Matt Stinson approved as new Myers principal


Courtesy photo

Matt Stinson will replace Dr. Terri Harpster as the principal of Myers Elementary.

Maggie Erickson, Staff Writer

Earlier this week, the Bellwood-Antis School Board approved the hire of Mr. Matthew Stinson as the new principal of Myers Elementary.

Mr. Stinson replaces Dr. Terri Harpster, a lifer in the Bellwood-Antis School District who graduated from B-A, guided the Lady Blue Devil basketball team to the PIAA finals in 1990, and taught at Myers before becoming principal.

Some may know Mr. Stinson’s wife, Mrs. Ali Stinson, who is a high school math teacher, yearbook adviser, and Renaissance co-adviser.

Previously, Mr. Stinson taught elementary students for 17 years at Frankstown Elementary School before becoming principal at Pleasant Valley Elementary School for the past four years. 

He acquired his degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, then completing his Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Gannon University. He obtained his Principal Certification through St. Francis University.

Mr. Stinson has big shoes to fill in replacing Dr. Harpster, but he is thrilled to be apart of the Bellwood-Antis School District.

“I am extremely excited about being chosen as the new Myers Elementary principal,” said Mr. Stinson. “The pool of candidates was incredibly strong and I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to continue to build upon the great things that Dr. Harpster has been doing at Myers for years.”

Superintendent Dr. Thomas McInroy is looking forward to seeing how Mr. Stinson will lead the Myers Elementary School in order to provide the best environment for students.

 “We are pleased to have Mr. Stinson.  He has four years of experience as a principal in Altoona.  He taught 17 years prior to him becoming principal,” said Dr. McInroy.  “Mr. Stinson is student-focused and uses data to help drive decisions.  His leadership style fits well with BA’s leadership style in that he seeks input from those whom the decision will impact the most.  I would say Mr. Stinson’s greatest asset is his personality.  He is a hard working, all around good guy.  Mr. Stinson will begin transitioning as soon as possible with Dr. Harpster so her departure is seamless.” 

Mr. Stinson is student-focused and uses data to help drive decisions.  His leadership style fits well with BA’s leadership style in that he seeks input from those whom the decision will impact the most.

— Dr. McInroy

Dr. Harpster is glad to have someone like Mr. Stinson take over the coveted role. 

“I am very excited for the entire Myers Elementary School Community with the selection of Mr. Matthew Stinson as their next principal,” said Dr. Harpster. “Mr. Stinson is a member of our community. His children attend Myers, and his wife Ali Stinson, is a valued member of the high school mathematics department. He is certainly invested in our school and community. I have heard great things about Mr. Stinson. He is knowledgeable, caring and personable. The future looks bright for all members of The Myers Community.”

Mr and Mrs. Stinson have two children that also attend Myers, so working in the same district and having a front row seat to their childrens’ journeys is certainly a cherished experience.

“When I first decided to pursue my principalship certification, Ali and I had always discussed what a dream it would be to work in the same district, so we are both very excited,” he said.  “We both have a desire to help, motivate and inspire students at all levels through building relationships and creating a culture where students want to be.  Being able to make a positive impact on our school and community, while being present to watch as our own children experience these events is truly priceless.”

Mrs. Stinson is also very excited to be working in the same district as her husband, and she has no doubts about the impact he will make at Myers.

“Matt’s passion, energy and desire to make an impact on the staff, students and community is inspiring.” Mrs. Stinson said. “I have seen firsthand the time and commitment he has put into the programs that he started and the culture he created in his time both as a teacher at Frankstown Elementary (Hollidaysburg) and as a principal at Pleasant Valley (Altoona). He always makes a positive difference in the lives of those he encounters, collaborates with others to make the best decisions for kids and fosters relationships built on respect and trust.  I can’t express how proud I am of him and know, without a doubt, that he will be an amazing addition to our school district.”

More than anything, Mr. Stinson wants to do what is best for his students, and his goal is to, “provide a safe learning environment that will focus on building relationships, teach 21st Century Learning Skills, incorporate Core Standards, technology skills and using new innovative resources that will promote student achievement. Through events that will allow for collaboration of administration, teachers, families, and stakeholders, we will have interactions that contain meaningful dialogue, promote collaboration and make decisions that are best for kids.  My open door policy will allow us all to work together to create that environment for our students.  I believe that ‘Leadership is we…not me’ and I know that together, WE will make a difference.”