Valley Road fifth graders and their parents had the opportunity to meet their new replacement teacher, Olivia Gerlitz, at an evening Meet and Greet event this week.
Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Knops and Director of Curriculum Ed Grande facilitated the evening, where a packed classroom of both fifth graders and their parents came out to meet their incoming leave replacement teacher.
Knops began the evening by explaining in detail the interview process to the parents in attendance. The district received 125 applications for the leave replacement position and the administration interviewed a total of 24 of those applicants.
Knops introduced Gerlitz to all those in attendance, highlighting her academic record, certifications, student teaching experiences, and hobbies and interests. Gerlitz is a May 2012 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where she majored in Elementary Education and Special Education, with a minor in Autism Studies.
Gerlitz gained certification as both an Elementary Teacher and Teacher of Students with Disabilities. Gerlitz was awarded a number of academic honors, including Dean’s List status, a St. Joseph’s University Scholarship, and induction into the International Honor Society of Education (Kappa Delta Pi). She graduated with a grade point average in excess of 3.5.
Gerlitz also served on the Executive Board of Hand to Hand in support of special education students, participated in the Collegiate Challenge where she traveled to South Carolina and Illinois through the Habitant for Humanity, and served as an ambassador at St. Joseph’s University.
After Knops’s introduction, Gerlitz gave a Power Point Presentation highlighting her background, educational philosophy, past educational experiences and contact information. She then had each incoming fifth grader in attendance fill out an Interest Inventory as a means of sharing unique information about themself with their teacher and closed with a question-and-answer session
“The evening was a success," said Knops. "Two years back we started a program called Move-Up Day where students in Grades K-5 meet their next year’s teachers and classmates. Whenever a new teacher comes aboard, we want to provide our students and parents the opportunity to meet their teacher prior to the start of the school year. I’m much appreciative of our parents for their support of our schools and instructional program, it was a delight to see a packed classroom in the middle of July. We are extremely fortunate to have such an educationally oriented community comprised of parents who support our school district and education program.”