WRIGHT TWP. — The Crestwood School District hired Carbondale Area School District Superintendent Joseph Matthew Gorham as their new superintendent Monday night during a special meeting.
Gorham will be paid $115,000 annually until 2019.
The hiring of Gorham comes after Crestwood acting superintendent Brian K. Waite was hired in March by Shenandoah Valley. Waite was named acting superintendent in January after Dave McLaughlin-Smith retired.
During the five-minute meeting, school board members Eric Aigeldinger, Bill Jones, Joe Kaminski, Maureen McGovern, Ron Sturgeon and William Thomas voted for Gorham. Kenneth Malkemes and Randy Swank were absent from the meeting. Norb Dotzel was the only no vote.
“Nothing personal,” Dotzel said after his vote.
Gorham comes to Crestwood after spending three years as Carbondale’s superintendent. He was one of 23 applicants to the position. Board member Bill Jones told a Times Leader reporter on Thursday that applicants have come from as “far away as Michigan and Vermont.”
After being recommended by the board and appointed, Gorham called his switch to a different school district “bittersweet.”
The Carbondale School District has had to borrow money twice in the past school year thanks to the budget impasse. He plans to continue to “rattle the cage” over school funding in Harrisburg while at Crestwood, he said.
“It’s ridiculous this state doesn’t have a fair funding formula … an absolute shame,” he said.
Gorham’s resume includes nine years at Northwest Area School District, serving as assistant high school principal, high school principal and district elementary principal; six years in Hanover Area School District and teaching at “alt ed.”
He will begin his position at Crestwood during the current school year so he can hit the floor running in the 2016-17 school year.
“(Coming in a few months early) gives me the ability to look underneath the hood,” he said. “Paper and numbers say one thing, operations say another.”
For the new superintendent, family comes first. He has three children: a 13-year-old daughter, 12-year-old son and a “just-turned-9-year old” son. “They are my life,” Gorham said proudly.
The first thing Gorham wants to do is “come in and meet the people — operations first, cafeteria, janitorial. (They) are vital to the operation (of running a school district),” Gorham said. “Cafeteria is really important by the way, that’s where you’ll find me many times.”
Gorham plans to start meeting staff and students this Tuesday morning.