About Us » Superintendent's Message

Superintendent's Message

Dear TASD Staff, Parents, and Community,


Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year. We hope you share our excitement with the beginning of school.  Our staff is committed to building on the successes we experienced last school year.  As always, our goal is to develop the complete student, one that flourishes academically, artistically, athletically, socially and emotionally.  Our mission is focused on providing learning centered, engaging, positive experiences for all.  Please join us as we climb the ladder of success together.  We welcome you to see the wonderful things we have going on throughout our district.  Our elementary open house this year will be September 19th, (J. Andrew Morrow 5:00-6:00 PM, Towanda Area Elementary School 6:00-7:00 PM).  We hope to see you there.


The Towanda Area School District welcomes volunteer participation in our schools, and we provide a myriad of opportunities to actively participate in our educational program. If you would like more information regarding the process to volunteer, please refer to our website for more information. The role that families play in the educational process affects the education, welfare, and values of their children. The Towanda Area School District believes that working together with families is essential for the well-being of children. To learn more about how to get involved in your child’s education contact the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).


The YMCA continues to offer childcare to families before and after school. The program is located at J. Andrew Morrow and serves school aged childcare for elementary students.


Remember, the attendance of your student(s) is vital to their success in school. There is a growing body of research demonstrating that chronic absence from school, typically defined as missing 10 percent of school days for any reason, is a primary cause of low academic achievement as well as a powerful predictor of which students will eventually drop out of school. Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) believes chronic absenteeism is a national problem that seriously undermines our collective efforts to improve education and life outcomes among youth.  Attendance policy 204


To address and support communities in eliminating barriers to students’ daily attendance and meaningful engagement in school they PDE has released the Community Toolkit to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism. Together, we can dramatically improve the academic life and outcome of students who have been disengaged from a daily, supportive school experience, and we need parents, community, and business support.

  • A student acquiring (3) three or more unexcused absences will be classified as truant.
  • In addition, accumulation of (6) six or more unexcused absences will be classified habitually truant.
  • The critical age of student attendance is (15) fifteen-years-old. The district is required to refer habitually truant cases to Children and Youth Services (CYS) and the district magistrate.


The PA School Code was amended in March 2017 with changes to school immunizations. Changes may be found at the Division of Immunizations on the PDE website. School vaccination requirements for attendance in PA schools is for ALL children.  Please make sure you have checked with your healthcare provider and are prepared for the school vaccination requirements. Should you have questions or concerns regarding immunizations please contact Ms. Jacqueline Vanderpool RN (Policy 203). In compliance with School Code, the Board requires participation in health examinations and screenings (Policy 209).




Our administrative staff consists of Mrs. Rebecca Stanfield, High School Principal; Mr. Bryan Bechdel, Assistant Principal; Dr.  Susan Higley, Elementary Principal; Mrs. Karen Beirne-Getz, Primary Principal; Mrs. Dawn Hart, Director of Special Education; and Mr. Joel Spinney Principal of Academic Affairs. We are an Elementary Title 1 Schoolwide Program, and you can learn more about this on our district website.


Our new faculty members for the 2019-2020 school year include:

  • Heather Sproule, Kindergarten
  • Jacob McGuire, 3rd Grade
  • Rebecca Vroman, 3rd Grade
  • Katelyn Serfass, 5th Grade
  • Kristine Burke, 5th Grade
  • Don Barto, Elementary Art
  • Damien Wickizer, Elementary/HS Chorus
  • Kimberly Brown, 7th ELA
  • Sondra Siegfried, HS Guidance
  • Tracey LaFrance, HS Biology


The Towanda Area School District does not support unlawful harassment and strives to provide a safe, positive learning climate for all (Policy 248). The Board believes in equal opportunity, nondiscrimination for all students to achieve their maximum potential through the programs offered at the Towanda Area School District. (Policy 103). Students with disabilities are afforded equal opportunity, nondiscrimination to reach their full potential and would ask that parents who believe they have been subject to discrimination or harassment to promptly report incidents to their building principals (Policy 103.1).


The district also believes that parents or guardians should have an opportunity to review instructional materials regarding curriculum, standards, instructional materials, as well as assessment techniques and strives to continue to make this a transparent process (Policy 105.1).


We look forward to serving the Towanda Area School District students and parents in the 2019-2020 school year.


Below you will find the Towanda Area School District policies required to be reviewed annually.



Mr. Dennis Peachey