SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
Administrators, teachers and staff gathered at Salisbury High School Aug. 21 for the annual convocation at Salisbury High School.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Randy Zigenfuss welcomed everyone to Salisbury High School, sharing some facts about the upcoming school year. The Class of 2020 started kindergarten in 2007 — the year the iPhone was introduced. The students who are entering kindergarten this year will graduate in 2032.
Associate Superintendent Lynn Fuini-Hetten thanked Jennifer Kirk, Mary Bishop and Kim Pavkovic for their assistance in preparing for the convocation and also gave a thank you to Chris Smith and Tom Smith for their technical help. Fuini-Hetten also thanked the staff for the summer learning opportunities including culinary, art, drone and makerspace camps and the summer library hours.
Ziegenfuss introduced the building principals who welcomed the new staff this year — some who began in the district in the middle of the last school year.
Western Salisbury Elementary School Principal Dr. Grace Hartman introduced Lauren Bieber, Kyle Gangewere, Kristi Kichline, John Leiderman, Michele Miller, Patricia Seiger, Mandy Simon, Seth Tanner and Heather Laczo.
Harry S Truman Elementary School Principal Zachary Brem introduced Lissa Flores, Briana Lighting, Tina Marinos, Karen Orlemann, Brenda Smith and Jaclyn Williams.
Salisbury Middle School Principal Ken Parliman introduced Kristine Alder, Mia Bartel, Lindsay Case, Andrew Heath, Andrew Makhoul, Pamela Miles, Nancy Thomas and Steven Wagner.
Salisbury High School Principal Heather Morningstar introduced Justin Aungst, Freya de Conde and Lauren Verna.
Employees with 30 years of service were recognized and given a jacket including Barb Jaindl and Diane Walbert.
Employees with 20 years of service were also recognized and given a T-shirt including Theresa Bruns, Monica Deeb, Mru Govande, Stan Griffis, Jennifer Judd, Doug Lapp, Mary Kay Parlo, Sean Recke and Marc Snyder.
Vice President of the school board, Sam DeFrank, also attended the gathering welcoming everyone in attendance. “I’m truly excited with all the energy I saw this morning. Let’s build on what we have done and accept the changes which face us,” DeFrank said.
Teacher Tanya Kennedy, representing the Salisbury Education Foundation, asked “How can we be what we want to be for our kids when we are overwhelmed?” Kennedy offered three suggestions. First, “Choose to be happy. Things are going to go wrong,” Kennedy said. She suggested to try doing things “with a song and a spring in our step.”
Next, Kennedy suggested, “Ask yourself, ‘Am I being the best I can be?’”
The third suggestion began with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Kennedy told the participants, “You are good at what you do. What you are doing is important.”
Kennedy said the district administration has assembled one of the greatest staff and “If you don’t enjoy it, our students won’t either.”
President of the Salisbury Education Support Personnel Association Scott Marshall spoke next about the relationship and atmosphere “we have created at Salisbury.”
He reiterated what Kennedy said by encouraging everyone “to be the best you can be. Make the world around us the best it can be. We’ve all been called here for a purpose,” Marshall said.
Ziegenfuss and Fuini-Hetten talked about this year’s theme, “Building a New Model of Learning,” asking “What’s your contribution?”
The pair spoke about social emotional learning and said the district has been doing a lot of this work. The goals are to learn about the district’s learners better, ask how you connect with the learner and to your community and discover why this is important to you.
Fuini-Hetten told the story of how she attended one of her first Salisbury graduations and she saw the students hugging teacher Barry Frick and giving him “high-fives.” She then asked teachers to give examples of how they are using social emotional learning.
Frick responded by saying, “Just listen to the kids.”
First grade teacher Christina Attar said, “Show them empathy and give them the tools to help with anxiety.”
Custodian Charlie Young said, “Use your kindness.”
Ziegenfuss said there are two pathways to accomplish the goals — continue to build design skills around a new model of learning and develop an action research cohort. The district will continue to build design skills around a new model of learning – identify a challenge, design a plan, collect data, reflect and tell the story.
Fuini-Hetten said the district will showcase this work at a spring open house.
“What’s next and how do we build upon and celebrate our successes?” Fuini-Hetten asked.
Questions which will be addressed include how to scale innovative practices to support the new learners, how to use data to improve learner outcomes and determine how the community can be involved.
“We are all here to make sure we are meeting the needs of our kids and providing the best environment for our learners,” Ziegenfuss said.