Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce teams up with West Chester Area School District to help kids find their way


Last week, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce facilitated a thoughtful discussion between members of the West Chester Area School District Family and Consumer Sciences Department and local chamber members. The subject? How to show current students the future career possibilities that lie here in West Chester – and what they need to get them.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Department primarily focuses on building content and skills for the individual, the family, and the community. Understanding that family unit is the fundamental building block of a community, the department curriculum supports the development of the knowledge and skills that students need to create strong families.

Grace Hafer, a Family and Consumer Science teacher at Stetson Middle School, headed the discussion by outlining some of their goals.

“We want to introduce kids to our thriving community,” said Hafer. “We want to show kids there are plenty of opportunities here in West Chester for both high school and college grads. It’s our job to figure out how to implement opportunities for kids to know all their options for when they enter the workforce.”

Attending Chamber members included Frank Herron of Saloon 151, Loic Barnieu of Sterling Pig Public House, MaryJo Long of Decorating Den Interiors, Elena Mascherino of Love Again Local, Jacob Short of Saucey’s Pizza, and Lisa Stephens of Hotel Warner.

Some ideas that came up in this initial discussion included hands-on workshops, speakers from local businesses, and connecting how everything they are learning in school connects to each career path.

“I wish I would’ve had teachers this dedicated when I was in school,” said Frank Herron, owner of Saloon 151. “I was one of the lucky ones that knew exactly what I wanted to do by the time I was 12 years old, and I still wish someone would have laid it out for me that yes you’ll need math as a restaurant owner, but you’ll also use science for this and history for that. It all comes together – and that’s what I want the next generation to know and use to their advantage. That’s how we become a better community.”

While still in the beginning stages of planning and implementation, Hafner is confident that other WCASD departments, like the IT department, will be eager to move forward with the program in the future.

For more information on the West Chester Area School District’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, please go to