At the Sept. 16, 2019, meeting of the Lower Merion Board of School Directors, the Board approved a new five-year contract for Superintendent Robert Copeland. Below is the statement of Dr. Melissa R. Gilbert, Board President:
On behalf of the Lower Merion Board of School Directors, I am very pleased to announce that Superintendent Robert Copeland and the Board have agreed to a new contract that will extend his service to our District for another five years.
Since coming on board to lead our District in 2015, Supt. Copeland has been the guiding force in continuing our pursuit of excellence in education for every child in Lower Merion and Narberth. His unique combination of foresight and experience is enabling our District to meet the challenges posed by increasing enrollment, while simultaneously improving upon the already-excellent education our District provides.
Supt. Copeland has been instrumental in transitioning our strategic plan, "All Forward," from aspiration to reality. His willingness to disrupt the status quo – even when that status quo is very good – in pursuit of excellence, has led to data-driven changes in the way we measure student success, encourage student voice, provide professional development and ensure that Equity is a guiding principle of every decision our District makes. Under his leadership, our District is building and strengthening community partnerships and inspiring our staff's creativity to elevate their connections to students in new ways.
Supt. Copeland strives to ensure that all students meet their potential through actionable steps and measurable outcomes. He created the Achievement Imperative Task Force, which has led to the implementation of restorative practices in our schools, created opportunities for jump starts and on ramps and increased parent engagement. He has overseen evaluations of our learning support and gifted education programs and implemented changes to ensure they are serving the best interests of their students. He looks at and beyond standardized testing to ensure that we are meeting the holistic needs of our students.
Supt. Copeland's thorough understanding of the intricacies of school budgeting has enabled him to oversee bond refinancing that netted about $800,000 for the District. The District was able to acquire the land necessary for the new middle school without taking on additional debt. And he continues to work through every detail of the middle school planning process with the architectural team to maximize the building's ability to support the students, staff and curriculum while minimizing the impact on the taxpayers of the Township and Borough.
His expertise in the complex processes involved in budgeting for and planning a new school – and considering everything from land acquisition and development, to facilities, staffing, student transition and curriculum – has our District poised to build a 21st century middle school for grades 5-8 that will be a model many others will likely emulate.
Our Board, our residents and our students are fortunate to have Supt. Copeland's considerable talents, vision and energy at our disposal as we embark on the upcoming, exciting phase of our District's future.