Welcomes New Superintendent
By Katie Crawford
The focus topic of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board meeting on Monday night was social media and district communications. Deirdre Abrahamsson, communications consultant to the district, described for the board the types of social media the district employs, and the purpose of each medium.
Abrahamsson began working for the district in 2013. During the past two and half years, the district’s online presence has increased substantially. In addition to continually updating the district website, Abrahamsson oversees the district’s Twitter feed, which currently has 857 followers. Twitter, which distributes short messages, photos, videos, and links, is the most practical medium for sports updates and highlights.
During the past two and half years, the district’s Facebook page has registered 2,400 “likes.” Abrahamsson described Facebook as the place to share up-to-date information on school and extracurricular activity, as well as the best venue to promote events. Facebook also allows the district to gather information about the types of people viewing their page (mostly women) and the time of day when there is the most traffic (evenings). Abrahamsson described the opportunity to “tell the district’s story” as, “an awesome experience,” highlighting the abundance of academic, athletic, and performance opportunities available to students.
Dr. Palmer Unanimously Approved
The resolution to approve Dr. Lisa Palmer as the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District Superintendent was enthusiastically and unanimously approved. In her remarks Dr. Palmer thanked the board “from the bottom of my heart, for the privilege of serving the staff, the students, the community and the board.”
During the superintendent’s report, Dr. Michael Pladus, anticipating the approval of the new superintendent, thanked the board for the privilege of working with them for the past seven months. Dr. Pladus also noted that there is still no 2015-2016 budget from the state and that this stalemate is going to create cash flow problems for many districts.
Dr. Pladus also thanked former board member Mary Gay Scanlon for her work on the discipline code, noting that there were no major changes, just better articulation of the current policy. Later in the meeting the board did indeed approve the revised Code of Conduct/Discipline Code.
Wrestlers Take Down 3rd Place in Sectionals
Dr. Robert Reiger commended the high school wrestling team members and coaches, who made their best showing in years, taking third place in sectionals. Eight wrestlers from the team will be competing in the district tournament.
Highlights from student representative Charlotte Brake’s report on district schools included: a visit from Swarthmore author Judith Schachner to Wallingford Elementary School; Swarthmore Rutledge School’s living wax museum celebrating Black History month; the first ever STEM night at Nether Providence Elementary School; the upcoming performance of Tarzan at Strath Haven Middle School; and the ongoing performance of Rent at Strath Haven High School.
Special guest Kevin Yin from Rose Valley Troop 272 attended the meeting as part of his efforts to receive his merit badge for citizenship and community. Kevin led the board in the Pledge of Allegiance and adjourned the meeting by expertly banging the gavel.