District Information

The Southern Columbia Area School District encompasses 108 square miles of rolling hills and valleys located in the scenic Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. A rural community, Southern Columbia Area is comprised of Catawissa Borough, and Catawissa TownshipCleveland TownshipFranklin TownshipRoaring Creek Township, and Locust Township in Columbia County, and Ralpho Township in Northumberland County.  The area affords District residents the opportunity for ample outdoor enjoyment such as hunting, fishing, ice skating, swimming, camping, and boating, as well as a multitude of cultural, educational, and community-based, pursuits.The School District is easily accessible to major highways: 25 minutes to Interstate 80; 45 minutes to Interstate 81; and a short distance to PA routes 54, 61, and 487, and US routes 11 and 15, all of which either cross through the District or are located nearby. The District is approximately 75 miles northeast of Harrisburg, 50 miles southeast of  Williamsport, and 53 miles southwest of Wilkes-Barre.

The School District is governed by a nine member Board of School Directors, elected for four-year terms. The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer of the School District, with overall responsibility for all aspects of operations, including education and finance. The Business Manager is responsible for budget and financial operations. Both of these officials are selected by the Board of School Directors. The School District operates an elementary school (K-4), a middle school (5-8), and a high school (9-12). All schools and offices are located on a 119 acre campus along Southern Drive (Route 487) in the southern section of Columbia County. The District's total enrollment is approximately 1430 students.

Southern Columbia Area schools and students are often recognized for their outstanding academic achievement consistently scoring above federal and state thresholds for proficiency. In 2016, Southern Columbia Area High School earned lifetime status as a National Blue Ribbon High School for Exemplary High Performance. G.C. Harman Elementary School was recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a Title I Distinguished School for High Achievement in 2017. Southern's students excel, with many receiving individual and/or shared awards in the fields of music, technology, and athletics. Students are provided a challenging and diverse curriculum, with differentiated lessons offered to meet the interest and needs of all learners. Students have the opportunity to enroll in full-time career and technical education studies at the Columbia-Montour AVTS. Many students also enroll in college-level courses taught at Southern Columbia Area High School, as well as on the campuses of nearby colleges including Bloomsburg University and Luzerne County Community College. Southern Columbia has maintained a graduation rate of 95% with over 80% of our graduates matriculating into higher education.

Southern Columbia Area Schools and Contact Information
Southern Columbia Area District
800 Southern Drive
Catawissa, PA 17820
Phone: (570) 356-2331 
Fax:  (570) 356-2892 
Superintendent: James Becker
Business Manager: Denise Kreisher
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Stephanie Ziegmont
Director of Special Education: Jennifer Snyder
Supervisor of Building & Grounds: Scott Tomcavage
Technology Coordinator: Brian Davis
Food Service Director: Kathryn Holleran
Transportation Coordinator: Kristy Irons.
Southern Columbia Area H.S.
812 Southern Drive
Catawissa, PA 17820
Phone: (570) 356-3451
Fax: (570 356-2835 
Principal: William Callahan
Athletic Director: Jim Roth
Southern Columbia Area M.S.
810 Southern Drive
Catawissa, PA 17820
Phone: (570) 356-3400
 Fax: (570) 356-2202
Principal: Brandon Traugh
G.C. Hartman Elementary
802 Southern Drive
Catawissa, PA 17820
Phone: (570) 356-2331
Fax: (570) 356-7169
Principal: John Fetterman









  Southern Columbia Area School District Boundary Map

Southern Columbia Area Superintendents
Beginning with the District's first high school class (1962-1963), through the 1969-1970 school year, the Chief Administrative Officer of the District was known as a Supervising Principal. Only school districts serving a community with a population of 5,000 or more were permitted by statute to employ a superintendent. Columbia County's school districts were overseen by a county superintendent as were most other school districts in Pennsylvania from 1867 until July 1, 1970.
Supervising Principal
  • John D. Hughes- 1962-1967
  • G.C. Hartman- 1967-1969
  • Aerio Fetterman- 1969-1970.
  • James F. Smith- July 1, 1970-June 30, 1974
  • Patrick Munley- July 1, 1974-June 30, 1976.
  • Robert Varano- July 1, 1976 (Acting Superintendent) to October 25, 1985
  • Margaret A. Jessick- October 25, 1985-June 30, 1992
  • Bryan Balavage July 1, 1992-June 30, 1998
  • Steve Wilcox July 1, 1998-June 30, 2001
  • Alex Dubil July 1 2001-June 30, 2002 (Acting Superintendent)
  • Alan Lonoconus July 1, 2002-July 7, 2006
  • Richard Bierschmidt July 18, 2006-July 17, 2007 (Acting Superintendent)
  • Charlie Reh July 1, 2007-February 1, 2013
  • Paul Caputo February 4, 2013-February 3, 2020
  • James Becker- February 4, 2020-.
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