Galen named EHS principal

By on March 19, 2014
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Just one month after the announced retirement of Ephrata High School principal Joane Eby, the school board has voted to name assistant principal Scott Galen to succeed Eby, effective July 1.

Galen, who came to EHS last year from the Warwick School District, will lead an all-new leadership team when school opens again in the fall. The board also voted Monday to name Jill Kling to replace outgoing assistant principal Kristen Holst, who recently resigned in favor of a position closer to her hometown. That transition could take place as early as April. And to fill the opening created by the promotion of Galen, the district voted to hire Peter Kishbaugh to be the second assistant principal.

Galen replaces Eby, who is retiring after eight years with the district. He was named the Assistant Principal of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals (PAESSP) in 2013 and joined the district shortly after, in April 2013 as an assistant principal at Ephrata. Galen is currently enrolled in a doctoral program through Immaculata University. Previous education includes a bachelor of science degree in biology from Messiah College, a master of science degree in educational development and strategies from Wilkes University, and a principal certification from Penn State University – Great Valley. He resides in Ephrata with his wife and two children.

“Scott has been a great addition to the administration at Ephrata High School since he joined the district last summer,” said District Superintendent Dr. Brian Troop. “He is a strong team member and instructional leader. We are thrilled to have Scott lead the Ephrata High School students and staff into the next chapter of our story.”

Galen also commented on his promotion.

“There was a clear calling for me to join Ephrata Area School District and Ephrata High School,” said Galen. “I am humbled and excited to step into this new role and embrace the challenges and rewards that come with serving the district students.”

Both new assistant principals were hired from a field outside the district. Troop explained to board members that the process of filling two assistant principal positions meant reviewing over 70 applicants.

“It was amazing how many applicants we had” commented Troop. “After paper screening the applicants and looking for a match, 16 were considered for interview. Of those, six were considered finalists, four of which were interviewed to arrive at the two we hired on tonight’s agenda.”

Kling, who was able to attend Monday night’s meeting, was introduced by Troop.

“What we really liked about Jill was that she was very strong on instruction,” said Troop. “She is currently teaching three periods and an instructional coach the balance of the day. She is strong in best practices, has experience as a principal and assistant principal. She understands how she fits into the roll, is very upbeat and a true team player. We found her to be an excellent role model for professionalism.”

Fishbaugh, who is coming from the Altoona area, was unable to make it to town in time for Monday night’s meeting.

“Pete comes to us with a high degree of tech skills especially online teaching skills,” commented Troop. “He has been a valued member of every team he has been on. We are anxious to get his level of energy and enthusiasm.”

In other district staffing news, Dr. Troop presented the Superintendent Recognition Award to Ephrata High School teacher Dale Fillmore.

galen2Filmore was selected to receive the award for going above and beyond in achieving the Mission and Vision of the District. Honorees have committed their lives to inspiring, achieving, and impacting District students to reach their full potential.

“Dale has been a leader to his colleagues and students as a coach, teacher, and mentor,” commented Troop. “After 41 years in education, he is still willing to reinvent himself. Dale surveys his students asking for feedback and is constantly trying to provide an engaging learning environment. He finds ways to reward the students and willingly goes the extra mile by staying after school to help students one-on-one. It is an honor to have Dale on the Ephrata Area School District team and to be able to publicly thank him for his commitment to the district students.”

Fillmore joined the staff at Ephrata High School 11 years ago as a science teacher. He has also held several coaching positions with the district, including assistant softball coach and assistant girls’ basketball coach. He has been in education since 1973, with previous experience teaching in private schools and higher education.

“It has been a pleasure to serve the students of Ephrata Area School District and to work with a fine staff and excellent administration,” stated Fillmore.

And finally, Lisa Kachel was among several parents in attendance who were looking for an update on the on-going discussion about where this year’s graduation exercises will be held. Students and parents are concerned that a possible project to renovate the War Memorial Field complex, converting the field to a turf surface, may force the district to hold graduation indoors.

Troop explained that there is still no clear indication of where the project may go and the timeline it may follow. He did, however, say that he hoped to have information from recent surveys available for the committee meetings on April 14. He stressed that those were public meetings and invited parents and the public to attend.

For their part, Kachel presented the school board with a petition with over 150 names on it calling for graduation to be on the War Memorial Field. Of those names, she estimated 80 percent were student signatures.

“We are taking this very seriously,” added school board president Timothy Stayer. “We are hoping this all lines up for everyone.”

For additional information on EASD, visit easdpa.org.

Gary P. Klinger is a correspondent for The Ephrata Review and welcomes your feedback via email at klingerglobal@gmail.com or on Twitter @gpklinger.

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