Thursday, November 16, 2023

North Schuylkill Bids Farewell to Board President After 12 Years of Dedicated Service

In the final moments of Wednesday evening's North Schuylkill Board of School Directors Committee of the Whole Meeting, the district came together to honor outgoing Board President Charles Hepler. 

After three terms as a board member and 11 years as President, Hepler has decided to step down, marking the end of an era.

Dr. Robert Ackell, the district's Superintendent, took to the podium to express gratitude for Hepler's unwavering commitment to education and the well-being of students and staff. "Chaz, your tireless dedication to informed decision-making that positively impacts our schools and community is truly commendable," Dr. Ackell stated. He highlighted Hepler's leadership, vision, and the lasting impact of his countless hours of service on the board.

Board Member Thomas Fletcher, speaking on behalf of the board, reminisced about the pivotal role Hepler played in his decision to join the school board. "Your belief in this school district was evident from our first conversation," Fletcher said. He emphasized Hepler's passion for every student, noting how it influenced positive change in the district over the past decade.

Leah Briggs, President of the Teacher's Association, expressed her appreciation for working under Hepler's leadership for nearly half of her career. "Your constant 'pro-student,' 'pro-education' approach has been invaluable," Briggs remarked. She commended Hepler's willingness to listen and problem-solve and wished him nothing but the best.

Hepler, in a symbolic gesture, presented each board and administration member with a compass. He began by expressing gratitude to his family for their sacrifices and emphasized his enduring focus on the students of the school district. "It's been kids first and always will be," Hepler declared.

Reflecting on his 12-year journey, Hepler spoke about the importance of staying true to one's moral compass. "Vote your conscience, find your way, remember what you are here for," he advised. He acknowledged the administrative team and staff, acknowledging challenges they faced together and successfully worked through.

"The consistency of my term wasn't about me; it was about the nine of us [pointing at the board], sharing the common message of kids first. You take care of everybody. If you do that, you are successful," Hepler concluded, leaving a legacy of prioritizing the well-being and education of the students in the North Schuylkill School District.

Hepler's term officially ends on December 4th, 2023, with a reorganization meeting scheduled for December 6th, 2023, at 7:00pm to elect a new board president.

Story/Photos/Video by J. Reed / Skook News