Message from the Superintendent

As we close out a wonderful 2016-17 school year, it has been particularly joyful to reflect on the year through the eyes of our graduates. Within a twelve hour period, we enjoyed our Kindergarten Graduation ceremonies and our more formal Commencement Program honoring our high school graduates. While quite different programs, the themes were very similar.

Our youngest graduates shared their joy through huge smiles, big hugs, and happy songs. They readily spoke about all that they learned and the many friendships they formed through the year. While summer fun is on their minds, these young children are already looking forward to next school year.

The High School Commencement Program was a bit more sophisticated but also included smiles, hugs, and music. There were words of inspiration as our graduates spoke eloquently about service to the school, community, and the larger world. They shared their appreciation and love for one another as well as for the larger community. The excitement in the gym could not be contained as these young adults are clearly ready to face the challenges ahead.

The York Suburban community should be PROUD! From our youngest learners to our newest alumnus, and every student in between, we have many reasons to be inspired. Our children are our future. Our future is very bright.


Dr. Michele Merkle

Message from the Superintendent


I am pleased to invite you to Let’s Talk YS, an opportunity for open dialogue between community members and the Superintendent.  There are two programs scheduled to accommodate as many participants as possible.  Please consider joining us on Tuesday, April 25, 6:30-8:00PM and/or Wednesday, April 26, 10:00-11:30AM in the Education Center.

Come with an agenda or just to listen and share. I am particularly eager to chat about how to create a more inclusive community. How much a part of the YS community do you feel? How could we make you and others feel more welcome? Do all students feel safe? Do all students feel valued? Please consider joining me to share your thoughts on these questions and any other topic you would like to discuss. If you have no specific agenda, come out and meet others and just listen.

It is only through continued open dialogue that we can learn and grow as an organization. Your input and feedback is vitally important to the continued success of the York Suburban School District. We are:  A Community of Encouragement.  A Culture of Excellence.


Message from the Superintendent

Spring may be starting today, but you would never know it with the weather we enjoyed last week.  After a mild winter, Mother Nature decided to challenge us with quite a storm.

With all winter storms, there are many questions about how the decision is made to open school, close, or delay.  This is certainly one of the most important decisions the District makes and there are many factors that are considered.  First and foremost, the District must consider the safety of students.  

In making the decision to open, close, or delay, District officials drive across roads throughout the District to assess their readiness for bus navigation as well as walkers.  The bus company is consulted and it is important to the District that they have confidence in the drivers’ abilities to be safe.  Finally, we consider whether or not school property is safe for parking and walking.  

The most frequent question that is asked: Why is York Suburban the only school in the county that remains open on a snowy day?  York Suburban School District is unique in many ways.  We are a very small geographic district and we have no rural roads for our buses to navigate.  It is often the rural roads in other districts that pose challenges for them that we do not face.  

This week provides a great opportunity to give a shout out to our bus drivers.  They are a terrific group of people who work very hard to serve our students.  Once again, they did a fantastic job of ensuring safe travel for our students!

Thank you for working with the District to support the education of our students!


Message from the Superintendent

Greetings from the office of the superintendent!  February is an interesting month in educational leadership as we begin earnestly planning for the year ahead.  It is true that we just passed the midway point of this school year but we must begin planning the budget, staffing, and focus areas for next year.

As we begin, our discussions are focused on how we can equip our students with the skills to succeed: succeed in school and succeed in life.  We consider the needs of individual students and work to ensure that there are supports in place to help every child.  Many support systems are in place in each of our schools and we are working hard to enhance them, make them more accessible to all students, and continually improve them.  It is vitally important that we involve parents and the greater community in this process.  

We continue to strive toward a true partnership with parents. Open communication is critical.  Honest feedback is essential.  Help us understand your child’s needs.  Help us develop the best way to meet those needs.  Communicate with teachers and administrators.  Join a booster club or PTO.  Consider how you might help us help your child.

Similarly, we strive to build community partnerships.  We have strong relationships with organizations such as Communities That Care, Dollars for Scholars, and the York Suburban Education Foundation.  Each provides unique supports for our students and families.  We are working to delve deeper into the community to develop working relationships with talented individuals and support agencies.  Consider how you might help.  What can you contribute to your local school?

Thank you for all that you do to support YS!  Together, we are –

Building our Future…One Student at a Time.

Message from the Superintendent

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Let us all celebrate the work of a very fine group of community servants – our elected School Directors.  January is Pennsylvania School Director Month and we should all pause to salute this group who spend dozens of hours each month voluntarily leading our schools and making difficult decisions.  

