State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

UPDATE: Mextorf Tenders Resignation in State College, Is 'Uncertain What the Future Will Hold'

on December 04, 2010 5:13 PM

State College schools Superintendent Richard J. Mextorf gave a letter of resignation Saturday to school-board officers, the district announced.

Mextorf, 48, of Port Matilda, has been charged with DUI and related driving violations in connection with a Nov. 18 incident in Clinton County.

A criminal complaint released Friday has revealed additional information about the matter, including that Mextorf's blood-alcohol level was recorded at 0.316 percent. The threshold for DUI in Pennsylvania is 0.08 percent.

Mextorf is expected to face a preliminary hearing in the case on Jan. 4.

State College school-board members are expected to accept his resignation formally at their Monday meeting, according to the district's Saturday announcement. "At the same time," it reads, "the board will make a motion to name (Assistant Superintendent) Mr. Michael Hardy as acting superintendent, effective Tuesday.

"All faculty, staff, students and families were notified of these developments Dec. 4 through a district-wide electronic communication," the announcement goes on. It also notes that the board met in executive session on Tuesday and again on Friday "to discuss personnel matters and legal issues."

Asked whether he volunteered his resignation or was asked by the board to step down, Mextorf wrote to "The decision was mutual."

"I'd like to thank the board, the district and the community for the wonderful opportunity you afforded me," he wrote in an e-mail message. "I am so sorry to have fallen short, and for letting everyone down in such dramatic fashion. I am unsure what the future will hold. At the present time, I am working with my support systems and focusing on getting better."

District spokeswoman Julie Miller, also reached via e-mail, said that the school board will retain professional services to begin a search for a new superintendent. That process will begin immediately, she wrote.

"The goal is to have the new superintendent seated before the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year," Miller wrote. "As it was for the last search, it will be inclusive, providing ample opportunity for input from faculty, staff, students and parents."

Mextorf, a Penn State alumnus, became State College superintendent in July 2009, succeeding Patricia Best when she retired. He last was superintendent for the Loyalsock Township School District, in Lycoming County.

In the electronic letter sent Saturday to district employees, students and parents, board members indicated that Mextorf's "departure is sudden, and we wish he and his family well in their next phase of life.

"Rich brought to the district a new focus for education, one that set a boundary-less environment for all students, challenging us to learn, collaborate and share our talents in all venues," the letter reads. "It is the board's hope that his vision and passion for 21st-century education will inspire and endure."

The letter also calls Hardy, to become the interim superintendent, "an experienced leader with a wealth of knowledge in educational planning and district operations. The district will be in capable hands during this transition period."

"The focus of our educational mission has not changed," the letter reads. "Our dedicated professional staff will insure that teaching and learning continue with the same competence and enthusiasm we expect from State College Area School District.

"We recognize the past two weeks have been trying for everyone. As we work through this transition together, we ask for your very best cooperation and teamwork.

"As always, if we can be of further service, please do not hesitate to contact us," it concludes.

Earlier coverage

Next Article
Mextorf Resigns as State College Area School District Superintendent
December 04, 2010 2:11 PM
Mextorf Resigns as State College Area School District Superintendent
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