Incoming St Joseph School Superintendent Dr. Fred Czerwonka talked about the transition, his educational background, his family and his feelings about kids.
The district will be looking for three elementary school principals and one high school principal for the 2013-14 school year.
Czerwonka will work with the personnel team working to fill those positions.
“I’ll play a very active role in that,” Czerwonka said. “I’ve actually dedicated some time and blocked out some time on my schedule, to be here on site to help with the selection process, and the interview process, and I’ll worker very closely with Dr. Flowers and Dr. Smith and the team, as they begin that transition process.”
“I like to let people know that I’m guided by a ‘North Star’ and it’s called ‘what’s best for children,’ he said. “Because I truly believe that the business that we’re in is to serve children, and serve the community. And, when we make a decision, we want to keep the children first, and make that decision based on what is best for kids.”
Dr. Czerwonka described himself as “an educator from a family of educators.”
“My grandmother was my kindergarten teacher, and she was my wife’s fifth-grade teacher. Many of my aunts and uncles are retired educators and current educators in the state of Missouri and across the country. My wife comes from educators as well. Her grandfather was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in southwest Missouri. Many of her siblings are educators throughout the country, in Tennessee, Ohio and Texas. Our son is married to an elementary educator. Education is our life, and we spend all of our time with children and at school.”
School Board Chairman Dr. Dan Colgan, flanked by other board members, introduced Dr. Czerwonka to a gathering of about fifty people Friday. Colgan thanked outgoing Superintendent Dr. Melody Smith for her service, then joined the gathering in a standing ovation for Dr. Smith.
Czerwonka officially begins work on July 1. According to a district announcement, he will receive a base salary of $190 thousand, plus a $12 thousand annuity, a $500 per month car allowance, and the normal staff benefit package.