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Kugler hired as Superintendent; board approves new no tax increase budget

Susan Prasse

(7/29) Fairfield school board has hired Substitute Superintendent Karen Kugler as the new Superintendent of the Fairfield Area School District. Earlier this year, the court had prohibited the board from "entering into an employment contract with or committing to entering into an employment contract with a new permanent school superintendent" until after the hearing or dismissal of the hearing in June.

"I am happy to be in a position that I never thought I wanted," said Kugler. She said "this opportunity presented itself and I was excited about what the position allows me to do in this school district," she said. "I have been here for 16 years working hard to make the special education department the very best in the district. " I took this challenge because I believe that through the efforts of all us, we can also make the district the best in Adams County." Kugler looks forward to putting her vision for the district into action - which includes working to improve technology and day to day instruction. "We want to make sure every student who attends our schools has the tools to advance into college and a career of their choosing; working on the professional development of our teachers, staff, administration and students will help us to achieve those goals," she said.

Kugler's four-year contract began July 1, 2015 and goes through June 30, 2019. The board also hired Margaret E. Crider for the position of Assistant to the Superintendent for Instructional Support. Crider brings experience as a special education supervisor at school districts in Chambersburg and Carlisle.

In other school board news, a special meeting was held in late June to approve the $16.8 million budget for the upcoming school year. Members voted 7-0 in favor of the 2015-16 budget which includes no tax increase. The special meeting was held because Finance Chair Bruce Lefeber had not received detailed budget information at the June 22 meeting. In other business, the board approved $20,000 in the new budget for new playground equipment, the decision was in response to numerous safety concerns from teachers and parents over drainage issues and outdated equipment at the elementary school. Fairfield Elementary PTA has raised approximately $35,000 to help cover the cost of the equipment. Other funds will include $10,000 from the current budget, $25,713 from the districtís capital reserve fund, with the remainder to be covered by private donations. The board approved and authorized George Ely Associates Inc., to provide and install the equipment.

The board also voted to reject the sealed bids it received for a district-owned property located at 5144 Fairfield Road, also known as the McDannell Property. The board authorized Business Manager Caroline Dean to list a district-owned property at 5144 Fairfield Road with a local realtor for no less than $170,000, after rejecting the sealed bids that were received.

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