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State secretary of education visits New Hope-Solebury

A first for small suburban school district


The New Hope-Solebury School District welcomed Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Noe Ortega on March 25.
It was a historic moment for the district because it was the first time in the district’s history that a Pennsylvania Secretary of Education has visited.
“We were delighted to have this opportunity to share our district’s exceptional programs and initiatives with the secretary and we deeply appreciate the attention and time he shared with our students, staff, educators, and administrators,” said Superintendent Dr. Charles Lentz.
The secretary’s tour began at the Upper Elementary School, where students showcased the innovative STEAM education programs, including coding instruction in Scratch programming software and project-based learning experiences challenging students to design, build, and invent.
Students showed tangible 3D printed designs made in art classes, engineering design concepts, such as a trash collecting device for the ocean, and invention prototypes, including a sensor that regulates plant water saturation levels. Ortega was also invited to film an interview in their student-run multimedia studio conducted by fifth grader Clare Sheehan.
Throughout his visit, the secretary advocated for additional funding to create the conditions for innovation in all schools, which will improve learning and help recruit top talent into the educator workforce.

In the middle school, the secretary learned about a District partnership with Mikayla’s Voice, which advocates for those with disabilities, as part of the district’s ongoing efforts to support diversity, equity and inclusion. At the high school, Ortega viewed concept renderings for a future STEAM lab and innovation space.
The secretary also participated in group conversations with various district stakeholders. Students reflected on their learning experiences and shared what they value in their education.
Many responded with high praise for their teachers, who frequently make themselves available to provide help and advice.
In response to their reflections, Ortega said, “The best part of my school visits is being able to hear the voices of students and learn about your experiences. Everything we do as educators is for you. Things get better because of what you have shared and elevated in your experience.”

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