Dr. William R. Shirk
POTTSTOWN PA – A Phoenixville resident who has held administrative positions in the Spring-Ford and Upper Perkiomen school districts, Dr. William R. Shirk, is expected to be hired Tuesday (Nov. 12) by the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors to become its new assistant superintendent of administration, K-12, according to a Pottsgrove-issued statement.
Although Shirk’s new job duties were not specified in the release issued during mid-afternoon, Superintendent Shellie Feola indicated months ago she would look for someone to handle duties that previously were the purview of former members of her administration. His work is likely to include human resources, curriculum and instruction, and comprehensive planning.
Shirk will be offered a 42-month contract through June 2018, at a starting annual salary of $152,500 plus benefits. The district hopes he can begin work by Jan. 13 (2014), but acknowledged it could be later depending on when he is released from employment by Upper Perkiomen.
His hiring is contingent upon board approval, but Feola’s confidence in distributing the announcement indicated that was a foregone conclusion. Several other hiring announcements in her tenure as the district’s chief operaing officer have been made in advance of directors’ assent, and all were accepted without comment.
Feola’s intentions for Shirk’s future seemed evident in how the statement described his qualifications. “He enjoys a reputation for strong leadership, interpersonal and employee relation skills. Under his leadership, Upper Perkiomen High School has experienced significant improvements in academic performance,” it said.
If Shirk’s task list resembles Feola’s earlier needs, he will take on all or part of the personnel work handled by former Human Resources Director Leticia Rodriguez, who resigned in August (2013); and some of the curriculum and assessment work of current interim Director Of Education Dr. Barbara Burke-Stevenson and her predecessor, former Director of Education And Assessment Dr. Todd Davies, who resigned in February (2013).
Shirk has been principal at Upper Perkiomen High since 2007. He earned bachelor and master degrees at Temple University under a full athletic scholarship, and earned his doctorate at Immaculata University, the district reported.
“I have been a member of the educational community for over 28 years,” the statement quoted Shirk. “I fervently value the commitment public education has made to the students and families it serves. It is of particular interest to me that a school district upholds its legacy as an institution devoted to academic excellence, fiscal responsibility, integrity, and diversity. Pottsgrove is that district.”
Feola, also in the statement, described herself as “very excited” that Shirk will join her administrative team. “His experience and proven track record as a principal has prepared him to take this next big step,” she added. “We believe he will provide outstanding leadership and central office support for the work going on in our schools, as we continue to implement our new comprehensive plan for continuous improvement.”
Photo from the Pottsgrove School District