As the 2019-2020 School Year comes to a close, Mars Area School District is saying goodbye to two retiring staff members:
Donna E. Dallatore, a health & physical education at Mars Area Middle School, is retiring after 23 years in the District.
Dallatore, who holds master’s degree equivalency from California State University, East Bay, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, joined the District in 1979 as a health & physical education teacher at Mars Area High School and the former Adams Elementary School. In 1980, she left her position to relocate out of state; but, in 1997, rejoined the District as a substitute teacher, before moving to a half-time physical education teacher position in 1998, and then returned to a full-time teaching position in 2001.
During her teaching career, Dallatore has served as a health and/or physical education teacher at each of the District’s school buildings, including the former Middlesex Elementary School and the former Mars Primary Center in Downtown Mars. She has also coached the Seventh/Eighth Grade Cross Country Team and the Seventh/Eighth Grade Track & Field Team; served as an assistant coach for the Seventh/Eighth Grade Girls Basketball Team; and as a sponsor for elementary intramurals.
Dallatore has also previously served as Assistant Director of Safety Services at the American Red Cross (Ft. Wayne, Ind.); as Director of Children’s Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown; and as a long-term substitute teacher at Butler Area Senior High School.
In her retirement, Dallatore plans to spend more time with family, to travel, walk the dog “EVERY day,” and to craft. A resident of Middlesex Township, she and her husband, Ray, have three children, Dan, Ben, and Teresa.
Mary Jo Phillips, a science teacher at Mars Area Middle School, is retiring after 26 years at the District.
Phillips, who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology/sociology from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Slippery Rock University, joined the District in 1994 as paraprofessional at the former Adams Elementary School. She previously served as a fifth grade teacher at Adams Elementary School and a sixth grade science and social studies teacher at Mars Area Middle School, where she also served as a sponsor of the school’s “You Be the Chemist” team, Spirit Committee and Student Government.
In her retirement, Phillips plans to “get used to married life; keep volunteering with local groups; (join in) old car tours; finish mechanical work on a 1953 Harley Davidson Servi-Car that my Dad left me; learn to drive a side shift motorcycle, teach my husband how to drive a sidecar bike; visit all of the national parks, and I'll figure out something for year two of retirement.”
Phillips and her husband, John Sorbo, live in Middlesex Township.