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July 28, 2014, 12:28 pm

New principal brings school ‘back to life’

Pink and yellow paper cutouts of fish filled his bulletin board. Pink fish indicate school improvements and yellow fish represent positive aspects. With this system, first-year Principal Christopher Wiler is implementing new ways to improve F. Amedee Bregy Elementary School’s environment.  

Frequently using the phrase, “I appreciate you,” Wiler has found ways to increase the morale of students and staff.

“Bregy School is a place where the key to increased academic achievement begins with happy learners and staff members. When all stakeholders feel appreciated and safe, challenging learning experiences are the focus,” Wilder said.

Fifth-year school counselor Lisa Bronca said she has seen a difference in the lives of students and staff because of Wiler’s efforts.

“This is his first year here and he has made such a difference in a matter of a few months. He goes above and beyond. He’s stern, but kind. He has a lot of incentives for the kids. He’s helped boost up the staff’s self-esteem as well as the students’,” Bronca said.

During this academic year, an incentive for students was a trip to the Blue Cross River Rink at Penn’s Landing for demonstrating Bregy Pride (school pride).

“I like working with Principal Wiler. He’s great. He’s always open to new ideas, new ways of doing things. He’s bringing a lot of new vibes to this school. He’s very energetic, which pumps the kids up and pumps the adults up. It makes you feel good. He’s just been sunshine to the school,” Teacher leader Dr. Karen Chamberlain said.

Eighth-grade student council members Jamie Storms, president, Jayson Dougherty, vice president, Isabella Beate, treasure and Kiera King, secretary share their perspectives of Wiler.

“He’s definitely a hands-on principal. He doesn’t just try having teachers instruct you. If he gives you responsibility, he’ll come and help you. He’s a big help and he cares for the students,” Dougherty said.

Dougherty and King accredited Wiler with keeping Bregy traditions, but reviving its climate.

“He’s completely fixing this school up. This school was built in 1923, so it’s been around for a long time, so he’s just trying to bring it back to life,” Dougherty said.

“He knows where the students are coming from because he’s been a teacher for so long. He tries to make the kids have a better environment to learn,” King said.

According to Storms, Wiler gives instruction to students needing assistance, especially when it comes to new technologies.

“He tries to get to know the kids. When we got our new calculators, for the eighth grade, he came up and showed us how to use them,” Storms said.

On Wednesdays at 2:15 in the afternoon, check out Wiler teaching fifth-graders in the auditorium some PSSA testing strategies. He also spends time helping students with their journal writing to increase writing performance levels.