UCF board approves new 4-year pact with Sanville

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Superintendent now under contract through Aug., 2018

JohnSanville

Dr. John Sanville

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times
EAST MARLBOROUGH — John Sanville is officially staying on for another four years as Superintendent of Schools for the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District — and while the entire Board of Education welcomed that fact, there wasn’t unanimous agreement on the terms of his new four-year pact approved Tuesday night.

Sanville, who took over as superintendent in Sept., 2011, is in the final months of his original three-year contract, is getting a new four-year-deal that calls initially for a 10% salary boost, effective in Sept., 2014. In the following years, the contract calls for salary hikes at the rate of the Act 1 index. The current rate for the 2014-15 school year is 2.1%, as an example.

“We hired John as a novice,” Board Finance chair Keith Knauss said. “We hired him at the bottom of the scale for Chester County superintendents.”

But now, Knauss said, Sanville has a nearly three-year track record of running the district, and has shown that he deserves comparable compensation to that of other superintendents in the district. Even under the new deal, Knauss noted, that Sanville would be seventh in pay in the county.

Knauss acknowledged that it might be difficult for district employees being asked to accept smaller salary increases to see such a hike, but noted that Sanville had been underpaid relative to his contemporaries — and was making less than his predecessor, Sharon Parker. The new deal is appropriate and, he said, arguably still under market value for a now seasoned superintendent.

Board member Eileen Bushelow, who made it clear that she strongly supported Sanville and wanted him to continue as superintendent, voted against the pact — saying she didn’t feel it was the best deal for the school district.

“But this in no way reflects how I feel about Dr. Sanville,” she said.

Bushelow ended up being the only no vote on the new contract which runs through Sept. 1, 2018.

Sanville, who has been part of the district administration since 2007, said the new contract was “humbling.”

“I’m appreciative to know that I’m part of such a great community,” he said.

In other district business, the board approved a contract with communications consultant David R. Voss to work with district on refining its overall communication, and specifically, among other things, its crisis communication plan. The deal runs through the end of the current school year — although Voss is responsible to get all of the specific tasks completed, and if need be, will be required to work longer to finish.

Again, there was a single dissenter, Kathleen Do, who felt that the deal would largely be a cosmetic fix for what should be a more detailed look at the crisis communications plan.

“In my mind, the crisis communications plan is the most important thing,” she said, expressing concerns a good plan might be the only thing preventing a panic in the event of some sort of incident at a district school.

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25 Comments on "UCF board approves new 4-year pact with Sanville"


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Kristin Hoover
1 year 6 months ago

My question is: What did Sanville ever do for this District?

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UCFSD_Taxpayer
1 year 6 months ago

A 30 Grand raise in this economy?? Good work UCFSD Board – NOT!! #Patsies

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Kristin Hoover
1 year 6 months ago

I remember the days when Upper St Clair and Unionville were always wondering who was going to be highest in the state in test scores. Now Bruce Yelton has pointed out in a fact that the Board/Sanville would have us ignore, UCFSD doesn’t make the top ten according to a report released in December by the state (Dec 26 article in Chester County Press). This report replaces the former “adequate yearly progress”. Top schools nearby in this recently released report were: 1) Downingtown STEM Academy (101.4); 2) Central High, Philadelphia School District (101.3); 3) Merion Elementary, Lower Merion School District (100.6); 4) Ithan Elementary, Radnor School District (100.2); 5) Whitemarsh Elementary, Colonial School District (99.8); 6) Evergreen Elementary, Perkiomen Valley School District (99.3); 7) Radnor Middle School, Radnor School District (99.1); 8) Lenape Middle School, Central Bucks School District (98.9); 9) Central Bucks High East, Central Bucks School District (98.9); 10) Strath Haven High, Wallingford-Swarthmore School District (98.6). UCFSD was where?

There is another fact which the Board/Sanville would have us ignore. Look at these rankings in this list or how the entire State ranked or look at US News rankings for schools and then tell me why UCFSD is so far down the list compared to other schools and districts with significantly more socioeconomic challenges. UCFSD has only 0.02% of students who are at the poverty line. It is a socioeconomically homogeneous group with very few minorities and is not spending resources on teaching English to students for whom it is not their first language. They have involved parents who are active in the District. Students have all kinds of parent encouraged extra curricular activities and they have access to computers, books, trips and all kinds of stimulation to encourage learning. Why aren’t they skyrocketing ahead of other Districts with significantly greater challenges?

My guess is that the emphasis crystallized in Dr. Sanville favorite phase “never better” is that we only want to maintain the relative status quo of thinking that everything is great through copious self-congratulation. Keep the illusion going when you forget where the District has been by giving an ineffective and disliked Superintendent a new contract and pay raise and then spend 25K on a communication consultant so that you can once again be told that the public would like transparency and honest dealing with problems like drugs, bullying, low moral of support staff, etc, etc, etc.? Nothing is ever going to be better with Dr. Never Better at the helm.

