Southern Columbia principal moving on to new position after 17 years
CATAWISSA RR - Working at G.C. Hartman Elementary School for the past 17 years as a teacher and principal has been one of the highlights of Joseph Shirvinski's educational career and life.
Shirvinski, who has been K-4 principal since 2007, will be moving on from Southern Columbia Area to accept a position as an elementary school principal in Cumberland Valley School District.
"This is an opportunity for my professional career and growth for myself and my family," the 43-year-old Elybsurg resident said Tuesday in his office. "God opened this door for me and my family."
Shirvinski, who was making $78,063.70 at Southern, will be receiving a salary at $88,632 in his new position, replacing the retiring principal Don Snyder. As principal of Middlesex Elementary School, he will be one of seven elementary school principals in the district of 8,000 students.
In education for 17 years, Shirvinski worked mostly as a teacher at Southern. For approximately 18 months, he was an elementary school principal in Annville-Cleona School District before returning to Southern six years ago when Principal Pat Shultz retired.
Shirvinski credits his educational team, which he considers part of his family, for assisting him as principal for the last seven years.
He is most proud of implementing the School Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBIS), which is a state wide initiative that encourages positive behavior among students, a Balanced Literacy Program, a transitional program from Pre-K to kindergarten and an adult volunteer program.
"I consider it an honor to be a part of this school district for so many years," he said.
Superintendent Paul Caputo said Shirvinski was dedicated to his position and loyal to the staff and students.
"He left a positive mark here. He can be proud of what he accomplished," he said.
Although switching schools, Shirvinski will likely feel right at home. The demographics, the staff and the atmosphere are "exactly the same," he said.
Since the job is 90 minutes away from Elysburg, Shirvinski will either commute or stay in the area temporarily. The eventual goal is to relocate his family to his new school district.
Shirvinski and his wife, Wendy, have two school-age children: Abby, a fourth-grade student; and Max, a six-grade student; and three adult children, Samantha, 23, Cory, 25, and Joey, 28. He is also a grandfather of one granddaughter.
Shirvinski's resignation was unanimously accepted at the Sept. 16 board meeting. His last day is Thursday, and he will be starting at Cumberland Valley Sept. 30.
The deadline to submit applications for the elementary school principal position was Friday, and the district has a pool of 21 applicants to choose from, Caputo said.
It's expected there will be a recommendation for the position by either the Oct. 14 or Oct. 21 meeting, he said.
In the meantime, Caputo will be assuming Shirvinski's duties while the interview process takes place.