SAXTON — The Tussey Mountain School District named Jerry Shoemake as the district’s new superintendent in a unanimous vote Monday night.

Shoemake was appointed superintendent at a pro-rated salary of $106,638 for the 2019-20 school year to serve a five-year term, which is effective immediately.

He will replace Gary Dawson who left the post suddenly in mid-September. Shoemake has been acting superintendent since Dawson’s departure.

Shoemake started his education career after receiving his undergraduate degree at Ohio University. He stayed in the area and taught English in Athens, Ohio.

After two years, he left teaching and went to work at a summer camp where he stayed for 15 years until one of the camps closed and he was laid off.

Shoemake then taught in Howard County, Maryland, for one year before coming to Tussey Mountain, where he has remained for the past 17 years.

The superintendent started his tenure at the district as an English and history teacher then held various positions, including junior high principal, senior high principal and most recently, director of education.

Shoemake said moving forward he sees areas to improve on.

“I want to increase and improve communications between all stakeholders first of all,” he said, adding he would also like to see improvement in test scores. “I would like to improve our test scores, and I’d just like to make Tussey Mountain a place that kids and staff want to come to every day.”

He and his wife, Lori, live in Hopewell, where they have a barn and she trains horses. The couple has two daughters: Devon, who is a guidance counselor at the Spring Cove School District, and Emily, who lives in Mechanicsburg.

Board President James L. Hodge said he is looking forward to continuing to work with Shoemake.

He said he believes Shoemake is the right man for the job because he knows the community, he knows the systems and knows the people and added he is happy with the district’s decision.

Contact Katie Smolen at 623-1151 ext. 110 or ksmolen@bedfordgazette.com.

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