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Governor Wolf visits school

Principal Lori Mangan accompanies Governor Wolf as he visits with the chorus class.  Photo by Michael Baker
Principal Lori Mangan accompanies Governor Wolf as he visits with the chorus class. Photo by Michael Baker

On Feb. 10, 2016 Governor Tom Wolf visited as part of his “Schools that Teach” tour.  Governor Wolf arrived at 3:15 p.m. and toured the first floor of the school before going to the library for remarks and questions.

Governor Tom Wolf talks to eighth grade girls’ basketball coach McKenzie Wilt about the school district. Governor Wolf went to both girls’ and boys’ basket ball games while visiting. Photo by Michael Baker

“In my 29 years of teaching, the governor has seen my band twice.  I stressed to the students that this was a once in a lifetime experience,” band director and music teacher Kent Martin said.

Governor Wolf first visited the boys’ basketball game against Huntingdon and then the eighth grade girls’ basketball game against local rival Bishop Guilfoyle. Civics teacher and eighth grade girls’ basketball Coach Mackenzie Wilt spoke with the governor.

“Tom Wolf is an awesome governor; he cares a lot about schools.  It was a great opportunity to stand here and talk to him about his concerns for education, and how he wants to make schools more successful and make it better for students and teachers.  It was a dream come true to meet the governor,” Wilt said.

Technology Student Association (TSA) students interacted with Governor Wolf. Governor Wolf spoke with many of the students as they worked on their projects.

“It is wonderful that the TSA students get to have a taste local government, ” ninth grade student Richard Reed said.

His final stop before meeting with the press was the music program.  County band and chorus students were practicing for upcoming performances.

“I thought it was very neat that our state governor came in and watched us play,” ninth grader Cameron Faust said.  “There was a lot of pressure because we obviously wanted to play well for him.”

His press conference focused on state budget issues and the importance of getting the budget passed.

“And the place we really need to invest in is education. We’ve got to get that right. If we don’t get that right at the state level  we are forcing one or two things at a local level.  It has to be funded at the local level, which means local taxes will go up or at the same time, services will be cut, teachers will be laid off, educators will lose their job or not be hired, class sizes will go up and we aren’t going to be able to do the things we need to do here in Altoona, in York, Pennsylvania, in Erie, Tioga County to make sure all of us have the future to deserve,”  Governor Wolf said

When asked what his message is to the common, frustrated Pennsylvania citizen,  Governor Wolf explained his frustrations as well.

“I think right now we all need to be frustrated because right now we need a budget that is balanced, not a phony budget, not a made up budget. You still teach 2+2=4 right?  It’s still 2+2=4 and basic budget math is 2+2=4 and that’s all I’m saying. We need a budget that actually balances,”  Governor Wolf said.

The governor has made education a priority for his administration.

“I depend on the educators here in Altoona making sure that the children here get a good education,” Governor Wolf said.  

Governor Wolf will return to the Altoona School District to visit Pleasant Valley Elementary School on March 9.


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