Musselman introduced as finalist

MIDDLEBURG – The Chester County Intermediate Unit, in cooperation with Midd-West School District administration introduced Richard J. Musselman as finalist in the district’s search for its next superintendent.

Musselman addressed a small crowd during a “Meet the Candidate” forum held Monday evening at Midd-West High School.

Musselman said he enjoys a challenge and, if he is selected as superintendent, hopes to develop a budget, build trust with the community and create a vision for the school district.

“This is a solid, solid school district … people lose focus of where this school district really is,” he said.

Musselman said he was raised in a poor family in Adams County. At first he was content to work at the local factory with his father, but then decided to pursue a different path. He enlisted in the Army and served active duty in the ROTC for seven years. During that time, he traveled to Germany and participated in Operation Desert Storm. After leaving the Army, he taught in the Juniata County and Newport school districts.

Musselman served as assistant principal and elementary school principal for several years in Newport. After working as a middle school principal, he was appointed director of curriculum and instruction for 18 months. He said he was then named assistant superintendent at Hanover Public School District, which he explained was a valuable learning experience.

Musselman was hired as the superintendent for Juniata County School District when it was going through a financial crisis several years ago. He said art and music teachers were being laid off, full-day kindergarten was being cut to half-day classes and students had to pay $200 to participate in extra-curricular activities.

“Everyone said I was foolish to go there but I really, really enjoy a challenge,” he said.

Musselman has served as superintendent of Juniata County schools for three years. In the first year, there were huge financial and technology gains in the schools, he said. In cooperation with district teachers, Musselman oversaw the implementation of a new literacy program and bought new textbooks that he said were long overdue.

Musselman said his job is important, but admitted that it’s not his top priority – his family and faith come before his career.

He plans to spend some time in MWSD and build relationships with the people so he can create goals and a vision.

“I’d like to move this district in the direction it needs to go,” he said.

Musselman said that nobody thought he would turn JCSD around in two years. He said he will make mistakes, but he will give the students of MWSD what they need and begin implementing technology in elementary school instead of middle school.

The Midd-West School District Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on Musselman’s installation as superintendent during a business meeting set for 7:30 p.m. Monday at Middleburg Elementary School.

The search for the district’s next superintendent began in January and was conducted by the Chester County Intermediate Unit.