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FASD hires interim superintendent

Fairfield Area School District welcomed an interim superintendent during the school board’s meeting on Monday evening.

Dr. Larry Redding, former superintendent of the Gettysburg Area School District, will lead the district as the acting superintendent. Redding briefly addressed the board during the meeting and will begin work on Oct. 25.

Redding will work through Feb. 22, 2022 unless he or the district decides otherwise. He will replace Michael Adamek, who is resigning this month.

“Certainly, this is a difficult time for public education, and I know the challenges have not eased from the couple of years I’ve been retired,” Redding said. “And have been debating what role I can play in helping to navigate for what you as school board members do, that really is misunderstood by the general public and is done a disservice by social media and others who don’t know the ins and outs of the decision making. And to be able to step into this position, I was mentioning the timing of this offer really is a benchmark for me.”

Redding said that he had medical concerns but had received good news from his doctors at the same time he was asked to become the acting superintendent. The timing was “meant to be,” he said.

“I’m hoping that the expectations that have been set, that I can deliver on,” Redding said.

District news

Brian McDowell, principal of Fairfield Area High School, said juniors at the high school will be the first eligible to use alternative ways to graduate high school.

McDowell said the district, like others in the state, is preparing for Act 158, which is meant to offer graduation options to high school students who do not pass the Keystone Exam. He felt the move was an overall positive one for students.

“That is an important change, of course,” he said. “I think, personally, it’s going to probably benefit students because there’s just not one way now to meet the state requirement. There’s multiple ways. Of course, on our end, it makes it more difficult because it’s pretty difficult to track all that. But we’ll do so.”

Act 158 was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2018.

Barbara Richwine, principal of Fairfield Area Elementary School, thanked the board for contracting an intervention specialist. The decision will benefit students, she said.

“One important thing I’d like to share and also to acknowledge and thank the board is that at this time at the elementary school, we are able to provide our students with some very needed interventions, and that’s basically due to our Title One program and also the contraction of an intervention specialist at the elementary,” Richwine said. “We have identified and will be providing interventions to 77 students, and again these students will be receiving the interventions from our two reading specialists from the Title One program and one contracted intervention specialist. We do appreciate that extra help in school.”

Service awards

The district recognized several employees, giving them service awards.

Judy Weikert – 35 years, Fairfield Area High School

Brenda Miller – 25 years, Fairfield Area High School

Mary Beth Moore – 25 years, Fairfield Area High School

Craig Baugh – 20 years, Fairfield Area High School

Justin Forney – 25 years, Fairfield Area Middle School

Candy Wagner – 30 years, Fairfield Area Elementary School

Robin Dicken – 25 years, Fairfield Area Elementary School

The school board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20 in the district board room, according to its website.

The board will hold a regular board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25 in the district board room and/or on Zoom.

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Imari Scarbrough is a freelance journalist. She was a staff newspaper reporter for five years before becoming a freelancer in 2017. She has written on crime, environmental issues, severe weather events, local and regional government and more.

You can visit her website at ImariJournal.com.

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