Aiken is new MC superintendent

By on February 24, 2016

Manheim Central School Board hired a new superintendent Monday night.

Assistant Superintendent Peter J. Aiken, who has been in his position for close to two years, will replace Norman Hatten, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

The board vote was unanimous.

Aiken, 39, said he was thankful for the opportunity.

“Manheim is a special place, and I feel humbled and blessed to be a part of that,” said Aiken, who lives in East Hempfield Township with his wife and three children.

Superintendent Hatten, 55, told the school board he was retiring Feb. 8 after 33½ years in education during an executive session.

Hatten thanked the board and district during his report Monday night. He said that this was the “right time” to retire due to health issues he is facing.

“It was certainly a privilege to serve as superintendent of Manheim Central School District,” he said. I couldn’t have been treated any better during my time here. The school board was incredibly supportive of me.”

The school board also voted on Hatten’s resignation and his separation agreement. The superintendent’s salary for the 2015-2016 school year is $158,000. Details on the agreement were not available as of press time.

Hatten is 2½ years into his five-year contract. Hatten was the fourth superintendent hired since long-serving Carol Saylor retired in 2009.

“Having been on the board during that turmoil I can very much appreciate that you were able to bring the focus back to our students,” Board President Kim Garner said of Hatten. She said he was able to “right the ship.”

When Hatten spoke about his departure, and time with the district, he said the community “warmly” welcomed him from the start.

“It was a privilege to work alongside such a talented group of teachers, support staff members and administration,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure to serve outstanding students.”

Board Member Rob Iosue said when Aiken was interviewed for the assistant superintendent position, he asked him where he wanted to be in five years. Aiken told him he wanted to become superintendent, Iosue said.

Aiken is ready to take on that top role, Hatten said.

“Dr. Aiken has the knowledge and the work ethic to lead here at Manheim Central,” Iosue said. “I wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

Aiken’s five-year contract provides him a first-year salary of $135,000.

Aiken became the assistant superintendent of Manheim Central School District in March of 2014 replacing Elizabeth Masser, who resigned in December of 2014. Prior to Manheim Central, he was the principal of Conrad-Weiser Middle School in Berks County, where he served for two years.

He spent two years as the assistant principal of Pequea Valley High School from 2007 until 2009. Aiken is a former English teacher from Pittsburgh who has a doctorate in education administration from Immaculata University in Chester County.

Iosue voiced his gratitude to have stability with Aiken remaining in the district.

“I was glad when Dr. Aiken accepted the assistant superintendent position, and very glad when he accepted the superintendent position,” he said.

Robyn Meadows is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes comments and questions at robynmeadowshodgson@gmail.com.

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