Dr. Elizabeth Hammond Yonson approved by Board
After a six month, intensive search the Upper Perkiomen School Board officially approved the hiring of Dr. Elizabeth Hammond Yonson as the Superintendent of the District in a roll call vote held last Thursday evening. The vote passed eight to one with Robert Pepe dissenting.
Dr. Hammond Yonson has been appointed Superintendent of the School for a five year term, commencing February 27, 2012 and terminating February 26, 2017. She will be in charge of the administration of the school district under the direction of Board, receiving an annual base salary of $170,000. Each subsequent year a percentage increase is allotted to the Superintendent (based on the initial salary) under the condition that Yonson is not rated unsatisfactory by the Board’s yearly evaluations.
“I’ve known Dr. Yonson for 12 years. She is a very kind and warm person; a people person. Someone very strong on the educational side and someone I know will do very well here. I know the faculty. Those that had a chance to meet her were very impressed [with Yonson]. I have enjoyed my time with her thus far and look forward to the next couple of weeks,” said retiring superintendent Dr. Timothy Kirby.
Yonson will continue to work alongside the current Superintendent until his departure in order to glean as much as possible about the inner workings of the district. She will be introduced to the remaining faculty members on Feb. 17.
Previously the Superintendent of Morrisville School District, Assistant Superintendent of Bangor Area School District, Principal and Assistant Director of an Intermediate Unit, an adjunct college professor, and a teacher from grades six to twelve, Yonson has a distinguished resume and has worked her way up the education ladder and into administrative positions.
“We feel that [Yonson] has the necessary skill’ set, the background, and character to take over as our next superintendent,” stated board president Harry Quinque. “I think I speak for the majority of the board by saying we are excited to start working with her.”
Despite the excitement of welcoming the new superintendent, the Board found it difficult to say farewell to Timothy Kirby.
“You brought leadership, you brought stability … I’m sure we will continue to achieve great things. But for me personally, things will not be the same,” said Vice President Bill Scott at the beginning of the meeting.
Quinque added, “How can I adequately thank a man who has done so much for this district? Several words that came to mind were newcomer, resident, community leader, father, litigator, friend, chief administrator, grandfather, mediator, game-changer, listener, facilitator, and finally, consummate educator. I know I speak for the entire school community when I say we’re very sorry to see you go, and we really hope you enjoy the next phase in your life.”
“I can say this has certainly been the most gratifying job, a job that has given me the most satisfaction because I have been able to work with the great people and resources here,” responded Kirby. “It’s been great to be a part of something that is bigger than me, and if I have been able to provide some focus and direction, it’s really because of what was already here.”
The Superintendent’s address focused mainly on the strengths of the educational staff he had been able to work with, commending the teachers and administrators for their excellent service. Kirby expressed his faith that the school district will continue to thrive under the new administrator. “The veteran people have done such a great job in their training, and we were able to select such outstanding new people coming in that the district is in terrific hands due to the quality of the teaching staff and the instructional leadership of the principals and administration.”
While reflecting on the achievements of the district over his tenure, Kirby said, “We took it seriously I think, the “Getting Better Together” theme, and it was easy to do because the people are so good here. I thank everyone for their support over the past seven years; it’s been the job of a lifetime.”
Later in the meeting the school board unanimously approved the appointment of Steven J. Moyer, as the Head Coach of the Upper Perkiomen varsity football team. Moyer was an Upper Perk graduate, a teacher at the school for many years, and an assistant football coach until last year’s season. After moving to the Pittsburgh area to coach for a year, he applied for job opening.
“We’re very glad to have him back,” said Athletic Director Steve Perlstein, who was in attendance at the meeting. “We, [the search committee], had 27 outstanding candidates, and [Moyer] stood out above all of them. We’re excited to have one of our own back in the Valley coaching our team.”