South Middleton School District

An aerial view of Boiling Springs High School and its facilities.

Michael Bupp, The Sentinel

The South Middleton School Board has launched an expedited search for a new district superintendent with the goal of appointing a successor to Alan Moyer by early October.

The board Monday hired Templeton Advantage of Newport to conduct a search for candidates for the chief executive job at a cost not to exceed $11,750.

Moyer announced in early July that he plans to retire from public education on Aug. 18 after almost 36 years in the field. He has been superintendent of South Middleton School District since August 2013.

Board members could vote Aug. 21 to put into place interim leadership to manage the district during the search, board president Michael Berk said. The school year begins a week later on Aug. 28.

Options include bringing in someone from the outside or appointing an acting superintendent from the current administration. “I’m not going to make a comment on that now,” Berk said. “The board is still deliberating.

“We want to make sure we do our due diligence,” he said. “The board decided to put together a timeline that would wrap up a search by the end of September. By the beginning of October, we will name our next superintendent.”

Board meetings that month are scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 2, and Oct. 16, in the board room at the Iron Forge Elementary School.

If the board appoints a superintendent from within the district, that person could start almost immediately, Berk said. The start date for someone outside the district could be delayed as long as 60 days until that person is released from his or her current job.

The plan going forward is to advertise the superintendent vacancy as soon as possible in order to receive applications by early September, Berk said. He said the whole board will be involved in screening the applications for the first round of interviews that could be scheduled the week of Sept. 11. A second round of interviews could take place the week of Sept. 25.

The board will work with Templeton Advantage to schedule stakeholder meetings early in the search for input from teachers, parents, students and the community on what district priorities are important to look for in a new superintendent, Berk said.

He said he is confident the board is not being too hasty with its abbreviated timetable. The search that hired Moyer took about six to nine months instead of less than two months.

Berk said there has been advanced notice of the pending vacancy for about a month now in public education circles. He said technology has improved since the last search in getting the word out to professionals looking for opportunities.

Tom Templeton is the founder and project manager of Templeton Advantage. He was the consultant South Middleton School Board hired in 2013 to find a replacement for Patricia Sanker.

“We are very familiar with his work,” Berk said. “Having been here before, he knows our district. We wanted this to be a thorough, but shorter search. He asked him to set some parameters.”

District Operations and Business Manager Matthew Ulmer said the hope is the district could absorb the $11,750 consulting fee using money saved from not having to pay the full salary of a superintendent during the search period. Otherwise the district would have to use funds drawn from its reserves to pay the consulting bill.

The school board Monday formally accepted the resignation of Alan Moyer as district superintendent. “With Al, he put our students first. That was always his primary objective,” Berk said. “He never lost his sense of optimism and commitment to the school district.”

Moyer is leaving South Middleton for the job of lecturer and coordinator of the Education Leadership Program at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He will take charge of the same graduate program that ushered in his own career as a school administrator.

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