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Susquehanna Twp. open forum poorly attended; superintendent surprised

Updated: Wednesday, October 2 2013, 11:18 AM CDT
Reported by: James Tully 

HARRISBURG -- The Susquehanna Township school district is trying to move forward following an assistant principal's arrest and a pending investigation by the state's auditor general.

Tuesday night, Superintendent Susan Kegerise held the first of four community meetings aimed at allowing discussion between her staff and concerned parents or people that live withing the district.

The meeting came eight days after a heated school board meeting where hundreds attended to voice concerns.  

"It’s not an easy thing when there's people who get really emotional and you don’t get the opportunity to answer back," Kegerise said when asked about her feelings following that board meeting.

She noted that school administrations must take necessary measures to ensure confidentiality during board meetings.

Kegerise's opportunity to try and answer back came Tuesday night at Holtzman elementary, but her community meeting wasn't nearly as well attended as last week's board meeting.

The packed auditorium had shrunk into a small circle of chairs.

"Board meetings aren’t usually a place where there can be a give and take of ideas, forums like this are, so it’s a little disheartening that only 12 folks showed up," Kegerise said.

Of the dozen parents who were there, only two voiced concerns over the actions of the high school's assistant principal, Shawn Sharkey, who was recently charged with having sex with a student.

Kegerise told the parents she couldn't comment because an investigation was still ongoing, but assured them that their kids were safe at the school. "It’s very frustrating to not be able answer things they want answered, we try to answer what we can, we try to look at the problems we have and attack them with good solutions," Kegerise said.

There are three more community meetings scheduled this month; all of them begin at 6 p.m.:

* Oct. 8, Sara Lindemuth
* Oct. 15, Susquehanna Township Middle School
* Oct. 22, Susquehanna Township High SchoolSusquehanna Twp. open forum poorly attended; superintendent surprised

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