By Jonathan Weaver
Armstrong School Superintendent Dr. Stan Chapp will not seek to renew his contract at the end of the school year.
Chapp, the school superintendent since 2010, announced his intention at last night’s school board regular meeting at West Hills Intermediate in East Franklin Township.
“I’ll be completing 35 years in education – I will not be seeking a continuance in this position, Chapp said.
(“I’m) very proud to have been part some of the incredible changes here the last several years, and I truly thank the Board and the community for their support I’ve experienced in the district. I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed the people here the most of every place I’ve been.”
During his career, Chapp has acted in many facets of education administration and rose up the school ladder, including in positions as principal and assistant principal, Title 1 Coordinator, federal programs coordinator, curriculum coordinator, and assistant superintendent and superintendent. His contract runs through August 14.
“I’ve kind-of culminated my career at this point here,” Chapp said. “I’ve covered really every position in a school district; I’m very proud of that.”
Chapp committed to following through the Armstrong Junior-Senior High construction while he considers other positions in education or private industry.
“The goal is trying to get the building finished up and some of the projects scheduled already,” Chapp said.
Nearly $1.3 million in the Capital Projects fund was paid to 11 subcontractors in February toward the school construction.
School Board Director Dr. Paul Lobby made the motion to approve of Chapp’s announcement. It was approved by school directors 8-0. Board President Joseph Close was absent.
“I think (Chapp) really rose to the occasion with this Board transition – from the previous Board four years ago to this Board. I’m really impressed he was able to deal with all the changes and handle this construction project,” Lobby said. “I think he’s a very bright guy, very meticulous and detail-oriented – that’s what it took.”
School Board Vice-President Christopher Choncek thanked Chapp for his time and service.
Official advertisement is said to be released “very quickly,” (perhaps even within the week) for Chapp’s replacement – especially because of other school administration openings in the region, such as reportedly at Mars, Kiski Area and Allegheny Valley.
An executive session to address personnel, real estate and litigation matters was held prior to the regular meeting. School directors have discussed Chapp’s intentions during previous executive sessions.
Other personnel decisions made include announcing five winter sport coaches for next season’s Armstrong River Hawks teams.
Districtwide Athletic Administrator James Rummel announced the five coaches, which include current Ford City High Boys’ Basketball Coach Greg Hutcherson, upcoming Armstrong Junior High Principal Kirk Lorigan as Girls’ Basketball Coach and current Kittanning wrestling coach all moving to the new school. They will all be paid the same salary.
In other news, school directors also made some school calendar changes.
In addition to students making up classes on April 1, 2, 6 and 7, and May 22 (previous snow days), two days were also added to the end of the school year – pushing graduation from June 3 to June 5.
As discussed, March 27 and April 2 were already made half school days, and the additional two days would solidify the 180 day schedule as required, Student Transportation Director Jon Fair said.
“As long as we don’t have any more snow days or flood days,” Fair said. “We do have an option (if we have another cancellation) working with the union – if that arises, we would have to have an agreement because we have 181 student days built into the calendar.”
As Fair clarified for Choncek, 181 student days are built into the calendar already, and union teachers are required to work 189.
Seniors attending classes on a Saturday to solidify the graduation date is still an option as well – but just the senior class. Other students could make up their final day Monday, June 8.
Fair added there is no concern if it comes to moving graduation.
“The union’s been very good working with us so far on working with everything,” Fair said.
If school officials get into even more of a jam, they could rely on counting hours, Chapp said.
Students and teachers will still have Monday, May 25 off for the Memorial Day holiday.