Beth-Center superintendent takes leave

January 3, 2013

DEEMSTON – The superintendent of Bethlehem-Center School District has taken a leave of absence, which has resulted in the business manager there assuming his duties.

Superintendent James Stockdale II of Beaver has been on an unspecified leave since Dec. 3, Beth-Center School Board President Karen Drill said Wednesday.

The board, which is down one director because of the resignation of Richard Martin, voted Wednesday to increase the daily salary of business manager Jody Nepa by $200, retroactive to Dec. 4.

Stockdale, who was hired as superintendent in summer 2010, has not indicated how long he will be on leave.

Meanwhile, the board was unable Thursday to obtain the necessary five votes to name a replacement for Martin, who resigned Dec. 3, to serve through the end of this year. Former director Thomas Bair, maintenance supervisor at Mon Valley Hospital, and James Gwyer, a financial adviser in California Borough, were the only applicants for the position.

Voting in favor of appointing Bair were Drill, Dana Packrall and Denise DeWitt. Those in support of naming Gwyer to the vacant seat were Thomas Katruska, Chad Novotny, Valarie Caprini and Mary Mazeppa. Director Wade Smith was absent from the meeting.

Eligible taxpayers in the district can petition Washington County Court to be appointed to the vacant seat because directors failed to meet the 30-day deadline to do so, Drill said. If that doesn’t happen, the board has the opportunity to attempt to make the appointment again, she said.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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