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Upper Perk Celebrates Our Principals During National Principals Month

October is National Principals Month, and Upper Perk truly has some of the best in the business. So, as we wrap up October, we wanted to take one day this week to honor each of the five wonderful, dedicated individuals who lead our schools. Thank you principals, for all that you do for the UPSD...we would not be where we are without your hard work!

**Some of the photos displayed in this story were taken prior to the pandemic or before masking mandates, so you will see individuals without masks on.**

Dr. Robert Carpenter, Upper Perkiomen High School & Assistant Principals Mr. Todd Amsler & Mr. Josh Miller

Rounding out our principals team is Dr. Robert (Rob) Carpenter at Upper Perkiomen High School with assistant principals Mr. Todd Amsler and Mr. Josh Miller. Dr. Carpenter brings a lot of experience to his role, as he has been with the district for over 18 years. Mr. Miller was previously with the district as a teacher, and has been back in his current position for over two years, while Mr. Amsler has been at Upper Perk since 2016.

Check out our photo gallery of Dr. Carpenter in action (including one pic of some good natured competition between the assistant principals!):

**Please note that some of these photos were taken prior to the pandemic or before masking mandates, and as such, you will see individuals inside without masks on.

We asked members of the district community to share some kind thoughts about Dr. Carpenter and here is what they had to say:

Rob is the best principal that I have ever worked with. I’ve had a few principals since I started at Upper Perk. Rob is special because he is compassionate, approachable, calm, and genuine.  He really loves people: students, staff, families, and the community. He builds connections and relationships. He can frequently be seen in the halls and classrooms having positive interactions with our students. He treats staff members like family. Whenever I have a question, need advice, or just need to talk about a situation, he is there with an open door and willing to talk.  He never acts like he is too busy or like he doesn’t care. He has high expectations and doesn’t tolerate excuses, but is empathetic and is never condescending. If you asked him, Rob could answer questions or tell you things about every staff member’s life outside of school. He knows us as people and knows there is more to us than our jobs. He is a really good person, and that is important. It is a pleasure to work with someone like him.  
~Laura Hilehoffer

Rob is the kind of leader who makes you feel seen and heard. The kids respond well to his leadership because he understands the importance of building rapport first. 
~Megan Smolinski 

We would like to take this opportunity to recognize Rob Carpenter for his willingness to always be available in assisting not only the students with issues, but the staff as well. Rob is very approachable, and we appreciate him taking the time to listen and understand our concerns.
~Elizabeth Adamson, Karen Hoffman, Lorie Seimes, Tina Shoup and Barbara Weeks - UPHS Learning Support Paraprofessionals

Rob was at my first interview in 2005 and has been a fantastic mentor since then. Rob takes the time to understand the needs of his staff and finds ways to support those needs. This past year Rob has been empathetic with his students and staff and has helped bring some normalcy back to the high school in these tough times. Thanks Rob!
~Dan Moyer

Rob conquers his day with a good quote, a workout, an apple, and a sense of humor.  His door is always open to the faculty, students, and parents.  He is willing to listen and tackle any issues with a sense of calm.  He is great with our special needs population and has a genuine concern for the UP community as a resident and seasoned administrator.  His leadership is appreciated by the high school community!  
~UPHS Counseling Department

Rob is a great principal and person to be around.  As a music teacher, it's amazing to have a principal that is so supportive of our programs.  I appreciate Rob trusting us as professionals and backing up our decisions when it comes to our performances and events for the students. 
~Kierstin Hildebrand

Dr. Carpenter is a pleasure to work with. Dr. Carpenter is always positive around the students, and knows the students by name as they pass him by. A great trait is that he always wants to be involved when it comes to solving problems. 
~Rod Blake

ALWAYS focused on the student experience and helping to make school a great experience for all students!
~Kim Bast

It’s amazing how integrated into the Upper Perk community Rob is. He’s always out at events and activities, and it seems like he is well acquainted with every student, every family and every community member. When he passes a student in the hall, it’s clear that he has taken the time to get to know them. He’s an incredibly active and visible principal!
~Nikki Gum

Additionally, the MS counseling team wanted to add the following about Mr. Amsler & Mr. Miller:

With the click of his pen, Todd jumps on each and every task with consistency and calm. Todd meets each challenge with a positive presence and a willingness to assist.  He is thorough and respectful to all kids and staff, and jumps into each project with a steadfast attitude.  Whenever there is an issue, we can trust that Todd will drop everything, roll up his sleeves, and help out. 

