Message from the Superintendent

We are all learners; that includes me. Over the last two months, I have been trying to learn as much about York Suburban as possible. I already knew about the strong academic achievements of YSSD students, so there was less to learn about that. My challenge was and continues to be, to learn about the York Suburban culture, often referred to as the Suburban Way.

I was once a student of Anthropology; culture interests me. From those studies, I learned that culture morphs over time. Successful societies hold on to traditions that strengthen the community and adopt new aspects that enrich society. Our York Suburban school community now has an opportunity to do that very thing: we should celebrate our history without being beholden to it.

We have great traditions of which to be proud, and we also have an opportunity to build some new ones. Our rich academic heritage has produced students well-prepared for traditional four-year colleges, and we have the ability to offer strong vocational training via the York County School of Technology (YCST). The real question is whether or not that approach meets all of our students’ needs. In short, public schools – and some parents of public school students like me – have not always done well in preparing all students for life after high school.

This notion is based on my experience raising three children who are now in their early 20s. Two of them are nearing the conclusion of their bachelor’s degrees at great colleges in preparation for graduate schools. The third child decided that college was not for him and now is gainfully employed in the production industry. At first, it was difficult for me to grapple with the concept of having a child who has not at least earned a bachelor’s degree. But, watching him become a happier, productive citizen has made me realize that college was not the best thing for him. In that sense, I failed him initially.

Surely, we all want what is best for our students. Sometimes our preconceived ideas of what is best for kids is based on inaccurate assumptions like mine were for my own children; I had a preconceived idea that college was the only answer for my own children. How often do other parents have those same preconceived ideas?

A large aspect of the Suburban Way seems to be preparation for college success. Of course, we will continue to emphasize and improve on that, but we must also improve the way we meet the needs of those who are not going to college.

Culturally, we need to reflect on the Suburban Way. Does our culture take into account how best to prepare ALL of our students for life after high school? Or does it only work to send most of our students to good colleges? As an educational institution, perhaps we need to place a renewed emphasis on that middle section of students who are not destined for traditional four-year colleges or who are not going to attend the YCST. We need to consider how best to meet the needs of those students who may head to a career that does not require a four-year degree or a YCST program.

I was pleased to learn that these types of conversations have been taking place over the last year, and you should expect to hear more on this topic. Our culture certainly needs to hold on to the traditions that strengthen us, but it also must embrace new traditions that make our school community stronger. I look forward to working with you in determining how the Suburban Way evolves.

Girling Honored with McCullough Award

This summer Barry Girling, Director of Facilities for York Suburban School District, received the Wayne McCullough Award from the Central Region School Facilities Managers. The honor is given annually by the Central Region School Facility Managers (CRSFM) to a member(s) of the local chapter at the annual staff training day. The award was established in honor of Mr. McCullough’s dedication, commitment and service to the CRSFM in his 28 years with Southern York County School District.

Inspired by a notice about the award in a newsletter, Wayne Ingerto, Coordinator of Custodians and Grounds, nominated Girling because of his 38 years of dedication and service to the district. “He spends countless hours making sure everything in the facility is the best it can be for all the students and staff. He is constantly exploring new technology and ideas that can improve the quality of education here at York Suburban”, says Ingerto.   

A record of community service is a criterion of award recipients. Ingerto noted that “Mr. Girling always communicates with our high school principal offering to help struggling students to find ways to become better adults. He always makes himself available to mentor and teach our young adults.”  In a short time, Girling has made a lasting impression on Ingerto and many others at York Suburban.  

Pictured Left to Right: Barry Girling, Wayne Ingerto

York Suburban Merit Scholars

Each year, approximately 1.6 million students take the PSAT/NMSQT exam.  This exam not only prepares students for the SAT but also allows students to enroll in a competitive program that screens superior academic performance for future scholarships.

Scholarships can range from a few hundred dollars to 100% paid tuition with money donated from the College Board, corporate sponsors, and college sponsorships. The top 50,000 students are recognized each year as Merit Scholars.  The top 16,000 students from the pool of 50,000 are named as Semifinalists and the remaining 36,000 are titled Commended. After successfully completing an application and fulfilling the rigorous requirements of the program, the top 15,000 (less than 1% of all test takers) are identified as Finalists.  We are very excited to announce that we had three Finalists, one Semifinalist and 8 Commended Merit Scholars in the class of 2018.


