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Dr. Christopher Uhl earns place on Alumni Wall of Honor

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.

The Salisbury Township School Board curriculum and technology committee met Jan. 18 preceding the regular school board meeting. During the meeting students representing each of the district’s schools highlighted the many events and accomplishments occurring throughout the district and assistant principals in each school reported on the results of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey.

The first order of business was to announce the 2022 Salisbury Township School District Alumni Wall of Honor recipient Dr. Christopher Uhl.

This award is presented to a Salisbury graduate who has demonstrated a commitment to learning, is accomplished in his/her chosen field of study and has had a positive impact on the community through volunteerism and/or service to others.

Superintendent Lynn Fuini-Hetten, reading from an application submitted on Uhl’s behalf, spoke not only of his academic and professional achievements as a research scientist but also his kindness, humility and compassion. She said Uhl is a walking testament to the success of Salisbury Township School District. Uhl was nominated by his fiance´ Kaley Miller.

In his acceptance speech, Uhl credited the strong educational foundation he received in Salisbury which empowered him to reach his full potential as a scientist as well as a member of the community. He expressed his Falcon pride as well as his thanks to all who have supported him in his efforts to attain his goals.

During the curriculum and technology portion of the meeting the board welcomed students to report on the many events taking place in each school throughout the district.

High school students Nolan Grejda and Kendall Schaffer reported the Salisbury High School wrestling team competed in two wrestling tournaments taking third place in the Montgomery tournament. The SHS rifle team, which has seen a great deal of improvement among many of its members, will finish its season at the end of January.

Upcoming sporting events include senior nights for boys basketball, wrestling and girls basketball Jan. 24, 25 and 27 respectively.

The SHS twirlers will host a twirling show slated for Jan. 28. The event is free for students and staff with ID and the Salisbury twirlers are scheduled to perform 7:50 p.m.

Fundraisers in the offing include a Super Bowl block pool fundraiser benefiting the wrestling team and a boys basketball fundraiser at Strange Brew Tavern 8-10 p.m. Feb. 3.

The SHS baseball team will hold a cash bingo/basket raffle fundraiser at Salisbury Middle School 1 p.m. Feb. 5.

As the second semester begins, SHS teachers will be making course recommendations and students will be tasked with making course selections for the upcoming school year.

Also at this time, National Honor Society will begin the process of selecting qualified candidates for induction.

Congratulations are in order for Laurans Trinh who was selected to perform in the prestigious Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 10 Jazz Band for 2023.

A jazz festival will be held at Bangor High School Feb. 3-4 with a concert scheduled 2 p.m. Feb. 4.

Events to look forward to include a Feb. 1 senior breakfast where students will receive a swag bag and have the opportunity to view the senior video. The snow date is Feb. 3.

Additionally, a 5K run to be held April 22 is currently being organized by the Salisbury Township School District Wellness Committee.

Student council members Brinlee Neitz and Ashley Ruiz informed the board SMS Live has recently changed to a YouTube channel called SMS Live 3301. This allows students and staff to watch any missed episodes.

In club news, the Interact Club is planning a winter semiformal for seventh and eighth grade students to be held Feb. 24.

New to the middle school this year is a podcast created by the Blog Club called Falcons on the Fly and an Animé Club for students who enjoy drawing, writing and discussing the animé art form.

Also at the middle school, a new initiative has begun to help students gain a better understanding of the content in the Pennsylvania System School Assessments. During select days students will be offered help with English Language Arts and Math sample questions so they may be better prepared for the upcoming tests.

Elementary students Audrey Nemitz and River Brightbill told the board about all the fun activities they participated in during the holiday season as well as how they collected items to help others in need.

Students participated in the PTO Holiday Shop and held a winter concert followed by classroom parties.

In the spirit of giving they were able to donate items to Valley Youth House, Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Valley Victory House and local food banks as well.

The PTO held a Jan. 9 meeting complete with a chili and soup cook-off and later in the week students and their families participated in a PTO-sponsored night at Skateaway. The students then extended an invitation to the board to attend a Jan. 24 Leader in Me Game Night.

The results of the Pennsylvania Youth Survey, which was administered during October 2021 was shared by Assistant Principal Brian Muschlitz, Salisbury Elementary School, Robert Sawicki, SMS and Ryan Yurchick, SHS.

The purpose of the survey is to identify the district’s strengths and challenges as they relate to topics of substance abuse, social/emotional and behavioral issues.

Among the concerning results were the instances of alcohol and marijuana use which were higher than the county average.

In an effort to address issues of concern, each school looked closely at the data and created plans to prevent, educate and remedy unfavorable trends. Partnerships with the Center for Humanistic Change, Valley Youth House and CONCERN counseling services have been increased within the schools by offering individual counseling for students, free workshops for students and parents/caregivers on topics that include but are not limited to vaping, drug trends, social media, cyber gambling/addiction and suicide prevention.

Professional development for teachers related to mental health topics have been conducted during in services and family engagement as well as social/emotional learning has been a focal point in an effort to prevent the current trends identified in the study.

It should be noted many of these programs and partnerships have been in place over the past few years but efforts have been stepped up in light of the newest data from the survey in order to meet the needs of the student population.

Board member Carol Klinger commented how necessary these programs are and emphasized the need for prevention when tackling these problems. These issues affect students academically so if the district can get ahead of the problem it will benefit the students in the long run.

The next curriculum and technology meeting is scheduled 7 p.m. Feb. 8 preceding the school board meeting. All meetings are held in the administration building, 1140 Salisbury Road.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SALISBURY TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT Salisbury Township School District Superintendent Lynn Fuini-Hetten presents Dr. Christopher Uhl with the 2022 Salisbury Township School District Alumni Wall of Honor award.