West York Area
West York Area School District
Blue & White News

Check this page frequently for the latest district news. For all news regarding our construction projects, check out our Construction News page. For the latest in what is happening in the community outside of our schools, please check out our Community Corner page.

Welcome, New Bulldogs!

West York Area School District would like to welcome the following new members of our staff:

Austin Campbell - Middle School ISS/Office Aide
Stephen Miller - Wallace Custodian
Roberta White - Wallace Custodian

Comprehensive Plan

The West York Area School District Comprehensive Planning Committee presents the attached District Level Plan Overview for public review. This Comprehensive Plan will be submitted to the West York Area School Board of Directors for approval by vote at the November 18, 2014 School Board Meeting.

Congratulations to Jahna Alleyne!

Congratulations to Jahna Alleyne on being named a semifinalist in the 2015 National Achievement Scholarship Program, a program that awards scholarship money based on 2013 PSAT scores. She was one of only 1,600 chosen from a pool of 160,000 eligible students! The National Achievement Scholarship Program was established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding Black American high school students. Finalists will be chosen in January of 2015. Congratulations and best of luck, Jahna!

Congratulations to the 2014 Outstanding Teachers of the Year!

Ms. Carrie R. Jones and Ms. Kirsty P. Houck are this year’s West York Area School District’s (WYASD’s) recipients of the Shippensburg University Outstanding Teacher Award.

Ms. Carrie R. JonesMs. Jones is a biology teacher at West York Area High School (WYAHS) and has been with WYASD for eight years.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from Gettysburg College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education – Biology from York College of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at McDaniel College.  She is currently pursuing her Pennsylvania Principal certification.  

Ms. Kirsty P. HouckMs. Houck, also a biology teacher at WYAHS, has been with WYASD for twelve years.  She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Development from Wilkes University, and Pennsylvania Secondary Education in Biology certification from Millersville University.

Ms. Jones and Ms. Houck frequently collaborate on projects both in and out of the classroom.  As Janet May, WYAHS Principal notes, “it is difficult to talk about Carrie without also mentioning Kirsty” and vice versa.  They “display a synergy that is not often seen among colleagues.”  In their time together in the science department at WYAHS, Ms. Jones and Ms. Houck have joined forces to present sessions on classroom tools to colleagues, including Edmodo, Quizlet, and CDT, along with an original presentation entitled “Improving both student efficacy and student achievement while holding students accountable for their learning.”  Both are founding members of the SWPBS (School-Wide Positive Behavior Support) Committee, which promotes a positive learning environment, as well as members of the STEE (Science, Technology, Environment, Ecology) Committee, a committee involved in planning the District’s science curriculum.  Together, Ms. Jones and 
Ms. Houck designed and implemented review programs to prepare students for the Biology Keystone Exam, and they have been asked to serve on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s committee to develop and grade Keystone Exams.  They work together as Graduation Project Advisors and both have given their time to judge student science fair projects. They initiated the student and staff recognition programs “Stellar Student,” “Stellar Staff,” and “Bucket of Bones.”  In the co-curricular arena, they were advisors for the Women in Science Club and are currently Challenge Day Committee members and Class Advisors.

In addition, as a member of the Teacher Effectiveness Committee, Ms. Jones recently presented “Educator Effectiveness: The New Evaluative Tool” to the West York Area School Board.  She is a Student Council Advisor and, as such, assisted in the huge undertaking of the Penn State Mini-THON held at WYAHS this past school year which raised $35,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund.  In her personal time, Ms. Jones participates in and organizes drives to raise funds for worthy causes, including Habitat for Humanity.  Principal May calls her the “best of the best” and says she “pushes her students toward success, but also pushes herself as well.”

Ms. Houck  has served as advisor for several clubs during her time at WYAHS, including Project Harmony, Forensic Science, and Science Fanatics.  This year, she will be joining Ms. Jones as a Student Council Advisor.  In her time away from work, she is an active member of the Junior League and helps with Girl Scouts.  Principal May calls Ms. Houck an “outstanding teacher” who “has worked with colleagues to institute positive incentive programs for both students and staff, and she readily lends a hand to anyone in need.”
Congratulations to Ms. Jones and Ms. Houck!

Congratulations to the 2014 Outstanding Teachers of the Year!

Invitation to Bid

Please see the attached document for an Invitation to Bid on Roof Replacement for Trimmer Elementary School and Lincolnway Elementary School. Bids will be received by the West York Area School District until 2:00 p.m. prevailing time on October 28, 2014.

Board Member's View

--Mr. Rodney Drawbaugh, President

Serving on a school board is both rewarding and challenging. It is rewarding for me to be a part of the governing body that provides our children, including four of my own, with educational successes in an increasingly changing environment. I believe West York's Board has done an effective job of providing our administration, faculty, and staff with the resources they need to provide our children with programs of academic and cocurricular excellence. The most significant challenges, however, are financial and stem from Pennsylvania's decrease in public education funding, tax assessment appeals, and dramatically increasing special education costs. The result? West York must furlough teachers, lay off support personnel, and reduce our cocurricular offerings.

