Hollidaysburg junior high principal resigns

Heinrich taking post at Indiana School District

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Hollidaysburg Area School Board accepted the resignation of Junior High School Principal Robert Heinrich, who will take a higher position at the Indiana School District.

In addition, the board accepted letters of retirement for business administrator Rob Roberts, who will retire in December, and Physical Plant Director Philip Smith, who will retire in October.

Heinrich will move to Indiana this summer to begin as the school district’s director of education.

“This move is because of an opportunity to advance my personal and professional goals. It came my way. I did not seek it out,” he said at the school board’s meeting. “The past 15 months at Hollidaysburg Area have been the best of my career.”

He commended the school board for its support of district administrators, teachers and students.

Heinrich and other administrators also presented a year review for their departments on Wednesday, and the highlight of Heinrich’s presentation was how the culture of junior high school improved by taking a new approach to student discipline.

“There was a 56 percent reduction in discipline referrals this year from last year,” Heinrich said.

Board member Lonna Frye asked what adjustment made the biggest difference on student behavior.

Heinrich responded: “Communication home. A call home for minor things before so we can repair the relationship and get the student back in good standing.”

He said repetitive behavior infractions declined mostly as a result of quick and personal communication to parents after a minor incident.

Board member Lois Kaneshiki was astounded by the drop in behavioral incidents. She asked for more information about what specific kinds of behavior problems were reduced.

“I think this is a model for what we should be doing in every building,” she said.

Heinrich noted the senior high school administrative team started the model.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.