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Schuylkill County News

Pottsville Schools and Superintendent Officially Parting Ways … After We Pay Him for Nothing for 6 More Months

pottsville area school district superintendent zwiebel retirement contract expires

pottsville area school district superintendent zwiebel retirement contract expires

The estranged Superintendent at Pottsville Area School District Jeffrey Zwiebel told directors there he does not intend to seek a renewal on his current contract.

Zwiebel notified the school directors at Pottsville Area of his intent not to seek that renewal via letter. That letter was unanimously accepted into the record on Tuesday night during the board’s regular public meeting.

Directors once again met via Zoom despite the fact that students are attending classes in-person, albeit using the “hybrid” or “blended” model of part-time attendance.

Zwiebel’s contract expires on April 5, 2021.

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Back in early July, the school board at Pottsville Area placed Zwiebel on extended medical leave through then end his current contract term in 2021. That’s when they appointed Jared Gerace, then a school principal, to the position of Interim Superintendent.

Zwiebel had run out of favor within the district at the time of his taking a medical leave. Earlier in the year, the school teachers’ union took a No Confidence vote on Zwiebel. And when Gerace was named to replace him as acting Superintendent, many who attended an actual in-person meeting the school had to make this announcement cheered loudly when the move was made official.

Those who weren’t cheering were the taxpayers who realized that they were now paying for a Superintendent to essentially take a knee on the rest of his contract, get paid to stay away.

In the letter received by Pottsville Area, Zwiebel indicated he would retire at the end of his term in April 2021.

Pottsville Area directors also voted on Tusday to provide written notice to their estranged Superintendent that they planned on finding “another or other candidates” to be Superintendent in April.

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Scott Thomas, the former school director at Pottsville Area, who started a watchdog group and website that was sharply critical of the Zwiebel administration, released this statement to The Canary shortly after Tuesday’s meeting.

He says:

“Today is an exciting day for the Pottsville Area School District as it shows that there is truly light at the end of the tunnel. Back in May, I wrote a letter to editor in which I pointed out facts as to why change was needed at the Superintendent level within the district.

“Morale was at an all time low. Teachers and staff did not feel appreciated. Leadership was not leading. Transparency was simply not transparent. Since Dr. Zwiebel went out on his medical leave, I’ve been told that there has been a sense of optimism.

“Finally, the hard working staff, and our students has someone leading the district. Dr. Gerace is making difficult decisions in a time when they’re needed. He was not given an easy task, and fixing the district will not happen overnight. Tonight’s vote gives hope towards rebuilding our district for the future.

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“I do wish Dr. Zwiebel a healthy retirement.”


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