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Celebration of life planned for recently departed teacher

Published July 27. 2010 05:00PM

Lehighton Area School District will host a celebration of life tribute next week to remember one of its own.

During the monthly meeting of the Lehighton Area School Board on Monday, Timothy Tkach, high school principal, announced that a memorial service for the late Kelly Keffer, the high school Spanish teacher who passed away June 30, is slated for Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

"I spoke with Kelly's godmother last Friday and they will be bringing some friends and family members to the event," Tkach said. "We talked to the family about all that Kelly has done for us and the community and her students. We want to do something in honor of her and also bring closure for us and continue moving forward in the direction Kelly would want us to go."

He added that during the ceremony, there will be various events, including staff and student speakers; a PowerPoint presentation of photos, created by the students; and a eulogy.

"She did a lot of great things for the kids and her godmother is very honored and thrilled that we're doing this for her," he said. "Through it all, we will get stronger and we will get closer."

Tkach added that Keffer was very active in the 21 years she served in the school district.

During her time at Lehighton, she was a coach on the volleyball and basketball teams; was the SADD advisor; helped with Scholastic Scrimmage; began the Safe Schools Ambassador program; and organized Project Humanity, a student program that focuses on anti-bullying, humanitarian aid, and environmental issues.

Everyone is invited to attend the event.

According to a press release on the Lehighton School District website, family and friends of Keffer can e-mail memory messages or photos to Kelli Costenbader at or call the high school at (610) 377-6180.

In other matters, field hockey head coach and athletic director Shawn Hindy, along with four field hockey team members, presented the board with plaques and state championship medals from their state championship victory this past season.

The board also acted in favor of the following business items:

• James A. Kraky, superintendent, will attend the 2010 LUSSC Study Tour at the University of Virginia, Charlotte, Va., from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, at a 2010-2011 budgeted cost of $750.

• Mark McGalla, middle school principal, will attend the Pennsylvania Education Policy Fellowship Program for 15 sessions during a period of September 2010 to June 2011, at a 2010-2011 budgeted cost of $3,821.25.

• Approve the agreement between CMS Medical Care Corporation, a subsidiary of the Blue Mountain Health System, referred to as the "Healthy Smiles, Happy Kids Dental Van" and the Lehighton Area School District for the provision of state-mandated dental examination services to the school district using the "Healthy Smiles, Happy Kids dental van."

• Approve the hiring of five new teachers to fill open positions at various schools within the district; and accept the resignations of two teachers.

• Approve the student accident insurance policy from National Union Fire Insurance Company purchased through the William J. Flynn Corp. in the amount of $26,534 for interscholastic sports/football, and voluntary rates at $25 for school time and $98 for 24-hour coverage for the 2010-2011 term.

• Approve the memorandum of understanding between the Lehighton Area School District Board of Education and the Lehighton Area Education Association to include the special education and creative arts group leaders as part of the Team Leaders at the same rate of pay.

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