Philipsburg-Osceola administrative changes continue as middle school principal resigns

Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District isn’t done with its administrative shake-ups.

Linda Kline has resigned as the principal of the new P-O Middle School. Kline was an avid supporter of the building project that expanded her former North Lincoln Elementary into a fifth- through eighth-grade facility.

In August, she excitedly showed off the completed student sections and guided her way through the still-under-construction gym and auditorium.

However, the school board accepted Kline’s resignation Thursday night.

According to Superintendent Gregg Paladina, her last day was Oct. 31, although she will remain on the payroll until Jan. 15 to use accumulated time off.

“She decided to relocate with family,” Paladina said. “She’ll be remembered as a dedicated leader.”

Assistant Principal Kelly Rees, hired just in time for the start of the school year, has moved up to Kline’s office and assumed her duties but is not being officially promoted to the principal position at this time.

Retired P-O elementary principal Richard Wood has been brought back in an interim position to assist in administrative duties at the middle school, namely to handle discipline issues, freeing Rees to tackle other work.

“It’s going well,” said Rees. “The teachers are really coming together.”

The board did vote to advertise for a principal and/or assistant principal.

Kline was the most recent administrator to leave or move within the district in the past year. Paladina came on board six months ago to replace former superintendent Stephen Benson. Jeffrey Hartmann left his position as principal at the high school and was replaced by Robin Stewart, who was slated to be Kline’s co-principal at the middle school after the closing of the junior high. Linda Smutz retired over the summer, after her position as principal at Osceola Mills Elementary was almost dissolved earlier in the year, leading the board to hire Susan Pritchard-Harris to replace her.

That means Philipsburg Elementary is the only school of the four in the district to have the same principal that it did a year ago.