Davis said the Bellefonte board "was looking for a combination of intellect, compassion, expertise - but above all someone who was concerned with children." She said that among four finalists from more than 50 applicants, Bleggi was the only candidate who continued to teach as a way "to stay in touch with kids." Bleggi taught senior English at Oxford Area High School.
She said Bleggi's salary had not been set.
Bleggi, who could not be reached for comment, quit after two years at Oxford, with one year remaining on his contract. He was earning about $75,000 a year.
Valerie Kegley, Oxford school board president, said Bleggi had given notice in a conversation with her last Thursday. She declined to comment further.
In his brief tenure, Bleggi had worked to upgrade the high school English department, tighten the focus of the curriculum from kindergarten to 12th grade and, as Scott Gold, head of the teachers' union, pointed out, to "make the buildings more aesthetically pleasing."
Gold said Bleggi had told teachers at an assembly on Monday that he was moving on because he had determined that he could not accomplish "his personal goals" for education in the Oxford district.
Board member Robert E. Millette praised Bleggi as "one of the finest superintendents this area has seen." Millette noted that the previous superintendent left after just four years and now Bleggi was leaving after two years at the helm.
"It's a sad commentary on the community," said Millette, referring to the perennial fights over education spending. "The ability to raise money is a serious problem and that problem is not likely to be solved anytime soon."
Another board member, Robert E. Domzalski, added that "Doug had a lot of roadblocks, he had a tough haul. How do you plan to make things better when the revenues aren't there?"
Domzalski added: "What the board needs to do is to come to a consensus about who the next superintendent will be and then give that superintendent 100 percent of its support."
One source in the district, who declined to be named, said Bleggi had faced too many "uphill battles" with the board over education programs - and what they would cost. "When that happens, you move to the place that wants you and turn away from the place that resists your every move," the source said.
Robert A. Meckes, who is now assistant superintendent in the district, has been named acting superintendent while the board starts its search for Bleggi's replacement.
By naming Meckes, one board member said, the search committee had a year to recruit a permanent replacement.