Many people have asked this Board why we are investing in our buildings when we are reducing staff, or could we have done something other than furlough teachers. The answer to why we are investing in our buildings is straightforward. All of our students deserve a safe and well-maintained learning environment. Capital investments in our schools will ultimately help maintain our home values, attract highly qualified teachers, and foster a positive learning environment for our children. (Please visit our FAQs for more information.) However, the answer regarding our ability to do something other than furlough teachers requires more explanation. The short answer is, no. For years we diligently worked to be conservative with budgeted monies and squirreled away savings to amass a sizable fund balance to pay for unforeseen expenses and carry us through difficult times. This has helped us either avoid or at least minimize tax increases during some years, and delay furloughs by one full school year. Over the course of the last four years we cut $4.3 million out of our operating budget. It has not been easy, and it caused us to trim or eliminate many resources that used to be available for staff and students. Employees across the District, including superintendents, administrators, faculty, and staff have gone without salary increases one or two years. Every position that became open was carefully scrutinized and often eliminated or reconfigured to save money. Despite our efforts, it was not enough. We must furlough teachers and lay off staff at the end of this school year. The seriousness of these actions and the impact on our academic program, as well as the personal hardships caused by loss of employment, do not escape this Board. The decisions were excruciating. I assure you that if there was anything else that could have been done, we would have unanimously voted to do it.

We must look forward. To that end I remain optimistic that boardsmanship rewards will outweigh the challenges. I believe the Bulldogs, myself included, are stronger than our challenges.  Now is the time to be resourceful and use our talents to bridge the gap until our state-wide public education funding problems are rectified and we rebuild to a leaner, stronger, and smarter West York.

Coaching Vacancies

West York Area School District currently has the following coaching vacancies:

  • Varsity Track Throwing Coach
  • Junior High Distance Coach
  • Assistant Girls Lacrosse Coach
  • Junior Varsity Baseball Coach

Applications for these positions will be accepted online on our Employment Opportunities Page.

Dr. Lonardi Named 2014 PA Superintendent of the Year

West York Area School District’s own, Dr. Emilie Lonardi, has been named the 2014 Pennsylvania Superintendent of the Year by the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA). According to the PASA website, this prestigious awards program, established in 1988, “recognizes outstanding individuals on the frontiers of educational leadership.”

Dr. Lonardi, who has served as Superintendent of the West York Area School District in York County for 16 years, is being recognized for her “innovative leadership.” This includes initiating programs that encourage high achievement rates, student accountability and motivation, effective staff evaluation and professional development, and cost-cutting through a campaign called the “West York Way,” which saved the district over $3 million in the last two years. In 2001-2002, she began an initiative based on creating a professional culture that builds teacher capacity and enhances both day-to-day instruction and student growth through a collaborative model that focuses solely on student work.

Dr. Lonardi keeps her constituencies focused on the district’s strategic plan, which provides a clear and consistent message regarding the long- and short-term goals, academic vision, and direction of the district. According to one of her peers, Dr. Lonardi is “a leader who challenges convention, stirs others into action and encourages staff to stretch to the edge of their competence.” 

A special PASA luncheon was held on Friday, November 15th, in Harrisburg to honor Dr. Lonardi’s achievement. She will also be attending the American Association of School Administrators National Conference on Education in Nashville, Tennessee, along with the 49 other state honorees.

Academic Performance Improves

Recently, Dr. Emilie M. Lonardi, Superintendent, presented longitudinal data regarding student performance on state-mandated standardized tests. It is not uncommon for schools that have decreased personal wealth in its population to see a similar decrease in student academic performance. Despite the district's declining wealth, our students' Reading and Math scores continue to trend upward, as these graphs demonstrate. The district attributes this success to hard working students, parents, teachers and administrators who remain focused on student academic success, and West York's strong curriculum and intervention programs.

Are You an Alumnus of West York?

We are in the process of creating website resources for our West York alumni. If you would like to receive information about future alumni events, sign up here.>>>

Education Foundation for the WYASD

Like all Districts within the state, the West York Area School District (WYASD) faces the prospect of tighter budgets moving forward. In an effort to be proactive, the District has assisted in the formation of an educational foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is to secure private, tax-deductible donations and grant money to help fund District programs and resources. The Foundation will operate as an independent entity from the District and receive its governance from its own Board of Directors. Naturally, the Foundation will work in a strong collaborative effort with the School District’s Board. I am honored that the District's Board of Directors elected me to serve as its first representative on the Foundation's Board. I look forward to working side-by-side with Mr. Larry Richardson, Mr. Joseph Connolly, Ms. Lori Toth, Mr. Mark Keim, and Mr. Thomas Eyster, who are all members of the community and are parents of current or former West York students. Mr. Eyster is also a West York alumnus and retired teacher. Administrators from the District have agreed to serve on the Foundation’s Board to assist in providing information and guidance as needed. Dr. Emile Lonardi, Superintendent; Mr. George Fike, Business Manager; and Mr. David Peck, Assistant Business Manager, agreed to serve in this capacity.

The Foundation will be actively seeking corporate support through the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC).  Mr. Richardson was elected President of the Foundation Board. Mr. Connolly was elected Vice President, and he will chair the Fund Development Committee which will focus heavily on the EITC program as well as identifying major funding sources. Ms. Toth was elected Secretary, and she will chair the Publication and Marketing Committee. Mr. Eyster will chair the Alumni Committee, and Mr. Peck will serve as Treasurer. As the Foundation grows, we anticipate needing other committees, including an Audit & Finance Committee and Allocations Committee. That is where you come in! We are in need of volunteers to organize and serve on various committees to help us market the Foundation and attract benefactors, as well as develop action plans. If you are a member of the WYASD community and have a passion for providing students with enhanced programs, we encourage you to call us at (717) 792 2796 for more information on volunteering, or email us at bulldogmail@wyasd.k12.pa.us.

- By Mr. Rodney Drawbaugh, Board President

Homecoming leftside 2014
Homecoming rightside 2014

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