York Suburban superintendent resigns; district searching for 'substitute'

Jason Addy
York Dispatch

Less than two weeks after taking an "unexpected leave of absence," Michele Merkle is leaving her post as superintendent of the York Suburban School District.

The York Suburban school board unanimously accepted Merkle's letter of resignation at their meeting Monday, Sept. 25.

Merkle, who had served as the district's superintendent since March 2014, took a medical leave starting Sept. 14 — the day before her former assistant, Patricia Maloney, retired from her job. 

York Suburban Superintendent Dr. Michele Merkle gives an update on her district during a press conference regarding the Campaign for Fair Education Funding at the School District for the City of York Administrative Building in York City, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Merkle's medical leave coupled with Maloney's retirement left the district without a top official just five weeks into the 2017-18 school year. 

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

Citing “personnel matters” and “personal health information,” board president Lynne Leopold-Sharp indicated that school-board members will not make any further statement on Merkle’s medical leave or resignation.

"Other than accepting her resignation, there are no items on the agenda that relate to Dr. Merkle," Leopold-Sharp said.

'Substitute': Since the York Suburban school board accepted Merkle’s request last week for an “unexpected leave of absence,” district officials have contacted five candidates to serve as a "substitute superintendent," while a sixth candidate has been identified, Leopold-Sharp said.

Despite Merkle's resignation, the school board still intends to fill the position on an interim basis, according to Leopold-Sharp's statement. 

While cautioning that the district will take time to do its due diligence, Leopold-Sharp said the school-board directors expect to appoint an interim superintendent within two weeks.

Leopold-Sharp said students' education have not been affected by the leadership vacuum in the district's administration.

“During this transition, our building administrators have been and will continue to provide strong leadership at all buildings, and our teachers will continue to provide the same high-quality instruction to our students,” Leopold-Sharp said. “There has been no disruption to educational programs or student activities.”

More:Dover Area School District hires superintendent

Corrine Mason, the district’s director of finance and secretary for the board, has been serving as the point of contact for district administrators during their search for an interim superintendent.

Mason confirmed Monday, Sept. 25, that Merkle’s medical leave took effect the day before Maloney retired as her assistant.