The Fund for Women & Girls to Honor Kennett’s Loretta Perna with its 2023 Kitchen Table Award

A photo of Loretta Perna and her students

During Women’s History Month, The Fund for Women and Girls has proudly announced Loretta Perna as the 12th winner of the Kitchen Table Award. Loretta will accept the award at The Fund’s 18th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon fundraiser on Friday, May 5, 2023, at The Desmond Hotel in Malvern.

The Fund established the Kitchen Table Award in 2011 to honor a Chester County woman who has made substantive contributions through service and philanthropy to improve the lives of women and girls through her own time, talent or resources. It is named in celebration of the genesis of The Fund in 1996: the many conversations held around kitchen, board and coffee tables about what could be done to address the needs of local women and girls.

Loretta Perna has worked tirelessly for two decades to motivate, equip, and transition high school students to post-secondary education and adulthood. Through the Walk In kNowledge (WIN) program, Loretta provides extra support to students at Kennett High School (KHS), which enables them to perform their best academically, become more involved in their school and community, and prepare for their futures. 

Loretta works primarily with students from the Latinx community in Kennett Square. For many of these students English is not their first language and they may be unfamiliar with how to navigate the college admissions process. Through WIN, Loretta prepares these young individuals for college and provides them with the confidence and leadership skills needed to thrive.

“Ms. Perna has helped us so much as we’ve grown as individuals and leaders. She supports us with our skills, including public speaking. I would not be able to do this without her,” said KHS Junior Jenny Castano-Cordoba.

A critical component of Loretta’s success is the mentorship she gives to all of the students she works with, but especially to Latina girls. Loretta builds strong, trusting relationships with the girls and their families, guiding them through the college application process and into their post-secondary education.

“Even though she has fifty students in her program, Ms. Perna makes sure everyone knows how special they are. She is always there for everyone no matter how busy her schedule is,” added Jarleny Aguilar-Acuna, also a KHS Junior. 

Since its inception in 2007, the WIN program has seen its participants go on to become lawyers, nurses, social workers, dental hygienists, financial advisors, HR personnel, software engineers, technology consultants, city planners, artists, architects, entrepreneurs, government administrators, graphic designers, and even FBI agents. Loretta celebrates the accomplishments of her students with a deep conviction that anything is possible with a little guidance, a lot of hard work, and a creative outlook.

In the words of one of her nominators, Kirstin Proto, “As a one-woman army, Ms. Perna’s work does not often get attention. As it is for many women of color, her work is essential to the success of our world, but is invisible to many who receive the benefits. Those who know her are in awe of her stamina and grace.”

The Fund for Women and Girls is thrilled to celebrate and uplift the accomplishments of Loretta Perna. She is an incredible advocate for girls and all young people in our Chester County community.

Loretta will receive the Kitchen Table Award at The Fund’s 18th Annual Making a Difference Luncheon fundraiser on Friday, May 5 at The Desmond in Malvern, a ticketed fundraiser with an inspirational speaker that is open to the public.


The Fund for Women and Girls: Igniting Change in Chester County leads and unites the community through philanthropy and advocacy to ensure that women and girls have resources and opportunities to thrive. To date, The Fund has directed over $4 million to 86 non-profit organizations to strategically address persisting needs, including homelessness, domestic violence and women’s health. It released its “2022 Blueprint Report: Lighting a Path” a deep dive research report on the state of women and girls in Chester County, in September 2022, which is available at Learn more at

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March 15 — Inclement Weather Make-Up Day

As a reminder, tomorrow, March 15, is a school day!

During the 2022-23 Academic Year, KCSD must observe traditional district closures in the event of inclement weather.

Our December 15 closure will be made up by students during tomorrow’s previously-scheduled In-Service Day. Any additional make-up days will be observed at the end of the year.

Staying connected is more important now than ever! For more updates, please follow along via our website and official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. In addition, KCSD uses School Messenger to send emails, text messages and phone calls. Log into Skyward to update your contact information today. Then, send “Y” to 67587 from your cell phone to receive text messages.

