To find a superintendent, the Forest Area School District looked to the Warren County School District.
At a recent meeting, the Forest district board of directors voted 9-0 to appoint Amanda Hetrick as superintendent. She currently serves as the WCSD Director of Secondary Education.
Warren County provided an opportunity and ability to see how things work in small schools, Hetrick said, and a large district. She called it a tremendous experience for her.
"This whole community is very concerned with the success of students," Hetrick said. "I'm proud to be part of that tradition."
That concern encompasses both academics and activities. During her tenure, Hetrick said they've worked to keep curriculum on the cutting edge and transition to the Keystone Exams.
With the Warren County Career Center, Hetrick said she got to work with technology education. Businesses have been open to working with teachers and sharing equipment.
"There's nothing I could point to that was a bad experience," Hetrick said.
Administrators have proven to be a significant group that is enthusiastic, committed and devoted to learning more and doing their best to offer students a better overall educational experience. Over the past two years, Hetrick said teachers have lived through some of the most difficult changes in the learning environment.
A lot of support staff have worked far outside their job descriptions. They meet and greet students, Hetrick said, and have been an asset.
"It's bittersweet," Hetrick said. "Anytime you make a change, it's an exciting opportunity."
In her new role, Hetrick said she will take what she has learned. Although the change will be positive, she said she will find it hard to leave the people in the district.
While with WCSD, Hetrick has done the things needed to be prepared for a superintendent job. Hetrick said she feels nervous but also confident that she'll be able to mentor staff and teachers.
Now her curriculum experience will benefit students in Forest County. Throughout a career, Hetrick said, a person always has to work towards being ready for what comes next.
"When I came here, the board set a goal that I get my superintendent's letter of eligibility," Hetrick said. "They wanted directors to do that."
To do so, it required an understanding of issues including finance, human resources and buildings and grounds. For any organization, Hetrick said change is good.
When a person stays in a position too long, there is no fresh perspective coming in. Instead, Hetrick said there should always be a goal and something to set sights on next.
"You keep growing in perspective," Hetrick said. "Back when I was a building principal, I knew I wanted to work in the central office."
After five years, Hetrick said she is ready to move on from that position. Her work begins on Nov. 5 in Forest County.
According to Hetrick, she looks forward to working with the people in Forest County. As she works with them and the children of the county, she said she hopes they find her approachable.