Ambridge Area School Board of Directors approved the transfer of Mr. David Turk to the newly-created 10-month position of Middle School Assistant Principal at the July 17 meeting. Mr. Turk previously served as a health and physical education teacher at Ambridge Area High School since 2011. He will begin his duties immediately at an annual salary of $70,000.
Mr. Turk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Slippery Rock University (Pa.) and earned his Pennsylvania Teaching Certification in Health and Physical Education. He also holds a Master of Education degree in School Administration (Principal K-12) from California University (Pa.).
He began his professional career in the Pittsburgh Public Schools in January 2010, where he served as a substitute teacher at Perry High School. He later became a building substitute with Pittsburgh Public Schools, serving in a variety of roles including Assistant to the Administration and Assistant Technology Technician. He was hired by Ambridge Area School District to work as a health and physical education teacher, a position he held from 2011 to present.
Mr. Turk said he is looking forward to serving in his new role at the Middle School, and thanked the School Board for providing him with the opportunity. “I appreciate the opportunity that I’ve been given, and I look forward to working with all of the Middle School staff and most important of all, I look forward to working with the students,” he said.
Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter said Mr. Turk will be an incredible asset to the Middle School. “His focus is on a mentorship program for the Middle School students so that our students have guidance and mentorship from the minute they enter the school until the time they leave, and so parents have a dedicated liaison. I’m very excited to have him working with us.”
On November 17th, Ambridge Junior High welcomed Special Agent Jeff James from the United States Secret Service ,as a guest speaker for the 8th grade history classes. As a member of the Secret Service for the past 22 years , Agent James has many roles, which include presidential and dignitary protection and security , Presidential threat investigations and counterfeit money investigations. During his presentation , Agent James spoke about the history and duties of the Secret Service. In addition, students learned and some participated in demonstrating the formations and procedure used to protect the president in large crowds. Everyone enjoyed listening to Agent James’s personal stories and having their questions answered.
This morning, November 6, 2017, students at the Ambridge Area Junior High School participated in a safety precaution. As students arrived from their buses, our administrators inspected bookbags to ensure the safety of our school.
As a result of the weekend events a thorough search of book bags was conducted. No illegal items were found. A similar search will be conducted on Tuesday as well. As always, safety of our students is a number one concern.
Students in Ms. Wandel's Honors English 7 class recently finished reading Tangerine, a young adult fiction novel written by Edward Bloor. At the conclusion of the unit, students had the option to create either an artistic or a written project. Nearly all students not only selected the artistic option, but also chose the same artistic project: a shadow box depicting a scene from the novel. This year the projects were phenomenal! Students dedicated a lot of time and effort into creating beautiful and skillful works of art!
The 8th grade honors students took part in a free Carnegie Science Center Fab Lab workshop where they were challenged to make a design of a vehicle on the computer, send it to be cut out on the Laser Cutter, then drive a course using IPADs.
Wetlands Field Trip to the Beaver County Conservation District. The 7th & 8th grade students studied Benthic Organisms and learned about the history of the Wetlands during a Nature Walk.
8th grade students used the paper towel lab to reinforce the steps of the scientific method.
This first week at Ambridge Junior High has been off to an exciting and promising start! We have several initiatives this year that will enhance the climate of the school and strengthen relationships among our staff and student body. Our theme this year at the Junior High is GRIT. GRIT stands for Gratitude, Respect, Integrity and Teamwork. Our staff and students have identified behaviors that demonstrate these four pillars of character. We are focusing on showing GRIT in the hallways and cafeteria this year. It has been wonderful hearing students talking about and showing enthusiasm for GRIT amongst themselves. Their introduction to GRIT kicked off with grade level assemblies where they got their first taste at brainstorming about GRIT – what the words mean and how it might look in the school. They learned that through the demonstration of GRIT, they can earn spots on the Principal’s 100 Club and that they’ll be recognized for their positive behaviors and given the chance to win mystery motivators.
This School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Program is an extension of the program they participated in at the elementary schools. In addition to our focus on increasing positive behavior and a sense of community in our school, we introduced a new academic initiative, iStation. This program will help our staff identify academic strengths and weaknesses of each student and customize online instruction to their individual needs. Students will work within this program consistently throughout the year. The program is highly engaging and interactive and we predict the students will enjoy their time working in it. Quarterly assessments will allow our staff to appropriately program for our students during the Intervention/Enrichment period. Junior High is a special time for our children. They are starting to increase their independence and sense of identity while still needing structure and our support. We believe that our School-wide Positive Behavior Support Program, that includes our theme of GRIT, will help our students make the connection between independence and responsibility. Working together, respecting differences, taking responsibility for our actions and words, and showing appreciation for our school, teachers and community, will improve the daily climate at the Junior High and continue to show that this is a great place to be!
National Junior Honor Society Members
Current 8th Graders
Newly inducted 7th Graders