We all can thank Josh for our punctuality and keeping students on-track! He is a math wizard and can be heard from hallways away. His boisterous personality is an asset to the UP community and his attention to detail and execution of plans is appreciated. His dedication to the students is evident in all that he does, from directing traffic, conducting student searches, to chaperoning all student events, creating a master schedule, etc.

Mrs. Christine Siegfried, Upper Perkiomen Middle School & Assistant Principal Mr. Brian Callan

At the middle level, principal Mrs. Christine (Chris) Siegfried leads Upper Perkiomen Middle School alongside assistant principal Mr. Brian Callan. Mrs. Siegfried has been in her role for over three years, and Mr. Callan has been in his role for over six years.

Check out our photo gallery of Mrs. Siegfried in action:

**Please note that some of these photos were taken prior to the pandemic or before masking mandates, and as such, you will see individuals inside without masks on.

We asked members of the district community to share some kind thoughts about Mrs. Siegfried, and here is what they had to say:

Chris is truly supportive of her staff. She always works together with them and makes them feel very loved. I want to express my gratitude for the positive feedback you always provide during formal observations, you make them enjoyable and less stressful. Thank you for being an outstanding leader and extending your compassion and support to me when I was out on long-term leave; you have continuously made your employees’ health and wellbeing a top priority. Thank you again for your continued support. From mentoring new team members to counseling employees’ personal issues, to supporting colleagues unconditionally to helping those facing workplace blues – thanks for showing that no matter how hard bosses crack the whip, they need to have a strong human side to their leadership. You do a truly wonderful job at making us feel loved. Thank you for your hard work every day. 
~Lauren Keebler

Mrs. Siegfried is all about spirit. She loves to encourage students to cheer for the home team and work together.  She loves project based learning and watching when students can interact and solve problems – getting ready for the real world! 
~Jodie Sell

Mrs. Siegfried arrived at Upper Perk with the daunting task of closing a building and opening a brand new one.  She led our staff seamlessly in that process.  Five minutes after our staff began to feel comfortable in our new surroundings, a global pandemic hit and we were all uprooted once again.  Chris did an amazing job leading our staff through the entire Covid situation and continues to do so today.  She is a fearless leader, who places her students and her staff above herself.  We are lucky to have her at the middle school.
~John Brittain

Chris Siegfried is a strong positive force in our building. She is kind and she is straightforward with you! I love her sense of humor. She really does look out for staff and students! Thanks Chris! You are the BEST!!
~Janet Fritz

Chris is always willing to give us her time regarding student matters in order to make sure students are reaching their full potential. Chris is a strong advocate for the guidance department, in addition to being a strong advocate for the social, emotional and mental health needs of all her students. As a building leader, Chris is dependable and encourages positive growth within our middle school. She advocates for her staff and works hard to create a strong school spirited environment. We are not only grateful, but honored to call her our principal. 
~The UPMS Counseling Department

Chris is a great principal to work with. She is very personable, understanding and approachable.  Personally, she gave me some great advice on colleges for my daughter for which I am extremely grateful. On a professional level, I feel comfortable going to her if I have any questions or concerns.
~Kristyn Sparacino

Boss came in when we were transitioning into a brand new middle school which in itself is a task.  She supported us and got us up and running.  She is student centered and always looking for ideas to better the students and us as teachers.  Something she always says “Don’t Stop Believing”
~Cheryl “Stots” Stotsenburg 

Chris has been a strong leader since her arrival – from opening a new (mostly finished) school building to leading us through virtual, hybrid, and in-person learning.  She continuously strives to support the staff and pushes us to be the best we can be, while also taking time to recognize those among us who have accomplishments and resources to share.
~Christian Fowkes

