WARREN, Pa. – IU5 Executive Director Brad Whitman toured the Warren County School District on Monday and addressed the Warren County School Board.
Whitman addressed the need for teachers as well as turning around some of the negative connotations around public education.
“There’s been declining enrollment in our schools past 10 years, said Whitman (IU5 serves Erie, Crawford and Warren Counties),” Whitman said. “There are more people retiring than coming into the workforce. People now feel that they can speak their minds freely. Being able to do that through social media has really hurt education as a whole. We have to start talking positively about it. In the end, everything that we do is all about the kids. It’s about educating them to come out into our workforce and be productive.
“All the districts are dealing with very similar things. We just have to rewrite that tune. We have to talk more about the kids and the future. That is what we need to be focused on.”
Whitman also spoke about the Scholar of the Month award, which will be presented to one student in each of IU5’s 17 school districts every month.
“Each school district will nominate one student and they will be honored every month,” Whitman said. “There will be an overall winner selected that will receive a $750-$1,000 scholarship every month. At the end of the school year, the nine monthly winners will write an essay, with one winner selected who will receive a scholarship of $5,000-$7,000. The idea is to highlight public education and positively promote education.”
Board member Paul Mangione recognized Whitman for the leadership he showed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I just want everyone to be aware of the leadership Brad was able to provide,” Mangione said. “He did such a great job through the pandemic and he’s doing a great job now.”