Mr. Lynn Kohler
Years on the WYASD Board of Directors: Seven
Occupation: Sales Manager for a Life Insurance Company
What makes West York awesome from your perspective as a School Director and a District resident
In a world where people move often and change jobs regularly, West York remains a community of many people who were born and raised in this area. They have chosen to raise their families here too. This is an Awesome community and the WYASD is the center of our community.
What do you hope to accomplish as a WY School Director in the 2022-23 school year?
The last five years have seen a lot of improvement in the district. We have added many new programs and options for our students. We have added staff and teachers to meet the changing needs of our student population. All at the same time, going five straight years without raising taxes. Our current plans are focused on improved safety and security for our students and staff. Followed by a long range plan to improve the outdoor athletic facilities of the district. The WYASD is positioned to remain an Awesome School District for another generation.
What would you say the most important issue is before the Board right now?
Helping the district and the community to understand the role of the school board. How do the administrative staff and building personnel fit into the complete organizational structure? The Board does not run the School District. We hire a Superintendent that acts as a CEO for the District. All the day-to-day activities go through the Superintendent and his administrative team. The Board is involved with the macro ideas...setting goals and vision, policymaking, approving budgets and expenditures, final decisions on hiring, etc. The best way for community members to be involved in the decision-making process is to attend the Board committee meetings that deal with issues that are of concern. Committee meetings are designed for back-and-forth discussion, whereas the Board Work Sessions and voting meetings are not designed for interaction with the public. If you cannot attend a committee meeting, meeting minutes are available on the District website and/or can be emailed to you.
What would you like the community to know about the West York Area School District?
If you don't already know, West York is much more diversified in its student population than 10 years ago. Along with societal changes, we as a district are trying to make adjustments within the district to best meet the needs of all of our students. We have added personnel to the District - two West Manchester Township School Resource Officers, Director of Security, Director of Pupil Services, Director of Communications, social worker and behavioral specialist, deans of students at all building levels, as well as additional teachers. We have added new programs throughout the buildings that include reintroducing the teaming concept at the Middle School, MTSS at each building (see website for what this is), soft starts at each building, curriculum updates, and enhancements. There is more and we are planning more to come to meet the needs of our students for 2020 and beyond.
What makes West York's mission, Every Student Every Day, powerful for you?
While no system is perfect and we know there are areas that we as a district need to grow and improve in, the decisions we make are based on what is best for the majority of the student population. As we make more changes going forward, for instance, schedule changes, we should be able to allow more flexible scheduling that can meet the needs of all students. The goal is to find ways to meet all of our student needs, every single day.
Where do you see the District in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and how do you see your role on the Board as an integral part of this?
My goal is a simple one. That we get to the point where every student coming through our doors starting with our full-day kindergarten and as best we can with students coming to us after that point, obtain a proficient level of competency in reading, writing, and math by the end of 8th grade. Then High School will be a career pathway. Students should be able to move on to a community college if they choose to. My hope is that we can provide a curriculum for every student need so each student can pursue a direction of their choosing. That what we provide at West York is superior to outside avenues. Students who are interested in their course of study are more likely to be engaged in their education. My goal is to help students to find their career path and get them into the community so they can be productive citizens of the world.
Where could we find you on the weekend?
Once I complete my needs for my job, my work with PSBA, and my school board homework, I enjoy going to used book sales. Also watching Baltimore Ravens Football.
What people might be surprised to know about you?
Grew up in York city, and went to York High. I was in the marching band and on track & cross-country teams. The marching band was known as the best in the area. The track team were district champs and I was a York County champ in X-country. I still work in inner-city areas, as Harrisburg is my territory.
What is one piece of advice you would share with our high school seniors?
Try not to let what others are saying affect you. I know it is hard with social media. Life is so much better when you know who you are and you are confident in what you are doing. Don't be afraid to fail, you will better when you learn from your mistakes. Don't keep making the same mistakes.
What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?
Uncovering things of value that most people overlook, and getting them into the hands of someone who appreciates them.