Indiana, PA - Indiana County

SALTSBURG: New principal welcomed at school

by RAYANNON WILLETT and ASHTON BATTISTELLI, Gazette Student News Reporters on October 19, 2012 11:00 AM

SALTSBURG -- This year at Saltsburg there have been numerous changes occurring in the middle/senior high school.

Not only were we presented with a new principal, Mr. Allan Berkhimer, but we were introduced to flat-screen TVs around the campus and issued iPads to enhance our technology and educational skills.

All these new changes came with mixed emotions, but the 2012-13 school year has taken off to a great start!

At an assembly on the first day of school, Mr. Berkhimer explained the new procedures for this year and briefly spoke about his previous experiences in education and the military.

Later, we interviewed Mr. Berkhimer and learned he enlisted in the military for three years of active duty after high school.

Mr. Berkhimer completed his basic training at Fort Sill, in Oklahoma.

He then served in the First Infantry Division with an Air Defense Artillery unit. Joining the military was something he always dreamed of and it influenced him in many ways. The military taught him pivotal characteristics like: teamwork, perseverance, how to follow and lead, to adapt, and to overcome.

Mr. Berkhimer's previous experience includes teaching junior and senior high social students, serving as principal, and coaching football, track and swimming.

A word of encouragement from Mr. Berkhimer is, "Only your hard work and dedication can determine how far you go in life."

This year each high school student received the innovative Apple iPad equipped with a Gumdrop case for protection.

Lisa Shimer, a math teacher at Saltsburg High, said, "I think it will be a wonderful learning experience for both the students and myself. However, it comes with its challenges. They could be a distraction when not used properly or at the appropriate time. Overall, I feel the iPads are moving us in the right direction."

Another subject the iPads can help students excel in is in the music department. Mary Jo Fadden, the music teacher, shares how she will use the iPads in her teach-ing.

She said, "I use various applications for different purposes. I intend to use applications to help students excel by the use of demonstrations, recordings, fingering charts and in tuning."

Overall, the iPads have received praise from teachers and students alike.

At Saltsburg it is evident that the students, teachers and administration are working hard each day to incorporate technology into the curriculum and to prepare students for success in the 21st century.

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