Bruce Deveney has been appointed acting superintendent of South Middleton School District until a permanent replacement can come onboard after a target hiring deadline of early October.
School board members voted 6-1 Monday to appoint Deveney the chief executive effectively immediately at a per diem rate of $575. An Enola native with 38 years in public education, he takes over from Al Moyer who retired last Friday.
Deveney served as superintendent of the East Pennsboro Area School District for five years before retiring at the end of 2013-14. His entire career had been with that district starting as a science and computer teacher before taking on central office roles in technology and administrative services and as assistant superintendent.
Deveney, 63, graduated from East Pennsboro High School in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Elizabethtown College, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a letter of eligibility to serve as a superintendent from Penn State.
School board member Tom Merlie cast the only no vote on the motion to appoint Deveney. Members Christopher Morgan and Scott Witwer were absent Monday.
“I have the utmost respect and admiration for Bruce,” Merlie said after the meeting. “He is a fabulous man and a great superintendent. I’ve known him longer than anybody else on this board.”
Deveney was superintendent of East Pennsboro School District when Merlie was president of that district’s business council. What Merlie voted against was the process the South Middleton board is using to find a replacement superintendent.
The board in early August launched an expedited search by hiring Templeton Advantage of Newport to find applicants. Board President Michael Berk outlined a schedule that calls for all applications to be submitted by early September, with the first round of interviews planned for the week of Sept. 11 and the second round the week of Sept. 25.
The goal is to name a new superintendent in October. Board meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 2 and Oct. 16 at the Iron Forge Elementary School.
“Behind every good decision is good timing and good placement,” Merlie said Monday. “Right now, a search in South Middleton School District is not the right time or place.”
Rather than invest resources in a search, Merlie favors appointing Assistant Superintendent Joseph Mancuso to the superintendent position.
School Board President Michael Berk said appointing Mancuso acting superintendent would have left a void in leadership at a critical time when Mancuso is involved in initiatives important to starting up the school year.