Stellers speaks at chamber luncheon

Daw Elementary principal Burt Stellers addressed attendees of the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce’s October luncheon on Thursday at Simply Sweet Cakes on Main Street. (Photo by Steve Rappach)

WELLSVILLE — Education, working with students and helping the needy were amongst the topics Daw Elementary Principal Burt Stellers recently discussed with the Wellsville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Stellers served as the guest speaker at the Thursday luncheon, held at Simply Sweet Cakes on Main Street, and covered a variety of topics shared from his experiences of a 22-year education career.

Stellers said after graduating from Baldwin-Wallace College with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, he realized he enjoyed working with students, and decided to go back to college, this time earning a Bachelor’s in Education from Youngstown State University.

“I am very fortunate from this standpoint that I can still say that I get to go to school everyday,” Stellers said. “I never said ‘I have to be at work by, you know, 7:30 or seven o’clock.’ I come to school everyday. It’s what I love to do.”

Early on in his career, Stellers work in the Brookfield and Salem school districts before embarking on a 16-year career with the Youngstown Liberty school district, which eventually led him to Wellsville and his current position at Daw. He was hired in May 2016.

Stellers praised the staff at Daw for its professionalism and going above-and-beyond to help with the students, while also fondly remembering his students at Liberty.

“I still refer to the kids at Liberty as my kids, and I still talk to two of my principals from Liberty on a regular basis because I pick their brains and so forth,” Stellers said. “Now I’ve got 228 more kids here at Daw Elementary from grades four through seven.”

Stellers also talked about some of the upcoming events taking place at Daw Elementary, including Make A Difference Day, scheduled today; an upcoming parents paint-and-sip night; and a STEM night later this school year that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math project.

Daw also will be starting a food pantry to help families in the school who cannot otherwise afford to buy groceries to make dinner. The pantry will be done in accordance with Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, in which the school board approved an agreement to start the program.

“It’s just amazing with the board’s generosity and as far as the amount of food we’re going to provide our students,” Stellers said.

Stellers said he planned to visit Boardman Center Middle School, which is serving as the model for what Daw Elementary will be working on.

With the program, Stellers expressed satisfaction in seeing students being able to stay fed and continue to help them as much as possible.

“That’s why we’re here,” Stellers said. “People say ‘the business of education,’ but at the end of the day, I don’t look at it as a business. It’s still people,” he said. “They’re flesh and blood. These are kids that need our help, and anything we can do to help feed them and meet their needs is what I’m most excited about, because there’s nothing worse than a kid coming to school hungry.”

Prior to introducing Stellers, chamber chairman Paul Blevins also talked about the importance of the pantry, and commended Stellers on his efforts, along with the school board.

“I think you all know the need not only in Wellsville, but in the Tri-State area, and Mr. Stellers has been great in getting this going,” Blevins said.