Man surrenders after allegedly trying to strangle fiancee

Former West York HS principal to be paid through March 2019 for no-show job

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch
  • Janet M. May, who led West York High School for 16 years, has been reassigned to middle school principal in a ghost role.
  • She is not allowed to report to work until officially departing from the district in March 2019.
  • May had just completed her doctorate in education from Temple University in 2017.

West York Area High School’s now-former principal Janet May will still be earning her salary through at least the first half of the 2018-19 school year, even though she won’t be working at the district.

West York Area High School

According to a release agreement obtained through a Right-to-Know Law request, May — who spent 16 years as principal at the high school — has been reassigned as assistant principal of West York Area Middle School as of Feb. 21 but will not be allowed to report to work.

The agreement "resolves any and all claims by Dr. May against the School District," the five-page contract states, and by consenting to the reassignment, she forfeits her rights to challenge the demotion.

She had until Feb. 28 to return district property and obtain personal belongings from her office, according to the agreement, and she was only allowed to visit the district’s buildings during non-school hours.

She will continue to receive her salary as high school principal — last listed at $137,765 for the 2016-17 school year, according to the Department of Education — until her accrued leave has been exhausted.

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After her paid leave days are exhausted, she will be placed on administrative leave and receive the middle school assistant principal maximum salary of $125,169 until she officially retires from the district on March 7, 2019, the agreement specifies.

She will continue to receive medical benefits through COBRA through March 31, 2019.

If May attains employment through another district, school or educational agency before then, she will be able to transfer 25 sick-leave days to her new employer as permitted under the Public School Code and be paid out the rest of her sick days, up to 125 days.

May had 192 eight-hour days of accumulated vacation, personal, administrative and other paid leave days as of Feb. 21, according to her paid leave summary, which was obtained through a Right-to-Know Law request.

While May will hold the title of assistant principal, former elementary school teacher Matthew Minacci will fulfill the duties on campus as acting middle school assistant principal through the end of the current school year.

West York Area Middle School Principal Brad Sterner resigned Friday, March 2, with former assistant principal Anthony Campbell taking his place as acting principal.

When reached on Wednesday, March 7, West York Area school board President Todd Gettys said May's departure was a "unique procedure," which led to a complex agreement.

"We were not sure that she was going to be a long-term player" in the context of recently appointed Superintendent Todd Davies' long-term plan for the district, he said.

Background: Gettys read a written statement at a Feb. 27 special school board meeting after the board unanimously approved the agreement and general release between May and the district, stating May had been contemplating retirement for the following school year.

Given the start of a new administration under Davies, Gettys said, “the parties decided it was best for Dr. Davies and the school board to be given the opportunity to select a new administrative leader at the high school.”

May completed her doctorate in education from Temple University in 2017, according to a representative with the university’s alumni relations office.

Davies’ three-year vision for the district was approved unanimously by the West York Area school board Feb. 20.

More:West York board approves full-day kindergarten, SROs as part of 3-year agenda

The ambitious agenda includes nearly 40 new hires and staff reassignments, along with the implementation of full-day kindergarten, the hiring of the district’s first student resource officers at the middle school and high school and revamped student scheduling.

Todd Davies was approved unanimously by the West York school board in a special meeting Monday night.

A new high school principal was not part of Davies’ plan, which was presented to board and community members Feb. 13, just two months after he started his role at the district.

He replaced Emilie Lonardi, who was previously the longest-serving superintendent in York County, at 19 years, until her departure last June to lead Downingtown Area School District in Chester County.

Until Davies finds a replacement for May, assistant principals Catherine Kveragas and Carrie Jones will take on the day-to-day administrative role at the high school.

When reached for comment, school board treasurer George Margetas said "our statement says it all" and declined further comment. All other board members either cited the statement and referred questions to Davies and Gettys or did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.

Davies did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday, March 7. May did not return a telephone call seeking comment Tuesday afternoon, March 6.