She will succeed Anthony Merante, who retired in June. Her appointment was approved by the board of education July 18 meeting.
Kardambikis leaves the Aliquippa School District, where she had served as director of curriculum and achievement since 2008. Previously, she was program director of e-CADEMY at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, which is a supplemental online program for students in grades 9-12 that offers online courses.
She also was director of health services in the Neshannock Township School District.
She received her Ph.D. from Kent State University in curriculum and instruction. She also holds a master’s degrees in health education from Penn State University, and a master’s degree in secondary guidance and counseling from Slippery Rock University.
Kardambikis received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Carlow College. She received her superintendent’s letter of eligibility from Westminster College.
Kardambikis took the opportunity to visit Peters Township schools to meet staff members and get to know more about the district. She took a minute of her time to chat with us.
Congratulations on your appointment. What are your thoughts on becoming assistant superintendent for the Peters Township School District?
I’m very honored and very excited to be coming here. I really believe this is going to be a nice fit for me, and I’m looking forward to getting to know and begin working with the staff. I really want to immerse myself into the community, and I want to get to know the parents and the students, and go to all the activities and be totally involved in the community. I really want to embrace the community, because I did that when I was in Aliquippa and Neshannock. One of the keys is to really understand the community.
I guess it will be a little different coming from an urban district like Aliquippa to one that is more rural, like Peters.
I think the experiences both in Aliquippa and Neshannock have really been helpful. Neshannock, near New Castle, was a suburban district, and I can use those experiences to work with students and parents. Believe me, we want to keep those high academics in Peters and we want students to succeed in a global society. We want to be sure our curriculum exemplifies the needs of the community.
You have an interesting background in nursing and health education.
Yes, I’ve always been passionate with relating health education to educating the whole child. When I look at students, and I deal with parents, I look at them in a little different sense. I hope that is something positive to parents.
What led you from the role of health educator to administrator?
Well, I was always in curriculum, even when I was in the health aspect of it. I always wrote curriculum, and especially with 'No Child Left Behind,' I was wanting to find ways of bringing health education into the classes. I did projects and developed programs that went national on project-based programs for students, and I’ve always dealt with the whole student body. So even as a nurse, I was in charge of 1,200 students, and when I went into administration it wasn’t such leap. I always had to deal with a K-12 population, including parents and community.
What would you hope to do in Peters Township during your first year here?
Well, I want to take a really good look at the curriculum and make sure that it's aligned K-12, and to be sure that we’re moving it along and aligning it with the common core standards that were just adopted by Pennsylvania.
That’s really going to help prepare the students for college and career readiness. It will actually step up the rigor and the expectations. I’m really excited about working on that aspect. I also want to really continue with the character education. I’m a big proponent of positive behavior, and I want to be able to move that along this year. Along with all of my other responsibilities, I want to do all I can to assist Dr. Zetty. I’m excited. I’m intrinsically motivated. I’m ecstatic to be here in Peters Township and to work with the parents, students and staff.