Chartiers Valley welcomes 3 new administrators
A new team of principals at Chartiers Valley Middle School plans to be visible as they learn more about the building, its students and staff.
Michele Welter joined the Chartiers Valley team this year as principal, replacing Adrienne Floro, who retired from the district.
Dan Knause soon will join Welter at the middle school, serving as assistant principal. He will fill the role left open when LaMont Lyons resigned. His start date has yet to be determined.
“It was a great opportunity. It’s a wonderful school. It has a strong reputation,” Welter said.
Welter, who started with the district in June, most recently worked as a high school and middle school principal at Springdale Junior/Senior High School in the Allegheny Valley School District.
Prior to that, she worked as an associate professor at Edinboro University and as a health and physical education teacher and assistant principal in the Pine-Richland School District.
Welter’s first steps at Chartiers Valley will be to get to the know the school and community.
“I love the kids. They have really nice families,” she said. “The best thing so far is it has been one of the most welcoming communities. Everybody, from parents to all of the staff members to my administrative team, have been very welcoming and wanting to help.”
Welter has two bachelor’s degrees — one from Pennsylvania State University and one from Slippery Rock University — along with a master’s degree in education from Westminster University and a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in leadership and policy.
Knause, who has a bachelor’s degree from Westminster in education, a degree in special education from Waynesburg University and a master’s degree from Concordia University, is a 1996 Chartiers Valley graduate.
“It’s nice. It’s welcoming,” said Knause, who is the Chartiers Valley football coach. “I still have family that lives in the community and I have a lot of community ties.”
Knause, who started in education as an elementary classroom teacher, has worked for the last 15 years in the Cornell School District, where he served as the special education case load manager, taught middle school math and worked a stint as the interim dean of students.
Welter says the team is currently in a “learning mode” and will continue to foster programs already in place, such as “No Place for Hate” and the schoolwide positive behavior program.
Knause hopes to focus on the “overall character development” of students.
“Being kind people that treat people the right way,” he said. “If we teach them that at this age, we’re getting a lot accomplished.”
He also wants to show students that their teachers and administrators care about them.
“A lot of times, we treat kids here like we treat our own,” said the dad of three. “(We) make decisions like what we would want to happen for our own children.”
Intermediate School changes
At Chartiers Valley Intermediate School, a familiar face in the district has moved into the assistant principal job.
Peter Schintz, who has worked in the district since 2014, assumed his new role Sept. 11. He is taking over for Stephanie Faith, who resigned.
Schintz, who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree from Chatham University, started his teaching career at Duquesne City School. He then moved on to a science position at Propel Schools, before coming to Char Valley.
In the district, he’s worked as the science curriculum leader for kindergarten through fifth grade, along with working as a classroom teacher.
“I just felt like it was the next logical step in the progression of my career,” he said of becoming assistant principal. He likes will he will continue working with teachers and students, while also working on curriculum, “just from a different angle.”
He strives to be a support system for students, teachers and parents and make personal connections with each one of them.
He plans to tap into the relationships he’s already built in this new role.
Julie Franczyk, principal at the intermediate school, said Schintz already knowing the staff, students and community will allow him to “hit the ground running.”
Together, they will work on growing to meet the ever-changing needs of the students, she said. They will tackle changes to the English language arts and math curriculum over the next year and focus on the social and emotional learning of students.
“Just having that open mindset that our work is never going to be done,” she said. “We’re just always going to be striving to do better for our kids each day.”