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Quakertown School Board Director Resigns
Written by Jennifer Butler, Correspondent
2018-05-03

            At the beginning of a tense meeting last Thursday, Quakertown School Board Vice President Dr. Austin Sedicum addressed a crowd of over one hundred regarding recently uncovered details of his criminal history.

            Those details were first released publicly on social media, just over a week after Sedicum and four other board members voted to furlough eight staff positions. The Bucks County District Attorney's Office began investigating his eligibility to serve last week.

            Reading from a prepared statement, Sedicum acknowledged a 1992 bank fraud conviction and two DUIs in 2005. Sedicum also stated that he "possessed two drivers licenses for some years" which coincides with a 2011 false statement/under penalty guilty plea.

            While Sedicum stated Thursday night that he would continue to serve on the board until the DA's office determined his eligibility, a QCSD press release issued over the weekend announced his resignation, effective immediately.

            In addition to serving as vice president, Sedicum was also chair of the finance committee.

            During his statement, Sedicum referred to those who uncovered the information as "opposition forces." The Facebook page QCSD School Board Watch posted newspaper clippings and court documents pertaining to the charges.

            After giving his statement, Sedicum left for the remainder of the meeting. Each director then took turns offering opinions on the situation. Although Sedicum stated that half of the board wanted him to resign, only directors Jennifer Weed and David Ochmanowicz actually indicated during their statements that they felt Sedicum should resign. The remainder agreed that Sedicum should follow the decision of the DA.

            During his statement, School Board President Steaven Klein accused the teacher's union of releasing the information in an attempt to alter board makeup.

            "I liken this to someone in your own family trying to destroy you," Klein said, adding, "A union controlled school district prioritizes the needs of the teachers over the needs of the students."

            Director Dwight Anderson echoed Klein's opinion, adding that the union contributed to the campaigns of the four new directors voted in last fall. Those directors include Weed and Ochmanowicz as well as Kaylyn Mitchell and Keith Micucci.

            "It is clear to me that the teachers want to control the board."

            Anderson, a professor at BCCC, also added into his comments the need for overall district-wide improvements, saying, "I am the only one who teaches former Quakertown students, and I can tell you they are largely uneducated."

            Later in the meeting, Anderson apologized for the comment.

            Mitchell and Micucci fired back at board members who blamed the union for the situation.

            "We are going to make no progress if we keep this up," Micucci commented.

            QCEA President Ryan Weiand noted that, when the information was presented to him, he immediately turned that information over to Klein and Superintendent William Harner. Whether the information was posted on social media by a union member or not, Weiand confirmed that the action was not in any way a union action.

            "My conscience is completely clear in this situation."

            Klein announced that the board met in executive session prior to the meeting to discuss personnel issues. There was no announcement or vote specific to that executive session.

            The Superintendent's Report focused on a plan to bring alternative education in-house for 2018. The district currently contracts with Ombudsman Educational Services.

            Per the presentation, district-run alternative education would result in a cost-savings and possibly prevent four of the eight potential lay-offs.

            According to Pennsylvania School Code, the board has 30 days to fill the vacant board position. Residents interested in serving on the QCSD Board of Directors should email a resume to Board Secretary Alice Bishop at abishop@qcsd.org


 

 

 

 

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