Bryce Gavin
Charlotte Nesbitt
Zezette Pflaum


Steven Burchett


Anne Baskwill
Tanner Haynes
Josh Kerr
Ban Khuc
Maya Lehman
Kaidin Mir-Young
Katherine Mooney
Peyton Stuart

2019 National Merit Scholarship Program Semi-Finalists were recently announced and included four York Suburban seniors:

Samuel R. Garncarz, son of Mr. John and Mrs. Anne Marie Grancarz

Zoe M. Prats, daughter of Mr. Jamie and Mrs. Melanie Prats

Bryn C. Walsh, daughter of Mr. Ned Walsh and Mrs. Jennifer Hughes

Caleb J. West, son of Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Heidi West


Submitted by Mr. Scott Shirey, High School Assistant Principal

New Leadership at York Suburban

Dr. Timothy P. Williams was appointed Superintendent of York Suburban School District, taking the helm in July.  He is an experienced educator and school leader with over 32 years in public school education, most recently serving as Superintendent of the Westmont Hilltop School District near Johnstown, PA.

He began his career as a middle school English and Social Studies teacher; during that time he served as a Team Leader and a term as President of the Penn Manor Education Association. After ten years in the classroom, Dr. Williams moved to his first central office position as Penn Manor School District’s Technology Coordinator.

In 1999, he moved to the Manheim Township School District where he served over 15 years in a number of roles including Director of Information Technology, Director of Instruction, and Assistant to the Superintendent. He also simultaneously served as Technology Director at Eastern Lancaster County School District while holding a similar position at Manheim Township. Dr. Williams brings his many professional talents, skills, and experiences to his new role here at York Suburban.

“I have been fortunate to have worked for several quality school districts,” says Dr. Williams, “and I am grateful to be a part of yet another such district.”

Dr. Williams earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in History with minors in Anthropology and Journalism at Wilkes University. He received his Master’s in Education from Wilkes University and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Immaculata University.

Welcome New 2018-2019 Staff

York Suburban proudly welcomes 37 new staff members to its Community of Encouragement for the 2018-2019 school year.  The additional YS team members include one administrator, one social worker, 16 teachers, and 19 support staff.



Miranda King – Social Worker

Yorkshire Elementary

Richard Lowe – Custodian
Amy Moffitt – Instructional Support Aide

Valley View Elementary

Kelly Carl  – Autism Support
Rosalind Carmon – Paraprofessional
Monica Claybaugh – Paraprofessional
Christina Collins – Paraprofessional
Jacqueline Dommel – Paraprofessional
Stacey Kuhn – Reading Specialist
Sarah Piascinski – Kindergarten

East York Elementary

Tae Ju – Health Room Assistant (EY/IR)
Maura Niehenke – Grade 5
Nicole Shaak – Grade 3
Gretchen Williams – Office Aide

Indian Rock

Teri Amos – Autism Support
Laura Flinchbaugh – Paraprofessional
Kayla Henise – Office Aide
Kayla Jacoby – Grade 3

Linda Koller – Paraprofessional
Marie Murphy – Paraprofessional
Elizabeth Sager – Paraprofessional
Pamela Stauffer – Paraprofessional

Middle School

Megan Chapman – Social Studies/Gifted
Jennifer Conley – Learning Support
Melissa Eicholtz – Custodian
Dianne Hannak – Nurse (MS/YE)
Bethann Hollander – Math, Grade 6
Tyler Laudeman – Special Education
Kathy Leland – Paraprofessional

High School

Sonya Brown – Family and Consumer Science 
Leigha Purcell – Science
Casey Reider – English
Korbin Shearer – Technical  Education

Education Center

Susan Conway – Administrative Assistant for Academic Services
Sandra Feehley – Director of Human Resources
Kelsey Hartman – Administrative Assistant for Operational Services
Cassidy Mummert – Accountant

West Point Accepts Two Suburban Graduates

Along the Hudson River in New York, the United States Military Academy of West Point provides students a four-year education to some of the most talented young men and women.  Their mission is to “educate, train and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the United States Army.”  To be considered for candidacy, you must first be nominated by a US Senator. Once this occurs, the student must have excellent academic and physical performance on a series of assessments. With an acceptance rate of around 10%, West Point is one of the most rigorous academies to attend. Recently, 1,257 students were accepted among the 13,827 applicants.   According to our local field force representative, it’s not uncommon to have a York County student accepted to the academy, but extremely uncommon to ever have two from the same high school. We are proud to have two students, Carter Kowalewski and Ted Gunn, accepted to West Point this year. We are confident that these two young men will represent the York Suburban community well.


