Several administrative vacancies filled
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Newly appointed administrators in the Northern Lehigh School District include (l-r) Tanya Simms, high school assistant principal, Scott Pyne, principal, Slatington Elementary, and Michele Dotta, director of special education.
Northern Lehigh School District has promoted from within to fill several administrative vacancies.
As part of a busy agenda on Monday, the school board also agreed to accept the resignation of its director of special education.
Scott Pyne, who has been serving as acting principal, was approved as the new principal of Slatington Elementary, at a salary of $92,000, effective July 1.
Pyne, who in March was named acting principal after the board accepted the retirement resignation of former Principal Dr. Linda Marcincin, had previously served as assistant principal at the high school.
Marcincin, whose retirement went into effect March 28 of this year, had served as building principal since 2004. She retired from the district after 19 years of service.
As part of the chain of events, Tanya Simms was appointed as high school assistant principal, replacing Pyne, who was administratively transferred, at a salary of $80,000 (prorated 2013-14 school year), effective Aug. 1.
Simms, 38, of Washington Township, has been a Wellness and Fitness teacher at the high school.
"I'm very excited for my new role," Simms said. "My goal is to serve the community the best way that I can."
The board also accepted the resignation of Scot Engler from his position as director of special education, effective June 30.
Earlier this month, Engler was hired as acting superintendent of the Palmerton Area School District, with a three-year contract beginning July 1, at the salary of $111,000.
Superintendent Michael Michaels said Engler will be sorely missed.
"It is with great sadness that we're accepting the resignation of Mr. Scot Engler," Michaels said. "We will miss him tremendously."
Engler was equally complimentary of his tenure at Northern Lehigh, as well as the leadership skills of Michaels.
"I want to thank you for all the opportunities," Engler said. "I learned many great things."
To replace Engler, the board agreed to transfer Michele Dotta as its new director of special education, at a salary of $92,500 (prorated 2013-14 school year), on or about Aug. 1.
Dotta, a special education teacher, said she's excited about her new position.
"I'm excited," Dotta said. "I can't wait to join the team at Northern Lehigh."
Michaels spoke prior to the administrative moves, which were all approved unanimously by the board.
"By making these moves, we're going to save in excess of $228,000," Michaels said. "That's not easy."
Michaels noted that neither Simms, nor Dotta's teaching positions, will be filled.
"We got three great people for our management team," he said. "They were the right fit at the right time for Northern Lehigh; that's why we hired internally like we did."
Michaels said it's important for the district to take into account "what can our taxpayers afford to pay."
"We have to do a great job of keeping taxes low," said Michaels, who added that the district has been able to save $5.4 million since his arrival in 2008. "Every administrator here is working on how not to raise taxes."
Director Gregory Williams said the district is fortunate to have such capable people ready to fill the administrative roles.
"To be able to grow from within obviously does not happen overnight," Williams said. "It's part of the culture that we have in this great district that we're able to do that."
Director Donna Kulp added "it's great that we have that culture here."
In other personnel moves, the board:
• Accepted the retirement resignation of Gail Barilla from her position as high school special education teacher, effective June 10. Barilla will retire from the district after 20 years of service.
• Accepted the retirement resignation of Sharon Williams from her position as elementary school librarian, effective June 11. Williams will retire from the district after 32 years of service.
• Accepted the retirement resignation of Scott Wetzel from his position as Slatington Elementary custodian, effective the end of the work day June 30, 2014. Contract language states that custodial/maintenance employees who have worked for the district more than 20 years, and give notice to the district of retirement 12 1/2 months prior to retirement date, shall receive an additional $500 upon retirement. Wetzel will retire in June of 2014, after 32 years of service.