School board brings back ideas from state confab

Last month, four representatives from the Warren County School District took part in the annual Pennsylvania School Board Association’s annual conference.

And they came back with some ideas.

“One of the exciting takeaways that I had (was) that PSBA wants to represent themselves, not out of Mechanicsburg, but throughout the Commonwealth,” Superintendent Dr. William Clark said. Indicating that PSBA is looking into possible satellite offices throughout the state, Clark said “(it) would be nice if they would bring an office up here.”

Donna Zariczny, board vice president, said the best session she participated in dealt with the need to create partnerships among the district, churches and social service agencies. “Nowadays, our schools are more than an educational institution,” she said. “Students come to school hungry, tired… he talked about diagnostic assessment and Early Intervention being important.”

Board Secretary Ruth Huck said the theme of the conference was “‘Heroes’ and she heard from 1980s Winter Olympics U.S. hockey team captain Mike Eruzione, Kaitlin Roig, who protected students at Newtown, Conn., and Capt. Richard Phillips, captain of the Mersk Alabama who was taken captive by pirates and was rescued by U.S. Navy Seals. Huck said they spoke about “teamwork and believing in yourself. (It) was very inspiring and very helpful for everyone there.”

Board President Arthur Stewart said one of his takeaways from the convention was a session on finances and the types of reports that board members should look for from their business offices. Speaking of WCSD Business Manager Jim Grosch, Stewart said that “he does an excellent job of mirroring” what is best practice in this area. “Our monthly financial reports contain that very important information.”

Stewart added that the district which presented on financial reporting, Southern York, has had the same superintendent for 15 years and had great comraderie and communication in its presentation. He said he sees “some of those markers, but maybe in an infant state” in the leadership of the WCSD. “It was neat to see where we might be in a few years,” he added.

PSBA provides a host of resources and services, including superintendent search services that were utilized by the WCSD in the process that led to the hiring of Clark. According to its website, PSBA is a “nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideas of local lay leadership for the public schools of the Commonwealth.”