May 15, 2003 - Bershire Eagle: Korea RPCV Beth Schiavno-Narvaez appointed principal in Pittsfield Pennsylvania

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: May 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: May 15, 2003 - Bershire Eagle: Korea RPCV Beth Schiavno-Narvaez appointed principal in Pittsfield Pennsylvania

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, May 17, 2003 - 6:17 pm: Edit Post

Korea RPCV Beth Schiavno-Narvaez appointed principal in Pittsfield Pennsylvania

Read and comment on this story from the Bershire Eagle on Korea RPCV Beth Schiavno-Narvaez and her appointment as principal in Pittsfield Pennsylvania at:

Principals hired for 3 Pittsfield elementary schools*

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Principals hired for 3 Pittsfield elementary schools
By Tony Dobrowolski
Berkshire Eagle Staff

PITTSFIELD -- The School Department has hired replacements for the three elementary school principals who are retiring at the end of the current academic year, Superintendent of Schools William D. Travis told the School Committee last night.

Two of the new principals are Berkshire County residents, and one of them is from Pittsfield.

Jean M. Bednarski, who has taught in the Pittsfield school system since 1976, has been named principal at Stearns Elementary School, replacing Terry Forrest. Bednarski is currently a special education teacher at Stearns.

John C. Peron, the principal of Undermountain Elementary School in Shef-field since 1997, has been named principal at Morningside Community School, replacing Edward DiNicola.

The third new principal is Beth Schi-avno-Narvaez, who will replace Carol McHugh at Egremont School. Schiavno-Narvaez, who has taught in the Peace Corps, in South Korea and in Pennsyl-vania, is currently an elementary school principal intern in the Boston public schools. She received a master's degree in education from Harvard University this month, Travis said.

Bednarski, Peron and Schiavno-Nar-vaez will begin their duties Aug. 1. Their appointments run through July 31, 2006.

The School Department received 35 applications for the three positions. Fourteen applicants were offered interviews and 12 went through the interview process. Six finalists were chosen, although one withdrew.

Travis said the finalists were interviewed by the faculty and parent groups for each school. Travis said he then obtained feedback from the interview committee, the parent groups and the teachers.

35 applicants

"These are the candidates that received the highest recommendations from all three of those separate processes," Travis said.

Among the 35 applicants who applied for the three positions, 12 were from Berkshire County and five lived in Pittsfield. Ten others were from Massachusetts. The other applicants came from New York, Arkansas, New Hampshire, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin.

When asked if anything about the three candidates stood out, Travis said, "it's interesting because all three are different."

"John Peron is a sitting principal," Travis said. "He has a great reputation as a principal. He saw Morningside with the Reading First grant we have as a new challenge for him."

Travis said Peron, who taught Spanish and French in the Southern Berkshire Regional School District from 1969 to 1997, is also fluent in both those languages.

"I think that will be a real asset for the families we have in Morningside," Travis said.

Schiavno-Narvaez was looking for her first principal position, Travis said. He added that she plays musical instruments and liked the idea of moving to an area of the country that has Tanglewood.

"In the other case, we have a known teacher that has worked out in many capacities in the school system," Travis said, referring to Bednarski, who was also a business teacher at Taconic High School for 14 years. "It's nice to move that person on."

Board member Daniel C. Elias said he was pleased that two Berkshire County residents were chosen.

"A lot of times I've talked about the local candidates," Elias said. "It's good to see two in the mix."

The School Department has yet to hire a replacement for outgoing Pittsfield High School Principal Steven O'Brien.

Travis said last night that the School Department has delayed the search for O'Brien's replacement because of the uncertainty regarding state funding in the school budget, which has the department considering the consolidation of the city's two high schools.

"We're either going to have to readvertise or reactivate the process," Travis said, "or consider going with an interim position and see what happens for next year."

Travis said the School Department would wait until at least next month before making a decision to see if a state budget has been finalized by then.

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