Senior Awards and Scholarships presented
Go to the QCHS webpage and check out the awards handed out to 103 students Tuesday night in the QPAC. Becky Haywood took home the most awards with five. Vivian Ha, Gabby Scherff and Brett Wolfinger each won four awards. Meghan Klee, Carli Roeder, Joelle Simeu and John Stevens each received three awards. Nick Basile was officially offered an appointment to West Point. Jake Bovard received an “official” appointment from Doug Detweiler, standing in for the Air Force Academy officer who was in the air as the counselor spoke! Awards ranged from $50 to $1,000 and included a couple of suitcases!
Assistant Superintendent and Teacher win awards
Assistant Superintendent was named a Lehigh Valley Business Woman of Influence (LVBWI) at its recent event at Cedar Crest College. Dr. Bill Harner, Superintendent, nominated her for designing a three-year staffing plan that realigned the professional teaching staff to support greater college and career readiness for QCSD students.
In the LVBWI program booklet, Ms. Edwards noted she works with the PA Association of School Business Officials; PA Association of School Personnel Administrators; Association of School Administrators; Upper Bucks YMCA; Shetland Sheepdog Rescue; and Court Appointed Special Advocate. She said she was influenced early on by her parents. From her mother she learned the importance of service and purpose. From her father she learned the value of hard work and integrity.
“I am proudest of the accomplishments of the people I have mentored over the years,” Ms. Edwards said. “It is incredibly gratifying when I see someone I have coached or helped take that feedback and go on to do great things.”
The Intelligencer featured Milford teacher Julie Pennabaker for the SpringBoard Teacher of Distinction Award she won. She was featured in Kudos a few weeks ago and will go to Anaheim, California in July to participate in two conferences. You can read the Intelligencer story by clicking here.
Students honored by Univest and Suburban One
Ms. Nicole O’Neil, Public Relations Manager for Univest, recently visited QCHS to present certificates to five athletes who were featured this year on the Suburban One website. She gave each a bag of goodies as well. Students honored were Olivia Morano, Brett Wolfinger, Meghan Klee, Gavin Caroff and Ron Jon Cubbage. You can watch a video about the presentation by clicking here.
Quakertown Rotary gives grants to QCSD
Immediate Past President George Chambers and Vice President Kevin Smith presented large checks to QCSD groups from the Quakertown Rotary Club. The club presented a check for $4,000 to TSA (Technology Student Association) to help “underprivileged students participate in the organization.” Jeff Bonsall, TSA Advisor and Strayer technology teacher, said he applied for the grant from Rotary to help TSA grow for years to come. “It can exceed $500 per person for TSA members to go to the state competition at Seven Springs. If they qualify for nationals, it would go above that amount,” he said. “We want more kids to be able to participate.”
Smith said his son Kyle was one of the original TSA members when Milford started the charter many years ago. His grandsons, Tyler and Tommy Stilletti, also participated in TSA before graduating and going on to Temple University. “TSA is a great program,” Smith said.
Rotary gave the other $4,000 grant to QCSD for iPads in the middle schools. QCSD Director of Technology Joe Kuzo accepted the grant for the district, which will add $2,000 more to purchase applications for the iPads. Chambers coined the phrase MELT, for Mobile Electronic Literacy Technology. In the past four years, Rotary gave money for elementary schools to purchase Nooks and digital books for them. Chambers said eventually the money will go toward high school technology.
“Rotary’s purpose is to help youth in the community and the school district is one of the best places for us to work with youth,” Chambers said.
You can watch a QCSDTV News video by clicking here.
Students promote seatbelt safety, win money
Bill Brady, Executive Director of TMA Bucks (Transportation Management Association) awarded QCHS a check for $500 because QCSDTV News students created a seatbelt safety video that earned second place in a county-wide contest. TMA conducts safety checks near high schools at the beginning and end of the school year. Brady said it’s the first time in eight years of the program that QCHS students have showed more than 90% compliance with seatbelt usage. QCHS won most improved school in Bucks County, going from 87% at the beginning of the school year to 92% at the last safety check. Mr. Brady attributed the increase to the videos students made. The video entered in the contest was the one made by three seniors (John Stevens, Kirsten Overholzer and Grant Leyden, with Chad Coleman in the Tiger suit). You can watch the video of the presentation by clicking here. You can watch the seatbelt video by clicking here.
Two freshmen named Students of the Month
Teachers and administrators named Robert Bryant and Adria Retter as Students of the Month for May at the Freshman Center. Spanish teacher Alaina Wert said Adria is always prepared for class and participates fully. “Many times she will ask me questions that show an extension of her learning as she makes connections with things I have yet to teach. She also travels to the SHS for advanced math classes. Adria is a ‘silent’ leader. She is not one to need to be the leader, nor make her abilities vocal, but when someone needs help they instantly can go to her. She is there to offer support without intimidation. She is always on time and consistently shares a smile with everyone.” Adria said she’s happy to know that “teachers recognize my strong work ethic. I go above and beyond when I’m asked to do something.” Adria has all As in her classes: AP Human Geography, Biology, Honors English, Spanish 2, Calculus AB, Engineering, Health and Phys Ed. Next year she will take four AP classes. She plays field hockey for QCHS and plays softball for a travel club team. She also volunteers with her church.
Profé Wert also nominated Robert Bryant. “Robert has taken our ESL population at the FC under his wing and is really making the students feel like a part of this school. He does things with them both in and out of school. He tutors them and translates for them in his classes. The ESL kids have told me that he is their first American friend! It means the world to them, and to me! Robert got involved with our Open Door English program this year and instantly came into my room to help me teach our non-English speaking adults. He is easily able to explain things to them in both English and Spanish. He is a tremendous asset for our program. Now that the class has ended, he remarks about how much he misses his volunteering with me.”
Robert earns As and Bs in classes, including Spanish 2. He also takes AP Human Geography, Geometry, Honors English, Biology, Health and Phys Ed. He plays in the Marching Band, the Jazz Band and Wind Symphony, which played recently at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. “That was exciting and nerve racking,” Robert said of the big concert hall experience.
Three Students of the Month named at senior high school
Sophomore Nick Smith was named Outstanding Student of the Month at QCHS for May and will eat dinner with the Rotary Club at Spinnerstown Hotel. Junior Joshua Sanderlin and senior Jennifer Friel were also named Students of the Month for May.
Business teacher Julie DiGiacomo said Nick Smith is very mature for his age. “He is not a straight A student but has many leadership qualities and will do great in life with his great work ethic and sense of responsibility. He is well poised and controlled, especially for a sophomore. He is a natural leader and very responsible and respectful.” Nick said his grades were low so he “bumped up” his efforts for the last month of school. He said he likes history, which he took this year with teacher Tom Brader. He also took Personal Finance, Sports Marketing, Biology, Honors World Literature and Math. He plays football and is on the school's wrestling team. He works over the summer with his dad doing masonry work. Nick said he is considering joining the Navy when he graduates in two years.
Josh Sanderlin takes AP Euro, AP Physics, AP Language and Composition, Pre-Calculus and Honors Chemistry. He loved AP Psychology last year. He said his favorite class this year was AP Seminar because he had a lot of “academic freedom. I could choose to write about anything I wanted. My main project was about reforming the education system. Standardized tests are not the best thing we could be doing. I think we should make more of an investment early on in learning about specialties of interest.” AP Seminar teacher Rachel Trosino nominated Josh for SoM. “He spends hours and hours preparing for major assignments, tests, and exams. He wrote a piece recently where he identified his main life belief as the importance of hard work, citing that as a middle school student, he realized that school did not come easily to him and therefore he would have to work much harder in order to achieve the grades and goals he set for himself. Recently, Josh voluntarily participated in a speech contest, and he wrote a wonderful speech, completely memorized it, and dressed in business attire both for the practice and for the contest. He was well spoken, personable, and clearly put in a ton of effort both to writing and memorizing the speech.” Josh runs track and cross country and has run 4:58 for the mile. He’ll spend his summer building mileage for the cross country season.
Political Science teacher Jon Pallone nominated Jenny Friel, noting, “She expects the best from herself. She is constantly pushing herself to be her best. Jenny strives to learn, not just to get a good grade. If she doesn't understand something, she will stay after and ask questions for understanding. Jenny is kind, friendly, and nice. I have never seen her be mean to another student.” Jenny said she never gave up all school year. She pushed herself to do homework straight through finals. “I kept positive about school, about my future and about college,” Jenny said. She will go to Penn State main campus in the fall but is keeping her options open about majoring in biology toward a health policies and administration major or elementary education. She participated in the Medical Careers Pathway program this year, which convinced her not to become a nurse. She also took AP Bio and AP Physics, Math, AP English, and Political Science. She has been a QCHS cheerleader for four years and was captain of the track team. She was Vice President of NHS, a member of Key Club and Student Government and named to the Homecoming Court in the fall. She participated in youth group activities at her church and worked 15 hours a week as a cashier at BJs.
Teachers name Online Academy Students of the Month
Cameron Byelich earned the Online Academy Middle School Student of the Month for May. Cameron is an exceptional online student who puts in the most effort possible on all of his assignments. His inquisitive nature allows him to constantly be learning new things. Cameron is an exceptionally gifted programmer who, in addition to taking online classes, excels in creating video games.
Online Academy teacher Jon Pallone named Barbara Grossov for the high school award. “Barb has been a solid cyber student all year. She is consistent with her work completion in a timely manner. She started off the year solid, but has only improved since then, constantly working hard.” Barb is headed to East Stroudsburg University next year, where she will compete in track and field. She broke the school record this year in shot put.
Anna Neamand speaker impressed with QCHS students’ questions
"Every year, the Quakertown Community Education Foundation invites a guest speaker to visit with QCHS social studies students for the Neamand Award. This year, Lehigh University doctoral student Fatih Aktas spoke to students on May 25. Fatih is spending his fifth year in the United States after growing up in Turkey. He is studying Comparative and International Education at Lehigh University. He also obtained his M.A. degree in the same department as a Fulbright scholar from Turkey. During his undergraduate education, he was a community volunteer on behalf of The Human Resources Foundation of Turkey (TIKAV) and was a youth volunteer on behalf of International Award for Young People.
Once the Fulbright Scholar completes his dissertation and has his diploma in hand, he plans to pursue a job as a university professor or with a United Nations agency. He previously spoke to students at DeSales University but discovered that QCHS students were more engaged in the discussion on education! During the lecture, he talked about different education systems all around the world, shared his educational experiences in Turkey and the U.S., and learned more about QCHS students' educational experiences. He said QCHS students were most concerned about how too much testing kills their creativity and critical thinking skills, and the joy of learning. He also encouraged students to travel the world to learn first-hand about various cultures. The Neamand Award honors long-time QCHS Social Studies teacher and department chairperson Anna Neamand."
Athletes flock to gym for St. Luke’s Sports Physicals
St. Luke’s and QCHS Athletic Trainer Jerry Dancho produced a top notch night of physicals recently for students planning to play middle and high school sports in the fall. St. Luke’s offered the physicals for $10 while providing five physicians and 11 athletic trainers. A total of 175 athletes capitalized and are now cleared to train through the summer in preparation.
