Gettysburg is a small town made famous by one of the most important battles of the Civil War and the most significant speech made in American history.
Surrounded by farmland and quaint towns, Gettysburg Area School District serves students in a 185-square mile area that includes Gettysburg Borough, Cumberland, Highland, Franklin, Freedom and parts of Straban and Mount Joy townships. The Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary are within the district.
Gettysburg Area School District features three kindergarten through fifth grade buildings, one middle school (grades 6-8) and one high school (grades 9-12). The experienced, dynamic staff provides a quality education for all students.
For press inquiries, contact:
Andrew P. Robinson
(717) 334-6254, ext. 1218
District hires full-time Communications CoordinatorPosted by Andrew Robinson on 3/19/2018
Written by Andrew P. Robinson:
I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the full-time Communications Coordinator for The Gettysburg Area School District. I grew up in the Gettysburg community and I have a vested interest in this historic community. I went through the Gettysburg school system from kindergarten through twelfth grade and experienced firsthand how and why the school district is “A Great Place to Learn.”
I attended Shippensburg University and majored in communications and journalism. During my collegiate career, I spent a few years working for The Gettysburg Times as a staff writer and stringer. Immediately after graduation, I moved to Lynchburg, Virginia where I spent some time working in television before coming back to the Gettysburg area to work in communications. I currently serve as a consultant for the school district, providing communications services.
Moreover, for the past several years, I have played an integral part of planning the National Apple Harvest Festival in Biglerville. I created and grew its social media platforms organically and created a publicity plan for the festival to continue its national widespread success.
As we continue to carry out the mission of the school district to “enable all students to become active and productive members of our society,” it is imperative to keep an open channel of communication. I urge anyone with any questions or concerns regarding a communications matter to reach out to me. My contact information is listed on the district website. Press-related items can be found under the press tab of the district website.
My position as the full-time Communications Coordinator begins on July 1, 2018. Until that time, I will continue my role as a contracted service/employee.
Gettysburg Area School District students participate in walkoutPosted by Andrew Robinson on 3/14/2018
On Wednesday, hundreds of students at both Gettysburg Area High School (GAHS) and Gettysburg Area Middle School (GAMS) participated in a 17-minute school walkout, following the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida last month.
As students planned and coordinated the events with school administrators, they were school-sanctioned. Students who chose not to participate in the walkout stayed in the building with designated teachers.
Students at GAMS walked a lap around the Warrior Stadium track solemnly after hearing a speech over the school intercom written by two students. In part, the speech read, “As you leave here in these 17 minutes of silent reflection, we urge you to remember these victims in the school, all those who cared about them and how we can prevent this from happening in the future,” middle school students Alana Guise and Emili Scavitto announced to the student body.
The statement also went on to say, "we at least need to show our PRIDE 5 characteristics of respect and empathy…. Being a friend to those who feel lonely, having the smile on your face that can make someone's day, even saying hello to our staff and stopping to talk to them. One person can start a movement or make a change, and that person could be you," the middle schoolers proclaimed.
The students at GAMS felt a responsibility to send a message to the entire middle school family that they will pull together and support each other, while remembering the victims who tragically lost their lives.
At GAHS, students walked out the front doors of the school and gathered for 17 minutes where they held ceremony that included speeches written and presented by students, a chorus performance of John Lennon’s Imagine, a powerful speech read by GAHS teacher Dr. Joy Boden and a moment of silence following the reading of names of the 17 victims who died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida exactly one month ago.
Dr. Joy Boden read a few passages from President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. She said, in part, “one of my favorite sentences from President Lincoln’s speech is this: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work.” Unfinished work! You walked out today, but we all have unfinished work,” Dr. Boden said to students during her speech. “What will you do tomorrow, and the next day after that, and next year, to keep this movement alive? Will you finish the unfinished work?”
GAHS seniors, Elie Delaney, Maddie Hubbard and Jaden Jones organized the walkout with the support of administrators and teachers. Elie Delaney said in part of her speech, “after hearing about the tragedy, we were empowered by the survivors’ courage and resilience and wanted to display our solidary, alongside students nationwide.”
