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CHAMBERSBURG (Aug. 7, 2019) — Teachers and staff at Chambersburg Area School District (CASD) will be given a red carpet welcome Aug. 19 as the district prepares for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.

“Opening Day In-service is an opportunity to start the school year with a common vision and all staff are invited this year due to the critical role they play in the lives our students,” said CASD Superintendent Dr. Dion Betts. “Staff working well together will help to create healthy and productive learning environments for our children.”

Instead of bringing in outside presenters and consultants, the district is using its own expert staff.

Paul Unruh, CASHS teacher, is the keynote presenter and will talk about challenging students intellectually to truly prepare students for college and career and to ensure student achievement.

Red carpet welcome values teachers

“This is also a time to make staff feel welcomed and valued,” Betts said. “If we are to ensure that our children feel welcome and valued in school, staff need to feel the same way. Children will only care about the curriculum if we care about them.”

Melissa Unruh, CASHS teacher, worked with many students in creating an impactful video celebrating district educators.

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Betts and his team will roll out a newly formulated vision which focuses on “children’s needs and not adult wants.”

In interviewing many district stakeholders, Betts said he heard loud and clear that the community would like a heightened focus on students and student achievement.

Vision: Every child achieves in school and attains the skills needed to be successful in the future through a highly collaborative culture of honesty, trustworthiness and passion for our mission of bettering the lives of children

Betts says that by creating conditions for our staff to work together, the district can create real genius and positive change.

New district goals

Betts will also discuss new district goals formulated after working with a wide variety of community stakeholders, employees and the CASD School Board. These include:

  • Student achievement
  • College and career readiness
  • Ensuring that we have the most talented staff through hiring and professional development
  • Financial stability and financial stewardship Betts will introduce the new district cabinet team which includes:
  • Dr. Cathy Dusman, who will now oversee all curriculum and instruction and supervise and all principals
  • Dr. Mark Long, Assistant Superintendent for Innovation and Improvement who will also supervise and coach all principals with a focus on high school strategy
  • Dr. Janilyn Elias, the new Assistant Superintendent for Student Services.
  • Karen Gokay, the district’s In-house Counsel/Director of Human Resources.

The employees of CASD give regularly to the United Way and the Chambersburg Area School District Foundation. For the first time ever, there will be a direct payroll deduction to the District Foundation, making it easier to give. Angie Lynch, Director of the Foundation will talk about the Foundation’s 2019-2020 campaign, entitled “Leaping4Literacy”. The purpose is to raise funds to purchase a mini-library for every child in grade K-5 to take home and keep.

Morning Schedule

7:15 am – Red Carpet Welcome Reception
7:30 am – Refreshments: Outside Auditorium
8:00 am – Principals Tom Vanarsdale and Tom Knepper, Masters of Ceremony
New teachers, school staff
New district administrators: CMS Principal
8:10 am – Alex Sharpe, President CASD School Board
8:20 am – Superintendent Dr. Dion Betts – Mission, vision, goals, strategies – Introduce cabinet
8:40 am – CASD Foundation campaign – Angie
United Way kickoff – Amy
9:10 am – Laurie Porter, Updated Benefits Information
9:20 am – End of morning presentations

In addition to welcoming returning teaching staff, all schools and offices will be closed from 7:30 to 9:45 AM to allow all District employees to join the morning presentations. Media representatives are also welcome to join staff during that time.

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