Dr. John Lucabaugh, the superintendent of the Central Bucks School District (CBSD), has announced his resignation effective November 30, 2023. His decision comes after months of controversy and criticism from parents, teachers, and students over his handling of various issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, diversity and inclusion, and academic standards.
Lucabaugh, who has been the superintendent of CBSD since July 2019, faced a backlash from the community for his decisions on mask mandates, remote learning, curriculum changes, and staff training. Many parents accused him of being unresponsive, authoritarian, and out of touch with the needs and values of the district .
In September, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the CBSD administration building, demanding Lucabaugh’s resignation or removal. They held signs that read “Lucabaugh must go”, “We want our voices heard”, and “Stop the indoctrination”. Some of them also filed a petition to recall the school board members who supported Lucabaugh .
School board accepts resignation with mixed reactions
On Monday, November 13, 2023, the CBSD school board voted 6-3 to accept Lucabaugh’s resignation and approve a separation agreement that will pay him $225,000, which is equivalent to one year of his salary. The agreement also includes a mutual non-disparagement clause and a release of all claims.
The school board members who voted in favor of the agreement said they appreciated Lucabaugh’s service and wished him well in his future endeavors. They also said they hoped the agreement would bring closure and healing to the district.
However, the three board members who voted against the agreement expressed their disappointment and frustration with Lucabaugh and the majority of the board. They said they felt Lucabaugh had failed to lead the district effectively and had damaged the trust and reputation of CBSD. They also said they objected to the amount and terms of the agreement, which they considered to be excessive and unfair to the taxpayers.
Interim superintendent appointed as search begins
The school board also appointed Dr. Abram Lucabaugh, the assistant superintendent of CBSD, as the interim superintendent until a permanent replacement is found. Dr. Abram Lucabaugh is not related to Dr. John Lucabaugh.
Dr. Abram Lucabaugh has been the assistant superintendent of CBSD since July 2020. He previously served as the director of elementary education and the principal of Doyle Elementary School. He has a doctorate in educational leadership from Temple University and a master’s degree in elementary education from Penn State University.
The school board said it will conduct a nationwide search for the next superintendent of CBSD, with the help of a professional consulting firm. The board said it will seek input from the community and stakeholders throughout the process. The board hopes to hire the new superintendent by July 1, 2024.
CBSD community reacts to the news
The news of Lucabaugh’s resignation has sparked mixed reactions from the CBSD community. Some parents, teachers, and students said they were relieved and happy that Lucabaugh was leaving, and hoped that the district would move in a new direction. They said they wanted a superintendent who would listen to their concerns, respect their opinions, and support their interests .
However, some parents, teachers, and students said they were sad and disappointed that Lucabaugh was leaving, and thanked him for his work and dedication. They said they appreciated his efforts to improve the quality of education, promote diversity and inclusion, and protect the health and safety of the district. They said they hoped the district would continue to uphold its standards and values .