COUDERSPORT — A new face and fresh energy will be walking the halls of the Coudersport Area School District this fall: Drew Kyle.
Kyle was appointed as the district’s superintendent during the June board meeting; Jackie Canter, former superintendent, submitted her retirement letter to the board earlier this year, with her last day being June 30.
Coudersport will be Kyle’s first superintendent job, but he’s not inexperienced in the education world. He has a long resume of positions, such as a social studies teacher, middle school assistant principal at two different districts, elementary school principal, director of technology and innovation, and school safety officer. Originally from Pennsylvania, he attended Shippensburg University, where he played baseball for four years, and graduated with a degree in secondary education, specifically in social studies. He completed his master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in education leadership. Earlier this year, he received his letter of eligibility from Gannon University and became certified to be a superintendent.
Coudersport Area School District was on his original list of districts to apply to and check out when he began his job search. His son recently graduated from high school, so Kyle and his wife, Brandi, knew they would have the opportunity to move and check out new areas.
“...We really like the outdoors, we camp a lot, we hike a lot. I love to hunt, especially white tail deer, so we kind of targeted some very specific communities,” Kyle said. They plan to move into a house in Coudersport shortly. Kyle said the downtown area has a lot to offer and he and his wife are excited by all of it.
Within the district though, his mission is to help everyone achieve their best. He said he follows six guiding principles, “the six C’s”: clarity, culture, collaboration, coaching, community and celebration.
“I don’t think that as educators we celebrate enough. There’s a lot of really great things going on at Coudersport and I think it’s important to recognize those things,” Kyle said.
He also hopes to make some improvements; his main one right now is to improve communication within the district, between the administration, teachers, students and parents, but also externally with the community.
Though a lot of it is unknown and new information is presented daily, Kyle shared his vision of what the upcoming school year might look like amid a pandemic. He said the district and community should anticipate three different tiers. Tier 1 would be similar to the shutdown, where everyone is working and learning remotely. Tier 2 would be a blended approach, where some activities might happen in the physical school building, but others happen outside of the building. Tier 3 would have everyone in the school building on a regular basis.
“I think it’s important for us to make sure that we are capable of moving fluidly between those three tiers,” Kyle said.
Kyle said the district is looking at implementing a 1:1 initiative this fall, so they’re working to make sure that goes smoothly and is effective for kids.
“I’m working with a group of teachers now to talk about professional development and what we need to do to make sure that our teachers are comfortable and feel good about their own kind of blended instructional model,” Kyle said.
A team has also been working on a health and safety plan to return to school in the fall, which is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the board will review the plan at the July 13 board meeting.
Kyle is looking forward to being in the area full time, starting the school year and working to “make sure all of our kids are healthy, safe, happy and successful.”