Unveiling our new mission statement

Our work over the last few years has evolved and grown, and we wanted our mission statement to reflect the excitement we have for education in Phoenixville. We are pleased to share our newly revised mission statement with you, our donors, the folks that make this work possible! Please click here to read more…

2021-06-15T10:58:46-04:00June 15th, 2021|General|

PASD School Board Candidates 2021

Candidates for Phoenixville Area School District School Board 2021

Phoenixville Community Education Foundation’s mission is inextricably linked to the mission of the Phoenixville Area School District. We believe that an informed and engaged community is vital to the success of our schools. To that end, we invited all candidates for the 2021 school board elections to provide information about themselves and their candidacy. We are sharing this information with our constituents to help them make informed decisions on election day.

Below we have posted the answers as given by each candidate, with no edits. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order. PCEF is nonpartisan and will offer no opinion on candidates. Our goal is to encourage voters to educate themselves and make an informed choice in the election.

Please note that May 18th is a primary election. Each party is choosing candidates who will go on to run in the general election in November. Not every candidate listed below is registered with both the Democratic and Republican parties. We encourage you to research which candidates will appear on your party’s ballot on May 18th. And please remember to vote!

Municipality of residence

Phoenixville Borough

Education and professional background

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Special Education from West Chester University. I have also earned a Master of Education degree in Literacy with a Reading Specialist certification. In addition, as an educator I participate in ongoing professional development about various aspects of education. I have worked as a special education teacher and general education teacher at the elementary level for 13 years.

Is there a particular issue that motivates you to run for school board?

Growing up with parents who were public school teachers and then pursuing my own career in education has made public education a passion of mine. I am motivated to run for school board so that I have the opportunity to bring my own firsthand experiences and knowledge to continue to make Phoenixville Area School District a competitive school district that provides an equitable and engaging education to all students.

What do you see as the primary role of the school board?

The primary role of the school board is to collaborate with all members of the school district to guide district policy, set goals, and ensure that we are providing the best education for our community.

What would be your priorities for the school board, if elected?

If elected, my priority for the school board would be to collaborate with the members of our school district to ensure that we are providing an exceptional education that supports all students in the Phoenixville Area School District.

Municipality of residence

East Pikeland Twp

Education and professional background

We are truly an “education family.” My wife, Katie, is a special education teacher in the neighboring Owen J. Roberts School District. I handle media relations for Pearson, the world’s leading education company, where we have been working to make education more accessible and affordable for people in all phases of life. We have two children who will attend public schools in Phoenixville — our daughter will be entering kindergarten at the Early Learning Center in the fall and our son is 18 months old.

Previously, I worked on the communications teams for two elected officials who are passionate advocates for education — former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Congressman and now-Governor Jared Polis. During my time with Senator Lieberman and Governor Polis, I saw how important it is to put politics aside when dealing with education, and make decisions that are best for students and their families. I hope to bring this same passion and commitment to doing what is best for students to our community.

Is there a particular issue that motivates you to run for school board?

This next year will be so important in minimizing any long term impacts from thedisruptions caused by Covid on students and families. I  believe our current School Board and administration have done an excellent job of navigating this unprecedented situation. With a number of current members choosing not to run for reelection, I want to make sure we have committed Board members who will build on this progress and make decisions to help keep our schools and students safe and moving forward.

What do you see as the primary role of the school board?

I believe the primary role of the school board is to provide the administration and teachers with the support, guidance, and resources they need to provide a world class education for our students. They also should foster open lines of communication with the community, both proactive and reactive, to ensure the value of a high-performing school district is appreciated by people who may not currently have school-age children

What would be your priorities for the school board, if elected?

If elected, I have six priorities that I would want to work with the Board and administration to achieve:

  1. Attract and maintain a world-class faculty through competitive salaries, supportive  leadership, and an environment that encourages and rewards creativity and innovation
  2. Diversify school leadership and staff
  3. Build out communications capabilities and strategy to highlight positive stories from around the district
  4. Give back to our local community, while helping students gain an appreciation of civics education and real world experience with volunteer and internship programs
  5. Revenue neutral reform of occupation tax
  6. Work with local governments to encourage smart growth to build tax base

Municipality of residence

I am a life-long Schuylkill Township resident.

