U.S. Marine turns graduation rehearsal into a tear jerker
Aly Rippert might be one of the happiest of the 384 QCHS graduates who collected diplomas Thursday night at Stabler Arena. During Wednesday’s rehearsal in the lower gym, her brother, Lance Corporal Mark Rippert (QCHS Class of 2012) emerged from the locker room, or more importantly, from Okinawa, Japan, where he is stationed with the U.S. Marines. He heads back July 7, but came home specifically for his little sister’s graduation.
“I am so happy!” Aly repeated again and again after recovering from the initial shock.
“I wore this uniform for you,” Mark said of his dress blues.
Mark has been wearing civilian clothes since Monday, when he got home. He visited with his parents, Michelle and Mark, while Aly spent the night at a friend’s house. It was the last ruse to keep Aly in the dark about the surprise. Mark hid in a neighbor’s house for two days. Michelle and son Mark planned the surprise a long time ago with guidance counselor Eric Gozzard and the Video Production teachers. A week ago, Michelle threw everybody off when she announced Mark couldn’t come home after all. But she did that because Aly wanted to know what the live-streaming options would be for the graduation ceremony at Stabler Arena, to make sure Mark got the link so he could watch in Japan.
Mark has been based at Camp Schwab in Okinawa for two years and 21 months. He and Aly haven’t talked much because of the 13-hour difference. When her mother received a text from Mark that he couldn’t come home, she didn’t act upset enough for Aly’s taste, which increased the teen’s suspicion. Mark said hiding at the neighbors was the hardest part because once he was on home soil, he wanted to spend time with his family.
The QCSDTV News video was shown before graduation started at Stabler and can be seen by clicking here
The QCSDNews photo of Aly hugging Mark went viral with more than 19,000 views on Facebook and countless views on Instagram. As of midnight after graduation, the video had 1,700 views.
You can view the Commencement program and a gallery of photos on the QCHS webpage, under Get Your News Here. The taped ceremony will be edited and posted in the fall.
Tohickon Valley says farewell to principal
QCSD Principal Scott Godshalk will transfer from Tohickon Valley to Neidig next year to begin a new adventure. His students and staff at Tohickon clearly love him. Wednesday afternoon they showered him with love in the form of videos, songs, poems and pie-in-the-face!
Godshalk sat in the middle of assembled students, wearing a homemade TV hat. He laughed, he wiped tears. And he thanked everyone. Aloud and in writing, his message was constant: “I am completely overwhelmed. My eyes are welling up. I am truly touched with the amount of time, energy, creativity, and emotion that went into the assembly. You are a special group of people, and I am a better person and principal thanks to you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
Summertime, and the living is … wait, it’s reading time!
The more you read, the more you know. The more you read, the more you succeed! If you haven’t already seen the lists on each building web page, you can click on Summer Reading for ALL Grade Levels. This week we added the Dr. George Shelley Literacy Award books selected by QCSD students. And, we added the link to the Bucks County Public Library summer incentive program. You can watch a video about that by clicking here. The public library is looking for teens from seventh grade and up to volunteer to help little children this summer. There is a training day June 13. Go to the library for more information.
Pennsylvania High School Softball Association All-State
Junior Spencer Gray was named Second Team Shortstop for the All-State for the QCHS softball team. You can read the entire list by clicking here, which takes you to the Suburban One website.
If you like to look at photos, be sure to check out all the photos on the QCSD website pages. In addition to photos across the top of each building page, several galleries are posted under Get Your News Here on building pages. On the high school page, for instance, there are galleries of Senior Picnic, Senior Prom and graduation.
The end-of-year trip photos are on the Freshman Center page. Respective Outdoor School galleries can be found on the Milford and Strayer pages. Also on the Milford page, a gallery of photos from Bye Bye Birdie. A Beach Day gallery is on the Pfaff page. And at QE, photos of the Carnival can be viewed.
You can see a program of the Senior Awards on the high school web page.
GOTR features happy runners
Nearly 100 girls, coaches and running buddies from Richland, Neidig, Pfaff and Trumbauersville joined 1,639 finishers in the May 31 Girls on the Run grand finale 5K in Flemington, N.J. In the photo above, QCHS football coach and teacher George Banas runs in Flemington with his daughter Ella (bib #22) and her friend Aubrey (# 779).
Messa Di Voce superior at festival
Messa Di Voce, the auditioned a capella choir at Strayer, won superior ratings and the Overall Music Award at Music in the Parks. The Music in the Parks Festival was held May 2 at Dorney Park. The a cappella ensemble competed in three categories - Renaissance Choir, Mixed Choir, and Jazz Choir, receiving a superior rating in all three categories.
Messa Di Voce was awarded the coveted Overa Award for receiving the highest scores of the day from the judges. Sarah Godshalk was the piano accompanist for the song “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins. Daniel Cubbage was awarded the Oustanding Vocalists Award for his solo in “Java Jive.” Cynthia Teprovich is the conductor of Messa Di Voce and the choral music educator at Strayer Middle School.
Group members were Casey Farley, Erin Holman, Jolene Kramer, Zach Frei, Adam Germ, Richard Lin, Shannon Ball, Theresa Engard, Juliet Marvelli, Tatiana Spry, Mikayla Fuentes, Dan Cubbage, Jack Fox, Carson Jefferis, Amanda Tulley, Kaylee Kratz, Kaitlyn Zajkowski, Amy Nguyen, Amelia Prouse, Heather Le Bourgeois, Sara Vahdatshoar, Annabelle Lachman, Austin Nguyen and Lillian Farrell.
Philanthropy Club learns to responsibly give away money
The QCHS Philanthropy Club recently handed out $5,000 of money to four organizations. And they didn’t have to raise the money to do it! The money was given to them by the Norman Raab Foundation of Doyleston, managed by Stephen and Marie Brickley-Raab. The Raabs tasked the QCHS and other high school clubs in Southeastern PA with determining its own mission and organizations it wanted to support. The Panthers decided their mission was to focus on environmental issues, including animal endangerment, parks and land preservation, sustainable development, and education on the environment for future generations.
Group leaders Devyn Devyn Kirban and Rhiannon Gilley and advisor Bekci Kelley met with the Raab’s last week to accept checks. On behalf of the rest of the group (Karina Bolton, Haley van den Burg, Marissa Cubbage, Amanda Hafler, Simone Rumph and Joshua Sanderlin), they told the Raabs the money is going to Delaware County Green Building Council, The Heritage Conservancy, Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center and Wildlands Conservancy.
Members of the group visited each potential recipient. The group gave Pocono Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center of Stroudsburg $2500 to help fund the completion of its education center. PWREC expects it needs $5,000 to finish the project. They gave Delaware County Green Building Council of Philadelphia $350 to support the Green Schools initiative to bring a Green Schools Conference to the Bucks and Montgomery area. The grant covers the creation of a video of the presenter, as well as the travel fees of the presenter(s) for the conference.
The group gave The Heritage Conservancy of Doylestown $1500 to support the BioBlitz planned for the Quakertown Swamp. In the event, individuals will spend 24 hours locating and preserving a record of the animal and plant life in the swamp. Finally, the group gave Wildlands Conservancy of Emmaus $650 to support its educational outreach programs.
“Philanthropy gives students a feeling of empowerment,” noted Marie Brickley-Raab. Stephen said he was impressed with the QCHS group’s sense of purpose.
Alumni Association presents scholarships and awards
The QCHS Alumni Association has given an honorary diploma and a Gold Key award since 1944, with a break between 1978 and 1982. This year, popular former Assistant Superintendent Dr. James Newcomer received the diploma, presented by Barbara Schwenk Hafler (Class of 1980), the current association secretary. Dr. Newcomer was respected because he cared so much for all students and advocated for those with special needs. He moved his family (including his wife Janice, a retired QCSD teacher, and two children) to the district before he started working here as Pupil Services Director in 1987. Brad and Jill, therefore, earned QCHS diplomas long before he did! Mrs. Hafler said, “Jim was the epitome of professionalism. His understanding and empathy made us better people because of him.” Jim credited his success to the fact that no one ever turned down his ideas in Quakertown. “We always came up with the resources we needed. I’ve never felt that we are in the right place at the right time. I believe we create the right place and the right time. In my 20 years in the district, we helped create stability for our families who dealt with [issues].”
Arlene Luckey Price, a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, presented the last Gold Key Award that will ever be presented to Dr. Asgar Asgarov. Now that the Wall of Fame has been dedicated in the new hallway between the gyms, the award name will be changed. Dr. Askarov smiled through the entire ceremony. He first came to Quakertown as an exchange student from Azerbaijan, a country that was part of the former Soviet Union. He lived with Martha and David Fisher and became a member of the QCHS chorus. After he returned to Azerbaijan, the U.S. Government sent Martha to bring him back to the United States. He earned many college degrees and settled in Maryland, where he taught college and now leads the Voice of America news service that broadcasts to Europe, South and Central Asia. “It’s a great place to work,” said Asgar, who speaks six languages. “We broadcast in 40 languages. The news may be good or bad, but we always tell the truth.” Asgar spoke to QCHS students a year ago as the Quakertown Community Education Foundation’s Anna Neamand speaker. He will send his daughter Martha to QCSD band camp this summer.
Dr. Robert Leight presented scholarships to three QCHS seniors. Only one, Mackenzie Steich, was on hand at the ceremony while the other two were still on the Senior Trip. Mackenzie will graduate from QCHS and Upper Bucks County Technical School as a cosmetologist. She will enroll at Bloomsburg University in the fall for a degree in education. She wants to teach world cultures. Rachel Miller also received the UBCTS portion of the Alumni Association scholarships. She will earn a nursing degree. Katie Moyer, the third recipient, is heading to Messiah College for a nursing degree.
Dr. Bill Harner, Superintendent, updated the 100 people in attendance on curricular changes coming next year. David Finnerty, QCHS Principal, updated the audience about the reconstruction changes at the high school before alumnus Ray Fox took people on a tour of the new parts of the building.
Men’s field hockey team gains experience in California
Three QCHS boys traveled to Camarillo (Ventura County), California, recently to play in the Cal Cup Field Hockey Tournament. Seniors Chris Chookagian and Josh Schwarz and sophomore Brad Stark played with the U19 and U16 squads from the East Coast High Performance Team. The U19 team won the gold medal with a 4-0 record. Chris and Josh were part of that team, which beat teams from Mexico and Sonora, California in pool play and the Ventura County Red Devils, 1-0, in the title game. The U16 team placed third, losing in a shootout in the semifinals. In the consolation game, the U16 team beat Ventura County. Brad said his team played a team from Canada in pool play and “the Canadians played dirty.”
The Quakertown boys have been traveling to Pottstown, Massachusetts (Harvard) and Virginia (National Training Center) to practice for several months. More than 30 boys practice and 24 traveled to California. U.S. Field Hockey selected a Junior National Team from the California tournament.
Stuff the Bus
United Way of Bucks County will hold a Stuff the Bus event to help 1,251 Bucks County children get ready with school supplies for the 2015-16 school year. Collection dates are August 18-19 and bags will be assembled on Thursday, August 20.
In 2014, thanks to our donors and volunteers, United Way distributed 1,088 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to kids in need. The goal in 2015 is 1,251 backpacks to Bucks County kids – a 15% increase. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Danielle Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 215.949.1660 ext. 112.
Most urgently needed items will include backpacks; glue sticks; blunt ended and pointed scissors; hand-held pencil sharpeners; crayons; marble composition books; markers; three-ring binders (1 inch); loose-leaf notebook paper (wide and college ruled); book covers; gift cards to Walmart, K Mart or Target (for agencies to purchase other supplies).
If you are interested in donating to Stuff the Bus, but don’t have the chance to stop by the store or swing by the United Way office, you can mail a check (made out to United Way of Bucks County) to 413 Hood Blvd, Fairless Hills, PA 19030, with “Stuff the Bus” in the memo line. You can also donate online. Be sure to select ‘Stuff the Bus’ as your impact area. Note: You do not need to create a PayPal account if you select “pay by credit card.” See more at: http://www.uwbucks.org/stuffthebus/#sthash.8CYFcNYq.dpuf.
Class of 1980 Reunion – Save the Date!
The QCHS Class of 1980 will hold its 35th Class Reunion on November 28, 2015. Spread the word! It will run from 6-10:30 p.m. at Benner Hall, Richlandtown. A ‘70s and ‘80s live band will play for dancing. Contact Mary Mirarchi Meixner at email@example.com for more information.
Strayer Strong on display
The Strayer sculpture club unveiled its masterpiece this week in the lobby, to commemorate Strayer’s 10th anniversary. The group brainstormed Strayer Strong positives and developed a circle of people in poses, each with a piece of glass to highlight something important, like a heart or a helping hand. “We hope that our creating will inspire, be admired and show people what it really means to be a student at Strayer Middle School,” wrote eighth grader Juliet Marvelli. “This was such a fun and rewarding experience and I’m so glad I got to go through it with these students and teachers.”
Students who created the sculpture and leave behind a legacy were Nicole Chambers, Rachel Anderson, Caroline Marino, Tidal Rogers, Juliet Marvelli, Nasir Roberts, Peyton Wilson-Yost, Quinn Jarrett, Madeline Reim, Annika Clifford, Alina Amey, Jairus McMillan, Emilie Kemmerer, Aliyah Kolb-Samuels, Liam Sweeney, Isabella Grimes, Elizabeth Crawford, Amanda Gonzales. Teachers were Jenn Hoisington and Kate Fetterolf.
QCHS Students of the Month named for May
Junior Meghan Klee will represent the best of the best when she accepts a Student of the Month award from the Quakertown Rotary Club. She was one of four students selected for May. The others are senior Matthew Cornelius, sophomore Emily Moyer and freshman Veronica Best.
Matthew Cornelius is confident he scored well on the three AP tests he took. In his senior year, he took AP Statistics, AP chemistry, AP English Literature and AP Government. He took physical education and did an internship in Calculus BC with teacher Mary Ann Byatt because he took the course as a junior and wanted to help students this year. Matt took a Lehigh University Scholars Class in the fall. Matt has earned all As and Dean of Students Steve Kimball said, “He has an absolutely stellar academic record. Matt has been an active member of the NHS officer team. He is highly dependable and responsible.” He played trumpet in the jazz, marching and concert bands; served on the Bucks County Student Forum; and served as Chapter President of Technology Student Association (TSA), a club that made a tremendous impression on his decision to pursue mechanical engineering. He will attend Georgia Tech to specialize in thermal fluid dynamics and hydraulics. “They place students in internships with good companies,” Matt said. “It’s nationally recognized as a great school. And the weather is good.” Matt said he will miss the sense of community here at QCHS, where “lots of teachers and students care about how everyone does. I will miss band and the ability to create music with others.”
Meghan Klee wants to learn everything! “She asks lots of questions until she understands. She wants to be an elementary teacher and she just soaks up education,” said Video Production teacher Ricki Stein. “Meghan goes above and beyond. She loves going to the elementary buildings and to unique community places to film so she can learn what's going on. She has made some awesome videos, including one about Pearl S. Buck. The district-wide welcome video she and a classmate made is on the district home page. Meghan is in the Panther costume. She made a video for the curriculum department about Full Day Kindergarten; one for the Technology Department about technology across the district.” Meghan is a leader. She gets other students to participate in everything. She plays basketball and softball and is a member of NHS and Student Council. She was on the mini-THON committee. Teacher Julie DiGiacomo works with Meghan on the yearbook. “Meghan puts in 110% effort every day,” Mrs. DiGiacomo said. “She is a great role model and demonstrates great care for others. She thinks about how actions may affect others.” Meghan took AP English, AP European History,honors pre-calc and Spanish. She especially likes working on the yearbook, she said, because she is preserving students’ memories forever. Early in her junior year, she committed to playing softball at Shippensburg University after she graduates in 2016.
Emily E. Moyer works hard and she rarely misses school. She emailed a teacher an assignment that was due on a day she was home sick. She cares that other students also get their work done and took a fellow Dental Careers student under her wing at UBCTS to get him through the curriculum. Guidance Counselor Laurie Taylor noted that Emily works hard for As and Bs. “She will seek assistance from teachers and support sources when she needs it,” Mrs. Taylor said. “Emily does not always feel comfortable asking questions during class, but is optimistic in trying suggestions that have been offered to accommodate for this barrier. All of Emily's teachers have positive remarks regarding her attitude, outlook, behavior as well as how she relates to others. Emily is always willing to help anyone. Emily is insightful about how individuals around her may be feeling. When she feels someone may need support, she does not hesitate to extend a helping hand. Emily will go out of her way to reach out to others.” Emily said she may become a dental hygienist but she is keeping open her options.
Veronica (Roni) Best said she sees school as a challenge to master. She wants to be an engineer, so she started taking Project Lead the Way courses this year, with Introduction to Engineering. She loved the trip to Bracalente Manufacturing, she said, where students could see the workers making parts. She also took honors biology, history, Spanish, algebra 2, honors English, health and physical education. She plays basketball but sat out with a knee injury this year. She plans to play next year as a sophomore. She will attend a summer camp with the Panther team, at West Chester University. Social studies teacher Kevin Laboski said Roni is “well organized and has a real thirst for knowledge. She has excellent work habits and understands concepts quickly. She asks questions. She gets along well with everyone. She is super polite and friendly.” Brad Mushrush, who teaches PLTW, said, “Roni’s efforts are always above and beyond and she is always striving for excellence! In a recent group project, Roni took on the lead, but included her partners in every aspect of the project. It was a true demonstration of a leader by not just taking control, but making the team members around her feel valued and that their input was important.”
QCHS athletes named to Suburban One All League
Five QCHS volleyball players earned Suburban One All League Awards after a 12-4 league, 14-4 regular season. Including playoff games, the Panthers posted a 15-5 record. As the #6 seed in District 1, they won in the first round before bowing out in the second round, called the “Elite 8.”
Dylan Flor was named first team; Zavier Villanueva was named second team; Coulton Terry and Lucas Schan were named third team; and Nick Wesley was named honorable mention.
In softball, junior Spenser Gray, third baseman, was named first team. Sophomore first baseman Lauren Beal and sophomore outfielder Tara Baglivo were named second team. Junior shortstop Meghan Klee was named third team. And honorable mention went to junior pitcher Alyssa Wilkinson, senior catcher Maddie Calder and junior second baseman Hillary Scott.
In tennis, Nolan Pernia was named Second Team Singles and Evan Koch and Zach Kraus were named honorable mention for doubles. In baseball, junior catcher Tyler Guidos, senior shortstop Jake Reed, and sophomore outfielders John Lilley and Jared Kishbaugh were named honorable mention. Senior Zack Metz was also named honorable mention.
Olivia Morano and Kelly Brecker were named first and third team, respectively, for discus. Barbara Grossov was named honorable mention for shot put. Josh Schwarz was named third team for discus. Jake Lambinus was named third team for high jump. And finally, Sierra Camburn was named third team for 300-meter hurdles.
NHS donates to Quakertown Cares
The QCHS National Honor Society decided to donate $750 to Quakertown Cares. The photo above was taken at the Senior Prom. More than 300 students went to the prom at Sunnybrook Ballroom. A gallery of photos is posted on the high school webpage.
The NHS officers above are Matt Cornelius, Colin Smith, Torin Martutartus, Laura Post, Keely Londino and Marissa Cubbage.
Students earn laptops through career readiness program
Sixteen QCHS students recently completed the Tech Bridge Program, which they attended twice a week, after school, from October to June. They got to keep new laptops provided by sponsor Henkels & McCoy. They also received graduation gift cards and awards from Kassie Wilkinson, the lead career coach for the program. Funded by the Bucks County Workforce Investment Board, the program offered students two sessions a week in which they worked on career development, resume/ portfolio development, job research/shadowing, soft skills training and academic tutoring.
Students who completed the program were Christian Dumberth, Sarah Awckland, Brittani Swavely, Kamryn Drake, William Montag, Ian Slavin, Paulo Pitta, Elizabeth Leurck, Andrew Mann, Ryan Johnson, Lillian Jones, Brianna Beeco, Jessica Hand, Alysia Welsh, Alex Soderback and Kevin Gavin.
Two QCHS girls win special awards from UBCTS
QCHS seniors Rachel Miller and Brittani Swavely received special awards from Upper Bucks County Technical School last week for going above and beyond. Brittani was honored for working with the UBCTS Foundation to get students involved in community service projects. Specifically, she and others worked at nursing homes and donated to Food to Fish. She has attended UBCTS for Health Care Careers. She plans to start her college career at Bucks County Community College, then transfer to complete a four-year nursing degree.
Rachel was honored for finishing first in districts and third in states for SkillsUSA. She also served as an ambassador for the tech school by helping to organize community service at nursing homes. She won an Elmer Gates Lehigh Valley Industrial Award, which consisted of a Visa gift car and a plaque. Rachel also plans to pursue a nursing career.
QCHS seniors offered more than $2 million in scholarships
QCHS senior Danielle Stark accepted a check for $1,000 from Ron Bernstein of Foundations Community Partnerships as scholarship help toward the honors program at the University of Pittsburgh. She will study bio engineering, hoping to work with cancer research when she graduates. Before then, she can return next summer to work in a paid internship through Foundations at one of the many organizations it supports. Danielle is interested in the Pediatric Medical Institute, which would allow her to work with children who have cancer. The Foundations scholarship keeps on giving because recipients can earn money by working.
Danielle was offered $12,000 to attend Syracuse University and some financial aid to attend Boston University. She selected Pittsburgh for its bio engineering reputation, opportunities and campus feel. She felt it was the right fit, especially because she can play in the marching band during Pitt football games, which are often televised in Division 1 ACC action. At QCHS, she has played field hockey and played in jazz ensemble and marching band.
Eric Gozzard, Guidance Counselor, reported that 125 seniors reported earning scholarship awards. Of the $2,367,580 offered to the class of 2015 for next school year, students accepted $945,830 to use at the colleges they will attend. “Guidance secretaries Chrissy Breyer and Judi Devlin did a great job keeping track of this,” said Mr. Gozzard.
Freshmen Center students spend day playing in Poconos
Eight chaperones took 176 freshmen to Pocono Valley last Saturday for an end-of-year trip, simply to have a good time, according to teacher Kate Kemp. She joked that the goal was to scare as many of the students as possible on the mega swing, but seriously, “The goal was for them to have a fun, relaxing day at the end of the year with their friends.”
Students challenged themselves on ropes courses, in canoes, with padded jousting equipment, with big, white hamster balls, playing basketball and tennis.
“It was fun and a new experience,” said Maggie Keifer. Added Rosbel Abreu, “Canoeing was the best thing. It was relaxing and fun.”
Michael Zackon, Jenn Bubser, Jen Stover, Kate Kemp, Mike Peters, Alaina Wert, Dave DiGiacomo and Julie DiGiacomo accompanied the group. You can view a gallery of photos taken by Mrs. Kemp and Mrs. DiGiacomo on the Freshman Center webpage.
QCHS athletes plan to play in college
Six QCHS athletes shared stories in the Media Center recently as they announced their intentions to continue playing sports in college. They were Tyler Kishbaugh, Karina Bolton, Janae Hickey, Jordan Smith, Dylan Flor and Nick Wessley.
Tyler will play football at Ithaca College in upstate New York. He said he learned that good leaders put in the work on and off the field. He will major in exercise science. QCHS football coach George Banas said Tyler showed tremendous work ethic and showed up to every workout and every community service event. “He is technically sound because he worked on that,” Banas said. “Academically and athletically, he is a complete package and Ithaca is a perfect fit for him.”
Karina will study chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. She plans to continue running cross country and track. She said she learning that running is a team sport, even though most people think it’s an individual sport. Coach Ryan Stetler said Karina is “the hardest working athlete I can remember. She’s been a three-year captain, which speaks to her leadership skills.” Karina remembered hitting coaches with water balloons at practice. Stetler said that as much fun as Karina could be during playtime, her eyes would focus in competition mode in an impressive way. “Karina missed states this year by seven seconds. She will do well in college.” Track coach Jason Anderson noted that Karina speaks fluent Polish, which made her AP Euro class interesting for everyone.
Janae plans to complete a doctor of physical therapy at Master’s College in Southern California. She liked competing at Penn Relays. Stetler spoke of Janae’s passion for running and her competitive spirit.
Jordan is passionate about lacrosse. He played for a club before helping the QCHS team get off to a great first-year start this year. He emphasized how important it was to play with a “great group of guys.” He will play at Delaware Valley University. Coach Greg Chaplis was at the hospital with his wife, who was having a baby, so Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs shared his sentiment: “Jordan stepped up a leader by example. I look forward to following his college career.”
Dylan will play volleyball at Kean University (N.J.), which finished fifth in Division 3 nationals this spring. Dyland remembered beaning a teammate on the top of his head with a spike during a practice. “I felt so bad but the kid seemed to enjoy it!” Coach Andy Snyder said it was fun to watch Dylan grow taller, to 6-foot-5, and improve his game over four years.
Nick will play volleyball at Lancaster Bible College, where he hopes to grow as a person, on and off the court. Snyder remembered how quiet Nick was as a freshman and noted he is now more vocal as a leader on the court.
QCSD teams participate in Relay for Life
Several QCSD teams participated in the 2015 Relay for Life at Memorial Park. One team, which has existed since the event began 16 years ago, was the Richland Lifesavers, captained by teacher Sue McLaughlin. Team members were Jeff Bonsall, Lynne Benninghoff, Jaime Maddon, Linda Kenney, Laura Ketterer , Kacey Johnson, Natasha Scholl, Mike Huber, Kim Finnerty, Kathy Winters, Tammy Thompson and Rachel Demchick.
Relay for Life raises funds for cancer research. The Richland team sold Smencils, scented pencils made from recycled newspaper, and raffled off two gift baskets to raise money. The members made “Date Night” and “Family Fun” baskets, each worth more than $100.00 in cards alone!
Throughout the school year, the team organized many activities with students and families at Richland. For one, students jump rope. In another, called “Change for Change,” classes stage a friendly competition to see who can bring in the most change over a one-week period.
“The Richland Lifesavers have been a well-established part of the Richland community and the monies raised have helped us to be a Platinum Team for 4 years in a row!” said Mrs. McLaughlin. “We’ve raised more than $7,500.00 each time to be Platinum. We have raised over $55,000.00 since our team’s beginnings, all for a cause that unfortunately has touched so many of us.”
The Panther’s Pride team, representing QCHS, has also participated for 16 years. Donna Benner, secretary, said the Relay was originally held on Alumni Field, so the district was really involved and each building was asked to enter a team. The senior high entered several teams early on. Now, Panther’s Pride is all that is left. Administrators and secretaries have come and gone and Donna is the only original left! This year’s team consisted of three retired secretaries, one retired teacher, one food service supervisor, one newly recruited district office secretary, and Donna. Fundraising efforts still include the Powder Puff game and snack stand, a garage sale, dress-down days, and craft sales, which totaled $2,632.40.
“The best part of relay is at night with the luminaries lit remembering those who lost their battle and honoring those who are survivors,” Donna said.
Students motivated by College and Career Ready conference at WCU
Twelve students from the Freshman Center and Senior High School recently attended a Latino Leadership Conference at West Chester University with teachers Kelly Shaak and Alaina Wert and aide Missy Fuentes. They learned about preparing themselves academically and financially for college. Breakout sessions focused on educational, social and cultural workshops. During the wrap-up session, students engaged in questions and answers with student leaders from the college. Students took a tour of the West Chester campus and visited the school store. They also danced up a storm during lunch! The main purpose of this conference was to raise awareness about the importance of going to college and higher education. Another focus allowed the English Language Learners from the Tri-State Philadelphia area to get to know each other. Opportunities to speak to other students from schools and community-based agencies were embedded into the day.
“It was such a terrific experience for my English Language Learners this year because I have five or six who are really on a path destined to include a college experience,” said Mrs. Shaak. “Planting this seed early and giving them a small taste of the college experience when they are freshmen in high school was extraordinary!”
In school, students and teachers read an article that helped boost the feeling of resiliency, with an “I’ll show them,” attitude that will help them stay on a college course. “Three recommendations for high schools in the article related to study habits, lecture format, and academic rigor,” Mrs. Shaak said. “This article served as an excellent springboard for more conversations related to growth mindset vs. fixed mindset. I can’t wait to see where these students go with their varied strengths, abilities, talents, and hard work.
ELL students on the trip included Cindy Zhang, from China, who came to America in April 2013. She excels in art and wants to pursue a career in teaching. She knows drawing is her passion, so she also wants to explore graphic design and art. Sebastian Sipone, from Argentina, came to the USA in October 2012. Mrs. Shaak said he has “an incredible gift for understanding and utilizing technology. Sebastian often talks about becoming an astronaut but realizes it is more likely he will study computer programming or gaming and simulation.”
Madeline Dominguez, from El Salvador, came to the U.S. in March 2014. She loves to read and write in Spanish, and now in English, too. “She is very intelligent, compassionate, and hard-working. These qualities will take her far!” Lautaro Reynoso, from Argentina, came to America in December 2014. “Extremely intelligent and well-spoken, he strives to learn more about verb tenses and language usage, as well as pronunciation. He is outgoing and fun, bringing so much life to our small class of English Language Learners. Lautaro dreams of an engineering profession,” Mrs. Shaak said. Mariel Honorato, from Mexico, also attended the West Chester program. She aspires to a career in law.
#STEM like a girl!
Forty Strayer and Milford middle school girls and four teachers attended the Bucks County Intermediate Unit 22’s recent STEM Conference at Delaware Valley University. A year ago, the conference welcomed 350 girls from schools in Bucks and Montgomery counties. The BCIU’s Dr. Lindsey Sides and JoAnn Perotti and the United Way’s Marissa Christi, the main organizers, figured they would welcome the same number this year. But when school district officials complained they couldn’t get in on the registration day, the three brainstormed how they could double the number of participants. They recruited PECO as an organizer and invited double the number of speakers.
In all, more than 700 students and teachers traveled to campus buildings and classrooms to learn from 45 speakers in 90 sessions. The 15-minute welcome was live streamed from the auditorium in the Life Sciences building to the overflow crowd in Moumgis Hall.
“Our presenters have so much experience about college and career and a typical day on the job,” Dr. Sides told participants. “Ask them lots of questions.”
Dr. Bashar Hanna, DVU Vice President, told the girls they should feel proud to be a “science nerdette. Tell anybody who questions you, ‘You’ll be working for me one day.’ Never stop learning. We only know one-tenth the science that will evolve by the time you graduate from college.” Mrs. Perotti directed all the girls, in both buildings, to shout together, “I am a powerful woman!” She handed out signs so that girls could hoist them all day long.
Nurse Abby Morgan told girls in her session how she helped care for the victims of the recent AMTRAK train crash in Philadelphia. Some of the most popular sessions were held in the chemistry labs, where presenters led girls to make, among other things, fire, hand sanitizer and dry-ice-filled rubber gloves that blew up like balloons. Eight women from Solvay Chemical represented many countries of the world, many Ivy League colleges and many PhDs and other degrees. Girls learned how to reverse engineer a Pez dispenser. Two Del Val faculty members showed many animal hides and talked about animal sciences.
Ariana from Milford said she learned how to give CPR and the Heimlich maneuver to a dog. Kyra Handel, of Milford, who wants to be a medical examiner when she grows up, said she was inspired by speakers who said they pursued what they wanted to do even when others tried to dissuade them. Indeed, all of the presenters encouraged students that they can have it all. The message was loud and clear: Never let anyone tell you, you can’t. Mrs. Maccarone said, “It was a great day! The girls were all truly inspired and now know that they are each ‘a powerful woman.’ There will be no keeping them down after yesterday.”
Dr. Woodbury noted, “The girls truly enjoyed the day. Beyond the experiences in the sessions, it gave them a taste of ‘college life’ as I heard one of our students remark. ‘Wouldn’t you love to come to a school like this?’ The experience helped broaden the girls’ horizons in many ways. We hope this can be a yearly event!”
