In an emotionally-charged, special half-hour recognition at the Nov. 6 public school board meeting, the Palisades community honored Carol Clemens for her especially distinguished service during 32 years on the board, and also 28 years for the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. Clemens did not seek reelection this year for another four-year term.
Special guest presenters included former Superintendent Francis Barnes; Karen Devine, director of member services for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association; and Rebecca Roberts-Malamis, deputy executive director for Bucks County Intermediate Unit (I.U.).
Barnes particularly noted Clemens’ service on the school board’s education program and services (EPS) committee, which he referred to as “the core effort in the school district’s mission” to provide exemplary educational opportunity. He also thanked her for challenging district staff to meet the highest standards.
The presenters were followed by a video presentation that featured many more, including school board President Bob Musantry and district Superintendent Bridget O’Connell; board member Scott Freeman; the principals from each of the district’s five schools; and students from the elementary schools and high school. A printed handout featured gratitude “for all the dedication and hard work,” from the “community you’ve cared for over the years.”
Later in the Nov. 6 board meeting, in her final report as chair of the EPS committee, Clemens said two new course proposals within the district’s special Pathway programs were to be presented at the committee’s Nov. 13 meeting.
A commitment to expand the district’s Pathway programs is part of the district’s draft 2010-1023 Comprehensive Plan. The special curricula enable students to establish job, career path, and other post-high school goals while still in school, including real-life experience off-site.
In a district policy change approved at the Nov. 6 meeting, “each newly elected or appointed school director (school board member) shall complete a training program consisting of at least five hours of instruction, including, at a minimum, information regarding instruction and academic programs … personnel, fiscal management, operations, governance, and ethics and open meetings, to include accountability requirements.”
In addition, “each reelected or reappointed school director shall, within one year … complete an advanced training program consisting of at least three hours of instruction,” including changes to regulations, “fiscal management, trauma-informed approaches, and other information deemed appropriate” by the state Department of Education.