A.W. Beattie Career Center is celebrating one retirement and two promotions at the administration level.
While Assistant Director Sandy Niggel recently retired after 19 years at the career center, Jason Watkins and Thea Holzworth have been approved for internal promotions by the Joint Operating Committee.
Watkins will be the Assistant Director/Principal, and Holzworth will be Assistant Principal/Assistant to the Executive Director for Student Services and Special Projects.
“It’s great to see individuals at A.W. Beattie promoted from within, and I feel that shows strong mentoring and belief in each other at the career center,” Watkins said. “With change comes a lot of opportunity for new ideas and new procedures, so I’m looking forward to doing the best we can to offer quality programs and experiences for our students.”
Watkins was a Technology Education teacher for 12 combined years at Slippery Rock and Southern Garrett high schools before he was hired as Principal at A.W. Beattie in 2016. His belief in A.W. Beattie’s efforts to make every student career and college ready stems from multiple sources.
“I believe in the education that we offer and the relevance it has in our current economy locally and globally,” Watkins said. “I also see the pride that our students and teachers have in their programs and their career choices. What we’re doing here is staying on the cutting edge of education and paralleling that to the workforce and postsecondary opportunities.”
Holzworth has fulfilled several positions at the career center from an Intern in Student Counseling to an Instructional Support Assistant. She was also an Elementary Art teacher at Waynesburg School District for eight years.
“I’m excited to take some of the ideas I have and to use them in a positive way to help students, teachers, staff and the community at A.W. Beattie as a whole,” Holzworth said. “I’m excited to use my leadership abilities and all of the training I’ve had in a positive way to be a driving force for our students to rise to even greater heights.”
Holzworth feels that the career center can inspire every student to reach their full potential.
“I believe in every student everywhere,” Holzworth said. “A.W. Beattie is an extremely important part of that belief, because it offers unique programs and paths for everyone. I’m looking forward to being a leader and learning more about the communities that we partner with at our nine school districts to strengthen our efforts to give every student the resources and experiences they need to be successful.”
Niggel was an A.W. Beattie Computer Programming Teacher before being promoted to the administration level.
“Mrs. Niggel is the glue that held A.W. Beattie together, and that’s a huge role for Mr. Watkins and I to step into,” Holzworth said. “She knows everything, and she’s a fantastic mentor. She’s shown me how you can be a caring person and a strong leader at the same time.”
Watkins added: “Mrs. Niggel has done a tremendous amount for the students at A.W. Beattie, and it has been an honor and privilege to work with her. She has mentored me and will be missed greatly. I know we will be in contact for advice and insight moving forward, her efforts here will be continued through the projects she established.”