For Tom Strickler, serving as Columbia Borough School District’s lame duck superintendent just wouldn’t work.
The school board earlier this month hired Ashley Mercado, principal of Wickersham Elementary School in Lancaster, to replace Strickler. Instead of sticking it out until the end of the year when his contract expired, Strickler went on paid administrative leave.
It was an unconventional exit for a man whose unconventional rise — from corporate executive to school board president to superintendent — perturbed some, including a number of current Columbia Borough school board members, who wanted a leader with a stronger education background.
Now they have one in Mercado waiting in the wings.
The 60-year-old Strickler, meanwhile, is looking for a new start.
“The board decided what direction they wanted to go, and my best option was to let them go that way and not be in their way,” said Strickler, who will