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Wilson Area School District introduces educational motivators

Published On: Oct 21 2013 11:44:42 PM EDT

A new motivational tool was introduced to the Wilson Area School Board Monday night.

Each month, a different three-to-five-minute video clip will be shown at all faculty meetings in the Northampton County school district, as well as at the second school board meeting each month.

The videos won’t be produced by the school district but will be selected from the Internet by Superintendent Douglas Wagner.


The videos selected will be designed to spark conversations among teachers and administrators, explained Wagner.

He told the board that the purpose of the videos will be to provide “a little boost of motivation and bring attention to the important role that we play as educators.”

The first new video clip was introduced to the board by Kevin Steidle, principal at Williams Township Elementary School, who later said he will be assisting Wagner in selecting videos that are shown.

“We want to recognize how we can better serve our students and stimulate conversation among faculty,” explained Steidle.

The first video shown to the school board on Monday stressed the importance of teachers being positive role models.

In the video, an unidentified teacher of the year – who was not from the local district – tells an interviewer: “Students believe what their teachers believe they are. A teacher is one of the most critical factors affecting student self-efficacy: ‘I can do because my teacher believes that I can do. And I want do because my teacher believes in me as a person’.”

He also warned that bad teachers can have just as much, if not more, influence on a kid as a good teacher.

That teacher said he tries to teach his students “the life application of the curriculum. What is going to make this come alive for the student? What is going to make a student believe ‘if I get this concept, I’m going to be a better person’?”

Steidle said that first video already has been shown during one faculty meeting and those teachers had a very positive response to it.

Faculty meetings are held monthly in all five of the district’s school buildings, explained Wagner.

Steidle said the videos also will be shown at administrative cabinet meetings.
Also during the meeting, school board member Linda Baskwell was recognized for 12 years of service on the board. Wagner said her name will be added to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association’s Honor Roll of School Board Service.

“Mrs. Baskwell exemplifies leadership and dedication,” said the superintendent. “She gives unselfishly to our students, school district and community.”

Baskwell has not been on the school board the longest. Board president David Seiple estimated he’s served about 18 years.

Board member Anthony Verenna also has many years of service with the district, said Wagner.

The superintendent reported a total of 2,242 students are attending Wilson Area’s five schools, which he indicated is not significantly different than at this time in previous years.

“At Avona, the class sizes look great,” said Wagner, referring to Avona Elementary School. “We are well within the guidelines with every class size.”

The recommended target for maximum classroom size in kindergarten through third grades is 22 children, explained Wagner. He said the district is over that target in a total of five classes – two at Williams Elementary and three at Wilson Elementary -- but only by one or two children.

In grades four to six, he said the recommended maximum is 25. He said all classes at those grade levels are below that maximum.

No one from the public attended Monday’s school board meeting.

There will be no board meeting Nov. 4. The next meeting will be Nov. 18.