CIU 20 Staff Members Featured on "Beyond the Classroom" PBS Series
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Staff members Courtney Fenner (Training and Consulting Staff) and Kory Kutzler (Supervisor of Partial Hospitalization Program), were chosen to be featured on PBS39's "Beyond the Classroom." The program is a weekly TV and web show for parents, guardians, and caregivers in the region that provides a platform for questions to be answered and concerns to be addressed by local experts. Courtney and Kory discussed the role that CIU 20 plays in supporting our community and how their individual jobs impact schools, students, and families.
Courtney Fenner (right) was featured on the September 29, 2021 episode that focused on Social and Emotional Learning.
Kory Kutzler (second from right) will be featured on the November 3, 2021 episode that focuses on Trauma.
Colonial Academy Commemorates 9/11 Anniversary
Students from Colonial Academy’s Therapeutic Emotional Support program commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a “Tunnel to Towers” run last month.
Under the supervision of School Resource Officer, Mr. Zwally and Principal, Dr Krotowski, students donned full firefighter equipment and traveled the Academy's South 1 hallway, climbed two flights of stairs, and then made their way back to their starting point. Their trip in full firefighter gear gave them a first hand experience of the 60+ pound weight the firefighters carried while traversing the steps of the World Trade Center. Students also learned more about 9/11 in their history classes and created a mural as part of their art curriculum.
The Tunnel to Towers Foundation was created in the aftermath of 9/11 by Frank Siller who lost his brother, a NY firefighter, in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Every September, thousands of participants gather and run from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Freedom Tower, retracing the route taken by Sillers brother to remember the 343 FDNY firefighters, 71 law enforcement officers, and thousands of civilians who lost their lives on 9/11.
Regional Training Held to Increase Pool of Substitute Teachers
On October 20, 2021, Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 conducted a virtual training for individuals interested in working as substitute teachers in the 13 school districts and 3 career and technical schools in the region. The training was open to professionals who have a four-year degree and have obtained the necessary clearances. Upon completion of the training and with proper documentation, CIU 20 will issue emergency permits to these individuals so they can begin subbing in the schools. Colonial IU 20 is proud of the continued collaboration with our school districts and area career and technical schools as we address the shortage of substitute teachers.
Wellness Fair & Flu Shot Clinic
Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 held a Wellness Fair and Flu Shot Clinic for its staff members and their families on October 20, 2021 at Colonial Academy. The event focused on improving the mental, physical, and financial health of those in attendance. Wellness partners that were featured included: Preferred EAP, American Fidelity, Equitable, KSP Fitness, Capital Blue, United Concordia Dental and Star Community Health. Representatives from St. Luke's Health Network administered flu shots.
The event was coordinated by members of the the Colonial IU 20 Wellness Program, whose mission is to invest in the health and wellness of our valued employees by fostering interest and encouraging employees to initiate or expand healthier lifestyles, provide diverse wellness programs to meet a wide range of personal health needs, recognize employees for participating in healthier lifestyles activities, decrease absenteeism due to illness and stress, and develop a positive culture that is focused on celebrating and improving the quality of life for all employees.
Staff Spotlight
The Team from the Mountain Center Head Start Collaboration
This month's staff spotlight highlights the entire team that has impacted the successful collaboration between the CIU 20 Early Intervention program and two Head Start classrooms operated by Pocono Services for Families and Children at the Mountain Center.

Through the collaboration that began in 2019, twelve students with disabilities that would have been placed in a special education classroom, have joined an early childhood classroom with their peers. Through coaching and collaboration, meaningful and functional outcomes were embedded within familiar learning opportunities that exist in the child’s routines.

Supervisor of Early Intervention, Becky Eller, noted that "Having typical children as models and an amazing collaborative/coaching approach to teaching and therapy resulted in truly huge growth in all twelve students, even with the pandemic. A large part of what made this work was our amazing CIU 20 team members."
Jessica Jackson, Teacher
Jessica has been with CIU 20 as a Special Education Classroom Teacher for 15 years, serving as an Itinerant Teacher for 10 years prior to that. She says the most rewarding part of her job is to "help students find ways to overcome their challenges and find their strengths." Her advice to a new CIU 20 staff member would be, "Although this job has its daily challenges, just know that what we do has a life-long impact on these children. Smile, have fun, and treat each day as a new opportunity."
Kristen Lando, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
Kristen has been with CIU 20 as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant for 5 years. When asked how she stays positive with her students during the pandemic, she says, "I think we have all adapted to this "new norm" and the kids have all done amazing dealing with the changes as they have come. And we always try to keep things fun to keep all of our minds busy."
Katie McDonald, Speech & Language Therapist
Katie has been with CIU 20 as a Speech & Language Therapist for 9 years. She sees the Mountain Center Collaboration as a huge success, "I think that the collaboration room has helped our students in so many areas of development. It allows for them to be around their typically developing peers and learn not just from us teachers, but from their peers in a natural setting. Seeing the progress our students make from the beginning of the school year to the end speaks volumes to the success of the collaboration classroom."
Donna Rickerson, Associate Teacher
Donna has been with CIU 20 as an Associate Teacher for 2 years. She says the most rewarding part of her job is "seeing my kids' faces light up when they
learn something new. Also, when they are remembering something that was taught to them, the light in their eyes is so bright." When asked about adapting during the pandemic, she notes that "It helps me to stay positive when I see my kids smiling and caring faces. They are always concerned about me. With such a loving bunch of kiddos you can't help but be positive."
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.