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New Franklin County Career and Technology Center principal hired

September 26, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - On Wednesday the Chambersburg School Board became the last of five districts to approve expanding and renovating the Franklin County Career and Technology Center, and on Thursday the center's Joint Operating Committee hired its new principal.

Joseph Conrad, 40, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was hired as the new principal, replacing Michele Orner, who announced in August she was resigning to become an assistant principal at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg. Conrad's salary was set at $72,000.

A major in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Conrad had been the elementary school principal in the Fannett-Metal School District, but went full-time with the military following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He has master's degrees in history and education administration and is certified as a kindergarten through 12th grade principal, he said.

Conrad also works part-time at the Pentagon in Emergency Operations, has an educational consulting firm and has traveled the country as a motivational speaker. His last project as a consultant was making Microsoft classes available for soldiers on military bases, he said.

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Following the 911 attacks, Conrad said he returned to the military full-time and was director of the Pennsylvania National Guard Family Program, overseeing the needs of 22,000 military families, he said.

"I didn't think we were leaving education forever" went he went into full-time military service, Conrad said. "I enjoy helping kids and making a positive change in their lives."

Conrad is taking over a career center that will be undergoing major changes in the next few years. After two years of discussions, the Chambersburg, Greencastle-Antrim, Waynesboro, Tuscarora and Shippensburg school districts have agreed to a plan to spend $15 million to renovate and expand the 40-year-old vocational school.

Chambersburg also will be building a separate wing so that its students can attend the center for both academic and career instruction. That wing will cost $22.8 million to build, according to district estimates.

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