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Veteran Quakertown District employee slams dismissal

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A longtime Quakertown employee is firing back at the school district that abruptly fired her last month.
Former District Finance Director and School Board Treasurer Lynn Routson, who worked for the district for nearly 30 years, was due to retire Sept. 30 but was dismissed Sept. 16 for cursing at another employee, an accusation she denied, and declining a transition meeting with the newly hired business administrator.
Routson had sought that position, whose tasks she was familiar with, but became upset when told it would be advertised. Instead, the job went to a former Bethlehem Area business administrator, Dawn Young, who replaces former Chief Operating Officer Zach Schoch at a salary of $129,000, in a position with diminished responsibilities.
Three current QCSD administrators, Janet Pelone, Lisa Hoffman and Nancianne Edwards, each received a boost in their six-figure salaries for assuming Schoch’s extra duties. The district claims the restructuring will save taxpayers close to $100,000.
Routson told last week’s board meeting she was “not here to change what happened to me but to spare other employees the humiliation and devastation that I felt on that day.”
“For days after that, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t even function. That should not happen. That should never happen,” she continued, her voice rising in righteous anger.

As her former bosses looked on, she said, “I’m devastated that the community I live in and served for all these years would treat anyone that way.”
The former employee also expressed concern about inconsistent hiring practices in the district, where some jobs are filled internally without the opportunity for other employees to apply while other positions are open to both employees and the general public.
In a parting shot, she said, “It’s been an honor and privilege to serve the community I have resided in my entire life. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with most of you.”
Things got uglier later in the meeting, when Board President Kaylyn Mitchell clashed with Assistant Superintendent Edwards over the labyrinthine mask exception process for students with 504 behavior plans and IEPs.
Mitchell called Edwards a liar when the administrator said she didn’t know how those students faced more obstacles than their regular ed counterparts.
Pelone, the district’s director of pupil services, later clarified it was more complex because of federal and state mandates. She agreed that parents of those children should be informed that they have the option of a waiver. Board members have been bombarded with emails from parents fearful their children will not be granted a mask exception.


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