‘Warwick Strong…er’

By on January 16, 2019

Warwick School Board enjoyed a cheerful tone at its first meeting of 2019.

Lititz Elementary School musicians serenaded board members as part of School Board Recognition Month. Warwick School District Superintendent Dr. April Hershey praised the musicians and board members as music teacher David Houseknecht led students who sang and played xylophones, marimbas and other percussion instruments. Hershey specifically lauded the board, which served admirably amid sorrowful times in the final months of 2018.

Several young people attending the meeting wore ‘Warwick Strong’ T-shirts, continuing the community support for the district, following the loss of two students in a car crash in October and a student suicide in December.

“I want to thank the volunteer school board members who give of their time to our students,” Hershey said, adding that some have served as long as 12 years or more, and attend many meetings and events throughout the month.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

Hershey extended gratitude for the community’s support of the postponed Warwick High School holiday musical program held last weekend.

Officials rescheduled the concert on Friday and Saturday from December following the tragic death of a student. Warwick High School Music Department’s concert choir, along with string and symphonic orchestras, performed to a full house all three days.

Music teacher David Houseknecht leads Lititz Elementary students in serenading Warwick board members as part of School Board Recognition Month.

“On Friday, it was standing room only, with people standing for three hours for the concert,” Hershey said, reporting that Saturday and Sunday were similar. “I have never been so grateful.” Hershey noted that the Warwick School District has been reaching out to other school districts in the county that have experienced tragedy, unifying the educational community with support, as Warwick was supported by other school districts during the last months of 2018. In addition to the musical gift from the students, board members were honored with drawings, posters and donations of books in their names to the school libraries.

The board welcomed Jonathan Taylor as secondary guidance counselor at Warwick High School, replacing Shane Martin who resigned. Taylor has served as a long term guidance counselor at John Beck Elementary School. He attended the meeting with his three young children and his wife Stephanie Taylor, a second grade teacher at John R. Bonfield Elementary School.

“I have been working very hard for this for a long time,” said Taylor, emphasizing that he was looking forward to working with the Warwick School District.

The board also approved the appointments of two long term substitute teachers. Eric Myers is a first grade teacher at John Beck Elementary School, replacing Crystal Harnick who is on family and medical leave. Kristine Castellitto is a third grade teacher at John R. Bonfield Elementary School, replacing Bethany Mueller who received a change of status. Mallory Michel was appointed as assistant girls lacrosse coach at Warwick High School. Alysha Quillen was named as an office assistant at John R. Bonfield Elementary School. James Weiksner was appointed as a building services employee at Kissel Hill Elementary School.

The Warwick board on Jan. 15 welcomed Jonathan Taylor as secondary guidance counselor at Warwick High School.

The board accepted the retirement of Jocelyn Toren as an English teacher at Warwick High School at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

In other business, the Warwick School Board approved the 2019-20 Lancaster County Career & Technology Center budget and OK’d an overnight field trip for the Warwick boys volleyball team to travel to North Allegheny on March 22 and 23.

The team will take two mini-vans and the hotel stay is being covered by a donation from the parents group.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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