New superintendent preparing for start of school - Titusville Herald: News

New superintendent preparing for start of school

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Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 5:00 am

The summer is coming to a close, and the start of the school year is only a scant few days away. However, there will be one major difference for the Titusville Area School District heading into the 2019-20 school year.

Karen Jez, who had served as the superintendent of TASD since 2006, retired at the end of July. Taking her place is Stephanie Keebler, who previously served as the director of federal programs, and is feeling a bit of pressure as the start of the school year draws near.

“The work load is a lot at this point, because we’re preparing for the start of school,” Keebler said.

There is much to do before the school year begins. New hires are required for last minutes resignations, all necessary supplies need to be accounted for and Keebler is currently in the midst of preparing a key note speech to be given on a professional development day next Wednesday.

Despite the large amount of things needed to be done, the new superintendent is looking forward to the beginning of the school year.

“I would say that it’s exciting,” Keebler said. “I would say that I’ve had very good support where, if I’m unsure of a specific item, I have had a great system to reach out to within not only our district, but within our network of other administrators.”

Staff and faculty across the district’s schools are preparing to once more begin educating Titusville’s children. Professional development and summer institute days are planned for both teachers and support staff, while open houses at the various schools will be held through most of next week.

“I believe the building administrators have worked very hard over the summer to prepare their buildings, and they have all of their specific items for all of their classes,” Keebler said.

Fortunately for the new superintendent, there aren’t as many new staff coming in this year as compared to the 2018-19 school year. Keebler said that there have only been six new teachers hired and a a few education aides, whereas last year saw more than a dozen new staff brought on for the start of the school year, all of whom had to adjust and learn the workings of the district.

Comparatively, Keebler said the current batch of new hires are within more “traditional” norms for Titusville schools.

The new superintendent has set forth four goals for the district to undertake for the coming school year. These consist of creating a data culture across all schools, improve upon safety, increase communication with parents and the community and developing better connections with students.

While Keebler intends to start addressing those first two points at the September meetings of the Titusville Area School Board, and thus wasn’t able to release precise details as of yet, the latter two are already in the works. She has asked each school building’s administration to create goals for themselves to to better communicate with parents and make stronger relationships with students.

These goals are aimed at affecting everyone, from administration to teachers to support staff. Keebler said it is important to make sure students feel safe, welcome and a sense of pride in the schools they attend.

As for the parents, Keebler is encouraging them to take an active part in their child’s education. She wants them to attend parent-teacher conferences, pay attention to grades and reach out to the schools any time they have a question or concern.

“It’s very difficult for us to do our jobs alone,” Keebler said. “We need them as partners.”

To the students, the new superintendent asks them to put forth their best efforts and know that she will be around.

“I just would wish them a great school year,” Keebler said. “I will be around the buildings — one of my goals is to be in the buildings and seeing them interact with teachers and their support staff.”

The school year begins on Aug. 27. There will be an open house at the Titusville Middle School on Monday, with similar events taking place at the high school on Tuesday, Early Childhood Learning Center on Wednesday and at all three of the elementary schools on Thursday.

Ray can be reached, by email, at

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1 comment:

  • Jahoba posted at 7:28 am on Mon, Aug 19, 2019.

    Jahoba Posts: 240

    Good luck. You are going to need it.


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