Passion for education leads to a robust career
While his career is easily considered successful, “I am most proud of my family and their successes. They have always been supportive and understanding of my evenings away to attend numerous meetings and sporting events,” John shared.
After graduating from Philipsburg Osceola Area High School, John graduated from Penn State University in 1967 and the University of Pittsburgh in 1971, and he obtained his Principal Certification in 1973.
John enjoyed a robust career rooted deeply in his love for education. Starting as an eighth-grade social studies teacher and later serving as the principal of Mount Nittany Middle School, he now serves as a consultant for school districts, helping them complete a portion of the Commonwealth’s Plancon process.
He and his wife Donna, whom he married in 1970, have three children and ten grandchildren.
“I appreciated all the support I received, and it was great working with excellent staff. There was always someone to help navigate the tough issues a principal encounters,” John said as he reflected on his career.
“I am also proud of my role in moving the District from a junior high to a middle school format that we felt better met the needs of our students,” he added. “We could do this because of a dedicated and hardworking staff and the support of District administrators, a supportive School Board and the community.”
It was a nice surprise to John that he was nominated and chosen for the Maroon & Gray Society. “I am extremely pleased with my selection for the Award. It is quite an honor that I did not expect,” he said.
While it may have come as a surprise to him, others touted his many accomplishments. “John was an administrator who led with compassion, humor, honor, and integrity. He was an excellent role model for all his staff and students,” the nominator shared. “He was our administrator during the September 11th World Trade Center tragedy. He came through our classrooms to see if we were okay and to see if we needed anything.”
“His clear and consistent communication, visibility, accessibility, leadership by example, and his true compassion were the foundation that created a culture of trust and caring among our staff and students. We felt valued and respected. We could laugh, cry, celebrate, and ask for help,” according to the individual who nominated John.
John looks forward to watching his grandchildren grow and become successful. He also hopes to continue consulting school districts throughout the Commonwealth.
He offered this advice for current students—“Work hard, accomplish the tasks presented to you, respect and be kind to others and be supportive of those around you. Also, spend less time on their iPhones and iPads!”