Avon Grove School Board appoints new principal, other administrative positions as new school year approaches
● By Steven Hoffman
The Avon Grove School Board officially approved the appointment of three administrators at the Aug. 13 meeting.
The district welcomed Scott DeShong as the new principal of the high school. He most recently served as the principal of the 2,400-student State College Area High School and previously held positions as the principal of elementary schools, assistant principal of a middle school, and a school counselor.
DeShong takes over the new role as former principal Tom Alexander moved into the central office to serve as the district’s director of educational support services.
The school board approved the appointment of Katie Bish as the supervisor of pupil services. The vacancy was created when Holly Pettine resigned.
Jeremy Curtis was appointed as the director of pupil services, a position formerly held by Dr. Louis M. Chance, who resigned.
“We look forward to their leadership and their support for the students,” said Superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese of the new administrators.
Marchese said that the district will have 18 new teachers on staff when the new school year starts. Overall, the Human Resources Department oversaw the hiring of 57 professionals.
“We’re very excited about what this new school year holds,” said Marchese.
School board president Brian Gaerity announced a proposal for the board to consider changing its meeting schedule so that the first meeting of each month will be a work session to discuss some of the initiatives that are in the district’s strategic plan. The school board would sit as a committee-of-the-whole.
“It would be a discussion of these strategic initiatives,” said Gaerity, explaining that there would be no votes taken on school district business. Rather, the board would engage in a discussion about a variety of long-range initiatives.
Gaerity noted that the meetings will be subject to Sunshine Law regulations. The more informal public sessions will also allow residents to be more involved in the discussions.
Marchese is also proposing that the district should restructure its Curriculum Advisory Council and instead utilize a standing committee that would be called the education committee.
The Curriculum Advisory Council is an opportunity for administrators, teachers, and parents to work collaboratively on issues related to curriculum.
Marchese said that the education committee would function in much the same way as the current advisory council, and the curriculum review cycle would remain the same. However, restructuring it as a board committee would make it more consistent with board policy.
Three Avon Grove School Board members currently serve on the Curriculum Advisory Council, including Bonnie Wolff.
Wolff said that she’s concerned that changing the way the Curriculum Advisory Council functions would impede the good dialogue and the helpful presentations that currently takes place.
The school board did not vote on the proposal. The administration will outline a plan for both the work sessions and the restructuring of the Curriculum Advisory County and present it to the board for consideration in the near future.
The school board meets again on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Avon Grove Intermediate School Audion.