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Hempfield board OKs separation deal with Stanwood Elementary principal

| Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

Hempfield Area school board members have approved a separation agreement with a principal placed on leave three months ago.

The board approved a “confidential separation agreement and release” on Monday involving Raymond Burk, principal of Stanwood Elementary School in New Stanton. Superintendent Barbara Marin said that all parties haven't signed the agreement and have 21 days to review it. It won't become final until the end of that period.

In approving the agreement, board members allowed Burk to take a leave of absence using earned time off from Feb. 12 to June 30.

Contacted at home in Hempfield, Burk said he wasn't at the meeting Monday and hasn't yet reviewed the agreement the board approved.

“I'm kind of on standby,” Burk said.

Burk, 45, last worked at the school Nov. 18 and has been on paid administrative leave since then. His salary is $111,364 this year. He has worked in the district since 2006 and was named Stanwood principal in 2008.

Neither Burk nor school officials have disclosed why he was put on paid administrative leave. School officials have said Burk was the focus of an internal investigation by the district.

“It's a matter of personnel that's strictly confidential. We're not permitted to comment,” school board President Sonya Brajdic said.

District teacher John Behrendt will remain acting principal at Stanwood until the end of the school year, Marin said.

Gideon Bradshaw is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6660 or gbradshaw@tribweb.com.

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