The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 4, 2013

McFerren won’t be replaced

Board accepts his resignation

FARRELL — Farrell Area Schools Superintendent Lora Adams-King won’t benefit from the wisdom or work of another assistant after Lee McFerren left the district offices Friday.

That was the last day McFerren worked as assistant to the superintendent, a job that was created for him as part of a settlement to resolve lawsuits he filed after he was unjustly fired from his previous job as high school principal.

The position was eliminated Monday after the board accepted McFerren’s resignation.

“I wish him well. I wish him the best,” Adams-King said.

McFerren was hired last week as superintendent of Wilkinsburg School District in Allegheny County.

McFerren will be paid $115,000 a year there and was given a three-year contract that starts July 1.

Wilkinsburg has an enrollment of about 1,000 students; Farrell’s enrollment is about 800.

McFerren’s time at Farrell was marked by controversies.

A Meadville resident, he was hired as a principal on July 1, 2005, and said he was brought on board to clean up a school that was academically unsound and whose students and staff were out of control.

He was fired in 2008 after a series of public hearings on allegations of misconduct. He appealed to Commonwealth Court and ultimately was vindicated.

He alleged federal Civil Rights Act and state Human Relations Act violations of retaliation and breach of contract in lawsuits against the district.

A settlement was reached in 2011 and McFerren was rehired as assistant to the superintendent, a job that paid him $94,484 a year.

McFerren was also given back pay dating to the time of his suspension, which amounted to $218,997.

McFerren’s duties at Farrell included serving as transportation coordinator, overseeing districtwide data including No Child Left Behind records, working with professional development, and coordinating the Title I program and district-run cyber programs.

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