Thursday, August 16, 2012

New superintendent in Freedom Area hopes to offer more online courses - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The Freedom Area School District will start the new school year with a new superintendent, Jeffrey A. Fuller. He comes to the Beaver County district from the Seneca Valley School District, where he was assistant superintendent for elementary education.

After 19 years in Freedom Area, Ron Sofo resigned as superintendent, a position he filled for nearly 10 years. He is now CEO and principal of City Charter High School in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Other administrative changes are taking place in Freedom Area, which has about 1,500 students from Freedom, Conway and New Sewickley.

Timothy J. Dadich is the new high school principal, replacing Robert "Rusty" Staub, who retired. Mr. Dadich had worked in the Mercer Area School District.

Darlene Corris is now the middle school principal. She had been assistant high school principal.

Richard Edder, who had been middle school principal, is now principal at Big Knob and Conway elementary schools. Deborah Baycura retired as principal at Conway Elementary School and director of elementary education.

Freedom Area will continue to move toward offering more cyber course options to students in grades 7-12, Mr. Fuller said.

At Seneca Valley, more than 1,000 students take some courses online, he said. In Freedom Area, the number has been small but growing.

"We are contracting with Seneca Valley" on cyber courses, he said.

Students can choose to take cyber courses so that they spend less time at the school building, Mr. Fuller said.

They could want to do that because of extracurricular activities or because they have jobs.

Or students might choose to take core courses online so that they have more time to take electives at school.

Ultimately, the district hopes to offer cyber courses in K-12.

Mr. Fuller, 46, grew up in New Wilmington. He earned his undergraduate degree from Grove City College, a master's degree in education administration from Old Dominion University and a doctor of education degree from Duquesne University.

He comes from a long line of teachers, he noted.

His father taught at Grove City, his mother was a high school special education teacher and his grandmother was a teacher.

Mr. Fuller has taught elementary and middle school students in Virginia. In 1998, he moved his family back to Pennsylvania, teaching in Venango County from 1998-2003 and then working as a teacher and administrator at Seneca Valley.

He and his wife, Amy, have two children -- Jordan, 16, and Mackenzie, 13.

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