A lot can happen in 50 years, and some of the biggest stories from five decades were discussed at the Shaler Area School District’s March 24 storytelling event.
“The idea behind the night [was] to create an event where we bring different storytellers and panelists back to the district to talk about some of the key moments in a time that really speak to the community and the family aspect of the Shaler Area School District,” the district superintendent said. , Dr. Sean Aiken. .
The event was part of the school district’s ongoing 50th anniversary celebration.
Thirty storytellers were on the program to talk about homecoming, wrestling, softball, performing arts, the 2004 flood and the legacy of multi-generational families.
Lia Sorce and her husband Nick Nelson, who have lived in Chicago for a few years, were asked to participate as storytellers since Sorce was on the softball team when she dated Shaler and Nelson was on the team at struggle. Nelson was unable to make the event, but Sorce detailed his experiences on the softball team from 2004 to 2007, when the team made it to the state championships three years in a row — and won the state title twice.
“The Shaler Area softball program has been a memorable and fun part of my life,” Sorce said. “My teammates and I are bonded for life, and I will always say yes to any opportunity to reunite and reminisce with them.”
Etna Borough Superintendent Mary Ellen Ramage shared her story of the 2004 flood and how the district and community came together for those affected by Hurricane Ivan – Etna was the one of the hardest hit areas.
“Etna’s story is about supporting the community and our residents after the devastating events of Hurricane Ivan in 2004,” Ramage said. “The school board, maintenance staff and administrative staff have been instrumental in helping our operations get back up and running so we can help our residents and get our infrastructure repaired, while many teachers and other members of the District staff were directly assisting our residents by providing clean services. -support, food and other necessities if needed at the time.
Shifting gears, Shaler Area group director George Tepshich pointed to the school district’s performing arts programs.
He describes the program as a “school within a school” with a family atmosphere that starts early and includes a band, choir, orchestra, musicals, plays, dance, cheerleaders, silk line , marching band, technical/stage crew and more.
“Our elementary school lays the foundation for all of the different performing arts programs throughout the district — everyone plays a role in the development of the program and the students within the program,” Tepshich said.
Tepshich has been teaching in the district for about 16 years and is happy that his own children are part of the traditions that come with attending school in Shaler.
“We have so many wonderful traditions in the Shaler area and now that my kids are going through the district, I look at the impact all of those traditions have on my own kids,” he said.
Cindy Alexander is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.