POTTSTOWN PA – The leadership transition in the Pottsgrove School District officially began Tuesday night (Sept. 25, 2012).
That’s when its Board of School Directors unanimously accepted the retirement letter of Superintendent Dr. Bradley Landis, who last week announced he is taking another job in Norristown. To succeed him, it also unanimously appointed Assistant Superintendent Shellie A. Feola as acting and interim superintendent for a period not to exceed 12 months.
Feola’s assignment was made “in the interest of continuity in the district” and “will give us some time to determine our best path for transition planning,” board President Scott Fulmer said. Its length of no longer than a year is limited by Pennsylvania’s school code, solicitor Marc Davis noted.
Technically, Landis’ role as superintendent won’t end until Jan. 24 (2013), 120 days after the board’s action, unless its members later agree to an earlier release from his employment contract.
Landis has accrued retirement benefits from his seven-year tenure as Pottsgrove’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and staff development and technology, and then as superintendent. He also worked over 28 years as a special education teacher, elementary teacher, elementary principal, and director of technology in the Springfield and Middletown school districts. The value of his severance and retirement package was not discussed.
Feola’s new role takes effect Oct. 5 (2012; Friday). The board has no plans yet to name an acting assistant superintendent to succeed her, according to Fulmer. Feola’s compensation package as acting superintendent also was not discussed.
Directors may take awhile to determine their next step. Revised state laws that dictate terms and wording which must be included in a superintendent’s employment agreement with a district changed only this month, Fulmer noted. “The board needs time to research these new requirements” before it can plan to seek a permanent replacement for Landis, he added.
Fulmer again publicly acknowledged the board had been caught off-guard by Landis’ decision to leave Pottsgrove to become the new assistant executive director of instruction for the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. Landis in July accepted the board’s offer of a second five-year contract as superintendent, “and none of us saw this one coming,” Fulmer said of board members.
The board held two executive sessions – one last Wednesday, when Landis tendered his notice; and one an hour before Tuesday’s meeting – to hash out the direction it would take.
Tuesday’s meeting was the 110th board session at which he presided as the district’s chief operating officer, Landis recalled. “I want to thank the board members publicly. They’ve always held our children first in their decision-making,” he said.
“I’m going to miss this community,” Landis continued. “I believe the hard work and effort we invested in the district over the last four years has put a solid educational foundation in place in Pottsgrove, and I think that means you’ll see solid academic growth in the school system for years to come.”
Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Sept. 25 meeting):
- Acting Superintendent Taps Experience From FL, OH, PA
- Pottsgrove Names Shellie Feola As Acting Superintendent