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N. Lehigh names new assistant to the superintendent

Northern Lehigh School District has named a new assistant to the superintendent.

With just five members present, the school board at a special meeting on Monday appointed Dr. Tania Stoker to the post.

Stoker was appointed at a prorated annual salary of $120,000.

Her start date will be determined by the superintendent of schools.

Stoker, 42, of Dickson City, near Scranton, is currently in her fourth year as the director of curriculum and resources for the Lackawanna Trail School District in Factoryville.

Before that, she served as elementary principal for 2½ years, and high school assistant principal for 3½ years.

Contacted Friday, Stoker said she’s “grateful for this opportunity and excited to begin in my new role as assistant to the superintendent.”

“I believe that my background in comprehensive planning, federal programs, curriculum development and implementation, and data analysis will make for a smooth transition,” Stoker said. “I am eager to meet and work with all of the stakeholders at Northern Lehigh, and together make the district the best it can be for our students.”

She will replace Assistant Superintendent Karen Nicholas.

Last month, the board, with regret, accepted the retirement resignation of Nicholas, effective Feb. 12, 2018. Nicholas will retire after 18 years of service with the district.

Nicholas has been in education for 36 years. Of that, she’s spent the past eight years as assistant superintendent, before serving 10 years as principal of Peters Elementary.

She’s also had stints in the Whitehall Area School District (10 years) as a language arts supervisor and reading specialist; in the East Penn School District (five years), where she taught first and second grade and worked as a reading specialist; and the Troy Area School District (three years), where she taught fifth grade.

In August 2016, the board approved a five-year contract for Nicholas.

The contract, which began Aug. 1 and was scheduled to run through June 30, 2021, called for a 3.5 percent increase in the first year.

Also last month, the board appointed Matthew J. Link as the district’s new superintendent for a term beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, and ending on June 30, 2021.

Link is currently the assistant superintendent of Kutztown Area School District, a position he has held for the past four years, and has been with that district for the past 10 years.

He will start at Northern Lehigh on Jan. 2 at a salary of $147,000. Link will receive a 3.5 percent increase in each of the next three years.

Former Northern Lehigh Superintendent Michael Michaels was making $147,383 at the time of his retirement.

On June 22, the board named Jack Corby as the district’s interim superintendent.

Corby, who started July 1, was hired at a daily rate of $525 in the interim capacity due to the retirement of Michaels on June 30 after nine years with the district.

Corby was previously superintendent in the Whitehall-Coplay School District for more than 11 years before retiring last year, and the director of secondary education for four years before that.

His past stops also included Tamaqua Area School District and Palmerton Area School District.