QCHS students honored at Memorial Day Parade
Freshmen Adam Fischer and Ana Handel received the American Legion Student Award Medal at the Memorial Day Parade in Quakertown. In three years, they will recite the poem “In Flanders’ Field” and the Gettysburg Address. This year, Amanda Hafler and Blair Detweiler performed those duties for the final obligation of the award. Amanda and Blair received the American Legion awards as freshmen.
The School Award Medal Program emphasizes the development of the qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service. Amanda and Blair have certainly lived up to the award’s predictions. Blair has participated in the Marching Band, TSA and FCA, serving as a youth leader and media creator. He also worked as a camp counselor and as a sales associate, media manager and videographer for Limeworks.us. He is headed to Liberty University, where he will major in cinematography.
Amanda was one of the principle characters in the recent musical, Anything Goes; she participated in Choir, Varsity Singers, NHS, Student Government, Class Council and she organized a teacher appreciation luncheon.
“I will miss all of these special things when Amanda graduates,” said Barbara Hafler, Amanda’s mother. “Her experience in QCSD has been wonderful! Both my husband and I are Quakertown grads. We are very appreciative of the opportunities Amanda has been given as a student in the district.”
Amanda was accepted to all four of her college choices, with significant scholarships to all four. The will attend Elizabethtown College on a Presidential Scholarship ($24,500 per year for four years). Last weekend she received a letter from the Butterer Educational Foundation that will receive a scholarship and interest-free loan. “Those things say a lot about the education and experience she has received in the Quakertown School District,” Mrs. Hafler said.
Video Production classes win award from state organization
The QCSDTV News classes received a 2015 Afterschool Champion award from Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network. The award notes that afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire learning and help working families.
PASAYDN is the statewide network for the LifeSpan before and after-school programs run by LifeQuest in QCSD at every elementary building. Former LifeSpan Director Heather Moyer nominated the TV classes because they have produced several feature and commercial videos over the last three years to support and promote LifeSpan. Two features highlighted the Lights on Afterschool events, held to showcase the program. Senator Bob Mensch attended both of those. He also received a 2015 PSASYDN award and was on hand at QCHS this week as the classes received the award.
PASAYDN attempted to give awards in March in Harrisburg, but a snowstorm kept most recipients home. New PASAYDN Director Laura Saccente is now traveling around the state to deliver the awards. She started in Quakertown!
Senator Mensch encouraged students who attended the ceremony to become better citizens. Pre-K, before and after-school programs help children start that process, he said. Dr. Bill Harner, QCSD Superintendent, told students and teachers Lincoln Kaar and Ricki Stein he is grateful for the work the classes do. “I want to really thank you all for what you do. For those who go around and take videos of the police department, what’s going on in the borough, out the community, things like this, I’m very grateful. It sends a very loud message, because students are doing it. The community sees it, it makes them very proud and it also builds a stronger sense of community. By going out in the community, it brings tremendous value back to everyone, especially the school district. When people see you all doing the hands on work and they see your product, they see the value of paying the high taxes that your parents pay for living here in Quakertown. So it all comes together for what you’re doing. I’m very proud of you.”
Pfaff principal honors teachers with books
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Principal Eric Thompson donated the following books to the Pfaff library: The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, I Will Fight Monsters for You, Fourteenth Goldfish, and Contract (Derek Jeter). Each book will have a commemorative book plate in the front acknowledging the donation.
PIAA and Big 10-ACC Track and Field Championships
Junior Maddie Ocamb and sophomore Sierra Camburn hoped to break QCHS track records in last weekend’s PIAA State Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University. The atmosphere of hundreds of fast runners and big spectator crowds proved electric and somewhat overwhelming.They did not meet their goals but, said Sierra, “It was pretty awesome just being out there.” Sierra increased her seeded start in the 300-meter hurdles and Maddie maintained hers in the 1600-meters. Coach Jason Anderson said the girls did a “great job,” and he looks forward to working with them again next year when they “hopefully” go back to the state meet.
Michigan State senior Alicia Evans helped her track and field team capture the 2015 Big 10-ACC Championship. She won PIAA titles as a student at QCHS, graduating in 2011. She has had a stellar collegiate career. You can read her bio by clicking here.
Teacher heading to China to share English with students
QCHS social studies teacher Sean Stetler will teach English this summer in China through IPIE.US, International Partnerships in Education. On its webpage, IPIE said its mission is “Building the bridges of peace, friendship, and understanding through educational exchange opportunities!”
Mr. Stetler said he tries to travel every summer and he was planning a trip to India until he heard about the China opportunity. He will teach for 20 days and take a cultural tour before returning to the classroom for 10 days. He has been teaching himself and his history students Mandarin phrases every day to prepare. In China, the goal is to teach students English through conversation and sentence formation. “The students there are already pretty fluent in English.”
He is preparing himself for culture shock and the fact that staying and working in China for a month’s time will put him beyond a “honeymoon phase. They tell you to be aware that it sets in that you are there by yourself for a long period.” Stetler said he looks forward to sharing his experiences with QCHS students when he teaches his East Asia unit next school year.
QCHS Alumni Association Annual Meeting and awards June 6
Dr. Robert Leight and friends will host the annual meeting of the QCHS Alumni Association at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 6 in the Cyber Commons of the high school at 600 Park Avenue. Speakers will be Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner and High School Principal David Finnerty.
Major awards will be presented to two outstanding educators, Dr. Asgar Asgarov and Dr. James Newcomer. Dr. Asgarov will be the 46th recipient of the Gold Key award. The award is presented to a graduate who has “demonstrated significant accomplishments in a career and /or contributed to the health, welfare, or human rights of the local, state, or international community.” Dr. James Newcomer will be honored for his contributions to the community with an honorary QCHS diploma. He is the retired Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Quakertown Community School District.
The Alumni Association was instrumental in the installation of a “Wall of Fame” that honors the accomplishments of QCHS graduates, including those who have received the Gold Key Award in the past. Following the dedication of the Wall of Fame, there will be a tour of the high school, which is still under renovation. All QCHS graduates are members of the Alumni Association, and are invited to attend the program.
Five QCHS athletes medal at District 1 meet
Sierra Camburn and Maddie Ocamb will compete in the PIAA State Track and Field Championships this weekend at Shippensburg University. They are excited and hope to break school records. Sierra will run the 300-meter hurdles and Maddie will run the 1600-meters. They each won medals for eighth place at the District 1 Championships last week. The top five are automatic qualifiers for states. Finishers in the 6th, 7th and 8th place spots advance if they make the qualifying time on the track or distance standard for field events. Maddie ran 5:11.6 for the 1600 and the school record is 5:08-plus. Sierra ran 45.93 for the 300 hurdles while the school record is 45.83. They feel confident they can meet their goals.
Ron Jon Cubbage (pole vault) and Josh Schwartz (discus) each brought home seventh place medals from the District 1 meet and Olivia Morano was eighth in discus. They received medals but did not advance. Brett Wolfinger finished ninth in a four-person photo finish of the 800-meters for 7th-8th-9th-and 10th places. So he missed going to states by three one-hundredths of a second. Janae Hickey (200-meters) also turned in an excellent performance, finishing 13th. She ran against the top five 200-meters runners in the state. Mid-week, Josh headed to California to play in a men’s field hockey tournament with senior Chris Chookagian and Brad Stark, so he missed the photo above.
In other sports news, QCHS will host a PIAA State Volleyball playoff game Tuesday, May 27. The District 1 and District 3 teams will be determined May 22. Sylvia Kalazs, Athletic Director, said opposing parents have told her they like the bright, shiny, newly refurbished gym.
Wrestlers declared Academic All Stars
Harrison Campbell and Noah Wood were named to the Third Team and Nick Bonomo and Tanner Seislove were named Honorable Mention on the All State and District 1 All Academic High School Wrestling Team. The PA Wrestling Coaches association took nominations of students who held at least a 3.0 GPA. Kurt Handel, QCHS wrestling coach, said the four boys all carry at least a 3.5 GPA and that’s how they made the team.
QCHS vocalist collecting scholarships
Senior Julia Donahue starred in last weekend’s musical, Anything Goes. One of her next stints will take her to Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., where an $18,000 scholarship will help her defray costs. Recently, she won a $1,000 scholarship from the American Heritage Federal Credit Union. Julia was one of 20 recipients. Her family banks at the credit union, where her mother saw an announcement for the scholarship. Julia applied and included a summary of her high school experiences.
Julia auditioned for and made district, regional and state choirs. She played the lead of Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes. Two years ago she played the lead in Thoroughly Modern Millie. This year she served as Choir and Varsity Singers president. “I’m very happy with the experience I’ve had here,” Julia said. “I’m sad it’s coming to an end.”
At Westminster, Julia said she will get involved with the student run musicals, produced twice a year. She said she is lucky that her DNA allows her to keep singing without vocal fatigue. She takes private singing lessons with Marcia Vanderslice, the Milford choir teacher who attended all four performances of Anything Goes. Julia’s goal is to get a job as a high school choral director. In other words, she wants to “become Mr. Lechner!”
QCHS singers and director stage great performances
More than 80 devoted students pulled off four spectacular performances of Anything Goes during the QCHS choral department’s 2015 musical. The students’ rendition of the famous musical was the first in the new Performing Arts Center. Two casts alternated for the four performances. QCHS musicals are showcased every other year under the direction of Choral Director Jonathan Lechner.
During the A cast performances, senior Blaine Cooper played the main character of the nautical musical, a young man named Billy Crocker. Blaine dedicated six days a week to the musical, for solo rehearsals, full cast rehearsals and dance classes. His dedication to the music program as well as natural talent earned him the lead role.
The Anything Goes musical number blew the audience away, with its comical lyrics, and amazing tap dancing by the cast. The musical number was full of life and drew laughter from the audience. Just watching the number you could tell the hard work and time that went in to the show.
Each and every one of the students who participated in the musical came into school at 9 a.m. every Saturday for 10 weeks. Every Saturday Miss Cindy of Miss Cindy's School of Dance came to the high school with a few other dance instructors to teach the musical students the show’s dances.
To view Karen Quinn and her family’s photos of the show, click here.
QCSD K-12 Arts Show and Arts Alive showcase visual arts
On a busy Saturday full of arts, Miss Cindy’s dancers performed downtown during Quakertown Alive’s spring Arts Alive, which drew a big crowd. Amy’s Walk and Ride, which ended at the Moose during Arts Alive, proved successful. The Cygan family raised more than $30,000 for Pancreatic Cancer research and treatment. Diane Landis, a five-year pancreatic cancer survivor, spoke to two of the Cygan brothers to let them know she met Amy before she passed last fall.
The QCSD K-12 Art Show drew hundreds of visitors. The art was spectacular. View a gallery of the work above.
Jeff Wolfinger inducted into Hall of Fame
Pfaff fifth grade teacher Jeff Wolfinger was recently inducted into the Pennridge-Quakertown Area Sports Hall of Fame, which was established in 1989. QCHS Courageous Athletes Erinne Finlayson and Max Appel were also honored at the banquet, held May 8 at Indian Valley Country Club in Telford.
Jeff graduated in 1988 after quarterbacking a “pretty good” Panther football team for three years. He also played basketball and baseball in high school. He said he doesn’t remember his stats, but the program noted that “Wolf” was named First Team All Suburban One in his junior season as well as a second team All-League selection as a senior. In his second year of football, he threw for 111 completions in a single season, which is still a school record. His 1986 team won the Suburban One Team Championship and he was named Second Team All Suburban One. His basketball teams won league championships in 1987 and 1988. He received All League honors and still ranks as one of QCHS’s top 10 basketball scorers. His school records of 122 foul shots made in a season and 286 foul shots made in a career still stand.
“I was fortunate enough to play with very talented teammates, and that helped me look good,” Jeff said.
Jeff went on to play football at Millersville University. He has coached quarterbacks and defensive backs for 11 years at QCHS. Fans can watch his lively banter with players on the sidelines before, during and after games. Jeff said his proudest accomplishment has been “the privilege of teaching over 500 Quakertown students over the past 22 years.” He is second from right in the photo.
At far right is former QCHS teacher and girls’ basketball coach Fred Richter, who went to the dinner to accept for inductee Dave Evans. Evans is a retired QCHS teacher and wrestling coach, currently traveling in Europe. He was inducted for kick starting the wrestling program at QCHS. His teams finished first or second in league standings for 12 consecutive years and also lit up the sectionals, districts and regionals. He earned five league and two Suburban One Coach of the Year awards and was inducted into the Southeastern PIAA Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Susan (Grim) Barnes, John Rittenhouse, John Hangey and Mark Youngblood were the other Quakertown inductees. Grim-Barnes graduated in 1975 after dominating in field hockey, winter track and softball for four years. She continued her athletic career at Carnegie Mellon. She coaches at Pennridge South Middle School and has been active with the Deep Run Sports Association, Quakertown Soccer Club and the Quakertown Youth Baseball Association for many years.
John Hangey graduated from QCHS in 1988 after an outstanding wrestling career. He won the 1988 PIAA State Wrestling Championship at 185 pounds. He was name the fourth best freshman, nationally, at 190 pounds at Rider University. He was named All American and still holds Rider records. He wrestled internationally and coached at Bucknell and still coaches at Rider. He coached eight NCAA All Americans and in 2000 was inducted into the Rider University Hall of Fame.
Mark Youngblood was a 1969 QCHS graduate, where he played four sports. He was a starting quarterback for three years and played baseball, basketball and golf. Academically he finished #2 in his class, was a member of NHS and President of Student Council. He played collegiate football at Cornell University and went to Dickinson School of Law. He coached junior sports for 15 years during his law and human resources career at Bethlehem Steel and BAE Systems.
John Rittenhouse graduated from QCHS in 1987 after a distinguished wrestling career. In his senior year, he posted a 35-0 season. He was the first PIAA State Champion in school history, in any sport. He graduated from Rider University. He was an assistant wrestling coach at QCHS for five years and head coach for 11 years at Pennridge. His Pennridge teams won three league titles, produced 18 state qualifiers, eight state medalists, four state finalists and the school’s first state champion.
Student Council designates fund recipients
QCHS Student Council, led by advisor Mike Sandler, recently voted to give funds raised for two worthy projects. For the first, the school will be able to purchase new banners to hang on Park Avenue with the latest logo. The goal is to hang up the banners by the start of the 2015-16 school year.
The other project will help fellow QCSD students. The council will donate $750 to the Pride of Quakertown, which gives scholarships to QCSD students who can’t afford to pay for after school activities. In less than four years, POQ has distributed more than $115,000 for 250 scholarships to QCSD students of all ages for dance classes, martial arts, swim lessons, horseback riding, YMCA youth memberships, music lessons, art classes, soccer, sports camps, dodgeball, instrument rentals, baseball, basketball and football. The organization helps keep children involved in positive activities. In the photo above, Jen Reichl of Pride of Quakertown, accepted a large check from the group.
Nurse and teacher write successful grant applications
QCHS nurse Sue Melso and English teacher Nick Burch wrote successful grant applications to the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees Bucks County Chapter. Each received $700. Mrs. Melso ran a CPR class for staff members May 18 with her funds. District nurses, three teachers, a food service worker and an administrator joined the CPR class.
Burch will put his funds toward next year’s edition of the Shakespeare workshop and performance. The two explained their grant proposals to the organization at a luncheon last week.
QCHS ranked among state and national schools
QCHS has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the best high schools in Pennsylvania. The Panthers ranked 66th out of 673 high schools in the state and 2,259th in the U.S.
You can read the graphics and a story by clicking here.
Volleyball and track and field athletes in the District 1 hunt
The QCHS boys' volleyball team won its first round match in the District I AAA Playoffs. The Panthers defeated Abington 3-1 (25-16, 22-25, 29-27, 25-15) in a home event, moving them to 15 wins and 4 losses overall. Next the team heads to William Tennent High School March 14 for a second round match. Students can take a fan bus to the game.
Dylan Flor led the Panthers against Abington with 17 kills, 1 dig and 6 blocks. Mike Dierolf had 8 kills and 10 digs. Coulton Terry had 8 kills and 4 blocks. Lucas Schan had 2 kills, 3 blocks and 2 aces. Xavier Villanueva had 1 kill, 37 assists, 16 digs and 2 aces. And Nick Wesley had 11 digs.
Sierra Camburn (300 meter hurdles), Janae Hickey (200 meters), Maddie Ocamb (1600 meters) and Brett Wolfinger (800 meters) qualified in the May 14 preliminaries to run in the May 16 finals of the District 1 Track and Field Championships at Coatesville. Six boys and seven girls represented QCHS in the first day of the meet. In addition to the finalists, the others were Hudson Delisle (800m); Josh Schwarz (Discus Throw); Ron Jon Cubbage (Pole Vault); Boys 4x800m Relay (Hudson Delisle, Phil Ciccarone, Tom Lambinus, Brett Wolfinger); Olivia Morano (Discus and Javelin); Neketa Woodson, Maddie, Janae and Sierra (4x400 Relay). Bekah Evans and Victoria Sturgess accompanied as alternates for the relay. Josh Schwarz finished seventh in the discus.
QCHS students score well on National German Exam
On April 25, 2015, two QCHS students were among those honored by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) at their 2015 award ceremony at the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein in Philadelphia. These students scored in the highest percentile on the National German Exam.
The National German Exam is administered each year to nearly 22,000 high school students nationwide in the second, third and fourth level of German. Maddie Neiman and Brad Stark were both among only 28 students in the Philadelphia/Delaware area to rank in the highest percentile thus receiving a Gold medallion award for excellence on the level 2 National German Exam. In addition, Maddie and Brad also scored high enough to be eligible to interview for a German study abroad trip awarded by AATG this summer. Pictured at the awards ceremony are Maddie and Brad along with QCSD German teachers Anne Marie Clemens and Jodi Alderfer.
Other QCHS students who won various categories for the AATG National Exam were Caelan Dammer, Hannah Natisin, Liam Robeson-Grubb, Gabrielle Snisky and Sergei Stepanoff (all silver medallion award winners for level 2); Zachary Eichorn and Haley Van Den Burg (bronze medallion award winners for level 3); Adam Rizzo and Aleigh Rummel (bronze medallion award winners for level 3); and Danielle Stark (silver medallion award winner for level 4).
Teacher earns Master’s degree in Space Studies
Freshman Center teacher Dan Wallace recently finished a three-year program to earn an M.S. in Space Studies (astronomy/planetary science and human factors concentration) from the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota.
“I flew out last Wednesday to Fargo, drove up to Grand Forks, successfully defended my thesis entitled, “An Investigation of Six Poorly Described Close Visual Double Stars Using Speckle Interferometry” in front of a small audience of graduate students and professors,” Dan said. “I submitted the final thesis for publishing.” Dan’s professors told him to continue toward his Ph.D. He said he needs rest before he even thinks about it!
QCSD dominates top 8 at Bucks County Math 24
Will Buckley (3rd), Noah Schwartz (4th), and Stephen Hattala (7th) made a strong showing in the Bucks County Math 24 Tournament last weekend. Will and Noah are from Richland and Stephen is from Tohickon Valley. Two students from each of the QCSD elementary schools were eligible to compete and 11 of them participated at Bucks County Community College. The top eight students in the fifth grade category were recognized, and QCSD had three of those students!
“For our first time entering this competition, we are very proud with the results!” said Misty Armstrong, Tohickon Valley IST, who organized the first QCSD tournament two weeks ago.
QCHS faculty select Students of the Month
Junior Chad Coleman represented QCHS as the Outstanding Student of the Month for April at the Upper Bucks Rotary Club dinner at the Spinnerstown Hotel. The other students of the month were senior Brett Graver, sophomore Dyllon Harp and freshman Ana Gansz.
Brett Graver was one of six captains for the football team during the fall season. Soft-spoken, he led by example. He set a great example in the classroom, where he takes a rigorous schedule of classes. He earned 100% on a recent AP Calculus BC test. He also takes AP Statistics, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Government and AP English Literature. He is taking AP exams in all but Physics. He applied to the University of Pittsburgh in mid-August and was accepted during the first week of school in 2015-16. He applied elsewhere but decided Pitt’s program will help him toward a degree in biomedical engineering.
Brett tutors other students during PRIDE and during his free time. He is a quiet presence in Darlene Hardy’s AP Chemistry class. “He is constantly absorbing the new information and can apply the different concepts,” Ms. Hardy noted. “He never makes excuses about late practices or games and is always ready for morning class.”
Dyllon Harp was nominated by his teacher, Carolyn Young. She said Dyllon likes to get his work finished every day and share it with his classmates. He likes to try to get others to be proud of him. He is always on time and rarely misses school, and only when he is really sick. He likes to socialize with friends and others in the hall. He likes to help out in the cafeteria, library and gym. Dyllon’s family takes him out in the community everywhere they go.
Four teachers and Dean of Students Stephen Kimball nominated Chad Coleman. As Mr. Kimball said, “Chad is one of the most positive students I know. He is always willing to help teachers, administrators and peers, and is always smiling and saying hello to staff. It brightens my day to interact with him.”
Chad takes World Cultures, English, Algebra 2, Chemistry, Phys Ed, Spanish and Video Production (his favorite). “I like creating videos to post for the public. I get feedback,” Chad said. He started working on his communications passion at Strayer, where he helped run the sound board in the auditorium. He cannot walk through Strayer without stopping to talk to every teacher. This weekend, he will operate the new sound board for the high school musical. He is creating a video tutorial for that board. “I’ve always lived by the motto, ‘Hard work pays off,’” Chad said. “Some things are hard for me to comprehend, but I get the necessary help.”
Physical Education teacher Brittany Remmey said Chad is always trying his best and always follows directions. He is a huge help with equipment and also helping others. He goes to many extra-curricular activities to record them for QCSDTV News and the yearbook. Yearbook Advisor Julie DiGiacomo said Chad “goes above and beyond. Chad is very respectful and cares about his classmates and the school. He is very involved. He cares about the school community and puts in countless hours with his TV News class. Math teacher Christine Valentini noted, “Chad is willing to put in extra time and effort to make sure he learns the material. He made the transition this year from co-taught math to college prep and has faced the transition with a wonderful attitude and work ethic and the results have been wonderful.” Chad works at Rite Aid after school.
Math teacher Katie Burke nominated Ana) Gansz. Ms. Burke said, “Ana gives 100% in everything that she does. She helps her classmates and participates with enthusiasm in whatever we are doing. She always has a positive attitude, is kind to her classmates, and is super polite and respectful to me. She is a great kid!” Asked why she thought she’d been selected as Student of the Month, Ana responded confidently, “Hard work. I’m responsible and I help a lot of people.” She plays flute in the band, takes AP Human Geography, German, Honors Science and English and Algebra 1. She plans to take geometry over the summer so she can get “caught up.” Ana plays softball with QCHS and a travel team. She volunteers in the community and just ran a Susan G. Komen 5K with her mother in Philadelphia. She grows her own garden with fruits and vegetables. Ana said she would like to be a radiologist when she grows up. “It’s pretty cool what doctors can see in X-rays and MRIs.”
Key Club celebrates, plans next hair event
The 103 QCHS Key Club members took turns helping with about 15 school and community projects this school year. An extension of Kiwanis International, the volunteer group’s goal is simply to help others. Greg Shannon of Upper Bucks Kiwanis joined the club for an ice cream party this week.
Membership in the group requires 50 hours of volunteering. Junior Jaclyn Favaroso totaled 357 hours. “I enjoy volunteering,” said Jaclyn. “I just like helping the world.”
Incoming officers Devyn Kirban, President, Rhiannon Gilley, Vice President, and Victoria Ellis, Historian, and Advisor Kelly Shaak will visit Strayer and Milford to recruit eighth graders for next year when they become freshmen. One of the first big events the group will organize is the second annual Pantene Hair Donation, September 19. Last year’s event was a huge success. If you know someone with long hair, encourage her or him to let it grow over the summer so it can be cut to make a wig for a person with hair loss from cancer.
Strayer, Richland students win wrestling championships
Luca Frinzi, Strayer eighth grader, and Jack Wehmeyer, a fifth grader at Richland, each won a title at the Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association Eastern National Championships last weekend.
Nine boys represented the Quakertown Youth Wrestling Club (QYC). Other club members who placed were Gavin Carroll (4th place, QCHS); Collin Gaj (7th place, Pfaff); Nick Wehmeyer (4th place, Richland); Marco Malerba (2nd place, Richland); and Domenic Defalco (4th place, Strayer).
QCHS Life Skills class wins grant
The Edwin J. and Gertrude K. Neusch Fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation recently awarded a grant of $2,000 to the QCSD Life Skills students, teacher Megan Baum and her aides. Mrs. Baum said she requested the funds so students can continue to participate in vocational activities. The money will cover kitchen supplies and utensil, new dishes, wood working tools and part of the grocery budget.
With help from School Board member Stephen Ripper, the Life Skills students recently finished making hyper tufa pots with Portland cement, peat moss and vermiculite. They put flowers in them, then sold them to raise money for their annual camp trip to Camp Men-o-Lan. They made themselves a Cinco de Mayo party this week and took a field trip to Wawa.
QCHS graduate illustrates book about Julia Child
Joanna Swanson graduated from QCHS in 2006. An art scholarship helped her through Savannah College of Art and Design. She is now married, named Joanna Gorham, and lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington State. She illustrated a middle grade biography, recently published, called Julia Child, an Extraordinary Life in Worlds and Pictures. The book is available on Amazon.
You can read more about Joanna by clicking here, which takes you to the SCBWI, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Adam Rizzo heading to finals of music competition
QCHS junior Adam Rizzo has “oboed” his way into the finals of the 2015 Voorhees Concerto Competition. On Monday, May 11, he will perform the Telemann “Oboe Concerto in F Minor” from memory, all three movements or about 10 minutes of music, at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown. The top cash prize is $1,000 and a chance to perform the winning concerto with the Allentown Symphony at an upcoming concert inside Miller Symphony Hall.
Last weekend, Adam performed in the Zimmermann's Cafe series at Bach Festival, in the Terrace Room at Hotel Bethlehem. He was selected to perform at Hotel Bethlehem for two Saturdays as part of the auditioned Zimmermann’s Cafe series, an auditioned young musician program of the Bethlehem Bach Festival. Musicians were selected by competitive audition in February. Adam will be accompanied by a harpsichordist. Zimmermann's shows are sold out, now by arrangement for select standing room only. Adam is getting ready to submit a filmed version as an audition for NAFME Nationals, held in October, in Nashville, TN.
Superintendent’s Administrative Assistant wins award
Alice Bishop, QCSD Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent, received the Award of Merit from the Pennsylvania Association of Educational Office Professionals. The award is given to one PAEOP Board member each year “For Outstanding Performance and Exceptional Contributions to 2014-16 PAEOP Executive Board of Directors.” Mrs. Bishop said, “I will proudly mount it on my office wall.”
Seven QCSD administrator professionals recently represented QCSD at the Pennsylvania Association of Educational Office Professionals (PAEOP) conference in Harrisburg. Lisa Dunn, Terry SanAngelo, Diane Cressman, Diane Kallanbach, Lori Cassano and DottiAnne Edmonds joined Mrs. Bishop. They learned at many sessions, including Navigating Your Niche with Negotiating and Networking, presented by the current PA Secretary of Education, Pedro Rivera. They also attended seminars called Super Tech Secrets and Tricks 2015 and Collaborative Communication in the Workplace.
New Tech tips included a website (www.todaysmeet.com) that allows participants to attend a meeting online, take notes and chat back and forth during the meeting. They learned how to make passwords more secure to avoid hacking (www.lastpass.com). “The speaker recommended a 40 character password!” Mrs. Bishop reported. “He said to use a phrase that you can remember as your password.” During a session called Collaborative Communications, participants sat in a circle and beat on drums. The idea was to collaborate with fellow drummers to keep the rhythm and make music. “The presenter said it was like collaborating with your co-workers,” Mrs. Bishop said. “I noticed that when I got off beat, more than once, no one really noticed. They covered for me with their drumming. That’s how it should be in your work setting, pick up the slack when someone needs help or is out of the office.”
During lunch, speakers addressed various subjects in five minutes, called “Lightning Talks.” One speaker told a story about the night prior to his wife’s surgery, the surgeon called her on the phone to reassure her that she would be fine and the surgery would go well. “That personal touch from her surgeon meant so much to her that her she wasn’t nervous about the next day’s procedure and made a lasting impact on her,” Mrs. Bishop said. “Another lightning talk was a demonstration on how Middle Eastern women put on their headdresses to cover their heads and faces, and the beautiful fabric they use. The lightning talks were fast and short – reminded me of 21st century learning!”
Students of the Month take in a minor league baseball game
QCHS House Principal Jason Magditch secured third row, first baseline tickets to the April 30 Iron Pigs game at Coca Cola Park for Education Day. Schools from all over the Lehigh Valley sent students as reward for whatever reason they deemed best. QCHS and Freshman Center Students of the Month represented Quakertown. Other schools brought along safety patrols, music groups and well behaved students who avoided detention all year! Some students enjoyed Coca Cola Park fine dining.
Evan Kaseman worked persistently during the game to encourage Durham Bulls players to toss him a ball on their way into the dugout. Finally, in the fifth inning, a player complied. Then, in the sixth inning, a line drive whizzed by Evan’s head, narrowly missing him. Sitting behind him, Samantha Ramsden was hit in the knee. Ushers ran to the third row to check for injuries. Sam had a bruise but waved off help. Joelle Simeu picked up the ball and wound up tossing it to elementary students sitting behind the group. After all, Evan already had the ball he wanted.
Others on the trip were Danielle Verguldi, Nicole Umstead, Leslie Alfaro, Charlie Miller, Abbie Miller, Cari Heft, Karina Bolton, Darby Keller, Brett Wolfinger, Denrieya Hibbert, Rhiannon Gilley, Jake Wooden,
Ryan Howard, Laura McKinley, Michael Schaeffer, Maggie Keifer, Nate Stofik, Maia Costanzo, Kaitlyn Irons, Sadie Fowler and Nick Kruez.
Vote for Carol! An iPad is on the line for a lucky person
“What a surprise I had today!” Carol Boerner wrote. The Milford RELA and Social Studies teacher was nominated by current seventh grader Carroll Donnelly for an Apple Award from WLEVRadio.com. Scott Evans, from the station’s 100.7 morning show, showed up at Milford last Friday to present Mrs. Boerner with the Apple Award.
Each week, four teachers from the Lehigh Valley area get nominated, based on a short essay, written by a student or family, saying why the teacher should get the award. Then, the four nominees have two weeks to get as many online votes to win the big prize: an Apple iPad (“An Apple for the teacher. Get it? Cute, huh?” said Mrs. Boerner, who has a worthy plan for the device if she wins it. “It was so sweet of Carroll to enter my name. She was my top RELA student last year, and is an amazing writer. She often stops by to have me read her newest stories, and I love talking with her about them. The paragraph she wrote about me made me cry."
Carroll wrote, “Mrs. Boerner is a great, funny, and an amazing teacher. She makes learning fun and enjoyable. She can get a little upset at times when people aren’t doing what they’re supposed to, but that shows she notices students. I remember last year when I was upset, she could tell. She can tell with any of her students. She’s a great and reliable teacher. She gets along with all the other teachers and students, and she plans fun activities for the whole school. She helps us plan fun activity nights, and always asks for student Intel. She makes sure to make time for her students and listens to what they have to say. She’s a great teacher with a great personality and a big heart.”
Will Buckley wins QCSD Math 24 Tournament
Adrenaline and sweat marked the inaugural QCSD Math 24 Tournament as two Richland and two Tohickon Valley boys dominated the competition. Hundreds of parents, students, teachers and administrators packed the Milford cafeteria April 28 to watch fifth graders from every elementary school compete. In the game, students must add, subtract, multiply and divide to get to 24. Two students from each school will advance to the May 9 Bucks County Tournament at Bucks County Community College.
