Lehigh Valley

Allentown School District puts TV plumber in its own spotlight

'17 Allen grad featured on 'CBS Sunday Morning'

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - How often do you think about your toilet?

If you're like most people, the answer could well be, "Only when it doesn't work."

Depending on the "why,"you may need more than a pliers and wrench and good intentions. You may need a plumber.

During Thursday's Allentown School District board meeting, the spotlight was on an aspiring and inspiring plumber.

Jody Ann Young, a 2017 graduate of William Allen High School and Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, is on her way to her goal of becoming a successful plumber and small business owner, but she's already accomplished something else.

She's a quasi local celebrity after appearing during a segment of the CBS Sunday Morning news, which aired on Oct. 15.

The episode focused on the national shortage of qualified trade students and graduates in the United States. The school district has had a long history with LCTI. The urban district is one of nine Lehigh County public school districts that send about 2,700 students to the trade school.

Those students learn from more than 45 skills-based programs of study and academic instruction. The district has three seats on LCTI's board of directors - Audrey Mathison, Charles Thiel and Robert Smith, who concluded his tenure as chairman of LCTI's joint operating committee. 

During Thursday night's board meeting, Smith noted that ASD has now been granted a fourth seat.

Young, who was in attendance Thursday, thanked directors for their support of students in the district and LCTI. She also offered to help support and current students if it would benefit the district.

"This is why we do the work we do," said Thiel in response to Young's comments.

In other business, board members approved several personnel moves, including the transfer of Naaman Schlegel from Ritter Elementary to Cleveland Elementary as principal effective Nov. 13. Schlegel will earn $91,000 annually.

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