Pine-Richland celebrates 60th anniversary

August 20, 2018
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Paula Giran

The Halloween candy displays at area Giant Eagles were likely the first reminder that summer is drawing to a close and fall will be here in no time, and now the start of the new school year has arrived.

Pine-Richland school district is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and approximately 4,600 students will return for the first day of classes on Aug. 23. Both parents and students will notice a few changes throughout the buildings, beginning with new administrators.

Greta Kuzilla, who was assistant principal at Eden Hall Upper Elementary, takes over as the new principal at Hance Elementary following the retirement of Dr. John Mayberry after 39 years with the district.

Wexford Elementary also has a new principal in Kelly Gustafson. Paula Giran replaces Kuzilla at Eden Hall and Robert Puskas joins the high school staff as assistant principal.

Another change this year concerns security in the district. All schools will now use the Raptor Visitor Management System, which will require all visitors to sign in at the front desk and show a driver’s license. The secretary will then scan that license, which checks certain law enforcement databases, and then provide the visitor with a photo badge that must be worn while in the building. Before leaving the building, visitors should then sign back out and turn in the photo badge.

Another change is that outdoor facilities on school district property, including the high school track, athletic fields, etc., will not be open to members of the community during school hours. For the high school and middle school that means 6:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., for Eden Hall Upper Elementary the hours are 7:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and the elementary schools hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will also be an increased police presence around schools this year.

“As a school district, we have been fortunate to partner with the Northern Regional Police Department for many years,” superintendent Dr. Brian Miller said. “Officers conduct building walkthroughs on a daily basis at all six of our schools, and police vehicles are often present during arrival and/or dismissal at our schools. Beginning in the fall of 2018, the presence of officers within the schools will increase as they take the opportunity to complete some of their paperwork -- usually completed in their vehicles or at the police station -- in office spaces within our schools. We view this as a win-win strategy for both the district and police.”

The Pine-Richland back-to-school kit, including calendars, guides, meal information and other useful tips for the upcoming year is now available on the website at www.pinerichland.org. The home access site for viewing bus schedules, classroom placements and schedules opened on Aug. 14.

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