On Wednesday, December 15, 2021, a new board member orientation was organized by Schuylkill Intermediate Unit (IU29) and held at the Schuylkill Technology Center (STC) with newly elected board members from the 12 school districts.
The orientation was an idea shared during a superintendent meeting last month. The event included a guest speaker, Joshua Ott, Lead Pastor of Grace Free Church, who shared a message about the value of community service for the benefit of Schuylkill County students. Scott Jacoby, Board President of IU29/STC and Schuylkill Haven Area School District, shared about his experiences over his 38 years as a board member in the county. In addition, Dr. Gregory Koons, IU29 Executive Director, and Shannon Brennan, Director of CTE, provided an overview of the programs and services provided by IU29 and STC. “We are very grateful for our board members who have stepped up to advocate for students throughout Schuylkill County”, said Gregory Koons.
The event provided an opportunity for new board members to learn about their new roles, network with other colleagues, and support a shared vision for student advocacy. The responsibilities of school board directors have become increasingly challenging throughout the pandemic and the participants were complimented on rising to the challenge in front of them.
“This was a great opportunity to network with other school districts and develop relationships with fellow-board members and administrators. Words cannot express the gratitude we should all feel for the men and women willing to volunteer time and energy to serve their neighbors, friends, and most importantly the students within that community. Knowing that every decision made will have a lasting impact on the stakeholders within the hometowns we serve requires a certain bravery and commitment to doing what’s right, even when it’s not popular,” said Dr. Shawn Fitzpatrick, Schuylkill Haven Area School District Superintendent.