Crestwood Board Parts Ways With Superintendent, Names Successor
WRIGHT TWP. — Crestwood School Board ended ties with Superintendent Joseph Gorham and designated Joseph Rasmus as his successor on Thursday.
The board also accepted the resignation of operations director Christopher Gegaris, but extended a contract with Rinehimer Bus Lines through June 30.
Gorham and Gegaris had been on leave since Oct. 30, 2018, after state auditors discovered paperwork, clearances or fingerprints weren’t updated for all of Rinehimer’s school bus drivers. School closed on Oct. 24 and 25 while the paperwork was completed, and a month later the board voted to end Rinehimer’s contract on Feb. 1, a decision that the board reversed last night.
Gorham, who had 2½ years left in a contract that paid him approximately $125,000 annually, will receive pay and benefits through June 30, as will Gegaris, Crestwood’s Solicitor James Dean said.
Neither Gorham nor Gegaris attended the meeting.
On Tuesday in a statement about his resignation, Gorham said he wished the district and his successor well. He had been superintendent since 2016.
Rasmus had been acting superintendent since Gorham went on leave, but his selection as the next superintendent wasn’t revealed until board President Bill Jones added an item to the agenda during the meeting.
The item says Rasmus will become superintendent on June 30, pending the results of contract negotiations.
After board members voted unanimously to accept the resignations of Gorham and Gegaris and to appoint Rasmus, the audience applauded.
Asked his priority, Rasmus said he wants people to know that recent difficulties in the administration had not derailed students or teachers.
“It’s been a tumultuous time in our school district. It’s been very challenging. I’m very encouraged by the continued professionalism of the staff and the support of our parents and our community. Our students continue to be stellar despite how difficult it’s been in some respects,” he said. “There’s a lot of great things happening in terms of instruction, in terms of curriculum. We want to find a venue to communicate that,” said Rasmus, who taught communication and theater arts at Wilkes University for 14 years as part of a career that included service as a secondary school administrator and elementary school principal in Northwest Area School District.
Rasmus came to Crestwood as assistant superintendent in charge of special education and curriculum in July 2016.
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