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Tuscarora schools superintendent Rebecca Erb to retire in 2013

February 14, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Rebecca Erb
Rebecca Erb

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — After five years as superintendent of the Tuscarora School District, Rebecca Erb has announced she plans to retire in March 2013.

“I always said I would try to make it until I was 60, and I’ll be 60 in January (2013). That was always my career goal to work until I was 60,” Erb said.

Erb said she feels confident about her decision to retire.

“The budget is stable for us as much as it can be given the instability at the state level. I think that we’re at a good place in the district, and I get a lot of community support, which is very gratifying,” Erb said. “I hope the next superintendent can build on that community support.”

Up to this point, completing renovations to district facilities was among Erb’s proudest accomplishments.

“I’m really pleased with getting the buildings up to speed. But, that said in another year I would like to say the thing I’m proudest of are our test scores. So, I’m not finished yet,” Erb said.

Erb was hired on Valentine’s Day 2007 following a lengthy selection process involving the community and run by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association intended to give the public an opportunity to meet and ask questions of the final superintendent candidates.

Board president Clifford Smith Jr. announced Erb’s decision to retire at Monday’s Tuscarora School Board meeting.

“Becky was the right person at the right time to make a lot of really tough choices and do a lot of really hard work to get us to where we are today,” Smith said.

When she accepted the district’s top spot as superintendent, Erb faced a laundry list of challenges, including a high school renovation project, budgetary constraints and teachers’ contracts in 2008 and 2012.

“I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead in finding a suitable replacement, but in reality you don’t replace Becky. Because where we were when we hired Becky, and what we needed Becky to do, is not what we need someone now to do,” Smith said.

“As the district evolves, so does the superintendency evolve. It takes people with different strengths and different abilities to lead it at different times through a district’s history,” Smith said.

The board is expected to begin the superintendent search process this July and select a new superintendent by January 2013.

School board member Daniel Reeder said he’s been very pleased with Erb’s performance.

“She did have quite a few challenges that she was able to tackle right out of the gate ... As a school board director, I’m very pleased with where the district is and the direction we’re heading in,” Reeder said.

Reeder said finding someone to fill Erb’s shoes is going to be challenging.

“We’re hopeful that we can find someone who will have her capabilities. But, it certainly will be difficult,” Reeder said.

Before coming to Tuscarora, Erb was the high school principal in the Tyrone Area School District. In addition to serving as high school principal, she was an adjunct professor at Saint Francis University.

She earned her Doctor of Education degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 2004 and her Master’s of Education from St. Francis University in 1985.

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