Quaker Valley superintendent will retire

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After being with the Quaker Valley School District since 1993, superintendent Joseph Clapper will retire in the fall.

Mr. Clapper, 57, has been in education for 36 years — 12 years teaching and the remainder in school administration. Even though he will be leaving the district, his future will involve more education related-work, possibly as a consultant.

“In the fall,” he said, “I will be weighing different opportunities in order to continue to make a difference in education.”

In addition to some education-related work, he said he plans to travel and devote time to writing.

However, Mr. Clapper has put off those plans for some time. His retirement won’t begin until at least September.

“I wanted to give the board adequate time to conduct a thorough search for the next superintendent,” he said. Mr. Clapper said that he is willing to serve in any capacity to assist the new superintendent as he or she transitions into the district. “I have informed the board that I would stay as long as necessary if their search goes beyond Sept. 1.”

School board president Sarah Heres said the scope and timeline of the superintendent search hasn’t been determined.

“Hiring a highly qualified superintendent is the most important function of a school board, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” she said. “The board is committed to finding a high caliber educational leader and will take the necessary time and comprehensive steps to achieve this goal.”

The first matter of business for the board is figuring out how they will conduct the search and “whether a consultant is needed to help guide and coordinate the search,” she said.

"Dr. Clapper has graciously provided us several months’ notice of his retirement — giving us the opportunity to be very thorough and thoughtful in selecting Quaker Valley’s next educational leader,” she said.

Mr. Clapper has told the board that he will work with his successor to ensure a smooth transition. In the meantime, he said he will remain busy.

"We have a lot of work to accomplish over the next several months,” he said. 

“I’ll be working in conjunction with others to create a three-year-strategic plan that will assist the new superintendent to transition well to the school district.” Also, he said, he will focus on the district’s financial well-being.

“From now until June,” he said, “we are working diligently to develop a fiscally responsible budget for the 2014-15 school year.”

Looking even further ahead, Mr. Clapper has high hopes for Quaker Valley’s future. “First and foremost, I hope the district continues to seek to improve student achievement so that all students reach their fullest potential,” he said.

“Quaker Valley is truly an outstanding school district. I wish the district continued success in all aspects of its educational programs," he said. "It has a highly qualified staff, great students, involved parents and a community that truly values public education — there is a great foundation for continued excellence.”

Shellie Petri Budzeak, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.

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