Hershey gets new contract Five-year deal includes $145,000 salary

By on October 17, 2012

By: MICHAEL C. UPTON Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Dr. April Hershey

Warwick School District’s board of directors unanimously extended the contract of its top executive, superintendent Dr. April Hershey, Tuesday night.

The new agreement — effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018 — provides Hershey with a $145,000 salary, which can undergo annual review for positive adjustments. Hershey joined the district on July 1, 2009 with a four-year contract that started at $130,000 per year.

"I hereby move that, pursuant to 1073(b) of the Public School Code of 1949, as amended, that the Board of School Directors notify Superintendent Dr. April Hershey that the board intends to retain her for a further term of five years," said board president Dr. Timothy Quinn.

The agreement calls for the board to evaluate, in writing, Hershey’s performance annually. The assessment will be used to strengthen the working relationship between the superintendent and the board, establish yearly goals, and establish the basis for incremental adjustments. The contract provides reimbursement of school-related travel expenses at the current IRS standard mileage rate — 55.5 cents for 2012. The agreement also covers employee benefits such as disability, vacation, hospitalization and retirement.

"The board is delighted to have Dr. Hershey here for another five years," said Quinn. "She has done an outstanding job and we are looking forward to having continued success with Dr. Hershey."

The approval of Hershey’s extension was met with applause. Half a dozen district employees were in attendance.

"I am honored and privileged to be a part of the Warwick faculty and team. I look forward to continuing to serve the district," said Hershey.

Other contract issues faced the board Tuesday.

The board unanimously approved a memorandum of agreement to the contract between the Warwick Education Association and the district establishing a "wellness option medical insurance plan." The plan is an option to standard coverage for district faculty and staff, dually created by members of the board and the association. Participation is mandatory. The current collective bargaining agreement covers the years 2011 to 2016.

In other news, the much beguiled leadership of the boys’ lacrosse team took another turn. Wayne Hummer was unanimously elected as head coach of the program and replaces Chris Schmehl. In July, a group of more than 20 parents led by Warwick Boys’ Lacrosse Parents Association President Mark Sell addressed the school board, calling for the reinstatement of Coach Schmehl and assistant coach Gary Minnich. The group assembled to show support for the coaches, whose contracts were not extended into the 2012-13 season.

In July 2011, a group of concerned parents held different opinions of Schmehl, and led by resident Chuck Biemesderfer expressed concerns he said were shared by many parents of lacrosse players. At that time, Biemesderfer said lacrosse parents showed support for the removal of Schmehl. Much of the controversy over Schmehl revolves around an undisclosed student violation. Citing PA law concerning discussion of personnel matters, the district declined to comment on the issue at the time. More SCHOOL BOARD, page A14

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