Lynne Leopold-Sharp, President

Cathy Shaffer, Vice President

John Posenau, Treasurer

Emily Bates

Scott Eden

Ellen Freireich

Rich Robinson

Lois Ann Schroeder

Mike Thoman

York Suburban School District educates more than 3,000 students and we have a proud tradition of excellence.  Thousands of students have graduated from York Suburban and have achieved many levels of success.  The roads to success have been paved by the hard work and leadership of this dedicated group of volunteers.  Our School Board ensures that there is a strong foundation for an excellent education system.

Few positions in the public sector have a more profound impact on the future, or provide a better example of true volunteer service, than that of school director. Not only should we celebrate this fine group but we should also consider joining them. Four sitting members are completing their terms and at least one will not be running for re-election.  Are you the one to fill that seat?

Eligibility for election or appointment to a Pennsylvania school board is dictated by PA School Code.  One must be a citizen, at least 18 years old, of good moral character, and a resident of the school district in which they wish to run for at least one year prior to the date of election. Following the May primary elections, directors are elected in November and seated in December.  

While there is no financial compensation to serve as a school director, the rewards are many.  By shaping the educational program of the local school,  directors have a significant impact on the future of our communities.  

So You Want To Be a School Board Member?  Join us for this informational session on Tuesday, January 24 at 7:00PM at Valley View Elementary School, 850 Southern Road, York, PA  17403.  A panel discussion will include Dr. Barbara Rupp of the South Western Area School District along with several current school directors.  Come learn about this exciting opportunity.

Message from the Superintendent

As we are abShelly 2out to enjoy a holiday break from school, I reflect on a terrific fall at York Suburban! Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful holiday!  Enjoy time with family and friends at this special time of year.  

In anticipation of the year ahead, I encourage you to consider two very special events:

I am pleased to invite you to a presentation of the State of the York Suburban School District on Monday, January 9 at 6:00 PM in the Education Center.  This program is open to the entire community and will provide information on the overall health of the organization including our strengths and successes as well as the areas of focus for the future.  Included in the presentation will be financial information and the status of the budget for the 2017-18 school year.

Immediately following this presentation will be a planning meeting of the Board of School Directors. Attendees are welcome to stay for the board meeting but it is not necessary.  The presentation alone provides a unique opportunity to engage with the district leaders, to learn and to share.  

The presentation will be posted on the District website on January 10 for those who are unable to attend. I hope to see many of you on January 9!

York Suburban School District will be hosting a program titled, So You Want to Be A School Board Member on Tuesday, January 24 at 6:00 PM at Valley View Elementary.  A panel of presenters will share information on what it takes to be a board member and to answer questions from the audience. If you are looking for a way to serve the community and want to make a difference in the lives of our children, consider running for an elected position on the school board.  

A school board is a legislative body of nine directors elected locally.  Each director is elected to a four year term.  In November 2017, this community will vote on four of those seats.  At least one director will not be running, opening a wonderful opportunity for someone who wishes to serve.  While the election is not until November, the primary election takes place in April and there is work to be done in February.

While there is no monetary reward for service on the board, there are many more important rewards to consider.  Directors have the opportunity to positively impact an entire generation of young people.  

We hope to see you on January 24!
Enjoy this holiday season with family and friends!

Dr. Shelly Merkle, Superintendent

Message from the Superintendent: The Community of YS

An essShelly 2ential component of the York Suburban School District is our Community of Encouragement and it is more important than ever that we ensure that all students are encouraged by our community.  

Our fundamental task is to ensure that every student has and recognizes a path forward.  To recognize a path forward, children must feel valued in the community in which they live and learn.  ALL students must feel valued, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, country of origin, cultural background, or socioeconomic status.  Feeling valued is a challenge for many students and by building a safe and inclusive community, we continue to work to enhance this sense of value for each and every student.

The District is fortunate to have a strong foundation of community and we will continue to reach out to all of our constituents to ensure that everyone is truly a part.  It takes effort.  Join me in reaching out to someone.  Reach out to someone and encourage him.  Reach out to someone and help her to be a part of this very special community.  

We want you to be a part of the York Suburban Community of Encouragement.

Dr. Michele A. Merkle, Superintendent

Superintendent’s Message: A Culture of Excellence

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A Culture of Excellence…..

The York Suburban School District is in the midst of celebrating another national recognition as our High School was recently named a National Blue Ribbon School.  Such an award can only come from an outstanding K-12 program and a community that supports education.  The York Suburban community has consistently supported its schools, the students, and staff.  There is evidence of this in so many ways including the tremendous volunteer support, attendance at school programs and functions, and open dialogue with teachers and administrators.  