Both GAHS Principal Jeremy Lusk and GAMS Principal Nancy Herb said they could not be prouder of their students for planning and organizing such well-thought out events.
“They have a message that applies to our school's stated mission: "We embrace our responsibility in developing a caring school community that enables all students to become active and productive members of our diverse and ever-changing global society," Jeremy Lusk said. “This process is an important learning experience in how to effectively work for positive change.”
GAHS teacher Chris Biggins said, “I give all the credit to the three young ladies and the school district for encouraging our students to think critically about the world around us - they truly are making this world a better place.”
Safety was paramount during both events. Extra personnel and police were present to ensure the safety of all participants.
New member appointed to Gettysburg Area School Board of DirectorsPosted by Andrew Robinson on 2/20/2018
GETTYSBURG, Pa. – During the board meeting on Tuesday evening, Dr. Alan Moyer was appointed as the newest board member of the Gettysburg Area School Board of Directors.
Moyer replaces Paul Redfern, who left the board late last year to pursue endeavors in a different state.
Moyer is a lifelong resident of the Gettysburg community with several grandchildren, who he says will be attending the district in the years to come. In a cover letter to express his interest in the seat, Moyer said, “my primary motivation would be my interest in contributing as a member of the team in making prudent decisions to assist our students and the Gettysburg community to provide the best education experience possible as we balance that need with limited resources.”
Moyer currently works at McDaniel College as a coordinator of the educational leadership program. Additionally, he teaches two courses per semester and serves as an administrator to a program that advises 300 graduate students.
Graduating with a doctoral degree in educational leadership in 2006 from Immaculata University, Moyer since has had experience working in several educational positions from a business education teacher at Fairfield Area School District to serving as the superintendent of schools for South Middleton School District.
Moyer said serving as a board member is his way of giving back to the profession that provided him satisfaction. “I would hope that my expertise would be invaluable, as I would want to contribute in a very positive manner,” he said.
The current board position runs through December 2019.
School board approves budget-related items for the 2018-2019 school yearPosted by Andrew Robinson on 1/22/2018 7:00:00 PM
GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- During the board meeting on Monday evening, the Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) Board of School Directors approved the 2018-2019 capital projects plan as part of an ongoing five-year capital improvement plan.
The process for budgeting capital needs each year as part of the district budgeting process began two years ago and was approved by the board with the 2016-2017 budget. This established the five-year plan, with average five-year needs being funded annually through the general fund budget. This creates a more stable revenue stream to address ongoing district capital needs.
“This five-year plan enables the district to protect and improve district assets,” District Superintendent Jason Perrin said.
Capital funds also permitted the district to reduce its costs through timely funding of projects, reduce borrowing needs, reduced interest and bond underwriting costs along with other legal and closing costs.
Perrin recommends for 2018-2019 capital items, that just over $922,000 be transferred from the general fund budget and that the district utilize $207,340 from the capital plan leveling funds to meet the total proposed projects cost of $1,129,500. The recommendation also includes retaining just over $4,188,500 in unspecified funds for capital emergencies or start-up costs of future projects not outlined in the five-year plan. This amount is equal to about 3% of the current investments in capital assets of $137,047,253 as noted in a recent audit.
Additionally, on Monday evening, the board acted on a request to adopt a budget resolution confirming that the Act 1 Index for tax increases for the 2018-2019 school year will not be exceeded by the district. This action would not allow exceeding the Act 1 Index of 2.4% for any reason. The state set the Act 1 index for GASD at 2.4% for the 2018-2019 school year.
Gettysburg Area School District officials appoint new high school assistant principalPosted by Andrew Robinson on 1/22/2018
GETTYSBURG, Pa. – On Monday evening, the Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) Board of School Directors approved Ronald L. Wales, Jr. as the new assistant principal for grades 11 through 12 at Gettysburg Area High School (GAHS).
“This is a huge transition for me, and I'm so glad to be making it in a district that has such a great reputation and unique history,” Wales said.
Wales brings with him to GAHS several years of experience from Derry Township School District where he served as a curriculum council committee high school representative at Hershey High School to a blended learning and teaching implementation committee member, among a few other positions.
