In January, the Bethel Park School District said goodbye to Dr. Dorothy Stark, our Director of Elementary Education, who retired after 34 years in education, the last 19 of them in Bethel Park.
Since arriving in Bethel Park in 1998, Dr. Stark has served this District in every way we have asked her—as Principal of William Penn and Abraham Lincoln Elementary Schools, as Federal Programs Coordinator, and finally, as Director of Elementary Education.
We wish Dr. Stark all the best as she begins this next chapter in her life and we thank her for her commitment and devotion to the students, parents and staff in the Bethel Park School District, who benefitted greatly from her leadership and guidance.
Dr. Stark’s retirement gave us an opportunity to look at our Curriculum Department and re-structure it to focus on the changing needs of our students and staff.
Director of Secondary Education Janet O’Rourke will now assume the role of Assistant to the Superintendent for Evaluations, Human Resources and Assessments. In her new role, Ms. O’Rourke will oversee the District’s curriculum K-12, student assessments and the evaluation process for our educational staff, and will collaborate with my office on human resources and other district projects.
Whether you are familiar with Ms. O’Rourke from her days as Principal at Neil Armstrong Middle School or her work as our Director of Secondary Education, you know that she is a capable administrator who puts children first. I am confident she is more than able to handle the District’s curriculum needs K-12.
Joining our Administrative Team in January was Elizabeth Wells, who is serving as the District’s Coordinator of Curriculum K-12. Ms. Wells comes to us from the Northgate School District with a strong background in curriculum and assessments, where she served as a Principal, Coordinator of Curriculum, Assessment and Evaluation, and as an Instructional Coach.
In Bethel Park, she will be supporting our principals and teaching staff, working actively in our classrooms to support instruction and overseeing the alignment to a standards-based curriculum, as well as supporting professional development to grow and enhance our educational program.
We believe this administrative alignment will best position the District to serve our students as they prepare themselves for their futures.
On another note, it is a personal goal of mine to attend as many after school and evening events as possible, and I wanted to mention how impressed I was with the holiday music events that were staged in our schools in December.
I know every school district is proud of its music department, but I was extremely impressed with the quality of music that was performed by our students. That is a direct reflection of the quality of instruction our students are receiving by our outstanding music directors, and I thank them for the work they do to prepare our students for these public performances.
Hopefully you were able to attend one or more of these events. If your schedule did not allow you to do so, please make it a point to attend one of the concerts that will be held this spring, as well as our spring musicals at the high school and Independence Middle School. You will definitely be impressed at the quality of the performances.
As always, it continues to be an honor for us to work with your students.