Com­mit­tees form to help guide district’s fu­ture

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - OPINION - By Meghan Ross

Pen­nridge High School was host to ev­ery­one from the Perkasie mayor to the district’s su­per­in­ten­dent to state Rep. Paul Cly­mer, R-145, IRr Dn unSrHFHGHnWHG com­mu­nity sum­mit Wed­nes­day, Jan. 16.

$ERuW 50 FRPPunLWy mem­bers vol­un­teered for var­i­ous com­mit­tees tasked to pre­serve the district’s pro­grams and ed­u­ca­tion with­out rDLVLnJ WDxHV.

Ac­cord­ing to Joe Ferry, SuEOLF LnIRrPDWLRn RI­fiFHr, the sum­mit was an ef­fort to bring to­gether school district ad­min­is­tra­tors, teachHrV, SDrHnWV, VHnLRr FLWLzHnV, busi­ness own­ers and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers in a “meet­ing of the minds.”

7KH fiYH FRPPLWWHHV ZHrH: ac­tiv­i­ties, com­mu­nity re­laWLRnV, IDFLOLWLHV, finDnFH DnG pro­grams and ser­vices.

From now un­til Thurs­day, March 14, the com­mit­tee mem­bers will hold PHHWLnJV WR GHYHORS REMHF­tives and con­sider alternative fund­ing sources. Then, the school board and ad­min­is­tra­tion will hear the com­mit­tees’ rec­om­menda- tions at the board’s meet­ing in March.

Pen­nridge School Board mem­ber David Thompson, who came up with the idea of the sum­mit back in May, will serve as the li­ai­son be­tween the school ad­min­is­tra­tion and the school board.

7KRPSVRn VDLG WKH REMHF­tives of the sum­mit are twofold: to gen­er­ate in­put from the com­mu­nity on what it wants the school’s vi­sion or long-term plans to be and DOVR WR finG WKH PRVW FRVW­ef­fec­tive way to fund this vi­sion. With Su­per­in­ten­dent Robert hish re­tir­ing, Thompson said he thinks get­ting a more clear idea of what kind of school district the com­mu­nity wants is es­pe­cially im­por­tant.

hish, who has served in WKH GLVWrLFW VLnFH 1995 DnG will be a mem­ber of the sum­mit’s fa­cil­i­ties com­mit­tee, told Thompson he had never worked with such a di­verse group be­fore.

To Thompson’s knowl­edge, there has never been a com­mu­nity sum­mit like this. In the West Ch­ester Area School District, how­ever, Thompson said some­thing sim­i­lar to the sum­mit was held to de­ter­mine how to re­duce the district’s bud­get by $4 mil­lion. With the com- mu­nity’s help, the district was able to re­duce the budJHW DnG finG FRVW rHGuFWLRnV, with­out pub­lic out­cry.

In turn, Thompson said he would like to see a har­mo­nious re­la­tion­ship de­velop be­tween the Pen­nridge com­mu­nity and the ad­min­is­tra­tion as a re­sult of this sum­mit.

Thompson said he would DOVR OLNH WR finG D ZDy WR meet the needs of peo­ple who have opted out of pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion en lieu of homeschool­ing or char­ter schools and get them back into pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.

“How can the pub­lic VFKRROV finG D ZDy WR SrR­vide the kind of ed­u­ca­tional HxSHrLHnFH WKDW ZRuOG VDW­isfy their needs?” Thompson asked.

He said he hoped the sum­mit will bring peo­ple WRJHWKHr WR finG FRPPRn ground and de­ter­mine how the ad­min­is­tra­tion can be more in tune with the way peo­ple want to ed­u­cate their chil­dren.

“I think it’s really im­por­tant that the com­mu­nity have a voice,” Thompson VDLG. “[,’G OLNH@ WR finG D ZDy to keep pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion vi­brant, func­tional and alive and well.”



ac­tiv­i­ties com­mit­tee is As­sis­tant Su­per­in­ten­dent Bruce Bo­vard, along with Jackie Firuta, Diane Haring, Becky Schlot­ter, Cathy A. Pep­per, Tim Deose and Jake Sands.

Ferry, Deb Brady, Lee Rush, Bob Hipp, Tracy McGinty, Mary Chon and Alyson Adams make up the com­mu­nity re­la­tions team.

The fa­cil­i­ties com­mit­tee con­sists of hish, Jeff Lo­ef­flHr, 6uzHWWH 6FKPLGW, 3DuO LRrHnz, 0DrN HRrnH, CKrLV Leather­man, Holly Pol­lock, West Rock­hill Su­per­vi­sor Don Du­vall, East Rock­hill Su­per­vi­sor David Ny­man, 7RP 6NLIfinJWRn DnG )rHGHrick Dis­eroad.

Perkasie Mayor John Hol­len­bach, district Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tor hathy John­son, Scott Edgell, Jim sal­letta, Bob Sil­ber, West Rock­hill Town­ship Man­ager Greg Lip­pin­cott, haren hrier and -HII HDKn ZLOO WDFNOH WKH fi­nan­cial is­sues.

Fi­nally, Di­rec­tor of Pupil Ser­vices Robert Phillips, as well as Matt Smith, John Maketa, Pat Guth, Ann Senoyuit, Maria Mam­rol, Eric Schaffhausen, Cly­mer, Robert Lin­den, him Destefano, helly Tam­bourino and Chris­tine vard­ley will head the pro­gram­ming com­mit­tee.

DO­NATED ... First Sav­ings CEO Fred Shea, right, presents a check for $10,000 to Florence A. Ka­woczka, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity of Bucks County. First Sav­ings has stepped for­ward as a $10,000 Rooftop Spon­sor for the Penn Villa project...

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