Less than a week into a new school year, a major upcoming change in administration has been announced by the Saucon Valley School District.
In an email to parents Friday, the school board announced the retirement of district superintendent Dr. Craig Butler, which it said will be effective Oct. 14, 2021.
No specific reason for Butler’s retirement was given, and he has only been superintendent for about four years; approximately the same amount of time as his predecessor, Monica McHale-Small, held the position. His retirement wasn’t an agenda item on Tuesday’s Saucon Valley School Board meeting agenda, and Butler didn’t discuss it in his report to the board during the meeting.
“With 42 years of educational experience as a teacher, athletic director, principal and superintendent, Dr. Butler brought his vast experience to Saucon Valley in 2017 and guided the district during the most unprecedented time in the history of the District,” the email noted, with reference to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “The Board congratulates Dr. Butler on a wonderful and successful career and wishes he (sic) and his wife Kathleen health and happiness on the next phase of their lives together.”
“Over the coming weeks, the Board will be providing additional information to the community surrounding transition plans within the office of the Superintendent,” the statement concluded. “Dr. Butler is thankful for the opportunity to have provided leadership in the district the past four years.”
Butler came to Saucon Valley from the Hazleton Area School District in northeastern Pennsylvania, and before that he worked in school districts in Arizona, Wyoming and State College, Pa., according to a biography that was shared at the time of his hiring.
Over the past year-and-a-half, due to the coronavirus pandemic, much of his focus has been on the health and safety of students and staff in the Saucon Valley School District.