Sudden resignation of Coatesville schools superintendent raises questions

COATESVILLE, Pa. - August 30, 2013

After 8 years on the job, Superintendent Richard Como announced he is stepping down.

He gave no warning, and both parents and students are wondering why he is leaving so suddenly, just as the school year was getting underway.

"Why would he quit when he's running all these schools and he knows that he has a big job?" asked 9th grade student Freda Brown.

"I don't know why, but I would like to know," said 9th grade student Ciara Williams.

In a letter to the Board of School Directors, Como said in part, "I am confident and assured that the timing is right to announce my retirement. I would like to thank the Board of School Directors for allowing me to serve. I thank our staff and teachers for their tireless work and dedication.... I thank our students for inspiring us with their commitment to success, hope for the future and eternal optimism."

But Como said nothing about why he decided to leave so suddenly.

There was no one answering the door at Como's home late Friday, although we could hear voices inside, and there were a number of cars parked in the driveway.

School district officials are also not commenting on why his departure is so sudden, which has fueled speculation among Coatesville residents.

"People are wondering. I'm not sure, but it's on everybody's mind," said David von Hacht.

"He shouldn't have resigned like that, because the children going to school now, they need their education," said Tina Pirches.

Students and parents say as things stand now in the troubled district, which perennially ranks among the worst in the state, they are in dire need of a good superintendent right now.

"We need one, because these schools are out of control. People aren't listening. We need someone to help," said 10th grader Dayanara Perez. While the speculation over Como's sudden departure continues to mount, school and school-related activities continue as usual.

The school district has announced that Assistant Superintendent Angelo Romanielo will step in temporarily until the board can find a permanent replacement.

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