Another shake-up for West York Area School District administration

Junior Gonzalez
York Dispatch

The West York Area school board continued to shake up the administration this week.

Fran Reinhard, far left, addresses the West York Area school board on the transfer of Assistant Superintendent Paula Rudy as a kindergarten teacher on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

Members voted at a work session Tuesday, April 10, to accept the resignation and transfer of Assistant Superintendent Paula Rudy.

Rudy had submitted a letter to the board on Friday, April 6, requesting to leave her administrative role forming the district's curriculum and transfer to one of the recently created full-day kindergarten openings.

"As an educator who began my career in the Kindergarten classroom, it is my desire to return to Kindergarten at this time," Rudy stated in the letter.

The West York Area School District has announced that teachers Donna L. Albertson and Shanda M. Goodwin received Outstanding Teacher awards from Shippensburg University and were chosen to be guest lecturers. Albertson teaches fifth grade at Trimmer Elementary and Goodwin teaches third grade at Lincolnway Elementary. Pictured at the awards presentation are, from left, Dr. Nellie Cyr, Shippensburg associate dean; Albertson; and Paula Rudy, West York assistant superintendent.

Before the vote, Superintendent Todd Davies thanked Rudy for her work at the district.

“Paula has been the standard-bearer and the author of our full-day kindergarten program framework,” he said. “We’re going to miss you, and we want to support you in your transfer. Congratulations." 

However, board member Jeanne Herman said she couldn't "in good conscience" approve the transfer, noting Rudy has been out of the classroom for 11 years.

Herman added that while she respects Rudy’s interest in one of the kindergarten positions, there was no thorough vetting process before granting her the transfer.

Board member Don Carl joined Herman in opposing the move.

Rudy will move back into the classroom in August with a significant pay cut.

With the transfer, she will forfeit her current salary of more than $134,000 and collect an adjusted annual salary of nearly $81,000 — a decrease of more than $53,000.

Turnover: Rudy is the latest administrative departure since Davies replaced former Superintendent Emilie Lonardi in December.

Former West York Area Middle School Principal Brad Sterner resigned in March, and West York Area High School Principal Janet May left her position suddenly in February.

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May is currently in a ghost role as middle school assistant principal until March 7, 2019, when her retirement will take effect. She will receive a salary of more than $125,000.

She is not allowed to report to work, according to the release agreement between May and the district.

Reaction: During public comment, Fran Reinhard, a reading specialist at Wallace Elementary School, said while the idea of Rudy returning to the classroom excites her, she would have liked to see her go through the vetting process just as any other candidate would.

Teachers were just made aware of Rudy’s desired change Thursday, April 5.

“I believe in the process,” Reinhard said.

With such short notice, no input has been put forth, she said, and she hopes the district follows protocol on such matters in the future.

“I’m speaking for myself and for others,” Reinhard said.

Board president Todd Gettys responded by saying Rudy’s quick hire was the result of a competitive environment in which the best candidates for the fall are being swept up as early as possible.

Herman dismissed the premise.

“The decision could’ve waited a week,” she said. After all, the agenda for Tuesday’s board meeting was just put out the day before, Herman added.

“I think we need to value and respect (public) input in the process,” she said.

The board went into executive session after the exchange.

Rudy could not be reached for comment after the meeting.

New representative: Other board business Tuesday evening included the approval of the district's first hire from Davies' "Every Student Every Day" package of administrative changes.

Cindi Greco was hired as the district's first coordinator of school and community relations in a unanimous vote. Greco begins her role as district spokeswoman on April 23.

Greco is arriving to the district from the York County Economic Alliance, where she worked as membership and marketing manager. She previously worked for MediaNews Group, the former parent company of The York Dispatch.

"We are very fortunate to have someone with the depth of experience and community engagement that Cindi brings to the table," Davies said during the meeting.