Lehighton moves administrators, eliminates STEAM coordinator
Several Lehighton Area School District administrators will soon find themselves back in familiar places.
Lehighton’s school board approved multiple reassignments Monday night following the resignation of assistant high school Principal David Hauser, who was recently named secondary assistant principal at Northern Lehigh.
Floyd Brown, the middle school principal for the past year, will return to the high school to replace Hauser. Most of Brown’s 17 years in the district have been spent as a special-education teacher at the high school.
His resume also includes a three-year stint as assistant supervisor of special education, six years as district assessment coordinator and two years as a department head. He is currently Lehighton’s high school wrestling head coach.
The board set Brown’s salary at $75,000.
Due to Brown’s reassignment, Dr. Mark McGalla will begin his second stint as middle school principal in Lehighton. McGalla was middle school principal before being named an elementary principal in 2017.
Melissa Volcskai, who was the district’s STEAM education coordinator, will replace McGalla as principal of grades 3-5 at Lehighton Area Elementary Center.
Her salary was set at $80,000.
As part of the reassignments, the district is eliminating the STEAM coordinator position.
“We are able to redistribute some of those assignments and duties so that Melissa will still be doing some of the STEAM items, but we’re also very fortunate through this transition to have people that are very familiar with where they will be going,” Superintendent Jonathan Cleaver said. “Floyd obviously knows the high school well, Mark is going back to the middle school to a program he is very familiar with and as STEAM coordinator, Melissa worked hands on in all our buildings and was an integral part of curriculum changes at every level including the elementary school.”
Cleaver said all three administrators have a knack for relating to teachers, a quality he is confident they will bring to their new assignments.
“This made sense not only from a financial piece,” Cleaver said, “but also from the fact that we just keep moving forward due to their familiarity with the district, our schedules, etc. We all collaborate with each other on a number of different things as an administrative team and so these moves really just make for that natural transition.”
At Monday’s meeting, Hauser said he appreciated the “great working conditions, wonderful colleagues and amazing students” he encountered during his time with the district.
“Tribe Pride is not just a slogan on a shirt,” he said. “It means something. It is something you encounter every day here.”
Hauser brought with him a folder he said contained 275 pages of emails, social media posts, transcripts, meeting minutes and documents of what he described as “false allegations, propaganda and non-sensible accusations” he faced in the last 13 months.
In April, the school board accepted a report from Bethlehem attorney Brian Taylor that said Hauser was falsely accused by district board member David Bradley of illegally strip-searching a student in 2018 and of distributing an illicit sexual photo involving minors.
Taylor prepared the report following a closed-door hearing.
“That has zero to do with my resignation,” Hauser said. “You have to go against bullying in a professional manner and I hope that is a lasting lesson I have left with the students.”