September 26, 2018
The Abington School District voted Tuesday night to appoint a new superintendent of schools, selecting former Abington Senior High School principal Jeffrey S. Fecher to take over for the departing Amy Sichel.
The district's school directors revealed their unanimous choice after a Sept. 13 meet-and-greet with Fecher, who had been serving as assistant superintendent for the past six years.
Sichel, who held various positions in the district over a 42-year period, will officially turn over the superintendent title to Fecher on Nov. 9.
The change in leadership comes as Abington Senior High School embarks on a multiyear transformation and expansion enabled by a $25 million pledge from billionaire alumnus and investor Stephen A. Schwarzman.
The unprecedented public school contribution generated controversy earlier this year when the district revealed plans to rename the high school after Schwarzman. Public backlash led to a reversal of that decision and an apology to the community.
The funds will be used to construct a new science and technology center and renovate Abington Senior High School. Those projects are expected to be completed by September 2022.
“I look forward to continuing to serve the communities of Abington and Rockledge alongside the 1,000-plus ASD staff members who make our district great, and advancing Abington’s legacy of excellence and achievement as we make a difference in the lives of our more than 8,300 students and their families," Fecher said Tuesday following the Board’s decision. "I am excited to have an impact on the future of public education and the opportunities for our students.”
Before joining Abington School District, Fecher was a middle school assistant principal at the Flemington-Raritan School District in New Jersey and an English teacher at Bordentown Regional High School in Burlington County, New Jersey. He holds doctorate in educational and organizational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, a masters degree in educational administration from Rider University and a bachelors degree from La Salle University.
Fecher's five-year appointment will run through the end of June 2023.
“I entered into the field of education because I wanted to influence the lives of young people, and what better way to make an impact than to lead one of the best school districts?" Fecher said. "I have been working toward the goal of becoming a superintendent, and to be appointed as the superintendent of a district that I know and love is humbling."
Abington School Board President Raymond McGarry called the appointing a superintendent his board's most important job.
“Fortunately for us, we were able to adhere to the initial process we outlined in our July 9th letter following Dr. Sichel’s retirement announcement," McGarry said, "in which I expressed our desire to consider internal candidates before having to hire a firm to conduct a lengthy and expensive search that would result in candidates unfamiliar to serving this unique community. We have been impressed with Dr. Fecher’s performance to date and have heard from community members who feel the same.”