Engler’s tenure ends with Palmerton
Scot Engler’s tenure at Palmerton Area School District will officially draw to a close at the end of the current school year.
On Tuesday night, Palmerton’s school board approved a separation agreement with Engler after what board President Kate Baumgardt called a mutual decision.
Engler was hired as Palmerton superintendent in 2013 and received a five-year extension in 2017, which would have taken him through June 30, 2022.
“Mr. Engler and the board made the mutual decision to invoke the provision of the contract allowing for termination by mutual consent,” Baumgardt said. “Mr. Engler is taking approved leave for the duration of the 2018-19 school year and resigning his commission effective June 30.”
The separation agreement, which was not immediately made public, received unanimous approval from the board. Engler was hired Tuesday night as special education director at Bangor Area School District, effective July 1, at a salary of $118,500. He made just under $122,000 in 2017-18 at Palmerton.
Palmerton’s human resources director, Thomas McLaughlin, was appointed as substitute superintendent for the remainder of the 2018-19 school year. That move was made retroactive to May 6, when Engler’s leave began. McLaughlin, who according to a Pennsylvania Department of Education database made just over $87,000 in 2017-18, will receive an extra $136.45 per day for taking on the role.
McLaughlin came to Palmerton in 2017 after a tenure as superintendent and building principal in the Weatherly Area School District.
During Engler’s tenure, the district undertook several large building projects including a $15 million project at the junior high/senior high school complex. Work included a 13,000-square-foot addition to the junior high school.
It featured a secure main entrance to the building, new administrative offices, several new classrooms and a computer lab, a media center featuring a television recording studio, new restrooms, new locker rooms for the gymnasium, and a new kitchen and cafeteria-discontinuing the junior high’s use of the high school cafeteria. The project also included the conversion of a grass football field into a multisport turf field, including a synthetic track.
Engler recently sought the termination of high school Principal Paula Husar based on 20 charges he brought against her in 2017.
Husar was suspended in September 2017 and the school board heard 15 nights of testimony before upholding nine months of her suspension and reinstating her.
In multiple lawsuits against Engler and the district, Husar alleged her job was on the line because of her critical comments about the superintendent during what was supposed to be a confidential job evaluation to the school board.