Courtney Bowers


BLOSSBURG — Career training will have to be creative and inventive for Southern Tioga students, given the rural area and lack of career center.

That was the word from superintendent Sam Rotella at the Nov. 4 work session of the board of directors. It came after two presentations, the first by student Courtney Bowers and the second from school counselor Amanda Capone.

“We are going to have to consider things that are a little different,” he said. “If we’re going to provide opportunities, they will not be ‘in the box.’”

Bowers, a senior at North Penn-Liberty High School, asked the board to approve development of an athletic website, similar to The senior said she got the idea while job shadowing at Tioga Publishing. In conversation with sports reporter Nick Coyle, she learned how easy it is to access Wellsboro High School’s game scores, athlete statistics and athletic schedule.

Having a Southern Tioga athletics website would be beneficial to students and parents. It could also open up career pathways training for several fields, such as information technology, writing or athletic training.

Bowers has volunteered to take photos and write for the website, should the district vote to create one at the Nov. 11 meeting.

Rotella said Bowers attended meetings with himself and Ed Weaver, athletic director for Wellsboro Area School District, to discuss how the website works. There is an opportunity to secure advertisers, which could reduce or eliminate any cost to the district.

Directors questioned whether the website could incorporate other extra-curricular activities in addition to athletics, as well as junior high athletics. Rotella said that is a possibility.

“As we continue to talk about career pathways, we have to engage with the community and our stakeholders,” he said.

Other directors said having the information in one site would be beneficial to parents and community members.

Capone then spoke about an opportunity for STSD students to train as certified nursing assistants in partnership with Broad Acres Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Wellsboro. Students age 18 or older could attend the 17-day training, Monday through Thursday. There would be no cost to the district.

The students would miss school, but could work ahead or make up work on Fridays, said Capone. Three students have expressed interest and will learn Nov. 15 if they are accepted into the program.

Capone also distributed a student survey for board review. The survey will ask students about schedules, use of time, preferences for scheduling, difficulties and things they would like to see. The goal is to build flexibility into student schedules to receive the education they want for their chosen career.

What’s next: The board’s regular meeting is Monday, Nov. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Professional Learning Hub at Blossburg Elementary School.