Southern Regional School Board Meets New Teachers, Student Council Rep

Sep 19, 2018

The new school year always brings new faces to a school district. In the case of the Southern Regional School District, that not only means loads of new students, but typically a crop of new teachers and staff members as well. During the board of education meeting on Sept. 12, Superintendent Craig Henry introduced the newest teachers at Southern.

“As we do every September, our educational highlights become the introduction of the new staff members to not just our board of education, but the viewing audience,” Henry said as he began the longest portion of the meeting. “We have an outstanding group of new employees – strong rookies and many veterans – that will be an outstanding asset and significant contributors to Southern Regional.”

The 15 teachers were introduced, and Henry provided brief profiles of each one as they stood before the board. The new additions include Ana Barker, Jamie Bernaldo, Dana Farano, Allison Hanzl, Maureen Hoffman, Conor Hornish, Victoria Keenan, Samuel Lasko, Joshua Law, Diane Liebmann, Lauren Murphy, Emily Newton, Kelsey Puorro, Aubrey Vasquez and Elizabeth Weidenhof.

“This is our Class of 2018-19 new teaching cohort,” Henry concluded. “Each one went up against a great field of candidates. For any one Southern position, we have 75 to 80 if not over 100 applicants because Southern is the destination everybody wants to land at professionally, and this is the crème de la crème. Let’s welcome them to Southern.”

Prior to introducing the new teachers, another new face showed up next to Business Administrator Steve Terhune in the form of the Student Council representative, president Gabriella Pierro, who takes over for her one-year stint following the graduation of Kyra Zdep.

Pierro opened up her first moments as part of the board by providing a brief update to several things going on within the school. After the meeting, she agreed with Henry that she had some big shoes to fill as she takes on her new role.

“We’ve only been in school for a week, so I wanted to go light tonight with the requests and reports,” Pierro said with a smile. “I definitely want to continue the Dance Marathon, and would love to start a fundraiser for schools in the Carolinas, to help them after Hurricane Florence. And, just keep helping our community. I went to a leadership conference over the summer, and I learned about a lot of different fundraising ideas we might be able to do here at Southern.”

At the end of the meeting, board member Stuart Snyder encouraged Pierro to bring to the board any concerns or student body needs. Pierro said later that she hadn’t heard of anything just yet but planned to start developing a short list of possibilities to bring up at next month’s meeting once the student council meets for the first time this year.

As for following up the dynamic leader that was Zdep, Pierro said she eventually will set her own mark in varying ways.

“I want to boost the school spirit,” she said. “Kyra was loud and outgoing, and did a lot to lead with school spirit, so I want to continue that. We did a lot of fundraisers last year, and we want to do more of that again. But I’m expecting some of the other officers and I will come up with some different things for this year.”

— David Biggy

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