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Valley students win awards at annual county conference

As featured in The Daily Item

SELINSGROVE — Midd-West High School senior Kaitlin Podzielny flushed with pride after receiving an award during Wednesday's annual Northumberland County Transition Conference for special education students in the Valley.

"I loved it," the teen said of the conference that drew about 200 students from the Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties to Susquehanna University and included educational sessions to aid them as they prepare for life after high school.

Podzielny plans to pursue a biology degree at Wilson College in the fall.

Each school district has a transition coordinator who works with students of all needs to prepare them for post-secondary education, a career or independent living, said Misty Harris, an education consultant at the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit which co-sponsors the conference.

"It's important to help make these students productive members of society," she said. "They will have jobs, families, children, so we need them to get involved in their community.

Like Podzielny, Milton High School senior Isobel Blyler was also awarded the Dr. Cynthia Schloss Transition Award for demonstrating a "strong worth ethic and commitment to preparation for adult life."

Blyler attended several sessions at the conference and said she learned tips on how to prepare for college. She'll be attending Johnson College in the fall and looks forward to working as a veterinarian technician.

"It makes all the work worth it," said Midd-West School Transition coordinator Shirley Spangler of the students' accomplishments. 

A scheduled Transition Conference today at Bloomsburg University for students in Montour and Columbia counties was canceled by the university due to the coronavirus outbreak.