Stapleford named Tuscarora superintendent

April 15, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Thomas Stapleford, a graduate of Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Senior High School, was hired as superintendent of the Tuscarora School District, replacing William Konzal.

Stapleford, 40, assumes his duties here July 1. Konzal, who retires this year after four years of service, said he will stay through July to help in the transition.

Stapleford signed a five-year contract with the board that will end June 30, 2008.

Stapleford said being hired at Tuscarora is like coming home for him and his wife, Lisa, who grew up in Chambersburg, Pa.


He said he has been active in Scouting, Little League and soccer and is looking forward to getting involved in the community.

The Staplefords have three sons, ages 10, 8 and 6. They were present Monday when the school board introduced their father to the district.

Stapleford's father, Dr. Edward Stapleford of Waynesboro, a retired physician, and his mother, Mavis Stapleford, along with his in-laws, the Rev. Paul and Barbara Luebbe of Chambersburg, also were on hand.

"There are a lot of scary things going on in the world today, but this is a great time to be a kid in our country," Stapleford said. "We have faith in the next generation. There is no more important task than working with other people's children - helping them to reach their potential."

He said later he supports the federal No Child Left Behind act, which sets standards and accountability. "It's the right direction for education," he said. The challenge will be finding ways to implement the law and adopt programs to meet its spirit, he said.

Stapleford graduated from Waynesboro Area Senior High School in 1981. He earned his bachelor's degree at Penn State University, his master's at Brown University and his Ph.D. at Columbia University.

He taught high school history in Ramsey, N.J., was an assistant principal at Tappan Zee High School in New York, and was principal at Bellefonte High School in Centre County, Pa.

He served as high school principal and then assistant superintendent in Springfield Township in the Philadelphia suburbs before becoming superintendent of the Germantown (N.Y.)Central School District.

Sue Pelletier, a member of the Germantown Central School District board of education, said in a telephone interview Monday night that Stapleford was superintendent there from June 1999 to March 2001. He resigned before the school year was up, she said.

"It was a difficult school board then," she said of the seven-member panel. "There were some dissenting members, but the majority of the board was happy with him."

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