Questions? Please contact KCSD Communications Specialist Nikki Laws anytime at (610) 444-6646 or

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KCSD Welcomes New School Police Officer

A photo of Mario Raimato

Thanks to a grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the Kennett Consolidated School District’s (KCSD) partnership with local police is stronger than ever.

In addition to Kennett High School (KHS) and the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center’s School Resource Officer, KCSD has recently welcomed a School Police Officer to Kennett Middle School (KMS), Bancroft Elementary School and New Garden Elementary School.

“When we were presented with this opportunity, we leapt at it,” reflected KCSD Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey. “The grant not only allows us to continue keeping our focus on student safety at the forefront, but also further strengthens our collaboration with the first responders in our community. We need everyone’s help.”

A familiar face from the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department, Officer Mario Raimato will be a dedicated resource to KMS, Bancroft and New Garden.

“I am here to build bridges,” he said of his job. “I want young people to know that they should not be afraid of the police. We are their protectors, somewhere safe to turn to if they are lost or need help.”

After greeting students, Raimato will conduct regular checks of the doors, hallways and bathrooms at all three schools.

A graduate of Kennett High School himself, Raimato earned his Bachelor’s Degree from West Chester University and returned to the KCSD community as an officer and DARE Instructor. He celebrates his 30th anniversary in law enforcement this year.

KCSD continues to collaborate with the Kennett Township Police Department to develop a School Police Officer role for Greenwood Elementary School.

Veteran KHS and Mary D. Lang School Resource Officer JD Boyer warmly welcomes his counterparts to what he calls the best job he’s ever had.

“It’s going to sound funny, but I truly love the students. I accept them for all that they are– including all of their attitudes, both positive and negative. They aren’t afraid to show me that they are real people. I love that every day is different. And I love that every day is an opportunity to break down barriers and build better relationships with our youth.”

Boyer was recently named the Borough of Kennett Square Police Department’s Officer of the Year.

For KCSD, partnerships with its first responders are a point of pride. The District convenes monthly meetings and annual trainings with emergency services, fire and police departments from all of its municipalities.

Those with questions are invited to contact KCSD Communications Specialist Nikki Laws at or (610) 444-6646.

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Spring Conferences

Thursday marks the beginning of Spring parent-teacher conferences at the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center, Bancroft, Greenwood & New Garden Elementary Schools and Kennett Middle School!

Elementary conferences will take place from Thursday, March 2 – Monday, March 6. Middle School conferences will take place from Friday, March 3 – Monday, March 6. In addition, all Elementary and Middle School students and teachers will enjoy a half-day on Tuesday, March 7.

There will be early dismissal for:

  • All kindergarten students at 12 p.m.
  • All elementary school students at 12:30 p.m.
  • All middle school students at 11:30 a.m.

There are no conferences at Kennett High School and, as a result, students will arrive and depart on time.

If you scheduled a conference, your student’s principal or teacher has communicated a confirmation with you. Please plan to arrive on time and come prepared!

Everyone is encouraged to review their child’s report card via the Skyward Family Access Portal and write down questions for teachers regarding their academic and behavioral progress.

KMS report cards are available now. Elementary report cards will be available beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, March 1.

Note, the system will be down briefly for maintenance tonight, February 28, from 6 to 6:30 p.m.

Finally, those who requested a virtual meeting are invited to learn more about how to install and use Microsoft Teams on your phone, tablet or computer via video or PDF guide.

Questions? Please contact your student’s school at any time for bilingual support.

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KCSD Closed on February 20

As a reminder, the Kennett Consolidated School District (KCSD) will be closed on Monday, February 20, in observance of Presidents Day.

KCSD looks forward to welcoming students and staff back to school on Tuesday, February 21!

Questions? Contact KCSD Communications Specialist Nikki Laws at (610) 444-6646 or

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