Harris to serve as Penn-Trafford's interim superintendent

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7:00 p.m.

Matthew Harris is going to receive a six-month term as Penn-Trafford's interim superintendent.

The school board voted unanimously Monday night to designate Harris, the district's assistant superintendent, to lead Penn-Trafford from Aug. 5 - the date Superintendent Thomas Butler's resignation takes effect - until Feb. 3, 2014.

Harris, 42, of Penn Township, has been with the district since 2007, when he was hired as the assistant principal for the Level Green and Harrison Park elementary schools.

After serving in various administrative capacities, the board gave him a five-year contract as assistant superintendent last year.

“I'm really looking forward to it,” Harris said. “I'm going to miss Dr. Butler. He did a great job the last two years. We have about 53 different programs implemented throughout the district, and we're going to take the next couple of years and spread them and grow them.”

Board President P. Jay Tray said last week that board members would give Butler's temporary replacement a few months to lead the district before they determine how to fill the spot permanently.

Butler, who came to Penn-Trafford in 2011, is leaving to become the executive director of the Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8, which is based in Altoona.

Board members Bruce Newell and Toni Ising spoke fondly of Butler's tenure.

Newell said Butler “re-energized” district employees.

“He started a lot of great programs here,” Ising said. “And I'm really optimistic that we'll continue down the path that he started us on.”

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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