Dr. Bill Harner, Superintendent, noted, “We are most grateful for all Jerry does. He has earned profound respect and confidence for his expertise and work from parents, coaches and administrators.”
Off season wrestling produces elite moments
Dominic DeFalco, an eighth grade wrestler from Strayer, was invited to wrestle for an elite travel team to compete at a very large National Duals wrestling tournament recently. He went 2-5. One of his opponents was a two-time state champion from Delaware. On the second day of the tournament, Dom lost 5-3 in overtime and 2-0. It was a very competitive tournament.
Dubbed "Miracle on The Mat," Pop & Flo National Duals has become one of the premiere dual tournaments in the country. The event was hosted at the Lake Placid Olympic Center/1980 Olympic Rink, one of the most historic buildings in athletics. Visitors appreciate the ambiance and picturesque Adirondack landscape.
Josh Stahl, a QCSD freshman, finished second in the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Association Eastern national tournament. He lost in the finals 5-2. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Josh competed in the Virginia Beach National Duals along with teammate Corey Cope. Josh went 6-0, competing on team Young Guns, and Corey went 3-3, wrestling for team Gladiator.
Twenty members of the QCSD middle school and high school wrestling team will travel to Penn State this summer to take part in a team wrestling camp from July 5 to July 9. The wrestlers will stay in the dorms, eat college cafeteria food, run the steps at Beaver Stadium, wrestle in Rec Hall and meet the National Championship coaching staff and team members.
Wrestlers named to All-Academic Team
Tanner Seislove, Noah Wood and Nick Bonomo were all named to the Pennsylvania Coaches Association All-Academic team. Noah Wood was named to the First Team, Tanner to the Second Team, and Nick to Honorable Mention. You can read more about the wrestling awards by clicking here.
Softball team hoists hardware
The QCHS softball team celebrated its Suburban One League Continental Conference Co-Championship at the recent end-of-season banquet. Meghan Klee, Tara Baglivo and Lauren Beal were named to the SOL First Team. Alyssa Wilkinson and Emma McLaughlin were named to the Third Team. And Megan Johnson, Spenser Gray and Hillary Scott were named Honorable Mention.
Team MVP was Alyssa Wilkinson. Most improved went to Jamie Dettrey. Coaches Award went to Tara Baglivo. And Most Inspirational was Spenser Gray.
UBCTS makes barn doors for historical society
UBCTS Carpentry students, led by teacher Caleb Miller, recently built and installed barn doors on the Quakertown Historical Society building. You can watch a video made by Mr. Miller by clicking here.
Students performing at McCoole’s
Three QCSD middle school students will be members of the 13 The Musical cast June 24-26 at McCoole’s Arts Theater. Paige Sheridan is an eighth grader at Milford. Seventh grader Zack Webb and sixth grader Jack Warnke are Strayer students. To purchase tickets, go to www.staroftheday.
Choir funds raised, horse kissed
The Choir held its Ford Drive One 4UR School event on May 14 at the Freshman Center. Run by Karen Quinn, Andrea Stuhr, the Choir Council and a team of volunteers, along with Ford Motor Company, the event helped the choir with funding it uses for amazing extra choral opportunities and trips that benefit QCHS students and the community. This year Mr. Lechner and Mrs. Giampa made a deal with the choir that if we got all of the possible 300 drivers to raise the full $6,000.00 Fordwas willing to donate, they would both kiss a horse! Well, “We did it! We got 306 drivers,” reported Mrs. Quinn.
Thanks to the community and all who helped, Dee Freeman of Son Light Studios provided the horse for kissing. A rare blue-eyed paint mare named “Panda.” Video of Mr. Lechner and Mrs. Giampa kissing Panda is available on youtube, by clicking here and here.
New principal named at Richland Elementary
The School Board approved the hiring of Nicole Zuerblis as Principal of Richland Elementary School, effective July 1, 2016. Mrs. Zuerblis currently serves as the Assistant Principal at Maple Point Middle School in Neshaminy School District, Langhorne, PA. The school is home to 1300 students in grades 5-8. At Richland, Ms. Zuerblis will lead 442 students and about 40 faculty and staff members from K-5.
She also worked as Summer School Principal at Neshaminy, as well as Curriculum and Instruction Coach. In Central Bucks School District, Mrs. Zuerblis worked as a K-6 Reading Specialist. She began her career in 1996 as a teacher in third grade and full day kindergarten in Upper Dublin School District.She brings much experience in providing professional development, coaching and teacher evaluation; data evaluation; reading and writing strategies; and technology. Mrs. Zuerblis will replace Dr. Kathy Winters, who has been promoted to Director of Elementary Education.
Central Bucks School District recognized Mrs. Zuerblis with the 2012 Apple Award of Excellence. In 2011, she was recognized as an Emerging Leader by national organization ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development), which published articles she wrote. She was also published in Ed Week Teacher. In 2014, the National Writing Project Fellow received a Microsoft Innovative Educator award.
In her spare time, Mrs. Zuerblis teaches graduate education students in the Master’s program at Cabrini College.
Dr. Harner said, “Nicole has vast instructional leadership and coaching experience, along with kindergarten and third grade teaching experience. She will become an immediate asset to teachers, students and families at Richland.”
Mrs. Zuerblis said she is excited to begin her journey in Quakertown. During her career, she spent 19 years in elementary school and one year in middle school. She looks forward to sharing her literacy background with teachers and students. Mrs. Zuerblis and her husband have two teenage daughters who attend middle school in Central Bucks School District. The family enjoys taking vacations to Disney World.
Senior wins medal at state track championships
Senior Brett Wolfinger won a fifth place medal at the PIAA State Track and Field Championships. He ran 1:53.53 in the 800-meters, which was a personal record (PR) and broke a 21-year-old school record. Brett set his sights on states in his sophomore year. So he gave up playing football, which he had played through Midgets and his freshman year, to concentrate on cross country, indoor and outdoor track. When he qualified at District 1 track two weeks ago, Brett gave up the senior trip to Disney World, thanks to travel insurance.
No. 5 has actually been Brett’s lucky number. He finished fifth at the Indoor State Championships at Penn State this year. At District 1 outdoor track, he medaled in fifth place and wound up as fifth-place seed at outdoor states. He ran in Lane 5 and finished fifth.
“You have to go through a lot of nerve-wracking hoops in outdoor track with preliminaries and finals at districts and states,” Brett said. “Indoor is easier to make states because you can qualify with a time early in the season and you only run once. In my athletic career, this outdoor medal is up there with the best moments.”
Brett will run at Johns Hopkins University, where he will major in biomedical engineering. He’ll run all three seasons. The student athlete holds a 4.275 GPA and is finishing six AP courses in his senior year. He is a member of National Honor Society; he is a Class Council Executive Cabinet member; Student Representative to the School Board; and Student Founder of the Math & Writing Lab at QCHS (as well as a tutor). When Brett was named a Univest Featured Athlete by Suburban One, QCHS coach Sean Stetler wrote, “Brett often competes on 5-6 hours of sleep because of homework responsibilities and juggling such a challenging extra-curricular schedule. While this pressure would be enough to make most 17-year-olds burst at the seams, Brett does it with a smile on his face and a calm, concentrated focus that inspires his peers to follow his lead. Through his hard work and persistence, Brett has created enormous opportunities for himself and is without question worthy of being named Univest Featured Athlete.”
Other athletes who competed at states were senior Neketa Woodson, who ran a PR in the 400 meters but did not make finals; senior Olivia Morano, who moved up five places from her seed but did not make finals in the discus; sophomore Hudson Delisle, who did not make finals in the 800; and junior JR Grimmage, who did not make finals in the high jump. Brett was named Most Valuable Player for the boys' spring track season. The MVP for girls’ field events was Barbara Grossov (All League/School Record in Shot Put). For track, it was - Maddie Ocamb (State Qualifier Indoor/Outdoor Mile). Most Improved was Jessica Braeunle (All League Long Jump). Rookie of the Year was Kacey Lambinus (All League/District Qualifier High Jump).
Milford honors teacher undergoing cancer treatments
Milford Middle School’s Softball team wore pink shirts and squared off against the teachers in black shirts yesterday afternoon on the Milford softball field. The students came from behind in the bottom of the seventh inning to win by one run. But the score wasn’t important. The point of the event was to honor beloved science teacher Cathy Laguna, who has been sidelined by breast cancer since early in 2016. Mrs. Laguna watched from the bench, under an umbrella. Although she said her treatments make her tired, her spirits were buoyed by the Milford family’s warm reception. Builders Club and advisors Kendra Mushrush and Christina Donis organized the event.
Another Tran wins regional spelling bee
Strayer Middle School seventh grader Kathy Tran captured the 2016 Bucks and Montgomery Counties Regional Spelling Bee. In May, she went to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Last year, Kathy finished sixth in the regional event. In 2013 and 2014, her sister, Anna won the regional competition and went to Washington both years.
The latest edition of the regional event included 59 school district champions. The event lasted nearly three hours at Pennridge Central Middle School. Kathy’s winning word was “cryptozoa,” which is the collective name for animals that have not yet been identified by science. While she had never heard the word before, Tran paused only briefly before spelling it correctly. When interviewed this week, she reeled off a detailed definition for cryptozoa as if it was written on the back of her hand. (It wasn’t.) The Scripps Regional Spelling Bee was presented by the Pennridge Community Education Foundation, with financial support from the Council for the Advancement of Public Schools, The Pennridge-Perkasie Rotary Club, The Intelligencer, and Tiger Printing Group of Telford. In addition to the all-expenses paid trip to the nation’s capital, Tran won a copy of Merriam-Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, a one-year subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica Online, and the Samuel Louis Sugarman Award (a $100 savings bond donated by Jay Sugarman.
“There are different ways to prepare for a spelling bee,” Kathy said. “You can memorial a list of words. You can learn the Greek and Latin roots. Before, I was a spectator at the Nationals. This time I wanted to be in it. There were 285 competitors. It was fun meeting people with common interests.”
In Washington, Kathy made it through the three preliminary rounds but did not have enough points for the finals. She plans to try again next year. She works with a coach and she reads a lot of books. She especially likes the Harry Potter series. She also plays the flute in the Wind Symphony, designs projects with TSA and likes to swim, bike and run on her own. Quite poised, she said her ability to remain calm on stage helps. You can watch a QCSDTVNews video interview with Kathy next week on YouTube, Comcast (968) and Verizon (34).
Students win American Legion Awards
Freshmen Sarah Godshalk and Alan Bergey were honored by American Legion Post 242 on Memorial Day during a ceremony in the Quakertown band shelter. Even though the parade was cancelled because of the forecast, the ceremony went on. The two were selected by Freshman Center House Principal Erin Oleksa and Dean of Students Stephen Kimball. for their high qualities of citizenship and true Americanism. Leslie Walters of the Wallace Willard Keller American Legion Post 242 said every year students are recognized for qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service.
