May Message from Superintendent

May 30, 2018

Greetings to Pine-Richland Students, Parents and Community,

As we complete the 2017 – 2018 school year, I want to express my congratulations to students and appreciation to our parent community. We are fortunate to live and work in a community that values education. Importantly, we have a mission to focus on learning for every student every day. We see that mission through the wide variety of academic, athletic, arts, music, and extra-curricular programming available at Pine-Richland. We see that mission in action through the daily lessons and learning activities in our schools. We see that mission through service and engagement in the community.

Seniors in the Class of 2018 will soon wear green and white caps and gowns for graduation. Parents, grandparents, family, and friends will arrive on campus to celebrate a critical juncture in the life of each graduate. We have had the opportunity to educate and build relationships with many of our upcoming graduates since they began kindergarten in the fall of 2005. The Pine-Richland diploma holds tremendous value in the region, state, and country. We know that our students are prepared for their next step in post-secondary education, technical school, the workforce, and the military. For some of our students, they will take time to carefully consider options for their future before finalizing their next steps.

The district’s Annual Report will be distributed over the summer. As a sample of the wide range of accomplishments, I have included a few summaries below:

  • We honored 11 staff members who will retire at the end of this year. Together they logged more than 279 years with the district. They include: Hance Elementary School Principal John Mayberry; Hance Paraeducator Eileen Brennan; Hance Teacher Megan Kruth; Richland Elementary Paraeducator Terry Medwig; Wexford Nurse Mary Beth Chips; Eden Hall Teacher Janet Bock; Pine-Richland Athletic Office Secretary Mary Seaman; Pine-Richland High School Teachers Sue Baillie and Patti White; Paraeducator Sherry Esser; and Pine-Richland Middle School Guidance Counselor Marcie Thomas.

  • The Pittsburgh Business Times ranked Pine-Richland School District eighth in the region and #29 in the state. These rankings are based on a formula that analyzes multiple years of PSSA and Keystone Exam scores. Pine-Richland High School was recognized by US News & World Report as the top high school in the county and eleventh in the state in the publications “Top High School” rankings. The report also ranked Pine-Richland #691 in the United States.

  • PRHS and PRMS student teams earned the opportunity to compete in multiple engineering and design tournaments. In the National Robotics League, the PRHS team was named Grand Champion at the National Battle Bot Championships where they competed against 68 college and high school teams. PRMS and EHUE student teams performed in the Odyssey of the Mind regional and state tournaments. In addition, the last month showcased art, music, and various community service activities.
    Bots
  • EHUE celebrated a Cultural Day in early May. Through significant leadership and coordination of staff, more than 50 different presenters – parents, residents, and community – shared their knowledge and background with students. These presenters represented more than 30 different countries. The celebration of diversity and cultural elements, such as a language, climate, customs, food, and traditions, was incredible. A World Language Fair was then held later in May to further reinforce these concepts.

Rocks

  • Hance Elementary school has showcased the unique nature of every student through painted rock activity. Each student had the opportunity to decorate their own rock and contribute the positive school culture. This visual reminder outside the main entrance helps each student feel connected to the school environment. An addition to the school playground was also celebrated recently as a generous donation by the PTO.

  • The annual first-grade play was held at Richland Elementary School. In addition to the experience of rehearsal and practice, this performance provides a unique opportunity for current seniors – who are former Richland students – to return as members of the audience. It is incredible to see the impact of this experience on the current students and also the memories and emotions that return for the seniors.

 

First Grade Play

 

  • Wexford Elementary School was named a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon.  This distinction acknowledges Wexford's commitment to sustainable practices and its leadership in facilities, health, and environmental education. Wexford was also recognized by PA Healthy Schools as a “High Distinguished” school. A wide range of initiatives, such as the school garden, were part of this team effort.

  • It has also been a tremendous year for athletics at Pine-Richland. In the spring season, the girls lacrosse team recently won the WPIAL championship. Various teams and/or individuals earned the right to compete in the WPIAL and PIAA playoffs and championships. Many athletes have also earned the opportunity to compete at the college level next year.

As a reminder, please complete the parent survey if you have not already done so. This voluntary and anonymous survey will help us understand strengths and identify opportunities for improvement. We will use results from the staff, parent, and student surveys to consider areas of future focus. The surveys were developed with input from representatives of each group.

Thank you again for your commitment to and support of the Pine-Richland School District.

Respectfully,
Brian Miller