South Fayette School District News Article

New HS Principal Hired

The administration of South Fayette Township School District (SFTSD) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Natasha K. Dirda as the new principal of the High School. The hiring of Dr. Dirda was approved by the School Board at its meeting on November 21, and the board anticipates her official start date to be in January 2024. Dr. Dirda is a South Fayette resident and brings a wealth of educational leadership experience that will undoubtedly contribute greatly to the district and specifically grades 9 - 12. 

“We have conducted an extensive search for just the right candidate to add to our administrative team and to guide our high school in furthering its reputation for excellence in education and innovation,” said Dr. Michelle Miller, Superintendent of Schools. “Dr. Dirda is familiar with our region and not only knows the history of South Fayette, but has wholeheartedly pledged herself to our vision and culture, embraced our student-centered focus, and will lead our faculty and staff, along with our students and their families, with dedication and compassion toward ongoing achievement.”

Dr. Dirda has been working in education since 2005 and spent the past eight years as principal in Mt. Lebanon schools and most recently at North Allegheny Senior High School. Prior to assuming responsibilities as principal, Dr. Dirda taught mathematics and coached girls soccer and basketball.     

“I am excited to have the opportunity to continue my career as a South Fayette Lion,” said Dr. Dirda. “The district, and high school in particular, has such an outstanding reputation. As a member of the community, I know first-hand that it’s a vibrant, diverse, and welcoming place to be. It will be an honor and a privilege to get to know the whole team at the high school and to work with them hand-in-hand, as well as to be a part of the administration leading South Fayette into the future.” 

She went on to add, “Future-focused, student-centered, and innovation-driven speak to my core values as an educator and as a person. I align myself directly with those tenets.” 

Dr. Dirda holds a bachelor’s in economics from Virginia Tech University where she was Rookie of the Year for the women’s soccer program. She has a master’s in instructional leadership from Robert Morris University, earned her K-12 principal certification from California University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pittsburgh. She has a proven track record of collaboration at all levels, developing building-based goals and professional development, and fostering student engagement and connectedness. She is also committed to school safety and a positive school environment. 

“I am definitely looking forward to working with Dr. Dirda,” said High School Assistant Principal Robert Butts, who is in his fourth year with South Fayette. “The people here – the teachers, students, parents, and other staff members – are what make South Fayette the special place that it is. I have no doubt that Dr. Dirda is going to fit in well here, and I am excited to introduce her to our team and to partner with her in this new chapter for the high school and the district.” 

Dr. Dirda is joining SFTSD filled with gratitude for the support of her family that has always been with her through every step of her career journey. 

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