Alan said he thinks he’s a good citizen. “I talk a lot. I’m friendly to everyone,” he said. “I love to be outside in nature and I’m thankful for all the military people who fight for us. I’d like to be a Marine.”
Sarah said she is shy but she enjoys playing percussion in the QCHS bands and piano for the chorus. She said she becomes more talkative in big groups. She is heading to Europe this summer with her travel soccer team. She wants to become a surgeon. She said, “I’m honored to be recognized. I like to think I’m a good citizen. I appreciate that people sacrificed their lives so we can have independence.”
In three years, Sarah and Alan will finalize the obligation of the award in their senior year. This year, senior choir member and runner Caitlin DiCara read the names of those from the Quakertown Community area who gave their lives for our country in World War I. Sophomore Leo Bernabei read the Gettysburg Address. He was this year’s Voice of Democracy essay winner for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11322 in Quakertown. Leo is a member of the cross country team, the Panthers for Patriots Organization, the Technology Student Association and the Speech and Debate Club, as well as an active community and church volunteer.
Relay for Life is tomorrow
The Upper Bucks Relay for Life will be held tomorrow, Saturday, June 4, at Memorial Park. Several teams will represent QCSD, including the Kristen’s Cancer Crusaders from QCHS, the Richland Lifesavers and Strayer Panthers? The event raises money for cancer research. You can read more about it by clicking here.
QCHS seniors named Most Courageous Athletes
Seniors Jesus Duran and Ashley Henry were named Most Courageous Athletes for QCHS at the recent Quakertown-Pennridge Hall of Fame dinner. In his nomination, football coach George Banas noted that Jesus is mature beyond his years! The senior football player balanced a schedule that many adults would find hard to handle. Jesus is a dedicated family member. His family, who came to the United States from Mexico, relies on Jesus to translate and help make decisions at appointments and meetings. He also helps sustain the family financially by working many hours a week at local restaurants since the age of 12.
Jesus is a dedicated teammate. He managed to play football through all four years of high school, while juggling his work and family duties. He played offensive and defensive line since his sophomore year. Jesus was an important part of playoff teams his junior and senior years. He maintained his studies with a B average. Coach Banas said, “In all my years of teaching and coaching, I have never seen a player put forth so much effort to make sure he is fulfilling his obligations. And he does it with a smile.”
Jesus returned the love to Banas during his speech at the dinner and in a recent interview. “Mr. Banas was the key to keeping me going,” Jesus said. “He brings the team together to make everyone feel comfortable. He makes the team a family. I owe him a big debt. A lot of players over the years owe him a big debt. He gives up a lot of time with his family to spend time with a bunch of kids he won’t see again after they graduate.”
Jesus plans to attend Bucks County Community College for one year and then transfer to Shippensburg
or East Stroudsburg to pursue athletic training. He will also be able to play football again once he transfers, he said.
Coaches said Ashley Henry was the glue that kept it all together as the QCHS cheerleading team struggled with coaching changes this year. But before that, she had to overcome a broken hip and three months in a wheelchair during her freshman year to be able to cheer again. During a showcase for family and friends, she jumped and her hip popped out of the socket. It went back in but it cracked. “All of that happened in about two seconds!” Ashley said. The day she was cleared to go back to the gym, she did a whole bunch of flips and her mom “nearly had a heart attack.” In her sophomore year, Ashley sustained a concussion that kept her on the sidelines for more than a month. With a “never give up determination,” Ashley transferred her personal strength to her team to lead them through the coaching and routine changes this year. She will cheer next year at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
Debate Team members try their skills in Ted talks
Debate team members Kenny Orrego and Leo Bernabei flank Debate Team coach Mrs. Nicole Roeder at the TEDx presentation at Salisbury High. Presenters created an inspirational six– to nine-minute talk about the topic “Big fish, little pond: relative depravation.” The event was a spinoff of the famous TED Talks.
QCHS students travel to NYC to participate in Model U.N.
Ten QCHS students participated in a Model U.N. experience with thousands of students from around the world in New York City, at the real United Nations. Faculty advisor Rachel Trosino accompanied Amina Sohail, Victoria Ellis, Autumn Coulton, Amy Nguyen, Morgan Small, Christian Holman, Olivia Porambo, Mitzi Lantaya, Michela Polek and Ben Wackerman.
Quakertown-Pennridge Hall of Fame Inductees
QCHS alumnae Michelle Delloso, Andrea Charles, Gretchen Scott Hoff and Amy Schubert-Stoudt were all inducted into the Quakertown-Pennridge Sports Hall of Fame recently at the annual banquet. Andrea Charles graduated in 1968 after excelling in field hockey, basketball, and softball from 9th through 12th grades. She earned 11 varsity letters in her high school career and in her senior year was elected captain of the field hockey team and co-captain of the basketball team. Along with sports she was elected treasurer and vice-president of the Varsity Club her Junior and Senior years. Andrea attended East Stroudsburg State College (ESC), where she played field hockey for four years and was elected co-captain and received the Outstanding Field Hockey award. She played basketball for two years and also worked as a student athletic trainer. She graduated with a teaching degree and taught fifth grade for 41 years in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and California, where she coached and led lunch time hiking clubs. She continued to play sports and still enjoys biking, kayaking, swimming, and boogie boarding.
Michelle Delloso competed in six different sports throughout her high school career at Quakertown, including cross-country, volleyball, tennis, basketball, softball and travel soccer. She earned numerous awards in tennis and softball to include multiple MVP and all-conference awards and was named best all-around female athlete. Her senior year in softball she batted over .600 and was flawless in the field with no errors. She went into the summer of 1987 wanting to focus solely on the sport of softball. Her relentless determination, work ethic and focus earned her a softball scholarship to the University of South Carolina (USC). In four years in softball at USC, she became a three-time NCAA All-American, NSCA All-American, ASA All-American, NCAA Women’s College World Series player, Olympic Festival Gold Medalist, and ASA National Champion, as well as a four-time All-Region selection, Honda-Broderick Cup Nominee and was named team captain three of her four collegiate years. She set the all-time record for a female athlete during the annual weight lifting competition at USC by squatting 340 lbs. in addition to running a 5:20 mile that same year. She is a proponent of athletes competing in more than one sport when they are younger and all athletes cross training to become the best athletes they can be. Michelle went on to become a professional baseball player for the Colorado Silver Bullets. This inaugural team is showcased in the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY as the first professional women’s baseball team to compete against the men. She was inducted into the National Softball Association Hall of Fame and is also the first women’s softball player to have her name on a bat (Louisville Slugger®), as well as the first female baseball/softball player to sign an endorsement contract with Nike®. Michelle is the President and Founder of the Go Girl Futures Program®, a 501(c)(3) organization that encourages and promotes participation in sports for girls and women. She also owns and operates the Rim to Rim Club® of the Grand Canyon. She recently authored and self-published her first book, aptly named Brand-Loyal.
Gretchen Scott-Hoff graduated in 1984. She played field hockey, basketball and track. Gretchen lettered in all three sports every year in high school.
Amy Schubert-Stoudt graduated in 1989 after being named an outstanding athlete in field hockey. She led her team to three District 1 tournaments and to the PIAA State Tournament twice. In her career she scored 19 goals and had six assists. She was named 1st team All-League in 1988 and 1989, 1st team All Intelligencer team 1989 and was named to the prestigious Penn Montco High School All American Team in 1989. She played in the Pennsylvania Keystone State Games in ‘88 and ‘89, where she was a member of the gold medal team each year. She also participated on the Silver medal team in the Junior Olympics in Kansas, MO in 1988. She continued her field hockey career at the University of Maryland, where she was a four-year starter. The Maryland team won the National Championship in Amy’s senior year. Amy was named to the AllACC team, AllACC tournament team and as ACC Player of the Year, and ACC Tournament MVP in ‘93. On a national scale, her honors included second team MidAtlantic, All-American ‘91, first team MidAtlantic All-American ‘92 and ‘93, as well as National All-Tournament Team ’93. Amy also played in the Olympic National Hockey Festival, Los Angeles, CA in 1991, the Junior National Team in 1992 (touring Venezuela), and the U.S. National team in 1993(touring Holland, Ireland, Argentina). She was a member of the 1994 Bronze Medal World Cup team, hosted by Ireland. She has come full circle, returning to QCHS to coach in 1996 and again in 2015. “It is my way of giving back to a sport that gave so much to me,” she said.
Softball team wins first round district game
Freshman Tori Caputo pitched a great game and teammates backed up the effort to push the QCHS softball team into today’s second round of the District 1 playoffs. The Panthers beat North Penn 2-1. The senior team members on the Disney World trip watched the last inning over face-time. QCHS plays at Perkiomen Valley at 4 p.m. today.
The Panthers last played in a softball playoff game in 2001, a 4-3, first round loss to Bishop Shanahan. They last won a playoff game in 1988, when they made it to the third round of districts. They won league championships in 1987, 1988, 1989 and 2016. Coaches Rich Scott and Ray Fox have been around all that time.
QCHS students competing at PIAA State Championships
Five QCHS students are running, jumping and throwing today and tomorrow in the PIAA State Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University. They placed at last weekend’s District 1 Championship at Coatesville. Senior Olivia Morano finished fourth (110 feet, 10-inches) at districts in the discus; senior Neketa Woodson placed sixth in the 400 meters (58.12); senior Brett Wolfinger placed fifth (1:56.78) and sophomore Hudson Delisle seventh (1:57.14) in the 800 meters; and junior JR Grimmage placed fourth (6-feet, 1-inch) in high jump.
The only one of the five who said the district meet was just plain fun was JR. He said, “I was just chillin’. I cleared my heights on the first try. I think I can go 6-5 if I ice my legs. My mantra is, ‘Fresh legs.’” The other four said they felt stressed. Brett forgot his number bib. Olivia only had five minutes to warm up because the group arrived late to the meet. Neketa’s heat was recalled for a faulty start. Hudson said he was second to last on the first lap and he knew he needed to finish in the top eight to make it to states. So he talked himself into calming down and running faster. Hopefully, this weekend’s experience at the state meet will give them plenty of positive things to talk about.
QCHS Wind Symphony performs at the Kimmel Center
The QCHS Wind Symphony performed in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia on May 24 as part of the US Bands 2016 Concert Series. The Wind Symphony is comprised of 50 students in grades 9-12, who rehearse one night a week. Directed by Frank Parker, the Wind Symphony was created in 2016 in order to provide advanced high school instrumental music students with an enrichment experience, exposing them to challenging repertoire and allowing them to have the opportunity to perform in the greatest concert halls on the east coast.
In 2016, the Quakertown Wind Symphony performed at the National Band Association Concert Band Symposium at West Chester University, The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Music Performance Assessment at C.B. East High School, The March and May Spring Concerts at QCHS, the Performing Arts Consultants Adjudication Festival in the Cumberland Valley School District, earning a "Gold" rating and a score of 97.5 out of 100, and at the Kimmel Center, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The students felt honored to perform on the same stage where composer John Williams conducted his “Star Wars” score two weeks earlier. To quote a member of the Wind Symphony, I had such a great time last night, and I will never forget the feeling of standing up on the stage where lots of brilliant musicians once stood."
