Jefferson Schools

Jefferson Schools

By Pam Chickering Wilson

pchickering@dailyunion.com

JEFFERSON -- Nick Skretta, who has been serving as Sullivan Elementary School principal for the past three years, has been approved as the new Jefferson Middle School principal.

The decision was announced Monday night after closed session deliberation by the School District of Jefferson Board of Education.

Skretta came strongly recommended by administration, and Superintendent Mark Rollefson said he thought Skretta would be a good fit for the Jefferson school.

This hire closes a chapter in which previous principal Laura Montez was hired, went on administrative leave and resigned within a school year.

Serving as interim principal for the past couple of months has been Larry Gierach, the former West Elementary School principal with a strong history in the community, who had recently retired from serving as superintendent of a different school district.

Skretta too has strong roots in the Jefferson community, having grown up here. He actually earned honors as the Student Optimist of the Year while in the local schools.

Skretta graduated from Jefferson High School in 2000 and returned to his hometown 14 years ago to teach science -- at Jefferson Middle School.

He stepped up in 2016 to become Sullivan Elementary School principal upon the promotion of previous Sullivan principal Kathy Volk to the position of Director of Pupil Services and Special Education.

Skretta has lived in Jefferson since he was in the second-grade. He attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School, then Jefferson High School.

He credits Rollefson, who then was serving as associate principal at Jefferson High School, as influencing his decision to go into education.

Interviewed after he accepted the Sullivan position, Skretta said that he was impressed by the now-superintendent's approachability and the way he interacted with students.

Later, Skretta said he was proud to be hired by Rollefson -- then serving as the Jefferson Middle School principal -- to be a teacher at that school, and a few years later, he was proud to be working under his mentor again as part of the district's administrative team.

Skretta also gave kudos to former teachers John Stellmacher, Bob Zweifel and Wayne Kroll for instilling the values of hard work and commitment and making his experience as a student in the Jefferson schools a positive one.

As a high-schooler, Skretta was a student-athlete, playing football, baseball and basketball. He said the lessons learned as part of those teams also carried over into the classroom, where he had to apply the perseverance, patience and diligence he had learned on the playing field to his intellectual endeavors as well.

Skretta said he is proud to be working in his hometown, for the School District of Jefferson. He said the commitment the local community has to the school district is impressive, and that together the district and the towns it serves make for a stronger community.

In addition to serving as Sullivan Elementary School principal for the past three years, Skretta has also served as the throwing coach for the Jefferson High School's high-achieving track and field team, a position he stepped down from just ahead of the team's participation in the state track meet this year.

The new principal is married to Samantha Skretta, a teacher at West Elementary School.

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