Mars Area Families and Friends,
Welcome back! Summer planning and cleaning has come to an end and we successfully kicked off the new school year on Aug. 29. I’m very excited to see what this school year will bring. But most of all, I’m anticipating the positive impact of our programs and instructional focus this year.
The District has gone through some changes as we’ve planned for the school year. Mr. Travis Mineard has been hired as our new Director of Special Education & Gifted Education. Dr. Rick Glosser has been promoted from School Psychologist to Director of Pupil Personnel where he will oversee nurses, guidance counselors, school psychologists and contracted services for speech, occupational and physical therapies. After many years of steady leadership at the elementary level, Mr. Robert Zaccari has retired and Mr. Todd Lape has taken the reigns at Mars Area Elementary School. Finally, Dr. Elizabeth McMahon, Assistant Superintendent, will oversee the day-to-day operations at Mars Area Primary Center. All of these talented individuals have already placed their mark on their respective positions.
One of the most exciting initiatives I have ever been part of is “Rachel’s Challenge.” In direct support of our District’s mission, the core of “Rachel’s Challenge” is to spread kindness and to create a chain reaction of positivity and support within our community. This was evident on our first day of school where students were greeted by excited teachers and staff with positive, supportive messages. The energy was electric and our school year has started on a good note. One of our goals is for our students to feel connected to their teachers, administrators and school. To accomplish this, our entire staff has made the commitment to improving our school climate.
Our teachers and staff members accomplish incredible feats every school year. From teaching our youngest learners how to read to supporting our highest achievers through rigorous curriculum and supporting an improved social and emotional climate for all of our students, it is clear that we accomplish great things every day. The District asks that you follow our 2018-2019 hashtags #WeHaveGreatThingsToDo, #GreatThingsToDo, #MarsPride and #PlanetPride on social media to see samples of the awesome work our staff and students perform throughout the school year.
I wish you all the best for a successful year. Do not hesitate to contact your student’s teacher, counselor and/or building principal should you have any questions or concerns. It is the District’s mission to create and sustain a supportive educational environment that allows all students the opportunity to realize their maximum learning potential. Have a great year.
Dr. Wesley W. Shipley