SHENANDOAH - In a seven minute special meeting Wednesday night, the Shenandoah Valley School Board named Stuart Tripler as the new high school principal, effective August 3.
Tripler, a principal for 15 years at various districts, succeeds Phillip Andras, who has held the position at Shenandoah Valley since 1999 until announcing his retirement in June.
The school board voted unanimously to select Tripler, a Harvey's Lake, Luzerne County resident, as principal at a starting salary of $80,000.
"I'm excited to come here (to Shenandoah Valley), I'm looking forward to working with the great team that I met here and I met during the interview process. I was really impressed with what the district wants to do, and with the students and staff I've interacted with." Tripler said following the meeting. "In previous districts, I've had the very good fortune of working with the teaching team and we've been able to improve our school performance profile scores, our Keystone scores. We've been able to adjust curriculum to make it what's best for the kids, and that's what I hope to do here too, as well. We hope to make sure our curriculum is relevant and rigorous for the kids in getting them ready for the college careers they want to go to."
Tripler was previously principal at Weatherly Area High School in Carbon County, East Stroudsburg North High School in Pike County, Bangor High School in Northampton County, and at Greater Nanticoke Area in Luzerne County.
According to District Superintendent Brian Waite, candidates for the principal position went through a rigorous multi-step interview process. 17 individuals applied for the position, and nine were interviewed.
"Not only did they answer oral questions, they had to do a written component, they had to do a presentation first round, and then come back again for a second round interview for oral questions with the board." Waite said during the meeting.
The district is also slightly restructuring its positions in administration, as a result of its choices for Vice Principal and Director of Special Education. John Brennan, a junior high English Teacher and District Co-Athletic Director, was chosen as Vice Principal. Brennan has been with the district since 1994, and will now earn a salary of $70,250. Michelle Zinkus moves from the Vice Principal position to the Director of Special Education position.
"Mr. Brennan was part of the applicant pool for the principal's position, and, being an applicant there, when we saw the team that we could blend together, we offered Mr. Brennan the assistant principal's job, with Mrs. Zinkus moving to the Director of Special Education job, which we believe helps us as a team, together with the faculty and staff for the students in the future" Waite added after the meeting.
On why Tripler was chosen as the high school's new principal, Waite said after the meeting "He has experience in a small district like Weatherly, in a very large, diverse district in East Stroudsburg Area, and also in a district that's similar to Shenandoah Valley in the Nanticoke Area School District, so he brings a lot of administrative experience with him, and that's why he stood out through the interview process, and why he was recommended tonight for principal of the Shenandoah Valley High School."
In other business, the district approved 2017-2018 Student Accident Insurance from Bollinger Insurance Solutions.