Deluccia's education career coming to a close|
Saturday, March 23, 2013
By Josh Woods Staff Writer
DUBOIS - DuBois Area School District Superintendent Timothy Deluccia's 35-year career in education is slated for retirement at the end of the school year. But, the imprint he has left on students and staff will last forever.
Deluccia, a Grampian resident, recently reflected on the moments that shaped his career. He remembered listening quietly to his high school English teacher, Elizabeth Mallon, as she read "The Albatross." His fourth-grade teacher, Margaret Humphreys, sometimes would transport him and his classmates to a public library after school. His sixth-grade teacher, Marian Garrison, was well organized and taught him to be nothing but his best.
"I knew it from the time I was a little kid, and I knew it when I graduated from Curwensville High School in 1974 ... I wanted to be a teacher," said Deluccia. "I had teachers that I thought were excellent. They were encouraging and they nurtured in me that love of education and learning."
Those impressioned by Deluccia will remember his drive for technology, passion for education and quirky pattern of knowing all students and staff on a first-name basis.
Deluccia began his education career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He majored in elementary education and earned a bachelor's degree from IUP in 1978. Upon graduation, he was accepted into a highly competitive graduate-level reading program and worked in Homer Center School District. In 1979, Deluccia was hired by Marion Center School District. He worked there until a job came open at DuBois in November 1985.
"I was looking for a job that was closer to home," said Deluccia. "I looked at DuBois' reputation and the programs it had to offer. It was the only place I applied to because it's where I wanted to be."
DuBois Area School District hired Deluccia to teach seventh- and eighth-grade reading. After three years, he moved to Title I reading. Later, he moved into a quasi-administrative role in which he supervised teachers who remediated kids taking the TELLS test.
Then, Deluccia earned an elementary/secondary principal certification from Penn State. In 1995, he applied and interviewed for an elementary principal's job. He served as dual principal of Oklahoma and Luthersburg elementary schools for six months and then Oklahoma and Penfield for five years.
"The Class of 2012 was the last class I had at Oklahoma and Penfield as a principal," said Deluccia. "When they went through the line to practice for graduation I was able to tell them their bus numbers, their parent's names, who their brothers and sisters were. The connection I made, I always felt if I knew my students it would make my discipline easier."
Superintendent Sharon Kirk asked Deluccia in October 1999 and in February 2000 to come to the central officer and work as an assistant, he said. On both occasions he told Kirk he enjoyed working as an elementary principal. The school board hired someone for the job in April of that year, but the individual didn't want the job, he said.
"The superintendent said to me ‘let's go for a walk,'" said Deluccia. "So, we walked the track over at Mansell Stadium and about the second lap I knew I was coming to the district office whether I liked it or not. That's how I ended up at central office at that time as assistant to the superintendent. That was my position starting in 2000."
Following Kirk's retirement and resignation of her replacement, Larry Robb, Deluccia served as interim superintendent. He was encouraged to interview for the vacant position, but initially declined. It wasn't until a candidate search failed to bear fruit that he agreed to apply for the position.
By the fall of 2008 Deluccia had risen to the top. After cramming 21 college credits into one calendar year at Edinboro University, he earned a superintendent letter of eligibility. He was hired as DuBois' superintendent in the fall of 2008.
"I was reluctant ... I was afraid because it's a demanding job," said Deluccia. "My wife, Jill, said I was like a guy who wouldn't commit to marriage. She said you're doing the job, so just do it.
"Jill said they liked and respected me, and I was doing a good job (as interim superintendent). Out of her encouragement I took the job. She has always kept me grounded when I needed someone to turn to. We're each other's best friends."
Deluccia found the role of superintendent rewarding. Under his watch the district upgraded security cameras, implemented an all call system, put SMART boards in every classroom, allowed elementary teachers to teach on an iPad and began using Elmo document cameras.
"I feel really good about my role as a supervisor," said Deluccia. "I feel good about the relationships I built with the school staff, administrators, teachers, cafeteria workers and custodians. I've always felt that every job is important."
Part of building those relationships began with Deluccia's themed staff programs. His goal, he said, was to make staff meetings creative and fun. His programs entertained the staff with music and videos and aimed to make them feel good about themselves.
"My parents instilled in me to always do my best," said Deluccia. "My dad was always very supportive. He passed away in 1993 and never got to see me as a principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent. If I had one wish my wish would be that my dad got to see me fulfill those roles."
Deluccia said he tried to base his personnel decisions on fiscal responsibility. The toughest part of the job was spending sleepless nights worrying about personnel decisions and the weather. He certainly won't miss making weather calls - a process that for him started at 4 a.m. "Maybe that's what got me into watching the Weather Channel," Deluccia quipped.
"Everyday I've been on this job, I've backed out of my garage in the morning and said a prayer," said Deluccia. "I asked God to give me the strength to make the right decisions and to keep the kids safe.
"I hope, as I leave here, I've left a positive mark on the district. I always tried to do what was best for the students to give them opportunities. The last day is going to be a hard one for me."
In June, a new journey begins.
Deluccia can't wait to perform the menial tasks he has not had time to do around his house. He plans to organize his basement, garage and myriad of Christmas decorations - The Deluccias annually try to come up with a new Christmas tree design.
If the opportunity arises, Deluccia would continue teaching college-level courses.
He has taught more than 60 graduate credits at Edinboro to students pursuing a career in education.
He has also filed a petition to run for school board.
"I live and breathe the red, black and white of the DuBois Beavers," said Deluccia. "I believe in this school district."