Fifty students started the tournament, seated mostly by fours at 12 tables. Each table had one teacher proctor. Two proctors monitored each of five tables in the semifinals. In the finals, Richland’s Will Buckley and Noah Schwartz and Tohickon Valley’s Ethan Beil and Stephen Hattala hunkered around a table, leaning in, nerves on edge. They looked poised to sprint a mile. QE teachers Jeff Palen and Christine Gerancher doubled up as proctors. The boys were so fast to solve the cards that they all finger-stabbed the cards in the middle of the table at the same time. Mr. Palen and Mrs. Gerancher had to consult each other regularly and often had to remove the card from the table because of a tie. They issued penalty chips for overly-aggressive play.
“It was hard to restrain myself,” said Noah.
With five cards to go, three of the boys had two penalty chips each, which meant they were disqualified. That left Will to finish out the round of calculations to become the overall winner.
Team points were also calculated. Richland finished first as a team with 355 points. Tohickon Valley was second with 335, QE with 160 points, Pfaff 56, Trumbauersville 35 and Neidig 29.
Noah and Will practice together all the time. All four boys said they had the cards memorized, which made the calculations fast. Confident they would win, the boys said the results did not surprise them. They said they will continue to practice before the county event.
The 16 semifinalists were Mark Gromadzki, Josh Klausfelder, Andrew Mallo, Lucas Schwartz (all Richland); Colleen Carroll, Paul Lancos, Cameron Azzatori, Kurt Glaeser, Zander Marks (all Tohickon Valley); Paige Hunter, Allie Wittmann and Anna Zheng (all QE).
Tournament Director Misty Armstrong said, “We were so proud of all the competitors. They not only showed an impressive display of math facts, but great competitive spirt and sportsmanship towards others. We look forward to holding a similar Math 24 competition again next year.”
3 QCHS juniors named to 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program
QCHS juniors Ronald (Ron Jon) Cubbage, Skylar Lee and Brett Wolfinger qualified for the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program, based on their Fall 2014 PSAT results. Ron Jon said he forgot his calculator for the test and did the whole math section without one. Amused, he wondered how well he would have done with a calculator.
The three students demonstrated outstanding academic potential and are among the 50,000 highest scoring participants of the 1.5 million test takers who will be recognized by the national Merit Scholarship Corporation in the fall of 2015. In the next phase, 16,000 will be named National America Semifinalists, representing the top scorers in each state, and about 34,000 others will be commended for their performance on the NMSQT/PSAT. Depending on how they fare, students can earn a variety of college scholarships.
Skylar said she actually took an SAT six days before the PSAT that qualified for the NMSQT. She is retaking the SAT tomorrow (May 2) because she is hoping for a combined math and reading score that will get her into a University of Pittsburgh medical program that will guarantee her a spot in Pitt’s medical school after four years of undergraduate work. She wants to be a thoracic surgeon. She ruled out the idea of becoming a cardiac or vascular surgeon based on TV shows she has watched!
Brett said he believes he is good at taking standardized tests because he’s been taking them throughout his education in QCSD. “PSSAs and all the rest culminate in SAT,” Brett reasoned. He will be looking toward such schools as the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon to earn a degree as an engineer. “I’d like to thank all the teachers, other people and the Academy who have helped me get this far,” Brett joked.
Ron Jon wants to become a landscape architect because he likes to be outdoors and he wants a good job. He said standardized testing is usually not easy for him, but now that he surprised himself with the NMSQT classification, he hopes he can win some scholarship money toward a school he would like to attend. He is hoping to get into the University of California-Berkeley or Colorado State.
QCHS athletes running fast, hitting well, one featured in newspaper
Freshman Nolan Pernia is running fast and hitting tennis balls extremely well. He was recently featured in a Philadelphia Intelligencer article after winning his No. 1 singles tennis match and posting a personal best in the 3200-meter (2-mile) run. The freshman managed these feats against Pennridge – both on the same day! Several days later, on Sunday, April 26, he ran 1:24.15 for 13.1 miles in the St. Luke’s Half-Marathon in Allentown. That means he ran a 6:30 per mile pace for the whole thing. The 15-year-old was young for his age group and several older boys ran faster, keeping him off the podium. Still, his time was smoking! The next day, Nolan won his No. 1 singles match 6-0, 6-0 over his Palisades’ opponent.
“I think I like running better, and track better than cross-country,” said Nolan, preferring not to be in the spotlight. “I like track because of the large team aspect.” He said his tennis and track workouts were part of his training for the half-marathon. He ran longer distances on the weekends to prepare. In middle school, he ran two full marathons with his mother, a college runner in her day. Nolan has grown to 6-feet. He said his growth may help his running. He would like to make states before he graduates from high school and he eventually wants to become a bio-medical engineer.
You can read the whole Intelligencer article by clicking here
Several other QCSD people ran in the St. Luke’s event, including “legacy runner” Andy Scappaticci, a QCHS guidance counselor. He has run the event every one of its 31 years!
Eight QCHS girls won gold medals at last week’s Lady Hatters Invitational. They were - Neketa Woodson (400 meters, 1:00.86); Maddie Ocamb (1600 meters, 5:22.42); Meredith Vandegrift, Sam Bennett, Sierra Camburn, Jess Braeunle (4x100 Relay, 52.98); Lindsay Cummings (High Jump, 4'10"); and Olivia Morano (discus, 113'6"). Also, Janae Hickey qualified for the District 1 meet by running 26.54 in the 200 meters.
The boys’ tennis team played Senior Night against Palisades. In the photo are Ryan Kinney, Evan Koch, Kasey Hill, JR Ebersole, Mike Kelsall, Zach Kraus, Josh Starner and Tyler Andreacchio. Manager Amanda Hunsberger is also a senior.
QCHS graduate wins national triathlon title
QCHS graduate and current Penn State senior Jason West won a national championship sprint triathlon last weekend in Clemson, S.C. On the second day of competition, he placed second in the Olympic distance triathlon. Jason attended Trumbauersville and Milford. He is graduating from Penn State next week with a degree in kinesiology.
West clocked in at 56 minutes, 33 seconds on the 750-meter swim, 20.8-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course to win his first Collegiate Club National title and the first for Penn State in the last decade. West posted a 14:37 5k split to move into the lead after trailing on the bike. William Jones from UCSD was second out of the water and held his position through the finish to cross the line in 56:52, and Andrew Nielsen of Wisconsin was third in 57:01. The race was held at Clemson University in South Carolina.
In a story on the USA Triathlon website, Jason was quoted: “I was just really confident in my run. I know it’s my strength and I know if I keep clawing back I’ll get there. Being able to run down the finish line and really take it all in … it’s hard to describe how much hard work has gone into it. Since I was 16 years old, this is a race I’ve wanted to win. To come across the line first and have my parents at the finish line, it’s definitely special for me. It’s the last time I’ll put on a Penn State uniform so it couldn’t end any better.”
QCHS Courageous Athletes named
Seniors Erinne Finlayson and Max Appel will represent QCHS at the Pennridge-Quakertown Sports Hall of Fame dinner in early May as the Panthers’ Courageous Athletes. Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs and Trainer Jerry Dancho nominated them.
Erinne, who will play soccer at Montclair State University in New Jersey, was diagnosed with scoliosis during the summer prior to seventh grade. She saw a specialist who recommended she wear a back brace. This required numerous trips for fittings and eventually a turtle-like shell brace that she wore at all times, even while sleeping – the only time she could take it off was to play soccer. In addition to dealing with the discomfort of the brace, Erinne also had to deal with her peers and learned what it was like to be different from everyone else. Even though it was difficult, it helped mold her into the person she is today – strong-willed, tough, an incredible work ethic and above all – compassionate. Doctors said surgery was an option, but it was not recommended if Erinne wanted to continue to play soccer at a high level as a goalkeeper. She was introduced to acupuncture, which has had a tremendous effect on the pain and discomfort. Over the years the true “relief” from her pain has been soccer. Erinne was a three time All-League Goalkeeper as well as captain her senior year. She was Quakertown’s nominee for the Lehigh Valley Soccer Scholar Award. Erinne’s desire to play soccer in college regardless of her scoliosis is coming true.
Max has been through more than most people know at his young age. He lost his father while in elementary school and now his mother passed away during this, his senior year. He has taken everything in stride and kept going with a positive attitude. Words cannot explain how coaches and teammates feel about Max as a person. Max was a Defensive End/Tight End for the football team, but more importantly, he was a team player. He saw lots of time this year on multiple special teams for the QCHS Football Team’s championship run. Over the past three years, it did not matter what time or what day, you always knew Max would show up to work hard with a big smile on his face. Max is an inspiration to many and holds a special place in Coach George Banas’ heart. Max is more courageous than words can express to fight through the adversity and be the man he has become today. Future plans are to start his college career at Bucks County Community College and then transfer to major in Personal Training and/or to become a Nutritionist.
QCHS student advances to SkillsUSA National Competition
John Leigh, a QCHS and UBCTS junior, advanced to the National Competition for SkillsUSA. He will compete June 22-26 in Louisville, Kentucky in the Interview division. The Plumbing Technology specialist won first place at the state competition for SkillsUSA in Hershey and first at the regional competition in Allentown.
The 51st annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC), a showcase of career and technical education students, will involve more than 16,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners.
All League athletes for winter sports
Eleven wrestlers and three basketball players were named to the 2015 Suburban One Continental Conference All League teams for winter sports. None were named first team.
Junior guard Griffin Schmidt was named to the 2nd Team and senior forward Kevin Norvaisis was named Honorable Mention for boys’ basketball. Junior forward Meghan Klee was named third team for girls’ basketball. Quakertown shared the Sportsmanship Award for girls’ basketball, along with CB East and Souderton.
Second Team wrestling awards went to Harrison Campbell (113 pounds), Nicholas Hadley (126), Tanner Seislove (138), Noah Wood (16), Nick Bonomo (170), Gavin Caroff (195) and Micah Jones (220). Third Team honors went to Brendan Rosenberger (132) and Justin Correa (heavyweight). Honorable Mention went to Daulton Kline (120) and Cullen Williamson (145).
Music teacher wins Snag in the River Award
Jonathan Lechner, QCHS Choir Director, was awarded the Snag in the River Award 2015 from the Delaware Valley Chapter of the PA Supervision and Curriculum Director’s Association (PASCD). Named for a quote by Tracy Kidder, the purpose of this award is to recognize and celebrate good teaching. “Good teachers put snags in the river of children passing by and over the years, they redirect hundreds of lives. Many people find it easy to imagine unseen webs of malevolent conspiracy in the world, and they are not always wrong. But there is also an innocence that conspires to hold humanity together, and it is made of people who can never fully know the good they have done.”
Unable to attend the awards ceremony at Cabrini College on April 20th as he is in the throes of production of the high school musical Anything Goes (taking place May 14, 15 and 16) Jonathan shared that he was, “honored and pleased to be recognized this way.” PASCD – DVR Board Member Bekci Kelly presented him the award on Tuesday expressing that, “Jonathan has served the students and families of the Quakertown Community School District admirably for 27 years. His body of work represents the epitome of what a teacher should be in the life of a student.” The award consists of a one-year membership in PASCD and $100.
QCHS club participates in Model U.N. conference
Advisor Rachel Trosino accompanied her Model U.N. Conference club to an event last weekend in Newtown. The QCHS students discussed issues with students from the George School, New Hope-Solebury, the Solebury School, Council Rock and a few other Bucks County schools.
QCHS joined the U.N. Women's Committee and represented the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, and Syria on empowering women on equal pay across the world.
QCHS boys’ volleyball team win tournament
The boys’ volleyball team won the Christopher Dock Tournament last weekend. The team went undefeated all day to win its second tournament of the season. Xavier Villanueva and Dylan Flor were named to the All-Tournament team. Dylan was also named the tournament MVP. He had 41 kills, five aces, two blocks and 12 digs. Xavier had 95 assists, three aces and two blocks.
“Only 2 players could make the all-tournament team but everyone had a significant contribution to today's success,” said Coach Andy Snyder.
Mike Dierolf had 29 kills, six aces, one block and nine digs. Lucas Schan had 21 kills, four aces, three blocks. Coulton Terry had 22 kills, seven aces and seven blocks. Zach Dierolf had six kills and two blocks. Nick Wesley had 48 digs.
Faculty members benefit from running competition
Four Richland faculty members ran the Hatfield Bacon Bolt 5K last weekend, feeling Richland Proud at the end. The group consisted of third grade teacher Jessica Fulghum, guidance counselor Debbie Schmolk, second grade teacher Kacey D'Amico and Learning Support teacher Lauren Boess.
QCSD represented at TSA State Conference
Brandon Besack, Brendan McFadden and Sean McFadden captured first place for Video Game Design in the high school bracket at the recent Technology Student Association State Conference at Seven Spring.
For Strayer, Benjamin Yocum won first place for dragster and joined Kyle Harwick and Andrew Santiago on a team to win Invention and Innovations. Kara Kreuz, Emily Maceri and Grace Mallo teamed up for first place in Medical Technology Issues. Zoe Reim and Abby Sicher placed first for Teehnical Design. Mason Powers won for Delta Dart. Grace Mallo also placed second for Snapshot. Carson Shup placed second in Materials Process. And Stephanie Beinhauer, Taylor Connelly and Isabela Santiago teamed up for third place in STEM Animation.
From the Freshman Center, Lindsay Applebach was a first place finisher for Essays on Technology. She also teamed with Bella Fiume, Sadie Fowler, Rylie Hetrick, Kim Liah and Samantha SHourds for third place in Children’s Stories.
From QCHS, Matt Cornelius, Jason Donham, Zack Metz, Colin Smith, Tommaso Stalletti and Stephen Sullivan teamed up for second place in Biotechnology Design. Ryan Stainer and Trevor Fowler placed third for Technology Problem Solving.
Milford had one top 10 finalist, Jared Leatherman, who placed seventh in Materials Process.
QCSD parent Cheryl Yeakel received the Don Rickards Volunteer Service Award for the second time. She has worked the past several running the events in Festival Hall, where most of the display events are located. She works long hours every year at states. Her sons participated in the Quakertown TSA program, during which time she helped with fund raising. After her sons graduated, she missed helping, so she volunteered to work at states, according to Milford advisor Kathy van den Burg.
Freshman Zack Chan ran for and was elected the new PA-TSA Reporter. His term will begin after the national conference this summer in Dallas, TX.
Senior Mike Hilliard is editing a QCSDTV News video about the TSA experience. It will be posted soon on Comcast, Verizon and youtube.
Math teacher wins library award
Long-time QCHS math teacher Mike Murphy is broadening his horizons to become a librarian! And now he has won an award for his hard work. On a year’s sabbatical, he has juggled a Mr. Mom role with his Kutztown University student role. The online program requires him to report to school libraries, where he teaches classes and performs the other duties of a librarian.
KU’s Department of Library Science & Technology selected him for the PSLA Outstanding Graduate Student Librarian Award for his leadership qualities and professional interest in action. He will accept the award at a dinner April 30 in Hershey, during the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association state conference.
“I’m outgoing and passionate about being at the top of my game,” said Murphy, who easily shares his sense of humor. During 15 years in the math and computer science classroom, Murphy guided students. He loves teaching math, but always felt he possessed the skills to become a librarian. He enjoys sharing his love of books. He gained many of his customer service skills during pre-teaching jobs in hardware retail for example. “Educators need these skills, too,” he said. “They are career necessities.”
Murphy has spent time at the Pfaff, the Freshman Center, and QCHS libraries, so far. He will spend time in other libraries as well. At the high school, he helps with Tier 2 tutoring during PRIDE. He has his Praxis certification in library science and by the end of the summer will have completed the master's program. His wife, Melissa, teaches third grade at Richland. They have two young children.
“I read a lot of different genres,” Murphy said. “Science fiction is my favorite, but I also read mysteries and biographies about people like Steve Jobs. I think my love of technology also helps me promote library access to kids and adults.”
Grants bring in the money
Sandi Frisch, Cyber Academic Mentor at QCHS, also writes grants for QCSD. The more applications she writes, the better she gets and the more grants she has secured!
Recently, she secured a $2,000 grant from the Bucks County Foundation, which will be funneled through the QCEF (Quakertown Community Education Foundation). A company called Musicopia will bring an assembly for music of the world to Strayer and Milford middle schools.
Mrs. Frisch secured a $2,000 grant through American Association of School Administrators, so that social worker Kirsten Cochran can help families control bed bugs and lice.
“Not all of these are glamorous, but they are necessary,” said Mrs. Frisch.
Mrs. Frisch secured a $10,000 PDE Governor’s Grant for two schools to expand their excellence. Quakertown Elementary and Neidig were eligible, but they both wound up improving on their School Performance Profiles before they could spend the money. Still, the money will come in handy for academic needs.
Milford Middle School and Strayer Middle School have both been awarded a grant from Project Lead the Way to implement the PLTW Gateway program. These grants were made possible by a generous donation from the Bemis Company, Inc. Each school gets $10,000 each year for the next two years, for a total over two years of $40,000. The Gateway Program is the middle level program. Next year, all eighth graders will take a PLTW course entitled “Automation and Robotics.”
An application for new playground equipment at QE is currently in the semifinals stage. An application for Teachers of Critical Language Program through the U.S. State Department did not make it past the semifinals for a Mandarin teacher. Had QCSD won that grant, a teacher would have arrived to teach Mandarin in a face-to-face class in the middle schools. Administrators are still looking for a solution and will secure a teacher one way or another!
Mrs. Frisch has several other grants in the works.
Strayer and QCHS two of five schools selected for national honors
For the second time, The College Board has recognized Strayer and QCHS as SpringBoard National Demonstration Schools. They are two of the five selected across the country for the honor. The others are in Hillsborough County, Florida and Gig Harbor, Washington. Administrators and teachers from other school districts that wish to observe a quality program in action are referred to Strayer and QCHS. Over the years, coinciding with the district’s implementation, there have been significant increases in student performance from proficient to advanced on state common assessments.
“Additionally, there were increases on Verbal/English scores on the PSAT/SAT and PLAN/ACT assessments,” Dr. Harner, Superintendent, noted. “We are honored by the acknowledgement of the College Board members for the wonderful work our teachers are doing in our Language Arts and English classes through SpringBoard. What is remarkable about our relationship with the College Board is that it is two-way. Every year, they have responded to our teachers’ feedback on how to improve their product.”
In addition to this recognition, the schools will receive other valuable professional learning opportunities, recognition at College Board events; a customized school plaque; and opportunities to preview new SpringBoard-related products and services.
“SpringBoard enables all students to actively engage in a challenging curriculum based on the College and Career Readiness Standards, and equips teachers with a flexible set of instructional tools,” said Auditi Chakravarty, vice president of SpringBoard and 6–12 Programs. “These National Demonstration Schools were selected because they have established high quality implementations leading to academic success for all students.”
The National Demonstration Schools were chosen based on a variety of factors, including classroom walk-throughs, student and staff interviews, and a portfolio review by the SpringBoard National Demonstration School site selection team. Each school implemented the program, which introduces students to relevant and increasingly complex content in English Language Arts and Mathematics, for a minimum of two years. The schools also made a strong commitment to teacher preparation by providing constantly revised and updated training materials and professional learning opportunities through SpringBoard’s Professional Learning component. By aligning teacher development with the literacy, writing, and math skills required across AP courses, the National Demonstration Schools have given their students a head start on college and career success.
QCSD represented at all levels of Bucks County Reading Olympics
Strayer recently hosted the annual Bucks County Reading Olympics Middle School Competition. Approximately 1100 people showed up to cheer on kids who love to read.
Librarian Sara Wignovich reported that Strayer competed with two teams that collectively read 164 books in four months. “Some special callouts go to Michelle Myers for her astounding attendance at our after school meetings, Veronika Durr for her out-of-the-park reading skills topping off at 29 books, and Melissa Nong for her rockin’ reading skills at a very chunky 15 books!”
Veronika’s team, The Loading Pages consisted of Zac Hohman, Rylie Murphy, Victoria Wilhelm, Acik Maluk, Elizabeth Hilton, Camryn Taylor, Keishla Rodriguez, Najomi Peralta and Brenden Keller. Melissa’s Readin' I'm Lovin'It teammates were Jocelyn Fafard, Makenzie Stryker, Michelle Meyers, Melissa Nong, Marcus Milkowich, Brianna Klein, Trevor Hohman, Kassie Hill, Yasmin Wass, Donielle Tulio and Logan Nyack.
”We are grateful to all the people who supported us so wholeheartedly,” said Mrs. Wignovich. “Mr. Peifer, Ms. Oleksa, Mrs. Stachel, Mrs. Mortimer, Mrs. Hohman, Mrs. Kyack, Mr. George, Mr. Emery, Mrs. Hoisington, Mrs. Rogers, Amber Edwards, Julianne Wignovich and all the custodial staff! Thanks for helping to make reading fun! Let’s do it again next year!”
Milford’s team, “The Name of this Team is Secret,” won a blue ribbon. Team members were Maaha Bashir, Logan Herr, Maya Kineen, Shirley Lin, Erin Miller, Jack Monroe, Niyi Onanuga, Christian Rice (captain), Rucha Tank and Moriah Wilt. Advisors were Nikki Kelly, Melissa Weinstein and Ginger Woodbury.
The small but mighty QCHS team traveled to New Hope-Solebury for competition, earning a third place ribbon. Team members on the trip were Michela Polek, Abigail Clark, Alexis Breiner, Autumn Coulton, Nicole Morales and Trevor Dean. During practices, Isabella Prestory, Delany Minor and Morgan Contoleon-Hunsberger also participated.
QCSD elementary schools traveled to Willow Dale Elementary School in Centennial School District, where the enthusiastic teams earned first and second place ribbons. Neidig, coached by Gayle Quinton, Wendy Wiedemeier, Marita Beers and Marissa Mecchi, consisted of two teams. The Chapter Champions were Sammie Eddinger, Elizabeth Callan, Emma Konke, Samantha Poulter, Mikayla Pavone, Alyssa Cassel, Jenna Geiger, Haunah Thomas, Jessica Waterstradt, Joey Diaz, Lyla Wassmer, Eva Lacey and Michelle Barratt. The Reading Ninjas were Thomas Kozlusky, Beau Conner, Austin Hunsberger, Logan Kemp, Kazi Mason, Chester Welliver, Aidan Jarrett, Chris Godshall and Josh Bergstrom.
Pfaff Elementary’s Roaring Readers and Book Buds combined to read more than 350 books. Both teams, coached by Jeff Wolfinger, Maureen Schafer and Jennifer Ruggiero, won blue ribbons. The Roaring Readers were Sarah Smith, Vincent Pompa, Olivia Hetzel, Ethan Hendricks, Justin Adamson, Sarah Nace, Alex Chan, McKenzie Huff, Maddy Whedon, Justin Riddle, Trinity Wilson, Caleb Einolf, Caroline Foulke and Lexie Wallace. The Book Buds were Lindsay Ogborn, Julia Cole, Tyler Hollister, Sara Nouri, Mary White, Aiden Halteman, Laura Rose Morelock, Riley Gaj, Alexis Mowrer, Mason Kineen, Brooklyn Spear, Logan Hinnershitz and Nike Onanuga.
Quakertown Elementary, coached by Alicia Hughes, Christa Held, Megan Roney and Peg Monserrat, combined fourth and fifth graders, named the Q.E. Rowdy Readers. Team members were Irene Gowin, Ayden Hendricks, Sydney Bishop, Jack Warnke, Valencia Bryant, Ariana Gutshall, Abby Gillmer, Mason Olivares, Carley McCoy, Kimberly Ruiz, Karinna Richardson and Ivyanna Barndt. The Readers finished one point shy of a blue ribbon! They won all three of their rounds. “We were so proud of their work!” said Ms. Hughes.
Richland won two blues and a red ribbon. Coached by Linda Beason and moderated by Diane Golrick, the Richland Raptors were Kevin Richwine, Philip Richwine, William Shaw, Conner Murray, Bella Camp, Mashal Imram, Kiersten Williams, Abbie Nagle, Olivia Hopkins, Emma Carpenter and Emily Thomas. Coach Linda Beason. The Richland Rockin’ Readers, coached by Mike Huber with score keeper Kerry Foley, were Brian Dickerson, Mark Gromadski, Connor Thomas, Madison Jeffrey, Jillian Ziegler, Lily Davis, Kristy Nguyen, Paige Stoudt, Chloe O’Donnell, Alyssa Klempner and Klaudia Sawicki. The Rampaging Reading Rhinos, coached by Tammy Thompson with Tara Goldberg as score keeper, were Andrew Mallo, Noah Schwartz, Joshua Klausfelder, Lucas Schwartz, Grace Malerba, Samantha Steinberg, Keira Cammarota, Carissa Gurganus, Julia Henry, Natalie Boyd.
For Tohickon Valley, Miss Adrienne Tegge's Terminators scored 68 points for a blue ribbon. Mrs. Brenna Wimmer's Radical Readers scored 58 points for a blue ribbon. And Mrs. Mary Ellen Suhadolnik's Shining Star Readers scored 55 points for a blue ribbon. Josh Mason, Lara Cifelli and Jenna Wile-Bennett volunteered as scorekeepers and moderators.
Trumbauersville’s team, coached by Cheryl Bigenho, were Brooke Ziemba, Kaitlyn Vargo, Dana Litostansky, Maddie LaBonge, Shane O’Connor, Ryan Boehringer, Ryan Hagan, Zach Fondl, Juliet Ngorimo and Jadyn Fuentes.
Three QCHS musicians perform in honors choir
Three of Quakertown's finest - Ron Jon Cubbage, Caitlin DiCara and Danielle Verguldi – traveled to Providence, Rhode Island with vocal music director Jonathan Lechner to perform in the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) All-Eastern Chorus. They joined 320 of the top high school singers from 13 Eastern states, Washington D.C., and the European DoDDS (Department of Defense Dependents Schools). Ron Jon, Caitlin, and Danielle are the first in QCHS history to be selected for all five selection choirs, which include PMEA District 11 Chorus, PMEA Region VI Chorus, PMEA All-State Chorus, NAfME All-Eastern Chorus, and NAfME All-National Chorus. The All-National Chorus festival was held last October in Nashville.
Mr. Lechner said the group stayed at the Provident Biltmore, the site of the festival. It reminded him of a set of The Great Gatsby.
“Our kids have had some fantastic opportunities here in Providence,” Lechner wrote. “Yesterday afternoon, during a break in rehearsal, the guest director, a distinguished choral conductor from Calvin College in Michigan, gave the kids a few minutes of open mic - they could come up front and ask the conductor anything they wanted to ask, or discuss one of the pieces of music and what they liked about it. Several kids moved eagerly to the front of the ballroom. At the head of the pack was Ron Jon Cubbage (big surprise - Ron Jon grabbing the spotlight!). Several more followed and they had a very lively, educational, and entertaining session. Later that afternoon, the director had arranged for a video conference with Jake Runestad, the composer of one of their pieces. Jake was at his studio in Texas. Our choir sang Jake's work for him, and then he gave them direct feedback and suggestions on how to get even more out of the piece. Only 29 years old, Jake is already a highly successful composer. He even owns his own publishing company. After a great session of working on the song, he allowed kids to come to the camera/mic one at a time to ask him questions about what it was like to write the piece, what was his inspiration, etc. Several of the students are interested in pursuing composition as a career and they were especially delighted to speak with a real live composer. Awesome experience!”
Big achievers named Students of the Month at high school
The four Students of the Month for March at QCHS and the Freshman Center set the bar high with their exemplary work. Teachers selected senior Nicole Umstead, junior Evan Kaseman, sophomore Rhiannon Gilley and freshman Kaitlyn Irons.
English teacher Rachel Trosino nominated Nicole Umstead, highlighting her work with the Writing Lab. Not only does Nicole tutor others, she co-produced a QCSDTV News video to promote the lab to encourage students to go there for help. (Click here to watch it.) Nicole could stay home during PRIDE because she has senior privilege, but she gets to school to help others. “By participating in the Writing Lab, she must demonstrate respect and maturity toward her classmates but more importantly her peers coming for help,” said Mrs. Trosino. “Many students fear showing their writing to a peer more than a teacher, so it’s imperative that Nicole always be supportive of those students coming so they can pass along the success story to others looking for help. She does this with every person she helps without hesitation.”
Nicole earns As and Bs in all her classes, including AP Physics, AP Government, AP English, Calculus, TV News and Photography. She recently won a state championship for broadcast script writing. She will major in Communication/Global Media next year at Arcadia University. She is rehearsing with the cast for the May 14-16 musical. She takes dance classes, plays soccer, babysits and volunteers with her church youth group at the food pantry and in the nursery.
Evan Kaseman carries all As in his classes – AP Physics, AP English Language Composition; AP Euro; Calculus AB; Spanish 3 Honors; and the Project Lead the Way Capstone course, Engineering Design and Development. By the end of his senior year, he will have 10 AP courses under his belt. He will take AP Bio over the summer. He tutors in the Writing Lab and helps math teacher Mary Ann Byatt tutor students after school. He said teaching others the material helps him better understand and remember the math concepts. He volunteers with the National Honor Society, Class Council and Key Club. He also works four hours a night at Giant, bagging groceries. He said he manages with “adaptation and flexibility.”
Evan is looking at Lehigh, Bucknell, Drexel, Lafayette, Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins because he wants to major in biomedical engineering. Three teachers nominated him for Student of the Month.
“Evan selflessly sacrifices his time before school, after school, and during PRIDE to help others,” noted Ms. Byatt. Dean of Students Stephen Kimball said, “Evan is such a positive person who exudes Panther Pride.” And teacher Rachel Trosino added, “Evan’s dedication to the school community could not be questioned; he loves his school and his fellow students, and he wants to be the smartest and most successful version of himself he can be, which he knows requires him to be involved with his community and serve those around him.”
English teacher Shea Mazar nominated sophomore Rhiannon Gilley. “She is an excellent student who is always on top of her assignments and grades,” said Ms. Mazar. “She asks clarifying questions and will come to me with questions before an assignment is due. She works well with other students in the class and is always pleasant to be around. She is someone I can always count on.”
Rhiannon takes Pre-Calculus, Spanish Honors 2, Biology, World Lit Honors, History, Phys Ed and Health. She has All As and no favorites among her classes. She helps in the writing lab; is the newly elected Vice President of Key Club; participates in Student Government, Body Peace, Spanish Class and Best Buddies. She played tennis in the fall. She is considering becoming an elementary or middle school teacher.
Freshman Kaitlyn Irons likes to write and she likes history, which also requires much writing. She said she likes learning what has happened in previous years and how that can inform what will happen in future years. U.S. History teacher Kevin Laboski nominated her for Student of the Month and said, “Kaitlyn puts forth outstanding effort and exemplary work. She is a model student in every way. She will be challenging herself with more difficult classes next year.”
Kaitlyn proudly exclaimed, “I work really hard at school. If I earn a grade that is not acceptable, I make sure I work even better on the next assignment. I’m really devoted to school.”
Even though she likes to write, she was not a fan of poetry, until this year in Sue Goodwin’s English class. “I enjoyed poetry this year,” Kaitlyn said. Next year she will indulge her creativity with three electives – Creative Writing and two art classes. Kaitlyn takes gymnastics lessons at Power and Grace and spends much time helping her younger brother with his homework. The family enjoys spending time together, especially outside in nice weather.
Dr. Lisa Hoffman in the house, spearheads curriculum tasks
Lisa Hoffman, Director of Curriculum & Professional Development, recently defended her dissertation to finalize a four-year experience to earn her doctorate at Temple University. For her dissertation, she researched and wrote about “How do educators perceive Alternative Education and At-risk youth?”
“I am a lifelong learner and have enjoyed all of my graduate course work,” said Dr. Hoffman, who worked as a House Principal at QCHS before moving over to the district office last summer. “I knew that I wanted to continue once I received my master’s and so I did my principal certification and Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction work. During that time, I decided to pursue my doctorate and my superintendent’s letter as well.”
