Parkland Press

Monday, October 23, 2017

School district stats released

Thursday, October 12, 2017 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

With the start of the 2017-18 term, 9,400 students are enrolled in Parkland School District.

Their education is provided through the efforts of 633 professional staff, 655 support personnel and 63 administrators.

In late August, the district provided six days of orientation for new staff.

Superintendent Richard Sniscak commented on the purpose for the sessions.

“We set the climate and culture for Parkland for the new school term,” Sniscak said. “This orientation isn’t done in most school districts.”

At a recent meeting, Director of Human Resources Pam Kelly reported 31 new teachers were hired in a process which began in February and continued through August.

Half the positions are contracted to fill openings due to resignations or retirements. The remainder are for temporary vacancies resulting from medical, maternity or other personal leaves.

Kelly said Parkland staff reviewed more than 700 applications and conducted 800 interviews, as many individuals were called back for additional screening before a final decision was made for employment.

The new teachers come from 15 different colleges or universities and almost half of them have Master’s degrees.

Kelly recalled the months of reference checking, paper screening and interviews.

“It’s a long process,” she said. “We’re always dedicated to finding the very best.”

Teachers were introduced to the board and offered some social time during the meeting to become acquainted.

In another matter, the board welcomed Parkland senior Aryaman Khandelwal as the new student representative to the board.

High School Principal James Moniz said Khandelwal is a superior student who has a passion for learning.

As a sophomore, Khandelwal had a perfect score on his SATs and is enrolled in the Lehigh University scholars’ program.

Director of Community Relations and Development Nicole McGalla, who has worked with Khandelwal on several endeavors, commented on his kind nature.

“Aryaman is so altruistic,” McGalla said. “He wants to give back to humanity.

“His heart is so big. He is always looking to give back.”

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Editor’s note: Aryaman Khandelwal is also the student reporter for the Parkland Press.