The Chester County Intermediate Unit

has reached across the Delaware River to Haddonfield to find a replacement for executive director John K. Baillie.

Joseph J. O'Brien, superintendent of the Haddonfield School District in Camden County, will succeed Baillie, who has headed the IU since 1983.

O'Brien, who lives in Media, has been superintendent of the Haddonfield district since 2005. He held the same position in the Springfield School District in Delaware County from 1999 to 2005.

O'Brien's salary will be $210,000 during his first year. Baillie's salary was $228,000, according to the human resources department.

The IU board of directors voted, 12-0, on April 18 to confirm the appointment. O'Brien was one of six candidates to interview for the post.

Baillie announced in November that he intended to retire. is last day will be June 30, but O'Brien can't start until August because of his contractual obligation to Haddonfield. The executive director position will likely be shared by the IU's six division directors until O'Brien starts, according to an IU official.

The IU runs special-education and career-training programs, staff development and technology initiatives for 12 county school districts, and some nonpublic schools.

Students at Penn London Elementary School in the Avon Grove School District got a visit last week from Lulu Delacre, a bilingual author and illustrator of children's books.

Delacre spent April 19 and 20 at Penn London, talking about the creative process in Spanish and English with students in kindergarten through second grade. She explained how an idea, like Rafi and Rosi - two tree frogs that star in a few of her works - becomes a published book.

Delacre is from Puerto Rico and her parents are Argentinian; her heritage plays a large role in her books. She also ran a workshop on April 19 for Penn London students and parents who are studying English as a second language.

Delacre's visit was sponsored by the Penn London PTA. To learn more about her, visit

- Will Hobson