Superintendent withdraws name after being approved

MIFFLINTOWN — Troy Price, a Lancaster County native who accepted the position of Juniata County School District superintendent last week, has now withdrawn his name to serve in the position.

Interim Superintendent Shawn Kovac said he had a discussion with Price Monday morning and was told “he decided that he was going to take an administrative position closer to home.”

The district’s board of directors held a special meeting last Wednesday to approve Price’s employment, which would have taken effect July 1. Price’s employment was approved in an 8-1 vote, with board member Mark Wagner dissenting because he didn’t agree to terms in the contract.

Information has surfaced that Price recently filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but Kovac couldn’t say whether that influenced Price’s decision to withdraw his name.

Price’s name was on a list of individuals in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Reading, that LNP, a daily newspaper in Lancaster, published on March 31. According to LNP, the bankruptcy was recorded between March 19 and 25.

Kovac, who also serves as the executive director of Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11, said the district performed a background and credit check on the final candidates prior to making their decision and the bankruptcy was not reflected on Price’s credit report at that time.

“That came as a surprise to us, too,” Kovac said. He also said he believes it was not included on the report because of the time in which it was filed.

The board of directors will hold an executive session that will be closed to the public on Wednesday to discuss options moving forward.

Kovac said the school district received 16 applications for the position and that the board is “very concerned” about the situation.

“They’re concerned with stabilizing the district and making sure things are running smoothly,” Kovac said. “We’re in a good position, but obviously, we need to find the best person for the district.”

The board began its search for a new superintendent in February, after former superintendent, Keith Yarger resigned from his position suddenly.

In his separation agreement, Yarger cited “health-related reasons” for his resignation. The circumstances surrounding Yarger’s resignation are under police investigation.

Kovac said he hopes the board will be able to make a public announcement during the next public meeting, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday. Meetings are held at the district’s administrative office building in Mifflintown.

Attempts to reach Price for comment were not successful.