HANOVER TWP. — Educator Chester Dudick sat in the audience Monday night as members of the Hanover Area School Board passed him over for a teaching position with the district.
Dudick, a private school teacher, watched as the panel voted 5-2 to give the job to Jared Jones, son of Superintendent Bill Jones.
“I thought my interview with officials from the Hanover Area High School went really well,” Dudick said. “I left feeling very positive about the job.”
After all, Dudick, 33, has seven years of teaching experience. He also is a veteran of the Army National Guard.
Jones, according to his father, was a substitute for the district “for all of last year.” That’s what the superintendent said when asked about his son’s experience Monday night.
With that experience, the younger Jones not only beat out Dudick, but several other candidates as well.
Bill Jones has insisted he had no hand in the process. The school board president said the same thing.
John Mahle reiterated Wednesday night that he and the board took the recommendation for the social studies teacher hire from the panel that interviewed the candidates.
“Just like as Jones said in the school board meeting, he had no part in the hiring of his son or the other candidates,” Mahle said. “He wasn’t involved because it would be a conflict of interest.”
Dudick noted he met with Hanover Area Junior/Senior High School principal Daniel Malloy, vice principal John Sipper and the social studies department head. The superintendent was not present for the meeting.
Dudick and wife Jolyn said they attended Monday night’s meeting after receiving tips that Jared Jones was going to get the job.
Members of the Times Leader staff also received anonymous calls before the meeting suggesting that “the superintendent’s son” was going to get hired.
“I know the decision is not going to get reversed,” Jolyn Dudick said. “But my friends, who are educators, have experienced the same thing as my husband.”
She continued: “Most of them left the area because of the nepotism. We never experienced this ourselves until this week.”
Chester Dudick said he enjoys his current job, but as a township resident he had an eye on his future, hoping to move to a bigger level and make a positive impact in his community.
“I live in the district. I know that someday my kids are coming to this district, and I want to make it the best in the area,” he said. “This is where I live.”
Reach Dan Stokes at 570-991-6389 or on Twitter @ByDanStokes