York Suburban taps Johnstown educator as new superintendent

Staff report
The York Suburban school board named Timothy Williams as the new superintendent at a meeting Monday, April 23, 2018.

The York Suburban school board named a new superintendent Monday, April 23, to replace former district head Shelly Merkle.

The board unanimously agreed to a three-year contract for Timothy Williams, the current superintendent of the Westmont Hilltop School District in Johnstown, Cambria County, according to a news release from Suburban.

"Dr. Williams is an excellent fit for the York Suburban School District,” board president John Posenau stated in the release. “He possesses the skills, drive and vision the board and our community are looking for in our next leader.”

Williams has more than 30 years experience in education and spent the first 10 years of his career in classrooms as a middle school English and social studies teacher, according to the district.

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He received a bachelor’s degree in history with minors in anthropology and journalism from Wilkes University, the release states. He received his master’s degree in education from Wilkes University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Immaculata University.

The district received 30 applications for the superintendent position, and 12 candidates were interviewed.

Once Williams became the top candidate, “the board began a thorough vetting ... and conducted a rigorous and extensive background and reference check,” according to the district’s release.

Williams will replace Merkle, who earlier this year was accepted into a court diversionary program that will allow her to avoid conviction on vandalism charges.

Merkle, 55, of the 1900 block of Vicki Drive in Spring Garden Township, was charged with two counts of criminal mischief for allegedly vandalizing two vehicles owned or at least used by her former assistant superintendent, Patricia Maloney, on district property.

Larry R. Redding, the former head of the Gettysburg Area School District, has been serving as the interim superintendent since Merkle resigned in September.

An start date for Williams has not been determined, according to the release, which notes he will be on the job by the time students return from summer break in August.

“It is a very exciting time in the district, and we thank everyone for their patience and support during this crucial process,” Posenau stated in the release. “We are looking forward to introducing Dr. Williams to the community over the coming months and will communicate those opportunities on the YSSD website.”