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Central Bucks Taps Bucks IU to Help With Superintendent Search

(From a press release.)

The Central Bucks School District, located in Doylestown, has officially begun a search for its next Superintendent of Schools. To facilitate the search process, the school board unanimously voted to retain the services of the Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU), Bucks County’s educational service agency.  The Bucks IU does not charge a fee for this service for school districts located in Bucks County, although the Bucks IU will be reimbursed by the district for any out-of-pocket advertising or other costs associated with the position posting.

Bucks IU Executive Director Dr. Mark Hoffman offered that the Bucks IU has a strong tradition of supporting school boards in their search for new superintendents.   Hoffman said the Bucks IU “takes seriously its commitment to providing high-quality, comprehensive executive searches that lead to the successful appointment of district leaders.”

“Selecting and supporting a Superintendent is one of the most critical tasks assigned to school boards in Pennsylvania.  The Bucks IU team looks forward to working with the Central Bucks Board of School Directors and the Central Bucks community during this important process,” he said.

As a part of the search process, the Central Bucks Board of School Directors is soliciting feedback from students, staff, and community members using a survey to gather information on the traits, characteristics, and priorities stakeholders are seeking in their next Superintendent.

A survey is now open for feedback through 4 p.m. on March 8. A survey summary will be shared with the community shortly following the date it closes.

Central Bucks School District staff, students, and community members are encouraged to complete this survey to provide their feedback. The survey data will be used by the Board to help create interview questions and to aid in distinguishing candidates that meet the identified qualifications.

Applications for the position of Superintendent are now being accepted and the job has been posted. 

The position announcement has been distributed to a variety of social media sites and national, state, and regional publications including EdWeek, The School Superintendents Association (AASA), the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA), Penn*Link, Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA), Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), Pennsylvania Association of School Personnel Administrators (PASPA), and the Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU), as well as county and state email distribution lists and various job boards.   The job posting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, 2024, with initial interviews of candidates to occur in April and May.  The Board’s goal is to name a new Superintendent before June 30, 2024.

Karen Smith, President of the Central Bucks School District Board of School Directors, said, “The Bucks IU brings to us a wealth of experience and knowledge in the Superintendent search process.  As an experienced facilitator of Superintendent searches, the Bucks IU will guide us in our search for the next leader of our schools.

“The Bucks IU will work with the Board of School Directors to develop interview questions and protocols, as well as organizing and coordinating the logistics of scheduling and facilitating the various rounds of the interview process. I want to note however that the members of the Central Bucks Board of School Directors are solely responsible for the selection of candidates to advance through the interview process and for whomever is selected as the next superintendent,” she said.

A community forum, to introduce the new Superintendent, will be arranged and announced once the final selection is completed.

WALKER: New Central Bucks Board’s Wrongheaded Hires

At the January 11, 2024, Central Bucks board meeting, the Democrat majority representatives hired James Scanlan, Ed.D., as interim superintendent for $1,713.15 a day. That equates to almost $35,000.00 a month or a yearly salary of over $400,000 a year. Plus, he’s reimbursed for travel, tolls, parking, and any out-of-pocket expenses while doing his job. No financial cap was put on these expenses.

The Bucks County Intermediate Unit, led by Mark Hoffman, created this contract and charged our district $363.15 per day for Dr. Scanlon. These numbers are unprecedented. The local media spent months criticizing Dr. Abe Lucabaugh’s $315,000 a year salary as a permanent superintendent, which was significantly less money.

Assistant Superintendent Chuck Malone Ed.D. agreed to serve and was approved as Interim Superintendent at the November 2023 board meeting for an additional $6,500.00 a month until a new superintendent is found. This is the practice used for all previous interim superintendents.

Never has a board hired an out-of-district interim superintendent. I have not seen any criticism about this outrageous expenditure in the media. Unfortunately, this highlights the bias of local media. When the Republicans were in the majority, their criticism was nonstop. And these sky-high salaries show how misinformed the current board majority is.

The next poor hire was David Conn, who was board solicitor from Sweet Stevens Katz & Williams. Mr. Conn is married to a member of our community who is part of the ACLU investigation.

A few months ago, all judges in Bucks County voluntarily recused themselves from ruling on the district’s new voting maps because one judge’s wife works for our district. Clearly, with that mindset, hiring Mr. Conn is a conflict of interest.  The Democratic majority,  led by Karen Smith, didn’t think so. They have a specific agenda to follow.

Mr. Conn gave an incorrect, unsolicited legal opinion in July 2021 to keep children masked in school. This “legal advice” was proven incorrect by the Supreme Court when the justices found the mask mandate illegal. This poor advice shows his poor judgment.

On a personal note, Mr. Conn put in right to know requests about me and another mother in the district. The other mother and I are not politicians or looking to be employed by Central Bucks, so it was an extraordinary thing to do.

I emailed the board to let them know my concerns. Unfortunately, Democrats didn’t seem to care about my worries, which was expected. I hope he doesn’t request information about my children, who are all Central Bucks students. I do not trust him. I have no idea what he will do. It’s not a great feeling.

We moved here for the schools, like so many other people.

In the last election, Philadelphia Democrats flooded the Bucks County Democrats’ PACs with money to pay for commercials for school board candidates.

They endorsed and supported anyone for this election if they had a “D” next to their name. Republican school board candidates don’t have a shot with the current system.  It’s not a level playing field.  I just hope the district stays a top educational institution, but looking at who influences the Democrats, I don’t have much hope.

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