By David Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH - After 18 years at the helm of the Shenandoah Valley Junior/Senior High School, Phillip Andras has resigned as principal effective August 31, a resignation the school board accepted at it's Wednesday night meeting.
The district placed advertisements in the classifieds section of Tuesday's Hazleton Standard~Speaker and Pottsville Republican-Herald, placings which were retroactively approved at the meeting.
"Mr. Andras had proven that students are always first when making any building level decision. I appreciate his dedication and commitment to the students in the Shenandoah Valley School District. I know Mr. Andras bleeds blue and white, and forever will remain a blue devil." District Superintendent Brian Waite said during the board meeting. "My heart goes out to him, and great pleasure for him in the ability to, at this point in time, announce his retirement, and I thank him for all he's done for Shenandoah High School."
"As board president, I'd also like to thank Mr. Andras for his hard work and dedication over the years. He's spent many long nights at our workshops, all of us here. "When you're appointed or when you're elected as a school board member, you have no idea what you're getting into. I've learned a lot from Mr. Andras, He's helped make it a little bit easier, doing what we do. I want to congratulate Mr. Andras on his retirement." Board President Daniel Salvadore said.
"I know that, in those 18 years that Mr. Andras has been here, he's faced many challenges and wore many a hat, but he was always ready to be in the fight and do what had to be done, and even more. I would like to specifically thank him and let him be noticed for his commitment and effort that he put toward our Special Ed program. We wouldn't be where we are now, if it hadn't been for all the time and effort he had put forth there. So I want everyone to remember what he's done for us here at Shenandoah Valley, and for our students, and I'd like to thank him for being who he was, and the dedicated person that he was to education. So, all I want him to do now is to stay safe, and to celebrate life." Board Member Margaret Shustack said.
"I've worked with Mr. Andras my whole time here on the board, spending a lot of time at discipline committee meetings with him, and I want to thank him for his genuine philosophy, he indoctrinated me into the concept of the school being a nurturing environment, not punitive." Board Member Tom Twardzik said.
Recognized at the meeting were Elementary students of the month for May, as well as Class of 2016 graduate Alaina Demalis, who was one of 300 freshman attending Penn State - University Park selected to receive the President Freshman Award.
"This award is presented annually to the outstanding undergraduate students who earn a 4.0 in the first semester. Alaina not only did that in the first semester, she did that in the second semester as well. So, kudos to a 2016 graduate, Ms. Demalis, in all her effort and continuing academic successes off into college." Waite said.
Present at the meeting were board members Salvadore, Twardzik, Shustack, Anita Monahan, Joseph Buchanan, and Helene Creasy. Absent were board members Joseph Alshefski, Karen Kayes, and John Petritsch.
In other business, the school board: