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Director quits CCTI board over hiring procedure

A Palmerton Area School District director resigned his seat Tuesday on Carbon Career and Technical Institute’s joint operating committee, citing disagreements over CCTI’s search for a new administrative director.

During Palmerton’s monthly board meeting, Earl Paules said his resignation was spurred by interim CCTI administrative director David Reinbold’s desire to stay in the position beyond June 30, 2024, which is when his current contract ends.

Paules said Reinbold’s decision to stay through at least 2026 came after members of CCTI’s JOC interviewed two director candidates including Lehigh Career and Technical Institute’s Darin Van Norman, who Paules said he considered a front-runner for the job.

“Darin is the director of career and technical education at LCTI,” Paules said. “He’s a Northern Lehigh graduate. It kind of just fell in our lap. And then (Reinbold) decided he wanted to stay. He hadn’t even been a candidate up to that point.”

Reinbold retired as CCTI’s administrative director at the end of 2022 and stayed through April 2023 to help with the transition when longtime principal Brent Borzak was promoted.

Borzak resigned after one school year in July 2023 and Reinbold, who had moved out of state, came back on an interim contract through the end of 2023.

“We extended that interim contract through June 2024 because we didn’t think it would be good to bring in someone new in the middle of the school year,” Paules said.

According to a timeline provided Tuesday by Paules, Van Norman was given a tour of CCTI on Feb. 2 by Reinbold.

“About two-and-a-half hours later, we received an email from Dave that he was willing to stay until at least January of 2026,” Paules said. “I just don’t think it should have happened this way. I’m trying to protect all of the sending school districts. Why should we keep someone who is only going to be there for maybe another three years instead of someone we could get for 10 or more years.”

Paules said he also took issue with Reinbold looking at director applications in an effort to help the JOC through the hiring process and then later “deciding he wanted to stay on longer.”

Van Norman, Paules said, has since pulled his name from consideration for the job.

“I knew when we walked into the JOC meeting on Feb. 15 that (Van Norman) didn’t stand a chance,” Paules said. “They weren’t even going to look at him again. I don’t like that one bit. We put in time to go through applications. If (Reinbold) wanted to be the director he should have told us at the beginning of the search.”

Paules’ wife, Danielle, also resigned Tuesday as Palmerton’s alternate representative to the CCTI joint operating committee.

Palmerton’s board appointed director Alyson Krawchuk as its new CCTI representative and Kris Schaible as the alternate.