Lehigh Valley

Saucon Valley School Board hires district superintendent from Hazleton

HELLERTOWN, Pa. - The Saucon Valley School Board hired a new superintendent Tuesday.

The board officially extended a 3-year offer to Craig Butler, the former superintendent of the Hazleton Area School District. Butler, of Sugarloaf, will start Sept. 26 and will receive a salary of $158,000 -- about an 18 percent increase compared to his Hazleton Area School District salary.

"I am humbled, honored, and privileged to be here," Butler said, following his appointment. "I'm looking forward to the wonderful work we're going to do here together."

Butler also said he was informed by Hazleton district employees that Saucon Valley was a "wonderful district" in which to work.

However, last March, racial profiling and comments made by students at the high school surfaced at Saucon Valley creating a public relations problem for the district.

As the new superintendent, Butler said one of his first endeavors will be personal community outreach meetings with parents, students, businesses, and civic leaders in an effort to increase school district transparency.

"We need more openness with the community," he said

Butler said similar efforts that he made in Hazleton were very successful adding that he was interested in implementing them in the Lehigh Valley.

Butler has 37 years of educational experience; he began as a music teacher and athletic director in Tucson, Ariz. Later, he was a principal in Green River, Wyo.

In 1999, he joined Pennsylvania's State College Area School District where he served 14 years as the principal of State College High School followed by his move to Hazleton School District as assistant superintendent.

He is experienced in curriculum development, supervision, instructional programs, and special education. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Arizona and his doctorate degree from Penn State University.

Butler and his wife Kathleen have two sons, Dustin, of Athens, Ga. and Travis of Allentown. He said he will relocate to the Valley for his new position. 

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