October 2016
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BSD Report Cards Get Makeover

Out with the Old, In with the New: Burrell Primary and Secondary Report Cards Are Getting a Makeover

Burrell primary and secondary students will no longer be receiving traditional report cards, and that’s a big step in the right direction, according to Dr. Gregory Egnor, Director of Special Education/LEA. “Schools that aren’t making the transition toward standards-based report cards are behind the times,” says Egnor.

High School Cross Country Team Has High Hopes for WPIAL Championship

With the WPIAL Championships just around the corner, the 18 members of the high school cross country team are putting in some serious work, running five days a week and logging up to 20 miles per week. And all that hard work has already started to pay off.

Onward & Upward with SKYWARD, BSD’s New Online Communications Tool for Parents

Parents in the Burrell School District have a new online communication tool at their disposal this year. It’s called “Skyward,” and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Matthew Conner is impressed, to say the least.

“It’s slick. We’re excited about it,” Conner says.

So what is it, exactly? Conner describes the online portal – which can be accessed through a mobile app – as a “one-stop shop” for parents.

New Faces of Talented Educators Join BSD Faculty

There are some new faces around the Burrell School District this school year, with teachers joining the staffs at both the high school and Huston Middle School. Superintendent Dr. Shannon Wagner says the district uses the hiring process to identify teachers who raise curiosity, introduce new knowledge and encourage students to develop their own ideas.

“These candidates stood out from the rest,” Wagner says of the new hires. “I look forward to seeing the awesome work they will do with our children.”

Revolution, Creativity & Reinventing Education

A Message from Dr. Shannon Wagner, Superintendent, Burrell School District


New ideas and innovation are what drive the world forward, and education is the engine that powers performance and relentless progress. Today, we are experiencing technological revolutions that will change the world tomorrow – with some of them taking place in our own backyard, like the 3D printing research & development initiatives at Alcoa. Other smaller scale, but equally significant, revolutions are happening right here in the Burrell School District.

Tradition of Excellence Continues

As educators and coaches here at Burrell, we take great pride in the academic, athletic, and artistic achievements of our talented students. Continuing a tradition of excellence in diverse areas, we are pleased to be able to share with parents and the community the accomplishments of our students.


BHS Senior Earns Eastern Choral Honor

BSD Introduces Innovative Approach to Learning

Walking into the Burrell High School library, you won’t see any stark white walls or hard tables and chairs. Instead, there are bright, colorful lounge chairs, moveable modern-looking tables, and splashes of color on the walls—a scene that for most faculty and parents is vastly different from their own memories of school. And the truth is, the school our children show up to every day is not the same school that we attended ten, twenty, thirty years ago. It can’t be.

BSD Has the Recipe for a Healthy and Efficient Lunch… Start from Scratch.

When Juliana Freese was hired as food service director for the Burrell School District, she faced a formidable challenge: declining participation among students in the lunch program and, consequently, declining revenue.

So she decided to start from scratch.

“My generation grew up on scratch foods,” says Freese, a 1974 Burrell High School graduate. “Today’s generation has not been getting that opportunity. I think scratch cooking is healthier and more efficient.”

Hillcrest VW Donates Vehicle for DARE Program

As the school resource officer for the Burrell School District, Lower Burrell Det. John Marhefka believes that everyone has a role in keeping the community safe. And one local business is proving that to be true in a really big way.

Hillcrest Volkswagen has provided Marhefka with a vehicle – a Volkswagen Passat – that allows him to travel between schools, attend trainings and appear at court proceedings throughout the course of the day.

BSD Student Receives National Recognition

Emma Hough isn’t exactly one in a million.

But statistically speaking, she’s pretty close.

The Burrell High School senior was recently named a Commended Student as part of the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. She earned the distinction by scoring among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who took the 2014 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, making her eligible for scholarships from businesses and corporations that are affiliated with the program.

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