Superintendent Sponseller says he has lymphoma

February 25, 2006|By DON AINES


Chambersburg Area School District Superintendent Edwin H. Sponseller was diagnosed Monday with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, he said Friday.

Sponseller, 61, who is due to retire June 30 after 18 years as superintendent, said he is awaiting the results of tests to determine a treatment program for the disease. At this time he said he does not anticipate he will be taking a leave of absence.

Sponseller notified school district staff of his diagnosis by e-mail earlier this week.

Last year the Chambersburg School Board named Joseph O. Padasak Jr., superintendent of the Windber (Pa.) Area School District, as Sponseller's successor.

"We have been working together for a smooth transition and I don't anticipate any problems with that as a result" of the diagnosis, Sponseller said.


"Dr. Padasak will be on board on an official basis this Wednesday," March 1, Sponseller said.

That was the date set for Padasak, 48, to begin work when he was selected by the board last year. He will take over as superintendent on July 1.

Sponseller is winding up a 40-year career in education, all but two years of which have been spent in Chambersburg. In an interview last year, he said he began his career as a ninth grade civics teacher at Faust Junior High School.

During his career, he has been an assistant principal at Faust and an associate superintendent. The two years he spent outside of the district were as an assistant principal at James Buchanan High School in Mercersburg, Pa., he said.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma affects the lymphatic system, blood-filtering tissues that help the body ward off infection and disease. Depending on the type of cancer and the stage of diagnosis, treatment may involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination to treatments, according to the American Cancer Society.

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