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UPSD Board Hires Roche as New Superintendent
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            After the new superintendent of the Upper Perkiomen School District concluded his introductory remarks during last week's public meeting, members of the

New Superintendent of Upper Perkiomen

School Distrct - Allyn Roche

School Board stood up and applauded their choice. A previous motion to elect Allyn Roche as the district's lead administrator received unanimous support

            According to board President Kerry Drake, Roche – an assistant superintendent at Spring-Ford – embodied the characteristics the members were looking for in a superintendent. Following the April 11 public meeting, Drake described the administrator as calm, measured, collaborative as well as fact and data oriented. 

            "I feel like he's the kind of person who believes the best ideas should prevail," Drake said. "I believe he reflects this board in that manner." 

            On July 1, Roche is scheduled to commence a five-year employment agreement with the district that includes a first-year annual salary of $195,000. The contract does not include any language regarding bonus payments, according to Mike Elliot, the board vice president and a member of the negotiations committee.

            Roche, a 1990 graduate of West Essex High School in North Caldwell, N.J. told the members he was drawn to the district by its sense of family and commitment to education.

"I'm confident that this will be a great fit," he said during the meeting. "I'm proud to join the Upper Perk family, and bring my own family into that Upper Perk family. This is going to be a journey for us all over a long period of time, and I'm excited to get started."

            Several members spoke enthusiastically about the hire prior to the vote. James Glackin conservatively estimated that more than 300 person hours had been utilized in the search to replace Alexis McGloin, whose five-year contract expires at the end of the current school year.

            Glackin, who spent the entire previous day with the candidate touring the district's facilities and meeting with teachers, students and administrators and staff, said he was thoroughly impressed with the way Roche presented himself, and how he was received.

"I am excited for this vote," Glackin said.

            Elliot echoed those sentiments, also welcoming Roche to the district.  "We're really excited to have you here," said Elliot, who ran the negotiations for the board. "I think you're going to be awesome. You bring to the table a lot of the things that we've been talking about and looking for."

            Roche, who said his highlight of the tour was speaking with eighth graders at lunch, told the members the students he spoke with were eager to learn.  A Quakertown resident, husband to Corey and father of Cole, Addie and Cooper, Roche expects to maintain a personal presence throughout the district and the community. He expressed some knowledge of the Upper Perkiomen Valley, having coached his daughter's softball team here.

            "The district serves as a flagship for the community," Roche said during a five-minute recess. "People take pride in the school, and we have to continue that process."

            The new superintendent identified his short-term challenges as overseeing the transition into the new middle school on Montgomery Avenue in Upper Hanover and the conversion of the current middle school, located at 510 Jefferson St. in East Greenville, to a fourth and fifth grade center. Roche described his long-term tasks as continuing to enhance the curriculum, professional development and moving the district forward in any way possible.

            At Spring-Ford since 2011, his duties included direct supervision and evaluation of 10 principals, oversight of all pupil services and special education programs, budget management and planning, organizing district calendars, planning professional development and co-leading board committees.

            Roche started his teaching career in 1999 as a science teacher at Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill.  Two years later, he took a similar position at Pennbrook Middle School in the North Penn School District. He served as assistant principal at the school from 2004 to 2006, then as principal from 2006 to 2008. For three years, Roche served as the director of secondary education and professional development in the North Penn School District.





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