Dr. Hoffman said she plans to use all she has learned in her current position and eventually will pursue a job as an assistant superintendent, then superintendent. Her husband also defended his dissertation a week before Lisa. So there are two doctors in the Hoffman house, along with two young children.
“We are all benefitting from Lisa’s expertise and passion for making a huge difference in the lives of children, especially those who are disadvantaged,” said Dr. William Harner, Superintendent.
Noted Dr. Hoffman, “I am very proud of this accomplishment. It was certainly a difficult journey and required a lot of work. I think there are a lot of essential skills in a program such as this that are necessary for anyone who wants to be in a building/district leadership position and I would highly recommend the program.”
QCHS student bowls perfect game
QCHS junior Derek Scherff bowled a perfect game recently at Earl Bowl Lanes in Quakertown. That means he rolled a strike on every turn! The feat is rare. He said, “Like any sport, it just takes practice.” Derek’s next goal is to bowl an 800. That requires averaging 275 over three straight games!
You can watch a QCSDTV News video about him by clicking here.
QCHS Spring Sports update
The QCHS boys’ volleyball team started the spring season by winning the 2015 Red Rover Invitational Tournament. Coached by Andy Snyder, the boys finished second in pool play with a 6-2 record. Seeded fourth going into playoffs, the Panthers beat William Allen 2-0 in the quarterfinal, Council Rock South 2-0 in the semifinal and Liberty 2-1 in the final.
Senior Dylan Flor was selected to the tournament all-star team. Coach Snyder said, “The tournament success was a complete team effort with all players making significant contributions.” Throughout the tournament, Xavier Villanueva had 138 assists; Dylan Flor had 64 kills; Coulton Terry had 36 kills; Mike Dierolf had 25 kills; Lucas Schan had 24 kills; Chris Cowan had 8 kills; Zach Dierolf had 8 kills; Nick Wesley had 58 digs; and Jeff Prusch had 18 digs.
The volleyball team also beat hosted CB South in the first dual match of the season. The team came away with a dominant 3-0 win.
The girls’ lacrosse team won its first game, 19-7, over Upper Perkiomen, while the junior varsity team tied 3-3. The boys' tennis team hosted and beat Pennridge 4-3, which made the Panthers 3-0 so far! It was the first league win for Coach Perez!
QCHS Cheer Squad finishes second
The QCHS Cheer Squad competed at AmeriCheer International Championship last weekend at Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Teams converged from all over the world, including Ecuador and Argentina. The Panthers finished second in their division, Large Traditional Cheer. Two years ago, the Panthers won the international championship.
This year’s silver place team, coached by Sam Powers and Kim Oates, included seniors Alexa Claycomb and Brianna Shevlin; juniors Ashley Henry, Mikayla Jones, Jaycee Poole, Kendra Williams, Jamie Dettrey, Jennifer Friel, Jessica Braunle, Brittany Malick and Megan Wilhelm; sophomores Paige Guilley, Bria Debanarti and Adrianna Kobrinski; and freshmen Taylor Bennett, Shannon Horbinus, Alexis Gerlich and Bridget Campion.
UBCTS offers Career Internship Program
Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS) in conjunction with the Palisades, Pennridge and QSD offers the Career Internship Program to students as an alternative method of earning credits towards graduation while gaining valuable workplace experience. The program is delivered through the balanced combination of weekly classroom instruction and paid work-based experience, along with completion of weekly requirements. Career Internship Program students do not attend UBCTS. All classes are held at the sending district high school. Students in 11th and 12th grade may be recommended by their high school guidance department to participate in the program. Students must provide their own transportation to the worksite.
Students traditionally work half days in entry-level positions to obtain training in occupational areas that may not be offered at UBCTS. Students work under the supervision of a work-site mentor who will share his or her expertise and provide training through an Occupational Training Plan. The employer is responsible for evaluating the student’s performance on the work site and for tracking attendance in the workplace.
A UBCTS Cooperative Education certified coordinator is responsible to deliver related competency-based classroom instruction on a weekly basis at the student’s high school and to conduct monthly visits with the student at his or her place of employment. Students will be formally evaluated and will receive a grade based on a combination of their workplace evaluation and their grade earned in classroom instruction. UBCTS will comply with state and federal statutes regarding employment and insurance protection will be provided for the school and students.
Early workforce training in a supervised environment provides a solid basis for developing a positive work ethic and a pathway for future success in the workplace. The program is also beneficial to local employers, providing an avenue to recruit new workers who will be prepared to accept the challenges of today’s workforce.
For more information, contact UBCTS or a QCSD guidance counselor.
QCHS student wins service award
QCHS junior Darby Keller won a President’s Volunteer Service Award, at the Gold level, recently. Guidance Counselor Erica Henry nominated her because Darby spends a lot of time volunteering as a coach with the Upper Bucks Special Olympics Swimming Team. She started three years ago, with a one-day-a-week stint at the Y. She is now the co-head coach, with a mom. The swimmers range from 7 years old to mid-20s. Darby teaches swimming techniques to the middle school aged and older swimmers. The team goes to meets around Bucks County and some of the swimmers will try to qualify for the state meet.
Darby said she was aware of Special Olympics sports because her sister, who is autistic, competed in horseback riding. Darby is learning American Sign Language because she met a swimmer who is blind and deaf. Darby plans to major in ASL services in college, possibly at Arcadia. She is interested in teaching ASL and International Law and may find a way to combine them.
Senior prioritizes interests, time through Lehigh scholars program
Senior Devon Dean is taking a course at Lehigh University through the Lehigh High School Scholars program. He is spending much time reading the textbook for Understanding Contemporary China. Senior Matt Cornelius took a course about sustainable development in the fall. Lehigh established the program to establish closer ties with surrounding high schools, so staff could become better acquainted with the needs and interests of high school students and teachers. Program candidates are nominated by administrators, based on transcripts, PSAT, SAT and AP scores.
“I want to major in business and it’s good to know what’s going on in China,” Devon said. “There have been a lot of changes in China in the last 100 years. It’s such a developing super power. Over the next couple of years, it will become an even bigger player in the business field.”
Devon drives to Lehigh on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. “It’s challenging,” he said. “It’s a lot of work.” He also has homework and preparation for three upcoming AP classes at QCHS. “It takes a lot of prioritizing, deciding what needs to be done first,” he said. “And I do not have time to procrastinate. A student who wants to do this really needs to be prepared to dedicate time.”
Devon knows how to prioritize his time. He completed all of his National Honor Society service hours in the fall by working at the QCHS and Freshman Center orientations. He will know which college he is going to before heading to his summer job at a tree and shrub nursery. He has already been accepted to Moravian College and he is waiting to hear from Lehigh and Lafayette. He will begin with a course already to his credit no matter where he goes.
QCHS instrumental students qualify for regional and state groups
QCHS junior Adam Rizzo advanced to All State Orchestra and sophomore Caleb Szabo advanced to All State Band. They are eligible to audition for Nationals, which will be held in October in Nashville, TN. The full HS concert band is going to perform at the All State festival (1 day field trip) on Friday, March 27.
Frank Parker, Band Director, explained that high school students in Bucks and Montgomery County auditioned for PMEA District 11 Band and Orchestra in December, 2014. Students who finished at the top of their instrument section qualified for PMEA District 11 Band or PMEA District 11 Orchestra, or both. At each of the District level festivals, the students completed a re-audition process. Students who finished in the top half of their section at districts qualified for the region festival. At the region festival, students re-auditioned again. Only the top one or two students from each section moved on to the PMEA All-State festival. There are 12 PMEA districts and 6 regions throughout the state. District 11 and District 12 combine to form Region 6.
Here is the list of QCHS students who qualified for District Band, Region Band, and All-State Band, District Orchestra, Region Orchestra, and All-State Orchestra:
PMEA District 11 Band, January 7-9, 2015, at North Penn - Laura Post, clarinet; Alison Rummel, bass clarinet; Donovan Donnelly, euphonium; Caleb Szabo, tuba; Jeffrey Prusch, tuba. PMEA District 11 Orchestra, February 12-14, 2015, at Souderton - Adam Rizzo, oboe; Donovan Donnelly, trombone.
PMEA Region 6 Band, at Upper Merion -Laura Post, clarinet; Donovan Donnelly, euphonium; Caleb Szabo, tuba. PMEA Region 6 Orchestra, at Oxford Area - Adam Rizzo, oboe; Donovan Donnelly, trombone. PMEA All-State Band, March 25-28, 2015, Hershey Caleb Szabo, tuba; PMEA All-State Orchestra, March 25-28, 2015, Hershey Adam Rizzo, oboe.
QCHS senior wins state-wide writing competition
QCHS Level 3 Video Production student Nicole Umstead won the Broadcast Script Writing competition at the State Conference of the Pennsylvania Schools Press Association. She and classmate Amanda Hunsberger traveled to University Park, where the March 6 event included competitions in 14 categories. Nicole and Amanda qualified for the state event by tying for first at the regional conference at PSU-Lehigh Valley in December.
At the state event, students from all over Pennsylvania interviewed two Penn State football players, Christian Hackenberg and DaeSean Hamilton. Competitors then used the notes to help them write a variety of stories during competition. The event also included a press conference, keynote speakers and a skype conversation with two editors who called in from Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine offices.
Nicole said, “I learned that you can make a story from bits and pieces of quotes and little things that might not seem like a story, but when you throw them all together, they make a full story.”
Added Amanda, “I learned that not everyone is up to date with technology and the ability to access news online. There are still a lot of words in print, but it’s rapidly changing into a digital world.”
Students of the Month named at QCHS and FC
Four girls were named Students of the Month for QCHS. They were senior Sarah King, junior Charlie Miller, sophomore Denrieya Hibbert and freshman Maia Costanzo.
Sarah excels in her courses, which include Pre-Calculus, Political Science Honors, British Literature Honors, Physics, Yearbook and QCSDTV Video Production. She takes her pre-calc through cyber. She said she loves politics and hopes to major in Political Science at Moravian College (Bethlehem). She’s concerned about getting a job with that major, however, so she may change her major to Business or Pre-Law. Sarah brings a special energy to everything in which she gets involved. Now in her third year of Yearbook, she took on a leadership role as editor. She likes the fact that she knows the answers to staff members’ questions! She loves “making layouts and building pages,” for the yearbook. Ricki Stein, Video Production teacher, said Sarah has also created more videos than most of the 100-plus other Video Production students this year. “As soon as she gets an idea, she is off and running. When she completes a video, she asks for a new one.”
Yearbook teacher Julie DiGiacomo said, “I know I can trust Sarah to get the job done. Sarah follows the rules. I know making her parents proud is a big motivation for her.”
Charlie Miller loves big animals. She plans to become a zoologist and may matriculate to Delaware Valley College. “I’ve been to the Lehigh Valley Zoo, where they talk about their habitats,” Charlie said. “I like knowing that kind of information.” She earns top grades in American Literature Honors, Calculus, AP Euro, Introduction to Crafts, Chemistry Honors, Spanish II Honors and Yearbook. She likes Chemistry the best, noting that Mr. (Matthew) Rach is a “very good teacher.” One of a set of triplets, Charlie’s sister Abbie was named Student of the Month earlier this school year. Charlie volunteers at her church dinners and with Key Club. With yearbook, “I like knowing I’m creating memories in book form. The book turns out well.”
Brad Huebner, English teacher, said, “Charlie and her sister Abbie both complete assignments thoroughly at a high level. They both add a great deal to class discussions and are a pleasure to have in class. Both show high-level analysis and strong writing skills.”
Denrieya Hibbert likes to write. She wants to write books about realistic fiction and become an English teacher. She takes Honors English, Honors Biology, AP Psychology, Spanish II and Algebra 2. Although she has several years to decide, she is interested in Temple and Princeton universities. She got the idea for Princeton from a Cinderella story in which the character went there. “So I looked it up and it looks like a great school!” Denrieya said. She is a varsity cheerleader and works with a Quakertown Elementary student through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. “I was a little sister when I was a kid, so I like giving back,” Denrieya said. “We have a good bond. We are good friends.”
Biology teacher Tina Sullivan said, “Denrieya is tenacious in her academic efforts. She comes back again and again to ask questions and clarify information. She is a highly motivated student.”
Maia Constanzo is one of the pioneer freshmen who attend the Upper Bucks County Technical School. She goes to the morning Health Care classes and will go at least one more year, she said. She wants to become a neonatal nurse because she likes babies. Now she is learning theory about room care and first aid and in the skills lab, she learns the hands-on practice of bed-making and other room care necessities. Back at the Freshman Center, she especially likes English because she likes to read and write. She hopes to publish a book she is currently writing about a girl who travels with her aunt to find a place in the world. Maia will travel with the QCHS Marching Band on a bus to Orlando in the coming weeks. The band will march in a parade at Disney World. Multitalented, she played the marimbas in the pit last year; this year she plays the flute; she has played xylophone; next year she wants to join Color Guard.
Mellinda Joseph, FC science teacher, said, “Maia goes above and beyond in the classroom. I can always rely on Maia to not only have her homework done, but have it done well, even when she is absent. Maia has maintained one of the highest science grades throughout the year and is constantly striving to get the best grades she can. Maia is the type of person to give you the shirt off of her back if she felt that you needed it more. She'll help any of her peers without judgment or hesitation. Selfless, drama-free, and caring are great words to describe her. Maia has set high goals for herself in and out of school. She has clear plans and vision of her future. She is part of a tech program that she is clearly passionate about.”
Wrestlers gain experience at PIAA tournament
|The QCHS wrestlers who competed at the PIAA Championships in Hershey did not come away with medals, but they did come away with experience. Sophomore Harrison Campbell (113 pounds) lost 7-3 in a first round match to the eventual state champ, Devin Brown of Franklin Regional. Harrison then beat Luke Carty of Bethlehem Catholic, 2-1, before losing 6-1 in the Consolation Round to K.J. Fenstermacher of Liberty High School. Harrison fell one round short of placing in the top 8. |
Junior Gavin Caroff (195 pounds) lost 7-1 to Eli Grape of Upper St Clair. Gavin then beat Steve McNeill of Central Dauphin, 4-1. Gavin exited after losing to Tom Alcaro of Emmaus who won by pin. Gavin finished two rounds short of placing in the top 8.
Senior Micah Jones (220 pounds) lost to a 5-3 match in overtime to Brad Drabenstadt of Cumberland Valley. Then he lost 13-7 to Zeb Pfeiffer of Penn Manor 13-7. Pfeiffer eventually placed seventh.
QCHS coach Kurt Handel said, “Our young guys earned a win and had a great experience. They were so close to placing. That bodes well for the future.”
Snow removal heroes keep schools open as often as possible
Everybody needs to clean up their driveways and walkways at home before going to school. When they get to school, the QCSD maintenance staff and building custodians get to do it all again! On perhaps the sloppiest day of 2015 so far, Wednesday, March 4, some building administrators and teachers helped the core group of shovelers to get the job done for the 2-hour delay because the temperatures did not warm as expected.
Kudos to the snow removal heroes, who have had to clean up in QCSD for five snow days and 10 two-hour delays (as of Thursday, March 5). A week ago, the maintenance staff responded quickly when a water main broke in front of Neidig. Rittenhouse Plumbers also responded quickly and the leak was fixed by the end of the day.
“Everything happens at Neidig,” said custodian Scott Bosworth, recalling the Coca Cola truck that knocked down the canopy in front about five years ago and a two-week summer power outage, thanks to squirrels. “All we need is a swarm of locusts!” he joked.
The borough, township and PennDOT plowers also make traffic life happen on snow days, too. It’s not a job for the weak!
QCSD Facilities Director Kelly Harper provided the names of all the QCSD Snow Shovel Heroes. When you see them, thank them.
District staff: Rob Christine, Jon Kingcade, Todd Pearson,Dave Greger, Matt Owens, Tom Sullivan. QCHS: Dale Weaver, Gene Kauffman,Kyle Chapman (GCA), Gerry Detweiler (GCA), Wayne Gilbert, Cindy George, Dave Mininger, Edwin Vazquez. Freshman Center:
Dave Beahn, Patrick Mckeown, Vic Bartholomew, Bill Van Pelt.
QE: Guy Barndt, Sam Allen (GCA). Neidig: Scott Bosworth, Brent Brayerton (GCA), Holli Leninger (GCA). Richland: Scott Hendricks, Edgar Ortiz (GCA), Shawn Thomas(GCA). Trumbauersville (all GCA): John Prosse, Donald Cooper. Tohickon: Dennis Rothenberger,
Brenda Watts (GCA). Pfaff: Jeff Snyder, Isaac Inyang (GCA), Lee Henry (GCA).
Strayer: (all GCA) Tom Monseratt, Brandon Groh, Andy Kurtz, Bechara Azar, Habte Mengistu,
Danny Jarrett. Milford: Tammy Vargo, Jim Heron (GCA).
Hershey Bound for PIAA State Championships
Head coach Kurt Handel and Assistant Coach Brian Poster have had a good run in their
14 years together with the QCHS wrestling team. They headed to Hershey’s Giant Arena for the 2015 PIAA State Wrestling Championships, which run March 5-7, with three Panthers: Gavin Caroff, Harrison Campbell and Micah Jones.
“It’s the first time in five years we’ve taken three qualifiers to states,” Handel said, ready with memorized data. We’ve had one state champion, Pat Flynn, in 2007. For 13 of our 14 years, we’ve taken one or more wrestlers to states.”
Sophomore Harrison Campbell wrestles at 113 pounds. He posted a record of 37 wins, 7 losses this year and over two years has a 61-17 record. He qualified for Districts in 2014. This year he placed second at Sectionals, third at Districts and third at Regionals. He said he hopes to place in the top 8 at Hershey. “I like wrestling because it’s the hardest sport mentally and physically that you can compete in.”
Junior Gavin Caroff wrestles at 195 pounds. He is 29-9 for the year; 77-42 for three 3 years. He was a Regional Qualifier in 2014. This year he placed second at Sectionals, second at Districts; and fifth at Regionals. He said he wants to win some matches at Hershey. “I like the life lessons I learn from wrestling.”
Senior Micah Jones wrestles at 220 pounds. He is 33-11 this year, 84-60 over four years. He was a District qualifier in 2014. This year he placed second at Sectionals, third at Districts, and sixth at Regionals. The top five automatically qualify for states. Micah advanced because a wrestler who finished ahead of him did not pass a concussion test. Micah said he hopes to win a match at states. “I like the camaraderie of wrestling,” he said.
Handel offered, “Gavin and Harrison are young. This should be a great experience for them. Micah has a second chance. At states, wrestlers can go 0 and 2 and barbecue, or they can place when no one expects them to. Everyone out in Hershey is so equal.”
Watch your twitter feed for updates! @QTownWrestling; @QCHSAthletics; @QCSDNews.
QCHS musicians competing at the top of their games
QCHS singers Caitlin DiCara, Julia Donahue, Hayden Smith and Ron Jon Cubbage will participate in the 2015 Pennsylvania All-State Chorus festival next week in Hershey. It will be the second trip to All-State Chorus, in as many years, for Caitlin and Ron Jon. Julia placed first out of all the girls in her section. This means that Julia was ranked first out of all the soprano twos at the PMEA festival - from Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties.
Adam Rizzo and Donovan Donnelly will represent QCHS at the March 12-14 PMEA Region Orchestra at Oxford High School. They have an opportunity to be selected to the All State orchestra. QCHS does not have an orchestra program, so it is especially remarkable that the two are competing.
Joe’s Jazz Café and the QCHS Jazz Band will be two of the six bands in the finals of the 2015 SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase March 15 at the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café. The winner of the 4 p.m. event will qualify to open for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at 8:30 p.m. May 15 during RiverJazz. The showcase and its finals will also be featured during a one-hour TV special on 69-WFMZ-TV on April 4 at 9 p.m.
Joe Santanello and Frank Parker will direct each of their bands through a 20-minute set before a live audience and the judges. Tickets for the showcase finals are $6 and on sale now atwww.steelstacks.org and 610-332-3378.
QCHS runners fare well at state meet
Brett Wolfinger and Maddie Ocamb finished among the top 20 in their events at last week’s PA Indoor Track and Field State Championships at Penn State. Maddie finished 19th in the one-mile run. Brett finished 11th in the 800 meter run, setting a new school record of 1:57.54 in the process! In the photos above, taken by Coach Sean Stetler, Brett runs in a meet at Lehigh and Maddie runs in the New York City Armory.
QCHS 2014 graduate Alex Balla recently placed sixth in the 5k (3.1 miles) at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSA) Championship! Running for Shippensburg, he finished in 15:03 as the top freshman in the conference!
Drumline wins first competition
Quakertown's Indoor Percussion Ensemble, called Aftershock Percussion, placed first in its first competition of the 2015 season, February 28 at Perkioment Valley High School. The Front Ensemble (Pit) Mmembers are Jaclyn Favaroso, Reina Kwon, Brooke Blair, Jackie Uhler, Jess Gall, and Kristen Hirthler. The Battery Members are Phil Bohner, Richard Krisher, Andrew Snider, Brad Stark, Noah Mair, Liz Aber, Evan Cole, Erin Cairns, Delaney Mitchell, and Matt (Craig) Myers.
The drumline scored the highest in the Stand Still class. Drumline instructors are Russell Davies Jr., Perry Boucher, James Lewis and Stephanie Miller.
“We are trying to bring our program back up to the top and we can't wait to go back out this Saturday,” said Jaclyn Favaroso.
QCHS volleyball player gaining national stature
|Senior Dylan Flor, selected to the Keystone Region Volleyball Association (KRVA) Regional Team, which will compete at the 2015 USA High Performance Volleyball Tournament in mid-July in Iowa. The 6-foot-5 hitter will play volleyball next year on a scholarship at Kean University in Morris, New Jersey. The Kean men’s volleyball team is currently ranked #1 in Division 3 in the nation in men’s volleyball. |
QCHS athletes qualify for states and regionals
QCHS athletes are moving on to regional and state competition! In District One competition this week, freshman Taylor Bennett placed fourth in the Diving Championships and will be going to states. The wrestling team finished fourth at the District 1 East Tournament and will send five individuals to regionals February 27 and 28 at Oxford High School. The top five at regionals advance to states.
The regional qualifiers are: Sophomore Harrison Campbell finished third at 113 pounds; sophomore Noah Wood finished third at 160 pounds; junior Nick Bonomo finished second at 170 pounds; junior Gavin Caroff finished third at 195 pounds; and senior Micah Jones finished third at 220 pounds.
Three wrestlers finished in the medal rounds but did not advance to states. Senior Cullin Williams finished fifth at 145 pounds; junior Tanner Seislove finished fifth at 138 pounds; and sophomore Nick Hadley finished sixth at 126 pounds.
Maddie Ocamb and Brett Wolfinger qualified for the indoor track and field state championships, which will be held February 28 at Penn State Main Campus. Maddie qualified in the 1-mile run and Brett qualified in the 800-meter run.
Athlete recognition ceremony honors 7 student-athletes
During a ceremony in the QCHS Media Center, school staff, coaches, family and friends honored seven athletes who have committed to playing sports in college. Football players Eric Dzieniszewski, Alec Vera and Luke Wood joined soccer players Erinne Finlayson and Linzi Wolfe, baseball player Zach Metz and golfer Joey Rochelle. The students shared a humorous or memorable moment, what they learned from high school athletics and what they hope to accomplish in college.
Zach said he remembered flipping backwards over a fence and rolling down a hill during a sophomore year practice when Coach Jonathan Pallone was hitting fly balls to the outfield. “I learned hard work pays off,” Zach said. He plans to “learn a better sense of time management in college and some more discipline with balancing school and sports.” He will major in mechanical engineering at Wilkes University. Coach Pallone pointed out that Zach is more than a baseball player, “he’s actually quite a talented young Renaissance Man.” Zach plays in the band and competes in TSA (Technology Student Association).
Eric said he enjoyed beating Pennridge twice in one football season. He learned that “nothing is given to you.” He plans to pursue a great education and playing at the Division 2 level at Shippensburg. He will begin undecided about a major.
Alec said he will always remember winning the Suburban One League Conference Championship game. We started off that game really slow and fumbled in the end zone, gave them a touchback but we were able to come back and showed a lot of resiliency that game. “I’ll take with me all the life lessons Coach Banas taught me over the years,” Alec said. “He’s a great football coach and I think he teaches more than just football. He teaches how to become a man.” He looks forward to a great education, playing at the D3 level.” He’s going to Ursinus as undecided but said he will probably major in something to do with business.
Luke said there was “nothing sweeter” than beating your rivals (Pennridge) twice in one season. “I learned what it means to be a team. One of the key reasons we were a success this year is that we were a really strong unit and we rallied together.” He plans to study mechanical engineering and play great football at Wilkes University.
Coach Banas said the three seniors were “like an extension of my right arm. They believed. They didn’t question. They believed wholeheartedly that we had a destiny, that we were a family and we’d stay together on Friday nights and Saturdays. Along the way, they became young men. That helped them decide on college and careers. I’m going to miss them terribly. This group was so special.”
Joey said he was grateful to play well when it mattered. He placed in the top 10 of the Suburban One golf tournament, learning, “Hard work and patience pays off.” He wants to play a big role on the golf team at Moravian College, where he will major in accounting. “I want to be the guy my coach and teammates rely on,” Joey said. Coach Nick Hood remembered, “The first time I met him on the phone, he told me, ‘I’ll do anything I can to help you Bud.’ He called me Bud the first time I met him. I knew his personality before I met him. The two best things about him are his work ethic and his enthusiasm. I’ve personally played with him in monsoons. Last year at this time he texted me and asked me if I wanted to play golf in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He wanted to go see if there was no snow on the course.”
Erinne said she remembers keeping a shutout against Saucon Valley sophomore year. She felt committed to soccer and leading the team. “[Coach] Mike Koch is really good at having the captains lead the team, helping promote my leadership skills. I had to figure out how to run the team with the help of Linzi [Wolfe], Jami [Soriano] and Mikaela [Blaisse]. Mike would guide us in the right direction. I got to know all the girls really well.” Erinne will major in television production at Montclair State University in New Jersey, where she hopes to achieve big things in soccer.
Linzi remembers the dogpiles that followed three overtime victories over Hatboro-Horsham. She was part of each winning goal. She said she learned to never give up, to keep on trying and encouraging others. She said her leadership skills improved, too, through soccer. She will begin undecided, without a major, at West Chester University but hopes to have an impact on the soccer team. Coach Koch noted that the girls were both named to the SOL Team each of the last three seasons. Each was recognized by newspapers on their all-star teams. “We competed in every game. Assistant Coach Mellinda Joseph added, “From the first time I saw these two play, I could have predicted they would be here, going to play on scholarships at their respective schools. They wanted it. Sorry to see them go, but very excited to follow them in their careers and educations as well.”
A QCSDTV News video will be ready next week. You can watch it on Comcast 968, Verizon 34 and at https://www.youtube.com/user/QCSDTVNews.
QCEA honors 2013 and 2014 retirees
Strayer teacher Kadishe Stoudt hosted the Quakertown Community Education Association’s annual retirement dinner at The Meadows in Hellertown. Retirees who attended were Phyllis Hartman (Tohickon Valley); Stella Barr (Milford); Maureen Fazio and Steve Curley (both Strayer) and Carol Kukitz (QCHS).
Others who retired but did not attend were Steve Cherrybon (Freshman Center); Beth Davco, Barbara Derry and Pat Walker (Tohickon Valley); Marianne Johnson (Neidig); Deborah Bargione (QCHS); Ronnie Rother (Pfaff); Martha Nolan (QE) and Cindy Donahue (Milford).
“What speaks volumes is that we love and honor each other, and with that admiration, we are able to support, one another, wholeheartedly, but more so, we are lucky enough to share our greatest gift to children...We were all born to teach, love, and nurture,” said Mrs. Stoudt.
Jazz bands move on to next round at Steel Stacks
“Our kids were fantastic this weekend!” said Director Frank Parker after the QCHS Jazz Ensemble and Joe’s Jazz Café, under the direction of Joseph Santanello, each received ratings of Superior at Sunday’s Arts Quest Steel Stacks High School Jazz Band Showcase. The two groups performed in the preliminary round for a panel of four adjudicators. Both will move on to the final round, March 15. The final round will be taped and will air on Channel 69.
Twelve high school jazz bands performed in one of three preliminary rounds, held during the past two weeks. The bands were rated “Very Good,” Excellent” or “Superior.” Awards were given to recognize the outstanding sections and outstanding soloists for the festival.
The QCHS Jazz Band won superior ratings for the Best Reed Section, Best Rhythm Section, and the Outstanding Brass Soloist Award for Donovan Donnelly on trombone.
Jazz bands to perform Sunday at Steel Stacks
|The Quakertown High School Instrumental Music Department begins its 2015 jazz season this Sunday, February 22 at the Bethlehem Arts Quest MusikFest Café at Steel Stacks. Both the QCHS Jazz Bands, “Joe’s Jazz Café” and the “QCHS Jazz Ensemble” will perform as part of the Arts Quest Steel Stacks High School Jazz Band Showcase Preliminary Round. “Joe’s Jazz Café,” directed by Strayer Band Director Joseph Santanello, will perform at 5:15 PM. The two time defending Steel Stacks High School Jazz Band Showcase Champions, the “QCHS Jazz Ensemble,” directed by Frank C. Parker, will perform at 5:40 PM. The awards ceremony will take place immediately after the QCHS Jazz Ensemble performance. |
The Steel Stacks High School Jazz Band Showcase will feature 12 high school jazz bands from PA and NJ, divided into three preliminary rounds. The top rated 6 bands will advance to the Steel Stacks Finals on March 15. The judges, who are music educators and jazz musicians, will also select the outstanding trumpet section, trombone section, saxophone section, and rhythm section at each event. They will also recognize the most outstanding soloists. After the final round in March, the band rated as the top band will have the opportunity to open for the great jazz group “Spyro Gyra” in May as part of the Arts Quest River Jazz.
QCHS athletes qualify for District 1 championships
11 QCHS wrestlers and three swimmers qualified for District 1 championships by placing at the Suburban One League Continental Conference tournaments. Three freshmen girls qualified for districts - Kaylee Heimes, Alex Keeny and Taylor Bennett. Alex placed fourth in the 500-yard freestyle in a consideration time of 5:28.54. She qualified with a time of 2:00.8 in the 200-yard freestyle. Taylor placed second at the SOL-CC event in diving. The photo above was taken by Mark C. Psoras of The Reporter at the February 11 Diving Championships at North Penn. Kaylee qualified in the 50-yard free in 25.28 and in the 100 freestyle in 56.15. Alex has been competing in U.S. Swimming for several years with Parkland Aquatic Club. Kaylee competes in U.S. Swimming meet with Upper Perk Swim Club. Taylor competes in U.S. Diving with TNT, based in Upper Dublin.
The wrestlers placed second as a team at the SOL-CC event. The individuals moving on are Harrison Campbell, Daulton Kline, Nick Hadley, Brendan Rosenberger, Tanner Seislove, Cullen Williamson, Noah Wood, Nick Bonomo, Gavin Caroff, Micah Jones and Justin Correa.
In other sports news, the QHCS Cheerleaders took first place at Lansdale Catholic last weekend, producing the highest score of the day for Grand Champions status. Six QCHS senior athletes were recognized at a February 19 events in the Media Center. Their stories will appear in next week’s Kudos.
Strayer and Milford wrestlers win medals at QCSD tournament
Close to 600 wrestlers from 32 middle schools competed in the District 1 meet Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14 in the QCHS gym. The combined Quakertown squad from Strayer and Milford placed 4th in team competition.
Six individual wrestlers earned spots on the podium for QCSD. Mitchell Stover (Milford, 77 pounds), Luca Frinzi (Strayer, 112) and Stone Snyder (Strayer, 124), all won gold medals. Strayer’s Max Russell won a silver medal at 147 pound; Zach Lewis (Milford, 92 pounds) was fifth; and Vinny DeSpirito (82) was sixth.
