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Form the Desk of Charles Hatter
Fairfield School Board President

(12/29) I am very pleased to announce that, as of Dec. 23rd, Ms. Karen Kugler will be filling the position of Substitute Superintendent of the Fairfield Area School District (FASD). I fully expect at the January 12th Board meeting, Ms. Kugler will be approved to continue that role through the remaining school year. Until other provisions are provided, Ms. Kugler will also oversee the performance of her former position, as Coordinator of Curriculum and Special Programs.

Ms. Kugler has been with the FASD since 2000, serving the last 11 years as Coordinator of Curriculum, Instruction, & Special Programs. She has an extensive career in education and school administration dating back over 25 years. Receiving her Secondary Principal Certification in 1998, and then Superintendent Letter of Eligibility in 2011, she has the qualifications and proven track record to lead the District. Some of her many accomplishments include: being selected by the State to participate in the Special Education Fellowship Program, writing and implementing many grants for the District, Advisory and Supervisory Member of Adamsí County CASSP., and achievement status of being highly qualified teaching in Mathematics 7-12 and English 7-12 under the High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation.

Prior to my service as a School Board Director, I had the privilege to serve on a committee with Ms. Kugler. She proved then, and now, to be extremely competent, experienced, talented, and accomplished in everything she takes on. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Ms. Kugler. I have also received praises from all over southern Pennsylvania as word has spread of Ms. Kuglerís decision to lead our District.

Her superior organizational and troubleshooting skills will be put to good use, as will her negotiating skills. I know Ms. Kugler will work with the Board and enact positive changes in the District. I am truly looking forward to working with Ms. Kugler, and seeing the great things that will be coming to the District over the next six months.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Bruce Carr to the FASD Board of Directors. Mr. Carr brings to the Board extensive leadership experience from his military career as a Colonel in the US Air Force. He has also distinguished himself with his work in a variety of area civic associations.

The job of School Board Director is difficult in that it requires you to be objective and balance the needs of the District with the ability of the communities to fund those needs. I was impressed by Mr. Carrís unbiased perspective when each Board candidate spoke in public. I believe he will make an excellent addition to the Board, and will vote his conscience based on the facts with no regard to special interests.

Please welcome Bruce, and his wife of 58 years, Mary Ann, at the next Board meeting!

I see our next great challenge will be that of the 2015-2016 school district budget. That process will begin soon, and once again Bruce Lefeber will chair that committee. Mr. Lefeber did an outstanding job last year in providing the District with all of its budgetary requests, with no tax increase! It had been many, many years prior that the School District has not increased property taxes to the communitiesí served by the FASD. Mr. Lefeberís tireless work even produced a surplus of funds that allowed for a much needed roof repair on the high school/middle school roof.

This year will be much more challenging as our professional services costs are currently tens of thousands of dollars over budget. These costs have accumulated from legal fees spent recently to accommodate the many Right to Know requests filed by a handful of people in the community. There are literally 4,000 pages of documentation that have been requested under the Right to Know filings, and each page is reviewed by legal counsel before being released.

As our remaining surplus dwindles due to these unforeseen legal costs, a number of capital improvement projects, such as the elementary school roof repairs, and elementary school playground replacement, may have to be delayed a year or more.

Iím looking forward to our Finance Committee and the new Administration working side by side to overcome these budgetary challenges and provide the best education for our students at a reasonable cost to the communities we serve.

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