Lenape Regional recognizes philanthropy of students and parents

Support for the community is highlighted during district board meeting

A night of recognition was on tap for the Lenape Regional High School District as it recognized those who extend beyond their means to help others.

During the district’s May 13 board of education meeting, Assistant Superintendent Matt Webb cited the parents and students who had gone above and beyond their roles in the community to serve others.

“The award recognizes the valuable contributions our students are making in our communities,” he said during the virtual session. “It is by their demonstrated commitment and example they inspire others to make service an essential part of their lives.”

Each of the four high school communities selected those who received Student Service Awards: Jevon Torres, Lenape High School; Alexanna Sapowsky, Shawnee; Riley Eckert, Cherokee; and Brooke Parry, Seneca.

GoodWill, a longtime partner of LRHSD, sponsored the awards and gave out scholarships to the students.

The four high schools selected parents for being role models to the students by volunteering. Webb added that the parents help make the school better for everyone.

Parents included Beth Silver from Lenape, Hank Owen from Shawnee, Walt Miller from Cherokee and Sharon Roseboro from Seneca.

Superintendent Carol Birnbohm extended appreciation to both the students and parents for giving back to the high schools. Parents, she added, often assume roles where responsibilities can be overwhelming.

Community support continued as a topic of the board meeting, where it was announced that $25,000 was donated to the district. A guitar valued at $249 was gifted to Lenape High School’s performing arts program and various groups from Seneca banded together to donate $24,751 for the high school’s scoreboard.

In other news, the district’s One District One Book program released its titles for the summer. As announced by Director of Curriculum Heather Xenakis, the theme will be making connections, an idea that resulted from the closure of schools and collaborations in their communities.

“The challenge this year is for the reader to identify how the characters interact and connect with one another,” Xenakis explained. “It is also meant for the reader to reflect on their own lives, of the connections they made with family, friends and classmates.”

The selected novels can be viewed by visiting LRHSD.org.

Plans on how schools will reopen in fall, at the directive of the state, have  changed every day. Birnbohm withheld announcing those plans due to the  pandemic and how it can alter things in a moment.

“We want to be back in school, but the road back seems very, very bumpy,” she noted.

There was speculation on whether teachers and students would need to wear Personal Protective Equipment, if desks should be spaced 6 feet apart and how to transport students, along with other concerns. No guidelines have been announced at the state level.

During the meeting, Birnbohm pleaded for the state not to reduce funding for school districts, given what is seen by financial experts as an economic crisis. She clarified that reductions in state aid are mere rumors at this point.

“Now is not the time to take away money from school,” the superintendent stated. “If we believe the return of normalcy for our economy rests on getting our students back in school, so parents can go back to work, then this should be the time to invest in how we can safely make that happen.”

Additional information on how to access next month’s virtual meeting and on the senior recognition is available on the district’s website. The board’s  next meeting is June 24, at 7:30 p.m.