Johnstown Independent

Northridge's Shepard steps down, will work at home

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The Northridge Local Board of Education on Sept. 27 approved Superintendent John Shepard's resignation.

Shepard will continue to work as a consultant through the end of his contract, working mainly from home on administrative and procedural guidelines.

Shepard and the board released a brief joint statement that states, "John Shepard, Superintendent of Northridge Local Schools, has resigned his position as superintendent, effective September 14. Mr. Shepard will assist the district in the capacity of Educational Operations Consultant for the remainder of the term of his current contract, which expires July 31, 2013. During that time, Mr. Shepard will study and recommend curriculum, policy and guideline changes in areas the board has identified as critical for the future success of the district. The transition was mutually agreed between Mr. Shepard and the board."

Board member Mark Dann said he couldn't elaborate on the reasons for Shepard's resignation, other than to say the decision was based on advice from counsel.

"There's been some talk for some time," he said.

Dann said the board plans a special meeting Oct. 1 to discuss hiring an interim superintendent. In the meantime, Northridge High School Principal Amy Anderson will take over the day-to-day superintendent duties.

"We don't want her to be distracted from her job as principal," board member Doug Hart said, adding that it's important to have an interim in place as quickly as possible.

Hart said he sees some advantages to the situation.

"I think it's going to be a real benefit," he said. "We need a lot of administrative guidelines put in place. (Shepard) is the perfect guy. As superintendent, it's been on his plate."

Hart said the regular superintendent duties have kept Shepard from being able to address those guidelines and that being able to work on them from home without distraction should allow Shepard to accomplish the goal.

"I look forward to working with (Shepard) in this capacity," he said.

Dann said the terms of Shepard's contract would not change until it expires, and Shepard will continue to receive his salary of $105,000 per year.

Shepard began as superintendent in 2007 although he worked with the district in other capacities prior to becoming superintendent. Shepard could not be reached for comment.

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