A former district middle school teacher and high school football coach has moved to the other side of the table.
By a unanimous vote, March 26, the Marple Newtown School Board appointed Nick Reynolds to fill the seat created by the February resignation of Sherry-Lee McAuliffe. Both are residents of Marple.
One of the longest-tenured members of the board, McAuliffe was appointed in 2011 to complete the term of former board member Ed Partridge, then ran for a four-year stint later that year. She was named vice president of the board in December and previously chaired the Human Resources and Policy Committee.
A graduate of Marple Newtown High School, Reynolds earned a B.S. in education at Millersville University, then continued his education at Keane University. He is involved with several businesses, serving as Chief Operating Officer of Commercial Utility Consultants, Inc. and President and CEO of CUC Global, Inc., both in West Chester, and founder of Attivo Exchange, a cloud-based software company, and My Way Entertainment.
Reynolds is a volunteer coach with the Marple Junior Tigers and MNHS football teams. He and his wife, Alana, have three children, the oldest of whom attends Russell Elementary School.
"I'm proud to have been an educator in our district and as a lifelong resident of both Newtown and Marple it’s a privilege and honor for me to represent my family, neighbors and our community as a school director,” said Reynolds. “I look forward to focusing on the student experience by continuing to improve our facilities and promoting Tiger Pride."
Reynolds was one of two candidates for the post and after the vote he received the oath of office from The Honorable Barry Dozor, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
The board then moved by the same margin to name Matt Bilker as Vice President. He also chairs the Human Resources and Policy Committee.
Excellence in Teaching Award
Superintendent Merle Horowitz punctuated her “we are proud of our students and teachers” segment by highlighting the faculty members nominated by a committee of administrators and staff members in each building for the Delaware County Excellence in Teaching Award. The teachers selected were Holly Dunleavy (business, computer and information technology, Paxon Hollow Middle School), Margie Henry (third grade, Loomis Elementary School), Jen Hocchaus (first grade, Culbertson Elementary School), Bonnie Martin (first grade, Worrall Elementary School), Samantha Partridge (fifth grade, Russell) and Steven Smilk (math, MNHS). The names were forwarded to a panel of three retired educators and Martin was named to represent the district.
Created in 2007 by Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) in partnership with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit, the award identifies exceptional and dedicated educators. The 19 individuals are chosen among classroom teachers, subject teachers and professionals such as reading specialists, speech therapists, learning support teachers and librarians in the county’s 15 public school districts, non-public elementary, middle and high schools and the DCIU.
The recipients will receive $500, and $1,000 presented to their schools, at the FMFCU Partners in Learning Celebration to be held in May and be recognized in an edition of the “Delaware County Daily Times.”
“It speaks volumes that we have a standing-room only crowd tonight in the board room,” said Horowitz. “Thank you for representing the excellence of the Marple Newtown School District.”
Broomall Rotary Vocational Award
Partridge was the recipient of the Broomall Rotary Vocational Award, presented annually by the club to an educator in one of the four district schools within Marple. The honor, in its sixth year, has previously been given to Dr. Steve Subers, principal of PHMS; Linda Peoples, retired teacher from Worrall; Tracy Payne, kindergarten teacher at Russell, Stephanie DeLiberty, second grade teacher at Loomis and Maria Botos, third grade teacher at Russell.
Partridge will be honored at a future Rotary dinner.
The district will bid farewell to Deborah Bowman – principal’s secretary, Worrall, Leslie Feerick – secretary, MNHS and Dolores Thomas – special education assistant, Worrall, all of whom will be retiring at the end of the school year. Their devotion to the district was applauded, respectively, by Bilker, Leonard Altieri and Barbara Harvey.
The directors also approved leaves for Joanne Boulanger – reading specialist, MNHS and Lauren Kobylarz – teacher, Worrall and extended the leaves for Helene Marczyk – teacher, Worrall and Jill Robostello – art teacher, PHMS.
The board also welcomed Joseph McFertridge – art teacher, PHMS (to replace Robostello) and Sean O’Donovan – long term substitute teacher, Worrall (to replace Marczyk) and named Brittany Fertman and Jeffery Kuciapinski as extended school year co-coordinators.
The directors also granted to tenure to Worrall teacher Geraldine Palmer, which was achieved Jan. 31. The attainment of tenure and awarding of a professional employee contract is given to temporary professional employees who have been certified by the superintendent as having completed three years of satisfactory service in the district in accordance with the school code.
The board voted by the same margin to approve:
*the MNHS Spanish Club, the purpose of which is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about the Hispanic Culture while using their language. The advisor is Carmen Bilc.
*the creation of a No Place for Hate mural at MNHS. The design was presented to the board earlier in the year.
*the contract between the district and Villanova University for the June 11 commencement. The cost will be $11,325, the same figure as last year.
*the 2015-2016 DCIU general budget of $8,246,266, special education agreement of $765,791 and technical schools budget of $12,286,905.