Superintendent of Schools, Dr. William R. Shirk, Jr., joined the Pottsgrove School District on January 14, 2014 as the Assistant Superintendent. He came to Pottsgrove from the Upper Perkiomen School District in Red Hill, Pennsylvania, where he held the position of High School Principal for eight years. Prior to assuming his current role, Dr. Shirk served as Assistant Principal in the Spring-Ford School District and the Upper Perkiomen School District. His school district experience also includes fourteen years of teaching in elementary and secondary grades.
Over the last four years under Dr. Shirk’s leadership, the district has moved forward with over 98 highlights and accomplishments that have benefited the students and the community. These areas include: (1) curriculum, data, assessment and technology integration, (2) co-curricular initiatives and staff trainings, (3) pupil services, (4) technology and network infrastructure, (5) facilities and operations, and (6) safe school partnerships.
Dr. Shirk's most notable Pottsgrove achievements to date include the institution of a districtwide curriculum renewal process consisting of a comprehensive framework for continual curriculum evaluation. In addition, Advanced Placement courses and co-curricular programs have been expanded to meet the ever-changing needs of students.
School safety and student welfare have been a focus of Dr. Shirk and the Pottsgrove School District. Active shooter training began three years ago and involved identifying and training the staff on national best practices for such events. Also, a Safe School Partnership Committee was established within the community; including police, first responders, parents, faculty, and administration.
Other efforts include staff training in the areas of behavior management, crisis management, and fostering a growth mindset. From a technology perspective, investment in network infrastructure and equipment upgrades have provided the students with access to and instruction in 21st Century learning.
He also created a “Foundation for Success” philosophy encompassing the following tenets: (1) emphasizing responsibility, respect, and safety, (2) setting high standards across all academic, behavioral, and social maturity levels, (3) fostering collaborative problem-solving, and (4) leaving no student, parent, or colleague behind. Additionally, he is a proponent of advancing student achievement through a holistic approach that produces a more accurate indicator of students’ growth, and closing the achievement gap among historically underperforming subgroups.
From a budgetary standpoint, current allocation challenges have been met through diligent efforts by the school board, administration, staff, and community. In order to maintain the fiscal responsibility, the Pottsgrove School District has championed modest tax increases over the last four years; the 4-year average tax increase is 0.26%, substantially below the Act 1 Index.
Dr. Shirk earned his Educational Doctorate Degree from Immaculata University. His Masters Degree and undergraduate degree are from Temple University. He currently lives with his wife, Susie, and has two grown sons and two grandchildren.
To contact Dr. Shirk, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-327-2277.