Get our newsletters

What’s in Pennridge superintendent’s separation agreement?


Pennridge School District Superintendent Dr. David Bolton and his wife will receive full medical benefits until he turns 65 under the terms of a separation agreement reached to facilitate his resignation.

Bolton will be paid his full salary while on medical leave until his “voluntary and irrevocable resignation” on Oct. 31.

Neither Bolton nor district officials could be reached for comment.

Bolton announced he was taking a month-long medical leave starting June 9, just a few hours before the Class of 2023 graduated. Eleven days later, the board announced his medical leave would be extended and then he would retire.

In an email to the community the next day. Bolton thanked the board for extending his medical leave and said “it was a privilege to serve as your superintendent for the past 5 years. I love the Pennridge community and am incredibly proud of the work we have accomplished. I will miss the amazing students, supportive families, and outstanding staff. I will always remain Pennridge Proud!”

Bolton will also be permitted to keep his district-issued cell phone and laptop. The medical benefits will stop if he lands a job with another employer who offers health insurance.

The agreement precludes Bolton from suing the district and limits his contact on school matters to only school board president Dave Reiss and Vice President Megan Banis-Clemens.

A former Central Bucks School District administrator, Bolton was hired in 2018 to replace Dr. Jacqueline Rattigan as superintendent. At the time, he signed a five-year contract calling for an annual base salary of $200,000, yearly increases of at least 2.5 percent based on performance, and $3,000 a year in deferred compensation.

In October 2021, about 18 months before that deal was scheduled to expire, the board gave Bolton a new 5-year contract through 2026. By 2022, his salary was listed as $230,625 by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Bolton’s last few years have been marked by a deeply divided board that often clashed with the public over diversity and inclusion issues focused on restricting books, limits on the use of bathroom and locker room facilities by transgender students and discussions of LGBTQ+ issues, and over the hiring of a controversial curriculum consultant.

Around the time of Bolton’s medical leave announcement, a string of emails surfaced that showed the superintendent at odds with the current school board majority over its decision to contract with Vermilion Education, a five-month-old Michigan firm with ties to Hillsdale College.

Hillsdale is a conservative Christian institution that produced the 1776 Project in response to the New York Times’ 1619 Project, an initiative which, The Times says, places “the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

In the emails, obtained through a Right-to-Know request and posted on social media, Bolton recommended the board hold off on considering the contract. The board awarded the contract to Vermilion anyway.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.