Secretary Ortega visits Bellefonte Area School District

Bellefonte Area School District  |  Posted on

On November 3, state education Secretary Noe Ortega stopped by Bellefonte Area School District to work with faculty and staff. During his time, he visited Lauren Fisher’s second-grade class at Bellefonte Elementary School, while working with elementary business and technology teacher Julie Henry.

Henry took the students – and Ortega – through a lesson that allowed the participants to log onto their Chromebooks where they made selfie turkeys using pictures of their faces on cartoon turkey bodies. Students then were asked to put their writing skills to use by explaining what they would do on Thanksgiving if they were turkeys.

Students humorously shared their thoughts about trying to escape from being Thanksgiving dinner, while Ortega shared that he’d spend time with his turkey friends and family. The activity, which students called “fun” and “silly,” showcased the creative virtual learning students in the district often participate in while in class or through remote education. It’s something that also helped prepare students – and teachers – for virtual learning during the pandemic.

Ortega then toured the district’s BeLA center at its location in downtown Bellefonte, which houses the Bellefonte eLearning Academy that offers district students the option to learn through online means at the flexibility of their schedules, while also having district teachers on hand to help when needed.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to see the interaction we have here at Bellefonte (Area) School District between the teachers, the leaders, the students and I would imagine the parents,” Ortega said. “I think that’s just commendable, and I think at times where we have things like a pandemic, it’s best when the community gets to come together and get behind that for the wellbeing of the young learners.”

He also spent time with several administrators, and faculty and staff members in an open-dialogue conversation about the climate of education.