Message from the School Board President

The York Suburban School Board is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Larry R. Redding as Acting Superintendent at its meeting on Monday, October 9, 2017. Dr. Redding will provide senior leadership to the district through the remainder of this school year, or until the hiring of a permanent Superintendent. The Board intends to name a permanent superintendent by spring of 2018 and anticipates that he or she will begin work no later than July 1, 2018.

Dr. Redding retired as the Superintendent of the Gettysburg Area School District in June 2017 after serving 40 years in public education in Pennsylvania. He also served as the Assistant Superintendent and Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction at Gettysburg, as well as a high school principal, assistant principal and teacher at other districts in Central Pennsylvania.

Dr. Redding earned his doctoral degree from Widener University, master’s degree from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), and bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. He has been active in the Chamber of Commerce and other community organizations in Adams County. His personal hobbies include his love of running, recently completing his 25th marathon this past weekend.

Please give Dr. Redding a warm York Suburban welcome when you have the opportunity to meet him. I’m sure he will be spotted eating lunch with students in one of our cafeterias, as he’s been known to do so during his career as a school leader and mentor.



Lynne A. Leopold-Sharp, President

York Suburban School Board


YSHS National Merit Commended Scholars and Semifinalists


The high school is pleased to have eight National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Scholars this year. The students qualified for this honor based on their performance on the PSAT/NMSQT in the Fall of 2016. The students are: Anne Baskwill, Tanner Haynes, Joshua Kerr, Ban Khuc, Maya Lehman, Kaidin Mir-Young, Katherine Mooney,  and Peyton Stuart. These eight students represent the largest number of recognized students in recent memory.   

The 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program recently announced the scholarship Semifinalists, the highest scoring entrants in each state. Finalists will be considered for a National Merit® by meeting high academic standards and all other requirements explained in the information provided to each Semifinalist.  York Suburban’s Semifinalists include:

Steven W. Burchett, Jr., son of Mr. Steven and Mrs. Deborah Burchett, of 761 S. Harlan Street, York, PA 17402

Bryce P. Gavin, son of Ms. Catherine Gavin, of 767 Grandview Road, York, PA 17403

Charlotte B. Nesbitt, daughter of Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Jennifer Nesbitt, of 198 Summit Drive, York, PA 17403

Zezette Pflaum, daughter of Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Micah Pflaum, of 984 Virginia Avenue, York, PA 17403

In addition, the following students have been selected as National Hispanic Scholars as the scored in the top 2.5% among Hispanic and Latino PSAT/NMSQT test takers in our region:

Theodore P. Gunn, son of Mr. Brian and Mrs. Eleanor Gunn, of 722 Dogwood Circle, York, PA 17403

Shae M. Melendez, son of Mr. Misael and Mrs. Ruth Melendez, of 1229 S. Ogontz Street, York, PA 17403

York Suburban Welcomes New Staff!

York Suburban is pleased to welcome a class of seventeen new teachers and twelve new support staff personnel!  The new teachers come from varying backgrounds and experience levels and they have really been connecting with both students and colleagues.  Meet our new teachers:

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York Suburban also welcomes twelve new support staff personnel.  View this animoto to see the smiling and supportive faces of our new administrative assistants, aides, and custodial staff members!


Assistant Superintendent Retires

After nearly 32 years in public education—including 10 successful and productive years at York Suburban—Dr. Patricia Maloney announced her retirement on Monday, July 17, 2017. Her commitment to the district’s mission of educating, challenging, and preparing students to shape the future, as well as her adaptability to the new challenges of a changing education landscape have ensured that York Suburban students still rank among the top in the state.

Before Dr. Maloney joined the YS community, she had already garnered a wealth of experience in education. Beginning as a special education teacher with the Lincoln Intermediate Unit 13, she went on to fulfill varied roles such as guidance counselor, Assistant Principal, Director of Pupil Services, and Assistant Superintendent for elementary and secondary institutions. Her well-rounded career comes to a close now as the York Suburban Assistant Superintendent.

Though it is with mixed emotions that Dr. Maloney makes this transition, she is looking forward to new challenges and opportunities. She wishes to express her gratitude for the experiences and relationships she’s cultivated over the last 10 years as an integral part of the YS community.

