Superintendent Announces Retirement

Superintendent Announces Retirement
Posted on 03/15/2019
Following a 35-year career in public education, Dr. Frederick S. Withum III has announced his retirement effective August 2019. Upon his retirement, Dr. Withum will have served as Cumberland Valley School District’s superintendent for six years.

“Dr. Withum has been a visionary leader who has successfully led our district during unprecedented growth while enhancing our facilities and maintaining program excellence,” said Heather Dunn, President of Cumberland Valley’s Board of School Directors. “Dr. Withum has positioned the district well as we continue to move forward with the strong initiatives that got underway as a result of his leadership, including an increased focus on 21st century learning, an exemplary graduation policy, and the creation of a career pathways model that provides numerous workforce development opportunities for our students.”

Dunn added: “We sincerely appreciate Dr. Withum and his proactive approach these past six years and we wish him well as he completes his distinguished 35-year career at Cumberland Valley.”

Dr. Withum said his decision to retire, while not one that was made easily, is due in part to the fact that “we have or are on the verge of completing many critical initiatives and it is the perfect time for a transition.”

During his time at Cumberland Valley, Dr. Withum has led with a students-first approach and he, together with an amazing team of Board members, administrators, professional and support staff, students, and community residents, have achieved accomplishments too numerous to include in one release. These collective efforts have resulted in:

• an elementary program that is mastery-based, infused with technology, continually assesses and addresses the needs of each student, and is considered a model of best practice nationwide.

• a recommitment to a middle-school program that is managed by teams of educators, grounded in rigorous academics, and enhanced with opportunities for young adolescents to explore their career interests while utilizing technology to create, solve problems, and communicate solutions.

• a high school program and administrative reorganization, anchored by our new graduation requirements, that is receiving state-wide recognition by the Pennsylvania Departments of Education and Labor and Industry, other school districts, and by leaders in business, industry, and higher education.

• the construction of a new middle school and an additional elementary school, both necessitated by unprecedented growth in enrollment. The construction and enrollment boom required a redistricting that shifted more than 1,000 students to new schools.

• our support professionals being brought under a single Student Services Department umbrella that is providing a continually-growing network of articulated supports for our students.

• the achievement of a ratio of nearly one computer for each student while providing new 21st century learning opportunities represented by blended learning courses, Term III, a learning management system, a new student information system, and expanding opportunities for work study, internships, apprenticeships, dual enrollment, and college in the high school.

• the development of a unique delivery system for professional development that provides opportunities based on the needs of each staff member, including graduate classes offered at CV, nested in a district calendar that maximizes instructional time while guaranteeing much needed breaks aligned with days parents are typically off from work.

All of these efforts, and many more, were accomplished while maintaining one of the lowest per pupil instructional costs in the state and the lowest tax rate in Cumberland, Perry, and Dauphin counties. At the same time, said Dr. Withum, countless smaller, yet often more important, accomplishments were occurring on a daily basis in classrooms, on the fields and courts, and throughout the district led by our faculty, administrators, and support staff. These, he said, are the true measures of success.

“It is hard to believe that 35 years have passed since I completed my first teaching assignment in the Cumberland Valley School District and that it has been six years since I began serving as Superintendent,” said Dr. Withum. “Over my career, in the Cumberland Valley and South Middleton School Districts and at Shippensburg University, it has been my honor to serve students, families, and educators in Cumberland County.”

Cumberland Valley’s Board of School Directors has begun the process of the identifying and appointing a successor through a well-sequenced and purposeful transition plan that provides the opportunity to have a new superintendent in place prior to the start of the 2019-20 school year.
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