Bellefonte Area School District names interim leader

Bellefonte Area School District has a new leader.

For now, it’s temporary.

During a school board meeting Tuesday night, the board, in an 8-0 vote, named Assistant Superintendent Michelle Saylor as interim superintendent effective Wednesday to replace Cheryl Potteiger, who accepted a job in Lebanon County.

Board member Keith Hamilton was absent.

Moving forward, Saylor she said she wants to improve academics, safety measures and more in a “fiscally responsible way.”

She also said an improvement is working on more transparency and communication with others in the district. When asked if that was something that was lacking before, she said, “that’s something we believe we need to improve on and do.”

At current, she is acting as both the superintendent and assistant superintendent.

“We’re looking forward to working together,” said Bellefonte Area Education Association President Kim Sharp. “... We feel there has already been several good experiences.”

Bellefonte Area school board President Rodney Musser said Saylor will be paid a stipend of $4,700 for the reminder of the year — the difference on a per diem basis of the superintendent salary, and Saylor’s salary as assistant superintendent.

District director of fiscal affairs Ken Bean said Potteiger had a contract through the end of the 2015-16 school year, however the board held a session Tuesday night to separate Potteiger early from her contract, also effective Wednesday.

In August, the board unanimously approved a $143,475.32 salary for Potteiger for the 2015-16 school year. But in January, in a 6-2 vote, members opted not to renew her contract.

A report from the Annville-Cleona School District released last week said Potteiger will serve as superintendent of schools beginning in late May.

The annual salary from the beginning of her employment through the end of the 2016-17 school year is set at $146,000, according to the agenda from the Annville-Cleona school board.