Steckel Elementary welcomes new interim principal
When Steckel Elementary Principal Peter Bugbee requested a leave of absence at the beginning of the year, Whitehall-Coplay School District turned to a familiar face to fill the position.
Karen Nicholas assumed the role of interim principal Feb. 20 and will serve through the end of the school year.
Nicholas spent 10 years as a language arts supervisor and reading specialist within the district before transferring to Northern Lehigh. She served as principal at Peters Elementary for 10 years, then assistant superintendent at Northern Lehigh for the last eight.
“Returning to the Whitehall-Coplay School District has been a pleasure. Everyone has been extremely helpful and kind in re-acclimating me to the district,” Nicholas said. “Quite a few of the teachers, administrators, professional assistants, paraprofessionals and custodians are still here. So it has been a welcomed homecoming.”
Nicholas has embraced the challenge of learning — and pronouncing — more than 600 names during her abbreviated spring semester at Steckel Elementary. She credits the school’s vibrant mix of cultures, backgrounds and languages as an opportunity for the students to educate the teachers and administrators, as much as the other way around.
“The school is a place in which we are all learning from one another on a daily basis,” Nicholas said. “With everyone working together, our children will be most prepared to take on the challenges in the future.”
May has been a busy month at Steckel. Students recently opened a new garden at the school. Numerous classes are going on field trips. Steckel will be hosting a spring fling event, as well as the Goldie Awards.
“I am honored to work with a group of teachers who are so dedicated to the accomplishments of the children — and work to build a learning environment in which everyone can thrive,” Nicholas said.