DuBOIS — Is Luke Lansberry still the superintendent of the DuBois Area School District?
Sources close to the district tell the Tri-County Sunday that Lansberry’s bent oak office furniture, which he purchased himself, has been moved out. A U-haul was reportedly seen outside the district office on Liberty Boulevard last weekend and the superintendent’s office is empty, according to sources.
Several sources, with close ties to the district, said they believe Lansberry is not returning.
However, Solicitor Carl Beard said Friday that Lansberry is simply on vacation time.
“I can tell you that he is on paid leave at this point in time,” Beard said. “He didn’t quit. He wasn’t fired. Everybody has rights from a janitor to a superintendent. But I can’t comment on a personnel issue beyond that.”
When asked about the office furniture being moved out, Beard said he wasn’t aware of that.
He said he knew Lansberry had a “floating holiday and was on paid leave Dec. 27, 28 and the 31st.”
There has been no public discussion by the board or administration that any changes were impending with the position of superintendent.
At the board’s Dec. 20 meeting, directors unanimously approved hiring special counsel, the law firm of Weiss Burkardt Kramer LLC, of Pittsburgh, at the hourly rate of $175 per hour.
The proposal was added as a late agenda item.
When asked by an audience member what the purpose of the special counsel is, board President Larry Salone said it is a personnel matter and that he could not discuss further, according to a previously published Courier Express article.
Friday, Beard said the special counsel was hired “simply to look at personnel issues. Other than that, I can’t comment on anything that might be the subject of somebody looking into a personnel issue.”
Advocating for Pennsylvania school districts, municipalities and municipal authorities, Weiss Burkardt Kramer LLC, counsels its clients in education, special education, municipal law, local taxation, labor relations, zoning, enforcement, and general litigation matters, according to the law firm’s website.
Lansberry was hired as the district’s superintendent on Sept. 26, 2016, through June 30, 2021. During his first year of the agreement, his annual salary was $140,000, prorated as of the start date for the 2016-17 school year through June 30, 2017. On July 1 of each subsequent year of the agreement, he is entitled to an increase of 2 percent, according to the contract.
Efforts to reach Lansberry for comment, both by phone and email, on Friday were unsuccessful.
“I am currently out of the office and unable to retrieve emails,” stated an automatic reply to his district email. “Please contact Assistant Superintendent, Mrs. Wendy Benton, via email at email@example.com or by phone at (814) 371-2700 for any DuBois Area School District related issues and/or concerns.”
Benton referred the Tri-County Sunday to Beard for any comment. Comments from Board President Larry Salone were unavailable at press time.