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Pottsgrove Extends Interim Education Director’s Stay

POTTSTOWN PA – In what has been a months’-long series of changing names and faces to fill administrative vacancies within the Pottsgrove School District, the Board of School Directors on Tuesday (June 18, 2013) introduced a new constant.

Dr. Barbara Burke-Stevenson

Dr. Barbara Burke-Stevenson

It voted to extend the employment contract of Dr. Barbara Burke-Stevenson as interim director of education, effective July 1 (2013), according to a “Board Meeting Highlights” newsletter issued late Tuesday night. A copy of the newsletter is available for download from The Post Resources Page, here. The Post did not have a reporter in attendance.

Burke-Stevenson began work March 15 under the original interim contract to succeed Dr. Todd Davies, who earlier this year resigned to take an assistant superintendent’s job in Exeter. Upon her hiring she was paid at a rate of $600 per day, which at the time district Technology and Communications Director Michael Wagman claimed was “the average rate districts pay for interim director-level positions.”

Those terms will not change under the contract extension, the board notes indicated.

Burke-Stevenson, a former superintendent of the New Hope-Solebury School District in Bucks County who retired in 2007, has been credited by the board with helping to analyze student and teacher performance during her brief tenure. She and a team of teachers also helped convince directors to institute a new and wide-ranging program that aligns math lessons taught in all grades with a set of national guidelines known as common core standards.

She’s faced her share of criticism, too. Parents and others last month (May 2013) contended that a review she led of first-year effectiveness in the district’s change to academic centers lacked sufficient information to adequately compare student progress between current and past years. She replied that an apples-to-apples comparison of the data wasn’t feasible.

Burke-Stevenson’s initial contract was to have lasted only three months. Although “interim” remains in her title, neither the newsletter or board agenda indicated the length of her contract extension.

Also Tuesday, according to the agenda, the board was scheduled to approve changes of assignment for

  • Dr. William Ziegler, who is moving from the position of principal at Pottsgrove Middle School to Pottsgrove High School;
  • Yolanda Williams, moving from principal of the high school to principal of Lower Pottsgrove Elementary; and
  • Dr. David Ramage, moving from assistant principal to principal at the middle school.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ June 18 meeting):

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