Quakertown Soccer Club wins award
QSC was recently named the 2014 Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association’s Soccer Club of the Year. QSC is the only the second club to win the D’Anjolell Award more than once. The D’Anjolell Award is presented through the EPYSA’s independent evaluation based on activities the club offers. The club develops players through recreational and competitive play.
Pfaff families know reading matters
Pfaff families rose to the occasion to help purchase more materials for the school library by spending money at the recent Barnes & Noble fundraiser. In store sales the night of the event totaled $2,988.12. Online sales amounted to $140.26. Because B&N contributes 20% and 12% of proceeds, Pfaff will receive a gift card for $614.45.
B&N Community Business Development Manager Colleen Gorsky said, “Thanks again for all your efforts. By the way, our staff said that your students are always so well behaved and that they love having your book fair in our store!” Kudos to all the Pfaff families and staff members who participated.
Four named Students of the Month at QCHS and FC
This week, the Upper Bucks Rotary feted Joelle Simeu for her November Student of the Month selection. Meanwhile, teachers and administrators selected four more students as Students of the Month for January at the high school and Freshman Center. Photos for senior Ty Schubert, junior Leslie Alfaro, sophomore Brendan Rosenberger and freshman Nick Kreuz will be added to the hallway wall for Student of the Month
Ty Schubert is a solid A-B student who utilizes his time well, according to Steve Kimball, Dean of Students. “I interact with Ty on a daily basis, and I am always impressed with his courtesy, humor, and maturity. He has never had a disciplinary issue. Ty's senior project is truly unique--a genuine example of leadership and civic involvement that all high schools hope their students achieve. Ty is instrumental in revamping the skate park on Main Street. They have the blueprints drawn up, approval from the Borough, and are in the fundraising stages.”
Ty takes. Physics, Personal Finance, English, Political Science, Calculus, and Digital Photography. He earns As and Bs. He is waiting to hear from one more college before deciding where to attend. He has been accepted at East Stroudsburg University, West Virginia, Bloomsburg and Lock Haven. He thinks he will major in biology. He works at Sneaker King when he is not at the Main Street Skate Park. Because of his frequency at the park, Quakertown Borough officials asked him to help design a new park, which will be built in phases around the existing facility. Ty said the borough is working to secure a $10,000 grant before holding a groundbreaking ceremony. Ty incorporated his participation in the planning for his graduation project.
Junior Leslie Alfaro holds a 99% in Honors US III. Teacher Mike Sandler said she is always prepared, engaged, and willing to participate in class. “She is respectful and leads by example.” Leslie said she has As in all of her courses, which include Honors English, Honors Bio, Honors Algebra 2, Business Law, and International Business. She takes French 3 via the QCSD Cyber Program, in which she learns the culture and language. She would like to attend Washington and Jefferson College or Hofstra University, which offer the international business program she seeks. Then she wants to travel to France. “I like economics, helping others and history,” Leslie said. Before moving to Quakertown, Leslie attended the culinary program at tech school. One of her hobbies is cooking. She is seeking a job to support her goals.
Sophomore Brendan Rosenberger is always trying his best the first time and asks great questions regarding the material in class at the most appropriate times, according to Physical Education and Health Teacher Brittany Remmey, “Brendan is so positive with his classmates. He is the first person to make someone feel appreciated and welcome in my class. I also see him in the hallways with great school spirit. His understanding towards others strengths and weaknesses is well beyond his years.”
Brendan carries As and Bs in all his classes, including AP Psychology and AP History. He takes honors level core courses. He said he finds the field of psychology exciting and wants to help troubled youth in a future career. “My dad worked in the field for a while and I hate seeing kids in that position.” Many family members attended Penn State University and he travels there a lot, so he sees a possible PSU matriculation. He is a member of the Key Club because helping people is part of his life.
Brendan wrestles at 132 pounds for the Panthers. Assistant Principal Jason Magditch, who helps with the team, said, “Brendan certainly has the dedication. He puts in the time.” Brendan said he likes to win by legitimate pin. “There’s the team aspect to wrestling but as an individual sport, and it’s always on you to be ready to go,” he said.
Nicholas Kreuz acknowledged that he is a student who puts in a little more effort all the time, which explains the As and Bs he earns in every class. He likes math the best and wants to become a mechanical engineer. He likes creating CAD drawings in his Project Lead the Way class, Intro to Engineering Design. “I like the hands-on of science,” Nick said. He competed Saturday in the Technology Student Association (TSA) Regionals at Strayer. Nick earned his black belt in karate when he was 10 and still trains at Upper Bucks Martial Arts. He plays soccer with QSC and played with the Panther junior varsity in the fall. In a couple weeks, Nick will travel to British Columbia for a family ski trip.
Freshman Center English teacher Jen Stover said, “Nicholas' work ethic and effort are exceptional. He has a very challenging course load and has exceptional grades in all classes. He consistently checks his work against rubrics and exemplars. Nicholas behavior and general demeanor are beyond expectations for a 14-year-old. He is consistently polite and kind to others and wouldn't dream of breaking a school rule.
5 QCHS students win gold at SkillsUSA District event
Five QCHS students who attend Upper Bucks County Technical School placed first at the District 11 Region SkillsUSA competition last week at Allentown’s Agriplex. They advance to the state event in the spring. Five more QCHS-UBCTS students placed second and third. In all, 29 of the 79 UBCTS students who competed won gold, silver and bronze medals, which included Quakertown, Palisades and Pennridge students.
Senior Taylor Bauman and sophomore Foster Barndt, Law Enforcement specialists, each won gold in the Crime Scene Investigation competition.
Senior Rachel Miller, who attends Health Care Careers at UBCTS, won gold for Customer Service. Sophomore Meghan Woulfe, Health Care student, won gold in First Aid/CPR. And junior John Leigh, a Plumbing Technology student, won gold in the Job Interview category.
QCHS students who collected second place awards were senior Jason Crawford, Machining Technologies, in CNC Technician competition; senior Nikki Welsh, Law Enforcement student in First Aid/CPR; freshman Chris Poulton, a Small Engine Technology student, in the Power Equipment Technology competition.
Third place awards went to QCHS freshman Brittany Lenig, a Baking & Pastry Arts student, in the Commercial Baking category; and junior Bronson Ny, Plumbing Technology student in Job Skills Demo A.
You can read more about the SkillsUSA winners in the February 13 Quake newsletter by clicking here.
TSA Regional features hundreds of competitors
Hundreds of students packed Strayer Middle School Saturday, Feb. 7 to compete in the Region 5 Conference of Pennsylvania TSA (Technology Student Association). The home teams represented QCHS, the Freshman Center, Milford and Strayer. Nine total middle school teams participated while 29 high schools participated.
Nearly 55 competition categories covered the gamut, including CAD, dragsters, Structural Engineering, website design, biotechnology design, fashion design, flight endurance, Future Technology Teacher and Tech Bowl written test.
QCSD’s students who placed among the top three in their categories are here. You can read all the QCSD results by clicking here
First place: Haley van den Burg, QCHS – Desktop Publishing; Amanda Hunsberger, QCHS – Dragster Design; Jessica Atler, Strayer, Dragster; Abby Sicher, Strayer, Flight
Team A, Strayer, Leadership Strategies.
Second place: Digital Video Production – Team A; Trevor Fowler, QCHS, Dragster Design; Colin Smith, QCHS, Extemporaneous Speech; Jeff Prusch, QCHS, Flight Endurance; Madeline Reim, Strayer, Dragster; Cheyenne White, Strayer, Flight; Team B Strayer, Medical Technology Issues; Team A Strayer, Problem Solving; Evan Slotterbach, Strayer, PA-Snapshot; Team A Milford Structural Model.
Third place: Team B QCHS – Biotechnology Design; Team A QCHS – Manufacturing Prototype; Jacob Hallowell, Strayer, Dragster; Go Green Manufacturing, Strayer Team C;
Team A Strayer, Problem Solving; Team C Strayer, Structural Model; Team A Strayer, Calculator Robots; Grace Mallo, Strayer, PA-Snapshot; Jared Leatherman, Milford, Flight
QCHS musicians advance in PMEA competition
QCHS junior Adam Rizzo (oboe and English horn) and senior Donovan Donnelly (trombone) played in the competitive PMEA District 11 concert at Souderton High School Saturday, Feb. 7. Both musicians advanced and will attend the PMEA Region VI Festival at Oxford (Chester County) March 12 through March 14.
Band teacher Frank Parker is taking the entire concert band to the March 27 All State conference to perform. QCHS was selected out of a large number of applicants (Parker has that number) to perform.
Neidig teacher flattered to be nominated for
Bucks County Teacher of the Year
Fourth grader Alex Viola spotted a flyer for Bucks County Teacher of the Year and decided to nominate his Neidig teacher, Nina Billman. Principal Adam Schmucker said only 26 teachers were nominated county wide. People can vote for Nina by clicking here. Voting ends today (Feb. 6). Alex said Mrs. Billman makes learning fun and she is “highly organized.”
“I’m flattered that a student would take the time away from his video games to plan and write an essay to nominate me,” Nina said with her customary smile. Asked why she thinks a student would nominate her, Nina said, “I try to use humor and to be personable, to make the connection with students. But I don’t feel different than any other teacher. I beg, borrow and steal from other teachers to make my lessons work.”
In her 10th year, Nina was a graphic designer in a previous career. She created print material for advertising and marketing but she knew she “couldn’t sit behind a desk all day.”
Mr. Schmucker said Nina is a quiet leader in the building. QCSD art teacher Kate Fetterolf, who used to work at Neidig and now at Strayer, said, “Nina teaches kids to be confident and responsible community members. She expects the best and gets it. She creates a positive atmosphere of unity and forward momentum. Students respond and love her for believing so strongly in them as capable and unique individuals. Years later in middle school, students and parents still light up when they talk about her. She runs a tight ship with a big heart. ”
QCHS and Strayer named SpringBoard National Demo schools, again
Seven QCSD employees were on hand last week to pick up an award from the College Board, which honored the high school and Strayer Middle School for the third year in a row as National SpringBoard Demonstration schools. Rachel Trosino, QCHS English teacher, said the two schools submitted a portfolio and student work samples in May 2014. College Board representatives then visited the schools to observe.
The group attended the Middle States Conference, sponsored by the College Board, in Baltimore, Maryland. The group included English teachers Trosino and Gail Ferry (Strayer), Learning Facilitators Lynne Morgan and Terri Kelly, Curriculum Supervisor Dr. Rachel Holler, QCHS Principal David Finnerty and Counselor Eric Gozzard, as well as Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner. They attended sessions that revealed updates in AP courses and exams and SAT exams. Practice sessions for all exams will be available online, which is a new option.
“We have an exceptional team that continually pushes SpringBoard to improve because our teachers took the program to a new level with technology,” said QCHS House Principal Karen Shanton. “Our teachers have done more with the program than College Board anticipated. The program contributes to vertical alignment [so that student learning builds with each successive year].”
Principal Finnerty said, “Our SpringBoard teams play a pivotal role in preparing our students for success at the AP level and beyond. I’m very proud of our team.”
Mrs. Ferry said, “Reading is the essence of all learning, and writing is the expression of that knowledge. By using the tools offered through SpringBoard, we are laying a strong foundation for what our students need to be successful. We expect quite a bit from our students in the RELA classroom, and they step up to the plate and deliver.”
Nomination is the first step for QCHS senior
|QCHS senior Mikey Kelsall received a nomination from Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mikey waits now for the appointment from the admissions office at the academy, where officers are sifting through a “very elite pool of nominated candidates,” according to Dr. Bill Harner, Superintendent. “Our students are competitive.”|
Teacher retires mid-year
Pfaff fifth grade teacher Ronnie Rother retired at the end of the second marking period because she could! She put in 36 “wonderful years,” she said while celebrating her last day with her current class. Students, parents and colleagues lavished her with gifts, food and flowers. Ronnie and students sang math facts while dancing up a storm to the Electric Slide and the Macarena.
Ronnie planned to retire in June, but left sooner to become a caregiver for her parents in Wilkes-Barre.
“I estimate I have taught almost 1,000 students over those years,” she said. “I am so thankful for having had this wonderful opportunity to have possibly made a difference. QCSD is the best.”
QCHS and Freshman Center host transition nights
Several hundred parents and students recently attended two transition programs hosted by QCHS and the Freshman Center. At the high school, families learned about required courses for incoming 10th graders and visited with teachers who set up materials to showcase electives. A week later, families learned about required courses and electives at the Freshman Center.
The goal was to ease the anxiety for students and their parents as the teens transition from eighth to ninth and ninth to 10th grade. Milford and Strayer Middle School staff members spoke to eighth graders in their own auditorium spaces as well, to make sure they reached all students as they prepare to select courses.
QCSD athletics updates and highlights
The fastest way to get QCHS athletics news these days is to follow QCHSAthletics on Twitter. For instance, on Monday night, moments after the end of the her swimming race, the Twitter feed showed, “Kaylee Heimes 1st place 100 Free 57.46 Awesome!” A sub one-minute time for the 100-yard event is awesome! Also in that meet at Pennridge, freshman Taylor Bennett won the diving competition.
Here are other athletic highlights from the week:
• Lindsay Beck, Amanda Pursel and Jen Sterner were named Honorable Mention players for the Suburban One All-League Team.
• In, track, four girls pooled their talents to set a new school record in the distance medley relay. They were Maddie Ocamb, Sierra Camburn, Janae Hickey and Karina Bolton.
• The girls’ basketball team played well against CB East, keeping the game to two points until 1:32 remained. CB East finished with a 50-42 victory. On Wednesday night, the Panthers beat Pottstown 57-28!
• During Senior Night for swimmers in their first home meet in many years, the team honored Xavier Villanueva and Nick Bluder. Both girls’ and boys’ teams won the meet against visiting Salisbury. The girls won 93-61 and the boys 105-40.
• The QCHS Cheer Squad won first out of four teams in a competition at CB East High School last Sunday.
• The Strayer wrestling team beat Milford this week. Both teams wrestled their hearts out, according to Coach Chris Deily. Jake Ziegler (above) was the Big Cat winner for Strayer. He won an overtime match by scoring on a last-second takedown.
• Strayer also beat Penn South 54-42 recently. Zach Werner earned the Junior Varsity Big Cat award for his epic final second headlock that scored him 5 points and put him ahead in his match and helped him earn a minor decision win. Justin Bennett earned the varsity Big Cat award for not only giving up 20 pounds to his opponent, but pinning him and sealing the victory for Strayer. Yesterday was a great match against Milford. Both teams wrestled their hearts out but Strayer ended up with the win.
Milford students win essay contest
Milford eighth graders Kellie Wagner and Ashton Herd tied for second place recently in the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA) Branch 146 American Essay Contest competition. The contest attracted nearly 400 entries, including many from other QCSD students entered.
Kellie and Ashton each won $50 and are now eligible for the FRA Regional Competition. If they prove successful there, they will be eligible for the FRA National Competition with cash awards up to as much as $5,000. They each wrote an essay about why they are proud to be an American.
Teacher Lisa Cravener said, “The kids wrote about being a strong nation that helps other countries in need and how we are willing to let people have a say in the government and give people rights that other countries don’t allow their people to have.”
Strayer students win poster contest
The Bucks County Department of Health awarded Strayer seventh graders Jenna Blair third prize and Sarahjane Galvin honorable mention in a poster contest. Both girls had their posters wrapped on a bus that will be seen by 2.3 million people in the county to help educate the public about the importance of immunizations!
Nice guy gets attention on Suburban One Sports website
QCHS senior Micah Jones was recently featured as the Uninvest Athlete of the week! The two-sport athlete comes from a big family and likes to help people. He’s popular among his peers because he has a down-to-earth, humorous personality. It’s tough to take a photo of Micah without him striking a humorous pose. You can read all about him by clicking here, for the Suburban One Sports website.
Picture of calm, junior sinks game-winner in waning seconds
QCHS junior Meghan Klee sank two game-winning free throws with 10 seconds left, to lift the Panthers over Hatboro-Horsham Wednesday night, 36-34. It was the team’s first league win since 2013.
Meghan said the team is improving. “We’re working better together and taking care of the ball and being more patient with it,” she said, quick to give credit to all the team members. She starts with Jill Martin, Olivia Morano, Spenser Gray and Marina Cooke. Brooke Alwine, Maggie Garlick, McKenna Kressley come off the bench to affect play. The team hosts C.B. East Friday, Jan. 30, varsity at 7 p.m.
You can read the Suburban One write-up on Wednesday’s game by clicking here.
United Way campaign under way
Every year QCSD staff members join the campaign to raise money for United Way of Bucks County, a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization that determines and addresses the greatest needs in Bucks County. When staff members donate through a single donation or paycheck deduction, 680 young children will actually be given a chance to succeed in school; 860 people will work toward family economic security so they can support their families; 3,800 people will receive counseling services when they need them most; and 100,000 meals and more than 15 tons of produce will reach people in our community so that no child goes to bed hungry and no senior has to choose between heat and food this winter.
This year’s initiatives include Bucks Knocks Out Hunger, Success By 6, and Bucks County Women’s Initiative. The marketing campaign called for administrators to dress as heroes, as you can see in the photos. At left, Dr. Jennifer Bubser and Scott Godshalk. At right, Stephen Kimball and Derek Peiffer. Donations are due by Feb. 12.
UBCTS Diesel Program receives national accreditation
The Diesel Technology Program at Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS) in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, recently earned full accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The Diesel Technology Program has been master accredited in the following areas: Diesel Engines, Steering & Suspensions, Brakes, Drive Trains, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Heating & Air Conditioning, Preventive Maintenance Inspection, and Hydraulics.
To achieve this coveted recognition, the school’s diesel training program underwent rigorous evaluation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities, and equipment were used.
“This is great news for diesel-minded young people and their parents,” said Donald Seyfer, former NATEF Chair. “Because this program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that UBCTS’s graduates will be employable entry-level technicians. As a result of the quality education provided by UBCTS, the motoring public will benefit since better repair technicians will join the work force.”
Upon completion of the evaluation, NATEF recommended that UBCTS be accredited by The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE is a national non-profit organization which tests and certifies repair technicians, in addition to accrediting automotive training programs.
Joseph Yerkes, diesel program teacher, added, “During the past few months, we have worked closely with NATEF to make certain that our program would meet strict industry standards, and now we are delighted to join the ranks of the ASE accredited training programs. Students will be assured of a quality education, and shop owners will be assured of getting quality job applicants.”
UBCTS Executive Director, Bernard Wagenseller, stated, “UBCTS offers some of the most advanced technical programs in the nation. Pennsylvania leads the country in Career and Technical Education (CTE) and this region leads Pennsylvania. Our students earn post-secondary level certifications as well as credits toward 2 and 4 year college degrees. Graduates leave UBCTS with the high level skills necessary to secure prestigious technical careers. Collectively, our 20 technical programs tell one of the greatest success stories in education in Bucks County.“
Students create Spanish learning video
Students in Antonella Durante and Jodi Aldefer’s Spanish classes voluntarily made an amusing video about conjugating –ar verbs.
“It was not a class assignment and they received no credit or grade for it,” said Mrs. Alderfer. “How refreshing when students do things like this just for the fun of learning!”
Click here to watch the video.
Updated police coverage
The Richland Township Police Department has become a 24/7 agency and will be the primary agency responding to Strayer Middle School and Richland Elementary. Previously, the State Police covered Richland Township while local police were not on duty. Chief Richard Ficco said he looks forward to working with Quakertown Community School District on a more regular basis.
QCHS librarian featured on Facebook
On December 19, the Digital Learning Day staff at Alliance for Excellent Education featured QCHS Librarian Bekci Kelly’s video on its Facebook page. She was promoting her belief that “kids need access to information.” A week later, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) voted “yes” to approve more money for schools to pay for the Internet and other technology. The School and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, better known as E-Rate, is a federal program that assists schools in paying for internet access or buying other technological improvements. This year, Digital Learning Day is scheduled for live broadcast from Washington, D.C. on March 13.
You can watch the video by clicking here.
QCHS students win broadcast writing competition at PSU-LV
In December, a dozen QCHS students attended a communications workshop at Penn State University-Lehigh Valley, presented by the Pennsylvania Student Press Association (PSPA). Students represented the Recall yearbook staff, the QCSDTV Video Production classes and the Paw Prints journalism class. A few students participated in competitions to compose copy for photographs and to write stories. Seniors Amanda Hunsberger and Nicole Umstead won the Broadcast Script Writing competition and qualified for the March 6 state level competition at Penn State main campus.
The QCHS group met students from five Lehigh Valley high schools. Morning Call Creative Director Bill Childs encouraged students to tap into their creativity no matter what field they purse in college and beyond. “Find creative ways to communicate,” he said. “Everyone loves stories. They want to know what happens next.”
Childs said creativity is a powerful tool. He quoted Ken Robinson, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” to create your best ideas. “Don’t be mediocre. Don’t worry about people laughing at you. If you pursue your passion, you will be good at what you do and you will get better at it. Tapping into creativity opens the genius and possibilities.”
Students participated as reporter/anchor Liz Keptner, who formerly worked for WFMZ in Allentown and Philadelphia CBS 3, as she and Amber Campbell created a TV news show about the day’s workshop. She offered tips for interviewing, gathering video footage, creating sound and editing. Keptner teaches at PSU-LV. “PSPA approached us to offer a variety today,” she said, “because the media is not just one form anymore.” Keptner advised students to join college radio students to improve their voice and writing skills. She also advised students to take on as many responsibilities as possible, not matter what early-career jobs they get, to make themselves more valuable and to open more doors later.
Strayer Strong aims to build safe environment
The entire student body gathered in Strayer’s auditorium for a powerful anti-bullying assembly in late December. After a chilling video showing victims of bully-cide and suicide, members of the Strayer Strong Street Team called out lines of a script from all over the auditorium. The lines asked such questions as, “Why should I say something? There are hundreds of other kids in the school?” and “How could we let it happen?” “Everyone has a voice.”
Guidance counselor Lillian Eskirack sent Strayer Strong groups back to small group exercises by noting, “This is a really heavy topic. We want everyone to be safe in this building.”
Teacher Chris Deily said that since Strayer Strong has been operating for the past eight years, the student body and staff have been able to change the culture of the building. “We’re always working to make it a better place,” he said. “We’ve changed the norms. Kids know it’s not cool to be part of the bully crowd.”
QCHS senior selected to Lehigh Valley Soccer Scholar Athletes list
Senior soccer goalie Erinne Finlayson was one of 76 students honored by the Lehigh Valley Soccer Scholar Athlete committee. The well rounded student athlete is planning to play soccer next year at Montclair State, in New Jersey. The LVSSA banquet was held recently at the Northampton Community Center.
In other sports news, the QCHS wrestlers won the Bellefonte Duals Tournament last weekend while the boys’ basketball team won two games in a row. The Panthers beat Bensalem 61-48.
QCHS Track and Field athletes burning up indoor tracks
Track and field coach Sean Stetler has been keeping a running record of the indoor season and detailing it in blog form. You can click here
to see all of his work.
Recently, the girls competed in the Delaware Valley Girls Track Coaches Association, Meet #5 and the boys competed in the Track and Field Coaches Association of Greater Philadelphia, Meet #5. Some notable performances of the weekend included:
Sophomore Sierra Camburn bested the school record for the 300m Dash. Although rarely run, the 300m record had lasted since 1995 until Sierra broke it by over half a second. Sierra had been eyeing the record all season in preparation for her main event outdoors, the 300m hurdles. Her time of 45.18 was good enough for a 6th place medal.
After multiple attempts, and many near misses, Maddie Ocamb finally got a Meet of Champions qualifier in the mile. Her time of 5:28.54 placed her 4th out of 43 girls. Her mark, an indoor personal best, was just 5 seconds off a state championship qualifier!
The boys’ quartet of Brett Wolfinger, Eli Barndt, Tommaso Stalletti and Hudson Delisle placed 4th out of 24 teams. Wolfinger (JR) split 3:26 for the 3/4 mile leg, Barndt (JR) 57.2 for the 1/4 mile, Stalletti (SR) 2:13 for the 1/2 mile, and Delisle (FR) anchored with a 4:51 mile. Their result was the top performance of the day for Quakertown.
In prior weeks, part-time basketball player Spenser Gray picked up right where she left off last year. Gray usually competes in relays on Friday nights after a full game of basketball, but with no game scheduled that week, the junior competed in the 60m Dash and qualified for finals, finishing 8th out of over 40 girls in a time of 8.51 seconds.
Long Sprinter Janae Hickey has been able to post blazing times in the 200 and 400 all season, however the middle distance event of 800m has always eluded her. Two Fridays ago, Hickey ran a huge personal best time of 2:27.62 for 9th place, just 4 seconds shy of a state qualifying time. She came back just an hour later to anchor the 4×2 relay with a 27.1 split!
The quartet of Brett Wolfinger (JR), Jack Chenoweth (JR), Gary Johnson (FR), and Phil Ciccarone (SR) posted the highest finish of the boys meet, placing 5th out of 16 teams and taking home a medal in the 4x200m relay. Each leg averaged approximately 25 seconds, with the exception of Ciccarone, who anchored in 24.2.
Mid-distance extraordinaire Brett Wolfinger continued his winter success with a landmark performance in the 800 meter run. Brett came into the race with a personal best of 2:01.01, with hopes of breaking the coveted 2:00 barrier… and break it he did! The team captain’s time of 1:58.99 puts him 5th in the state and should guarantee his entry in to the PTFCA State Championship in March (knock on wood). In addition, the Junior’s time bettered the 1996 school record held by Richard Kneale (1:59.54). Great race, Brett!
Help Quakertown get Trader Joe's to come to town!
Quakertown Alive! is asking for your help to encourage Trader Joe's to come to downtown Quakertown to replace the Bottom Dollar which will be closed by year's end. The company that owns Aldi bought the Bottom Dollar brand. This same company owns Trader Joe's. Under the comments section, please emphasize that the closest Trader Joe's is over 40 minutes away and we need them to serve the greater Quakertown area.
Click here to make your request.
QCHS Students of the Month: Well-rounded student citizens
Teachers selected Students of the Month for December at the Freshman Center and Senior High School. They were Danielle Verguldi, senior; Abbie Miller, junior; Samantha Ramsden, sophomore; and Sadie Fowler, freshman. QCHS Assistant Principal Jason Magditch said teachers recommend students who excel in academics and character.
Danielle has achieved great success with her choral work in the past year by earning all-state, national and eastern region chorus status. She calls the body of work “all things choir!” She also plays the piano as lead accompanist for the choir. She earns good grades in physics, political science honors, AP English, Introduction to College Math, and her field study with the music department. The soprano wants to major in music education. She applied to five colleges and hopes to attend Messiah. She lifeguards at the Upper Bucks Y. Mrs. Bekci Kelly, QCHS Librarian, noted, “Danielle is a quick study with any projects on which she’s working and very willing to help others.”
“Singing is something that comes naturally to me,” Danielle said. “It’s a God-given talent. I’m happy working with others who want to invest their time in music. It’s impactful and creates healing and happiness. I don’t want any fame with it. I just like to help people.”
Abbie is a triplet with sister Charlie and brother Blake. She said each has his and her own strengths but they help each other whenever they can. Abbie takes all honors classes, AP European History and art. She said math comes easily to her and she may major in chemistry when she goes to college.
“I don’t want to work in a lab. I like human interaction,” said Abbie, who participates in Key Club and Art Club. Had the family not traveled to Disney World, Abbie would have had perfect attendance for the past three years.
Mrs. Laurie Stoudt, Art Teacher, noted, “Abbie has grown tremendously as an artist in the past year. Her creativity inspires me on a daily basis.”
Samantha would like to work in business someday, so she takes Entrepreneurship, where she is currently creating all the logistics to open a fictitious café. She earns good grades in all honors classes and will take a few AP courses next year. She said she has to work harder in Spanish class, where teacher Beth Fuller acknowledged just how hard Sam works!
“I like working with people,” Sam said. “I’m very social and outgoing, so I want to go to a big college.”
An easy selection for the Freshman Center teachers, Sadie Fowler combines enthusiasm, intelligence and great social skills in her every day endeavors. She earns all As in AP Human Geography, honors biology and honors Algebra 2. She takes a Latin course via the QCSD Cyber Program. She plays the flute in the QCHS band, plays the piano to accompany the choir and also sings with the choir. She started helping Life Skills students at Milford and now continues as a member of Best Buddies. Sadie also is the TSA (Technology Student Association) Freshman Center Chapter Team President. She likes to take things apart and see how they work, which is why she thinks she will probably major in mechanical engineering. She’s more likely to get a job in that field, she said, than in an area related to European History.
“I love AP Human Geography best because I’m learning so much that I never expected,” Sadie said of the new course. “I can form a mental map in my head. Mrs. [Janet] Bassett and I both enjoy history, so we pull up historical events in which physical events played a role. It’s so fascinating.”
Asked why she thought she was selected as FC Student of the Month, Sadie said she holds doors open for people coming off the bus, is respectful of her teachers, is always smiling, and helps peers in classes. Michael Zackon, FC House Principal, said administrators and guidance counselors echoed teachers’ positive feelings about Sadie and want her to help share her AP experience with rising ninth graders. She was feted at the Rotary Club meeting this week as the district’s overall Student of the Month.
QE 4th grader wins essay contest
Sydney Bishop, a fourth grade student of Mr. Stephen Wysocki at Quakertown Elementary, was named the Pennsylvania State winner for her essay on the dangers of Mercury. The national contest was sponsored by the Casio Company with one winning essay being selected in each of the 50 states. Sydney's class learned about some of the dangers of mercury in our environment, then were challenged to research more in depth and write persuasive essays to warn of the dangers posed by mercury, especially to children and unborn babies. Sydney's essay uncovered some startling facts and her classmates overwhelmingly agreed that her piece should be selected for submission to the contest. The Casio Company will award Quakertown Elementary one “Mercury Free” Ultra Short Throw Projector for classroom use.
Cheerleaders qualify for PIAA State Championship
Coaches Sam Powers and Kim Oates guided the QCHS cheerleaders to second place among four teams at a January 3 competition. Upper Dublin was first while C.B. South and Hatboro-Horsham for third. On January 10, the Panthers placed fourth among 15 teams in the District 1 Championships. That qualified them for the state event, set for this weekend in Hershey.
The cheerleaders also received a bid to compete at the nationals for Americheer in March in Disney World. Before performances, the Panthers chant, “Winners believe in themselves, champions believe in their teammates.”
The cheerleaders are Brianna Shevlin, Alexa Claycomb, Brittany Malick, Ashley Henry, Jaycee Poole, Jennifer Friel, Jess Braeunle, Kendra Williams, Megan Wilhelm, Sam Bennett, Taylor Bennett, Adriana Kobrzynski, Alexis Greulich, Jamie Dettrey, Mikayla Jones, Paige Gilluly and Bridget Campion.
Strayer Big Cats of the Week
Coach Chris Deily posted this week’s Strayer Big Cats for a 69-3 Strayer win over Penn Brook.
In addition to wrestling up a weight class and giving up a significant amount of weight, Kyle Miller went the distance with his opponent and finished with a solid minor decision.
Max Russell earned the Varsity Big Cat award for doing exactly what Big Cats are supposed to do. He went up a weight class, went out, and put his opponent on his back getting a solid first period pin.
Zach Werner earned his second Big Cat award for his 7-0 win over his opponent from PennField. Zach had two great sprawls that he scored on and three solid standup escapes. Ben Schlegel’s high-energy match started with a powerful tackle take down and he finished off his opponent by constricting him in a cradle.
Strayer teacher schools TV personalities
Strayer teacher Cathy Siciliano was featured on Good Day Philadelphia last week, speaking about suicide prevention. You can watch the spot by clicking here.
