• District welcomes back motivational speaker Sam Glenn for opening day events -- this time, virtually

    sam glenn 2020 Attitudes are infectious. That was a message artist, author and motivational speaker Sam Glenn had for Bellefonte Area School District employees during the annual opening day event. Aug. 17 marked the first official day back to school for all employees, and was followed by a week of more professional learning and training, extra time for teachers to prepare classrooms for the school year and finalize curriculum, and more.

    Knowing that things can change in an instant, interim Superintendent Tammie Burnaford first addressed faculty and staff via Google Meet with a message of "attitude is gratitude."

    "It's going to be different, but it's going to be OK," she said, while using quotes from the author known as Dr. Seuss as motivation and a little lightheartedness.

    The past two years started with opening day events in partnership with Bald Eagle Area School District and Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology. Due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, BASD held its own activities and events in-house, which included a virtual meeting with Glenn, who also helped the district ring in the new school year last year. Learn more about opening day events from the past two years: Opening day, 2019 and Opening day, 2018

    Glenn encouraged faculty and staff to work on positivity, be aware of the attitude each employee demonstrates in front of others and be cognizant to the things within control. This, he said, will allow individuals to "demonstrate an attitude others will replicate." And for those working directly with students, he encouraged what he called the "Three Es" -- example, encouragement and empathy.

    The district also welcomed Sam Richards as a guest speaker during the second part of opening day activities. Richards is a teaching professor of sociology at Penn State who talked about inclusiveness, diversity and equity with district employees. According to the Penn State College of Liberal Arts website, Richards is “the instructor of the largest race, gender and cultural relations course in the United States.” With more than 760 students each semester and a 25-year legacy, the course was the subject of an Emmy Award-winning television broadcast called, “You can’t say that.” The course is streamed live every Tuesday and Thursday, here: Course

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD