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Former Fox Chapel superintendent to get $160K retirement package

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Former Fox Chapel Area School District Superintendent Anne Stephens, who left in December, six months ahead of schedule, will receive a retirement package worth more than $160,000.

Stephens served as leader of the district for eight years but left shy of the end of her contract, which was set to expire June 30.

She will receive $114,567 in severance pay and $37,500 in retention incentives, according to the terms of her contract.

Stephens also will receive $10,060 in accrued sick leave pay.

Payments were scheduled in four installments over three years.

Stephens already was paid about $88,000 of the total owed her — $37,500 in December 2013 and $51,000 last month.

She is expected to receive $52,000 in January 2015 and $21,627 in January 2016.

When she announced her retirement in June, school officials said it was unrelated to questions raised by some residents over her academic credentials, namely, the fact that her doctorate is from the now-defunct online school LaSalle University. State regulators shut down the university in 2001 after questioning whether it was a diploma mill. That angered some residents who questioned whether the degree warranted her $190,000 salary.

School board members stood by their decision to hire her and said at the time that they were pleased with Stephens' performance. Her career spanned 43 years in education, with 19 as a superintendent.

Last fall, the district conducted a nationwide search for Stephens' replacement. The board hired Lancaster resident Gene Freeman, 52, who currently serves as superintendent at Manheim Township School District. He will start working at Fox Chapel Area in March. Freeman earned his doctorate from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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