UBCTS names Kyle Carpenter Student of the Month
Kyle Carpenter, a QCHS senior, and level three Automotive Technology student at Upper Bucks County Technical School, was named Student of the Month for December. His passion and mechanical ability were evident at a very young age as he began his quest to become a master mechanic. Kyle comes from a family of skilled craftspeople as his father is employed as a mechanic and his brother works for Pulse Technologies in Quakertown as a machinist. Kyle’s brother also attended and excelled at UBCTS in the Machining Technologies program. It is little surprise that one of Kyle’s earliest and fondest moments was working on his dirt bike.
Kyle has been gainfully employed at the Levy School Bus Company for the last three years. As a freshman, he started off in an entry level position where he checked fluid levels, fueled buses, and performed routine maintenance. Kyle quickly moved up the career ladder to a mechanic position by demonstrating a strong work ethic and applying the skills he learned at UBCTS. Upon graduation, he will continue his career with Levy School Bus as a full time mechanic.
His Levy boss, Pat O’Donnell, is very proud of his progress and stated, “I’ve enjoyed working with Kyle over the past few years as he has grown from a child into a man with the automotive skills set to succeed in his future.”
All-State honors for two QCHS football players
Pennsylvania Football News named QCHS punter Jake Bovard to the First Team All-State team and linebacker Hunter Nice to the Honorable Mention list. Bovard is a junior and Nice is a senior.
|Coach George Banas said, “It’s a great honor for them to be nominated to team. It reflects the type of year each player had and how he performed on the field. Both are well deserving of the award. Both are great kids with great personalities. I loved having them on the team.”|
Other organizations will name all-state teams as well. Coach Banas said, “This organization is well recognized.”
|Jake and Hunter said they were surprised to learn of their nominations in the 4A category. Jake said he is now inspired to kick as well next year and to pursue a division 1 college football spot. He averaged 39 yards a punt this year, with his longest kicks at 64 and 65 yards. Hunter said he is not sure what he plans to do next year, but has talked to coaches at several state schools. He may pursue criminal justice.|
QCHS cheer squad making tracks in competition
In December, the QCHS Cheer Squad placed second out of four in the Suburban One League competition at Council Rock North High School. The 17 cheerleaders performed a routine in front of UCA (Uni Cheer Association) judges that incorporated dance, stunting, tumbling, jumps and a traditional cheer. The cheerleaders had been creating the routine since summer practices. They performed it January 3 and will perform it at nine more upcoming competitions. Senior Brianna Shevlin was judged to first place overall among individuals, which put her on the All-American Cheerleader roster.
The other members of the team are Alexa Claycomb, Brittany Malick, Ashley Henry, Jaycee Poole, Jennifer Friel, Jess Braeunle, Kendra Williams, Megan Wilhelm, Sam Bennett, Taylor Bennett, Adriana Kobrzynski, Alexis Greulich, Jamie Dettrey, Mikayla Jones, Paige Gilluly and Bridget Campion.
Strayer Wrestling Big Cat Awards
Strayer wrestlers earn Big Cat awards, depending on how well they perform in matches. Coach Chris Deily creates the awards. In recent matches:
Darren Farmer earned the Junior Varsity Big Cat award for throwing an epic headlock and pinning his opponent in the first minute of his match. Nam Le earned the Varsity Big Cat award for not only stepping up into a varsity position right before the match, but for getting the pin to set the tone of the match.
Zach Werner punched a mean headlock and threw his opponent to his back for a great pin. Long Nguyen had a dominant pin set up by a devastating sprawl.
QCHS sports update
Over the holiday break, Brett Wolfinger of the boys’ track team broke the school record in the 800 meter run. His time also qualified him for the Indoor Track and Field State Championship in March.
|The wrestling team placed fifth at the Whitehall duals. The team went 3-1 and the following wrestlers went 4-0 on the day: Harrison Campbell, Tanner Seislove, Gavin Caroff, and Micah Jones. The team looks forward to seeing everyone pack the refurbished Lower Gym Saturday night for the first home match of the season against Pennridge!|
QCHS senior receives full ride to Bowdoin College
Simone Rumph will attend Bowdoin College in Maine on a full ride for four years. Bowdoin College currently costs $57,000 a year! As you can imagine, she is excited to have been awarded the opportunity, through a QuestBridge match. The energetic, hard-working QCHS senior was one of just 501 students nationally selected to be a QuestBridge finalist and one of eight matched to Bowdoin, which has a 15% acceptance rate.
Simone said she learned of QuestBridge, a program for low income, minority students, when she visited Yale University last summer. She had to fill out a 59-page application and write a few essays. She also traveled by plane, train and automobile to visit several liberal arts colleges.
“To attend my dream school with no worries about how to pay is amazing,” Simone said, noting she can pursue her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in forensics. Simone wrote in her application about her home life, which has required her to help take care of her mother and an aunt. Her aunt passed away but her mother struggles with illness. The caretaking life took its toll on Simone. She has overcome difficulties to be a standout student at QCHS. She takes AP courses, participates in chorus and has participated in several clubs, including the philanthropy club.
“Simone is one of the most motivated and focused students I have ever worked with,” said Eric Gozzard, guidance counselor. “She has a tremendous heart, perseverance, and will make a significant impact on this world.”
You can watch a QCSDTVNews interview with Simone on Comcast (968), Verizon (34) and youtube (click here).
Tohickon Valley staff wants to pay forward gift giving
Teachers love gifts from their students and families. Perhaps more accurately, teachers love the honor of the gifts. Recently, at Tohickon Valley, staff members agreed to ask students and families to pay forward the holiday gift-giving spirit. The staff sent out the following message:
The information below is coming to you from the Tohickon Valley faculty and staff. Please understand this letter is written with heartfelt respect and appreciation.
The holiday season is a special time for families. For many, this time of year is filled with delicious food, gifts, and great memories. The teachers and staff at Tohickon Valley are very fortunate to have such a supportive school community. However, there are many families in our community who are not as fortunate. Tohickon Valley would like your help to make the holiday season brighter for many in our community. In lieu of gifts for your child’s teacher, please consider making a donation to an organization that gives back to the community by helping families in need. Here are some suggestions:
Quakertown Food Pantry- visit Quakertown Food Pantry
to find out more. You can make a monetary donation or you can send in a non-perishable food item(s). (Tohickon Valley families, by the way, donated 834.8 pounds of food to the Food Pantry before Thanksgiving!)
Thank you for your continued support of our school and your generosity towards our community. Have a wonderful holiday season!
Tohickon Valley Teachers and Staff
QCHS swim teams making a splash to start season
The girls’ and boys’ swimming teams got off to a great start this season. They both won the first meet, in victories over Upper Perkiomen. In the second meet at Saucon Valley, the boys extended their streak to two victories with a score of 101-69. The girls were winning the meet by two points going into the last event, but lost 86-82 because they lost the 400-yard freestyle relay. They both won the third meet, over Norristown. The boys beat Norristown 117-35 and the girls won 90-74.
Assistant Coach Brett Wimmer, who led the team through the Saucon Valley meet, said he and head coach Scott Woods are pleased with the swimmers’ efforts. He said their work ethic is exemplary. Chris Cowan, swimming anchor, pulled the boys’ 400 freestyle relay from behind to beat Saucon Valley. The first three swimmers in the event were Brice Susavage, Zachary Dierolf and Ethan Beeco. The opening 200-yard medley relay team of Daniel Reigh, Nick Bluder, Michael Dierolf and Beeco set the pace for the meet. Cowan also won the 200 free and 500 free. Michael Dierolf won the 100 fly and anchored the winning 200 free relay.
Kaylee Heimes, Stephanie Waddell, Alexandra Keeny and Vivian Ha won the opening 200 medley relay. Keeny won the 200 free and 100 fly and helped the Panthers to win the 200 free relay. The others in that foursome were Kayla Reigh, Waddell and Heimes. Heimes won the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke. Waddell won the 100 free. Keeny, a freshman, has been swimming with Parkland Aquatic Club since she was 10 years old, and swims with the other QCHS team members during the summer at Memorial Pool. She is trying to qualify for a national U.S. Swimming team, but needs to cut off three seconds in each of her events. Her favorite event is butterfly, but her strongest event is backstroke.
QCHS choir members sing up a storm in local, regional and national concert halls
The QCHS choir is full of good news. First, the three students who traveled to Nashville in November to sing with a nationally selected chorus have now been selected for the National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) Eastern Division Honors Chorus! Caitlin DiCara, Danielle Verguldi and Ron Jon Cubbage will sing with the very top 11th and 12th grade vocal music students from Pennsylvania, and students from 12 other Northeastern states, when they converge on Providence, Rhode Island in April for this festival.
“This is a huge honor for these kids – the culmination of over a year’s work,” said choral director Jonathan Lechner. “In order to qualify, they had to be selected for PMEA District 11 Chorus, then PMEA Region VI Chorus, and then PMEA All-State Chorus, last year. The scores from their All-State auditions were submitted to the All-Eastern committee last summer, and the committee then selected the top students from each of the 13 states in the Eastern Division for this chorus. The Eastern Division conference is held biennially, and it occurs the year after the students qualify for All-State Chorus, so students have only one chance to make All-Eastern during their high school tenure.”
These three singers have now completed the “grand slam” of high school choral music. They have been selected for every honors choir offered to them in the NAfME) competitions: District Chorus, Regional Chorus, All-State Chorus, All-Eastern Chorus, and All-National Chorus. They are the first three students from Quakertown ever to have achieved this honor!
The results are in from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 11 Chorus auditions. On November 22, seventeen of QCHS’s top vocal music students auditioned for this District Chorus. Forty-five high schools from Bucks and Montgomery Counties were represented. Thirteen QCHS students (above) were selected for this honor – the largest number of students in Q-town history! Those students are Marissa Cubbage, Caitlin DiCara, Julia Donahue, Jacqui Rush, Danielle Verguldi, Sydney Pitta, Tia Thompson, Ron Jon Cubbage, Liam Fletcher, Kenny Orrego, Hayden Smith, Michael Kelsall and Andrew Stuhr.
The full chorus is also making the rounds during the holiday season, performing in QCSD schools, local churches and nursing homes, and at the Quakertown Borough tree-lighting ceremony.
QCHS Art Essay Contest winner
Sophomore Jocelyn Walters won an Art Essay Contest sponsored by QCHS photography teacher Michael Fickes. He prompted, “What does art mean to you?” Jocelyn wrote, “I think of life, specifically, I think of my life.” She explained that art works as a distraction when she needs it most, when she feels like her life is otherwise out of control. “When I felt as if I had no control over my life and my very happiness was being pried from my fingertips, I knew no one could take away my passion for art. When I think there’s nothing left, I start drawing, painting, sketching, or even making something and everything doesn’t seem so bad anymore.” She explained art as a therapeutic coping skill.
Mr. Fickes told Jocelyn her six-paragraph essay was “well-crafted and a unique and moving view on art and its importance. Your interest in art is much appreciated. Your willingness to go above and beyond your academic requirements to participate in this essay will serve you well throughout high school and beyond.” He gave her a gift card to Michael’s arts and crafts store.
“I started the art essay contest to encourage students to reflect on the role of art in their lives,” explained Mr. Fickes. “Also, my academic goal this year is promoting literacy in the arts. I want students to realize how their creativity can shift from one discipline to another; whether that is writing, drawing, or photography. I hope the essay contest encourages students to think of themselves as artists, and to think about the art they are contributing to the world.”
Student-athlete highlighted on field hockey website
QCHS senior Megan Thompson was highlighted on the www.philafieldhockey.com website. The story highlights her academic dedication, as well as her devotion to volunteering, helping others and on-field efforts. You can read the story by clicking here.
Varsity Singers entertain at Barnes & Noble
A light snow ushered in a festive mood at Barnes and Noble for the Freshman Center and Senior High School Book Fair Wednesday night. The store was adorned with student artwork from Ms. Laurie Stoudt and Mrs. Lauren Butler’s classes and members of the National Honor Society greeted guests as they entered the place (thanks to Mr. Steve Kimball, NHS Advisor).
Students, parents, teachers and administrators turned out for the fundraising event and were treated to the holiday crooning of the high school Varsity Singers. Conductor Jonathan Lechner led the singers through their holiday show, highlighted by a visit from Sigmund Freud, Abraham Lincoln and Santa Claus himself. School psychologist Dr. Kevin Kelly was plucked out of the audience to partake in musical merriment, playing the role of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and holiday shoppers sang along as the Varsity Singers sang and danced their way through the evening.
A wonderful time was had by all and both high school libraries were able to reap the benefits, allowing them to purchase more books for Quakertown students. If you’d like to add your support to the Book Fair, you can still order online at www.bn.com
using the code 11474111 at check out. The online Book Fair runs through Monday, Dec. 15.
QCSD names Olympian head field hockey coach
QCHS Olympian Diane Bracalente-Molinaro has been hired as the head coach of the QCHS field hockey team for the 2015 fall season. She served as a volunteer assistant coach from mid-September to November this year.
“I look forward to helping each player develop and grow as an athlete and person,” Mrs. Molinaro said. “The focus will be on basic skills, tactical awareness and team unity.”
Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs introduced Molinaro to a group of 30 people who gathered in a press conference Dec. 5 in the new Hall of Fame hallway at QCHS. Journalism students, Video Production students, teachers and administrators asked questions and welcomed the new coach, who told the group she plans to coach the team for many years.
Molinaro graduated from QCHS in 1981 and played several sports. She led the Panthers’ field hockey team to the school’s first state tournament appearance. The Panthers have made five State Tournament appearances since, one in the finals in 1986. She was recruited by several universities and decided to play field hockey at Old Dominion University in Virginia. While at ODU, Diane and her teammates won three consecutive Division I National Championships; she became a two-time All American, and was selected to the All-Tournament Team. Along the way, she secured a spot on the USA National Field Hockey Under-21 Team, moving up to the USA National Team and eventually played in the 1988 Olympics, in Seoul, South Korea.
Molinaro continues to work as an ambassador with USA Field Hockey and her daughter, Mayv Clune, plays with the Olympic Development program. Mayv, a sophomore, is the leading scorer for the Moravian Academy field hockey team. Two years ago, Molinaro was inducted into the Bucks County Sports Hall of Fame and Quakertown/Pennridge Hall of Fame last year. She was invited to QCHS, to meet the girls on the 2012-13 field hockey team and share her experiences. She and Mayv conducted a short clinic in the gym. That brought Diane back into the QCHS fold.
“We have a great group of girls, all of whom will contribute to the success of the team. Of course I look to the seniors for leadership on and off the field,” Molinaro said.
Dr. Bill Harner, Superintendent, called for upgrading athletic successes with his plans for Academics, Athletics and Arts. The field hockey team will work to build toward that success long before the Fall 2015 season.
“I am working with the administration to organize an indoor clinic series during the winter as well as an outdoor series this spring,” Molinaro said. “Strength and conditioning are important parts of the game, so I plan to introduce a program for the girls to start this winter. The primary goal for the team is injury prevention and to consistently perform at a high level.”
Work out with 12 Days of Fitness provided by Milford students
Milford Student Health Council students, in conjunction with physical education teacher John Makoul and art teacher Karen Brown recorded videos for the 12 Days of Fitness. Students will exercise to the videos throughout the building in the next two weeks. You can watch the videos and work out with them! Here they are:
1st day: http://youtu.be/vWHUtjpwxUg 2nd day: http://youtu.be/zNsw50es8Kc
3rd day: http://youtu.be/0AG37Lj6DTk 4th day: http://youtu.be/4VG1VDMvEAE
5th day: http://youtu.be/GoEDRuOA5UM 6th day: http://youtu.be/j34LFGw6UtM
7th day: http://youtu.be/t8BddxO4KNg?list=UUOtOLuJ4_r43cIj8118M-QQ
8th day: http://youtu.be/nlL7SuHxlBs?list=UUOtOLuJ4_r43cIj8118M-QQ
9th day: http://youtu.be/L29PO6rrHpo?list=UUOtOLuJ4_r43cIj8118M-QQ
Strayer 8th graders bank on Washington’s Crossing
Every December, reenactment soldiers recreate the event in which General George Washington crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Eve to capture the Hessians camped in nearby Trenton. Strayer eighth grade teachers Sarah Peters and Kevin McLaughlin met 19 of their students and their families to watch the rehearsal festivities on the river banks.
Fifes and drums played patriotic melodies, General Washington gave his motivational “Victory or Death!” speech and then Thomas Paine’s inspiring pamphlet Common Sense was read aloud. “These are the times that try men’s souls…”
Mrs. Peters reported that student Jairus McMillan thought it was interesting to hear the narrator retell the events as they unfolded, describing the story of the Americans’ difficult journey on Christmas Eve in 1776. Delbert Ross claimed to learn even more about that fateful night that students had learned in social studies classes. He pointed out that the army was actually spotted crossing the river that night by a British spy. Lucky for Americans, the British failed to act on the warning.
After much pomp and circumstance, General Washington and many of his Continental soldiers rowed across the Delaware River in replica Durham boats. Students took a close look at the Durham boats, replicated to the same size and scale of those used by Washington’s troops. They were named for the little Bucks County town of Durham, Pennsylvania, where they were built. Student James Nagle said he didn’t realize how large the freight boats actually were, measuring over 60 feet long. With heavy rains the day before the rehearsal, the Delaware River’s fast current made rowing to the other side both laborious and time-consuming, though entertaining for spectators. It took each boat close to 20 minutes to reach the banks of New Jersey.
After several boats had crossed, students witnessed different events and demonstrations throughout the village. Eighth grader Peyton Yost liked how “you could actually see the blacksmith working.” Colleen Sodano pointed out that the blacksmith was using metal tools and an anvil to make horseshoes. Other craftsmen created jewelry and chocolate, using methods from colonial times. Towards the end of the outing, soldiers fired the replica cannons. Student Emilie Kemmerer was surprised at how “stinky and very loud” they were, referring to the sulfur in the explosives.
“Despite the brisk weather (which felt appropriately authentic), it was a great way for students and their families to witness this momentous event from our American history,” said Mrs. Peters, who brought along her husband, Freshman Center teacher Mike Peters, and her children.
Thank you to ESPs!
Education Support Professionals (ESP) Day was celebrated November 19, for the 27th year. The National Education Association created the day to honor the contributions of support personnel. These include custodians, aides, cafeteria workers and secretaries.
The 180 members of QESPA help QCSD in so many ways. As Scott Hendricks, Richland custodian and President of QESPA said, “Things tend to fall apart when we are not here.”
Pep rally, snow shovelers spark Panthers to victory over Pennridge
QCHS and Freshman Center students and staff members enjoyed the first pep rally in several years when the high school buildings emptied out onto Alumni Field November 25. Of course, the goal was to pump up the football team and fans before the annual Thanksgiving Day football game against Pennridge. Plenty of fun activities at the pep rally proved entertaining, while the dedication of 100 students, parents and community members who shoveled the field of snow on Wednesday night assured the game would be played on a green artificial turf field. The Panthers won, 8-7, before heading home for turkey dinners.
Student Council organized the pep rally, which included the Varsity Singers, Marching Band, cheerleaders, a dance-off, tug-of-war, assorted games and plenty of opportunities for students to smash whip cream pies in staff members’ faces.
Homecoming King and Queen DJ White and Mia Baglivo were crowned at the Thanksgiving Day football game. The entire court enjoyed the opportunity to socialize at the November 22 Homecoming Dance in the new section of the high school before bundling up for the Thanksgiving ceremony. The rest of the court included Mikey Kelsall, Hunter Nice, Jacob Perrine, Tommasso Stalletti, Colin Smith, Kim Baj, Marissa Cubbage, Laura Post, Miranda Yeakel and Linzi Wolfe.
Students voted for king and queen after the court members made posters to showcase their academic and extra-curricular activities.
The homecoming celebration and football game gallery photos in the gallery below were taken by senior Karissa Berry and yearbook staff. The gallery of photos, above, were taken at the pep rally.
Annabelle Pham named State Youth Scholarship finalist
Senior Annabelle Pham was selected as one of 10 United States Senate Youth Scholarship state finalists! She traveled to Harrisburg for a November 22 ceremony at the State Capitol Building, where, typically, she made lots of new friends among the other finalists.
Annabelle interviewed with a committee of representatives from the Department of Education, PA Association of Student Councils and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. The committee asked her about her leadership essay, her personal interests and activities. In Annabelle’s case, those are mostly about her service to others. Annabelle wants everyone to get involved with activities that build spirit at QCHS! The committee looked to evaluate her communication skills.
Annabelle also took a 60-minute government based test. The objective test included questions about the constitution, history and modern issues. The finalists and their families then enjoyed a luncheon.
On Dec. 10, the committee will announce the state winners, who will travel to Washington, D.C. for consideration as national winners.
QCHS Students of the Month for November
Karina Bolton is collecting accolades by the boatload! In one day, the senior was photographed for her All-League Suburban One athlete status and for Student of the Month for November. Like the other three Students of the Month, Karina was quiet and humbled by the honor.
Junior Joelle Simeu, sophomore Ryan Howard and freshman Nate Stofik were also named Students of the Month at QCHS for the month of November. Assistant Principal Jason Magditch said teachers who nominated students said they all go above and beyond to help their peers and are very polite.
You can read about Karina’s successful cross-country season by scrolling down in Kudos. Teachers nominated her for Student of the Month three months in a row! She said she figured teachers like the fact that she does all her work and her grades are good. She spends many hours every night doing homework because she takes five AP classes. She helps struggling math students during lunch. She plans to run winter and spring track and hopes to run in college. Her first choice school is Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and she wants to be a chemical engineer.
“Karina scored top marks in all aspects of AP European History,” noted teacher Jason Anderson. She was willing to speak of her first hand experiences as a first generation immigrant from Poland. Her cultural connections were invaluable in a class about European History. Karina is the epitome of composure and respectful behavior. Karina understands that anything worth doing has to be done well. As her track coach, I have watched her line up by herself against as many as 25 runners from another team and she still competes with poise and sportsmanship. Not only is she a quality student and athlete but she is a quality person.”
Joelle Simeu wants to be a lawyer. She takes five AP classes and helps tutor ESL students during PRIDE. She was born and raised, until she was 8 years old, in Cameroon in Central Africa. So she speaks fluent French, which makes it easy for her to learn other languages. She lived in Maryland until moving to Quakertown in her freshman year. “I don't have Joelle in class anymore, but I do see her in the hallways going out of her way to help others,” said Physical Education teacher Brittany Remmey, who also coaches Joelle on the basketball team. “She makes sure others on her basketball team are doing well in their classes.”
Whenever she can, Joelle offers to push DJ White in his wheelchair, which is a small example of what she does to help the student body and staff. “She is always respectful to everyone as well as always following the rules,” Ms. Remmey said. “She is constantly trying to achieve more. On the basketball team she is a leader by definition and is constantly working her hardest.” Joelle plays point guard on the basketball team and she thinks the talent and positive chemistry will help the team be successful this year.
Ryan Howard believes the boys’ basketball team will fare well this year, too. The fact that the boys have all played together for two to three years is helping them mesh, he said. The shooting guard likes to help other students, especially in math. He takes pre-calculus. He also enjoys his Sports and Hospitality Management class. Teachers commended his worth ethic and leadership. He helps to coach in the Quakertown community youth basketball program.
Nate Stofik said he gets “awesome grades” in all his classes at the Freshman Center. He takes AP Human Geography, Algebra 2 Honors, English Gifted Seminar, Spanish and the introductory class to Project Lead the Way. He said he always tries to help other students when they ask. Math comes easily to him because, he said, he can see real life applications for the math he learns. He wants to consider a future that involves math or science, perhaps engineering. He is also interested to see how technology can help the medical field. Nate plays hockey for the Hatfield Ice Dogs. He hopes to put his eight-year experience on the ice next year with the QCHS hockey club. He ran track at Strayer and plans to run spring track in the next few months.
Men grow beards to spearhead food donations
QCSD schools collected plenty of food for the Quakertown Pantry in the month of November. At Tohickon Valley, staff members hoped to collect 400 cans, but at last count before pickup, families had donated 900 cans! The parent group (PAL) organizes the food drives at Neidig, where families have donated about 100 pounds of food and about $50 in cash, collected every Family Fun Night.
At QCHS and the Freshman Center, Advisors Mike Sandler, Kate Kemp and Wendy Orseno and their Student Councils motivated students to bring cans by matching them up with the growth of No-Shave November beards by several male staff members. The before photos were attached to boxes in the cafeterias. The number of student donations for each teacher had to match the number of days the drive ran. If a teacher didn’t get the minimum cans required, he was allowed to shave. Otherwise, he had to keep the facial hair of his choice growing without trimming it. The scheme worked. Dean of Students Steve Kimball artfully stacked more than 50 boxes in the front lobby for Food Pantry pickup. At the FC, students filled 25 boxes of food. After picking up the boxes, Food Pantry volunteers weighed the food. The SHS totaled 1,712.4 pounds and the Freshman Center totaled 714.1 pounds of food, for a total of 2,426.5 pounds.
History teacher Sean Stetler stuck with a mustache that created much commentary. A few sported beards before the contest began and one had to wonder what else they could possibly grow. A few others shaved early because their spouses weren’t too happy about their appearance. And one other had to keep his in check for engagement photos.
The before and after photos of the Bearded Dudes, above, are Mike Sandler, David Finnerty, George Banas, Jason Anderson, Jason Magditch, Sean Stetler, Steve Kimball, Dennis Auger, Mike Peters, Mike Zackon, Allen Hunsicker (aka Stunna) and the others…Andy Snyder, Michael Fickes, Kevin Laboski, David DiGiacomo and Dan Wallace.
QCHS well represented on All-League teams
In addition to 21 spots on the All-League football team, 19 QCHS athletes were named to the Suburban One Continental Conference All League teams.
Two athletes, Linzi Wolfe and Emma McLaughlin were named First Team for soccer and field hockey, respectively. Linzi is a senior forward while Emma is a junior forward.
In girls’ soccer, Jami Soriano (senior forward) and Erinne Finlayson (senior goalkeeper) were named Third Team and Katie Crouthamel (sophomore forward) was named Honorable Mention.
In Field Hockey, Becky Gerhart (junior midfielder) was named Second Team; Megan Thompson (senior left back) and Hillary Scott (junior center back) were named Third Team; and Gabby Dontonville (senior forward) was named Honorable Mention.
Karina Bolton was named Second Team for Girls’ Cross Country. Senior outside hitter Amanda Pursel was named to the Second Team for Girls’ Volleyball. Junior libero Lindsay Beck was named Third Team and senior opposite hitter Jen Sterner was named Honorable Mention.
In Girls’ Tennis, junior Madi Shourds was named Third Team. The doubles team of junior Ashley Harpster and freshman Rebecca Miller was named Honorable Mention.
Senior Joey Rochelle was named Honorable Mention for Boys’ Golf.
In Boys’ Soccer, sophomore defenseman Ryan Leatherman was named Third Team and Steven Hippauf, sophomore goalkeeper, was named Honorable Mention. The Panthers were named winners of the Sportsmanship Award.
Panthers dominate Suburban One All-Star Team
Seventeen QCHS football players were selected to 21 spots on the Suburban One League Continental Division All League team after finishing a 10-2 season. Coach George Banas went to the selection meeting and reported that the Panthers were “very well respected by the other teams in our league. The 21 all-stars are just another example of the quality of our student athletes in our football program. I honestly do not ever remember having this many players on an all-league team before.”
Senior Hunter Nice was named first team at tight end and linebacker. Brett Graver was named First Team for offensive line and Third Team for defensive line. Other First Team selections were running back Rob Burns; defensive back Eric Dzieniszewski; defensive end Micah Jones; and punter Jake Bovard.
Gavin Caroff was named Second Team at offensive lineman and Third Team at defensive lineman. Nick Bonomo was named Second Team for running back and Honorable Mention at linebacker.
Other Second Team selections were quarterback Alec Vera and wide receiver Kyle Baskin. Third Team selections were outside linebacker Dan Devine; defensive back Tyler Kishbaugh and linebackers Luke Wood and Noah Wood. Honorable Mention selections were Aaron Besch, C.J. Bach and Jon Potynski.
Nineteen other QCHS athletes received All League honors across seven fall sports. Their names will be added to Kudos next week, after we get them together for a photo!
Riveters win Powder Puff Tournament
The 10-member Riveters, won the 25th annual Powder Puff Tournament, played in blustery, 21-degree weather Tuesday afternoon. Event Director Amanda Salansky said 170 girls played, after several weeks of practice with male coaches. Staff volunteers included referees, time keeper, scorekeeper, ticket takers, nurses, concession stand workers and supervisors.
“The girls were cooperative and played their hearts out, despite the cold,” said Mrs. Salansky. “I have never seen a year when teams were happy to have NOT made the playoffs, which meant they got to go home. However, one team left without checking its eligibility for playoffs and actually missed its opportunity to play! We then had to let the next team in line in to play in the 4th playoff spot and that team, "The Riveters," won it all!”
Members of the Riveters, all seniors coached by Torin Martutartus, were captain Makenna Kressley, Janae Hickey, Lindsay Chabak, Katie Moyer, Megan Bauman, Alison Schlicher, Lauren Delk, Shauna Foley, Erin Shortall and Danielle Stark.
Their two playoff rounds were both won in overtime attempts. It left for a very exciting end to the tournament. Ticket sales and participation fees added up to $1100 and the snack stand raised $1,000, all for Relay for Life. Enjoy the photo gallery above. QCSDTV students are editing a video for Comcast, Verizon and YouTube.
You can watch recorded Town Hall Meeting about drugs
Morning Star Fellowship Church hosted a Town Hall Meeting recently about the use of heroin and other drugs in the Quakertown community. You can watch a video, made by Tony Serge, by clicking here. It is also available on Quakertown Borough TV on Comcast 22 and 853 and on Verizon 37.
Mr. Murray goes to Washington
Former QCSD Technology Director Tom Murray, who now works with the Alliance for Excellent Education, met with President Obama and the U.S. Department of Education this week to kick off the Future Ready Initiative that his team will be running for the nation. The Superintendent’s Summit took place at the White House on Wednesday. Palisades Superintendent Bridget O’Connell was among the guests.
“My team will run 12 summits around the nation after this event,” Murray said. “Many thoughts and ideas came from our best work in Quakertown. QCSD is truly having an impact on the nation.”
For more information, go to www.futurereadyschools.org.
Football team advances in district playoffs
|As nearly 4,000 spectators watched, the QCHS football team pulled out a 14-10 victory over arch-rival Pennridge in a District 1 first-round game last week. It was the first district playoff win in school history.|
|“This is the biggest win, in my opinion, in Quakertown history,” Coach George Banas told newspaper reporters. Three days later, he said, “This win was the icing on the cake, to draw our rival from just seven miles away in front of an awesome crowd. It was a great night.”|
|WFMZ Channel 69 Friday Night Big Ticket Sports selected the Panthers’ forced fumble on the goal line as one of the “Big Ticket’s Triple Hot Plays of the Week!” Fan votes boosted the team to #1 over two other plays, which meant players received t-shirts and TV airtime.|
|Several players produced career highlights. Tyler Kishbaugh snared two interceptions. Kyle Baskin made multiple clutch catches on passes from quarterback Alec Vera. And Eric Dzieniszewski led the defense with several big plays. Finally, sophomore Gabby Sullivan kicked two PATs in her first varsity game, subbing for kicker AJ Soriano, who went to South Carolina to see his brother Nick graduate from Marine Boot Camp. Gabby, a member of the girls’ soccer team, suited up for two junior varsity games, in which she got knocked down and “started crying.” In the varsity game, she felt no fear, protected, she said, by the rules! |
|This Friday, Nov. 14, the Panthers host Downingtown East at 7 p.m. at Alumni Field. Tickets, $5 each, will be available at the high school’s main office during the week and at the gate on game day. |
Veterans’ Day celebrated
Dr. Bill Harner, Superintendent, shared what Veterans’ Day means to him with 70 students and teachers of Milford’s seventh grade Team White. He started by showing a photo of himself as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army. After asking students what they know about veterans and why people join the armed forces, Dr. Harner emphasized joining the military as a way to pay for college and as a way to become college and career ready.
