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South Middleton School District special education director to retire
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South Middleton School District special education director to retire

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Connie Connolly plans to retire June 30 as director of special education for the South Middleton School District.

The school board last month agreed to accept her letter of resignation from a job she has held for years.

The district plans to hire a replacement for Connolly before her departure, Superintendent Al Moyer said. “We feel that is a critical position that needs a replacement.”

Staff members within the special education department have expressed an interest in applying for the job, he said. “We have very capable people. We would certainly give them consideration.

“With Connie informing us early, it allows us to do some planning, and the internal candidates can pick her brain and shadow her to see what is involved in the position,” Moyer said.

The director of special education tracks the performance of staff and the achievement of students enrolled in special and alternative education programs.

“When there are students struggling and not making progress, the director meets with the parents and staff to work out plans to help make all students successful,” Moyer said. He said the director job includes monitoring all the outside placements, keeping staff current on relevant laws and training staff on the proper method of writing an Individualized Education Program document for each student.

Connolly’s resignation comes at a time when South Middleton already has a full agenda of personnel items to address.

The teachers’ contract expires on June 30 and negotiations started in January with the South Middleton Education Association, Moyer said. There have been two meetings between the school board and union representatives.

Moyer’s contract expires Aug. 1 and the district is in talks with support staff members even though they are not unionized.

“There are still a lot of unknowns,” said Moyer, noting how the state subsidy for basic education and special education still needs to be finalized. “We are hoping for an increase, but planning for level funding.”

Moyer described Connolly as a warm, welcoming and very positive person who does a good job of instilling confidence in special education department staff.

“She will be a tough act to follow,” said Moyer, who could be able to train her replacement in the late spring.

Phone calls to Connolly were not returned by press time.

Email Joseph Cress at jcress@cumberlink.com

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