CUSD Holds Convocation Ceremony for Personnel, District Nearly Fully Staffed

Posted by Chester Upland School District on 8/24/2022

CHESTER, PA- August 24, 2022 - The Chester Upland School District (CUSD) on Tuesday held a convocation ceremony for teachers and staff to welcome all personnel back to work ahead of the official start of the 2022-23 school year. 


Taking place inside Chester High School’s auditorium, more than 420 new and returning staff members filled the orange stadium-style seats usually occupied by students.CUSD staff gather in the auditorium watching a speaker during convocation


Of the hundreds of people in attendance, the district is welcoming the addition of 52 new teachers and staff members. The new hires bring CUSD staffing levels to 95 percent--the highest it’s been in nearly 20 years. 


Speaking directly to the crowd during the ceremony, Superintendent Dr. Craig Parkinson noted the few remaining vacancies.  


“While districts throughout the country are struggling with staffing shortages, I am proud to share that we are close to being 100 percent staffed, with only five or six vacancies left,” said Dr. Parkinson.  “This is a huge accomplishment and a testament to every person’s commitment here. You are here because you care about the students.”


Parkinson, who also led the entire ceremony, unveiled the theme for this upcoming school year: For The Betterment of Our Children.


“Every year we are working on behalf of the children,” said Parkinson. “But this year we will be intentional in everything that we do in order to serve and support the students.”


In order to serve and support the students, the district highlighted five areas of focus for the year:

  • Safe Schools
  • Academics
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Family, Parent, and Community Engagement
  • Partnerships


The Chester Upland School District will mark the first day of school with a bell ringing ceremony at 7:15 a.m., on Monday, August 29 at Chester High School.


Additional Information:

The convocation ceremony included a presentation by Dr. Parkinson, cabinet member introductions, a personal message from school board President Joan Neal, student performances, a 30-minute mindfulness training, and labor union discussion and updates.