After teaching for 15 years in Allentown School District and coming to Upper Perk, I immediately felt welcomed by Chris. Chris does a great job modeling the growth mindset we all need right now because of this chaotic time. I enjoy working for her and hope she can stick it out with me for another 18 years.
~Michelle Stone

I personally find Chris to be an exceptional and enthusiastic human being. She sets a great example of leadership and constantly connects with faculty, staff, students, and overall school culture with her welcoming personality.
~Jay Mehta

Dedicated and fun leader that engages with students to make them smile and build them up.  Has helped them focus on how their Middle School experience is foundational to next steps in HS, Career, and/or College.
~Kim Bast

I appreciate and admire Chris’ passion. She is doing a lot of great, new things at UPMS, and she is never shy about sharing them...which is wonderful! She deserves recognition for her hard work and willingness to step out of the box for the betterment of her students and staff.
~Nikki Gum

Additionally, the MS counseling team wanted to add the following about Mr. Callan:

Brian Callan is a supportive leader in our building. He is always willing to help meet the needs of all students. As an assistant principal, Brian goes beyond the discipline approach by getting to know the student and where they are in that moment. The counseling team is thankful for all of his support over the years and appreciate all that he has done and continues to do for our students. 
~The UPMS Counseling Department

Mr. Arthur Vigilante, Upper Perkiomen 4th & 5th Grade Center

Rounding out the elementary component of our principals team is Mr. Arthur (Art) Vigilante, principal at the Upper Perkiomen 4th & 5th Grade Center. While Mr. Vigilante is one of the newer principals with two years leading the new 4th and 5th Grade Center, he has been an important part of the administrative team for years, previously serving as UPHS assistant principal and joining Upper Perk in 2002.

Check out our photo gallery of Mr. Vigilante in action:

**Please note that some of these photos were taken prior to the pandemic or before masking mandates, and as such, you will see individuals inside without masks on.

We asked members of the district community to share some kind thoughts about Mr. Vigilante, and here is what they had to say:

It has been a great experience working with Art during our crazy time together here at the 4-5 Center!  Since we arrived in this building, we have yet to have a “normal” year, but his kindness and support to both students and staff throughout it all has been fantastic.  His willingness to listen to others’ ideas, thoughts or just to lend an ear when needed are very much appreciated.  He is always “4-5 Proud”!
~Sue Kenna

Art is a compassionate principal and always willing to put his staff and students before himself.  
~Melissa Smith

From a staff member standpoint, Art always approaches situations with the teacher’s best interest in mind. He is what I like to call, “team teachers”. He is not afraid to stand up for us, and that is what I value about his guidance. 
~Jamie Bartholomew

Art is a great principal to work for. He trusts his staff and supports them in both their professional and personal lives. He has a great sense of humor and makes working at the 4-5 center enjoyable. 
~Nikki Hower

Art is always mindful of how busy our area gets and checks in with us to see what we need. We appreciate his thoughtfulness and willingness to pitch in.”
~Jill Day & Alexa (Nursing Department)

Art Vigilante is very nice, friendly, always greeting everyone in the morning with a smile and very caring. I feel very fortunate to have the ability to work with him.
~Kim McCall

Ten Qualities of a GREAT Principal!
1. Students always #1!
2. Family man!
4. Exemplary leadership!
5. Encourages initiative!
6. Good sense of humor--great laugh!
7. Respectful and caring!
8. Five-star professional wardrobe!
9. Careful attention to details!
10. Wise in decision making!
THANK YOU to Mr. Vigilante for helping to make our 4-5 the place to be!
~Patty Stahley

Extremely capable and focused on students making good choices so all feel welcome, successful, and have goals to strive for.
~Kim Bast

I greatly appreciate the way that Art keeps me in the loop with what is happening at the 4th & 5th GC. Additionally, he is always speedy in getting back to me with the answer to a question. Oftentimes, if we discuss something in person or at a meeting, by the time I’m back at my desk, I already have a bunch of great details in my email from him.
~Nikki Gum

Mrs. Allison Stephens, Marlborough Elementary

The second principal we are honoring this week is Mrs. Allison (Allie) Stephens, principal at Marlborough Elementary. While Mrs. Stephens is one of the newer additions on our principals team with two years leading Marlborough, she has been making an impact at Upper Perk in various roles since 2014.

