IU Recognizes Dedicated Board of Directors
January is School Director Recognition Month and the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 leadership team is grateful for the dedicated Board of Directors that supports its endeavors in serving children in Northampton, Monroe and Pike Counties. The CIU 20 board serves 86,000 students and they make sound decisions when it comes to programs, services, budgets, and other needs that affect students and staff in all 13 school districts.

Comprised of 13 members, the CIU 20 Board has the same responsibilities and powers as local school boards. Board members are nominated by their district, but are elected by all 117 school board members of the 13 districts. Colonial IU 20 looks forward to continuing to work with its Board of Directors to provide high quality services and programs for children and families.
CIU 20 Board of School Directors
Dr. Michael Baird
Northampton Area SD

Kenneth Brewer
Bangor Area SD

Dr. Kim Shively
Bethlehem Area SD

Pamela Lutfy
Delaware Valley SD

Brian Snyder
Easton Area SD

Kenneth Butz
Nazareth Area SD

Ethan Habrial
Pen Argyl Area SD
Dr. Damary Bonilla
East Stroudsburg Area SD

Michael Galler
Pleasant Valley SD

Christina Grape-Garvey
Pocono Mountain SD

Bryan Eichfeld
Saucon Valley Area SD

Merlyn Clarke
Stroudsburg Area SD

Linda Baskwell
Wilson Area SD
Staff Spotlight: Helen Capparell
Speech Pathologist Serving Colonial Academy
Helen Capparell has been a Speech Pathologist for a total of 30 years, with 20 of those years serving the students of Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 at Colonial Academy. In addition to her role in the classroom, she has volunteered at countless events to support the students, including: themed dances, proms, Special Olympics, and the recent vaccine clinics.

When asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, she says, "Seeing kids succeed! Even if it seems small to others, it may be huge in their world. Giving kids a voice, helping them grow, making them believe in themselves and achieve the best version of themselves."
In dealing with challenging behaviors or situations in the classroom, she tries to "Laugh everyday and keep a balance of compassion, sternness, and understanding...that these students learn in different ways. A level of trust, respect and caring all need to be mixed together to gain success."

Since the onset of the pandemic, Helen has tried to engage her students in new ways, "I try to stay positive and energetic...knowing that students are missing out on community instruction, I brought virtual pumpkin patches, corn mazes, grocery store shopping, amusement park rides, and scavenger hunts to the speech sessions."
Helen's piece of advice for a new employee starting at the IU is "Remember that all of these students are kids first. Take the time to laugh and smile with them."
Informational Session Held for Legislators About Local Education Concerns
In December 2021, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 invited the region's legislators to Colonial Academy for an event titled "Coffee & Conversations: The State of Public Education in our Local Region." The event focused on the areas of social emotional learning, career pathways and technology, and staff retention and recruitment.
Presenters included members of the CIU 20 cabinet team, Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School Executive Director, Adam Lazarchak, and Monroe Career & Technical Institute Director, Dennis Virga. Refreshments were provided by Chef Strebig and the students of Colonial Academy's Culinary Arts Program.

Thanks to the following legislators that attended the event: Representative Milou Mackenzie with Aide Anna Stackhouse, Representative Rosemary Browne, Representative Zachary Mako, Brian Fenstermaker from Senator Mario Scavello's office, Caleb Sisak from Senator Marty Flynn's office, Lisa Amy from Representative Ann Flood's office, and Olivia Christman from Representative Jack Rader's office.
Sensory Friendly COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics at Colonial Academy
On December 16, 2021 and January 6, 2022, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 hosted "Sensory Friendly" COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics at Colonial Academy for individuals ages 5 years and older. First, second, and booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine were provided by Mt. Bethel Pharmacy and Wind Gap Community Pharmacy and administered by CIU 20 nurses.

The clinics operated as a “Sensory Friendly” event. CIU 20 committed to creating a calming experience for children and adults who may have special needs or sensory challenges. Trained professionals from CIU 20 were on site to assist individuals with any difficulties. Activity and calming stations were created throughout the facility and sensory friendly items were distributed to attendees.

Thanks to the following community partners for supporting these events: Just Born, Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC.
IU Accepting Nominations for Excellence in Education Awards
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 is accepting nominations for the 2022 Excellence in Education (EIE) Awards until March 4, 2022. This annual recognition for outstanding education programs throughout the public schools across the region is presented by CIU 20 and its member districts. Nominations may be submitted by any resident, school student, school employee, or school entity on behalf of the public schools in Monroe, Northampton, or Pike County. Learn more at this link.

The 2022 CIU 20 Excellence in Education Awards Ceremony will be celebrated this year on May 12, 2022 at a location to be determined. The ceremony will also feature students who achieved the distinction of National Merit Scholars. A student achieves this honor by scoring in the top 3.3% on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
The Colonial IU 20 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee seeks to foster a sense of belonging for all students, families, and staff. Below is what is being celebrated this month.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
CIU 20 Occupational Therapist, Chris Hindson, organized a Martin Luther King Jr. Day inspired activity with the students of Andrew Devins at Pocono Mountain West Junior High School.
National Day of Racial Healing
CIU 20 joined the PA Office of Advocacy in celebrating the National Day of Racial Healing, which was created by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as an opportunity to bring people together to inspire collective action from the effects of racism to create a more just and unbiased world. Resources were provided to help inspire CIU 20 staff and students to stand up for racial equity and speak out against racism.
Follow Us to Learn More
Follow us on our social media channels to learn more about the resiliency of #AmazingIU20Kids and creative approaches to learning that our #AmazingIU20Staff have implemented!
At Colonial IU 20, we believe in RELATIONSHIPS that support student growth, RESPONSIVENESS to stakeholders crucial needs, RESULTS demonstrated through effective services and programs, and INNOVATION to improve student outcomes.
Colonial IU 20 provides educational, administrative, and management services to 13 school districts and 3 career and technical centers in Northampton, Monroe, and Pike Counties. As one of the community’s largest employers and contributors, the 1,400 full and part-time staff at CIU 20 provides direct and indirect services to 79,000 public school children; 9,000 non-public school children; and 7,000 professional staff in our service region of 1,200 square miles.