Stafford School District Business Administrator’s Resignation Announced at Board Meeting

Aug 22, 2018

Many will agree that Stafford Township School District Business Administrator Dan Smith has served the community well. Several members of the board of education expressed their sentiments during its meeting on Aug. 16.

“I want to thank him for all his hard work and dedication through some very tumultuous times,” said board President Mike Hemenway, shortly after he and the board unanimously voted to approve Smith’s resignation, effective Sept. 26. “He got us through a contract situation and our referendum, and he’s done a tremendous job under a lot of pressure. We’re going to miss him.”

In an otherwise typical board meeting in which everything seemed normal regarding August board business, Smith’s departure – approved along with four other resignations – has the most shock value. He was with the district just under four years.

“I’ve probably had more dealings with Dan than any other board member,” said board Vice President Richard Czajkowski. “And I’ve found him to be a man of character and integrity and a really good business administrator. I’m truly going to miss you, Dan.”

Smith said after the meeting that he has accepted another business administrator position in another district closer to home. According to Superintendent George Chidiac, Smith had formally handed in his resignation a week earlier.

“Dan was offered a position in another district, and he submitted his letter of resignation to me last week. We met privately and then notified the board,” Chidiac said after the meeting.

What happens now is simple: The school board has to find a permanent replacement for Smith. Chidiac said the district already has begun interviewing candidates, but first will seek to hire an interim business administrator as well.

“Our timetable to get a permanent business administrator in place is Nov. 1,” Chidiac said. “We want a seasoned business administrator, but to get one we have to allow that person 60 days to fulfill their contract obligations. So, in the meantime, we’ll need an interim to fill in for the time in between Dan’s departure and his replacement’s arrival.”

Chidiac said the goal, right now, is to hire both an interim and permanent business administrator during a special board meeting later sometime next week, perhaps Aug. 29 or 30. Chidiac, Smith and several other administrators already have interviewed candidates for the two positions.

“We have a couple of really good candidates right now, and now we’re going to move into phase two of the interview process, which will include the board,” he said. “The interim administrator will start when Dan leaves, and we expect the permanent administrator to start Nov. 1. That’s the general plan, right now.”

An interim business administrator will be paid a per diem rate; the going rate is between $400 and $600 per day, Chidiac said. The interim likely will have limited hours. The salary range for the permanent replacement has been set between $110,000 and $150,000, he said.

“Dan leaving definitely hurts us,” Chidiac said. “This is going to be a difficult transition. Dan’s excellent at what he does, and replacing him isn’t going to be easy. Obviously it means I’ll have to be more involved in that capacity, but we’ll get through it.”

— David Biggy

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