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Chester County Press

After a year of challenges, Kennett Middle School says 'Goodbye' for the summer

06/22/2021 08:20PM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

Like nearly every school principal across the nation and the globe has done recently, Kennett Middle School Principal Lorenzo DeAngelis stood in the school’s cafeteria on June 16 and personally thanked the nearly 100 administrators and teachers gathered with him for playing the role of hero during the most difficult year in the school’s history.

Encouraging fist bumps between faculty and administration, DeAngelis began his remarks at the ceremony by asking them to recall the accomplishments they have made over the past 15 months in the wake of a COVID-19 pandemic that closed schools, shuttered sports and activities and led to a virtual learning environment.

“Sit back and think for a second on what you all did personally and professionally and together as a group and what we’ve done,” he said. “I know that there are still scars, but we really truly made it. I know we are not fully out of the woods yet, but what you did this past year chopped so many trees down from those woods that I couldn’t be more proud of this group.

“Keep thinking as you drive home today, ‘We made it.’”

Following a lunch sponsored by the school’s parent-teacher organization and catered by Outlandish! and Cloud 9 Nutrition, recognition was given to teachers and administration for their achievements over the past year. DeAngelis acknowledged language arts teacher Dian McKinney for being one of 21 teachers from across the Greater Philadelphia Region to receive the 2021 Citadel Heart of Learning Award, given annually by Citadel Credit Union since 2001 to recognize educators who show dedication in and outside the classroom.

DeAngelis also gave credit to his four key administrators – Patty Krieger, Tracy Knox, Vicki Rohrer and Gerilyn Staley – for their flexibility and adaptability in maintaining schedules and attendance during a stressful year for teachers, staff, students and parents.

“The four of you ran this place,” DeAngelis said. “There is nothing I can’t ask any of these four women to do. They all just go far and beyond.”

After the ceremony, DeAngelis again echoed his praise of the administration and faculty for their resilience in overcoming the many obstacles of the 2020-21 academic year.

“There was never a doubt in mind that Kennett Middle School could get through this,” he said. “I knew we could. We all knew it would be hard work, and we knew we would have to push ourselves further than ever before in order to do what we do. 

“What we do is not a simple task, and when you throw in everything that occurred over the last 15 months, they were extraordinary. We had to change our mindsets, adapt and be flexible. Our staff is second to none for what they do for our kids in this school district. They can’t be beat.”

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].