Three departing school board members honored in Oxford
● By Steven Hoffman
Three Oxford School Board members elected not to seek re-election this year so their final meeting before the board reorganizes early next month came on Tuesday, Nov. 14, when the board was holding its monthly work session and regular meeting on the same night.
Superintendent David Woods took the lead in honoring the three board members—Lorraine Durnan Bell, Rebecca Fetterolf, and Richard Orpneck, presenting each person with a crystal bowl. Woods said that each board member served the district well, volunteering their time and talents for the benefit of the district's students.
Orpneck, the current school board president, served on the board for four years. Fetterolf was selected to fill a vacancy and served two years on the board. Bell is finishing her fourth year on the board, and was just elected as the mayor of Oxford Borough.
In addition to saying farewell to the departing board members, the school board handled a relatively short list of agenda items.
Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones, the district's assistant superintendent, made a report to the school board about several initiatives, including the participation by several Oxford Area High School students in an educational conference in Hershey. The students talked about the benefits of the Early College Academy, which gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credits at Cecil College and Delaware County Community College before they even graduate. Billings-Jones said that administrators and school board members from other school districts were very interested in the Early College Academy.
Alina Snopkoski, the student representative to the school board, summarized a variety of activities that are taking place in the schools, including an effort at the high school where students are working on a “wall of honor” to honor students’ family members who are serving in the military.
During his report to the school board, Woods reminded everyone that nominations are now being accepted for the annual Citadel Heart of Learning Awards that are presented to teachers at schools in Chester County.
“We've been fortunate enough to have several winners in the last few years,” Woods said.
The Citadel Heart of Learning program aims to recognize Chester County teachers that make an impact on students with their hard work and dedication. Anyone can nominate an active teacher for the award. Fifteen finalists are selected from all the nominations, and they will be recognized at a banquet held in May. Each finalist will receive a $500 prize to use in the classrooms, and from the 15 finalists, three overall winners will be selected—one at the high school level, one at the middle school level, and one at the elementary school level. Nominations will be accepted through Dec. 31.
The Oxford School Board will hold its reorganization meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 5. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building.