Carlinda who?

Most folks in Montgomery probably still remember Carlinda Purcell, even though she was the school system’s top leader a couple superintendents ago. After all her departure was fairly dramatic.

Former Superintendent Carlinda Purcell at the joint meeting of the Montgomery County Commission, the Montgomery City Council and the Montgomery County Board of Education on May 4, 2006. (Montgomery Advertiser file photo, Mickey Welsh)

The Reading (P.A.) Eagle reports the school board there recently selected Purcell to lead its system. She will begin this summer and have a five-year contract. Her starting salary will be $175,000.

Since her split from Montgomery in September 2006 (which was less than amicable) Purcell has been a finalist for several jobs, including ones in Toledo, Ohio and Rochester, N.Y.

Purcell came to the system as superintendent in December 2004. You will recall she was asked by the school board to step aside in August 2006. In the end it took court-ordered mediation and a settlement that involved the school system buying Purcell’s home to sever the relationship between her and Montgomery Public Schools.

It took more than a month before the details were worked out and also involved Purcell filing suit against the board.

The 600 Keeneland Court home where Carlinda Purcell lived when she was Montgomery County school superintendent. (Montgomery Advertiser file photo, Julie Bennett)

The board ended up giving Purcell a settlement of more than $223,000, which included a year’s compensation and money for her relocation. Her home was  purchased for $327,500 and the board paid her $56,000 in accrued vacation, insurance allowances and deferred compensation. The home was sold in December 2009.

Purcell was later replaced by John Dilworth, who was on the job for two years. He was replaced by current Superintendent Barbara Thompson.

According to the Reading paper, the issues in Montgomery were discussed during Purcell’s interview where she indicated the friction was “the result of a new board coming into power and a conflict of philosophy and style.”

The answer satisfied the Reading board who voted unanimously to tap Purcell as their superintendent. She begins July 1.

About Annie McCallum Bitter

Annie McCallum Bitter is the education reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser. She can be reached at or follow @anniemccallum
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One Response to Carlinda who?

  1. robert chapman says:

    oh crap! we’re screwed. reading school district employee

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