David Piperato, principal of Emmaus High School for nearly 10 years, on Thursday accepted a job as the top administrator of the Pleasant Valley School District.
During a meeting Thursday night, Pleasant Valley school directors unanimously approved Piperato’s hiring as superintendent of the Monroe County system starting July 1. “Mr. Pip,” as he is known to students, will finish out the current school year at Emmaus.
East Penn will form a committee to begin a search for his replacement to lead the 2,663-student school.
Piperato said he looks forward to “the challenges of being a superintendent, having to view issues from a district-wide perspective instead of a building-level perspective.”
Along with new challenges, he said he anticipates meeting lots of new people as well as having the “ability to have an even greater impact on the lives of students than I can have as a building principal.”
“I am very sad to see him leaving,” senior Robert Lynn said. “He’s done a lot of great work for the school, he’s done a lot for the students. I like the way he has connected with the students.
“He’s handled many difficult situations very well; he made students feel safe,” Lynn said.
Freshman Brendan McCourt, who serves on the Principal’s Advisory Board, described Piperato as “upbeat and inspiring.”
“He lets everyone speak on issues [at advisory board meetings],” McCourt said. “He gets an opinion from everyone in the room.”
Alex Comfort, a junior who serves on the board along with McCourt, felt Piperato “was very well in touch with the students.”
“The Principal’s Advisory Board allowed us to have really good conduct with him, which allowed us to express our thoughts on the school and really be heard,” he said.
Junior Sarah Dapper felt Piperato “has a great influence on the students” at EHS.
“It will be a big change for him to leave… it will be a long process for the students to have a relationship like we did with Pip,” Dapper said.
Pleasant Valley has four schools and is situated in a largely rural area in the western part of Monroe; it abuts the Stroudsburg and Pocono Mountain school districts.
East Penn hired Piperato in May 2007; he took over as principal that summer, replacing Liz Drake. He previously worked in Lower Merion High School in Montgomery County for 8 years. Born and raised in Easton, he taught business and technology in the Bethlehem Area School District before transferring to Palisades High School as an assistant principal. After Palisades, he moved to Lower Merion.
When East Penn hired him, Piperato said that the Emmaus job provided him with a great opportunity to lead “a phenomenal school.”
At the time, Piperato said an effective principal must be willing to listen to a school’s students, teachers, and community members.
Seen as a supporter of student events, Piperato on Friday said that he will miss students the most.
“Over the last 10 years, I’ve come to learn that the Emmaus High School students are truly outstanding people, first and foremost,” he said. “They’re respectful, they’re friendly, and they’re smart – they’re lots of fun to be around.”
Photo courtesty of lehighvalleylive.com