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30-year Middletown Area School District employees honored

By David Barr

davidbarr@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/6/17

As the Middletown Area School District settles into a new year, some staff members will have spent 30 or more years in the district.

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, the first staff day of the district, …

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30-year Middletown Area School District employees honored

Posted

As the Middletown Area School District settles into a new year, some staff members will have spent 30 or more years in the district.

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, the first staff day of the district, eight were recognized for their achievement and dedication to Middletown education.

They’ve served as teachers, coaches, club advisers, and many other positions within the district, all with the goal of helping students.

Lynn Miller

Years: 32

Positions, past and current: High school and middle school business teacher, boys and girls tennis coach, and Pride Club adviser.

Reason for going into education: She wanted to help students and she enjoys what she calls the “aha” moment when a student finally understands a previously difficult topic or subject.

What she likes best about the job: “I like that nothing ever stays the same. It’s been a great ride.”

Robert Stitt

Years: 30 with Middletown (taught for 5 years in western Pennsylvania before coming to Middletown.

Positions, past and current: High school industrial (technology) education teacher, high school boys and girls soccer coach, middle school boys soccer coach. 

Reason for going into education: Was influenced by a teacher in high school and wanted to continue what he learned in school to the next generation.

What he likes best about the job: “I enjoy teaching. I enjoy working with the kids. Seeing them succeed, that’s very rewarding.”

Peter Fox

Years: 36

Positions, past and current: Science teacher (environmental science, biology, and earth science), football, track and field, and cross country coach, athletic trainer, and current science department chairman.

Reason for going into education: Fox had several family members, including his father, who were teachers and they all had an influence on him to enter the education field.

What he likes best about the job: “I like meeting students and student-athletes and working with them and getting to know them.”

Melanie Hensel

Years: 31

Positions, past and current: High school teacher, middle school teacher (current), gymnastics coach, field hockey coach, track and field coach, high school and middle school Science Olympiad coach, Ski Club chaperone, Canine Companions Dog Club adviser (Feaser School), Student Council adviser, Girls on the Run coach, middle school science department chairwoman, Middletown Area Education Association president.

Reason for going into education: “I love kids.” During college, she had a summer job working at a playground in Williamsport and she enjoyed playing with the children and teaching them that the following fall semester, she changed her major from animal bioscience to science education.

What she likes best about the job: “Every day is unique. You never know what may happen.” She added that middle school students have a zest for life and learning and are genuine and honest. “You know where you stand with them right away, and they still can laugh at your corny jokes, memes or songs.”

Cynthia Strachan

Years: 30

Positions, past and current: Elementary Learning Support teacher.

Reason for going into education: Her father was her high school principal and she saw the positive impact he made on many of her classmates.

What she likes best about the job: “I like seeing that “aha” moment when things click for them. I like making my students productive members of society. Also hoping that I have made a positive difference in not only their education, but in their lives as a whole.”

Llewellyn Skees

Years: 35

Positions, past and current: Middle school social studies teacher (since August 2009), middle school geography teacher (since 2009), middle school world history teacher (since 2009), middle school track and field coach, middle school wrestling coach, Youth and Government adviser, high school social studies teacher, Social Studies department chairman, high school AP government teacher, high school government teacher, high school economics teacher, high school psychology teacher, high school abnormal psychology teacher, high school anthropology teacher, high school wrestling coach, head freshman football coach, high school cross country coach, high school track and field coach.

Reason for going into education: “I wanted to not only teach kids, but coach them as well.”

What he likes best about the job: The flexibility and creativity in developing lessons for students, while still staying in line with the curriculum. “Middletown has been a great district to have spent most of my career at.”

Cindy McLaughlin

Years: 30

Positions, past and current: Elementary school learning support/emotional support teacher (current), middle school learning support teacher, high school gymnastics coach.

Reason for going into education: “I’ve always loved working with children and I wanted a job where I could make a difference in a child’s life.”

What she likes best about the job: “Seeing children set and reach goals. Watching a child accomplish something that they did not think was possible and seeing the child grow emotionally and academically makes coming to school each day a joy. Middletown is a strong community that truly cares for each other. I am proud to be a part of it.”

Charlene Hurst

Years: 30

Positions, past and current: Special Education teacher, girls basketball coach, softball coach, class adviser.

Reason for going into education: “I went into education because I wanted to make a meaningful impact in students’ lives. I wanted to have the opportunity to inspire all students to succeed both academically and personally and to develop the self-confidence needed to be productive members in society.

What she likes best about the job: “The best part of my job is seeing struggling students achieve success.” She added that the best part of her career has been being a part of the Middletown family and seeing students’ competence and confidence grow.