MIDDLEBURG - Months of perceived disarray in the Midd-West School District are culminating in district-wide efforts to make positive changes.
The district's board of directors on Monday evening unanimously approved Richard J. Musselman as superintendent of schools - a position that has been vacant since former Superintendent Wesley Knapp's resignation in October.
Musselman's five-year contract begins July 1, with a starting annual salary of $122,000.
During the board meeting, Director Nancy O. Kroh expressed support for Musselman but said she is "ashamed and embarrassed" by recent negative publicity surrounding the district. She cringes when people make jokes at Midd-West's expense, she said.
"Despite all the obstacles, I'm extremely proud of our students," she said, adding that they have persevered through contention and changes among administration.
Kroh said the board is evolving into a "Hatfields and McCoys" scenario and urged board members to refocus.
"No board member has the authority to act individually," she said, adding that the board can only act as a team.
Kroh emphasized that the president of the board is "just like any other board member." She said she has been misled by her peers and was never consulted about taking the case of an administrator's breach in the email system to the district attorney. In fact, she said, there was no breach in the system.
Kroh said the first step to healing the district is to return the suspended assistant superintendent Daphne Snook to her original position. She said Snook is directly responsible for positive improvements to the district.
Kroh said the board must work, through open and constructive dialogue, to remove fear that administrative jobs may be in jeopardy. She said the school district belongs to the community, and the board must work cohesively with the public.
"We should be working with and for these people," she said, referencing the public. "Not against them."
Also during the meeting, the board:
Approved minutes of the May 19 meeting.
Approved Paul R. Gingrich as a bus driver for the 2013-2014 school year, effective May 27.
Approved an agreement between Kidswork Therapy Center and the MWSD to provide physical and occupational therapy services at a rate of $75 per hour and $20 per hour for travel between buildings for the 2014-2015 school year.
Approved a 2014-2015 agreement with PA Treatment and Healing for alternative education services at a per diem rate of $51 per day, per student, and a rate of $56 per day, per student for special education.
Approved a new course - Keystone Algebra - for the 2014-2015 school year.
Approved lists of classified employments, co-curricular appointments, remedial summer school appointments, home school assessment staff, summer maintenance assistants, summer student technology assistants and extra-curricular appointments and volunteers.
Approved the resignation of Jonathan M. Buck, summer maintenance assistant.
Approved a change in assignment for Debra S. Good, who will now serve as a part-time instructional assistant for the learning support program at Middleburg Elementary School, effective Aug. 18.
Approved the transfer of Billie A. Dressler, part-time instructional assistant at Midd-West Middle School, to the same position at Midd-West High School, effective Aug. 18.