South Fayette School District News Article

New Assistant Principal Starts at HS

The administration of South Fayette Township School District (SFTSD) is pleased to announce that the hiring of Mr. Thomas J. “TJ” Salopek as assistant principal of the high school was approved by the School Board on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, and he began his first day in the role on Monday, June 3. Mr. Salopek brings great experience in high school education and leadership to the position and is an exciting addition to the leadership at South Fayette. 

“We were fortunate to have some truly stellar candidates apply for this vacancy, and actually only went one week without an assistant principal in the high school,” said Dr. Michelle Miller, Superintendent of Schools. “Mr. Salopek stood out for the polish and professionalism that he displayed in his interviews that will, in turn, represent our district. He also impressed us with his energy, enthusiasm, and reputation for establishing strong relationships with students, staff, and his school community. We have no doubt that he will be an excellent complement to Dr. Dirda, our high school principal, and together they will do a fabulous job in leading this critical age group.” 

Mr. Salopek began his career in education teaching social studies full-time at North Allegheny Senior High School for five years before becoming Assistant Principal at Pine Richland High School where he served from March 2019 through June 2021; also filling in that summer as the district’s Director of Athletics. He then returned to NA where he has been Assistant Principal since August 2021. He was also a football coach in the North Allegheny School District from 2012 through 2018. 

“I have always been a student-centered leader, and I am excited to share and continue that focus at South Fayette,” said Mr. Salopek. “In just my first few hours on the campus, I am so impressed with all that I am seeing and everyone I am meeting. I am looking forward to taking the next steps in my career with a district that is as forward-thinking and future-focused as South Fayette, as well as rejoining my former partnership with Dr. Dirda. It is my goal to make this upcoming school year the best possible for the kids and staff at South Fayette High School.”

Mr. Salopek earned a bachelor of arts from Allegheny College where he was a four-year starting quarterback and football team captain during his junior and senior seasons. He has a masters in teaching secondary social studies education from the University of Pittsburgh, and he completed the PA School Principal K-12 Certification Program at Point Park University in October 2018. He is especially experienced with relationship-building, district safety, student testing, curriculum development, and student and staff experience. 

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