Veteran W-B Area administrator Andy Kuhl will take over as superintendent at Hanover Area.

Last updated: April 30. 2013 12:16AM - 3452 Views
By - mguydish@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6112



Andy Kuhl, secondary curriculum director of Wilkes-Barre Area School District, will become Hanover Area Superintendent on July 1.
Andy Kuhl, secondary curriculum director of Wilkes-Barre Area School District, will become Hanover Area Superintendent on July 1.
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WILKES-BARRE — He may have graduated as a Meyers Mohawk and spent his professional career working at Wilkes-Barre Area School District, but beginning July 1, Andrew Kuhl is not only a Hanover Area Hawkeye, he’s the top Hawk.


“I graduated from Meyers,” Kuhl said Monday as he begins the transition from his job as Wilkes-Barre Area director of secondary curriculum to Hanover Area superintendent. “I worked in every secondary school in Wilkes-Barre through the years. It’s tough to leave when you have such deep roots.”


The Hanover Area School Board voted to hire Kuhl during a special meeting last week. He will replace retiring Superintendent Anthony Podcazy at a time of dramatic changes.


Kuhl will assume the post just as the teacher and support staff contracts expire. The two sides began negotiations earlier this year, as required by state law.


Kuhl also will become superintendent as school districts shift from current state education standards to the new “Common Core” standards adopted by Pennsylvania and 45 other states. The new standards also come with new tests, as the state has rolled out the high school Keystone Exams given in various subjects at the end of a course, and is revamping the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests in grades three through eight to align with Common Core.


Administrative challenges


Throw in a new, more time-consuming teacher and principal evaluation system implemented by the state, as well as a looming change in how the state measures each school’s success (moving away from “proficiency” in standardized tests to “student academic growth”), and it looks like Kuhl is taking the reins of Hanover Area as the educational landscape shifts beneath him.


“We’re at a time when there are changes across the board in education,” Kuhl said, “It’s a welcome change in the era of accountability. Unfortunately, one of the byproducts is that there are a lot of unknowns.”


But Kuhl, 52, is hardly inexperienced, having weathered plenty of changes in 27 years working his way up from a social studies teacher. “I think I’m ready for it,” he said of the challenge.


Kuhl’s contract at Hanover Area breaks new ground as well. He agreed to pay part of his insurance premium, a first in the district, according to Business Manager Tom Cipriano.


The contract runs for three years with annual raises and a starting salary of $115,000, Kuhl said, adding that he is taking a hit in one other area changed by state law: Accumulated sick days. Until recently, his roughly 250 sick days accumulated at Wilkes-Barre Area could have been carried over to Hanover Area, but a new law limits him to 30.


“I’m giving up about 220 unused sick days to take this job,” he said.


Kuhl said he had started considering the teaching profession in high school, but didn’t make up his mind until he had nearly completed his bachelor’s degree in political science at Dickinson College. His original plan was to stay in the classrooms, or at least near the students as a principal, but five years ago he was given the opportunity to work in Wilkes-Barre’s Central Office and decided it was time for a new challenge.


And while he received state eligibility to work as an assistant superintendent in 2000, he didn’t get the required paperwork for the top job until this year, bypassing the chance to apply at Wilkes-Barre Area when long-time Superintendent Jeff Namey retired last year.


Hanover Twp. resident


Why skip a chance to head the district of his alma mater yet opt for a neighboring district? For starters, his daughter graduated from Hanover Area, and he lives in Hanover Township now.


Is the daughter going into education?


“She’s an on-air broadcaster for a radio station covering the Pittsburgh Pirates,” Kuhl said. Which could be a good thing for him.


“I’ve been a Pirates fan all my life,” he laughed. “That shows good parenting, nudging her to my favorite team.”


So, special access to the press box seats?


“No,” he laughed again. “I have to sit in the regular seats with everybody else.”landscape shifts beneath him.


“We’re at a time when there are changes across the board in education,” Kuhl said, “It’s a welcome change in the era of accountability. Unfortunately, one of the byproducts is that there are a lot of unknowns.”


But Kuhl, 52, is hardly inexperienced, having weathered plenty of changes in 27 years working his way up from a social studies teacher. “I think I’m ready for it,” he said of the challenge.


Kuhl’s contract at Hanover Area breaks new ground as well. He agreed to pay part of his insurance premium, a first in the district, according to Business Manager Tom Cipriano.


The contract runs for three years with annual raises and a starting salary of $115,000, Kuhl said, adding that he is taking a hit in one other area changed by state law: Accumulated sick days. Until recently, his roughly 250 sick days accumulated at Wilkes-Barre Area could have been carried over to Hanover Area, but a new law limits him to 30.


“I’m giving up about 220 unused sick days to take this job,” he said.


Kuhl said he had started considering the teaching profession in high school, but didn’t make up his mind until he had nearly completed his bachelor’s degree in political science at Dickinson College. His original plan was to stay in the classrooms, or at least near the students as a principal, but five years ago he was given the opportunity to work in Wilkes-Barre’s Central Office and decided it was time for a new challenge.


And while he received state eligibility to work as an assistant superintendent in 2000, he didn’t get the required paperwork for the top job until this year, bypassing the chance to apply at Wilkes-Barre Area when long-time Superintendent Jeff Namey retired last year.


Hanover Twp. resident


Why skip a chance to head the district of his alma mater yet opt for a neighboring district? For starters, his daughter graduated from Hanover Area, and he lives in Hanover Township now.


Is the daughter going into education?


“She’s an on-air broadcaster for a radio station covering the Pittsburgh Pirates,” Kuhl said. Which could be a good thing for him.


“I’ve been a Pirates fan all my life,” he laughed. “That shows good parenting, nudging her to my favorite team.”


So, special access to the press box seats?


“No,” he laughed again. “I have to sit in the regular seats with everybody else.”


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