United School District

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Campaign for Fair Education Funding
PSBA Assistant Executive Director for Public Policy John Callahan spoke at the Campaign for Fair Education Funding news conference on June 22, 2017 in the Capitol Rotunda. The campaign is a statewide effort that began in 2014 and includes more than 50 education advocacy organizations, including PSBA, with the common belief that the state must adequately and equitably fund our schools if every Pennsylvania student is to have an opportunity to succeed. 
 
Property tax elimination proposals not actually beneficial
Property tax "elimination" proposals sound good on the surface. However, taxpayers, especially young families and seniors, would actually end up paying more in the end. Did you know that property tax "elimination" proposals actually increase income and sales tax, and add new taxes to daycare and everyday essentials? They also still allow school districts to continue assessing property taxes for debt – which applies to over 97% of PA's school districts. So, the taxes aren't really eliminated at all. Learn more about the effects of these proposals. 
 
 
Check out Future Ready PA Index that is to replace the current School Performance Profile (SPP) that measures schools in Pennsylvania. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB7zzjBE0Gg&feature=youtu.be 
 
 

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Welcome from Dr. Parkins!

Alma Mater

On the Indiana Highway neath the sky of changeful hue
Stands our beloved High School e'er to her be true
Join the chorus sound its praises
Over hill and dale
Hail to Thee United High School, Hail to Thee, All Hail! 
 
 

United School District

 

The United School District is located at 10780 Route 56 Highway East, Armagh, PA  15920 in Indiana County.  The geographic size of United School District is 132.4 square miles  and serves the borough of  Armagh and the townships of Brush Valley, Buffington, East Wheatfield, and West Wheatfield.  The District has two schools serving a total of approximately 1,100 students -- United Elementary School with students in Grades Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 6 and United Junior/Senior High School with students in Grades 7 through 12.

 

Superintendent’s Graduation Message to the Class of 2017

Each May, teachers at the High School are written notes of appreciation from students during Teacher Appreciation Week.  I have each of my letters framed and proudly displayed in my office.  In my letter this year, it was alleged that I have something to do with making school “a fun place to be.”  Yes, sometimes I have students sing and dance, and, do you know that for that reason I was accused of being “cheesy.”  Hey, there are a lot worse things that you could call me, so I’ll definitely take cheesy and fun.  But, more importantly, my appreciation letter, noted that these are the things that are memorable and can be thought fondly of when reminiscing about your times at United High School.  So, with cautionary warning, I guarantee that my message this evening will start out as cheesy – but, hopefully, it will end as memorable and thought of fondly in the future. 

 

To start the cheesiness – no, I’m not going to make you sing and dance – I have some important graduation memorabilia to distribute – frogs and rainbow beads.  I trust that, as soon-to-be graduates, you will behave appropriately with your memorabilia.

 

This morning, I spoke at Kindergarten Graduation where their theme was The Rainforest.  I reminded the students that there are considerable amounts of rain in the rainforest, but there are 12 hours of sunlight, too.   Much of the sun, however, doesn’t reach the rainforest floor because of all of the lush vegetation.  In fact, only about two percent of the sunlight streams through to where some of the rainforest creatures live.  One of those creatures may be a frog, as there are approximately 4,000 species of toads and frogs in the world, and many of them live in the rainforest. 

 

I shared, with Kindergarten, that my favorite frog was Kermit the Frog, who may have seen a rainbow while he was in the forest because he sings a song called “The Rainbow Connection.”  If you YouTube “The Rainbow Connection,” you will see Kermit sitting on a log in the middle of a swampy forest, strumming his banjo, and singing.  He croons about the rainbow and dreams about what is on the other side.  He thinks about his life and ponders what he is supposed to be. 

 

School is like that.  While you’re here, you dream about a lot of things including what it will be like when you have graduated.  You think about what you’re supposed to do and who you’re supposed to be.  Think of this evening as part of your travels along that colorful, rainbow spectrum of your life.  Graduation moves you on to another portion of that rainbow.  And, like Kermit, I hope you soar to where you’re supposed to be and become who and what you envision for yourself.  Someday you’ll find your Rainbow Connection, and this should all make sense.

 

And, speaking of making sense, I can’t leave you tonight without reference to your Class Song – “Good Riddance” by Green Day. Typically, wishing someone good riddance is wishing away something that you are glad to get rid of.  Now that doesn’t make much sense to me, if I am wishing you all the best as this evening. 

I, instead, wish you good riddance, with an emphasis on the good.  I wish for you all good things in the future – nothing but the best – as you move on.  It is time for us to rid you of your high school days, by saying so long, but not goodbye.  Be sure that you keep in touch, for you know the saying, “Once a Lion, Always a Lion!”  We all know that it’s time for you to continue on your journey. 

 

So with that, I wish you …

…All the Best to the Class of 2017,

Find your Rainbow Connection, Good Riddance, and Congratulations!

--Dr. Barbara Parkins 
 
Achieving Your Goals
 

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