New McKeesport Area superintendent shares her story at Lunch & Learn
McKeesport Area School District's newly appointed superintendent Rula Skezas shared some of her life story with high school students on Thursday morning.
It was the second installment of Lunch & Learn, organized by high school librarian Barbara Holtz to help students get to know the administrators.
School directors approved Skezas' promotion from assistant superintendent at Wednesday night's board meeting. She will succeed Timothy Gabauer, who is leaving the district to become superintendent at Mt. Pleasant Area on Nov. 1.
Gabauer was Lunch & Learn's first guest speaker two weeks ago.
Sophomores, juniors and seniors had hot dogs and beverages while Skezas told them of her journey from her Greek childhood and learning English as a second language, to becoming superintendent.
“My mother was born in Greece. My father was born in the United States,” she said. “Up to when I was 5 years old, I didn't speak a whole lot of English. When I went to kindergarten, I learned to speak English through the people in my classroom and in my neighborhood. Them helping me to learn always made me feel like I needed to teach people and to help them learn.”
Skezas told the students that she, her son Nicholas and her daughter Eleni still speak to each other in Greek.
“Our kids love stories,” Holtz said. “They don't know how things happen. They don't know how Dr. Gabauer and Dr. Skezas now make decisions that affect them, or what they do. That's what we're here to learn.”
Skezas said she was White Oak Elementary principal when some of the current seniors were in kindergarten.
“It makes me so proud of their accomplishments, whether at a band festival, or at a football game, or seeing some of the awards that they received,” Skezas said. “It's great. It makes me very proud.”
Skezas said she gradutated from McKeesport Area High School in 1982 and studied at what then was Penn State McKeesport, then earned her degrees from Duquesne University.
Her first teaching job was as a fourth-grade teacher in Frederick, Md. She taught in the South Park School District before beginning her career in McKeesport Area.
Skezas said she had planned to remain a McKeesport Area teacher, but some of her mentors convinced her to become a principal.
She served as Twin Rivers Intermediate principal when sophomores Keyla Kennedy and Francesca Moux attended there.
“It comes full circle,” Skezas said.
Keyla, who plans to become a teacher, said Thursday's lunch period was better than usual.
“You can learn how the people higher than you think,” Keyla said. “I think I can learn from her.”
“It's not easy getting to where you want to be,” Francesca said. “You have to work for it, and it doesn't always go the way you think it would. (Lunch & Learn) is more sincere. It's enclosed more and you get to learn more.”
“I think that the kids need to see that we're real,” Skezas said. “They need to know about us. They know our positions but they perhaps don't know anything about us.”
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- For Duquesne priest, Ice Bucket Challenge is personal
- Duquesne City School District set to dive into Common Core
- Munhall officials discuss communication problems, nonemergency phone numbers
- North Versailles commissioners approve new fire policy
- McKeesport’s Neal to seek musical career in Los Angeles
- West Mifflin Area solicitor steps down
- West Mifflin prepares for first day of school
- Elizabeth Township road likely to reopen in September
- Port Authority adjusts bus schedules
- Munhall council president says layoffs possible
- White Oak school starts foreign language academy program