January is designated School Director Recognition Month in honor of the time and commitment school board members dedicate to our schools and communities all year long.
The work of these public servants is vital to the success of our students and schools and it is complex and diverse. From voting on budgets to adopting policy to conducting comprehensive planning, school boards make key decisions that drive public education. School directors devote, on average, 10 hours each month to board business, which has only been made more challenging by the ongoing effects of the pandemic and related issues that impact the well-being of our students and families.
Board service is unpaid, and school directors are often motivated to pursue the role out of a desire to benefit their community. The vast majority of school directors indicated that their primary reason for serving is to give back, contribute to public education, or to improve educational outcomes for students.
School directors are locally-elected officials, focused on improving the townships and boroughs in which they live. About 41 percent of school directors serve the district they once attended as a student and 94 percent are parents of students who attend or attended the district they serve. They are our fellow neighbors, local leaders, co-workers, parents and friends.
At the start of the Jan. 19 school board meeting, our school directors and our school district solicitor were recognized and received a book to be donated to one of our school libraries in their honor. Their children and grandchildren were in attendance to recognize them and present each of them their book.
This month and every month we thank our school directors for their time and dedication to our students, schools and the community. We would not be the district we are today without them.
The books chosen this year are as follows:
Allison Mathis, President - School Director since 2017
“The First Notes: The Story of Do, Re, Mi” by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton donated to Ross Elementary School Library
Helen “Dee” Spade, Vice President - School Director since 2015
“Watercress” by Andrea Wang donated to McIntyre Elementary School Library
Sandra Kozera - School Director since 2017
"JoJo Makoons 2: Fancy Pants" by Dawn Quigley donated to West View Elementary School library
Phil Little - School Director since 2019
“What Should Danny Do?” by Ganit & Adir Levy donated to Highcliff Elementary School Library
Elizabeth Nease - School Director since 2021
"On Point" by Hena Khan donated to West View Elementary School Library
Deanna Philpott - School Director since 2019
"The Night Diary” by Veera Hiranandani donated to McIntyre Elementary School Library
Katie Poniatowski - School Director since 2019
“The Race of the Century” by Neal Bascomb donated to North Hills Middle School Library
Rachael Rennebeck - School Director since 2019
“I am a book. I am a portal to the universe.” by Stefanie Posavec donated to Ross Elementary School Library
Mike Santucci - School Director since 2021
"Buildings That Breathe" by Nancy F. Castaldo donated to North Hills Middle School Library
Mike Witherel, Solicitor since 1983
“Walk-On Warrior” by John Willkom donated to North Hills High School Library