Pauline Wiley, the new principal at Saint Matthew School in Tyrone, is eager to begin this new chapter and help children grow in faith, academics, and service.
A Message from the New Principal
I am one of ten children raised in a Catholic home. My childhood was filled with noise and chaos that you typically find in a big family. At dinner however, there was prayer and peace, if only for a short time! My parents were devout Catholics and loved their faith. I watched my mother live a life of giving and caring for others and it instilled in me a desire to do the same. I recall as a child thinking that I wanted to become either a teacher or an airline stewardess. I wasn’t tall enough to become a stewardess, but teaching was something that I realized only later, I was called to be.
I attended St. John the Evangelist in my elementary years then went to public school from 7-12 grade. In 1981-1982, I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh for photography. I worked for a year and joined the Air Force (1984-1995) where I worked as a mechanic and then a training manager ensuring that people got the training they needed to do their jobs. I was married and had 2 beautiful girls during this time, unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last. When I left the military, the girls and I moved back to Pennsylvania and I went to PSU Altoona and the main campus (1996-1999) and received a Baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education. I was a substitute for Hollidaysburg Area School district for the next 2 years and was hired in 2001 as a full time teacher. While I worked in HASD, I completed my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction through the University of Scranton. I worked for Hollidaysburg for 22 years primarily in fifth and sixth grade with one year in kindergarten.
I didn’t always love school as a child, but I have always loved learning. I understand the frustration children have with not being able to connect with what is going on in the classroom and have made it my priority to always make sure that children feel that connection. I want students to feel that they belong, they have a voice, and what they say matters. When they feel safe to take chances educationally, they grow and they learn.
I believe that education isn’t about just book learning. It entails the whole child. Children need more than academics, they also need to learn socially and spiritually in order to navigate the complex world that they live in today. With the advent of the internet and social media children can become lost so easily. They need to have a solid foundation that includes educational, social, and spiritual knowledge if they are to successfully navigate our world today.
Moving from public to Catholic school felt a bit daunting at first. Over the last 22 years, the people who have become family and the connections with the students are strong. However I am excited for a change, a new challenge. One that includes going past academics, that allows me to talk about and engage fully in my faith. I am a lifelong Catholic that continues to grow and I am excited to share my love of Christ and the faith that I have with other like minded people.
I am eager to enter into the next chapter of God’s plan for me and become part of the St. Matthew family. It is one that promises to challenge and help me grow. I am looking forward to getting to meet everyone.
Yours in faith,