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Pleasant Valley hires teachers and administrators

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    Superintendent David Piperato, second from right, stands with Pleasant Valley’s newest administrators. From left, Lee Lesisko, director of technology; Susan Mowrer Benda, director of curriculum; Piperato; and Alfred Kise Jr., director of special education. JUDY DOLGOS-KRAMER/TIMES NEWS

Published August 13. 2018 12:51PM

The Pleasant Valley school district hired two new administrators and promoted a third during its last board meeting.

Dr. Lee Lesisko was promoted from technology services coordinator at the Pleasant Valley Cyber Academy to director of technology for the district.

Lesisko has a degree in business administration and computer information science, and an Master of Science in education from Wilkes University and a Doctorate in Education from Widener University.

The district also hired Alfred Kise Jr. as the Director of Special Education at a salary of $102,000 per year. Kise has a Bachelor of Science in integrated special education and elementary education as well as an Master of Science in secondary curriculum with a concentration in school administration, both from East Stroudsburg University.

Susan Mowrer Benda was hired as director of curriculum and instruction at an annual salary of $130,000 per year.

Benda has a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in music and music instruction. She received her Doctor of Educational Administration from Widener University.

“We are excited to add three exceptional administrators to our Pleasant Valley family,” Piperato said of the three. “Each of the directors we hired this evening is highly qualified, has outstanding credentials, and shares our vision for making Pleasant Valley an innovative and high performing district.”

“Dr. Lesisko, our new director of technology, has been a longtime employee of the district and has a keen understanding of our technological needs at this time. Lee comes to the position with a strong background in educational technology and has a well-developed plan for infusing technology into the classroom. He understands that technology is a tool to help teachers engage students and enhance learning.”

“Dr. Benda, our new director of curriculum and instruction, is a longtime educator with tremendous experience in the field of curriculum. She has worked in several outstanding school districts and is well regarded as an expert in aligning curriculum and facilitating change. She will be instrumental in helping our teachers develop exciting curriculum and research-based instruction.”

“Mr. Kise, our new director of special education, is a true advocate for students and teachers. He brings a positive energy, a focus on children, and a wealth of experience to the position. AJ has worked with special educators on the local, state, and national level, and will use that network to create a department that provides all students with the resources and support they need to be successful.”

Directors Susan Kresge and Laura Jecker commented on having sat in on several of the interviews for the new positions and echoed Piperato’s praise for the new hires.

“I was very impressed by what I heard during these interviews,” Kresge said. “We are very excited to welcome you all to the district.”

“We are really excited about what these candidates are bringing to the district,” Jecker added.

Five teaching positions were filled as well on Thursday night.

Christina Shoemaker was hired as a music teacher for both Pleasant Valley Elementary and Intermediate schools. Shoemaker has a degree in music education from Mansfield University.

Laura Mogerley and Amanda Ruch were both hired as fourth-grade teachers. Mogerley has a Bachelor of Science from the College of New Jersey. Ruch attended Kutztown University.

Caroline Paolella-Hochfeld was hired to teach third-grade. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from St. John’s University.

Kaitlin Kuchar was hired to teach health and physical education at Pleasant Valley Middle School. Kuchar holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from East Stroudsburg University.

The district still has some professional staff positions it needs to fill before the start of the school year. The board voted 7-2 to allow the administration to proceed with the hires before the next board meeting. The board agreed to review the hires for ratification at the next board meeting.

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