The Williamsville Central School District has officially gained its first female high school principal. The Board of Education named Petrina Scinta Neureuter principal of North High School at its meeting Tuesday night.
School spokeswoman Rita Wolff said that while the school district has had female principals at its middle and elementary schools, no woman had ascended to the top high school post until now.
Superintendent Howard Smith expressed surprise at the discovery Tuesday.
"I guess I never stepped back and looked at it from that perspective," he said.
Neureuter is not a new face for the district's largest high school. She has served as interim principal since July, after former Principal Robert Tubbs resigned to accept a position out of state in the private sector.
Prior to being named interim principal, Neureuter was assistant principal at the school for six years. Before that, the Cheektowaga resident served as an assistant principal at Depew High School for five years and was previously a tenured business teacher at North High School for more than 10 years.
Neureuter, 47, said she was thrilled, honored and proud to be named principal.
"I feel the parents already know me," she said. "I think they know who I am and what I stand for and the high expectations I have for their children."
She also said she plans to carry on the rich tradition and strong academic programs that North High School is known for.
Smith described Neureuter as a strong, well-respected leader with a tremendous work ethic.
"We're fortunate to have her," he said.
As far as her being the first female high school principal in the district, Smith said, "I see good leaders. I don't see males and females. I look at who can offer top-quality educational leadership."
Neureuter earned bachelor's and master's degrees in business education from the University at Buffalo and a master's degree in education and educational administration from Canisius College.
She will earn $108,750 as principal.
North High School serves more than 1,500 students in grades 9 through 12.
School district administrators said a selection committee composed of North High staff members, parents and a student representative reviewed more than 20 applications for the principal's position and interviewed six candidates.
The committee unanimously endorsed Neureuter for the post. School Board members also unanimously supported her promotion Tuesday.
"We had the best leader among us," Smith said.