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Sheckler celebrates 50 years of teaching

On May 11, current and former staff members gathered in the gymnasium of Sheckler Elementary School for an evening of food, friends and celebration.

Program coordinator and third-grade teacher Wendy Laubenstein emceed the event highlighting 50 years of educating Catasauqua Area School District’s youth at this facility.

Former Sheckler Elementary program coordinator Bill Nothstein shared stories and memories from “the early years.”

Opening for the 1972-73 school year, Sheckler had 705 students and a faculty of 40. The beginning teacher salary was $7,400; the average teacher salary was $9,258.

Fashions and hairstyles change, but the commitment to community and education has never wavered. Attending this event were 20 of the original 40 faculty, three of whom were identified as “senior seniors” - Stella Gallagher, 102 years old; Kitty Dunn, 97 years old; and Ruth Roberts, 93 years old. Another notable attendee was Marsha Rich, who has been teaching, and continues to teach at Sheckler, for 48 years.

Nothstein reminisced about former principals who impacted Sheckler. Principal Ed Bruchak (1975-97) was remembered for encouraging new ideas.

“He loved everything that enriched education,” Nothstein said.

Bruchak was known for expanding theater, arts and science programs at the school. He also encouraged appropriate field trips and in-school activities, such as holiday parades, Christmas shows and turkey dinners.

The next speaker was Bruchak’s assistant principal, Michael Misko, who was promoted to principal when Bruchak retired. Misko spoke of his time at Sheckler (1997-2006), preparing students for emergencies by practicing “tornado drills and preparing for chemical bio attacks by sealing the doors and windows with duct tape.”

Similarly, Eric Dauberman principal from 2008 to 2022, spoke of the challenges he faced during his time at Sheckler, such as COVID-19 and training for possible active shooters.

Misko reminded the audience he was 50 years old at the 25th anniversary of Sheckler, he’s now 75 years old at the 50th anniversary, and he’ll be 100 years old at the 75th anniversary.

The gymnasium of Sheckler Elementary School is bright and festive with balloons and flowers for a 50th anniversary event May 11, highlighting the years of educating Catasauqua Area School District's youth at this facility.
Former Principal Eric Dauberman talks about his experiences at Sheckler Elementary. Dauberman assisted on the event organizing committee to make it a success.
PRESS PHOTOS BY JENN RAGO Attendees enjoy dinner at Sheckler's 50th anniversary celebration.
Michael Misko, former principal, shares fond memories of his years at Sheckler.