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Kristin Hoover
1 year 6 months ago

I understand the need for an alias since the Board and Sanville have a track record of retaliation and vilification of those who disagree. If you don’t agree, then you didn’t present the “facts” because the facts are what the Board/Sanville agree on for any given subject. Their mantra is you don’t know the facts; you don’t understand the facts; you can’t understand the facts, you need to show them your facts so they can argue them or failing all of that they manufacture “facts” to discredit a person so that their issue is lost in the process. Dr. Manzone is a recent example of how they take an incredible, intelligent community leader and try to make her look irrational with made up “facts” such as her chasing the resident in a car. It never happened, but their hope is that people might doubt their own intuition and believe these people who have been consumed by their own egos and power. Remember their main tactic is spin/slam/bully. A alias is very important in that environment.

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Well, yes, Keith and I have had this conversation on Community Matters more than once. Citizens and Board Members on opposite sides of an issue can take the exact same information and use to come to completely different conclusions.

All you have to do is read the Union-Chadsford Manzone thread on Community Matters in Tredyffrin Township, http://www.pattyebenson.org to see an example of what you are writing about.

I believe Keith takes information, and twists it to further his own agenda. He may believe I do the same. As I say to Keith, citizens can read and come to their own conclusions. I am grateful to Keith for writing about his opinions and it’s important that he continue to justify these decisions he makes to residents in this district who have to pay for these decisions.

I am still baffled by the decision to hire a communications consultant. Does anyone know the reason for this? Did anyone ask? To know what to say in case of an emergency, I don’t even know what to say to that. I did some research and other communications consultants who were hired by school districts (not many) charged their districts $55,000 per year. And the crew club is paying their own freight? and programs are being cut? And aides are now outsourced. Makes no sense to me.

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Kristin Hoover
1 year 6 months ago

TE Resident “hits the nail on the head” yet again with his/her comments! Interesting that there are 51 comments on the Manzone resignation on Community Matters and people support her. I’m sorry that Dr. Manzone had to go through that episode, but it showed is that the “cracks in the facade” of the “perfect” district are wider and deeper than anybody imagined (me included). My hope is that she stay engaged. The people need her.

As far at the communications consultant goes, they need that for political cover. Sanville never makes a move without consulting the solicitor. Of course how the solicitor is chosen, how much he costs the taxpayers is a “black hole” that no right-to-know request or physical look through the billing can penetrate. Sanville is pretty good at denying RTK requests so that people can actually know what is really happening. His solicitor always falls back on confidentiality and nobody has enough time or money to challenge it. Any information that remains is filtered through to Keith and the Board who are wholly dependent on what Sanville tells them. The Board made a decision to continue with an ineffective superintendent (while miscalculating the level of dislike in the community) because they knew he could be controlled (unlike Sharon Parker). A weak superintendent needs a PR man for anything that may go wrong and to “gauge the ongoing water temperature” in the community. Notice how Keith and his “Observing” friend are keeping quiet? It now should be pretty clear why they need a communications consultant.

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

“Any information that remains is filtered through to Keith and the Board who are wholly dependent on what Sanville tells them.”

My guess is (and that’s all it is, a guess) that Keith tells Sanville what to do and not the other way around. Keith called Mr. Sanville a novice, Keith was a Director long before Sanville became supt. and if you read back when the decision was made on who to replace Sharon Parker, Keiths’ comments in the press outweighed others.

The only hope for independent thinking is term limits for Board Members. How long have Keith and Mr. Hellrung served?

Spending on such things as “consultants” and raises for administrators who make more in salary than every governor in the union (Corbett is the highest paid governor in the country at $186,000, Christy makes $175,000 and capped all school supt. in the state of New Jersey at $175,000.) takes schools away from their fundamental academic purpose and does students a disservice. Read Benjamin Ginsberg’s book The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why it Matters.

Ms. Do, you might be interested in reading comments from aides in the TE district regarding their experience working side by side with outsourced aides. Please go to http://www.pattyebenson.org and click on the 7 minute clock in and 7 minute clock out letter thread. Navigating the cite is easy. The “recent comments” section to the right will take you, well, to the most recent comments. Archived threads are accessed to the left of the cite. Much to read over the years about what Keith thinks. Thanks

Funny to hear that Mr. Sanville denies requests on RTK’s. I can’t tell you how many times on Community Matters , Keith has counseled posters to file RTK’s. Now I know he knew they would be denied, since you have revealed he is part of the very system that makes sure they are denied.

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Observing
1 year 6 months ago

I thinks it is fascinating that you can’t point to any objective evidence (i.e. test scores, etc.) to prove the schools are performing poorly but you’ve got thousands of words psychoanalyzing people you don’t (or hardly) even know. I also think it odd that your response to my request for facts is that I should “call Bruce Yelton.” Bruce took a position on an issue that is, as far as I can tell, unsupported by any facts. Do you think I need to call him so that he can tell me what the truth is? Is the point of writing an editorial to convince the reader of your position or to get people to call you for more informaiton?

Guest
1 year 6 months ago

Kristin,

I don’t criticize Observing or any citizen for commenting behind an alias. I’m grateful for the right to do so.

The Supreme Court prtects statements and free speech by citizens, alias or no alias, due to the extreme power public officials have over citizens. Public officials use bullying and intimidating tactics to protect themselves from exposure, so citizens are given much legal latitude in what they say about public officials.

It is curious why Observing posts under an alias though. Usually people who agree and support public officials and their tactics have no reason to post under an alias, because they would, in theory have no fear of retribution. Maybe Observing is a public official. We will never know and that’s just fine with me. It is his/her constitutional right as a citizen of this country.