Manheim Central superintendent to retire at the end of school year

By on February 17, 2016

Manheim Central School District’s superintendent will retire at the end of the 2015-16 school year, halfway into his five-year contract.

Norman Hatten, 55, notified the school board in an executive session Monday, district spokeswoman Caroline Duda said. The board is expected to accept his retirement at its next public meeting on Feb. 22.

Hatten was hired in 2013 after then-Superintendent William Clark resigned. Clark was put on paid leave by the school board in 2012 after it hired the Levin Law Group to review the district’s operations. Clark resigned shortly after.

Hatten declined an interview request from LNP on Thursday.

In a statement, he said: “After 33.5 extremely rewarding years in public education, I have made the decision that the close of this school year is the right time to retire.”

Duda said Hatten would not comment further until the board takes action.

 

Norman Hatten

Norman Hatten

 

Kim Garner, president of the school board, said Hatten was the right person for Manheim Central at the right time.

“He has provided stability and has built an administrative team that our staff and community are able to trust,” Garner wrote in an email to LNP on Thursday.

The board set Hatten’s salary at $158,000 for this year. Although he was expected to serve through 2018, Duda said his contract includes no penalties for taking early retirement.

When he started at Manheim Central, Hatten said he was drawn to the district by stories of community and staff support, parental involvement and “unparalleled school spirit.”

Under Hatten’s tenure, classes at Doe Run Elementary School had to be moved quickly to a new location because a district engineer found structural cracks in the building’s masonry.

Hatten helped transform a former junior high school into a temporary elementary school. Last November, the board voted to demolish Doe Run and tasked Hatten and a consultant with resolving a legal dispute over construction.

“He was a calm leader during the unexpected evacuation of Doe Run and handled that whole situation with serious ease,” Garner wrote.

Before being appointed at Manheim Central, Hatten was the superintendent of the Curwensville Area School District in Clearfield County.

Garner said it was too early to discuss the search for Hatten’s replacement, adding the board will move “deliberately and wisely to decide his successor to enable a smooth transition.”

The selection process will be the district’s third in seven years.

Duda said Hatten is now looking forward to having more time to spend with his wife, four children and two grandchildren.

Kimberly Marselas is a correspondent for Lancaster Newspapers and the Lititz Record-Express. She welcomes your questions and comments at kim.marselas@gmail.com.

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