Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
press photo by mark kirlinA large contingent of teachers were on hand in support of departing principle Beth Guarriello at the April 24 school board meeting. press photo by mark kirlinA large contingent of teachers were on hand in support of departing principle Beth Guarriello at the April 24 school board meeting.

SAUCON VALLEY High School Principal Guarriello resigns

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 by Mark Kirlin Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

In a surprise announcement, Saucon Valley HS Principle Beth Guarriello has submitted her resignation to the district. Guarriello is leaving after a short stint of less than a year effective July 1.

She has been hired as the new principle at Southern Lehigh HS at a salary of $126,000. Prior to her hiring at Saucon Valley, she was the assistant principle at Southern Lehigh for three years. Previously she was an assistant principle at Liberty and a science teacher during her long career.

During the April 24 board meeting there was a large contingent of teachers on hand to show their support, including several who spoke to the board to voice their appreciation for Guariello.

First to speak was high school English teacher Megan Hauser. Hauser herself has been in public education for 12 years and said, “The impact that Mrs. Beth Guarriello brought to her position as an administrator in one short year stands out as one of the best I’ve experienced. Saucon Valley’s loss is truly Southern Lehigh’s gain.”

Next to speak was high school business education teacher Kimberly Flueso. Flueso said Guarriello “created an environment for staff and students that we all genuinely wanted to be a part of.”

High school math teacher Cheri Chisesi said, “the news has made us all overcome with emotion” and “Saucon Valley now knows the leadership it needs.”

High school science teacher Cameron Fowler said she is “without a doubt the most competent, hardest working, caring and effective administrator that I’ve encountered in my 17 years of teaching.”

The meeting did not come without controversial remarks, however. Saucon resident and parent Jennifer Altemose placed the blame for Guarriello’s departure directly on the school board.

According to Altemose, Guarriello wanted to stay at Saucon and retire there, however, the board was not supportive.

Altemose said, “Mrs. Guarriello voiced her frustrations for the lack of support from the board and administration and gave them every opportunity to address the situation, that was not done. When Southern Lehigh came back to recruit her, she went and who can blame her.”

Altemose continued, “The conclusion to be drawn is that this board and administration doesn’t like anyone that disagrees with them. It is my great fear and prediction that our next principle candidate will be someone who is already friendly with the existing board and administration from a low performing district, who will become a yes man for a handful of board members who are currently running our district.”

In conclusion, Altemose said, “This board owes a public apology to Mrs. Guarriello and a promise to this district to change their behavior moving forward before we lose more excellent staff.

“We are now at our fourth high school principle in three years. If that is not a red flag of disfunction, I don’t know what is.”

The district plans to announce a replacement in the coming weeks.