Our community expects continued excellence and the District is constantly seeking ways to improve our programs and services.  We are currently conducting a study to determine the feasibility of expanding our full day kindergarten program.  Our youngest learners are being asked to “cram” a full day of learning into just 2.5 hours.  Are we effectively meeting their needs?  Many of our students are in half day child care.  Are we effectively meeting the needs of our families?  Certainly, there is an additional cost to expanding the program but what are the benefits?  These are the questions that we will answer in the coming weeks before ultimately making a recommendation.  

This is one of many examples of the manner in which the District works to meet the needs of our students, their families, and the community as a whole.  Thank you for your continued support and all that you contribute to the York Suburban Culture of Excellence.

Superintendent’s Message: Engaging Our Learners

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The 2016-17 school year is off to a fantastic start!  Eager learners arrived on August 17 and we have had nothing but excitement. A major theme for the year is ENGAGEMENT and we have seen our students engaged in learning since day one.

Our staff is working very hard to use the most engaging practices possible to ensure that our student learners are actively involved in the learning process.  Students participate in their lessons through such means as small or large group discussion, rapid response, and hands-on projects.  Engaging techniques make the learning process more relevant and meaningful for the students.

Similarly, we are working hard to more fully engage all of our parents.  Most importantly, we are encouraging parents to engage with their children about school every day.  For our youngest learners, this means reading with them every evening.  It means asking questions about what the children learned and encouraging them to work hard.  As students get older, the engagement may look different but it should always include support and encouragement for the students and their commitment to learning. By expressing an interest in the child’s school day, parents are modeling the commitment to learning that we expect of our students.  Additionally, we encourage all parents to communicate regularly with teachers and administrators to help us meet the needs of your children.
Finally, and just as important, we are seeking to fully engage our community in the education of our students.  We invite all of the members of the community to be actively involved in our schools and to support the education of our youth.  It takes all of us to prepare our students to shape the future!

Message from the Superintendent


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The York Suburban School District is about to open the doors of our six school buildings for another exciting school year!  We will greet approximately 3,000 students, eager to learn and engage in all aspects of the educational program.  Once again, great things will happen in the classroom, on stage, in the gym and on the field.  Welcome back students and staff!

The District is very grateful to the larger community for the ongoing support provided for all that we do.  This year, we added several teaching positions to accommodate our growing student population and to ensure that we are able to continue to meet the needs of all students in appropriately sized classes.  In a five-year period, 2010-2015, the District reduced its professional staff by 26, despite the increasing enrollment.  It was very important that we turn that tide and reestablish some of those positions so that we can continue to provide the best possible educational experience for all students.

Again, thanks to the support of our community, the District has also been able to tackle a number of maintenance projects that had been deferred for years due to financial constraints.  As a matter of priority, we first tackled those projects linked to safety concerns.  An aging middle school kitchen has been refurbished to provide a safe and healthy environment for our 750 middle school students.  We have added secure entrances to our Middle School, East York, and Indian Rock buildings.   With these renovations, each of the offices will look a bit different as well.  The Trojan athletic field received a new carpet and the auxiliary gym of the high school has been converted to a valuable teaching space.

New staff.  Refurbished facilities.  Continued excellence.  We are…..YS!


York Suburban is pleased to introduce to the community a team of new professionals who will join a dedicated and talented team:

Sarah Bosco, Yorkshire Kindergarten

Jennifer  Bryer, High School German Full-time Substitute

Janell Connelly, High School Math

Lorra Cummings, Middle School Math

Joshua Fisher, Middle School Science

Charmanique Gingles, Middle School/ Yorkshire  Nurse

Danielle Gladfelter, Valley View  Long-term Substitute Grade 2

Katelyn Hall, Indian Rock Grade 5

Jordyn Kahlbaugh, Middle School  Language Arts

Amy Kitner, High School / Valley View Nurse

Matthew Marshall, Athletic Director

Matthew Moran, Middle School Computer

Stephanie  Reinert, Middle School Math

Danielle Robson, East York  Grade 3

Scott Shirey, High School Assistant Principal

You will be greeted by new faces and voices in four of our offices:

LaDawn Huber, High School Guidance Office  (transfer from Valley View)

Diana Loomis, Middle School  Office Aide

Kathy Pugh, High School Office (returning from Middle School)

Denise Stayman, Middle School Administrative Assistant

Kate Swope, Valley View Office Aide

The District is pleased to welcome many new support staff who will work directly with our students:

Lori Cardone, High School Instructional Support Aide

Amy Johns, Middle School Instructional Support Aide

Kelly Martin, Middle School Instructional Support Aide

Melissa Reilly, East York / Indian Rock Health Room Assistant

Rachael Schwimer, Indian Rock Instructional Support Aide

Carita Williams, Yorkshire  Instructional Support Aide

Heidi Woodrome, Indian Rock Instructional Support Aide