Board President Welcome Back Letter 2019
Dear Upper Perkiomen School District Families:
On behalf of the Upper Perkiomen School District Board of Directors, we welcome you to the start of the 2019-20 school year! The Board, which I have the privilege of representing as President, works hand in hand with the superintendent and administration to ensure we never lose focus on both short and long term plans to enable our students to succeed and flourish. As public servants, the Board and district employees continually strive to do our best to help our students learn and grow, as generations before us have done for their communities and children.
One of the Board’s main goals is to maximize the educational opportunities and improve outcome for all of our students as they prepare for life after graduation, whether that includes jumping directly into a career, continuing their education, or pursuing military service. We also do our best to ensure conscientious use of our resources to focus on areas where we can impart the maximum positive influence on district and student outcomes.
This year will mark several milestones in the venerable history of our district. On the leadership side, we have a new superintendent, Dr. Allyn J. Roche, who comes to us with a strong background in school district administration from two of the top districts in the state. Dr. Roche has worked diligently over the summer with the administrative team and the Board to restructure several leadership positions, as well as recruit and hire several new team members. This includes establishing a new director of curriculum position and filing the positions of director of human resources and facilities director. At the building level, we have new additions to the leadership team, with a new principal at Marlborough Elementary and a new principal at the 4th & 5th Grade Center.
Each of these new additions to our district community comes with fresh perspectives, new energy, and deep experience in their respective areas of expertise. They will surely build on the strong administrative team, dedicated teachers and educational staff already in place, people who have been the heart of our district for many years.
This year will also mark several major facilities milestones with the opening of both the new Upper Perkiomen Middle School and the previously mentioned Upper Perkiomen 4th & 5th Grade Center (formerly the Upper Perkiomen Middle School). Please be sure to attend the opening events for both buildings before the September 12 and October 10 Board meetings.
In order to provide community oversight and ensure the district can succeed and thrive, the Board meets publicly multiple times per month to discuss important district topics at different levels of detail. Our monthly Board meetings are where committee and administration recommendations are added as agenda items for debate and must be approved by a majority vote from the Board.
Separate Board committee meetings are also held monthly on the following themes: communication, curriculum and instruction, facilities, special education and pupil services, and policy. This year we are also instituting a new finance committee to provide more in-depth fiscal oversight and transparency, and ensure funding priorities and fiscal status are clearly understood and communicated so we can make prudent, informed decisions.
In addition, monthly Board workshops are held to review and discuss the committee updates with the Board as a whole, along with other topics that require in-depth review and discussion.
Please see https://www.upsd.org/school-board/agendas-and-minutes for details on meeting dates and times. Videos of past meetings are also available on the district website. We encourage you to attend meetings, visit the Board webpages and district website, or otherwise become involved in areas in which you have an interest. You can also reach the entire Board via our Communication Line, or individually at our district email addresses
As you can see from this update, many significant changes are being implemented in our district this year. Changes are sometimes challenges to our traditional ways of thinking or doing business, but they are always opportunities to improve. I know that I speak for the entire Board when I say that we are all excited by what these changes will bring, and believe they will truly help enable our district to better serve our community and improve the lives and life-long learning paths of all our students.
In closing, please join me in giving a warm welcome to Dr. Roche and the many new additions to our district team, as well as wishing all our teachers, staff, administration, parents, and students a healthy, happy, and productive 2019-20 school year.
Dr. Kerry A. Drake
Board President, Upper Perkiomen School District Board of Directors
Dr. Kerry A. Drake, President
Mike W. Elliott, Vice President
Stephen L. Cunningham, Treasurer
Melanie R. Cunningham, Member
Dr. John L. Farris, Member
James C. Glackin, Member
Raeann B. Hofkin, Member
Judy Maginnis, Member
Joan T. Smith, Member
Dr. Allyn Roche, Superintendent (non-voting member)
Sandra M. Kassel, Board Secretary (non-voting member)