Elementary gains a new principal
The Saucon Valley School District has hired Michael Sakelalrides as the new K-8 assistant principal at a yearly salary of $95,000, effective July 1. Sakelalrides has been the interim assistant principal for the last couple of months, after former assistant principal James Deegan was moved over to the middle school and appointed as the principal there.
Sakelarides started at Saucon Valley in 2008 and has spent his entire career there. During his time at Saucon, he has had stints as a second grade teacher, a third grade language arts teacher and as a full-time academic coordinator. He has an undergraduate degree in elementary education with a minor in mathematics from Bloomsburg University, a master’s degree in educational development and strategies from Wilkes University and a Principal Certification from Alvernia University.
Sakelalrides grew up in the Lehigh Valley and graduated from Pen Argyl Area HS. He currently resides in Macungie with his wife and two sons, ages 7 and 9.
In other news, the school board honored several students with recognitions. The first was the recognition of second grade students for the Unless Philadelphia Zoo Contest Finalist “Changing Their Worlds.” The goal of the contest was to either show a reduction in electricity usage, solve a water problem or reduce landfill waste in their school or community by taking action, speaking out or changing the behavior of people around them. Saucon students studied food waste in the cafeteria and gathered unwrapped food for donations to local food banks and collected fruit and vegetable waste for composting. Over 3,000 students from 200 classes and 100 different schools participated in the contest. Saucon Valley finished in the top six in the grades K-2 category. Students recognized were John Brasko, William Brasko, Truman Eustace, Lauren Hawk, Jayden Humphries, Anderson Kiefer, Penelope Miele, Zelie Miele, Gabrielle Pfanders, Callie Spirk and Annabelle Waechter.
Another recognition was The Global Scholars Award. It requires high school students to complete four years of language study, Four additional courses that are global in nature, Four extra-curricular activities with a minimum of 20 service hours, a minimum of eight literature or media reviews, all with a global focus. This year only 73 students in the state accomplished the requirements. Saucon Valley HS had three: Sarah Duffy, Katie French and Maddie Schaffer.
Another recognition handed out was for achievements in the National Spanish Exam. Three Saucon students placed nationally. The exam is given each year to thousands of students who study Spanish. The three students are Ana Garippa – Silver; Julia Hernandez – Silver; Kerry Lannon – Honorable Mention.
Saucon Valley HS also received the Silver Award from the Pennsylvania Exemplary Program Award given by the Pa. State Modern Language Association. In part, the award is based on schools with a high number of students enrolled in foreign languages, teacher professional development and performance assessments.