New principal named at Akron Elementary School
By: GARY P. KLINGER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer
A familiar face has become the interim principal at the Akron Elementary School.
Mrs. Sheri Horner has been appointed to fill the position vacated by the recently retired Dr. Enrica Gerhart. Because the position is being filled mid-year and because this is Mrs. Horner’s first experience as principal, the position will be considered interim for the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year. At the conclusion of the year, Mrs. Horner will be given the opportunity to be named principal outright.
"I am honored to be named the new interim principal of Akron Elementary School," said Horner. "I am so excited to be a part of the Akron All-Star family. The community and teaching staff are extremely dedicated to helping children achieve and grow."
Mrs. Horner joined the Ephrata Area School District staff in August, 1995 as a second grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. She also taught at Clay Elementary School, having most recently served as the district’s elementary math and science coach.
"I have worked in education for the past 17 years, with 16 of the years at Ephrata Area School District," adds Horner. "Having spent a great deal of my career right here in Ephrata Area School District, I am very familiar with the curriculum, district goals, best instructional practices for students, safety measures, and positive school climate."
Horner earned her bachelor of science degree from Millersville University and earned her masters of education degree from Penn State University.
Horner was introduced at Monday night’s Ephrata Area School District school board meeting by assistant superintendent Mrs. Kimberly Schlemmer.
"We are so excited to have [Mrs. Horner] join us at Akron," stated Schlemmer. "It is always good to see one of our own being able to advance through the ranks."
Mrs. Horner also commented on her new roll at the meeting.
"Today was the first day I was on my own since Dr. Gerhart left," said Horner. "She certainly left some big shoes to fill, but I’m excited to be the new principal and look forward to good things."
"To help children is the core of what it means to be in the educational profession," continued Horner. "As a principal, I can be an educational leader that supports a love of learning in all students. I want to make a connection with each student in Akron Elementary School. Helping all children learn to their fullest potential is the ultimate goal for our district."
In other school board business, members included a measure in their consent agenda which would increase medical and dental rates for school district by nine percent. This would include a nine-percent increase in the amount employees contribute to their plan, as well as a nine-percent increase in what the district contributes.
This move came at the recommendation of the benefit advisory committee which reviewed data compiled by Conrad Siegel Actuaries and Lincoln Benefit Trust.
District business manager Kristee Reichard was on hand to further explain the need for an increase.
"We are self-insured which means everyone pays into a pot of money from which claims are paid," said Reichard. "We have almost $4 million in the fund balance and we may eat up some of that fund balance. We are looking to smooth out the claims experience."
Reichard explained that the district had seen a 16-percent increase in the cost of claims, which she said was low compared to some districts, which had seen costs and rates increase by as much as 20 percent.
"I’m glad we can be self-insured as a way to better control our costs," commented school board member Glenn R. Martin.
School board members were also honored by the district for their years of service to the board. Each were given a certificate and a pin to commemorate their work. Board president Timothy Stayer was honored for 11 years of service while vice-president Glenn Martin was honored for 15 years of service. Member Judy Beiler was honored for eight years. Ted Kachel, Tim Stauffer and Chris Weber were each honored for two years of service. Kay Kurtz was honored for five years of service while Jenny L. Miller and Robert Miller were each honored for 15 years of service. Secretary Clare M. LeFevre was honored for seven years of service as treasurer and Kristee Reichard was honored for two years of service.
The theme of school board appreciation month in 2013 is "Serving Every Child Every Day" and was set by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association or PSBA.
District superintendent Dr. Gerald Rosati commented on the members of school board.
"I truly appreciate the board of school directors dedication and commitment to education, student achievement, and our organization," said Rosati. "They care about learning, our students, and staff. In these difficult economic times, the Board is committed to continued evaluation of district-wide programs, facilities, operations, and resources to reduce spending and minimize the tax impact on property owners without adversely impacting the efficiency and quality of programs and services. Our organization works with a team effort. Thank you to our board members."
The school board approved the retirement of long-time Highland Elementary School secretary Diane Angstadt effective June 30. Several others were appointed to extracurricular positions, including: Tiffany Hoffman, indoor guard; Cheryl Fritz, head boys tennis coach; Marcie Weber, assistant girls lacrosse coach; Dawn Butz, middle school musical costume and make-up design and Theresa Kreider, middle school musical choreographer, technical director, stage manager and music properties manager. Mindy Rosenberg was appointed middle school musical ticket sales leader while Dan Clark was appointed middle school musical vocal assistant. Jill Klinger was appointed high school musical choral director and orchestra director while Jeremy Bischoff was appointed high school musical set construction, technical director, and musical program assembler. Jill Kurtz will serve as high school musical scenic artist and visuals designer. Michael Rhoads will serve as high school musical set designer. Catherine Howard was appointed high school musical costume and make-up designer as Stephanie Witman was appointed high school musical master electrician and Julie Rhine was appointed high school musical properties manager. Roger Leed will serve as high school musical assistant set constructor. Theresa Kreider was appointed to serve as high school musical production manager and program organizer. Elaine Gaston and Donna Schubert were both appointed to manage ticket sales for the high school musical. And Irving Gonzales was appointed high school musical choreographer.
For additional information on Ephrata Area School District, please visit their website at www.easdpa.org. More HORNER, page A6