Oswayo Valley School District Superintendent Frank McClard is stepping down from his job later this month, the second time in about two years he will leave an administrative position before his contract ends.

During a meeting Monday night, school board members were expected to approve McClard’s resignation. McClard, who became superintendent of the Potter County school district in Shinglehouse in October of 2012, is taking a position in the North East School District near Erie.

“Leaving here is very difficult for my wife and I as we have been very happy here in Oswayo Valley,” McClard said. “The opportunity to return to Erie where we have spent a large part of our lives was just too difficult for us to turn down.”

The search is now under way for a successor. The school board plans to name an acting superintendent, according to McClard.

McClard’s last day will be Jan. 23. His contract would’ve ended at the end of September of 2015; his salary is $105,000.

And this time, as McClard’s leaves behind a second school district in two years, things seem a bit more calm.

He had resigned from the Lakeview School District in Stoneboro in 2012, a full year before his contract expired. His time there was rife with controversy. 

Two teachers from the Lakeview School District filed a federal lawsuit claiming that McClard was bringing religion in schools, according to The Herald of Sharon. That newspaper’s story stated that he formed a student and staff prayer group, invited pastors to pray at in-service days and had written pro-Christian items on his school blog.

After leaving Lakeview, he took a job at the Oswayo Valley School District, bringing with him three decades’ worth of educational experience.

And while he served a short time at the Potter County district, he is proud of his accomplishments.

“Working alongside the Oswayo Valley School Board, the administration, teaching and support staff, we have worked very well together to move the district forward educationally, technologically and structurally,” McClard said. “It has always been a team approach and I am very proud the number of things that we have been able to accomplish in my tenure here.”

He also lauded the school district as being a “wonderful place to work.” McClard also heaped praises on the staff, saying they are very dedicated to the students. The community is supportive, as well, he said.

“The buildings are very well maintained and we are advanced technologically,” McClard said in an email. “Our new college course offerings provide students with the opportunity to gain almost a full year of credit before entering college. The science program is phenomenal and will continue to get better with increased course offerings. Our SPP (School Performance Profile) scores at the elementary and middle school make us proud and we see vast improvement with what we are doing at the high school. Our industrial arts, family and consumer science program and our art and music programs are tremendous. The things that our students are doing from pre-K through high school in these areas is fabulous. There is a lot to love about Oswayo Valley and I could go on and on telling you about the wonderful things at OV.”

The Oswayo Valley School District has children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and a budget of $7.7 million.

The Intermediate Unit Nine of Smethport is helping with the superintendent search, and so far, one application has been submitted, according to Sandy Vossler, who works at the IU9. The search began Jan. 8.

Officials are requiring superintendent candidates have a Pennsylvania letter of eligibility, strong executive skills, knowledge of current educational trends in curriculum and finance, and positive communication skills in relating well with students, staff, parents and the community. Pay is based on experience and training.

Those interested should request an application to be superintendent from Sandy Vossler at (814) 887-5512 or svossler@iu9.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 6.

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