Beth-Center superintendent resigns

February 26, 2013

Bethlehem-Center School District will soon begin a search for a new superintendent.

Dr. James Stockdale submitted a brief letter of resignation, dated Feb. 22, through his attorney, Patricia McGrail of White Oak, effective March 29.

He has been on leave since Dec. 3, and school board President Karen Drill said Stockdale would not be returning during the interim.

The school board vote to accept Stockdale’s resignation at Monday’s meeting was unanimous, but Director Wade Smith dissented in a separate vote to accept a departure agreement.

The school board has not yet signed an agreement with Stockdale, but school solicitor Lane Turturice expects the document to be ready later this week.

Once that has been accomplished, the superintendent’s position will officially be vacant.

“He gave no reason,” Drill said of Stockdale’s imminent departure, adding that she plans to appoint a superintendent search committee whose mission will be to conduct a search that is both broad and carefully done.

Stockdale, 62, came to Beth-Center in 2010. Before that, he was a team leader with the state Department of Education’s Distinguished Educator Program, helping schools facing corrective action because of academic or other difficulties. Stockdale was previously a principal in Beaver Area School District.

His four-year contract at Beth-Center had a starting salary of $100,000.

A call to McGrail about Stockdale’s resignation was not immediately returned.

The district, where about 1,300 students are enrolled, includes East and West Bethlehem townships, Centerville, Beallsville, Deemston and Marianna.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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