Fox Chapel superintendent to retire
Fox Chapel Area School District officials will seek a leader with qualities similar to those of the outgoing superintendent, the school board president said Tuesday.
Superintendent Anne Stephens announced her retirement Monday. Details of her retirement package were unavailable, district spokeswoman Bonnie Berzonski said.
Stephens' departure is unrelated to questions some residents raised about her academic credentials, officials said. She holds a doctorate from the defunct LaSalle University, an online school.
Board President Joel Weinstein said he would look for a candidate from an accredited university, as one qualification. Other board members did not return calls.
“You don't have to have a Ph.D. to be superintendent,” Weinstein said.
“I would rather they have it, but if the right candidate comes along without it, we would consider them. It's so hard to get people of quality; you have to choose the right person.”
He said Stephens fit that bill. “She put a lot into the district and did a great job. I would like to get a clone of her.”
Stephens, in her eighth year with Fox Chapel, will stay through Dec. 31, giving the board time to search for a replacement.
Her contract ends June 30, 2014.
Weinstein said the board will ask the Pennsylvania School Boards Association for help with the search.
The state does not require superintendents to hold a doctorate but a district policy mandates it. Stephens said the district doesn't stipulate the degree must be from an accredited school.
“It is important that we keep the focus where it needs to be — on the students and the work that must be done,” she said.
Stephens' career spans 43 years, 19 as a superintendent. Under her leadership, the district offered its first virtual courses and increased its emphasis on technology, science and mathematics.
In recent months some residents questioned whether her degree from the Louisiana university was adequate to justify her $190,000 salary.
State regulators shut down the university in 2001 after questioning whether it was a “diploma mill.”
“I think it was .... not a good example for the children,” said O'Hara resident Laura McClaran, mother of two students in the district.
Stephens was named the University of Pittsburgh Tri-State Area School Study Council School of Education 2010 Distinguished Educator and received the state Music Educators Association 2013 Outstanding Superintendent Award.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 1512 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.