The Quakertown Community School District Board of School Directors on Thursday night accepted the retirement resignation and medical leave of Superintendent Dr. Lisa Andrejko.
Andrejko, of Coopersburg, announced her departure as head of Quakertown's schools will become official July 1, however, she will take medical leave beginning Jan. 15, prior to her summer retirement.
When asked why she chose now to leave, Andrejko said she desired to join her husband already in retirement the past two years, in addition to attending to some personal health issues.
After Andrejko notified the school board of her intent to leave, the board consulted with the Pennsylvania School Board Association regarding interim superintendent candidates and interviewed multiple prospects, according to Ricki Stein, the district's community relations coordinator.
Stein added the board is expected to name a substitute superintendent and anticipates a vote on an employment agreement at its Jan. 23 meeting.
Andrejko said she was appointed superintendent of the Quakertown Community School District in May 2007, but began her 34-year career in public education first as a music teacher, then as a technology director in the East Stroudsburg Area School District.
She was an assistant principal, then principal at Southern Lehigh Middle School, in Center Valley, Lehigh Co., which was named a National Blue Ribbon School during her tenure, she noted.
Andrejko also served as the assistant superintendent, then superintendent in the Norristown Area School District prior to joining Quakertown schools.
"Dr. Andrejko provided Quakertown schools with strong, metrics-based leadership during a difficult transitional and budgetary time," remarked Paul Stepanoff, the school board's president.
Stepanoff continued, she returned the district’s focus to the students and worked tirelessly to provide educational foundations and increase their academic achievements.
Under Andrejko’s watch, stated Stein, Quakertown High School had the highest graduation rates in the history of the school and the best SAT, ACT and AP exam scores, surpassing state and national averages. Stein said Andrejko also was presented with Bucks County's Outstanding Service to Education award in 2011.
However, Andrejko's time as superintendent has been marked with challenges. "The economy has hurt schools in Pennsylvania and policymakers are struggling to deal with the hard decisions needed to help the schools and taxpayers," she said. "We have had to resort to salary freezes, layoffs, sub-contracting and to depend on families to pay for more services for their kids, said Andrejko.
She noted she will not completely close the door when she leaves and stated, "While I will not be a school superintendent, I hope to somehow stay involved in advocating for kids, public education and technology. I will miss working with the dedicated staff who serves Quakertown students every day. The Quakertown community at times does not realize the world-class education its children are receiving from their teachers and administrators."
She's originally from Wilkes-Barre.