News & Media

Northern Lebanon names superintendent

02/15/2017 Lebanon Daily News By Lisa Chenoweth

The Northern Lebanon School Board on Tuesday night named Dr. Erik Bentzel as the district's new superintendent, unanimously approving a four-year term at a starting annual salary of $138,750.

Chosen from a field of 18 candidates, the 51-year old Bentzel, who currently serves as assistant superintendent in the Conrad Weiser School District in Berks County, will succeed Don Bell, superintendent since 1999, who announced his retirement last June. Bentzel will start his new position on July 1.

Prior to his four years with Conrad Weiser, Bentzel served as an assistant principal, principal, subject area coordinator and director of data, alternative education and technology in the York City School District. He also currently serves on the adjunct faculty at Albright College, according to a district press release.

He will be moving to the district along with his wife, a former Northern Lebanon student, and their twin daughters, who will be entering the fourth grade next year, Bentzel said.

"I want to thank the board," he said.  "I'm honored and humbled to serve as your next superintendent."

Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 assisted the board with its search and gave them great support and advice along the way and much of their personal time to see this process through, said Director David Hauck.

"If I would have to guess the value of this to the school district," he said, "I would probably put a price tag of $50,000 to $75,000, which they did for free for our school district because they believe as our partner, as the IU, they want to partner and make sure that we get the best superintendent possible."

Hauck also thanked Bell, district secretary Mary Gearhart and his fellow board members, in particular Director Amy Sell, for coordinating and organizing the search effort.

"We put whatever personal differences we've had aside. We've worked hard to select the best candidate to lead our district, and its been a fun and rewarding process," he added.

Bell said after the meeting that he deliberately stayed out of the search process and met Bentzel for the first time at Tuesday's board meeting but was confident the transition would go well.

"I think he'll take a good district and make it great," Bell commented.

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