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Dover Post
  • New Lake Forest super looks forward to Delaware return

  • After a year of dealing with controversy as the head of a school district in Pennsylvania, the newly-hired superintendent of the Lake Forest School District says he’s looking forward to coming back to the First State, where his career first began.
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  • After a year of dealing with controversy as the head of a school district in Pennsylvania, the newly-hired superintendent of the Lake Forest School District says he’s looking forward to coming back to the First State, where his career first began.
    “The Dover Area School District has not been the best fit for my family and my professional goals,” Jason Conway said Wednesday. “I believe Lake Forest is a better fit.”
    Conway was hired by Lake Forest last month to succeed current superintendent Dan Curry, who will retire at the end of the month.
    To take the job, Conway left a position as the acting superintendent of the Dover Area School District in Dover, Pa., a position he assumed in January – just months after being hired as that district’s assistant superintendent.
    Conway took over as head of the Pennsylvania district after his predecessor suddenly announced his retirement shortly after notifying the school board of a $3 million deficit.
    Soon after Conway began the acting superintendent job, a music teacher in the district was accused of having a sexual relationship with a female student from the time she was in 7th grade until the time she was in 10th grade, and had been surreptitiously taking video of students’ undergarments on band outings, resulting in the educator being charged with 661 counts of possessing child pornography.
    Just a month into the job, Conway said he found himself launching a full investigation into the district’s policies, as well as those district officials he says dropped the ball in dealing with the allegations.
    Despite being thrown into the deep end, Conway said he knew that he was meant to be a superintendent.
    “It did cement my desire to be a school system leader,” he said. “It’s all about the kids and I looked at that as an opportunity to do the right thing for the right reason, and to make sure this would never happen again at Dover Area School District.”
    But Conway said the controversies did help convince him to seek out employment elsewhere.
    “It’s been a rough year for my family and I here in Dover, Pa., because of the constant controversy swirling around the district,” he said. “We’re very excited to go to a place that does not have controversy [and] doesn’t have constant conspiracy theories about everything under the sun.”
    Conway is no stranger to Delaware, having started his teaching career as a social studies teacher at Caesar Rodney High School in the early 1990s.
    Even after moving on to teach and serve as an administrator in schools across Pennsylvania, Conway said he knew he wanted to return to Delaware one day.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I think the southern Delaware lifestyle was very appealing for me even before I was at Caesar Rodney,” he said. “I’ve always found people in Delaware so very friendly and so very nice … and my wife and I have always talked about moving south. That Southern Delaware lifestyle that’s what we’re looking for.”
    Aside from trips to the beach and cracking blue crabs, Conway said he also is looking forward to getting down to business in the Lake Forest School District.
    “I feel as though Lake Forest is going to embrace new ideas and look to take their success and get it to the next level,” he said. “Dr. Curry has done a great job and the current school board has done a great job of improving resources and tools for the teachers … As part of my professional goals, I want to be model of what good instruction is.”
    Conway said he’s also looking forward to putting down roots,  after studying at several universities and serving in four school districts since his time at Caesar Rodney.
    “My goal is to hand my son his high school diploma as he walks across stage at Lake Forest High School,” he said. “We do plan to stay [in Lake Forest]. I’d love to be able to put 15 or 20 years into the Delaware system.”

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