Wind Symphony members are Susan Asplen, Sadie Fowler, Tatianna Spry, Raymond McCarroll, Cody Smith, Julia McCarthy, Alex Cummings, Melissa Rosson, Kayle Funk, Danielle Ruser, Travis Jackson, Aleigh Rummel, Trevor Fowler, Matt Meyers, Josie Rowley, Sara Galloway, Zach Miller, Robert Bryant, Kevin Juzinski, Jared Spry, David Fletcher, Jessica Gall, Ethan Beeco, Paul Hand, Adam Fischer, Adam Germ, Trevor Dean, Antonio Bonilla-Garcia, Jenna Mitchell, Alexa Rummel, Jen Calhoun,Kelly Brecker, Dana Getty, Zack Zajkowski, Graham Wilson, Riley Davis, Jacob Lane, Becky Haywood, Joey Sinsel,Caleb Szabo, Jeff Prusch, Isiah Buzdygon, Andrew Snider Brad Stark, Richard Krisher, Liz Aber, Sarah Godshalk, Mikayla Fuentes, Weston Carpenter, Jake Bovard, Josh Szabo.
You can watch a video of the performance by clicking here.
Athletes college bound
Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs hosted a final Athlete Recognition Ceremony for 2016 with 14 seniors bound for college athletics. The athletes, coaches, family members and friends packed the QCHS Media Center for the event. A QCSDTV News video will be added soon to YouTube, Comcast and Verizon.
The athletes, pictured above, were back row, left to right: Rob Burns (Valley Forge Military College football), Tom Garlick (Ursinus football); Lindsay Cummings (ESU track and field); Barb Grossov (ESU track and field); Aubri Stetina (ESU tennis); Jessica Braeunle (Shippensburg competitive cheerleading); Ashley Henry (University of Toledo (competitive cheerleading). Front row, left to right: Olivia Morano (Kutztown track and field); Ron Jon Cubbage (North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (track and field); Alyssa Wilkinson (Elizabethtown softball); Hillary Scott (Ball State field hockey); Cooper Johnson (King’s College baseball); Lindsay Beck (Lycoming volleyball); Mike Dierolf (LeMoyne College swimming).
Strayer 8th Grade Dance biggest ever
Strayer eighth graders enjoyed An Evening in Paris for their final dance as middle school students. The largest turnout ever included 249 students, who enjoyed music, dancing and unlimited food in the courtyard and cafeteria. Teachers guided the Student Council, Wallops Island resource and National Junior Art Society students, who put lots of time and effort into preparing for the dance. She thanked parents for the food and flower donations.
Eighth grade teachers wanted more students to attend than previously, so they recruited the QCHS Key Club to hold a dress collection drive. The club collected more than 70 dresses from students and teachers and several Strayer girls were thrilled to attend, wearing the beautiful dresses.
You can watch a QCSDTV News video of the dance by clicking here.
Lauren Beal wins Widener Leadership Award
Lauren Beal runs a softball tournament every year in Harleysville to raise money for juvenile diabetes research. It’s even called Lauren’s Diabetes Tournament. She has diabetes but manages it well and has no limitations. The QCHS junior recently received the Widener University Leadership Award at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. In the photo above, she poses with Widener president Dr. Julie Wollman and NBC-10 anchorwoman Tracy Davidson. If she were to attend Widener, Lauren would receive a $20,000 scholarship. She has verbally committed, however, to Marist College in upstate New York, where she plans to play softball and study criminal justice.
Spelling bee champs
Neidig recently held a spelling bee. The top three finishers were Delaney Lamont, Pam Cole
and Connor Roos.
PA Highlands Trail Network making good connections
Recently, QCSD parent Tom Marino and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s John Brunner presented an update to people at McCoole’s about the status of the PA Highlands Trail Network. The two have been working with volunteers for three years to connect trails in the Quakertown Region to the Delaware and Lehigh (D&L) Trail, the South Bethlehem Greenway, Saucon Rail Trail, Perkiomen Trail and Nockamixon State Park. The group is currently working to upgrade the Richland Township Park with an improved parking area, play areas, multi-use extended trail, pavilion, basketball court, swings and an open field for various activities.
“If all permitting and design goes as planned, construction can begin by late July and take about 90 days,” Marino said. “After completion, we hope to hold a Richland Township 5k to name the new park and a dedication.”
The trails offer people the opportunity to travel on foot and bicycles for safe, off-road access between neighborhoods, schools, parks and downtown areas. In Richland Township, residents enjoy the Hunters Crossing Trail and Brayton Garden Trail, which together provide a scenic 2.5-mile route. In Milford Township, students near the Barrel Run Trail can ride their bikes or walk to the elementary school and farther west, residents enjoy the Unami Trail.
You can watch a QCSDTV News video interview with Marino and Brunner by clicking here.
Take a close look, literally, at UBCTS
Ever wonder what students really learn at Upper Bucks County Technical School? Go to QCSDTVNews YouTube and watch a 21 video series about every shop in the school. The videos were produced by a team of QCSDTV News students - Austin Clarke, Nick Hadley, Tim Shevlin and John Lilley, Video Production teachers and UBCTS teachers, counselor and administrators. Students graduating from UBCTS are starting jobs that pay good wages and help them further their education in colleges and technical schools.
Two QCSD students moving on to states for Math 24
Neidig fourth grader Max Arkans and Pfaff fifth grader Tyler Osika advanced to the Pennsylvania Math 24 State Championships June 15 at the Keystone Building in Harrisburg. Of the three students from Bucks County in their grade category, two are from QCSD!
Max was one of four finalists in the QCSD tournament. Tyler made it into the semifinals. A total of 17 QCSD students competed in the regional event last week. Max placed third in the fourth grade category. Tyler placed second in the fifth grade category. The fourth and fifth graders are combined in a category at the state event. So the top three fourth graders and top fifth graders competed in an additional round to determine the top three students going to states in that category. In that round, Max was second and Tyler third. The winner was from either Council Rock or Pennsbury.
Tohickon Valley fourth grader Michael Bianco placed fourth at the regional event. He did not advance to states.
Second grader creates award-winning car design
Each year, the Thompson Organization of Doylestown hosts a competition for grades K-6 to design a car of the future. This year, Landen Burns, a second grader in Amy Padden’s class at Pfaff, was named a prize winner! He went to a ceremony at Thompson on May 12, where he learned he placed second for second graders. He received a $50 Target gift card, certificate, and t-shirt.
Landen said he was looking down at a pad of drawing paper while riding in the backseat of his mom’s car when the idea came to him. He drew a car with doors that open into wings. At the arrow (in the picture above), doors slide open to reveal hyper thrusters, which boost the car up in to the air. Recently, he designed his birthday invitations with a safari theme: A silhouette of two lions walking on the Savana with a big sun setting behind them. Landen said he gets his artistic ability from his mother, Jennifer, who is a graphic designer. He gets his inventiveness from his father, Steve, who makes medicine for Merck Pharmaceuticals and who can also draw well. His 3-year-old sister also draws well, Landen said.
Softball team wins league, qualifies for districts
The QCHS softball team beat host Pennridge 9-8 Tuesday night to clinch the Suburban One League Continental Conference Championship. They will play in districts for the first time in many years when the playoffs start next week. The head coach is Rich Scott and assistant coaches are Ray Fox, Jeff Grey and Alicia Hughes. Team members are seniros Jamie Detrey, Spenser Grey, Megan Johnson, Meghan Klee, Emma McLaughlin, Hillary Scott, Savannah Webb, Alyssa Wilkinson and manager Emily Fox; juniors Tara Baglivo, Lauren Beal and Ryann Kemmerling; sophomore Nikki Vanelli; and freshman Maddie Moyer.
10 QCHS students will run in district track and field championships
Six girls and four boys are in Coatesville today (May 20) for the District Track and Field Championships.
Six girls qualified: Olivia Morano in the shot put, discus and javelin; Barbara Grossov in shot put and discus; Neketa Woodson in the 400 meters; Maddie Ocamb in the one-mile; Sierra Camburn in the 300 hurdles; and freshman Kacey Lambinus in the high jump.
For the boys, Brett Wolfinger and Hudson Delisle are both running in the 800 meters. Ron Jon Cubbage is pole vaulting and JR Grimmage is high jumping.
Bowler finishes fourth in state
QCHS senior Derek Scherff bowled in the PA State Pepsi Youth Championship last weekend in Altoona, PA at Holiday Bowl. Derek finished fourth in his division, U20. Derek earned a spot to bowl in the Junior Gold Championships in Indianapolis, IN from July 16-23 but previous engagements will keep him from making the trip. Derek will likely receive scholarship money for his state results.
QCSD wins award from PA Jazz Collective
QCHS Band Director Frank Parker recently went to Lehigh Valley Jazz Idol at Moravian College to pick up an award on behalf of all the jazz groups at QCHS, Strayer and Milford. “We were awarded Jazz Education Program of the Year from the PA Jazz Collective,” Frank said. “They weren’t looking at best performing bands or number of trophies, they were looking at the quality of the education.” Joe Santanello teaches band and jazz at Strayer and Alan Shughart teaches at Milford.
QCHS was selected for demonstrating a consistently high level of excellence in the performance of jazz, due to an educational program that emphasizes the study of jazz improvisation, jazz history, and encourages individual and group achievement in instrumental music.
At the recent QCHS Concert Band performance of a commissioned piece, several alumni played Birdland with the band and spoke to students and audience members. The alumni performers were Carl Spagnuolo, David Kurtz, Tony Tarantino, Tim Scheetz, and Vic Stevens, all class of 1978; Bill Wear and Kjell Benner, class of 1979. “I graduated from QCHS in 1984, but I got to know these fine gentlemen through our common connection to this program and those great teachers. All of them have gone on to become very successful, some in music, some in other areas. After 20 years as a professional piano player, Carl has gone on to become a very successful entertainment lawyer in Palm Beach, Florida. Kjell Benner played with the 80’s band “Quiet Riot” for a bit and still teaches bass lessons in Quakertown. He is one of only 5 or 6 people in the country who have the tools and experience to weld steam locomotive engines. Bill Wear joined the US Navy as a musician and played in Japan for a few years. He lives in San Diego, where he plays drums professionally and teaches drum students. He flies back east a few times a year to play. Tony Tarantino and I played together for a few years in a Motown Band, featuring original members of the ‘60s band, “Jay and the Techniques.” David Kurtz is a working musician and composer.
Adam Rizzo heads to Temple
Senior Adam Rizzo will perform for the School Board June 2 before he heads to Temple University in the fall. After a grueling round of live auditions this winter, during which he had been treating for severe wrist tendonitis his entire senior year, Adam was offered two full academic college scholarships to Bard College in New York and Temple University Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia. Adam chose Temple Boyer, because of the music performance degree program, Honors College placement, two study abroad stipends and a coveted spot in the teaching studio of The Philadelphia Orchestra Oboist Jonathan Blumenfeld. Adam is no stranger to the orchestra’s members. His teacher for the past four years has been Elizabeth Starr-Masoudnia, English hornist of The Philadelphia Orchestra.
