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Former district teacher appointed assistant superintendent

August 23, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Catherine Dusman, the daughter of educators and a product of the Chambersburg Area School District, was named Monday night as the district's new assistant superintendent for elementary services.

"I'll be responsible for the ongoing operations of all the elementary schools and ... integrating students' needs with programs for a successful outcome," Dusman said shortly after being approved unanimously by the board for a four-year term. The district has 17 elementary schools and 3,835 elementary students enrolled for the school year that begins next week, including her daughter, Rachel, who is beginning kindergarten, she said.

Dusman, 41, has been the district's director of human resources since December 2004. Her new position will pay $88,000 this year, she said.

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A 1982 graduate of Chambersburg Area Senior High School, Dusman graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1986 with a degree in elementary education. She taught second grade at Duffield Elementary before taking a job as a computer technology trainer with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington, D.C., for five years.

"I really missed teaching and I knew that's what I really wanted to do," Dusman said of her decision to return to Chambersburg, where she became a seventh-grade teacher at Chambersburg Area Middle School. She later became the school's assistant principal and then principal of Fairfield (Pa.) High School for 21/2 years before returning to Chambersburg.

Dusman said her family moved here from Arizona in 1965 when her father took a position as a math professor at Wilson College. Her mother taught at Falling Spring Elementary School and then the middle school, she said.

"Growing up in an educational family brought me to this," she said.

She replaces James Taylor, who retired July 1 after 36 years with the district. Taylor began his career as a sixth-grade teacher at Lurgan Elementary in 1969 and was the assistant superintendent for elementary services since 1989.

Dusman takes over the job as the district is beginning to experience substantial growth in the student population, which grew 3 percent last year. The district also plans to build new elementary schools and expand others, a process that will lead to some older, smaller schools being closed.

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