Neshannock Township School District has bid farewell to our beloved Junior High Principal, Dr. Tracy McCalla. She has officially joined the community of retirees!
Tracy first joined the NTSD faculty, twenty-six years ago, as an English and history teacher. Then Principal Karen Ionta and Superintendent Joseph Scungio, knew they had struck gold when they hired her in 1993. After fourteen years in the classroom, Dr. McCalla moved into the administrative role of junior high principal in October of 2007. Prior to her tenure at NTSD, Dr. McCalla taught English in Erie, PA, making for a cumulative total of 32.5 years in education. Since 2016, she has also worked as an adjunct professor, at Edinboro University, teaching courses on classroom management, educational research, assessment, and diversity.
During Dr. McCalla’s time as junior high principal, she proved to be first class leader continually propelling NTSD into the future as a 21st Century learning institution. Neshannock Junior High School earned the honor of being designated and re-designated as a Don Eichhorn Schools to Watch™ school three times under the direction and supervision of Dr. McCalla.
To say that Dr. McCalla will be missed is an understatement. Her colleague and friend, Senior High Principal Luca Passarelli, said, “Tracy was the best co-principal ever! We shared similar beliefs about teaching, learning, and school culture and climate. I will miss her expertise and her insight. Neshannock Junior High grew by leaps and bounds under her tutelage, and its future as an exemplar in education is established and intact. I will miss Tracy and our daily contact dearly, but can’t wait to hear about what comes next in her life. My only piece of advice to Tracy is to use both water skis!”
When asked what she will miss the most about NTSD, she wasted no time in confidently responding with, “the kids, faculty, and staff.” She spoke of how much she loves watching the kids grow up and mature as they make their way from junior high to senior high. Tracy went on to say how much she enjoyed working with the teachers each and every day.
As she prepares for retirement, Dr. McCalla encourages her colleagues to enjoy one another. She discussed how quickly her time at Neshannock has come and gone, and hopes the faculty and staff – present and future – make time to eat lunch with one another, take pictures to capture the moments, remain positive when the demands of education become stressful, and enjoy the kids as much as possible.
While Dr. McCalla spent much of her time at NTSD checking off items on her never-ending “to do” lists and meeting deadlines, in her retirement, she is looking forward to the having the opportunity to embrace the spontaneous moments that life has to offer. She is hoping to spend more quality time with family and friends. Tracy also hopes to find ways to use her realistic experiences and knowledge give back to the future community of educators. While she has yet to determine what exactly that will look like, she envisions instructing the art of teaching with pre-service teachers, at the collegiate level, by sharing what you simply cannot find in a textbook.
Dr. McCalla would like to thank everyone with whom she has come in contact at NTSD – students, teachers, administrators, custodians, cafeteria staff, coaches, parents, and more – for decades of professionalism, support, laughter, and above all, friendship.
On behalf of everyone at NTSD and the Lancer Community, we wish Dr. McCalla all the very best in her retirement! You will be missed! Congratulations and Best Wishes!