Hamburg Area school directors approve new business manager

Hamburg Area school directors voted, 8-0, on Jan. 14 to name Michelle Zimmerman, Kutztown, as the school district’s new business manager at a salary of $102,500.

Zimmerman will replace outgoing business manager Stuart Whiteleather, who has accepted a similar position in the Methacton School District in Montgomery County.

Zimmerman comes to Hamburg Area from the Antietam School District where she was the business manager since May, 2006.

Prior to that she was a controller for the North Penn School District in Lansdale, Montgomery County, and she has also worked in the financial area for Bethlehem Steel.


“I was interested in the position because of the (solid financial) condition of the school district,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman said that she enjoys working for school districts since it benefits kids rather than companies.

As for challenges, Zimmerman said that “learning to do more with less (government funding) is an ongoing challenge.”

Superintendent Steven Keifer said that there were 27 applicants for the position, including seven current business managers.

“Michelle was an outstanding candidate,” Keifer said. “The board liked her banking background. She is a people person.”

Keifer said that the transition into the position should be complete by the end of February, but that there is not a definitive date set.

In other news, Perry Elementary Principal Shawn Gravish spoke to school directors about efforts to raise funds for a soft-surface playground area for Perry Elementary Center Dedicated to Esther H. Ludwig, which will be replacing the current elementary school.

Gravish said that the Perry Parent-Teacher Organization is placing donation containers at locations throughout the school district.

“A portion of the proceeds from designated events will go to the project and we are looking at the possibility of grants,” Gravish said. “To date about $7,000 has been collected.”

The new elementary school is scheduled to open for the 2014-15 school year.

The next meeting of school directors is Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the James A. Gilmartin Community Room.

School Director Todd Hummel was absent.