York Suburban School District and Supt. Michele Merkle: What we know now

Written by Randy Parker/The York Daily Record | Nov 17, 2017 5:28 PM

(York) -- Michele Merkle, the longtime superintendent of York Suburban School District, resigned on Sept. 24, just hours before a school board meeting, and one day before the assistant superintendent was to retire. 

Neither the district nor Merkle has shared details as to why the woman with nearly 30  years in the district left so abruptly. District officials have stated that criminal and non-criminal investigations are underway that restrict the district's ability to share such details.

Here's what we know now:

  • 1990: Merkle starts working for the school district
  • March 2014: Merkle becomes superintendent
  • July 2017: Assistant Supt. Patrica Maloney announces her retirement. She sets Sept. 15 as her last day with the district. 
  • Sept. 11: At 9:30 p.m., Spring Garden Township Police Officer Richard Morris logs a criminal mischief complaint from YSHS, a notation that appears to refer to York Suburban High School. 
  • Sept. 13: At 6:25 p.m., Morris logs a follow-up to the YSHS criminal mischief complaint.
  • Sept. 13: At 10:34 p.m., school board president Lynne Leopold-Sharp emails all members of the school board. Stressing the need for confidentiality, she tells them they must meet in executive session at their attorney's office on Sept. 18.
  • Sept. 14: At 10:40 a.m., Director of Finance and Right To Know Officer Corinne Mason emails school board members and administrators to inform them that, "Effective today, Dr. Merkle is on sick leave for an indefinite period of time to deal with some medical issues." She reports that Maloney will be in charge through the next day, and after that, Mason will serve as a "point of contact" for the district. 
  • Sept. 14:  At 3:08 p.m., Mason sends an email to about a dozen people in the district that reads, "NOTHING goes out to staff at this time. If, you are asked anything regarding Dr. Merkle, 'Dr. Merkle is out on medical leave.'"  She also wrote that "things will unfold more next week and the Board will communicate that out as well."
  • Sept. 15: Maloney works her last day. 
  • Sept. 25: Merkle submits her resignation, effective Sept. 30, shortly before a school board meeting.
  • Sept. 25: School board member Scott Eden submits his resignation to the board, citing the need to attend to business obligations. 
  • Sept. 26: Merkle emails several board members. She writes that this was "particularly difficult" for her to send "as I am sure that any communication from me is met with skepticism." She offered to share "strategic thoughts and information."
  • Oct. 9: The school board names Larry Redding as acting superintendent as they conduct a search for Merkle's replacement.  
  • Oct. 16: The board swears in Joel Sears to replace Eden. He will fill in the remainder of Eden's term, which runs through Nov. 30, 2019.
  • Nov. 20: The next scheduled meeting of the school board. Here is the agenda. 

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record

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