Wales received a bachelor of science in secondary education (English) with a certification in English from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania in 2005 and received a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.
After beginning his career in education as a long-term substitute teacher at Bishop Hoban High School in Wilkes Barre, Wales then began employment with Derry Township School District where he has been employed since 2007.
“I'm extremely enthusiastic about getting involved in activities and having a visible presence both in the area and at school activities,” Wales said. “I live with my wife, who is a reading specialist at Manheim Township School District, my two-year-old daughter, Avery, and her fish, Azlin.”
School board presented with audit reportPosted by Andrew Robinson on 12/18/2017
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - At its meeting Monday evening, the Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) Board of Directors heard a report from its independent auditors, Stambaugh Ness. The auditors noted that their report for 2016-2017 includes an unqualified opinion, meaning that no material differences were found and that the district's financial statements are presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
The results show that Unassigned Fund Balance increased by $1,644,778. This was due primarily from revenues being $1,999,418 more than budgeted (3.5%) and expenses being $2,340,592 less than budgeted (3.8%). Those differences more than offset the shortfall in the approved budget.
District officials noted that these results were positive, showing that the district continues to seek additional non-tax sources of revenues and works diligently in managing costs within the approved budget. Also noted was an appreciation for significant community financial support for many student programs across the District.
The audit report, once it becomes official, will be posted to the district's website and includes the auditor's opinions, summaries and notes regarding the financial operations, detailed statements and additional material related to audit procedures that focus on the use of federal funds.
New athletic director to begin position in July 2018Posted by Andrew Robinson on 11/20/2017 7:45:00 PM
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Following the retirement of the current athletic director, Mike Williams, the Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) board of Directors approved the position of a new athletic director on Monday evening.
Casey Thurston, a teacher at Gettysburg Area High School (GAHS) will begin the positon on July 1, 2018. Thurston said she is looking forward to the positon and helping others. “I look most forward to working with the student-athletes in the district,” Thurston said. “It is very similar to teaching in my current role, but it allows me to work with student-athletes in a different way outside of the classroom.”
Thurston said her new position will partly help students learn life lessons through athletics from building character to learning how to work hard and to persevere, even when students do not win a game or accomplish a goal.
This is Thurston’s eleventh year with the school district. She currently teaches social studies. She was also the high school head coach of the girls’ basketball team for eight seasons.
Thurston attended Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where she played basketball and graduated summa cum laude. She majored in secondary education – history with a coaching minor. Her first job out of college was a teaching positon with Chambersburg Area School District. She worked at Faust Junior High school two years and was an assistant at Shippensburg High School.
At Gettysburg College, Thurston is the women’s basketball assistant coach. She is married and has three children, two of which are in the school district and attend James Gettys Elementary.
Gettysburg Area School District appoints new high school principalPosted by Andrew Robinson on 11/20/2017 7:45:00 PM
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - The Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) board of directors approved Jeremy Lusk as the new principal of Gettysburg Area High School (GAHS) during their meeting on Monday evening.
Since August 2014, Lusk served as an assistant principal at GAHS. Now, he is looking forward to his new role. “I am proud of the opportunities and experiences that we are able to offer to our students,” Lusk said. “We are fortunate to have a team of talented educators at GAHS. I am looking forward to working with students and staff to plan pathways to future (post-secondary) success for each student based on individual interests and strengths.”
Lusk said that the dynamic world that we live in presents many economic and social challenges. His goal is to move the school forward by partnering with families and the community to prepare students as they face these challenges.
He added that while he transitions into his role as school principal, some projects that the school is currently working on will be built upon. “This year, we have focused a lot of energy on our school climate and culture,” Lusk noted. “We want our students to #BeHere, #BeInvolved and #BeCommitted.”
“We offer a wide variety of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and sports,” Lusk said. He hopes that each student can find something outside of their regular classes to be a part of. “We offer an assortment of clubs and organizations in which students can actively participate. We feel that these opportunities can deeply enrich the school experience for students. In the end, we want our students to commit to a plan that leads to their own success,” Lusk said. “These goals represent the #WarriorWay.”