Despite his wrist injuries, Adam was invited to audition at every school to which he applied, and maintained mostly As in all his advanced placement and honors courses throughout the school year. Adam recently made his final performance with the Young Peoples Philharmonic of the Lehigh Valley inside Foy Hall at Moravian College. He performed in the Bach Choir of Bethlehem Bach Festival Zimmermann’s Café series, also at Moravian College. He was featured in a recital program at The Cathedral Church of the Nativity Bethlehem Choral Arts, made up of students from Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Performing Arts.
Adam was recently named a finalist in the annual Voorhees Concerto Competition sponsored by The Allentown Symphony Orchestra, but declined because he is unable to participate. Adam was also accepted to the prestigious Tanglewood Institute Summer Music Festival, held at Boston University. A previously scheduled summer conflict will prevent him attending.
Foundations awards scholarship and internship
Ron Bernstein, Executive Director of Foundations Community Partnership in Doylestown arrived at QCHS to give his annual scholarship to senior Chet Friday. The $1,000 scholarship extends to a paid summer internship after Chet finishes his freshman year at Vanderbilt University. Chet will be matched up with a non-profit of his choice, where he will work with special needs children and earn three college credits. Chet won the award because he has volunteered extensively to build houses, ramps and other structures for people in need. He is the student leader of FCA and has volunteered in the summers at Villanova University in the Hobie Leadership Program. Bernstein suggested Chet may wish to work for Habitat for Humanity during his internship. Chet will major in engineering and play baseball at Vanderbilt. You can watch a QCSDTV News video here.
QCHS Staff Members of the Month
QCHS Student Council members selected three science teachers for Staff Members of May. They named Brittany Remmey, Greg Swavely and Katie Hoffman. Miss Remmey teaches biology, coaches basketball and advises several clubs, including miniTHON. “She exudes QLove as she cares about all of the students in the school and never fails to show unending kindness,” students wrote. “She always makes student laugh and stays positive, which always uplifts the Quakertown Spirit.”
Mr. Swavely teaches physics. Students said he treats all his students with respect and reaches out to make a personal connection with everyone. “He also jumps through hoops to make sure the students know the content. He is very personable and cares about the well-being of his students,” they wrote.
Ms. Hoffman teaches biology. Her students were recently dissecting cats. Students said she “cares about our mental health, especially during this month when there are so many AP tests and other exams. She has fun with us in class and makes learning fun. This teacher goes above and beyond in order to allow her students to comprehend the heavy content units. All at the same time, she makes these topics fun rather than just writing notes.”
QCSD students learn bike safety
The Quakertown Community Bike Safety Rodeo was held on Saturday, May 14 at the Quakertown Community Pool parking lot. The event was co-sponsored by the Quakertown Borough Police Department and Richland Township Police Department, along with the Richlandtown Lions Club. Additional affiliates included St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital, the Boy Scouts, Bike Bucks County, and CycleZone. Six bicycles were donated by Walmart, the Richlandtown Lions club, and the Richland Township Water Authority and given away via a raffle. The winners of the new bikes were: Samantha Proffit, Kaia Elinich, Seth Gehlert, Savannah James, Sonya Ritter, and Woodrow Morgan. According to event organizer Steven Stoneback, Quakertown Police Department, medals were awarded to the first, second, and third place winners in each of the following age groups:
Ages 6 & 7 - 1st Place: Drake Babb; 2nd Place: Sienna Tobin; 3rd Place: Josiah High
Ages 8 & 9 - 1st Place: Micah High; 2nd Place: Tyler Moyer; 3rd Place: Logan Goepfert
Ages 10, 11, & 12 - 1st Place: Dan Tulio; 2nd Place: Kaia Elinich; 3rd Place: Jessie Witman
Pfaff 3rd graders share treats and letters with military unit
In January, third graders at Pfaff Elementary wrote letters to a Security Force Squadron in Kuwait. The Master Sergeant wrote back and sent a photo. “It warms our hearts to know that we are in your thoughts. You have brightened the day and brought smiles to the defenders here,” the sergeant wrote. (His name has been withheld to protect his identity.)
The sergeant explained his military background, noting he has served more than 20 years. He started in the U.S. Marine Corps after high school and served four years. After a stay at home in Buffalo, NY, he joined the Air Force Reserve. “In the reserves, you serve your country usually one weekend a month and a couple of weeks during the year. I have been in the reserves for over 17 years now and have had the pleasure of traveling all over the world because of that. When I am not serving my country in the military, I am a Police Officer serving my community.”
In answer to students’ questions, the sergeant said his favorite color is blue and he sleeps in a tent, “like camping!” He said he is 39 and loves his job. Some days the food is good, “some days it could be better.” He said he and his squadron members work 12-14 hours a day, in both day and night conditions. He said the first thing he is going to do when he gets home is hug his family. He plans, then, to take them camping. He likes the band Foo Fighters but his favorite band is Pearl Jam. He finished with, “Please tell Ava that we wish her a Happy Birthday on May 14th.”
Trevor Dean showcased during SteelStacks event
In February, the QCHS Jazz Band competed in the SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase in Bethlehem. A video company called Green Leaf Productions asked participating schools for a teenager with a story to tell. To the surprise of everyone who knows him, junior Trevor Dean volunteered and the video aired on WFMZ. Green Leaf Productions provided the moving video to QCSDTV News and student producers embedded it with an interview. Click here to watch it.
Teacher earns national SpringBoard recognition
Milford 6th grade ELA, Reading and Social Studies teacher Julie Pennabaker was recently named SpringBoard Teacher of Distinction. The College Board selected four teachers representing different areas of the country for the honor. From July 14-16, the four will converge in Anaheim, California to participate in the SpringBoard Pre-conference and AP Annual Conference.
Michael Zackon, Principal, wrote a letter of recommendation for Mrs. Pennabaker’s application. He said her solid effort in the classroom, along with her dedication, are two of the many reasons why she earned the honor. Julie experienced the early implementation of the use of the SpringBoard curriculum when she taught English seven years ago at the Freshman Center. She has been part of the collaborative effort with teachers to refine and improve the implementation of SpringBoard in classrooms with students. She has submitted extensively to the online teacher communications board in SpringBoard to share her work and get ideas from teachers across the country. She said, “One of the things I appreciate about SpringBoard is the revision and improvements based on teacher feedback from around the country. The respect and collaboration with teachers in the classroom for the purpose of improvement is something that I believe strongly creates the best type of change in schools.”
Recently, Julie’s students acted out Shakespeare-like plays with costumes and props in preparation for delving into interpreting and presenting Shakespeare plays later this marking period. Julie had to submit a 30-page application form, which included a self-evaluation, self-reflection, classroom video, classroom environment statement, student portfolio, resume, and letter of recommendation. Julie said the award recognizes the amazing work her students do.
Julie said she is excited to see new and different perspectives on the content that are implemented outside QCSD. “This is a conference and award for nerds,” she joked. She plans to share what she learns when she returns to school in the fall. A QCSDTV News video will be posted soon.
SPIRIT Council builds toward future
Recently, QCHS students Becca Evans, Krista Evans and Christian Holman attended Kennett High School’s 15th Annual Multicultural Diversity Awareness Conference with House Principal Camil Culbreath.
The group is part of QCHS’s inaugural SPIRIT Council. You can listen to their reflections about the conference and SPIRIT Council by clicking here, for a QCSDTV News interview.
Track and field athletes continue success
At the Trojan Track and Field Invitational at Wissahickon High School, the QCHS boys won four events. Junior Jake Lambinus won the 110 high hurdles and the high jump. Sophomore Grey Mitchell won the javelin. Sophomore Hudson Delisle won the 800m run in a time that put him 15th in the state.
At the same meet, several girls won medals. They were Barbara Grossov and Oliva Morano in the shot put; Neketa Woodson 400; Sierra Camburn 300 hurdles; and Jessica Braeunle long jump. The Suburban One Sports website featured unsung heroes for track and field and wrote about QCHS team member Rachel Smith. Click here and scroll down the page. Coach Jason Anderson said, “She is a classic hard working Quakertown girl, earning dual meet points in pretty much every meet in both hurdles for as long as anyone can remember.”
Baseball players help Miracle League players
The baseball team beat Southern Lehigh 5-1 at Limeport Stadium after helping Miracle League baseball players in a game. The Panther players reported it was a great experience. You can watch a QCSDTV News video here.
Michelle Delloso presents at Strayer tomorrow night
Quakertown graduate and six-sport athlete Michelle Delloso will speak at Strayer Middle School Saturday at 6:30 p.m. After high school, Michelle went on to play professional sports. She will speak about her book Brand-Loyal: The Story of One Person's Pursuit of Honoring Her Calling. Tickets cost $10 for the fundraiser and proceeds will go to the Quakertown Softball Booster Club. You can read a story about her in the Intelligencer by clicking here.
Milford Family Fun Night a success
Milford Life Skills students recently organized and hosted a Family Fun Night. All proceeds will be used to benefit the Life Skills class, including their upcoming trip to Camp Menolan. Mrs. Sonya Newton and other staff members worked with the students to organize the event. Visitors were able to play arcade games created by Karen Brown’s art students during the Caine’s Cardboard Challenge. Two videos about the Cardboard Challenge and Fun Night by clicking here.
QCSD Online Academy Students of the Month
Olivia Porambo was selected as the QCHS Online Student of the Month while Colin Tremblay was named for the middle schools. Olivia is taking four languages this year, Japanese, Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish! She takes Arabic and Japanese online. She took Russian online last year. Online Academy Academic Mentor Melissa Hallman said, “Olivia is an extraordinary student with determination and motivation. She has a great work ethic and puts forth full effort in all of her school work.” Olivia, a junior, said she intends to apply and attend Columbia University and the languages will help her toward a degree in International Business. She hasn't traveled outside of the United States yet, but she looks forward to traveling to China and South Korea. She also takes AP English and AP Euro. She took AP U.S. History last year. Olivia also plays varsity tennis and has been playing piano for 12 years.
Colin Tremblay is growing into an exceptional online student. As a hybrid sixth grader, Colin takes ELA online and the rest of his schedule face-to-face at Strayer. Colin voluntarily spends time in the online commons room at Strayer during his lunch to make sure he stays up to date with his assignments. Academic Mentor Chris Deily said Colin takes the initiative to ask questions when he has them and works hard to get his assignments done on time.
Students check out the Met and La Boheme
Choir teachers Jonathan Lechner, Rebecca Giampa and Marcia Vanderslice and librarian Bekci Kellly recently took 23 voice and piano students from QCSH to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. They saw the Met’s Franco Zeffirelli production of Puccini’s La Boheme. Before the show, the group had dinner at either P. J. Clarkes or Rosa Mexicano. “Those of us who ate at Rosa Mexicano were privileged to a chance celebrity meeting with Hoda Kotbe, one of the hosts of the Today show. She was securing a table at Rosa at the same time as we were. She noticed our group and asked, ‘Are you all a high school choir?’ We replied, ‘How can you tell?’ She said, ‘I can just tell.’”
