Athens Area School District has announced that Superintendent Diane Place has taken a medical leave for an unknown amount of time and will be replaced by Don Butler, a former superintendent of Towanda Area School District who is currently retired.

School board President Karen Brennan said Butler is expected to work one day a week at a cost of $500 dollars per day, but will be used on an "as needed" basis, meaning if extenuating circumstances arise, Butler could be asked to put in more hours.

Brennan said while Place is on medical leave, Business Manager Laura Perry and Director of Educational Programs Craig Stage will be fulfilling some duties of the superintendent while Butler is not present.

The administration team, which is comprised of school principals and assistant principals, will also be helping to fill the void, she said.

"Everybody will be doing their part in making sure everything Diane has implemented will continue," Brennan said, "We will try and keep up the good work and move forward."

There is currently no schedule for Place's return, as Brennan said doctors are still evaluating complications that have arisen. Butler is approved to work through the 2013-2014 school year until June 30, 2014, however Place can return to her duties sooner if able.

"Right now we are just asking that thoughts and prayers are given to Diane and her family."

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: