Alumni tapped for two Deer Lakes hires

August 4, 2018
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Samantha Kristoff Abate, new Deer Lakes Middle School assistant principal.

Deer Lakes turned to alumni for two of its four hires Monday night.

The school board named 2002 Deer Lakes graduate Samantha Kristoff Abate as the school district’s new middle school assistant principal and 1997 graduate Tim Burk as its new head football coach.

Abate, who has taught eighth grade special education in the Avonworth School District for the past 11 years, will be paid $70,000 per year. She will start her tenure as soon as she is released by Avonworth.

Abate earned degrees at Slippery Rock University in elementary and special education, and a masters degree in instructional leadership from Robert Morris University.

Soon, she will begin to pursue a doctorate at Point Park University in leadership and administration.

While at Avonworth, Abate created a professional learning community for primary level staff on data-driven decision making to improve student achievement.

As a special education teacher, she organized an Extended School Year summer program in 2016 and created district-wide parental training surveying to use as a tool to help create parent training sessions.

Abate is ready to make the move into administration.

“I’ve always wondered why certain decisions were being made and I wanted to be part of that process,” Abate said.

Burk, a 1997 Deer Lakes graduate, replaces Steve Sciullo, who went to neighboring Hampton School District.

A West Deer police officer, Burk was an assistant coach and quarterbacks coach for Deer Lakes over the past several seasons.

Burk will receive a stipend of $6,296 for the coming season. He is expected to retain his staff of assistants, who have worked with the players during the summer.

Also hired Monday was Amy C. Sclight as an elementary guidance counselor at a salary of $47,400.

The school board created the position of Project Based Learing Technology Coach and hired Meghan C. Bright from East Union Intermediate Center.

Her duties will include integrating technology with teachers and to show how technology can be used in everyday classroom instruction.

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