Who's in charge at York Suburban? Superintendent takes leave, assistant retires

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

For the past week, there has been a leadership vacuum in the York Suburban School District, with the superintendent on medical leave and her assistant retiring at the end of the previous week, according to a school administrator.

In this file photo, York Suburban Superintendent Shelly Merkle gives an update on her district during a news conference regarding the Campaign for Fair Education Funding at the York City School administrative building in York City, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“That’s a great question,” York Suburban school board member Richard Robinson said when asked Friday, Sept. 22, about who is in charge of the district.

Superintendent Michele Merkle is on a “medical leave of absence,” and the district’s now-former Assistant Superintendent Patricia Maloney retired on Friday, Sept. 15, York Suburban Director of Finance Corinne Mason confirmed Friday, Sept. 22. 

Mason said she is serving as the point of contact for administrators until an interim superintendent is appointed.

More:York Suburban searching for 'substitute superintendent'


It is unclear how long Merkle is expected to be on leave or if she will return. 

Board member Ellen C. Freireich was reached Saturday and said all information regarding Merkle and whether she would have a temporary or interim replacement would have to go through board president Lynne Leopold-Sharp.

Leopold-Sharp did not respond to multiple phone messages and emails seeking comment.

Dozens of phone calls and emails to other York Suburban school board members, administrators, Merkle and Maloney seeking more information went unanswered Friday and Saturday.

"The board plans to name an interim superintendent as soon as possible and will share an update once information is available," Mason said in an email to The York Dispatch on Saturday evening.

She said the administration's leadership team will continue to manage all of the district's operations during the transition.

The school board's next monthly meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, in the administration offices located behind York Suburban Senior High School, 1800 Hollywood Drive in Spring Garden Township.