We at YS would also like to express our gratitude. To Dr. Maloney, thank you for your dedication, passion, sense of humor, skill, and outstanding contributions to the school community that will certainly be felt for many years to come.

Helen Heidler Receives Top Honor


Paul Whitcomb, President and CEO of Whitsons Culinary Group, presents Foodservice Director of the Year award to Helen Heidler

At Whitsons School Nutrition annual summer meeting on August 10, Helen Heidler was honored as the first Foodservice Director of the Year for her service at York Suburban.  The award recognizes the “team member who exemplifies business excellence in school foodservice and outstanding achievements.”  Helen’s creativity and committment is a hallmark of her work in the cafeterias at York Suburban for over 17 years, the last five as Director of Foodservice for Whitsons. During the 2016-2017 school year, some of Helen’s iniatives included:

  • Partnering with local farmers to promote locally grown foods
  • Creating contests to engage students and showcase talents of Whitsons team members
  • Applying and receiving a mini Farm to School Grant from the Pennsylvania  Departments of Education and  Agriculture
  • Organizing themed breakfasts and lunches to encourage healthy eating and introduce new and unique foods to all students

Helen’s efforts on behalf of the York Suburban community include many volunteer hours promoting the YS Wellness Program, Post Prom, and the County Food Alliance’s Squash Hunger program, illustrating her deep commitment to good nutrition throughout the York Community.  Watch the video for more about Helen’s achievements and the Whitsons School Nutrition Program.



Advanced Placement Program Thrives at York Suburban

Submitted by Mr. Michael Mountz

College Board has released Advanced Placement (AP) exam results from the 2016-17 school year, and York Suburban High School students have earned some of the best scores in school history.  Last year, 76 students scored a three or higher on at least one AP exam, including 28.6% of all seniors.  A score of three or higher qualifies students to earn postsecondary coursework credit at most colleges and universities.

Overall, 90 students completed 131 total exams across 14 separate AP subjects.  At York Suburban, 84.4 % of AP test takers earned a score of three or higher, compared to 67.1% and 60.3% of test takers at the statewide and global levels, respectively.

College Board awarded AP Scholar recognition to 18 York Suburban students.  The AP Scholar designation is awarded to students who earn a three or higher on three different AP exams.

“At first, I took AP courses for the experience and to make sure I was prepared for college,” said Zette Pflaum, who was one of only three York Suburban students to earn AP Scholar recognition as a junior last year.  “Later, I took them with the goal of earning college credit, but the extra challenge was nice, too.  I knew if I took AP courses while still in high school, it would be easier to transfer the skills that I acquired into a college setting.”

College Board has established AP curriculum for a variety of subject areas in order to help high schools provide students with college-level coursework.  Individual teachers have considerable latitude when implementing the curriculum within their respective courses.  At York Suburban, this has led to some creative solutions when teaching complex subject matter.

Last year, York Suburban’s AP U.S. government and political science class conducted a public opinion poll of Spring Garden Township that correctly predicted Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race within half of a percentage point of the actual outcome.  Historically, AP biology classes from York Suburban have partnered with the York Water Company in order to analyze stream health and water quality at Mill Creek.  Students also visit Millersville University to complete a cadaver dissection lab.  These are just a few examples of the innovative teaching practices that can be found in York Suburban’s AP courses.

Several York Suburban courses that are not officially AP-aligned also help to prepare students for closely related AP exams.  For example, 11 students earned a three or higher on an AP language and culture exam last year after completing a corresponding level-five world language course at the high school.

York Suburban has expanded its AP-aligned course offerings in recent years and plans to continue to do so.  The high school currently offers 12 official AP courses and is in the process of developing additional courses for the 2018-19 school year and beyond.

Report Student Absence Online  


Elementary Link

In an effort to make reporting student absences more convenient for families, York Suburban School District introduced an online student absence reporting form.  The form may be found in the upper left corner of the District website. 

Links to the online absence form can also be found on all four elementary building home pages. 

Parents/guardians still have three school days to submit (either online or on paper) a valid excuse for a student absence.   You will always receive a phone call if your child is absent regardless of the absence form being completed.  Please contact your child’s school office if you have any questions.  




