District officials said Wednesday that Superintendent Anthony Hamlet submitted his resignation, effective Oct. 1. He will get a severance package worth about $400,000, equal to one year of salary and benefits, according to the district solicitor, Ira Weiss.
The board said it will announce an interim superintendent Sept. 29, and a national search for Hamlet’s replacement will begin in December.
“Members of the board reviewed the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission Report with diligence, discussed its findings in detail, assessed the overall situation, and remain steadfast in the belief that this outcome is unfortunate, but necessary,” school board President Sylvia Wilson said a statement. “Most importantly, this course of action creates an opportunity to remain focused on providing quality education for district students while eliminating unrelated distractions. We look forward to moving ahead, and keeping our students safe and engaged in their learning. The board would like to thank Dr. Hamlet for his five-plus years of service and wish him well.”
At a back-to-school event last week, Hamlet spoke about the state ethics investigation that found he improperly filed financial disclosures, travel reimbursements and didn’t disclose paid appearances. Hamlet said he didn’t intentionally do anything wrong.
Hamlet said in a resignation letter that it was best for the district’s students and families that he step down and “embark upon a new chapter in my professional life.”
Leading up to the first day of school, parents protested in Oakland. Some parents said Hamlet didn’t create issues the district faces, while others called for the school board to pass a no-confidence vote against him. They were upset that the district’s start date for school was pushed back, and about the lack of bus drivers.
“I definitely understand their frustrations, and one of the things that we need to think about is that we’re in a pandemic. There’s no playbook for a pandemic. We’ll have one after this is over, but right now this is an ongoing issue,” Hamlet said Friday at South Hills Middle School. “When it comes to transportation, even in the best of times, there is a bus driver shortage. This has been maybe four, five years in the making as far as bus drivers, and the pandemic has exacerbated that, unfortunately.”