Education and professional background

I attended Case Western Reserve University and received a BA in Art History with minors in Mathematics and Physics. I also did extensive elective coursework in Geology, Astronomy, and Computer Engineering. After school, I became an entrepreneur and launched Bryn and Friends Pet Care LLC, a service offering a wide variety of personalized, reliable, flexible, and convenient in-home pet care solutions.

Is there a particular issue that motivates you to run for school board?

I have no children of my own yet, but talking to friends and neighbors, I have heard first hand the struggles that our students have faced this past year. Hearing their stories and concerns has inspired me to step up and serve our community by running for school board.

What do you see as the primary role of the school board?

To me, the primary role of the school board is threefold: the board should advocate for students, support teachers, and listen to parents.

What would be your priorities for the school board, if elected?

If elected, my first priority will always be to put students first and to empower teachers to do the same. Right now, the most important things that we can do to achieve this are to focus on helping all students safely transition back to in-person learning and on ensuring that our schools remain open and sports and extracurricular activities continue as normal. In addition, I will prioritize students by working to keep politics out of education, using the model that schools should teach students “how to think, not what to think.”

Municipality of residence

Schuylkill Township

Education and professional background

BS Petroleum Engineering, Texas A&M
MA Mathematics, West Chester

I started professional life as a petroleum engineer, then spent several years as a trailing military spouse, part-time web designer and piano teacher, and full-time parent before going back to graduate school. I currently teach mathematics at West Chester University.

My husband Mike and I have lived in Schuylkill Township for 20 years. Both of our children attended PASD schools. My son (PAHS Class of 2013) attended Schuylkill and PAMS in the old buildings and construction trailers, then went on to earn an electrical engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh. My daughter (PAHS Class of 2018) was one of the first students in the new buildings and is now in her third year at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Is there a particular issue that motivates you to run for the school board?

I want the best possible education for students in my community. I served as a parent volunteer in the district for many years (if you attended any of Mr. Wilson’s concerts at Schuylkill, you probably heard me playing the piano), and now that my children are grown, I can serve in a different capacity. I was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in Fall 2020 and am currently serving as chair of the policy committee.

What do you see as the primary role of the school board?

My role on the board is to work with other members to get the business of the district done in a professional manner that reflects the needs of students and families and priorities of the community. This includes working with administration on district goals, regular review of policies to make sure they are in line with these goals and overseeing the district budget.

What would be your priorities for the school board, if elected?

  1. Focus on the end goal: improve graduation rate and make sure PASD students are prepared for life after high school, particularly STEM competency.
  2. Address challenges caused by the pandemic: allocate resources to identify and appropriately address student and staff needs (academic supports, mental health, technology, etc.)
  3. Look to the future: succession planning for top administration, future facility / technology needs and associated costs, financial health of the district, etc.

Municipality of residence

Schuylkill Township

Education and professional background

BBA Temple University; Currently pursuing an MBA from Temple University. Realtor for 11 years. Prior to that my experience is in business administration and social services/adult training programs.

Is there a particular issue that motivates you to run for the school board?

I have personally experienced the challenges faced by parents and students because of the pandemic. The current board has done a great job of navigating the unknowns. And I would like to build on their foundation and continue the work it takes to lead our district to a position of advancement.

What do you see as the primary role of the school board?

The primary role of the school board is to ensure that our district resources are allocated appropriately, fostering a vision that is inclusive of our community/student body. Providing an environment in which all students have an opportunity to thrive and grow into productive citizens in our society.

What would be your priorities for the school board, if elected?

My priorities would be ensuring that students and teachers/administration are supported with the resources needed to recover from the effects of the pandemic and focus on advancing the Phoenixville District into the future.

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2021-05-05T20:13:10-04:00May 5th, 2021|Featured, General|

We’re In This…Together!

