Familiar face steps in as temporary principal

Zach Garger, who grew up in Quakertown and attended district schools, has been working in QCSD since graduating from Penn State.
Posted on 10/05/2020
Zach Garger stands outside the brick wall that shows the writing Pfaff Elementary School.By Gary Weckselblatt

With Principal Dr. Orathia Bradley taking a leave of absence, Zach Garger has been named temporary principal at Pfaff Elementary School.

Many in the Pfaff community are likely familiar with Mr. Garger. Before last summer, he, his wife and two young children lived just a two-minute walk from the school. “It was the first house we purchased,” he said. “Some of my neighbors are now my students.”

A lifelong resident of the Quakertown Community School District, growing up he attended Haycock Elementary, Strayer Middle, the Freshman Center and Quakertown Community High School, graduating in 2006.

When he graduated from Penn State with a degree in Elementary Education, Mr. Garger was hired by QCSD, where he has been ever since. He has taught at both Trumbauersville and Richland before becoming an instructional coach, initially for K-5 in math and science. For the last three years he has been a K-12 instructional coach for math and science as a content specialist and advisor to QCSD’s New Teachers Academy.

“The coaching role has taught me so much,” Mr. Garger said. “I’ve built relationships in every school. I feel like I already know 90 percent of the people in Pfaff.”

Mr. Garger said that when he was a teacher, former Trumbauersville Principal Jim Moczydlowski encouraged him to consider taking a leadership role within the district. So after receiving a masters in Classroom Technology from Wilkes University, Mr. Garger became a postgraduate student at Lehigh University, where he obtained a masters in Educational Leadership with a principal’s certification.

When he accepted the assignment as Pfaff’s temporary principal, Mr. Garger said elementary principals and co-workers in the district office reached out to him. Dr. Bradley also helped “bringing me up to speed,” he said. “I have a plethora of resources to call on.”

On Monday morning, he was at the Pfaff entrance welcoming students. “It felt really great to stand at the front door to greet kids today,” he said. “That’s what I love. I felt a nervous energy today and after greeting the kids and popping into the classrooms, I feel really comfortable.

“I’m Quakertown through and through. This is the community that raised me and helped me be successful. I look so forward to working with them, learning from them and making this a great year of learning for our students.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.

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