Mr. Lechner noted that La Boheme was “breath taking! It is a huge production with over 150 performers on stage. The sets are astounding, and the music indescribably beautiful. This was a first live opera for 23 of our students.”
Girls’ track team on a roll
The QCHS girls’ track team members continue to set personal and school bests. At the Lady Hatter Track and Field Invitational, a new school record was set in the Shuttle Hurdle Relay by Rachel Smith, Bria DeBernardi, Lyndsay Bolger and Ekwuyo Epke. They broke a school record from 1998 in a time of 1:09.75. Coach Jason Anderson explained the unique event, “The Hurdles can only be gone over from one side so there has to be an inbound and outbound lane. The teammates face each other and go when they pass the line. It looks like a run to a line and turn around and come back but with four people.” The top medal winners were Rachel Smith with four and Maddie Ocamb won the mile and qualified for Districts Championships.
Midweek the girls team beat CB South 97-53. Winners included Sierra Camburn and Rachel Smith in the 300/100 hurdles; Neketa Woodson in the 200 and 400; Shannon Horbonis in the pole vault and 100; Kaiti Moyer in the triple jump; Shelby Daugherty in the 2 mile and the 4x100 relay with Jess Braeunle and Sam Bennett and the 4x400 Relay with Maddie Ocamb and Emily Dzieniszewski. Barb Grossov won shot and Oliva Morano won discus. Many additional girls placed second and third.
In other sports news, QCHS teachers Melissa Bratina and George Banas sweated through a day-long event at Apex in Souderton called the Spring Fever Master's CrossFit Competition. Mrs. Bratina, who teaches physical education and health at the Freshman Center, placed first in her age bracket. Mr. Banas, the football coach, and his partner placed third overall. The workouts were challenging and exhausting. They competed against the area’s top CrossFit athletes in the toughest divisions of the competition.
QCHS Environmental Club clinches second
The QCHS Environmental Club, led by advisors Lori Litchman and Tina Sullivan, placed second at the Bucks County Envirothon at Peace Valley Park. The winning team-members were Ron Jon Cubbage, Vicky Ellis, Michelle McGill, Charlie Miller and Aubrey Stetina.
Members of the QCSD Environmental Club and the AP Environmental Science class combined to make up the Panther teams, which competed against Central Bucks, Neshaminy, William Tennet, and New Hope Solebury districts. The QCHS "Nighthawks" team came in second place out of 15 teams. The competition required students to answer questions about forestry, aquatics, soils, and wildlife.
In addition to the team members listed above, the others were Grace Fuscellaro Hailey Schreier, Megan Hillegas and Tim Bean.
In another field trip that took place recently, Mrs. Susan Scherffel, QCSD Transition Coordinator, took seven QCHS students to the Employability Expo at the BCIU.
Rain, rain, rain … Pigs prove they are Iron
QCHS Students of the Month were invited to Coca-Cola Park for the IronPigs’ Education Day Wednesday. Twenty-two of the 40 eligible students made the trip, displaying the positive attitude that boosted them to their awards. It poured! The group, chaperoned by House Principal Jason Magditch and Community Relations Coordinator Ricki Stein, waited along with nearly 1,000 students from the greater Lehigh Valley during a 1.5 hour game delay. When the rain trickled to a constant drizzle, the Panthers were able to watch 3.5 innings before returning to school. None of the students complained. For a few of the QCHS spectators, it was their first glimpse of a baseball game!
Kindergartener races dirt bikes
Madison Fenstermacher competed in her first dirt bike race last weekend. She placed first in the first moto and placed second in the second moto, which gave her an overall second place win. She also won the Encouragement Award for her determination as she was the only girl racer in her class.
All-Star football game will feature Panthers
Seven QCHS players were selected and six will play in the Bucks vs Montgomery County All-Star football game June 3 at William Tennent High School. Columbia University-bound Kyle Baskin will sit out. Rob Burns, Nick Bonomo, Jake Bovard, Gavin Caroff, Chris Curry and Tom Garlick will play. They start practice next week. The two teams are comprised of All-League players from the two counties. This is the first year the two counties will be playing each other. In previous years, each county ran its own games in which a “North” played a “South” team.
In other sports news, the QCHS softball team edged William Tennent 6-5 in a nonleague softball game Monday. Senior Meghan Klee smashed a three-run home run in the first inning. Junior first baseman Lauren Beal went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. The victory pushed the Panthers into sole possession of 1st Place in the conference.
Last Friday, Brett Wolfinger and Hudson Delisle competed at the New Balance Warrior Invitational. Delisle ran 4:24 in the 1600 for a state qualifying time, and Wolfinger ran 1:54 in the 800, which puts him fourth in the state for that event. On Saturday, they joined Rob Burns and Gary Johnson to win the CB West Relays in a school record time for the Sprint Medley Relay.
QCHS students learn how to budget their money
Students in Julie DiGiacomo’s Personal Finance classes at QCHS know how to manage money. Twenty of them placed in the top 10% nationwide among the more than 55,000 students who competed in a 12-week simulation, H&R Block’s BudgetChallenge Spring 2016.
The competition, which ended April 21, featured 2,430 teams. Her period 4 students finished in the top 4% nationwide. Her seventh period finished among the top 14% nationwide. And her period three group finished among the top 18% nationwide.
“Many of them displayed grit over the 12 weeks and never gave up even when money was low. Before the competition started, students had to research and decide which bank, car insurance plan, 401k plan, etc. they thought was best. Then once the game started students got paid every 2 weeks and bills emailed to them. The students had to keep track of their checking account balances and write out the checks online to ensure timely payment. If students had questions about their bills, they wrote emails to the Help Desk and received timely responses from an employee of BudgetChallenge. It taught them the importance of organization skills, due dates, and knowing your checking account balance. Many learned that late fees, bounced checks, and interest on unpaid credit card balances can be tough to handle. When unexpected events, like a car accident happened, students learned the importance of having a good insurance policy,” said Mrs. DiGiacomo.
One student, sophomore Nate Stofik, finished in the top 1%! The top three in each class are pictured above. They include Tara Baglivo, Bryce Clymer and Elizabeth Pham; Nate Stofik, Rylie Hetrick and Olivia Burke; and Nicole Vanelli, Cody Smith and Brian Robison.
QCHS Junior Prom 2016
More than 260 students dressed up in gowns and tuxes for the 2016 Junior Prom last Saturday at Lehigh University’s Iacocca Hall. Class advisors Christine Valentini, Andy Boquist, Audrey Waddell and Bill Engler worked with students to plan and carry out the event. They chaperoned the event, along with teachers Jonathan Pallone, Mary Ann Byatt, Tina Sullivan, Stacie Schantz, Brad Huebner, Laurie Stoudt and Jen Stover.
Lehigh University staff members complimented the students on their decorum. Students danced up a storm to tunes provided by RAKSound. You can view a gallery of photos taken by senior Tim Schiller on the QCHS webpage, or by clicking here. Many of the students gathered at Lake Nockamixon before the prom for photos. A QCSDTV News video of the prom will be posted later today on Comcast 968, Verizon 34 and YouTube.
Richland kindergartener speaks up
Madison Fenstermacher liked the idea of speaking over a radio station, so her mom, Lori Kramer, signed her up to deliver the weather last Monday morning. Madison was the weather kid on 92.5 XTU, a country station in Philadelphia. Her report aired four times between 7:10 and 8:40 a.m.
“We listen to 92.5 XTU every morning and they have a weather kid on the air,” Mrs. Kramer explained. “You can sign up on their website through the link. Madison said she wanted to do it, so I signed her up months ago and was contacted within the past two weeks that she was chosen. I filled out the release forms and gave them her general info (name, age, school she attends, and city she lives in), which they announce when she's on air! Anyone can sign up and she will also be receiving a weather kid tee shirt from the station. She was very excited, but a bit nervous. On Monday morning they will call us at 6:30 to start recording Madison.”
Madison delivered her report over the phone. When asked about the experience during school, the full-day kindergartener had nothing to say! In the photo above, the cat’s got her tongue. With head shakes, she indicated that it was fun but she doesn’t plan to do it again anytime soon!
QCHS teachers select Students of the Month for April
QCHS teachers selected April Students of the Month. They are senior Olivia Morano, junior Eve Johnson, sophomore Abigail Carty and freshman Joey Sinsel.
Olivia Morano brings a good deal of integrity to the QCSD motto, Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve. Olivia keeps on serving, in classes, in sports and in the community. The Outstanding Student of the Month will share her experiences with Rotary Club members at a dinner. In Video Production class, Olivia has accepted assignments for Quakertown Borough historical events and QCSD elementary events and edited excellent videos. All year she has helped with Learning Support students at Quakertown Elementary with teacher Alicia Hughes. Olivia is a leader on all her sports teams, including basketball and track. She genuinely cheers for opponents to do well. During basketball season, she organized the team to gather gifts for a QE student in need and turned the effort into a team bonding situation. During track season, she made sure teammate/opponent Barbara Grossov was featured in Kudos because she set a team record for shot put. Olivia helped write the story! Olivia and Barbara compete in the same events. Olivia was recognized by Suburban One for shot put and discus efforts (you can read about that in Kudos by scrolling down this page). Olivia has completed many community service projects through the Girl Scouts. She is going to Kutztown University to throw for the track team and major in early childhood and special education. Basketball coach Brittany Remmey added, “She is an amazing young woman who genuinely cares about others so much. In the classroom she always makes her best effort first as well as encouraging others to do the same, even as a sophomore in a class with mostly upperclassman.” Track coach Jason Anderson said, “Olivia was a very focused academically and otherwise in AP European History last year. She has been the same this year. In one instance, when a student in our class was clearly distraught over a personal issue, Olivia and I exchanged a mere glance, got up, took the girl by the elbow and led her to the guidance department. I’m not even sure the two had ever spoken before. It was a classy move on Olivia’s part.” Olivia said teachers have inspired her to become a teacher. “You never forget a teacher,” she said.
Eve Johnson was Student of the Month as a freshman. Her favorite subject is Spanish. She is working with Senor Soto to start the Intercambio Club, which allows English and Spanish speaking students to get together to improve their opposite languages during conversation. “I really want to improve my Spanish in a way I can help others as well,” Eve said. She takes AP English and history courses, along with Chemistry, Calculus, Spanish 3, Pop, Rock and Jazz and Choir. She also accompanies choir on the piano and sings solos with the Women’s Ensemble and Varsity Singers. “I want to major in linguistics because I’m interested in how the brain processes language,” Eve said. Outside of school, she is involved in Jewish Youth Movement. Math teacher Audrey Waddell noted that Eve excels in Calculus with her effort evident to every member of the class. “She models exactly what makes a student College Ready. Eve will help any student struggling while also taking the opportunity to extend her own learning with enrichment opportunities. She is a great role model even in a class mixed with juniors and seniors,” Mrs. Waddell said. “The students and staff admire Eve's dedication to her classwork and her own success.”