Check out our photo gallery of Mrs. Stephens in action:

**Please note that some of these photos were taken prior to the pandemic or before masking mandates, and as such, you will see individuals inside without masks on.

We asked members of the district community to share some kind thoughts about Mrs. Stephens, and here is what they had to say:

Allie is a source of positive energy. She is always willing to uplift her staff with a smile and enthusiasm on a daily basis. Her positive energy is on full display each morning as my class tunes in to watch the daily announcements. Some days it is difficult to match the energy of students younger than 10 years old, but she does a great job keeping up.
~Jared Krupp

I love Allie’s sense of humor. Sometimes she’ll say something to the kids that just cracks me up!  She can also break out some killer dance moves!
~Marianne Phillips

I haven’t worked with Allie for a long time, but she is always upbeat, quick to resolve an issue or give insight whenever needed. She is also a great multi-tasker.  
~Cathie Hill

Allie’s signature way of celebrating success is saying “Woot Woot!” Since my work with Allie as building principal, I have added “Woot Woot!” to my vocabulary!!
~Michele Kline

She is an energetic and passionate school leader working everyday to make Marlborough and UPSD an excellent place to learn and grow.
~Kim Bast

Both in her role as principal and prior role with the district, I have always appreciated Allie’s thoughtful, organized approach to her position. She is also a very accessible (and fun) leader, for both her colleagues and students!
~Nikki Gum

Mrs. Maureen Zavadel, Hereford Elementary

First up is Mrs. Maureen (Mo) Zavadel, principal at Hereford Elementary. While we are sad that Mrs. Zavadel will be leaving us in just a few weeks’ time, it is clear that she has made a lasting impact on Hereford and Upper Perk as a whole during her time in the district. Mrs. Zavadel has served in various roles in the district for over 18 years, including more than 6 years as Hereford’s principal. 

Check out our photo gallery of Mrs. Zavadel in action:

**Please note that some of these photos were taken prior to the pandemic or before masking mandates, and as such, you will see individuals inside without masks on.

We asked members of the district community to share some kind thoughts about Mrs. Zavadel, and here is what they had to say:

Mo’s caring nature is second to none. She has ALWAYS told us to take care of ourselves and our families above all else, because if we don’t do that we can’t take care of our students here.  She’s tremendously empathic, a great listener, and an incredibly kind soul. Wherever she ends up next, they are lucky to have her 
~Holly Francisco

There are no words to describe the amazing human being that Mo Zavadel is. She is kind, she is understanding, she is thoughtful, and compassionate. She provides a level of leadership unmatched by any principal I have ever experienced. Not only does she care about kids but she cares deeply about teachers and the entire staff at Hereford. She empowers the people she works with to learn more each and every day, to not only develop as professionals but on a personal level as well. She encourages others to speak up for the things they are passionate about and to do the right thing even when it’s hard. She exemplifies grit and grace and will forever be an important part of our Hereford Proud family.
~Stephanie Diehl

I enjoy working with Mo because she is approachable and understanding, and she always has great suggestions for whatever issues we come up against. I will miss having her at Hereford, but I wish her the best! 
~Nicole Wilson

Mo excels at creating a trust-based culture where students and teachers can learn. She listens to understand, clearly defines success for the staff, and brings humor to each day.
~Amber Anderson

She has a BIG heart for kids and exudes HEREFORD proud -- it’s contagious to students, families, and the UPSD family!
~Kim Bast

I haven’t worked with her very long, but  Maureen Zavadel has a very sun-shiny personality, very positive, cheerful, kind, helpful, & caring. I feel very fortunate to have the ability to work with her, and I am sad that she is leaving, but I am happy for the new adventures that await her!
~Kim McCall

I always appreciate Mo’s ability to relate to others...from the smallest kindergarten student to a colleague to the grandparent visiting Hereford for a special event. Spending just a few minutes with her leaves everyone feeling like she cares about you...because she does! I also envy her ability to let loose, have fun and just be herself at all times! We’ll miss you, Mo!
~Nikki Gum