Feb. 8, 2019
School Board honored for service
Members of the Upper St. Clair Board of School Directors were recognized for their service to the community during their meeting on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. The Pennsylvania School Boards Association declared January as School Director Recognition Month – a time to spotlight the contributions of public school board members.
Members of the board of education include: Mrs. Amy L. Billerbeck, president; Mrs. Barbara L. Bolas, vice president; Mrs. Jennifer L. Bowen; Mr. Phillip J. Elias; Dr. Daphna Gans; Mr. Patrick A. Hewitt; Mr. Louis P. Mafrice, Jr.; Mrs. Angela B. Petersen; and Mr. Dante R. Plutko.
“Our school board members are called upon to make difficult decisions that must delicately balance the needs of our students and the interests of our taxpayers,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Rozzo, said. “Although we make a special effort to recognize our school directors in January, please know their contribution is a year-round, four-year commitment, and our deep appreciation is extended to them always.”
Results of a PSBA survey indicate that the typical Pennsylvania school director devotes an average of 10 hours per month to school board business, which includes adopting policy, voting on budgets, approving curriculum changes, choosing textbooks and reviewing hiring decisions.
“Our school board members are anything but typical. They far exceed the 10-hour average per month working on school board business, attending events and advocating for high quality public education for all,” Dr. Rozzo said. “They are remarkably visible within our community and our schools and, most importantly, they genuinely care about doing what’s right for students.”
According to the PSBA website, “In January, we pause to salute a group of nine people who spend dozens of hours each month voluntarily leading our schools and making difficult decisions – they are the school directors. The job they do is necessary to ensure our schools remain a pathway to a promising future.”
In a PSBA survey, 50 percent of school directors identified public service and the desire to give back and contribute to public education as the primary motivating factor in their decision to run for school director.
In addition to celebrating School Board Recognition Month, school board members recognized Dr. Rozzo as the school board’s 10th, non-voting member of the board. School Board President Amy Billerbeck presented Dr. Rozzo with a bound booklet of letters from elementary students thanking him for serving as their superintendent of schools as well as a framed collage of photos from the evening of his appointment as superintendent.
School board members – including Dr. Rozzo – were honored with a performance from Upper St. Clair High School’s Pantheon Choir, which recently performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Each school board member received student-made notecards from the district’s SHOP@USC program. SHOP@USC (Showing How Opportunity Pays @ Upper St. Clair) is a fully-inclusive student-run business housed within Upper St. Clair High School’s Innovation Hub. Students in the Life Skills program and their regular education partners design and manufacture USC spirit-wear products while learning how to develop a business plan that includes all aspects such as pricing, marketing, sales and inventory of products.
- PSBA: Did you know? (fact sheet about Pennsylvania school boards)
- PSBA’s Resolution declaring January School Director Recognition Month