by Hillary Twiford, news editor
At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, Saegertown welcomed a new assistant principal, Mrs. Kylene Koper. The position has been vacant since Mrs. Laurie Kantz left the building in 2015. Mr. Phil Young and Mr. Brian Lipps temporarily occupied the office, but now a full-time assistant principal has returned to the building.
Mrs. Koper has previously worked at two other schools in various teaching positions. She spent 12 years at McKinley Elementary School, always teaching fourth or fifth grade in predominantly literacy. She then transferred to Emerson-Gridley Elementary School where she was hired as an instructional coach and handled professional development and learning for faculty. Mrs. Koper switched to Roosevelt Middle School and taught math for one year before earning the assistant principal job at Saegertown.
“I think all teachers should have the opportunity or attempt to try to work with kids from all different walks of life, so that landed me here,” Mrs. Koper said. Her previous positions have been in larger schools, so Saegertown’s size represents a change of pace for her, and she indicates that she is enjoying the atmosphere.
“It’s like there are no kids that get lost or that are just a number. I love how you have the relationships through your extension periods to stay with the same teachers through those years,” Mrs. Koper said. “The relationships that you could build, would be amazing, but being a smaller school, there’s so many of those relationships already, and that’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to- getting to know everybody. Right now, I’m really the outsider.”
This is Mrs. Koper’s first year as an administrator, so she is adjusting to the new position as well as the students. Even though her experience at Saegertown has just begun, she plans for an extended stay. “I feel like in order to initiate change, it takes time. You can’t go into some place new and try to change everything and get everybody to understand and want to do it. It takes time,” Mrs. Koper said.
She also wants to build relationships with the students and staff before implementing many changes. “It’s very different from where I came from, so I think it’s going to take some time of getting to know people and building that rapport so people trust and are willing to try changing things,” she said.
However, there is one major change that has already affected the study body- the dress code. “The teachers told me all of the issues of the dress code and problems that we’ve had in the past, so we discussed it as a faculty and staff how we wanted to change it,” Mrs. Koper said. “There were a lot of loopholes or problems where kids were able to get by not following the past dress code, which is where we made a few of the new changes to make it more consistent for everybody.”
Most of all, Mrs. Koper wants everyone to know that she is always available. “If you ever want to have your voice heard, my door is open. Come down, let me know.”
Fast facts about Mrs. Koper:
- Graduated from McDowell High School.
- Graduated from Edinboro University with degrees in elementary education and reading specialist.
- Married to her husband, Jason, for fourteen years.
- Has three children- Brooke, Casey, and Allie.
- Participated in color guard in high school.
Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School