GREENFIELD — Executive Director Salah Khelfaoui is pleased to announce that Andrew Costa has been appointed as the new principal of the Greater Commonwealth Virtual School.
Principal Costa has served as the Assistant Principal of Wachusett Regional High School since 2011. He was previously Wachusett Regional High School’s freshman seminar teacher and a seventh-grade teacher at First Lutheran School.
While Assistant Principal of Wachusett Regional High School, he gained important experience managing the freshman and sophomore classes, overseeing student discipline, carrying out parental communication and collaborating with teachers.
Principal Costa’s first experience with GCVS was two years ago when his son enrolled as a sixth grader. At that time he saw the benefits of the school through the lens of a parent. Now, as an administrator, he gets to see firsthand the value of the educational model GCVS uses.
“If someone had told me five years ago that I would be helping to run a virtual school I would’ve been very doubtful, but the mindset over what a virtual school is and can be has shifted in recent years,” Principal Costa said. “I am thrilled to be able to be at a school that is leading the way in this field.”
While recognizing that a virtual school such as GCVS has many challenges, Principal Costa believes it is also the most rewarding work he has been a part of during his career. Because the school is still growing and expanding there is tremendous room for growth, and administrators are working together to figure out what works best.
While he admits there has been a huge learning curve so far, staff is fully on board and works together to build relationships that put teachers in a position to best educate students.
“All families come to GCVS knowing that it will be a different learning environment, and that is one of the things that makes the school so successful,” he said. “Never before have I seen a school where all of the students bring their own unique stories and perspectives, and that results in a school where students and teachers alike can share common themes and needs. Everyone works together for a common goal.”
Principal Costa has been working to get to know each staff member at the school since starting in July. He has been holding brief meetings to get to know everyone involved and hear more about their roles. The common theme among all of the meetings has been that everyone shares the same mission about the values of virtual education, and he will work with staff to refine the goals of the school and improve communication and promote teamwork moving forward.
“Principal Costa has been a perfect choice to lead our school and move us forward with enthusiasm and a passion for education,” Superintendent Khelfaoui said. “We are constantly trying to grow and improve as a school, and it is important to have a principal and administrators who are all on the same page. We feel Principal Costa has set the stage for us to continue to refine our goals and approach to education in the best interest of our students and families.”
Principal Costa holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a master’s degree in education from Lesley University. Additionally, he holds various licenses including Post Baccalaureate Initial Teacher License for middle and secondary school, as well as a Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association license.