rhonda Frantz as co-director of Business Affairs/Employee Payroll & Benefits, as well as Sherri Molitoris as co-director of Business Affairs/Human Resources.

Both women were hired at a salary of $65,000 (prorated 2011-12 school year), effective today, to replace former business Manager Jeremy Melber.

Melber, who was hired as Northern Lehigh's business manager in 2008, resigned in June to become the new director of business services in the Southern Lehigh School District. At the time of his resignation, Melber's salary was $82,800.

In July, the district received applications from over 30 interested candidates to fill the position. Both Frantz and Molitoris were among the candidates who applied.

But, rather than hire from the outside, Superintendent Michael Michaels said the board chose familiarity instead.

"We felt if we would go outside, the learning curve would be too steep," Michaels said. "We wanted to keep it going in that direction."

Both women have deep roots in the district. Aside from the fact they both reside in Washington Township, Frantz has served 28.5 years with the district, and Molitoris 10 years.

Frantz said she's eager to get started.

"I'm thrilled," Frantz said. "I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running."

Molitoris, who has served as the board's confidential secretary to the superintendent since 2006, said she's ready for the opportunity.

"I'm ecstatic," Molitoris said. "I cannot wait to start."

Michaels said he believes the move should put an end to the "revolving door" that has existed with the position for years.

"In this tough, tough economy, we need maturity and stability," he said. "I'm a fiscal conservative, and I believe you get more done with less."

As for the confidential secretary to the superintendent position, Michaels said the district will likely stay internal and fill it with someone from the present secretarial staff by the end of the month.

In a related matter, the board approved a resolution stating that the district certifies that Molitoris and Frantz are hereby authorized and empowered to take such actions and to execute and deliver such documents as may be necessary to discharge the school district's obligations with respect to the appointment of the Bank as Custodian, and with respect to issuing instructions to enable the Bank to discharge its obligations as Custodian of the school district's assets.

Also on Monday, Michaels touched on several items under his report:

Ÿ Announced that the district's third day enrollment is down by 65 students.

Ÿ Announced that the district will apply for two emergency dates after Hurricane Irene forced the district to start classes two days late.

Ÿ Announced that a rough draft of the district's 2012-13 tentative budget could be reviewed by the board early-December, late-November, in order to meet its Act 1 timeline.

Ÿ Welcomed junior Anthony Connell as the newest student representative to the board. Afterward, a ceremonial oath was given to swear Connell in.