FASD Archives — Alumni in the News


John Sava was an FASD alumni - class of 1956

John Sava, retired superintendent of note, dies

The Sharon Herald, Sunday, September 3, 2000

Former Farrell Superintendent John G. Sava, who served 37 years in the Farrell Area School District and attracted national recognition, died Saturday morning from an apparent heart attack.

Sava had been honored with many awards, including the 1995 Excellence in Education Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals and the Farrell Kiwanis Service Award in 1997 when he retired as superintendent. He started at the school district as a teacher in 1960.

“It was teachers like him that kept students like me on track,”said Farrell school board member Michael Wright, who remembered Sava as his social studies teacher.

“He helped me on my way, because he really cared about the students. I knew him as a teacher, and sitting with him on local boards. He was an excellent teacher and an excellent person.”

Sava also served as assistant principal and principal of the high school.

“I'm just proud to say that I was a part of his administration,” said eight-year school board member Edward D. Zappa.

“I can't say enough nice things about the gentleman,” Zappa said. “He was a dedicated superintendent and administrator.”

The administration Zappa spoke of was a role-model for other school systems, when Sava took the bankrupt Farrell school district and re-directed it.

Sava was hired as the school superintendent in 1983 with a district debt of $1 million and a 93 percent graduate rate; he turned it around by 1995 with a district fund balance and a 98 percent graduation rate, according to news articles.

He was featured in many newspapers and magazines and was requested to speak around the country because of his impact on the school system.

After retiring in 1997, he founded J.G. Sava Associates, a firm that develops strategies and solutions for communities and schools.

Sava belonged to many local organizations, and was a lifelong member of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Farrell.

“He did great things for Farrell," Wright said, "and he'll be deeply missed.”

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