CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — Dr. Frederick Withum III’s 35-year career in public education will come to an end in August as he retires following a six-year stint as Cumberland Valley School District’s superintendent.
In a news release, Dr. Withum — who has served as superintendent since 2013 — said that his decision to retire wasn’t easy but believes that it’s a perfect time for a transition as the school district has completed or is on the verge of completing many critical initiatives.
“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.
“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.”
The school district offered a number of accomplishments in the news release that it achieved while Dr. Withum was at the helm. They include:
- 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.
“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,” Dr. Withum concluded. “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.”
The school district said that Cumberland Valley’s Board of School Directors have begun the process of identifying and appointing a successor. The new superintendent is expected to be in place prior to the start of the 2019-29 school year.