TOGETHER we are doing great things! Thanks to your generous support during the pandemic, we’ve fed families and delivered books and school supplies to families in need throughout PASD.

But additional needs remain this fall. Our students started school on Monday virtually, using personal or PASD-supplied laptops. We all quickly realized how crucial internet access is.

But many families have never had internet service because they cannot afford it.

So in partnership with PASD, we’ve arranged for deeply discounted internet access for our families most in need.

Click here to be part of Together We Can!

Can you help?

Your donation of $250 will pay for one household’s internet connection this school year. A $100 gift will provide a full semester of service.

We anticipate that there are 200-300 PASD families who currently have NO internet. They have relied on cell phone coverage to access email but their children cannot attend Zoom classes or upload assignments.

We were overwhelmed by the donations we received in April this year; that support will continue to help many families this fall. However, the current need exceeds the funds left in our Together We Can fund – that is where you come in!

These kids are OUR KIDS – your help ensures that they can continue learning in this virtual school environment. Please give to the Together We Can fund because TOGETHER WE ARE PHOENIXVILLE!

We have seen the best of our community during this crisis, and PCEF is proud to be the steward of your generosity.

Regards,

Joan Cadigan
Executive Director

Yes, I Can Help!
2020-08-27T10:46:24-04:00August 27th, 2020|Featured, General|

First Day of School 2020 Signs

Monday is #PASDFirstDay and PCEF wants to help you commemorate this most unusual first day of school!

All kindergarten families will receive a postal mailing from us welcoming them to the district. This mailing includes a special sign for their kindergartener to use for those Instagrammable first day of school photos! Even though school might be taking place at the kitchen table it is still a milestone.

However, we want ALL students to be able to show off their Phantom pride on the first day of school.

We created these #PASDFirstDay signs for you to print out and use to take a photo of your child before they fire up their computer and log in to school. (You can type in your child’s grade before printing!)

Because this is such a crazy, unusual situation we find ourselves in, we created two different signs for you! One regular one and one with a little more “attitude” to reflect how you may be feeling about the year 2020. Please tag #PASDFirstDay if you post your photos!

First Day of School Sign V1
First Day of School Sign

2020-08-22T05:39:54-04:00August 21st, 2020|General|

How You Can Help Students During This Crisis

Donate – Together We Can Fund

Our region and school district are coping with the effects of the coronavirus and closure of our schools and PCEF is ready to support our students.

Many of our lower income students do not have the technology and supplies needed to complete schoolwork remotely and online. Many of these children have also lost access to the federal breakfasts and lunches they enjoyed in their school buildings.

PASD has committed to ensuring our students continue to receive meal support while schools are closed in response to the COVID-19 virus. PASD and the community are making “grab and go” lunches available for ANY child (age 0 – 18) who needs it. You do not have to be on the free & reduced lunch list. No questions asked—just come pick up your lunch between 10:30 am and noon at any of the following locations:

  • Barkley Elementary 320 Second Avenue
  • Ann’s Heart 146 Church St (the old Sacred Heart School)
  • PACS 257 Church Street
  • Bethel Baptist 412 Fairview Street

Yesterday (Monday, March 16) 300 lunches were handed out to children in our community.

PASD is also working to ensure every child has internet access and adequate technology to continue to learn.

How Can You Help?

PCEF is accepting donations to the TOGETHER WE CAN fund, in order to help pay for supplemental meals for hungry students and to help provide things like WiFi hotspots and technology to students who cannot afford them.

Please consider donating to the TOGETHER WE CAN fund so that all students can continue their education during this crisis. We cannot anticipate the total cost of this effort but PCEF is hoping to raise $10,000 – and we are well on our way, thanks to some early donations.

PASD is also maintaining a database of volunteers to help with food distribution and possibly other tasks. To add your name to this list, please COMPLETE THIS FORM. Someone will contact you when your help is needed.

Thank you for your generosity!

Joan Cadigan
Executive Director
jcadigan@pcefonline.com

PCEF
Phoenixville Area School District Seal

2020-03-17T11:00:26-04:00March 17th, 2020|General|
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