Submitted by Dr. Tawn Ketterman, Director of Educational Services


The 2017-18 school year marks the first year of full day kindergarten for all students at York Suburban. This inaugural full day kindergarten class is a large class, totaling just over 220 students. The talented group of kindergarten teachers has been meeting since last spring to plan and prepare for the transition to a full day kindergarten experience.  

The excitement of the students, staff, and parents has been overwhelming!  Students are learning the routines and the teachers are reporting a true appreciation of the increased time afforded to teach the content, practice routines, and develop relationships. Strong connections have already developed between teachers and students!

In the classroom, students have been practicing their KidWriting and are learning pre-reading strategies and early math concepts. Students LOVE their daily time in related arts classes (Music, Art, Wellness/Physical Education, Discovery and Design, and Media) as they explore a variety of topics. Students also have time once a cycle with the guidance counselor to learn how to be respectful, responsible, a worker and a friend at school.    

The full day kindergarteners enjoy sharing lunchtime with classmates in the cafeteria each day. It’s a highlight of their day as they get to try new foods and spend time chatting with their new friends. Classes incorporate a brief rest time into every day and the children have displayed good stamina!

The new full day kindergarten program is very exciting and we are anxious to see the wonderful things this Class of 2030 will produce over their years at Suburban!  

School Based Outpatient Services Available in Secondary Schools

Submitted by Natalie Hasenfuss, Director of Pupil Services

York Suburban School District applied to Community Care Behavioral Health Organization to become a site for school based outpatient services in the middle and high schools. That application was approved and the school teams selected Pennsylvania Comprehensive Behavioral Services (PCBH) to be the provider of these services. PCBH is an established licensed psychiatric clinic delivering outpatient services to clients in the community. York Suburban Middle School and High School will essentially become satellite offices of PCBH for students enrolled within our buildings. Services will be provided during the school day. The goal of providing these services within the schools is to increase the opportunity for children and adolescents to receive mental health treatment. PCBH and York Suburban are in the beginning stages of this partnership and are working together to determine a referral process and how information will be disseminated while also complying with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy regulations.  PCBH employs several licensed/credentialed clinicians who are trained in a variety of mental health therapies. Students in the school based outpatient program will receive mental health services similar to what they would receive if seeking outpatient services at the PCBH office. PCBH is able to provide individual, group, and family therapy as deemed appropriate by the client assessments they will complete.  The middle school and high school guidance staff and PCBH professionals are looking forward to working with students and families in addressing mental health issues that may impact a student’s ability to benefit fully from his or her educational experience.


Students Watch Solar Eclipse

Submitted by Mr. Michael Mountz


On August 21, thousands of York Suburban students gathered outside of their schools and watched the sky as the most significant solar eclipse to impact York County in decades appeared into view.  While the astronomical event that motivated this gathering was naturally occurring, the many steps that allowed students to experience it were not.  Teachers and administrators had engaged in months of districtwide planning to make this moment a reality.

The process began in October of 2016 when Assistant Superintendent Patricia Maloney attended a workshop that suggested the idea.  Using the district’s Curriculum Advisory Council as a conduit, Dr. Maloney worked with science teachers in order to develop a districtwide plan for elementary, middle, and high school students to learn about and ultimately experience the solar eclipse.  The teachers designed lessons about the eclipse that were eventually implemented in science classrooms across the district.

“I’m glad we decided to embrace the opportunity,” said Leslie Gentzyel, who chairs the high school’s science department.

Elementary schools began promoting the eclipse in science classes during last school year in order to build student excitement for the event.  At the secondary level, teachers incorporated information about the solar eclipse into existing curriculum when possible.  All York Suburban students had received at least one day of dedicated science instruction about the eclipse by the time they watched it unfold. 

Given the danger that the eclipse posed to the human eye, the district ordered NASA-certified eclipse viewing glasses for every York Suburban student and teacher.  These specialized glasses were distributed on August 21, allowing students and teachers across the district to end the school day by exiting their buildings a little earlier than usual and watching the eclipse.

York Suburban students were afforded a similar opportunity in 1994, the last time a solar eclipse of this magnitude was visible from York County.  The next locally visible solar eclipse is expected to occur in 2024.