A principal or a 'Survivor'?
TV hopeful had to make hard choice
By PAUL KAPLAN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
How much would the job of your dreams be worth to you? A thousand dollars? Ten thousand?
OK, how about a million bucks? That's what Ed Spurka had to decide.
Spurka was an assistant principal at Roswell High School in north Fulton County in May when he took the advice of several students and applied for a slot on "Survivor," the granddaddy of reality TV shows. The winner gets $1 million.
Then, within weeks, Spurka learned he'd been picked for his dream job: principal at Roswell High, one of the area's top schools.
What to do? Accept the job he'd always wanted or go for the adventure of a lifetime, with a chance at fame and fortune?
Spurka, 34, who lives with his wife and two young children in Cumming, really thought he could win if he was picked for CBS's grueling "Survivor" competition.
He was a college quarterback at West Chester University near Philadelphia, and he looks like he could take the field again right now. He's tall, trim, handsome and very personable. That last one is the key.
"On 'Survivor,' you have to be able to deal with people," Spurka said. "If you don't get along with others, you get voted off. And that's one of my strengths."
His 6-year-old son, Brittain, felt "there must be an easier way for daddy to earn a million dollars," said Spurka's wife, Leslie, but she left the matter entirely up to her husband. "I'd support his decision either way," she said. "He usually makes the smart one."
Spurka thought about it hard, then told the Fulton County School System which dream he planned to pursue.
On Monday morning, Spurka said, the 2,200 kids starting the new year at Roswell High will hear this message from him over the school intercom: "Welcome back. I'm proud to be the new principal at Roswell High. I hope you're as excited about being here as I am."