SUNBURY – Another setback for the JROTC program in the Shikellamy School District. Newly hired instructor, Lt. Colonel Bart Wagner resigned from the position last Friday, citing a much longer than expected certification process.
Shikellamy Superintendent Dr. Jason Bendle announced Wagner’s resignation in a letter to state legislators. According to Bendle, Wagner said the certification process was taking months, rather than weeks, and he is among the lowest-paid faculty members at Shikellamy. He said the pay was too low for the many hours required.
Bendle says the district was paying Wagner the full district-estimated share, which is split equally between the district and the Army. Bendle told state lawmakers he’s concerned the district will be ‘hard-pressed’ to find a replacement for a commissioned officer to run the program.
Bendle says he also sent a letter to the Army encouraging them to examine the requirement for the position. Bendle also questioned why the job must require a commissioned officer to work with JROTC students.
Wagner was hired in August after the district said JROTC classes would have to be put on hold if no instructor was found. Former instructor Joe Walsh resigned after being involved in a senior class prank gone wrong that involved live chickens inside Shikellamy High School.