MONTDALE -- The unexpected death of a school superintendent in Lackawanna County has left a school board, teachers, and students without a leader during the district's biggest renovation project in decades.
We last spoke with Lakeland Superintendent Scott Jeffrey back in March ahead of a multi-million dollar renovation project planned for the district in the Montdale area.
The project is in full swing, but now without its leader. Jeffrey passed away after suffering a heart attack Friday morning. He was 51.
"I just wish we could have gone on a little further together, we had great plans, but we`ll keep at it," said school director Hank Stachura.
Jeffrey had been superintendent at Lakeland since 2013. Before that, he worked in administration at the Old Forge and Abington Heights School Districts in Lackawanna County.
Stachura told Newswatch 16 that Jeffery spearheaded the long-awaited renovations to the district's three schools.
"I learned a long time ago in education that a real leader is a change agent, and if Scott was anything he was a change agent. Not change for change`s sake, but change for improvement. He certainly was doing that. We have a long way to go, and we were looking forward to getting there together, and it`s just devastating what happened," Stachura said.
Jeffery is also remembered for helping out members of the community. Jermyn Borough Council member Joanne Wilson said Jeffery, and Lakeland students, always offered help to the borough.
"He always, always took the lead. I wouldn`t say gave us what we want, but really had civic pride and helped along with all of our projects. That`s what we`ll miss, his civic pride, his helpfulness, and teaching the students to give back to their community," Wilson said.
School district officials told Newswatch 16 they will need to name an interim superintendent before school begins in the fall.