Lehigh Valley

Saucon Valley School Board hires new school district superintendent

Monica McHale-Small will take over for the retiring Sandra Phelin in August.

HELLERTOWN, Pa. - The Saucon Valley School District  Board of Education Tuesday night approved, by a unanimous vote, the hiring of a new school district superintendent to replace Dr.Sandra Fellin, who following thirty-five years in education will  retire this summer.

The board elected Monica McHale-Small, Ph.D of Coatsville, to a three-year term as the Saucon Valley School District superintendent of schools beginning August 11 at an annual salary of $142, 500.

Since September 2011, Small served as the assistant superintendent for the Bensalem Township School District in Bensalem where she spearheaded a $78 million renovation to Bensalem High School.

Small noted her primary responsibility was overseeing Bensalem secondary schools' principals and programs.

In addition, she supervised the school district directors of elementary and secondary curriculum and instruction,  special education, and was the supervisor of student services.

Small said she also was responsible for federal programs coordination, budget development and comprehensive planning.

Prior to working for the Bensalem School District, Small was the director of secondary teaching and learning for the Springfield School District in Springfield, Delaware County, where she was responsible for all secondary curriculum development for the fifth through twelfth grades.

Also while in Springfield, she said she was the director of special education.

Small's career includes working as the student services director and psychologist for the West Chester School District, West Chester, learning facilitator for the Cornwall-Lebanon School District in Lebanon, and the school psychologist for the Upper Darby School district, Upper Darby.

Since 1986, she has worked as an adjunct professor in education and/or psychology at Drexel, Eastern, Immaculata, and University of Pennsylvania universities in addition to Alvernia College and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science.

Small earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Cabrini College in 1983 and her master's in education and psychological services from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education in Philadelphia, where she also in 1995 received her doctorate in philosophy and education.

The superintendent is the mother of four children:  Alexandria, 28, James, 26, Kevin, 21 and Owen, 18 and said she enjoys the outdoors and outdoor sports such as road biking.

Executive Director of Intermediate Unit #20, Charlene Brennan, who headed  the district's search for a new superintendent since last March, said the hiring was a "very thoughtful process that took alot of time, however, the district acquired an absolutely excellent candidate."

During her acceptance remarks, Small said Saucon Valley is a strong school district with a board that values excellence in education.

She stated in conclusion, "I can't wait until August" to begin her new job.               

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