Dr. Harner discussed the branches and service academies. He graduated from and taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Army). Many students and staff members raised their hands when Dr. Harner asked who had family members in the military. “Call them today and tell them Happy Veterans’ Day,” Dr. Harner said. “This is a special day for veterans.”
Twelve Milford and 12 Strayer students attended an annual Upper Bucks Veterans’ program at Pennridge Middle School North. The event, hosted by Representative Paul Clymer, rotates each year among Pennridge, Quakertown and Palisades.
Meanwhile, Strayer RELA teacher Kadishe Stoudt received a photo this week of her father's gold medal of honor. The email she received said, “Your father [Miftar Spahija] was given a gold medal of honor post mortem by the President of Albania in 2007.”
Mrs. Stoudt translated the letter, which said, “Professor Miftar Spahija ... Our idealistic and inflexible intellectual, who was idolized by his virtue of kindness, which notably, gained his popularity as ‘always as a gentleman first,’ and as a gentleman ‘through combat’ as OUR Nations' Albanian soldier for our national democracy and FREEDOM.”
War memorial uncovered at Alumni Field
During construction of Alumni Field, workers cut down trees along the fences. Lo and behold, a memorial dedicated to veterans of foreign wars appeared near the 7th and Park Avenue gate.
“It was always here,” said Facilities Director Kelly Harper said. “Apparently someone donated it decades ago. We didn’t clean it. It didn’t need it. It was just hidden because everything was overgrown.”
School Board member Stephen Ripper, whose home is filled with thousands of plants, pruned the tree. Meanwhile, at the far end of the field near the gate to QE, workers discovered four granite slabs. QCSD maintenance workers built block bases and mounted the slabs atop, so now there are seats by the memorial. As construction workers planted new trees along all the fences, they added mulch. The refreshed memorial offers a serene place for visitors to sit and pay tribute to the Quakertown servicemen named on the memorial who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Veterans’ Day is next Tuesday.
You can watch a video on Comcast (22,852, 968), Verizon (34, 37) and QCSDTVNews YouTube by clicking here
QCHS and Freshman Center Students of the Month
Cari Heft, Brett Wolfnger and Michael Schaeffer were named Students of the Month for October at the 10-12 building at QCHS. Anna Tran was named Student of the Month at the Freshman Center.
Cari was nominated by several teachers. Political Science teacher (now Dean of Students) Stephen Kimball said, “Cari is an incredibly motivated student. Her assignments always provide high levels of analysis and reflection. She is always highly attentive in class.”
Several teachers noted that Cari is a friendly, respectful, and mature young woman. Darlene Hardy and Lori Litchman enthusiastically supported her nomination for this reason. Teacher Tina Sullivan said, “Cari was in my Anatomy and Physiology class last year and she is a member of the Environmental Club for two years. She is consistently prepared for academics and club activities and goes above and beyond the requirements for each.”
Well-spoken and highly regarded by her peers and teachers, Cari is positive and has a great sense of humor. “At times she might fly under the radar because she can be quiet but when she comes out of her shell, she is very funny!” noted Mrs. Sullivan. Cari said she is quiet in many classes but “really verbal” in Mr. Mathieu’s Level 4 Honors Spanish class. She also takes AP classes in chemistry, statistics, English and physics. She completes a “good amount of homework” around 2.5 jobs at YumYum, the Ferndale Inn and cleaning at Miss Cindy’s Dance School. She dances three nights a week and is currently rehearsing five hours every Saturday to prepare for the Dec. 6 performance of the Nutcracker at Palisades High School. She plays flute in the concert band. She plans to pursue a career in teaching or the medical field. She hopes to become a mother someday. She presented her graduation project this week, about worms!
Brett Wolfinger made a splash on Halloween by wearing a huge ID card as his costume. His peers respect him because he goes out of his way to help others. “If I am busy with one student before or after school, Brett pitches in and helps whoever else is waiting,” said calculus teacher Maryann Byatt. “Brett not only does all his work, but also does extra practice to make sure he truly gets it. It is not unusual for him to pop in my room before or after school just to say, ‘Give me a tough question to try.’ He uses his time well and goes above expectations.”
The junior takes four AP classes – European History, calculus, physics and English. He said he manages a lot of homework and he is always ready to go on test day. He used to play football but decided to run cross-country for the first time this fall because it will prepare him better for the spring track season. He runs the 400 and 800, and is part of the relay teams. The Class Council member said his dream is to run track at the University of Pennsylvania. He thinks his ID costume helped his teachers select him as Student of the Month.
The loquacious Michael Schaeffer was featured in last week’s Quake newsletter for his pursuit of Mandarin. You can read it by clicking here. Melissa Ritter, English teacher, said Michael participates in class every day, “bringing class discussions to a higher level. He challenges his classmates with his thought-provoking responses that help everyone understand texts on a deeper level. He is a dedicated and responsible student.
“Michael is polite, friendly and helpful at all times,” Mrs. Ritter continued. “He is always willing to help out in the classroom, whether it be handing out books or running an errand. He says hello and goodbye every period without fail, making the classroom a friendlier environment for everyone. I wasn't surprised at all to find Michael holding the exit door for everyone during the fire drill. He's a tremendous asset to the school's climate.”
Michael takes AP Psychology and honors level for the rest of his classes. He said he likes to help others if the teacher is busy. He said he felt honored to know that his teachers view him in a positive way. He wants to become a doctor in China and his parents have big expectations for him, he said.
All three SHS students said they miss Standards Based Grading. Cari said, “SBG allowed us to infiltrate the learning without worrying about grades. Remediation gave us the chance to really know the material.”
Anna Tran is known for her spelling bee prowess. She won two years in a row as a Strayer middle schooler for the Bucks County Bee and went on to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She has wasted no time getting off to a big start at the Freshman Center. Her lowest grade for the first marking period is a 92.42, in physical education. Her AP Human Geography teacher, Janet Bassett, said, “Anna is actively involved in student government and is leading the shirt and food drive. She helps support her peers in class. Her work has been used as exemplars.”
Anna said math is her strong point and she finds Alan Hunsicker’s Algebra 2 Honors class “fun.” She enjoys the Gifted Seminar class, where she is researching her Vietnamese culture and finishing the Catcher in the Rye. Anna said she would like to major in business and earn a degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Currently, Ana is focusing on volunteering. She works with Student Government and Key Club at school and teaches CCD on Sundays at St. Isidore’s. As for spelling bees? Anna must now leave that to her little sister Kathy, a sixth grader at Strayer.
QCHS trio sings with national choir ensemble
Caitlin DiCara, Danielle Verguldi, Ron Jon Cubbage and vocal music director Jonathan Lechner spent the week in Nashville, Tennessee at the National Association for Music Education's (NAfME) National Conference held at the Marriot's Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Mr. Lechner regaled QCHS staff members and choir members back at school with a detailed blog over a four-day period, highlighting rehearsals, meals and hotel décor!
The three QCHS musicians rehearsed with the All-National Chorus, made up of more than 350 choir students from all over the United States and from U.S. Military Bases all over the world. Dr. Edith Copley from the University of Arizona, guest conductor, guided students through day-long intense rehearsals. Each QCHS student auditioned for a solo.
Jeffery L. Ames, the composer of one of the choir’s songs, attended Tuesday’s rehearsal. He spent 45 minutes coaching singers and making the music come alive. The 350-voice choir performed on the final day before a packed house of 4,000 guests. Mr. Lechner said students posed for selfies with the Grand Ole Opry Stage Door in the background as they headed into the auditorium for dress rehearsal.
“The concert was outstanding!” gushed Mr. Lechner. “The kids performed just like professionals. One of the highlights for me was their performance of a song entitled, ‘Nyon, Nyon.’ The lyrics were just nonsense syllables but they created some really interesting sound effects. The song was an interesting blend of ‘The Lion King’ meets Bollywood. The kids sang it from memory and they had choreographed the entire song. The kids came off the risers and started moving all around the entire stage as they sang. Very powerful and very entertaining. The other highlight was their closer, a gospel song entitled ‘Rejoice.’ This was the song they rehearsed with Jeffrey Ames, the composer. Dr. Ames was at the piano for the performance. The kids sang with tremendous passion and intensity. The crowd was extremely appreciative and they gave the choir a spontaneous standing ovation. We weren't allowed to make recordings but a professional DVD will be produced and our kids each ordered a copy.”
The photo above was posted on the National Music Educators facebook page.
QCHS, FC, SMS: Demonstration schools for SpringBoard
QCHS, including the Freshman Center, and Strayer Middle School have been recognized again for their excellence as College Board SpringBoard National Demonstration Schools. The designation for the three buildings has been renewed. The English curriculum has helped improve student achievement in reading and writing.
“The criteria are rigorous, and I am very proud of the consistently excellent work of the teachers and administrators to ensure the fidelity of the program and student performance,” said Assistant to the Superintendent Suzanne Laverick-Stone.
Strayer soccer teams finish season
The Strayer Middle School co-ed soccer teams finished their 2014 seasons. The varsity went 2-7-1 while the junior varsity posted a 5-2-1 record. Contributed photo.
Lights on Afterschool
Elementary students and legislators met on common ground recently during LifeSpan’s local celebration of the national Lights On Afterschool. Students participated in a variety of activities at each elementary school while the adults watched and presented certificates. Legislators included current and former PA House of Representatives Paul Clymer and Dr. Mary Ann Dailey, and Senator Bob Mensch. Caroline Allen, Coordinator, represented the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network (PSAYDN)
You can check out a slew of photos at the LifeSpan Fan Page by clicking here.
QCHS football team rolling along!
|The QCHS football team beat Council Rock North 48-32 last week to win the Continental Conference Championship. The Panthers are now 9-0 heading into tonight’s game at C.B. East. If the Panthers win tonight, they will post an undefeated regular season. The last time that happened in Quakertown was in 1955, when Coach George Banas’ father played on the team. In the conference title game last week, junior Rob Burns ran 35 times for 325 yards and six touchdowns! He tied the school record for most touchdowns in a game and set a school record for yards in a game. Rob said he had no idea he ran that much. |
|“I’m not a huge stat guy,” said Coach George Banas, “but that’s ridiculous!” Coach Banas credited the team’s success to balanced talent across the offense and defense. “Other teams have one or two go-to guys. We have five or six guys across the board, on both offense and defense, who contribute every week. Our offensive line just takes control in the second half. Whether it’s on the defensive line, the linebacker level or in the secondary, we have a lot of guys stepping up.” The team is carefully taking each game one at a time. Quakertown has never won a district game. “In playoff games, it comes down to which team makes the least mistakes,” Banas said. |
QCHS students inducted into National Honor Society
QCHS Dean of Students Stephen Kimball and officers Laura Post, Torin Martutartus, Keely Londino, Marissa Cubbage and Colin Smith inducted 43 new students into the National Honor Society Sunday, Oct. 26 in the new Performing Arts Center. David Finnerty, Principal, and Nancianne Edwards, Assistant Superintendent, presented certificates and congratulatory remarks.
The new members are Mia Baglivo, Kimberly Baj, Nick Basile, Lindsay Beck, Alexi Benner, Brooke Blair, Karina Bolton, Emily Brady, Jessica Braeunle, Jack Chenowith, Ashley Cochran, Morgan Contoleon-Hunsberger, Ronald Jon Cubbage, Emilyanne DeMatteo, Caitlin DiCara, Emily Fox, Chet Friday, Jennifer Friel, Melissa Gallo, Samantha Gill, Amanda Goodwin, Vivian Ha, Travis Jackson, Samantha Kang, Evan Kaseman, Darby Keller, Meghan Klee, Rudolph Levinski, Emily Marshall, Olivia Maseloff, Emma McLaughlin, Kayla Reigh, Daniel Reigh, Adam Rizzo, Jordan Schan, Gabrielle Scherff, Amina Sohail, Allison Sterner, Meredith Vandegrift, Jose Xavier Villanueva, Briana Wasserman, Savanah Webb and Brett Wolfinger.
Milford inducts NJHS members
Eighteen eighth graders and four seventh graders took the oath for National Junior Honor Society at Milford Middle School this week. They join five eighth graders who have been members for the past year. Mrs. Lisa Cravener, Advisor, led the ceremony with Owen Breininger, Counselor. President Ashton Herd introduced her officers (Treasurer Adria Retter, Secretary Jen Starzecky, Vice President Joey Sinsel and Historian Haley Arnold) to present the principles of scholarship, leadership, service, character and citizenship. Teacher Melissa Weinstein called on the new members and recently retired assistant principal Pat Tannous offered encouraging remarks.
The new eighth grade members are Jack Anthony, Alexander Brandis, Victoria Caputo, Matthew Ciarrocchi, Richard Dennis, David Fletcher, Emma Geiser, Kasia Hubrich, Ryan Keel, Hannah LaBonge, Justin Leyden, Paige Mott, Suzie Njunge, Adeniyi Onanuga, Emma Pizzullo, Haley Pursel, Hailey Reiss and Brittney Undercuffler. Seventh grade members are Jordynn Cheatle, Micah Kratz, Catherine Meyer and Morgan Thrush.
QCHS soccer team celebrates seniors
The QCHS girls’ soccer team closed out its season. During Senior Night, the team honored seven seniors. They were midfielder Mikaela Blaiss; forward Emily DeMatteo; goalkeeper Erinne Finlayson; manager Karley Schrey; center mid/striker Jami Soriano; defenseman Michelle Staropoli; and midfielder Linzi Wolfe.
State cross-country hopes dashed
QCHS senior cross-country runner Karina Bolton got close but did not qualify for the PIAA State Championships. The complicated qualification system depends on the number of placers after all runners in qualifying teams are removed from the list at the District 1 Championship. Ryan Stetler, head coach, said he figured Karina would need to place between 50th and 60th. And she did, finishing 55th, by running 8 seconds faster than a week earlier in the Suburban One Championship. Karina covered the 3.1-mile course of the districts at Lehigh University in a personal record (PR) of 19:42.
An hour after the race, officials announced that 43 runners would represent District 1. “Had she run 12 seconds faster, she would have qualified,” said Coach Stetler. “It was disappointing but she gave it her all.”
Freshman Hudson Delisle was the top finisher among the QCHS boys. He ran a PR of 17:07. The state qualifying time was 16:37. The team will graduate four seniors. Hudson and Nolan Pernia, another freshman, ran among the team’s top five all season, so Stetler hopes the team will build its success next year. Junior Brett Wolfinger ran cross-country for the first-time this year. He set a PR of 17:51 at District Meet. The sprinter hopes to qualify for states in track next spring.
QCHS and FC Phys Ed teachers present successful programs
QCHS Physical Education teachers Ryan Stetler, Melissa Bratina and David DiGiacomo will present to colleagues next week at the 2014 Bucks County IU Health and Physical Education Conference at Pennridge High School. Mr. Stetler will present Literacy Strategy in Health Education and Effective Secondary Health Lessons.
Mrs. Bratina and Mr. DiGiacomo will present the CrossFit program they initiated at the Freshman Center. Every day, ninth graders spread out in the gym at specially arranged stations. They lift weights, perform body-weight calisthenics and do cardio, such as running. They also jump up on boxes, which is harder than it sounds! Mrs. Bratina, who teaches and works out at CrossFit Apex in Souderton, said the Freshman Center and Senior High School are now legally designated as a CrossFit affiliate, named CrossFit QCHS.
“We are excited to share with local school districts the progressive program we have here at the Freshman Center,” Mrs. Bratina said. “There is nothing that makes me happier than knowing I am changing the lives of young people by teaching them how to be healthy through exercise and nutrition. Or curriculum is fitness-based so I can continue to take my knowledge and experience of CrossFit and teach it to my freshman students. “
In 2009, then QCHS phys ed teacher Tanya Wagner won the won the world championships for CrossFit. She has had two children and now owns and operates CrossFit Apex. She has also commentated for Reebok and ESPN.
QCSDTV News students are working on a video about the FC program.
Strayer students inducted into NJHS
Teachers Carrie Allen and Vickie Breiner, with help from several students, organized a classy National Junior Honor Society Induction Ceremony October 21 at Strayer Middle School. Students recited the pledge, received pins and certificates and heard from Derek Peiffer, Principal.
“I would like to congratulate all the new and previous NJHS members for their hard work, leadership, and service. The two key characteristics, in my humble opinion, to being a member of NJHS are to lead and serve. There are many ways to lead. You can lead by example, you can lead by fear, you can lead by intimidation, you can lead by simply saying, ‘“Because I said so (my personal favorite to my children).’ So what does it mean to be a servant leader? There are some key attributes. One must listen first and care much. Often we are too busy trying to make our point that we do not value the other person’s ideas and opinions. Always value people more than things. One must also have foresight and vision. You must know where you are going, help others to see the value in where you are going, and have the foresight to see the consequences of your actions. Never make decisions that leave others worse off than prior to your decision. Other key aspects to servant leadership are persuasion and nurturing. As a leader, you have a responsibility to improve the place where you are whether school, home, church, business, or other organization.”
New seventh grade members of NJHS are: Anna Albright, Theodora Bevan-Xenelis, Daniel Carroll, Margaret Claghorn, Taylor Connelly, Abigail Dickson, Melanie Ficarra, Emily Ford, Jefferson Fox, Timothy Garlick, Kyle Goodwin, Ashlyn Hickey, Timothy Kratz, Heather LeBourgeois, Madyson Longenbach, Joseph Marino, Emma Mitchell, Melissa Chau Nong, Cassidy O’Donnell, Alexandra Poulter, Caitlin Rosenberger, Abigail Schwartz, Wesley Shaw and Sarah Stofik.
New eighth grade members are Giacinta Barndt, Noelle Bayda, Andrew Bean, Kimberly Best, Robert Bryant, Alexandra Cummings, Marissa Dufala, Kayla Feusner, Jackson Force, Luca Frinzi, Heidi Hepburn, Brianna Hileman, Juliet Marvelli, Delbert Ross, Sophia Shaiman, Sean Sheva, Nicole Sparango, Madeline Staudenmeier and Zachary Zajkowski.
You can read another story about the NJHS induction ceremony in the October 24 Quake newsletter at www.qcsd.org.
QCHS senior leads cross-country team at league and district meets
Senior Karina Bolton finished 10th at the Suburban One League Continental Cross-Country Meet October 17 at Lehigh University. There were 55 runners, including the rest of the QCHS girls’ team, in the meet. She ran her fastest 5K (3.1-mile) race ever, 19:50. The boys also ran in the event.
In her sophomore year, Karina finished at the end of the league pack, in about 45th place. In her junior year she finished 23rd at the league meet. She ran 20:27. This year, she improved her time by 30 seconds despite high winds.
“I definitely put in a lot of effort over the summer,” Karina explained. “I even ran by myself on vacation in Poland. It was hard to stay motivated doing that.” She did enjoy the no-humidity weather and the pretty countryside in Europe. When she returned to Quakertown, her teammates and coaches supported her, “really believed in me,” she said.
The entire team goes back to the Lehigh course for this Friday’s District 1 Championships. Karina ran 19:58 in that meet last year. Since then she has run on the course numerous times for practice and in meets. “I know the course really well,” she said. “That should help this week.”
Head coach Ryan Stetler said the district event will include 350 runners. “Karina will need to run between 19:30-19:35, which should give her a shot at qualifying for the “PIAA State Championships in Hershey next weekend.”
The other members of the girls’ and boys’ teams running or supporting today are freshmen Lily Colflesh, Hudson Delisle, Kevin Jaszynski, Justin LaBar, Nolan Pernia and Tyler Slotterbach; sophomores Andrew Bagshaw; James Eicheldinger, Trevor Fowler, Trevor Hickey and Josh Sanderlin; juniors Nick Basile, Caitlin DiCara, Madeline Ocamb and Brett Wolfinger and seniors Jessica Harr, Janae Hickey, Michael Kelsall, Jonathan Meyer, Reland Saugling, Tommaso Stalletti and Cullen Williamson.
QCHS field hockey team loses in OT in first district appearance in 12 years
The QCHS field hockey team lost a nail-biter, 5-4 in overtime, Monday at Phoenixville in the first round of the District 1 Playoffs. The last time the QCHS team qualified for districts was 2002. This time,QCHS entered as the 26th seed and played 7th seed Phoenixville.
Junior Emma McLaughlin scored the first of her three goals to put the Panthers on the board first. She scored on a corner with 19:03 left in the first 30-minute half. Senior Megan Thompson scored on a penalty stroke with 9:57 left to make it 2-0. Phoenixville scored with 2:37 left to make it 2-1 at halftime. The Phantoms scored to open the second half, on a penalty stroke, which evened the game. Emma scored again to make it 3-2. The score was tied again at 3-3 before Phoenixville went ahead 4-3. With 7:05 left in regulation, Emma scored on a corner to make it 4-4.
Five minutes into the second half, QCHS junior defenseman Hillary Scott was hit in the forehead by a deflected shot that sent her to the bench for a bag of ice. Then, in sudden victory overtime, a Quakertown player tackled from behind, in the circle, which set up another penalty stroke. Phoenixville capitalized to win the game.
“I’ve never seen so many penalty strokes in one game,” said QCHS Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs, who coached field hockey for many years.
Emma said the Panthers showed Phoenixville and other District 1 schools that they belonged in the tournament. “We played well. We controlled a lot of the game,” she said.
Megan added, “Both teams played hard.”
Head Coach Alyssa Maltese, who shared coaching duties with former Olympian and QCHS grad Diane Bracalente, noted, “We surprised them. They thought we’d be a pushover. We have a lot of girls coming back next year. We’ll work on some things and hopefully we’ll go farther next year.”
The rest of the QCHS lineup included sophomores Anna Thompson, Mel Oliveri, Olivia Jackson, Lindsey Bright and goalkeeper Rylee Lawler; junior Becky Gerhart; and seniors Tori Bright, Elaina Abramson, Emily Jones, Katie Moyer and Gabby Dontonville. You can watch a video on QCSDTVNews YouTube.
QCHS field hockey team qualifies for districts
The QCHS field hockey team learned last night (Oct. 16) that it qualified for the District 1 Tournament for the first time in about 10 years! The Panthers will play at Phoenixville Monday.
The team was cruising toward its District 1 playoff spot two weeks into the season, after the Panthers got through conflict created by the PIAA’s summertime ruling about not allowing boys to play on girls’ teams. Alyssa Maltese, a local club coach, took over as head coach, with help from QCHS graduate and Olympic player Diane Bracalente. The two played on the USA Field Hockey national team together several years ago.
Hillary Scott and Emma McLaughlin said the coaches have taught the players new skills, which has helped the team control the ball and keep possession. Players can now “pull right,” cut to the ball, dribble and transition well. “Our defense outlets the ball well to the wings,” said Emma.
The team was 7-7-1 heading into its final two regular season games. Emma, the leading scorer, had scored 14 of the team’s 30 goals in the 15-game stretch. She recently was named to USA Field Hockey’s Futures Program, which grooms players for Olympic development. Bracalente’s daughter, Mayv Clune, who plays at Moravian Academy, was the only other player from the area to make the team. They and a few others tried out over several months of cold, rainy Sunday mornings at Lehigh University.
Senior Megan Thompson and Hillary also play club hockey, which has helped the Panthers improve. They play year-round in tournaments in Virginia and Pennsylvania. College coaches spectate at the tournaments, looking for potential players. Megan hits in the ball to initiate corner plays. She finds Hillary or Becky Gerhart, a homeschooled member of the team. They will take the shot, or dish off to Emma, who fires on goal.
Neidig students celebrate Race for Education
About 420 students joined teachers and parents in walking a quarter-mile loop around the Neidig playground on Oct. 10 for the Race for Education. Parents from PAL, led by Vicki Call an (President), Tiffany Kling (Vice President and Kelly Mitchell (Treasurer), sent out 3,500 flyers to friends and family members around the country seeking donations. It is the main fund raiser. Last year PAL (Parents Aiding Learning) brought in $17,000. The money paid for student field trips, new picnic tables on the playground and reading carpets in several classrooms.
Trumbauersville celebrated with games and walking during their Fall Fitness Fundraiser last Friday. Other district elementary schools are holding their fundraising celebrations today and by the end of October.
St. Luke's: Time to move it!
St. Luke’s Hospital recently distributed 860 pedometers to fifth graders in QCSD, Palisades and Upper Perkiomen. The goal, of course, is to spread the word and the habit of healthy living. Administrators want students to share the pedometers with their family members. Everybody’s steps can be tallied into the student’s classroom log, which gets rolled into the school building chart. The St. Luke’s program is part of its partnership with the Delaware and Lehigh Canal’s Get Your Tail on the Trail program. The D&L features smooth walking along the tow-path from Easton to Jim Thorpe.
Kathy Ransom, Vice President of Patient Care Services, and Matt Martinez, Operations Manager with Dietary, visited Richland to present the program. Dr. Kathy Winters, Principal, said that since 5th graders are spearheading the effort, they can decide what to do for the school with the $250 or $500 they will receive from St. Luke’s if they reach 10,000 or 20,000 miles by May. Walking 10,000 steps is equivalent to five miles, which is the recommendation for healthy activity. PE teacher Jeff Bonsall cautioned students not to put the pedometers in their pockets because they tend to break. Exercises like jumping jacks also increase the number of steps on the pedometers.
At Trumbauersville, Mary Beth Granitz, Practice Administrator, and Tracy Weber, Clinical Coordinator, told students the goal was to keep healthy so none of them need to go to the hospital. “Get outside. Get fresh air,” Ms. Grantiz said. Students wanted to know if they walked more than 20,000 miles if the school could get more than $500. The St. Luke’s employees said no! Teacher Zach Garger showed his students how much walking it will take to reach 20,000 miles. Students took out their whiteboards and did the math. If every student reached 10,000 steps a day, the class of 24 would need 83 days straight to do it without help from family members. In any case, students were motivated to get started. Phys Ed teacher Ellen Bonk told them to bring all their logs to the gym, where she would centralize the record keeping.
Lights On Afterschool Events Set for October 23
LifeSpan School and Daycare’s School-Age Programs will join the Afterschool Alliance in this year’s Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide series of events celebrating and supporting afterschool programs, on October 23. Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide rally for afterschool programs. More than 8,000 events are expected to take place this year across the country and at U.S. military bases worldwide.
LifeSpan School and Daycare’s Lights On Afterschool events will be held during their Before and After School Programs located in all six of the QCSD elementary schools, where 200 students are safely supervised every day.
Before school breakfast will be offered to guests at Neidig, Pfaff, Richland, Tohickon and Trumbauersville from 7-8 a.m. LifeSpan’s after school programs will offer refreshments to guests from 4:30-6:00 at Pfaff, Richland and QE.
Each program will host an open house event for guests to observe what the children learn in the program and speak to staff members. Students will participate in unique activities at each building. Special guests, including legislators, will also attend.
All community members and parents of students are invited to attend.
For more information, please contact Heather Moyer at 267-347-0985 firstname.lastname@example.org
QCHS Students of the Month
QCHS teachers and administrators designated four Students of the Month from grades 9-11 for September. Lauren McKinley, a senior, will also be honored as the Rotary Student of the Month at its monthly meeting at Spinnerstown Hotel. The other three students are Darby Keller, junior, Jake Wooden, sophomore, and Maggie Keifer, freshman.
Lauren takes AP Chemistry, AP Government, BC Calculus and AP Literature. She plays flute and piccolo in the band. She hopes to become a doctor and plans to major in biology at Lehigh or the University of Pittsburgh.
Chemistry teacher Darlene Hardy said, “Lauren is a problem solver. She can put multiple concepts together and thinks about how one concept affects another. She is not afraid to try an exercise and work through it to understand how it fits into the big picture of Chemistry.”
Darby said singing “is my thing.” She participates in vocal lessons, the choir, Women’s Ensemble and the musical. She takes all honors classes, AP English and AB Calculus. She takes Spanish and Physics. She wants to be a forensic scientist and work with the FBI, or teach little kids or high school biology or chemistry!
“Darby is a very energetic student,” said Andy Snyder, physics teacher. “Eager and enthusiastic to learn, Darby leads by example in the classroom. Her presence in the classroom seems to raise the bar for the students around her and promotes an environment of learning.”
Jake said he thinks teachers selected him because he turns in all his homework on time. He takes Honors Biology, Geometry, World Lit Honors, History, Spanish 2 Honors and Kinesiology. He wants to become an athletic trainer or a baseball coach. He pitches and plays third base for the QCHS baseball team.
“Jake is a careful and conscientious student in biology,” said teacher Tina Sullivan. “He stands out with a great sense of humor and a positive attitude. I enjoy having Jake in my class!”
Maggie Keifer was named at the Freshman Center. She was delighted to be recognized because she said, “I work hard!” Most of the time, she noted, she likes to work by herself so that others don’t try to take credit for her work. She earns As and Bs in all her classes. She likes history the best, she said.
History teacher Kate Kemp said, “Maggie is a very conscientious, hard-working young lady. Her inquisitiveness is a real asset to our class.”
Maggie wants to be an elementary school teacher. She likes all her subjects and hopes to travel to Spain with her mother, Jen, when she graduates from high school so she can practice speaking Spanish. She currently plays on the QCHS volleyball team and also stays active with soccer, basketball and spring track.
QCEF awards mini-grants
Quakertown Community Education Foundation recently awarded mini-grants for three projects. Quakertown Elementary students will benefit from $1,000 that will be used to purchase new books and magazines in the school library.
Fifth grade students in Kim Finnerty’s class at Richland Elementary will receive $367 for personal workbooks that match up with the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. The book helps them learn how to get and stay organized; improve self-image; resist peer pressure; achieve goals; and communicate more clearly.
Finally, thanks to a passionate presentation, QCHS English teacher Nick Burch secured a grant for $1,850 that will bring to the high school the WillPower Tour of the PA Shakespeare Festival. The DeSales troupe will teach a series of workshops on the morning of November 20 and perform Much Ado About Nothing in the afternoon, in the new QCHS Performing Arts Center. Mr. Burch said the 250 AP Literature, AP Language and 20 Gifted Seminar students who participate will get an in-depth understanding of Shakespearean language. This can help them when they take AP exams in the spring.
According to the Shakespeare Festival website, the Linny Fowler WillPower Tour is the centerpiece of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's educational programming. Now in its 15th year, WillPower has served more than 130,000 students and has a well-established reputation for excellence.
The current production includes a professionally directed 80-minute production of Much Ado About Nothing with sets and costumes; trained and experienced actor/teachers delivering compelling performances and quality curriculum; programming that meets state academic standards; a classroom study guide specifically tailored to the play; and post-show discussion with the cast after the performance.
Members of the QCEF Board of Directors are David A. Tyson, President; Thomas R. Klee, Vice President;
Dr. Robert L. Leight, Secretary; Robert Riegel, Treasurer; Dr. William E. Harner, Superintendent;
Anna Cattie; Nona Feathers; Kathy Federosko; Derek Peiffer; and Nancy B. Tirjan. Dr. Suzanne Laverick-Stone and Susan Quinque are advisory council members.
Volleyball team raises funds for cancer
The QCHS girls’ volleyball team raised $4,000 in shirt sales for the Pink Out Night for breast cancer awareness. The girls beat North Penn.
Quakertown athletes get tips from sports psychologist and peers
Sports psychologist Jarrod Spencer encouraged a roomful of high school captains to put and keep their most positive steps forward when it comes to leading their teammates. He showed his trademark psychology training videos to the students Oct. 2 at the annual event at DeSales University. Women’s basketball coach Fred Richter, who long ago coached at QCHS, introduced Spencer to the group of mostly Lehigh Valley school students. QCHS Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs took six captains: Erinne Finlayson, soccer; Isaiah Johnson, soccer; Emily Jones, field hockey; Tom Stalletti, cross-country; Jen Sterner, volleyball; and Alec Vera, football.
