The Dover Area School Board will soon decide whether Jason Conway is the leader their district needs.
On Monday, March 17, the board will vote whether to give the superintendent position to Conway, who was hired in April 2013 as the district's assistant superintendent. The board voted in November to move him to his current acting superintendent position when former superintendent Robert Krantz retired.
If the board votes against Conway being named superintendent, then it will move on with its search for a new district leader.
Conway support: Board member Julie Ann Emig made the motion for the March 17 vote after hearing comments — during a Feb. 18 meeting — from some residents, several school board members and school administrators who want Conway to get the promotion.
The board heard pro-Conway comments from several residents, including Carolyn Coble, a Parent-Teacher Organization member at Weigelstown Elementary School, where her daughter Reese Coble is a second-grade student. She said a petition supporting Conway has been circulating within the community and already has more than 100 signatures.
"I oppose unnecessary spending on a superintendent search when we have a highly-qualified person now," she said. "There is a better use for district resources. Hire another teacher."
Katrina Rothrock, an intervention specialist at Dover Intermediate School said that she believes the board has already brought in the best person needed to lead the district and board members should put aside personal agendas and look at the bigger picture of what the district really needs to serve its students.
"We have not missed a beat with Dr. Conway," she said. "We're moving forward. Everything is flowing very smoothly. He has brought our administration, our teachers, our staff together."
Don't need search: Emig said she is not in favor of a superintendent search and wants Conway to take the helm.
"I voted (to hire) Dr. Conway to take over for Dr. Krantz.," she said. "Dr. Conway has had the opportunity to work with administration, and he made positive changes. He's very open, a good communicator. I don't think there is any reason to have a search. I think it's a very bad idea when we have someone to keep going with the leadership."
She made the comments during the Feb. 18 meeting when the board voted 7-2 to wait until its March 17 meeting to decide whether to search for a new superintendent.
The board also voted 5-4 to work with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association's administrative support program to conduct a superintendent search if needed.
Prior to those votes, board members Kristen Ventre, Christy Rhem and Charles Rauhauser also they see no need to do a superintendent search when Conway is doing an effective job in leading the district, implementing programs and making changes that streamline programs and save money.
Concerns: However, board members Stephen Cook, Dan Sindlinger and Kelly Mefford all said the search is necessary to make sure the district is getting the best-qualified person to lead the district.
Cook said that he has heard from people who had concerns about Conway's leadership. However, he also said that Conway could be the next superintendent, but should go through the application process like other candidates who would want the position.
Ventre said that she has not heard any negative comments about Conway, adding that those who have concerns should speak for themselves at the board meeting.
—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.