Abby Carty has almost all As in AP US History, Honors World Lit, Algebra 2, Spanish, Bio and cyber courses for Psychology and Personal Finance. She wants to become a nurse. Biology teacher Katie Hoffman said, “Abby is always concerned about her grades but as her confidence in biology grew throughout the year, she started reaching out and helping other students in class and during PRIDE. Abby volunteers in class, pushes her classmates to do their best, and is always checking in with me to make sure she is current with her work. She is a student other students look to emulate.” Abby swims for QCHS and is a coach for the Special Olympics swimming team at the Upper Bucks Y. “I like when the kids are so excited about small victories,” Abby said. “I expect to be able to help them, but when a swimmer goes a couple laps without stopping, that’s awesome.”
Joey Sinsel plays wide receiver for the QCHS football team in the fall, then transitions to playing trombone for the Jazz Band and baritone for the Wind Symphony and Concert Band. He’s hoping the music department will be able to purchase a new $8,000 baritone. “Joey is very bright and passionate about music,” said FC Dean of Students Steve Kimball. “He has a great sense of humor. It’s fun to talk to him at lunch.” Joe plans to become a mechanical engineer, so he’s taking an engineering class this year to get started. He likes design and knowing how things work. He enjoys all of his honors classes, including biology and geometry. Engineering teacher Brad Mushrush said, “Joey always hands in exceptional work. He takes on challenges without debate and rises to those challenges, completing advanced work throughout the year. He is truly a well-rounded individual. On top of that, Joey is a very nice and respectful kid.” Joey said his favorite class is band. “It’s so different than all the other classes. It provides me time to relax my mind and do something besides write on papers all day.”
QCHS senior is UBCTS Student of the Month
QCHS senior Justin Awckland has attended Upper Bucks County Technical School UBCTS for the past three years, maintaining an “A” average, earning several First Honors Certificates, and induction into the National Technical Honor Society. He has given much time to the various community service projects in which the Landscaping class participates. Justin acted as a lead in all of the off campus installation projects, a patio at Palisades Middle School, a walkway at Pfaff Elementary School and consulted with Mr. Moser in the plans for the walkway leading up to the Pennridge Football field. In addition to those projects, he supported the program’s Holiday and Mother’s Day sales, and is a role model for other students in the program. Justin is currently a participant in the cooperative education program, working for Bromm’s Lullaby Farm three days per week. There he spends time planting annuals and perennials, and plays a big role in the mowing, harvesting and installing of Sod. As time permits, he also helps with his family’s business, Awckland Produce.
Justin has a natural talent for the landscape industry, but also enjoys the animal side as well. He is an active participant in 4H, showing beef cattle and market goats all year long at various shows, including the Farm Show in Harrisburg and the Middletown Grange Fair. He is most proud of making it to Nationals representing PA in the Livestock judging event. The experience was very memorable and he is glad he had the opportunity to be part of the best team to ever come out of Bucks County. Justin has a wide range of interests, a strong work ethic, and a desire to succeed at whatever he does. Justin will attend Penn State next year. He has been accepted into the Animal Science program and is looking forward to a future in that field.
Good sports make good news
QCHS senior Olivia Morano was highlighted on the Suburban One website this week. You can read the story by clicking here. She is currently competing for the track team as a thrower, consistently going back and forth with teammate Barbara Grossov for victories and school records in the shot put. At Tuesday’s meet at Hatboro-Horsham, QCHS won 84-65. Olivia broke the shot put record and set it at 38-feet, 3-inches. On the very next throw, Barbara broke that fresh record by throwing 39-1 ½. Key points were also scored by Maddie Ocamb in the 800 and 4x400 Relay, Rachel Smith in the 100 and 300 Hurdles, Jessica Braeunle in the Long Jump and Lindsay Cummings in the High Jump.
“It took a team effort to pull out the win,” Coach Jason Anderson said.
Last weekend, several girls qualified for the District 1 Track Championships. Sierra Camburn qualified in the 300-meter hurdles and Neketa Woodson qualified in the 400 meters. Maddie Ocamb, Emily Dzieniszewski, Sierra and Neketa combined for a bronze medal in the 4x400 Relay at the Perkiomen Valley Viking Invitational Track Meet.
On Tuesday, junior Jake Lambinus set a personal record by soaring over the high jump bar set at 6-feet-4 inches. He attempted 6-6 but didn’t clear it. He did, however, qualify for the District 1 Championship meet. He won two other events as well, the 300-meter hurdles and a relay. As the boys’ track team beat Hatboro Horsham 79-71, sophomore Hudson Delisle won four events, while Brett Wolfinger and JR Grimmage each won 3 events.
In other sports this week, softball beat CB South 7-2, baseball lost to CB South 3-0; girls' lacrosse lost to CB South; and boys' tennis lost to Saucon Valley. The boys' volleyball team had a big week: beat Cheltenham 3-1 on Monday, beat CB South 3-0 on Wednesday and lost to CB West last night.
Senior Griffin Schmidt was named to the All-Intel Boys’ Basketball Team for the Doylestown Intelligencer.
Water donations for Milford
Redners and Giant of Quakertown will provide boatloads of water to Milford, which will help alleviate the non-potable drinking water problem. A recent test revealed that some water fountains and sinks in the building produce water flow with some lead. (Click here for a story under Get Your News Here at www.qcsd.org.) Principal Mike Zackon reached out to Redners and Giant. Redners provided nearly 4,000 eight-ounces bottles of water for Milford. Giant has offered $2,000 in gift cards to purchase water Chartwells, which runs the QCSD food service, is donating five cases of five-ounce plastic cups.
“I am grateful for the donations,” said Mr. Zackon. “The stores are providing a great community service for our kids and staff.”
Students are also allowed to bring water from home for the last 31 days of school.
Students, faculty spearhead successful miniTHON
In its second year, the QCHS miniTHON raised $3,000 more than its inaugural year. After 12 hours of dancing and games, the effort raised $11,133.91 for the Four Diamonds Foundation, which helps families affected by pediatric cancers.
Teachers Brittany Remmey, Mike Sandler and Bethany Fuller served as advisors as Student Council members plugged away for months organizing and promoting the event.
Staff Members of the Month selected at QCHS
Student Council members selected Brett Farley and Prakash Patel as Staff Members of the Month for March. Mr. Farley has taught Spanish, social studies and now English. “He busted serious moves at the talent show,” according to senior Nic Rubolino. Farley led the Drama Club with Mrs. Kelly, working nonstop on the production of 12 Angry Jurors. “Mr. Farley does his best to make this school a better place. He’s the perfect combination of sassy and salty. What’s more QLove than that?” Rubolino said during the presentation.
Mr. Patel has an “incredibly hard job teaching a subject that is quite foreign compared to any other subject,” Rubolino noted. The Computer Science teacher does an excellent job explaining concepts and assures every one of his students understands the content. “As a member of his AP class, I can confidently say he demonstrates every aspect of QLove,” Rubolino said.
Drama Club knocks performance out of the park
The QCHS Drama Club practiced for three months, often five days a week, to make the dialogue driven play 12 Angry Jurors a smooth performance. Cast members were Elizabeth Aber, Bryanna Chantelau, Morgan Contoleon-Hunsberger, Deja Ellison- McDade, Liam Fletcher, Matthew Hager, Devyn Keane, Marissa Markie, Juliet Marvelli, Casey Sherman, Skyler Morgan, Jacob Smith, Nathaniel Sovocool, and Mitchell VanDerbeek.
The production followed 12 jurors deliberating to decide the guilt or innocence of a young man, accused of murdering his father. Originally broadcast as Twelve Angry Men, a television play in 1954, the show was adapted for stage in 1957 and made into a highly successful film the following year. The QCHS rendition stayed true to the form of the play, with a timeless set, some upgraded costuming, and an adaptation for mixed gender roles. For a night of action and suspense. Advisors Brett Farley and Bekci Kelly guided the students through the successful experience.
QCHS student wins money in Rotary Club speech contest
Sophomore Brianna Figueroa earned second place in the recent regional competition for the 4-Way Rotary Speech at QNB. She tweaked a speech she gave at the Interact Club competition in the QCHS auditorium, where she beat three boys. She won $100 at that event. Club Advisor Jennifer Rubin and Principal David Finnerty suggested she add a personal note to her speech. So when she spoke at QNB of the need for clean drinking water around the world, Brianna said, “I know when I don’t drink enough water, I get dizzy and nauseous. I can’t imagine how it is for children in Nicaragua and Ethiopia.” Brianna said that if people even just a few dollars to a foundation that donates water, “we could make a big difference.”
The Rotary’s 4-Way Test requires that speeches respond to the concept, “Of the things we think, say or do: Is it the Truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Brianna won another $150 for second place in the regional event, against a boy and girl from Bucks County schools. Parents, families and four judges made up the audience. Brianna put her winnings in the bank for college and sent some to a foundation to help buy clean water for those who need it. Others who wish to donate for clean water can do so by clicking here, which takes you to the Rotary’s Select Fund.
Group attends Model UN Conference
Five QCHS Model UN Conference members traveled to a Saturday event last week, to discuss world issues with members of the Bucks County Chapter of the United Nations Association. Participating schools were the George School, Neshaminy and New Hope-Solebury high schools. Students represented the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Indonesia, France, and Spain on the issue of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. QCHS students who attended were Olivia Porambo, Victoria Ellis, Amy Nguyen, Alex Brandis and Hailey Reiss.
Future Expo proves great success
More than 200 people attended last week’s Planning for the Future Expo at QCHS for students with special needs. Organized by Transitions Coordinator Susan Scherffel, 50 vendors were on hand to talk to current and former Life Skills students. Representatives from colleges and other organizations explained how high school graduates can attend a wide variety of programs that will prepare them for careers. The representatives traveled from across PA, Delaware and Connecticut. You can watch a video by clicking here.
QCSD well represented at TSA State Conference
A large contingent of QCSD students competed among nearly 2,000 entries at the April 13-16 TSA State Conference at Seven Springs. Strayer advisor Jeff Bonsall said it was the largest TSA state conference ever. Forty-three Strayer students participated. “Students represented themselves and our school proudly,” Bonsall said.
Strayer’s Evan Slotterbach placed first in PA Logo Design, which was selected over the first place high school winner as the design for next year’s State Conference T-Shirt. Strayer’s other first place winners were Lanie Kalbach (Dragster) and Taylor Connelly (Bio Medical Essay). Theone Thayer, Jenna Light and Logan Herr of Milford placed first in Mass Production. Several high school students picked up second place awards. The results are below.
Second place – Sanuel Barndt, Nicole Chambers and Madison Jeffery (Geospatial Technology); Kyle Harwick (Snapshot).
Third place - Career Prep Ella Lucabaugh; Catapult Design Jordyn Basile, Haley Gordon, Elizabeth Hilton and Emily Marcei; Children’s Stories Taylor Connelly and Maison Jeffery; Dragster Jake Dilger.
Fourth place – Abby Sicher (Dragster and Flight); Chris Godshall, Austin Husberger, Abby Sicher (Robotics)
Fifth place – Elizabeth Hilton, Kara Kreuz, Emily Marcei, Isabela Santiago (Medical Technology Issues).