Dr. Spencer talked about the need to be positive and not blame coaches or teammates for poor team performances, according to Erinne. “He wanted us to take responsibility for our actions.”
Erinne and Alec said they most appreciated the opportunity to talk to students from other schools. Encouraged by the DeSales athletes who facilitated their small group discussions, the captains shared strategies for dealing with difficult situations among team members.
“Situations we talked about included what you would do as a captain if you caught teammates drinking or partying, or doing something inappropriate in the locker room,” reported Erinne. “Most agreed we would talk to kids first before telling the coach.”
One idea captains shared for getting teammates’ attention, in a positive and useful way, was to make them run sprints! Alec said he appreciated listening to other captains talk about tactics they’ve been using this season to get their players to mesh. He said he hasn’t tried any of the ideas yet because he considers himself more of a game leader than a practice leader. “Dr. Spencer said it’s always better to look at the positive because if you get negative, you can bring everybody down around you.”
QCHS teachers Mackey and Burch will be featured in a book
QCHS English teachers Mike Mackey and Nick Burch will be quoted in an upcoming book by Lynn Murphy on behalf of the Reading Apprenticeship (RA). The WestEd program trains teachers to blend specific reading strategies with curriculum in all subjects. QCSD secondary teachers have been attending RA workshops for six years.
Three years ago, Freshman Center House Principal Mike Zackon asked Mr. Mackey and Mr. Burch to serve as teacher leaders of a few teacher cohorts going through the training during the 2013-14 school year. Teachers represented all core courses in which teachers must guide students through difficult reading. The cohorts also included teachers from other school districts. Mackey and Burch reported their results to the Pennsylvania Coordinator for RA, Susan Kinney, who arranged for them to be interviewed for the upcoming book.
Mackey has been teaching English at QCHS for 29 years. His courses include AP English Language and Composition and American Literature. Burch has been teaching English for 14 years. His courses include AP Literature and British Literature College Prep. They have added numerous RA strategies, including metacognitive journals, to their teaching repertoire. In the recent interview for the book, they told Ms. Kinney and Ms. Murphy that the teachers in their groups participated with complete cooperation and “buy-in.” Administrators showed support, which helped the efforts. Mackey, Burch and other teachers developed online systems to hold students accountable for using the RA strategies and the system paid off: Mackey said students now use the strategies on their own, after many months of guided use.
Some of the strategies include talking to the text; think aloud; critical theories; thought—provoking summaries; think-pair-share; and annotating. Burch said he thinks students gained confidence, which helped him convince 62 of the 103 seniors to take the 2014 AP Literature exam. He said he now applies the strategies to Shakespeare reading. Mackey said 62 of the more than 88 AP Language students took the AP exam. Ms. Kinney was impressed with the large number of students who took the test. Students who pass the test can get college credit, which means they can skip courses in college and save money!
Mackey and Burch told the interviewers they thought the reason their cohorts worked so well was because they helped establish trust. They want to help more teachers across the curriculum learn to integrate the RA strategies to help students succeed. The experience helped them extend their network of teaching professionals to other school districts.
QCHS senior qualifies for District 1 Golf Tournament
QCHS senior Joe Rochelle will compete in the District One Golf Tournament October 6 at Turtle Creek Golf Course in Limerick. He qualified by shooting a great score of 76 at Indian Valley Country Club in Telford, during the Suburban One League Tournament. Junior Tanner Seislove also competed in the league event, but missed qualifying. He shot an 86, but needed to break 83 and place in the top 40 of the 93 entries. Joe finished eighth overall. Tanner placed in the top 88 out of 250 golfers.
Joe said he has been playing for five years. He started by playing with his father, Dave, and still sometimes plays with him. His dad walks the courses with him at scholastic matches. Joe must place in the top 30 at the district event to advance to regionals. If he places in the top 16 there, he will advance to the PIAA State Championship.
The low key student said, “I think it’s pretty cool when I hit birdies.” He hopes to play in college and is considering DeSales, Moravian and Arcadia to study finance or accounting. He played ice hockey last year but decided to try an individual sport to boost his chance at success. Joe played a practice round of golf with QCHS coach Nick Hood at Turtle Creek this week.
Tanner said he likes to play golf. “It’s a fun game. It’s funny how you can play really well one day and terrible the next.” Also a low-key individual, Tanner does not plan to golf or wrestle (his other sport) in college. Instead he wants to snowboard at a college in Utah.
QCSD is going pink on Monday!
Monday, Oct. 6 is the QCHS girls’ volleyball team’s annual Pink Out across the school district, in conjunction with their Dig Pink match in the evening.
Senior captain Amanda Pursel, a four-year player, designed the shirt and did all the work of ordering and selling this year. Head coach Wendy Snyder said, “She did an amazing job with the help of her teammates. They sold 800 shirts!”
So far, the effort has raised more than $4,000, to be donated to the Side Out Foundation for breast cancer research. Amanda sold 64 shirts. Freshman Ashley Morris sold 53 and the Pfaff Elementary staff purchased 50 shirts.
The Dig Pink match, against North Penn, starts at 5:45 with the junior varsity and at 7 p.m. with the varsity, at Strayer Middle School. Seniors who will be honored, in addition to Amanda, are captain Jen Sterner, captain Katelyn Spieker, Haley Sheehan, Kerry Vanyo and Erica Schmidlechner.
Michael Terra: Screen actor, QCSD student!
QCSD student Michael Terra, 13, has become a jet setter! He flies from the East Coast to Los Angeles when it’s time to audition or act in commercials or major motion pictures. You can see him now in, And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.
The Bucks County Courier Times
wrote a story about him. You can click here
to read it. He was interviewed on Fox 29. And a QCSDTV News video will be posted soon on YouTube (click here
) and on Comcast (968) and Verizon (34).
The eighth grader starts his school day in the QCHS Mod City, where he takes geometry with teacher Chad Zitta. He heads to Strayer Middle School, where he takes a few face-to-face classes before heading to the Cyber Program classroom for the afternoon. Then he plays school football.
Sometime after January 1, Michael expects a call from his agent to go to Los Angeles, to audition for another movie. So far he has had roles in Hello, My Name is Doris with Sally Field; and a TV movie, Nonna, Tell me a Story: Lidia’s Christmas Kitchen. (Click here to read his bio.) He has played in commercials fro Pillsbury, Western Union and Chuckie Cheese.
He started the adventure when he was 8 years old. Initially, his sister Lindsay, now 20, wanted to try it. (He also has a sister Brittany and his father is Jim.) He said his mother, Brenda, “a stay-at-home mom,” found casting calls on the internet and took him to New York City for auditions. In New York, a casting manager spotted him and signed him up. He is now represented by the same company in New York and LA. Producers decide on actors based on their look, such as Michael’s brown hair and brown eyes. “The manager passes my headshot [photo] on to the casting directors. If they like me, I get the part.”
Now he takes acting lessons from Patrick Day, who lives in LA. If Michael gets a part with a script, the two of them may Skype for the lesson, unless Michael needs to go to LA to shoot a film. He said filming a commercial requires more “takes” with the cameras and actors than movies because the cast rehearses two to 10 times a week before the movie filming begin, so everyone knows their lines.
He said he has enjoyed the movie stars he has worked with. In fact, meeting people is the best part about the experience, he said. He said he is a “normal, well-rounded kid who goes to school and plays sports. I like to stay grounded.” He may decide to pursue acting in the future, or not.
“I thought about being a pro football player, but I’m probably too small,” he said. “I would like to be an entrepreneur and create things to help people.”
Free Fall attracts large crowd
Each year local churches in Quakertown partner with the QCHS Fellowship of Christian Athletes club to put on an event known as Free Fall. The 2014 edition was held Sept. 27 at the Main Street Skate Park (across from the Freshman Center). About 60 middle and high school aged students competed in free skateboarding, BMX and a Basketball Challenge. Approximately 100 people watched.
Among the winners was Brian Kramer in the expert division. Seventh grader John Powers placed in the middle school division.
QCHS juniors Delaney Minor and Nic Rubolino, QCSD Video Production students, were put to work with Jay Delp Productions, which displayed the event live on a large outdoor, high-resolution LED video screen.
Hair this: Key Club events cuts off 24 tails!
Twenty four pony tails are hanging in Key Club Advisor Kelly Shaak’s barn. But they don’t belong to ponies! They used to be attached to the heads of 24 girls and women who donated their hair last Saturday for wigs for cancer patients.
“It creeps me out when I see them,” Mrs. Shaak said, laughing about the pony tails. “When the hairdressers cut them off, they were damp and they put them in plastic bags. I got them home and the bags were all steamy. So I took the ponies out and hung them up to dry before I send them to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.”
Mrs. Shaak and Pfaff second grade teacher Katie Robbins helped Key Club members organize the first-time event, starting last spring. They were all thrilled with the results. Mrs. Shaak said the donators ranged from 3 to 66-years-old and they all had thick hair.
“We had girls who could have given 15 inches of hair, but most gave about nine inches,” she said. “One girl chickened out. She and her mom went home, found a picture of a shorter haircut and she came back to get it cut.”
Hairstylists worked free of charge. Diane Rathjens of Classic Hair Designs sent stylists Madison and Katrina. Linda Becker represented Salon 17. Jessica Geisinger and Ashley Gerhart, both of whom cut hair out of their homes, joined the group because they know Key Club members Rachel Seidel and Breanna Ericksen. Adrianna, a UBCTS student, represented Artistic Trends. Kiwanis members Barb Berberich and Iris Jewell invited Adrianna. (Key Club is the student version of Kiwanis, a community service club.)
Key Club officers are Morgan Cha (President); Rachel Seidel (Vice President); Shayna Flath (Vice President) and Mia Nightingale (Secretary). More than 125 students attended the first Key Club meeting of the school year!
“People who got their haircut received one raffle ticket for each inch of hair donated,” Mrs. Shaak said. “We raffled off donated items from area businesses. We had music, dancing, games and snacks. It was a great event. Now we know what to do for next year when we do it again.”
QCHS students embark on new academic partnership with St. Luke’s Hospital
A dozen QCHS students broke ground on a new curriculum offering: Medical Career Pathways. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the students spend the morning at St. Luke’s Hospital. On Mondays they will listen to lectures. On Wednesdays, they will shadow doctors, nurses, technicians and therapists. They will go into the operating room, the pharmacy, therapy units and all sorts of labs. They will don scrubs, booties and hair caps. They may witness codes and other emergencies. In short, they will get the type of birds-eye view that will help them decide whether or not they really want to pursue a medical career. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they take a Dual Enrollment course – either psychology or nutrition – through Bucks County Community College. The Bucks teacher meets them in a shiny new classroom off the Cyber Commons at QCHS. They will earn college credit.
“I’m pretty sure I want to become an orthopedic surgeon,” said Jake Perrine, a senior. “I had surgery on my knee and I know what people go through.” Elaina Abramson said she’s not sure what she wants to be yet when she grows up, but when she heard about the opportunity, she thought it would be a good way to rule in, or rule out, the medical field.
The others participating in the cooperative partnership, along with 13 students from Palisades, are Jake Howard, Danae Leatherman, Katie Moyer, Brenna Steinmetz, Emily Sullivan, Linzi Wolfe, Madison Bauder, Victoria Bright, Meagan Calhoun and Devyn Jordan. Most of them are taking Psychology with Bucks teacher Caroline Genovese. A few of them have already taken that course, so they are taking other courses.
Lisa Sames, St. Luke’s Coordinator of Quality & Education, told students during the introduction and tour that even if they find they don’t want to deal with patients from a medical perspective, there are other jobs in the health care field they might like, including administration, accounting, finance and technology. She cautioned students to be careful with confidentiality, governed by HIPA laws. She and QCHS Guidance Counselor Eric Gozzard told students they may see activity in the hospital that upsets them. They can debrief with hospital employees or Mr. Gozzard. “It’s important to take care of yourself. We’re here to help,” Mrs. Sames said.
Student participants will receive free immunizations for TB and the flu. They will create final presentations at the end of the year. Principal David Finnerty and Guidance Counselor Patty Sabol interviewed students who requested the program during course signups. Mr. Finnerty said the factor he questioned the most, more than GPA, was the students’ passion for helping others. Program participants can earn time toward volunteer certification. Jake Howard, who also wants to become an orthopedic surgeon, already works as a volunteer at the hospital.
QCSD students win, place show at TSA Nationals
Thirty-three students representing the four TSA chapters at QCHS, the Freshman Center, Milford and Strayer middle schools competed this summer at the 2014 National TSA Conference in National Harbor, MD. TSA (Technology Student Association) is a national, non-profit organization of middle and high school students whose mission is to “foster personal growth, leadership and opportunities in technology, innovation design and engineering.”
Students engage in competitive events that apply and integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts as well as the 10 core leadership skills: Communication, creative thinking, critical thinking, decision-making, ethics, evaluation, organization, problem solving, self-esteem and teamwork.
The 2014 TSA National Conference, the largest attended conference to date with 6,829 attendees, hosted TSA chapters from 48 states and Germany. All 33 Quakertown students represented themselves, their families and the district with pride and distinction, and several students received honor as semi-finalists and finalists.
The team of Nate Besch, Tim Mallo and Ben Ocamb captured first place in Go Green Manufacturing, for a National Championship. (Scroll down to a Kudo posted during the summer.)
The team of Amanda Hunsberger and John Stevens - 9th place, Manufacturing Prototype HS
The team of Russell Boehringer and Tim Mallo - 8th place, Problem Solving MS
The team of Mikaela Blaisse, Matthew Cornelius, Zackery Metz, Alison Schlicher, Colin Smith, and Tommaso Stalletti - 5th Place, Chapter Team HS
Matthew Cornelius - 3rd place, Transportation Modeling HS
Sean Sheeva, Dragster Design MS
The team of Kyle Dowling, Emelia Graham, and Grant Hunsberger, Technology Bowl MS
The team of Brandon Besack, Brendan McFadden, and Sean McFadden, Video Game Design HS.
Quakertown’s Moyer selected as an Afterschool Ambassador
From Washington, D.C., the Afterschool Alliance announced that Heather Moyer, Director of School Age and Summer Camp Programs at the LifeSpan School and Daycare in Quakertown, has been selected to serve as a 2014-2015 Afterschool Ambassador. She is one of just 13 leaders from 12 states to be chosen for the honor this year. Each Afterschool Ambassador will continue directing or supporting a local afterschool program while also serving the one-year Afterschool Ambassador term, organizing public events, communicating with policy makers, and building support for afterschool programs.
“In Quakertown and around the country, quality afterschool programs are keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn and helping working families,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “In afterschool programs, young people are engaged in fun, creative, educational activities. They get help with homework and exposure to mentors, and have opportunities for sports and fitness, to work in teams to program computers and build robots, to grow vegetables in school or community gardens, to paint and dance, and much more. These afterschool activities complement what they learn during the school day. As an Afterschool Ambassador, Heather will bring great energy to the work of building even stronger support for afterschool programs among parents, business and community leaders, lawmakers and others. I look forward to working with her this year.”
“I am excited to have this chance to help increase support for afterschool programs, which give students opportunities to explore their interests and passions and give parents the security that comes with knowing that their children are safe and supervised, with engaging, educational activities after the school day ends,” said Moyer. “Afterschool programs are critical to students’ success in school, to their safety, to working families, and to the nation’s workforce and its economy. We need to increase resources for afterschool programs and work toward the day when there is a high-quality afterschool program for every child who needs one.”
LifeSpan provides a local safe haven for children while their parents are at work, giving parents a peace of mind knowing their children are being well cared for. You can get information about LifeSpan’s before and after programs on the QCSD Community Bulletin Board and by clicking here.
QCSD’s cyber work noted in book
International blended learning guru Michael Horn is publishing a new book, due out Nov. 3. QCSD’s blended learning program, which includes cyber and face-to-face classes at the secondary level, is mentioned in the book several times. You can read about it by clicking here.
UBCTS names Crawford Student of the Month
QCHS senior Jason Crawford was named Student of the Month for September at Upper Bucks County Technical School. He said he was surprised and excited because UBCTS does not usually name a student so early in the school year. In June, the Machining Technology student competed in the SkillsUSA National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, along with 6,000 other students. He and his UBCTS teammates finished second in Automotive Manufacturing Technology competition. Jason was given a blue print in which he had to make a 3D model. He then recreated the blue print using only the 3D model he created. His results, coupled with his excellent success at school, compelled teachers to name him to the SoM immediately.
Jason’s goal is to become a gunsmith. At UBCTS, he knew he would learn the machining that goes into the profession. He has successfully completed two years of the class and is currently employed by Millennium Manufacturing, working 16 hours a week. He is well into his second year at the company. He is applying to Pennsylvania Gunsmith School in Pittsburgh.
“I hope to own my own gunsmith company someday,” Jason said. “Guns have been a hobby for me, something fun to do.” He also enjoys snowboarding, jet skiing at Long Beach Island and gaming. His favorite part of UBCTS is his teacher, Dean Ruch, who has made his time the best.
Constitution Day celebrated in a variety of ways in QCSD
A dozen members of the QCHS choir donned Little House on the Prairie-looking costumes, added an electric guitar and sang We, The People to students in the cafeteria. The September 17 event marked Constitution Day and the chorus sang the song adapted from Schoolhouse Rock, an educational program for kids broadcast by ABC in the 1970s and ’80s. Students in the three different lunch periods enjoyed the show.
Choir Council members who sang were sopranos Julia Donahue, Jacqui Rush and Danielle Verguldi; altos Kristina Diefenderfer and Erin Shortall; tenors Kenneth Orrego and Jeremy Torr; basses Blaine Cooper, Mike Kelsall and Andrew Stuhr. Jake Yard sang bass and played rhythm guitar. They were assisted by Becky Haywood on electric bass.
At Richland, students led an assembly on Monday to teach peers about the Constitution. Diane Golrick’s class sang the Constitution Day Song for a QCSD-TV News crew. Students got the message: Class member Dominic said, “Without the Constitution, there is no freedom.”
At Tohickon Valley, fourth graders learned about the pre-amble from Penn State-Lehigh Valley pre-service teachers who take classes with Dr. Leslie Staffeld, former QCSD principal. Lauren Miller and Alexis Brooks showed students in Azure Spigelmyer’s class a great way to understand and remember eight of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights. First they showed a power point with pictures to hint at the rights. Next they asked students to recall what they remembered from the pictures. They handed out fortune-teller fold-ups containing the same photos and directed students to write what they liked best about each Bill of Right.
One student said he liked “No. 6 that says you can go to court and get a free trial!” Jayden said he thought the slide show was informative. Alexis from PSU-LV said she was surprised the fourth graders picked up the information as quickly as they did.
QCHS students learn the ins and outs of business at PFEW summer camp
QCHS business teachers Julie DiGiacomo, Kurt Handel and Lynn Gunning started sending students to summer camp several years ago and interest has grown. This summer, 14 QCHS students attended the Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) camps at Lycoming College along with hundreds of other PA high school students. The camps were held over three weeks. Some QCHS students attended on the same week, but by design none worked together on the same team. Instead, they were teamed up with students from Philadelphia to Erie, to create “businesses” that developed mock products, created marketing and presented to judges.
“I loved it,” said senior Chris Chookagian. “I met so many people, my age and older professionals. It was networking.”
Senior Devyn Jordan said, “Our group came together so quickly. Within one hour, we were like best friends. We all had the same goal, to be the best in the competition. We sold sunglasses, which we called Insposhades.”
Junior Nic Rubolino said the PFEW experience was “one of the best weeks of my life so far. My group was full of opportunists. We made a small, cheap phone that we intended to mass market.”
Junior Mikayla Black and Devyn Jordan said they appreciated the inspirational speakers, who included a lawyer, an artist and a military veteran. They encouraged students to lift each other up and to maintain positive attitudes. The speeches moved the audience to tears.
Senior Emily Jacobson said her group “made” jackets and she wrote the marketing jingle on a piece of paper, only to watch another member of her group take credit for it! “I didn’t like it but I learned that’s real life,” Emily said.
Junior Grant Leyden said the week’s experience offered him a chance to “peek into the business world. It was fun and I met a lot of cool people I still text every day.” Senior Clayton Degruchy said he was the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of his company. He said he learned about the importance of sales. His company’s product was a toothbrush that had toothpaste in it and used blue tooth technology to track how often the user brushed his or her teeth.
Mrs. DiGiacomo said the high number of attendees earned QCHS a spot on the PFEW’s silver honor roll. She said she would like to see more students attend next summer so the school earns gold status. The others who attended were seniors Mia Baglivo, Karissa Berry, Makenna Kressley, Annabelle Pham, Emily Slavin and Kristen White, and junior Emily Weaver. To find out more, go to www.pfew.org.
Sue Poulton walks a long way to celebrate and fight cancer
QCHS Food Services employee Sue Poulton participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk in Philadelphia over the Sept. 13-14 weekend. She completed 56 of the 60 miles, opting to skip four miles during the second day when her feet “were telling me enough.” It was raining at the time and she headed for the Philadelphia Convention Center for a second night of sleep inside a pink tent, along with thousands of other women and men.
It was the second time Mrs. Poulton has walked the 3-Day. She first walked in 2009, her five-year anniversary of surviving breast cancer. This time, she celebrated 10 years alive and well! In typical Sue fashion, she dyed her short hair pink, including a little pony tail in the back. She wore pink outfits and pink wings on her pink shoes. She posed for pictures with friends along the route, where her best memory involved seeing all the schools and students along the route in Springfield Township and Willow Grove, all decked out in pink, with balloons, signs, candy and cheering. “I heard a little boy at a pre-school say that nobody had high-fived him, so I ran back and did that. There were so many little hands waiting to be high-fived.” She said cars tooted at the walkers along the route in support. Poeple that passed you on the street were saying "Thank you for walking!" “There was such great fellowship,” she said. “Everyone was involved for a common reason.
She walked all 22 miles of the route on Friday, 16 of 20 on Saturday and all 16 on Sunday. Sue raised a total of $4,090.75! She plans to walk again in 5 years to celebrate her 15 year anniversary.
QCSD standouts honored by Sertoma Club
The Sertoma Club held its second annual awards breakfast Sept. 11, 2014, at the Upper Bucks Y. QCHS senior Annabelle Pham and QCSD Social Worker Kirsten Cochran were two of the many award winners. Others included those who have helped develop many service programs in the Quakertown area, including Quakertown Alive, Quakertown Historical Society, Pearl S. Buck Foundation, the Quakertown Band and the Sarah Parvin Foundation.
Annabelle was honored for her many volunteer activities. Over the years she has worked with a long list of organizations, activities and people, from elementary aged to senior citizens. Pat Tannous, QCHS Assistant Principal, nominated Annabelle. He said, “One of the greatest aspects of Annabelle is her heart. Many students do things for the community with a good attitude and for the right reason, but Annabelle puts her whole heart into what she does. This stems from an appreciation for her family and this country, which has afforded her family great opportunity.”
Annabelle started crying as the crowd heard a story relayed from Choral Director Jonathan Lechner about a trip to Washington, D.C. While standing at the Vietnam Memorial, Annabelle began to cry and told the teacher, “I wouldn’t be here and neither would my family, if it wasn’t for these people. I am so grateful.”
Annabelle told the gathering she was happy because she felt a positive vibe in the room that helped her believe everyone can get along and solve the world’s problems.
Mrs. Cochran was honored for the work she does to help the homeless in the area as well as the work she does to make sure QCSD children receive gifts at the holidays. She said she represents many people in the district who work for those in need. “I’m honored to work in a community where people who need the help get the help,” Mrs. Cochran said.
Neidig student wins big prize for summer reading program
Neidig second grader Caleb LeBourgeois and his sister Heather, a seventh grader at Strayer, along with their parents, Wendi and David, will enjoy a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos. All because Caleb likes to read.
Over the summer, Caleb read for 1,300 minutes between June 21 and August 10 and recorded his books through the Bucks County Free Library’s Summer Reading Program. He also recorded 20 books on the QCSD summer reading log. Children who participate in the public library program are entered into a drawing for a local library prize (a Kindle Fire HD) and a county-wide grand prize (a trip to Great Wolf Lodge). This year, Caleb’s name was drawn for the water park pass. The family has never been to the resort and is looking forward to the trip.
Caleb said he likes to read because “you learn lots of stuff, even if it’s fictional. Some books are funny and make you laugh.” In first grade, as a student in Ms. Cassel-Fritz’s class, he read 400 books. This year, in Mrs. Beers’ class, he has set his sights on 600 books.
Library Manager Holly Ambrose said more than 800 elementary students and more than 200 pre-school students participated in the program at the Quakertown branch. The staff also offered magic and science programs that helped bring families to the library. “It’s really important for students to keep reading over the summer. It’s like sports practice. The more you practice, the better you get,” she said. “Summer reading helps you keep your focus and you have a better start to your school year.”
Mrs. Ambrose is pictured with the LeBourgeois family, along with Barbara Beans, who convinced her father Fred, owner of Fred Beans of Doylestown to sponsor the summer reading program at the public libraries.
QCSD faculty members published in a book
The book “Web 2.0: How to for educators; Second Edition” was published this summer and it features a QCSD flavor. Technology Facilitator Chad Evans, who led the project locally, said, “Aside from the daily efforts and learning centered mindset my colleagues bring to their classrooms on a daily basis, I wanted to especially thank and recognize them for sharing their innovative thoughts and practices with the authors of this book. I also wanted to thank the building principals and administration who continue to upport not just these teachers, but all of our teachers to be innovative and forward thinking about their own professional learning and its impact on student growth and learning as well.”
Strayer’s Jessica Evans was published on pages 63-64, discussing the impact of twitter on her teaching and student learning. QCHS Cyber teacher Nicole Roeder was published on pages 159-160 for her use of visual learning tools within a Reading Apprenticeship framework. Milford science teacher Cathy Laguna was published on pages 206-207 for her use of a wiki and many other web based tools to support her students learning. Amy Migliore was published on pages 298-299 for her use of Pinterest to support art instruction and collaboration. Strayer’s Shawn Storm was published on pages 55-56 and 164-165 for his Mystery Skype sessions and on pages 71-72 for the Great Homework Debate he engaged in with his students using a variety of web based tools.
Former Technology Director Tom Murray was published on pages 61-62 with a focus on twitter as a professional learning tool and his role in creating and sustaining twitter chats. Chad Evans was published on page 205 as an excerpt of his blog on collaboration was pulled and on pages 288-289 with a description of how to use Museum Box with students to promote higher order thinking skills.
QCHS students to sing with national chorus
Last spring, three QCHS music students made it all the way to PMEA All-State Chorus: Caitlin DiCara, Danielle Verguldi and Ron Jon Cubbage. Their selection for the All-State Chorus gave them the right to audition for the NAfME All-National Chorus. All three students auditioned in May by submitting a video recording of their singing.
All three students have been accepted into the 2014 NAfME All-National Chorus! “This is a tremendous accomplishment for these students, and a high honor for our school, the first time any QCSD student has ever been chosen for this ensemble,” said Jonathan Lechner, vocal music teacher.
QCHS volleyball team makes their day
The QCHS girls’ volleyball team bonded with some community service work before their first match of the season. They made cards for children in hospitals. Captain Jen Sterner picked the project.
The Panthers will join the Pennridge girls’ volleyball team in collecting school supplies from now until September 22 to be donated to the Community Partnership School in North Central Philadelphia.
QCHS graduate a star reporter with WFMZ
Turn on the WFMZ Channel 69 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. five days a week and there’s a good chance you will see 2008 QCHS graduate Jamie Stover delivering news from a location in the Lehigh Valley or Upper Bucks County. You can see her on billboards, second reporter from the right!
Go to the WFMZ website, Twitter or Facebook and you will find stories and tidbits she writes before, during and after writing her main story. From 1-10 p.m. on her work days, Jamie creates a whirlwind of typing, phoning and rehearsing before stepping in front of the camera, where she delivers a calm, cool, collected and partially memorized story. Viewers can’t tell that her producers, directors and sound technicians are in the studio’s control room giving her cues through an ear piece.
Jamie makes her report look completely natural, as if she is just talking to the viewers.
“At this point, I’m just winging it,” she said, chuckling, as she prepared to deliver news July 28 from the entrance to a Northampton Borough recycling plant, where emergency crews responded to a chemical smell that sickened workers.
She was hardly winging it. At 1:20 p.m., Jamie received her assignment in a meeting at WFMZ headquarters in Salisbury Township. She collected background information from a crew that went to the scene in the morning, including video shot from a helicopter. While waiting for photographer Ryan Salandria to load up the WFMZ car with equipment, she started to write her story on her desktop computer.
“I take any moment I can to write. Time is of the essence in news!” Jamie said.
On the 25-minute drive, Jamie bantered with Ryan; applied face makeup when he stopped at traffic lights; and changed her high-heeled shoes to flip flops.
At the scene, where dozens of ambulances, fire trucks and workers lined the road, Jamie and Ryan set up to interview an emergency management team member. Minutes later, they drove back down the road to interview a community relations spokesperson for Waste Management. Initially, the backdrop for the shot was a port-a-potty. Ryan remarked, “I’ve done that!” Jamie joked, “I’ve done a stand up in pig waste! Who says my job is glamorous?”
Interviews collected, Ryan drove 400 yards down the road and parked. Engine and air conditioner running, the small KIA sedan became a remote office and equipment generator. In the passenger seat, Jamie started writing her story on a laptop. In the course of an hour, she wrote and tweaked her story at least three times, practicing it out loud to test the sound of the words and deciding which words to emphasize. She interrupted her writing to make follow-up phone calls on her iPhone to sources and to her producers and assignment desk at the studio. She sent her script to them at 3:45 for approval.
Donning earphones and watching raw footage, Jamie picked out clips and gave Ryan time counters on the video. Sitting in the driver’s seat with a laptop, Ryan edited the video clips. At 4:40 p.m., the two sent their video to the studio for approval. Ryan jumped out of the car to set up equipment for the live shot. Jamie continued to practice her standup presentation in the car so her face wouldn’t “melt off.”
At 4:50, the two were poised for the live shot but decided to get closer to the company’s entrance. Ryan threw all the equipment back in the car and they drove 400 yards back down the road. They jumped out of the car and set up again. Jamie inserted her ear piece, held the mic and her iPhone and practiced a few more times.
“Two minutes…one minute…standby…” she called to Ryan. (You can watch the report by clicking here
Live feed completed, the two drove to the Waste Management plant to set up a follow-up interview. Before long, Jamie was sent to cover another story, in Wilson Borough, for the 10 p.m. news show.
“I was planning to be a pre-med major,” Jamie said. “Remember popcorn reading? We used to do that in Mr. [Jeff] Silk’s [political science] class. He told me I had a good voice and I would be good at TV reporting. The day we had to pick classes at Penn State, I changed my major.”
She finished in three years at Penn State, where she was also enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College and went to work at WBOY in Clarksburg, Virginia. For two years, she worked around the clock as an anchor, producer, one-man-band reporter, and weather person! She started at WFMZ in October, 2013. She had job shadowed at WFMZ during high school and interned there in college.
At QCHS, Jamie won the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership award. She also was selected for the KYW news studies program in Philadelphia. The radio story she produced placed in the top 10 out of more than 150 high school students from around the region, without any previous experience. (Photo bottom left, above.) “That's when I knew journalism and reporting were something I could absolutely do,” she said.
She’s not sure where the future will take her, but she knows she wants to stay on the East Coast, close enough to visit mother Shannon, father Scott and brother Michael. She knows an anchor job would suit her in the future.
“I always felt writing was my worst subject,” Jamie said. “My mother helped me. I wrote my essays 11 times before handing them in. Now, this is all writing. I never let ‘It's challenging,’ or ‘It doesn't come easy to me’ stand in my way of improving. Maybe I was too stubborn to quit! It took time, but eventually I found my voice and in the end, my passion. Every day, I'm learning something new and becoming a better writer, a better journalist, a better me.”