Author: Katie Kohler

Officials sang praises of new grant funds for music programs

hen it comes to musical performances, audiences often want the best seat in the house, which is usually front and center. To determine the importance of music to a school district, Tina Vafiadis is in the prime location. Vafiadis, music teacher and band director of Ridley High School, stands front and center, guiding students through… This content is for Print + Digital and Digital members only.Log In...

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District hosts back-to-school rally

The beginning of the school year means freshly sharpened pencils, crisp white pages of a notebook, and new beginnings. For the Chester Upland School District (CUSD), the first school bell of the 2017-2018 school year offers another chance to right the long-time underperforming ship under new leadership. After serving in the interim role, Dr. Juan Baughn was named superintendent in July. “I expect to have a focus on student learning,” Baughn told The Spirit in a July interview. “We must make sure that our students are college and career ready, but the difference for me is that I want them...

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Delco is prime for human trafficking, group says

Human trafficking isn’t confined to movie plots in which Liam Neeson travels to foreign locales to reclaim his taken daughter. According to Habibah Smith and Joy Medori, co-chairs of Delaware County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition (DCAT), Delaware County is a prime location with a vulnerable population. Delco’s location near major roadways, proximity to Philadelphia International Airport, and any number of hotels/motels makes it an attractive location for traffickers. A large middle and lower middle class population is also fertile ground for trafficking, especially those from dual-working and single parent households. “The suburbs are where the money is. Suburban men are...

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Turnout high for annual fair to help families in Chester

On an August day more fitting for the pool or beach, a record crowd of parents and children attended the 12th annual Chester Community Fair & Book Bag Giveaway with “Back to School” on their minds. Macedonia Seventh-Day Adventist Church Elder Tony Heath marveled at the size of the crowd still pouring into the church grounds on Yarnall St. in Chester during late Sunday afternoon. “We know we are well over a thousand,” Heath said about the turnout. “We want to make a difference and make change in the City of Chester. We want to aid people who are in...

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Pioneering prison leader remains guided by ‘humanity’

Hi! How are you today?” the downright cheery uniformed guard asked at the front desk of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Chester. Behind her, a man mopping the floors with the diligence of an Italian grandmother smiles and nods to the group walking by. It’s another day at the “city within a city” at SCI Chester. If SCI Chester is a city within a city, that would make Superintendent Marirosa Lamas the mayor. She isn’t keen on the comparison, as she tends to deflect praise to a staff she repeatedly refers to as “phenomenal.” No one runs a city by...

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