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Sheckler staff retire at end of 2021-22 school year

The end of a school year is filled with a lot of emotions - excitement, relief and joy. It can also be a bittersweet time for teachers who are closing a chapter of their lives and retiring.

There were four retirees from Catasauqua Area School District’s Sheckler Elementary School - Ronald DeMaio, Bradley Evans, Kevin Karchner and Kelly Strauch.

DeMaio is retiring from his position as assistant principal at Sheckler Elementary.

He attended Kutztown University for both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education. He also received a master’s degree in educational leadership and his principal’s certification from Wilkes University.

According to DeMaio, he spent his entire 33-year education career in CASD. He taught first, third and fourth grades for 20 years before serving as assistant principal for 13 years.

He noted working in the district has been an honor and a pleasure.

“Catty is a place like no other,” DeMaio said. “Coming here every day was like spending time with my second family.”

His favorite memories include making gingerbread houses with Evans’ class, founding the Sheckler Players - later known as CAST - with Bill Nothstein, teaching the Catasauqua High School marching band and “helping to lead Sheckler and maintain the excellent educational experience we offer our students and their families.”

He said he will miss the teachers and staff at Sheckler, as well as the students and their families.

DeMaio plans to relax and enjoy some quiet time in his retirement. He would also like to travel to “see our country and the many things it has to offer.”

His final thought was one of thanks.

“I want to thank the amazing teachers and staff at Sheckler,” DeMaio said. “They are amazing educators and are dedicated to our students and their families.”

He also thanked the administration and school board members who have offered support over the years and worked to provide an “outstanding educational experience with our students.”

DeMaio offered additional thanks to the district students and their families.

“Catasauqua is a special place to live and work,” DeMaio said. “I will miss being a part of it, but I look forward to what life will bring next.”

Evans graduated from Freedom High School in 1984. He then attended Lock Haven University, where he played soccer before graduating with a degree in early childhood education.

He started teaching at Sheckler in 1988. He taught second grade for 31 years and third grade for three years. He also coached the boys soccer team for 10 years and the girls team for three years.

Evans noted he will miss working with his colleagues, students and the administrators who have supported him over the years.

He mentioned being proud of helping to develop the pollinator garden and pumpkin patch at Sheckler. He is also proud of “instilling a love of learning (especially science) in the children I have taught.”

In his retirement, Evans plans to travel, hike, bike and fly fish.

“Working at Sheckler was a lot like working with family,” Evans said. “An overall feeling of caring and dedication permeates throughout the school.”

The other retirees did not respond.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Ron DeMaio, Sheckler Elementary School assistant principal, retires after 33 years in the Catasauqua Area School District.