Another one bites the dust. Gov. Tom Corbett asked for and received the resignation Monday of Acting Secretary of Education William Harner. He had served in the post only since June.
Corbett’s office announced the change but did not name a reason. The Patriot News cited an unnamed source who said Harner’s removal came when, “a background check on Harner uncovered a matter that occurred during his time at Cumberland Valley”.
Harner, 56, of Carlisle, previously served five years as superintendent for Cumberland Valley School District in Mechanicsburg.
He is the seventh of Corbett’s cabinet secretaries to leave the administration within the past year. The Governor ousted his Secretary of the DCNR in July after learning of racial language Richard Allan used in an email.
The departure follows a month in which numerous top administration staff left or were forced out, including Corbett’s Chief of Staff and his spokesman.
The Pa. Democratic Party emailed news of Harner’s resignation to reporters under the subject heading: “vet (v.) make a careful and critical examination of (something or someone).”
Harner’s acting replacement will be Dr. Carolyn C. Dumaresq – a long time veteran of Pa. education policy who ever worked as Executive Director of the Pa. State Education Association teachers’ union.
Here is the Corbett bio on Dumaresq:
Dr. Carolyn C. Dumaresq, the department’s Executive Deputy Secretary, will serve as acting Secretary of Education, effective immediately.
A former superintendent at Central Dauphin and Steelton-Highspire school districts, Dumaresq began her education career as a math teacher. Later, Dumaresq taught on a college level at the Harrisburg campuses of Temple and Penn State universities.
She served as executive director of the Pennsylvania State Education Association and president of the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators. Dumaresq worked for the state Department of Education from 1976 to 1983, and then joined the department again in 2011.
Dumaresq is the recipient of several awards with recognition coming from the Education Policy and Leadership Center, the Keystone Research Center, the American Association of University Women, the American Association of School Administrators, and was named Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year in 1994.
She has served leadership roles with the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators including president, board of governors, elections committee, chair of the legislative committee and president of the woman’s caucus.
Her community and social service has extended to the Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, the Penn State Outreach Advisory Board, the National Council of State Education Agencies where she is a past president and the governing board of the Governor’s Center for Excellence and the Governor’s Work Force Investment Board.
Dumaresq, of Harrisburg, earned her bachelor’s degree from Hood College, her master’s degree from Villanova University and her doctorate in education with a concentration in personnel and labor relations from the University of Pennsylvania.