Left: Theodore Gunn, Right: Carter Kowalewski

Submitted by Mr. Scott Shirey, High School Assistant Principal

District Hires Social Worker

Hello York Suburban School District! I am so honored to have the privilege to work in such an amazing school district. My name is Miranda King. I am the new Student and Family Services Coordinator for York Suburban School District. I was born and raised in York County. I attended Spring Grove Senior High School and decided to spread my wings a bit and went off to college. I attended undergrad at California University of Pennsylvania, out towards Pittsburgh, where I earned my Bachelors of Science. I ended up staying at California University of Pennsylvania to pursue my graduate degree. I graduated with my Masters of Social Work in 2010. Since then, I have worked in a variety of social work roles. I have experience with child protective services, adult case management, chronic mental illness, medical social work, prevention/intervention services, therapy, juvenile delinquency, and community outreach. I am sure you are wondering how can I help your family or student? I am the bridge between school and home. Also, the community liaison to connect you to resources and supports that may be needed for your student and family to be more successful and have their needs met. I am eager to work with as many families as possible. I would like to leave you with this quote,

 “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

– Edward Everett Hale


Wonders Elementary Reading Program Introduced

York Suburban is excited to share a  new program for teaching reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in the elementary schools beginning this year.  Wonders is a comprehensive K-6 English Language Arts program designed to teach early learners foundational skills and to help develop their love of reading.  It is also designed to inspire older students utilizing great online and offline content, literature, and guidance to help prepare them for secondary education.              

Wonders is developed around the latest common core school standards and learning research to help each student succeed. Built on a foundation of current instructional best practices and understandings, the program spirals to return to skills again and again with growing rigor, and it integrates games that challenge and engage students.  Students can access independent work through the YSSD website. Students may read leveled texts, complete assignments that correspond with their texts, and practice with literacy-based games. The creators have taken purposeful strides toward informing and involving parents in their children’s literacy education by creating weekly parent letters.  For parents, a description of every book is available in addition to the weekly letters that share information about what each child is learning.

For online access:

Student Resources – Everyday Math & Wonders


YSMS Holds Summer Math Academy

This summer, York Suburban Middle School students kept their math skills sharp by attending a two week Summer Math Academy held at the middle school during the month of July. The optional program, in its inaugural year, provided over 20 incoming 7th and 8th-grade students with the opportunity to engage in real-world mathematics applications without the pressure of grades, homework, and tests. Math teachers from grades 6-8 facilitated the program and worked with students in small groups. “One of our goals was for students to discover the enjoyment of math and to see how it relates to their everyday lives without the stress that a formal classroom setting can bring”, noted principal Dr. Scott Krauser. “Making mathematics meaningful and relevant is an integral component in confidence and success in math ability.”

The first week of the program focused on the math skills related to ratios and proportions developed through recipe planning for a large crowd and included a walking field trip to Weis to calculate the price of meals and find the best buy for each item on the ingredient list. In the second week, students designed a dream bedroom and selected paint, carpeting, and furnishings using area and cost calculations, all embedded in geometric skills. The “virtual” purchases were required to stay within a specified budget. Each week concluded with student presentations showcasing the recipes and bedrooms and the mathematics involved.

When asked about her thoughts on spending her summer vacation working on math, one 8th grade student commented that she “liked that we were doing math without even realizing it.” Students also remarked that they enjoyed working with friends in a smaller group and that they liked getting to know different teachers throughout the week. A 7th-grade participant summed up her experience perfectly by noting that she “never really knew how expensive stuff was! That taught me a lot about real life math!”

Submitted by Mrs. Alicia Kowitz


Battle of the Buildings 2019: Volunteers Needed

Plans are underway to organize the 8th Battle of the Buildings event.  Past organizers Jamie Evans and Eric Hoffman are looking forward to participating as competitors this next time around. YS Dollars for Scholars is very excited for Eric and Jamie to return in their new role and so thankful for their years of leadership for this event. They will be missed. Since the 2019 BOB aligns with the 20th anniversary of YS Dollars for Scholars, we are calling on the Suburban community to help us put together an amazing and fun event. Volunteers are needed for: Building representatives, games, officials, announcers, tickets, concessions, raffles, and set-up/clean up.  If you or anyone you know is interested in helping in any way please contact Pam Rice at 717-880-4113, email

About BOB:  Every other year Dollars for Scholars co-ordinates BOB (Battle of the Buildings).   This is a fun-filled family friendly competition involving faculty and staff from the 6 YS buildings and a team of Juniors and a team of Seniors from the high school. The event is scheduled for January 26, 2019. For general information about Dollars for Scholars please contact Karen Evans at

Submitted by Stephanie Sullivan, DFS Treasurer