by Joan Andrews
South Hills Public Relations Specialist
STATE COLLEGE — South Hills School of Business & Technology recently partnered with the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators (PAPSA) to hold a special summit at the State College main campus for career school administrators and other top ranking business leaders from across the state.
The purpose of the summit was to bring together key officials from the career and technical education (CTE) sector to discuss ways to best promote the increasing value and positive impact that career schools and colleges are having upon the development of our state and nation’s workforce. It is the goal of the organization to better inform the general public and policy-makers of the fact that thousands of lives are being improved every day by career colleges and specialized technical schools in Pennsylvania.
Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson attended the summit and told the group, “Career and technology educators – this is your time.” As a member of the US House Education & Workforce Committee, Thompson stated that a qualified and trained workforce is needed for the betterment of our nation’s economy and he strongly feels that robust funding should be allocated for career & technical training.
Thompson congratulated the numerous schools at the conference who have proven to be successful in meeting their educational goals and those of their students. He also took time to honor Maralyn Mazza, co-founder of South Hills, and the school’s president, Paul Mazza III, for the 45 years of dedicated service given to their successful graduates and current students.
Also in attendance was Gene Barr, President of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce. “We need to focus more on career oriented training,” Barr said, “to create the next generation of workers the businesses of Pennsylvania need.”
Barr also stressed the importance of getting information dispersed to high schools and parents concerning the types of jobs that are actually available in Pennsylvania, so students can properly pursue the necessary training and education required to successfully attain the well-paid careers currently open to them.
Through a variety of marketing and mixed media applications, PAPSA members are positioned to send the positive message to the public that specialized technology schools and colleges provide opportunities to effectively jump-start future careers. Through college-to-career curricula, they are geared to provide the critical learning and hands-on skills needed in today’s high priority occupations.
In photo: Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson, second from right, speaks to staff and faculty of South Hills School of Business & Technology (left to right) Susan Vidmar, Stephanie Wilson, Tricia Turner, David Schaitkin, and Paul Wagner.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.