Share This Page

Hempfield Area superintendent, business manager quit

| Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

The Hempfield Area School Board on Monday accepted the resignations of Superintendent Andy Leopold and business manager Jude Abraham.

Leopold had been on medical leave since February, and the school board has been secretive about details of his absence, refusing to answer questions about his abrupt departure.

His resignation was not on the formal written agenda at the meeting on Monday, and the issue was not raised until late in the session.

In a letter to faculty and staff on Tuesday, Leopold offered no hint about why he quit.

“As you know, last evening (Monday) I resigned my position as your superintendent of schools of the Hempfield Area School District. I have been proud to serve beside you over the past seven years and have been blessed by the dedicated people who have always placed the interest of our students first,” Leopold wrote.

“The daily efforts of each of you make Hempfield a special place for every child that enters our schools. Please continue to appreciate and support every person in all roles of our district. Each of you is an integral part of what makes Hempfield successful. Always keep kids at the heart of your work,” the letter said. “We have undergone many positive advances together, and as I move on personally and professionally, I look forward with pride to follow the district's continued growth.”

Leopold could not be reached for comment. He had been replaced by interim Superintendent Barbara Marin, who is expected to be named superintendent.

During the selection process for Leopold, he was not the first choice among several school board members, who favored Marin for the post. Leopold and Marin were the only candidates following the resignation of former superintendent Terry Foriska.

Abraham has been business manager for more than five years. He said he has accepted a job with Source4Solutions, a New Jersey educational staffing firm. The company advises school districts on manpower needs from kindergarten through 12th grade. His last day will be June 10.

“It's going to be a good opportunity,” Abraham said. “I love this school district.”

Abraham's departure comes as he prepares the district's budget for the 2014-15 school year. During his first three years as business manager, Abraham was able to avoid tax hikes. But the board has been forced to raise taxes slightly the past two years and likely will have a modest tax increase in the upcoming school year. He increased the budget surplus from $2.9 million to $13 million.

Abraham was hired in 2008. Three years later, the board reorganized the administration, segregating administrative and financial responsibilities and placing Abraham on par with Leopold. Instead of reporting to Leopold, Abraham reported to the school board.

Richard Gazarik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6292 or at rgazarik@tribweb.com.

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.