THE ISSUE: It’s Tuesday, which is not generally the day we take a few moments to highlight the good news in Lancaster County. But Monday was Labor Day. And we didn’t want to miss our weekly chance to highlight good news. Some of these items are welcome developments on the economic front or for neighborhoods across the county. Others are local stories of achievement, perseverance, compassion and creativity that represent welcome points of light as the pandemic continues its sorrowful twists and turns. All of this news deserves a brighter spotlight.
We enjoyed Kellen Stepler’s feature story in the Aug. 29 Sunday LNP | LancasterOnline about Columbia’s Kathy Moser and her 40-year career of coaching, teaching and counseling in the Red Lion Area School District in York County. The article detailed how Moser’s career focus on helping students has spread within her family and to other York County school districts.
“Her daughter Jill Nobile, 41, of Columbia, is a school counselor at Dallastown High School. Her other daughter Jamie Wolf, 36, of Columbia, will be an elementary school counselor in the Northeastern (York) School District this fall,” Stepler wrote.
“It warms my heart to know that two of my girls are following in my footsteps and carrying on our legacy,” Moser said.
(Another of her daughters, meanwhile, is an emergency room nurse in Berks. While that’s a very different career path, it’s in another of the most important professions we have, especially in these challenging pandemic times.)
Moser entered her profession in the 1970s, at a time when the state of K-12 public education was quite different than today. While there is ongoing concern in 2021 about the lack of teachers, substitute teachers and support personnel such as bus drivers, full-time jobs in public education were harder to come by in the late 1970s.
She was ultimately able to get her foot in the door at Red Lion as a physical education teacher and girls volleyball coach. Eventually, she transitioned into helping students as a guidance counselor for more than two decades. In that role, we imagine she had to help navigate students through some extremely difficult moments in that school district.
“I had some really good teachers when I was in high school, and in the counseling role, you can give more to the student than you can just in the classroom,” she told Stepler. “It warms your heart to know that you touched a kid’s life.”
Meanwhile, daughter Nobile’s teaching career began as a business education instructor — a vitally important subject for youth — before she completed her school counseling certification at Lancaster Bible College and joined Dallastown High School’s counseling office.
In difficult moments, Nobile can lean on her mother for some needed support; it’s another way Moser has been able to keep giving after her 2017 retirement.
“If you have a long, frustrating day, to be able to come home and talk to my mom on the way home or going to school like, ‘I’m going to do this on a topic’ — it’s somebody else to relate to and understand what it’s like,” Nobile said.
Daughter Wolf, the fledgling counselor, conveyed that same sentiment.
“Seeing my mom as a role model, she absolutely loved her job, and not many people can say that they truly love what they do,” she said.
The intertwined stories of these three women reinforce how grateful we are for the parents, teachers and counselors who educate us, inspire us and help us to navigate the journey through childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. And beyond that, really.
In other good things:
— The North Museum of Nature and Science and the Lancaster County Agriculture Council are selling agriculture STEM boxes and activity packs for students in conjunction with Lancaster County’s Ag Week, which starts Thursday.
The boxes are filled with educational experiments and games to help kids learn about STEM disciplines and their relevance to the agriculture and food industries. Activities include garden journaling, growing seeds in soil and water, testing soil pH and planting corn.
Both the boxes, which are $30, and smaller activity packs, which are $5, are available for sale online at northmuseum.org or in person at the North Museum, 400 College Ave., Lancaster.
In another bit of school-related news that deserves applause, employees at the Henry Schein Inc. distribution center in Denver packed more than 350 backpacks with school supplies for underserved kids. The supplies were delivered to Children’s Home of Reading Youth and Family Services. Henry Schein Inc. has partnered with the children’s home since 2008.
— Finally, 10 Lancaster County artists have been named finalists in the 54th annual Art of the State exhibit in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission announced recently.
The local list of finalists, as reported on LNP | LancasterOnline on Sept. 1, includes:
Becky McDonah of Millersville, for a metal sculpture titled “Particulate Protection: A Reliquary for the N95 Mask”; Becky Blosser of Lancaster, a printmaker, for her work “Terra Firma”; Timothy Colyer of Lancaster, for the painting “Four Jars of Summer”; Richard R. Kent of Lancaster, for his photograph “Brook Lawn Farm Orchard, 4X (from Lessons in Recursion)”; Malcolm Corley of Lancaster, for the painting “Three Faces of Malcolm”; Amy Edwards of Lancaster, for a necklace titled “Talisman for the Schuylkill Expressway”; Ann DeLaurentis of Lancaster, for the painting “Gold & Violet Pipe Dream”; Kelly Kautz of Lancaster for her painting “Mary’s Office”; Barry Steely of Denver, for his painting “We Are Your Neighbors”; and photographer Shelby Wormley of Lancaster, for a photo titled “I AM Somebody.”
The exhibit at the State Museum in Harrisburg will be open to the public from Sept. 28 through Jan. 2, 2022.
Congratulations to all of the local artists who have kept imagining and creating throughout the pandemic and had their work honored.