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Millersburg honors
Knorr for her service
Story and Photos by Duane Good

Sheree-Lee Knorr admires a wall clock presented to her as a gift by the Millersburg Area School Board March 16. (Sentinel photo by Duane Good)

MILLERSBURG • Wednesday, April 1 is Sheree-Lee Knorr’s last day as Millersburg Area School District superintendent.

The school board made sure she didn’t depart without knowing how much she’s been appreciated.

At the board’s March 16 meeting, Knorr – the district’s leader for seven years and a member of the staff for more than two decades – was honored with several commendations and a gift in appreciation for her service as an educator.

A native of the Tri-Valley region, Knorr has been an educator for more than 30 years. She began with Millersburg as a fill in in 1991 and eventually was appointed supervisor of special education, high school principal and, finally superintendent during the 2007-2008 school year.

In presenting a commendation from the district, school board President Mark Rothermel noted that Knorr “has given her entire life to education’’ and ‘‘has earned the admiration of all for her dedication.’’

She also was ‘‘a prudent steward of the district’s finances,’’ Rothermel noted.

Knorr also was presented with citations by the state House of Representatives (Sue Helm), state Senate (Patti Miller, representing Rob Teplitz) and Millersburg Borough (council president Chris Dietz).

Former board members Karen Fox, Steve Boyer, Kirby Brosius and Edwin Schlegel also attended the meeting.

‘‘It was nice working with you; you did a great job,’’ Schlegel, himself a former superintendent, told Knorr. “Thank you for what you have done for the district.’’

Knorr expressed her appreciation to the board and the district and all  who represent it.

‘‘I want to thank you. I am very touched by all this,’’ she said.

‘‘It is very hard to leave something I have loved for so long. I want to say that it has been an honor being employed here. I can’t believe the time that has passed,’’ she added.

‘‘There is something special about Millersburg; I felt it the first day I walked in here,’’ Knorr stated. ‘‘I hope you will always remember how special Millersburg’s students are.’’

As of March 23, a new superintendent for the district had not been announced. The district is hoping to have a confirmed successor to Knorr sometime in the early Spring.

Intent to retire notices submitted. In addition to Knorr, several longtime Millersburg faculty members may be ending their education careers as well.

As part of her superintendent’s report March 16, Knorr said the district has received letters of intent to retire from the following teachers:

• Elementary: Phyllis Burkey, Title 1 reading; Alan Corson, library; Arlene Dyba, third-grade; Robin Rowe, kindergarten; Pamela Rudy, fifth grade Vicki Snyder, kindergarten; and Vicki Wommer, second grade.

• Secondary: Deborah Bowman, middle-school mathematics; Leslie Hepler, high-school chemistry; Kenneth Rudy, high-school industrial arts; and John ‘‘Jack’’ Sheaffer, high-school biology.

According to Knorr, teachers who are at least considering retirement at the end of this school year had to inform the district before March 1 to be eligible for their retirement payout under the current contract. It does not mean they must retire this year. The letters do not require board action, she noted.

In addition, Business Manager Cathy Artz has – under the terms of her own contract – submitted a letter of intent stating she may retire sometime between March 9, 2016 and March 9, 2017.

Grant awarded. Millersburg has received a state Ready-to-Learn Grant for the current school year and hopes to receive an extension for the 2015-16 school year, according to a report to the board by Brian Campbell, the district’s curriculum and instruction supervisor.

The grant’s intent is to strengthen the STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering) standards throughout the district, and will be used to specifically target instruction in math and science to improve student achievement, according to Campbell.

Also through the grant, faculty will be introduced through professional development programs to what Campbell described as ‘‘current, research-based teaching methods’’ in math, science, and business and technical education throughout all grades, elementary and secondary. The instructor will be Dr. Jason Petula, formerly of NASA but now with Shippensburg University.

In addition, the grant will enable to purchase portable Chrome Book computer labs for the middle school, and hardware upgrades to the school’s weather station. According to Campbell, the weather station and the district’s All-Hazards plan are integrated into the middle school science curriculum and is used to inform the public through the WeatherNet program of WHTM-TV in Harrisburg.

Personnel. In personnel action March 16, the board hired or (for volunteers) approved the following:

• Jodi Walters, part-time, student-specific personal-care aide at Lenkerville Elementary School, effective March 23, for up to five hours per day at an hourly wage of $9.

• Vince Heckert as an elementary lunch aide, for two hours per day on a rotating basis.

• Angelia Bixler as a classroom volunteer for the current school year.

Other business. In other matters March 16:

• The board agreed to reschedule several school board meetings for March and April. (See inset for more information.)

• District Athletic Director Jeffrey Prouse lauded the high-school boys’ basketball team for its accomplishments during the 2014-15 season. (See separate article on Page B1.)

• Various staff praised the recent musical production of ‘‘42nd Street.’’

• High School Principal David Shover reported that as of mid-March, the school’s three teams competing in the regional Stock Market Game were ranked first, fifth and 10th out of more than 300. The teams are comprised of economics students instructed by Corey Keim.

• Elementary students Luke Etzweiler and Kerry Forney won a drawing set up for top students in mathematics. Their prize was a trip to a Hershey Bears hockey game. All eligible students had their names drawn for the trip. Additional drawings will be held later this month as well as in April.

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