New Keystone Oaks leader seen as 'student-oriented'
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William Stropkaj, the new superintendent of Keystone Oaks School District, said one of his accomplishments in the North Allegheny School District was also one of his challenges -- keeping education consistent throughout the district's seven elementary schools despite their varying sizes.
"Each elementary school is just a little different. Each one has its own culture. Always keeping in mind that it is the same students throughout the district, we want to make sure we are delivering the same curriculum," said Mr. Stropkaj, who is leaving his job as North Allegheny assistant superintendent for elementary education and curriculum.
Mr. Stropkaj, 46, of Kennedy, will become superintendent of Keystone Oaks on July 1.
By a 9-0 vote last Thursday, Keystone Oaks school directors approved a five-year contract at $125,000 a year for their new superintendent.
"Dr. Stropkaj is very student-oriented and personable, and he is very experienced on the financial side as well," said Gary Alward, Keystone Oaks board president. "His personality, skill set and experience match up very nicely with our district's needs."
Mr. Stropkaj will be the eighth superintendent in Keystone Oaks' history.
Keystone Oaks has slightly more than 2,000 students and consists of Green Tree, Dormont and Castle Shannon.
North Allegheny has about 8,200 students and encompasses Bradford Woods, Franklin Park, Marshall and McCandless.
Mr. Stropkaj was hired by North Allegheny in 2008. He also has been a middle school assistant principal, elementary principal and federal programs coordinator in the Montour School District and previously taught math and physics in the Deer Lakes and Sto-Rox school districts.
Becoming a superintendent, he said, was the "next step in my career."
Mr. Stropkaj served one year as assistant superintendent of both elementary and secondary education in North Allegheny and rotated serving as acting superintendent last summer with Brian Miller, assistant superintendent for secondary education.
His accomplishments include piloting an after-school world language program and extended-day kindergarten program. Neither of those programs got off the ground, however, because of state budget cuts.
Those budget cuts are the biggest challenge facing the school district, and he said it is a challenge he also will face in Keystone Oaks.
"Finances are always going to be a challenge," he said.Maureen Grosheider, president of the North Allegheny school board, said Mr. Stropkaj will be missed.
"I'm extremely happy for Bill. I think he is going to make a wonderful superintendent for Keystone Oaks," Mrs. Grosheider said.
"We are sorry to see him go. He's been very valuable to the North Allegheny district over the past four years in his role as assistant superintendent for elementary education. NA is a great training ground, and he has learned a lot here, and I think he is going to do very well."
First Published June 7, 2012 5:18 am