A new addition to the FCPS family

Published 9:29 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

by Kenya Smith/Intern

Teri Zurfluh will be joining Franklin City Public Schools as she becomes Parent and Community Engagement Specialist. Zurfluh heard about the position from a friend who believed that she was perfect for the job.

“Once I saw the position description, I met with Superintendent Sterling to determine her vision for the position,” Zurfluh said, “That discussion just made me more excited about the possibilities and the impact this position could have on the future of a school system that I really love.”

Superintendent Tamara Sterling said, “The vision for the Parent and Community Engagement Specialist position is to have as many parents and community members in our schools to support our students to move forward to the next level of success. We believe in the value of team, and we want parents and community members to be an important part of our team.”

The goals of the Parent and Community Engagement Specialist includes:

  • Providing a welcoming, inviting environment for parents and guardians and invite them to participate as equal partners in the education of their child.
  • Providing parents and opportunities to acquire necessary information and knowledge to support their child’s education at school and home
  • Engaging parents to become involved in the school’s volunteer program
  • Responding to parent concerns and/or complaints to ensure their child’s educational needs are met
  • Complying with all state and federal requirements regarding parental involvement

Deputy Superintendent Kelvin Edwards explained that the position is new to the school district.

“There has not been a position in FCPS dedicated with the sole intent of increasing parental involvement within the division. Family engagement has traditionally been a shared duty of administration at the school level,” Edwards said, “As we develop the new strategic plan, a major focus will be on family engagement. The Parent and Community Engagement Specialist position will assist in fulfilling the desired outcome of increasing family involvement in FCPS.”

Although this is a new chapter to Zurfluh’s journey, she has always been supportive of FCPS and understands the importance of parental involvement in schools.

“I’ve been a proud FCPS parent for nearly 20 years, volunteering as a PTA President and member,” she said. “I’ve served as the parent member of numerous advisory boards for FCPS for years, ranging from Gifted Education, School Safety, Bright Stars, etc. I was the Career and Technical Educational Advisory Chair for more than six years. I recently stepped down from a long stint as the President of the FHS Athletic Boosters. So I’ve done a lot of work trying to get parents to support our school system through those volunteer opportunities.”

Previously, Zurfluh worked at Paul D. Camp’s Workforce Development Center as a workforce coordinator and trainer where she worked with area businesses to develop their employees’ skills in leadership/supervision, teamwork, change management, conflict resolution, communication and feedback. During her experience at the center, Zurfluh directed Kids College and the Verizon STEM Program for Girls, and creator of the Encore Learning program for adults 50 and better.

“Through all my work with the community and PDCCC, I’ve built personal and community relationships across our region and my job is going to be all about building partnerships with people,” said Zurfluh.

As a Parent and Community Engagement Specialist, she hopes to find ways for parents and the community to work with the school system in order to support the students.