Board names new superintendent and hikes taxes

The Williamsport Area School Board unanimously voted Dr. Don Adams, assistant superintendent, as its newest superintendent starting this summer.

The announcement of Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Kelley’s successor was made at Tuesday’s board meeting. The three-year term will be effective July 1.

No other contract details were available as negotiations first needed board approval of the candidate to begin.

“I appreciate the confidence of the board,” Adams said after the vote.

Adams, who has worked in the district for the past 15 years, said he initially wasn’t expecting to stay in the area long, but “I found a place I truly believe in.”

Board member David Stone Jr. said he has heard from many community members hoping Adams would be named superintendent.

Adams said he would bring his best to the head job in the district.

“The only thing I can promise is I’ll bring my best to the job every day,” he said.

When asked, Kelley said, that with board approval the district would begin the search for Adams’ replacement as assistant superintendent.

In other business, the board also approved its 2013-14 budget, which will include a real-estate tax increase of .347 mills.

For a property assessed at $100,000, the increase will be $34.70.

The district also would use fund balance to make up some of its deficit.

Dr. Jane Penman, who voted against the budget along with Dale Vollman, said she would liked to have seen more options for the board when it came to balancing the budget. Although, she added, they may not have been considered, knowing the different options are important.

Vollman said the board should begin looking at the options early in the process.

Kelley said the district took an “aggressive approach” when it came to the budget in recent years.

But she added that the district needs to continue looking long-term and can’t use the fund balance each year.

“You have to attack it aggressively. If we don’t – you can only take out of your fund balance for so long,” she said.