Lusk is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University where he studied secondary education – social studies with a minor in geography, history and sociology. He completed his graduate studies at The Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg (Capital) Campus. Lusk completed his master's in teaching and curriculum in 2009 and returned to complete the Education Leadership Program where he earned an administrative certificate in 2014.
“My career as an educator began as a WARRIOR in South Dakota, teaching at the Pierre Indian Learning Center,” Lusk mentioned. “This boarding school, located along the Missouri River served 15 reservations (located in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska). After moving back to Pennsylvania, I worked for the Northern York County School District.”
Throughout his years as a teacher, Lusk was involved in the wrestling community. “I was the head coach of the Northern junior high wrestling team before moving on to Lower Dauphin, where I was the head varsity assistant coach,” Lusk said. “From 2012 to 2016, I worked as a PIAA wrestling official.”
New assistant principal begins at Gettysburg Area Middle SchoolPosted by Andrew Robinson on 11/15/2017
GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Gettysburg Area Middle School (GAMS) welcomes a new assistant principal, Noah R. Stachelek.
Stachelek comes to the district from the Pine-Richland School District where he was a learning support and Algebra teacher. He officially begins his role as assistant principal on Monday, November 20th, 2017.
Stachelek answered a few questions that will help the Gettysburg community get to know him better.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you working now and what are you doing?
I currently work as a high school learning support and Algebra 1 teacher for the Pine-Richland School District. My wife, daughter and I currently live in the Northern Suburbs of Pittsburgh but are really excited to embark on this journey and move to the Gettysburg area.
My journey to Gettysburg Middle School started by graduating from Shaler High School, attending Geneva College to complete my bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education and attending Edinboro University to complete my Masters of Education and my principal certification. In addition to my current position, I have also taught Middle School Learning Support at Freedom Area School District.
Why are you so passionate about public education?
I believe that as an educator we are given the opportunity to not only impact our students and staff but to truly have a lasting and profound impact on the community that we serve. There are not many institutions in life that can have the impact that an effective teacher and school can have. The opportunities that public education provide exceed well beyond the walls of our school. I am passionate about engaging our students and encouraging them to set their expectations above those previously set for them, empowering them to meet the rigor of what is required, and equipping them to make a meaningful impact on whichever calling they pursue.
What are you looking forward to most in your new role?
I am looking forward to the opportunity to impact our students, teachers, faculty and staff and encouraging them to continue to grow and to reflect on their teaching and learning.
You are moving to a very historic small town. Is there anything that you are looking forward to specifically about moving here?
Some people love having the battlefields to exercise on, some love the small-town feel, etc. My family and I are very excited for the opportunity to move to the Gettysburg area. In our short time in the area we have fallen in love with the small town feel and the friendliness of everyone we have met. We enjoy taking walks and stopping at the shops throughout town. We are looking forward to trying the many restaurants that the area has to offer! In addition, we are huge baseball fans and are really excited about the many minor league teams in the area.
Are you married, do you have any kids, pets, etc.?
My wife and I are going to be celebrating our 4-year anniversary in May and we have one daughter, Adelyn, who is 4 months old. In addition, we have two dogs, Tippers (Lab) and Oreo (Schnoodle).
Is there anything else you'd like folks in the community to know as in introduction to you?
I believe that as a school community we need to involve all stakeholders of the educational process to promote the success of our students. I will always welcome conversations that will provide for improved processes, policies, and procedures for our students and that will focus on their learning. I am excited for this opportunity and am dedicating myself to not only help our students, teachers, faculty and staff find success but for our whole community to grow. If you see my family and I, please feel free to come up and introduce yourself!
Gettysburg Area School District warns of athletic calendar scamPosted by Andrew Robinson on 11/8/2017
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The Gettysburg Area School District (GASD) is warning of a scam sent to local businesses requesting to become a sponsor for pocket-sized calendars for the winter sports season. Please help us spread the word that this is a scam and is not approved by GASD.
Typically, our coaches or staff would directly contact a business if they were seeking monetary donations, not an outside company. We do not want any of our local and loyal businesses to fall victim to this scam.