Sixth place – Daniel Litvinchuk (Dragster); Teddy Bevan-Xenelis, Abigail Dickson, Emily Ford, Isabela Santiago (Inventions and Innovations).
Seventh place – Hannah Beil, Meghan Kertis (Community Service Video); Tyler Barnes (Dragster); Connor Murray, Lucas Schwartz (Junior Solar Sprint); Team A (Video Game Design); Tyler Barnes, Justin Pham (Digital Video Challenge); Emily Mory, Dylan Moyer (Robotics).
Eighth place – Kyle Harwick (Digital Photography); Team B (Video Game Design); Veronika Durr, Emily Ford (Calculator Robots); Stephanie Beinhauer (Logo Design).
Ninth place – Alysse Deterville, Kathy Tran, Cheyenne White (Biotechnology); Dylan Moyer (Flight); Kathy Tran, Ella Lucabaugh (Forensic Technology); Jordyn Basile, Hannah Beil, Haley Gordon, Madison Jeffery (Medical Technology Issues); Lanie Kalbach, Abby Sicher (Technical Design); Kara Kreuz (Materials Process).
Second place - Jonathan Witte (Dragster).
Third place - Justin Adamson, Aiden Gallagher and Cameron Azzatori (Junior Solar Sprint ); Aidan Halteman and Marc Slaymaker (STEM Animation).
Fourth place - Jacob Hodge and William Lee ( Junior Solar Sprint); Aidan Halteman and Marc Slaymaker (Video Game Design).
Seventh place - Ryan Boehringer – (Snapshot).
Eighth place - Matthew Bernabei, Michael Dennis and Jonathan Witte ( Website Design); Justin Adamson and Aiden Gallagher (Robotics).
Ninth place - Jacob Hodge, Alex Chan and William Lee (Inventions and Innovations).
Tenth place - Jared Leatherman (Materials Process); Michael Dennis, Erin Miller and Jonathan Witte (Robotics).
Second place - Bella Fiume, Sadie Fowler, Rylie Hetrick, Liah Kim, Rebecca Miller, Sam Shourds (Kid Storybook); Chris Cowan, Megan Johnson (Structural Design and Engineering); Trevor Fowler and Ryan Stainer (Technology Problem Solving); Trevor Fowler (Technology Bowl Written).
Third place - Adam Fischer, Nolan Fletcher, Sadie Fowler, Cole Light, Brice Susavage, Will Thayer (Video Game Design).
Fourth place – Ben Ocamb (Dragster Design).
Fifth place – Nolan Fletcher, Hunter Halteman, Matt Meyers, Will Thayer (Fashion Design); Nate Besch (Safety Illustration).
Sixth place – Ben Ocamb (Promotional Graphics); Nate Besch, Lizzie Maceri (Technology Problem Solving)
Seventh place – Zack Chan, Nolan Fletcher, Sadie Fowler, Trevor Fowler, Matt Johnson, Ryan Stainer (Chapter Team); Autumn Coulton (Dragster Design).
Eighth place – Trevor Fowler, Ryan Stainer, Graham Wilson (System Control Technology).
Ninth place – Maddie Dayton, Bella Fiume,Rylie Hetrick, Jessa Michener (Fashion Design); Nolan Fletcher, Dimitri Herr, Brice Susavage, Will Thayer (Software Design); Leo Bernabei, Nolan Fletcher, Dimitri Herr, Cole Light, Will Thayer (Webmaster).
Tenth place - Nick Kreuz (CAD 3D Engineering); Jackson Force, Christian Patrick, Tyler Rabenold (R/C Off-Road Racing).
Ron Jon Cubbage sets new standards
Senior Ron Jon Cubbage accomplished something no other QCSD singer has ever accomplished: He set a record by being selected for every PMEA/NAfME Honors Chorus for which he was eligible, in every year in which he was eligible, grades 10-12. In 10th grade, he was selected to the PMEA District 11 Chorus, Region VI Chorus, and All-State Chorus. In 11th grade, he was selected to the PMEA District 11 Chorus, Region VI Chorus, All-State Chorus; NAfME All-Eastern Chorus, and All-National Chorus. In 12th grade, he was selected to the PMEA District 11 Chorus, Region VI Chorus, All-State Chorus; NafME All-National Chorus.
“As if that wasn’t enough, Ron Jon also capped off his senior year by taking first chair at every PMEA audition!” QCHS Choir Director Jonathan Lechner said. “Students are accepted into District Chorus based on an initial live audition. When they arrive at each successive festival they must demonstrate their musical preparation by re-auditioning. They perform portions of two or three of their songs before a panel of judges who rate each student’s level of preparedness and musical proficiency. The students don’t know which songs will be auditioned until they walk in the room, and they perform by themselves with no accompaniment.
Ron Jon was first chair at PMEA District 11 Chorus auditions; first chair at District 11 Chorus re-auditions; first chair at Region VI Chorus re-auditions, and first chair at All-State Chorus re-auditions. “And - the icing on the cake - Ron Jon was selected as a featured soloist twice this year,” Lechner noted, “at the Region VI Chorus festival and at the All-National Chorus festival in Nashville!”
“That’s 12 things, a dodecagon, a 12-sided polygon,” Ron Jon mused. “It’s a great way to end my last year.” A well-rounded person, Ron Jon has one more goal to hit this year. He wants to qualify for the PIAA State Track and Field Championships. The top five from the District 1 meet with qualify and he was seventh last year in pole vault. He hit the district mark already this year at 13-feet, 3-inches, in the first meet of the year! Next year he plans to study landscape architecture, sing in the choir and pole vault at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
In early February, Ron Jon and 11 other QCHS students earned audition rights to sing at the District 11 Chorus Festival at Lower Merion High School. The 11 were Maddie Routson, Laura Stackhouse, Aleigh Rummel, Sydney Pitta, Hayden Smith, Liam Fletcher, Kenny Orrego, Tyler Faulkner, Dustin Kulick, Joey Haywood and Koby Kilgore.
At that festival, students re-auditioned to demonstrate their preparation of the concert music. The results of that audition determined who was promoted to the next level – PMEA Region VI Chorus. Maddie, Laura, Sydney, Ron Jon, Liam, Kenny, Tyler, Dustin and Koby moved on to the PMEA Region VI Chorus March 17-19 at Upper Dublin High School. They re-auditioned to determine who advanced to the 2016 PMEA All-State Chorus. Juniors Tyler Faulkner and Koby Kilgore and Ron Jon Cubbage, were selected for the 2016 PMEA All-State Chorus. They were led by Dr. Ryan Beeken, Director of Choral Studies at IUP. Koby earned third place in the state for Bass 2. Ron Jon earned first place in the state for tenor 2. The PMEA chorus performed at the All-State conference in Hershey.
Junior tuba player Caleb Szabo was selected for the 2016 PMEA All-State Wind Ensemble. After three days of intensive rehearsals, the ensemble put on an amazing concert on Saturday afternoon. Caleb waited until after the concert to tell his teachers he had taken first place in the state on tuba! Caleb, Tyler, and Koby are now eligible to audition for All-Eastern and All-National ensembles for 2016-2017.
“I did the best of everyone at the auditions but I did not think I would win,” said Caleb, pictured above with Ron Jon. “Kids from the other schools were not prepared.”
Kennedy Bowen flips through regional gymnastics meet
QCSD Online Academy / Milford Middle School student Kennedy Bowen competed in Hampton, Virginia at the Level 9 Regional competition with the Allentown Parkettes. She competed against the top girls from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. She placed fifth on vault with a 9.45 and sixth on floor with a 9.5. She came in 10th All Around. She didn't place high enough in the all-around to move on to nationals but the experience will help her as she continues to train and compete.
Derek Scherff bowls yet another 300
Senior Derek Scherff rolled a 300 game in the second round of the Lehigh Valley Junior Masters Bowling Tournament this past weekend at AMF Parkway lanes in Allentown. It was the third 300 of his career. He finished second in the tournament, for the second year in a row, to the same bowler as last year. “It’s hard to bowl a perfect game as it is, but in a tournament, in any sport, the conditions are that much harder,” said his father, Jason Scherff. “My brother and his family were there to see it, which was nice. I think Derek was happy he did it in front of his two younger nephews, who also bowl.” Derek was featured in a Morning Call story.
In other sports news, in a meet against CB West, the girls track team posted several first places. They were: Sierra Camburn, 300 hurdles; Neketa Woodson, 400 meters; Olivia Morano, shot put, discus and javelin; Kaiti Moyer, triple Jump; Kacey Lambinus, high jump.
Dogs can help raise money for the American Cancer Society
The Strayer Panthers Relay for Life Team, led by teachers Jen Hoisington and Nicole Jerrom, is teaming up with the SHS Relay for Life Team tomorrow (April 16) for Bark for Life. During the week, Strayer club members baked dog treats after school that will be sold at the event. The high school team made dog toys to sell. All money goes to the American Cancer Society.
QCHS students check out a college campus
QCHS counselor Eric Gozzard chaperoned 24 students on a trip to Kutztown University last week. They saw a presentation about what it takes to get into KU and what it takes to be a successful college student. They toured the campus and ate lunch in the student dining hall.
“The students on the trip get first hand exposure to the college environment,” said Mr. Gozzard. “For many of the students, this was the first time ever stepping foot on a college campus. My hope is that students gain an understanding that what they do in high school can open doors of opportunity later.”
Students gear up for QCSD Spring Show May 20-21
Art work by QCHS students Samantha Brady, Liam Brogan, AriAnne Gehring and Eric Vongvixay was displayed for a month in a professional gallery during the Hope and Healing Juried Art Show at the Baum School of Art Galleries.
All four, plus hundreds of other students’ work will be displayed May 20 and 21 in the QCSD Spring Art Show. Families and the public can view the art from 6-9 p.m. Friday night (May 20) and from 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Saturday (May 21) at QCHS.
New police dogs in town
Officers Brian Lockwood and Paul Houseknecht returned recently from North Carolina, where they trained two new Quakertown Borough police dogs. The teachers union, Quakertown Community Education Foundation, was one of several groups that gave sizable donations to purchase the dogs. Borough Council presented the dogs and thanked donors in a ceremony Wednesday night. Chris Goerlitz represented QCEA.
Officer Lockwood will work with Jax in explosives. Officer Houseknecht will work with Fury, a narcotic/patrol dog. Each dog cost about $12,000, including the month long training. The borough received a grant from Homeland Security for the entire purchase of Jax and received money from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office for Fury.
QCSD Online Academy Students of the Month for March
Senior Chet Friday wanted to add some flexibility to his schedule, so he takes Brit Lit Honors through the QCSD Online Academy. Teacher Tracy Houston said he consistently meets deadlines. “Chet has produced impressive work,” she said. “Chet goes above and beyond the expectations of assignments and assessments. His work reflects effort and a keen attention to detail. When he has questions or comments, Chet communicates those well. When provided feedback on his assignments, Chet responds by ensuring the next assignment reflects any recommendations. Overall, his work is a joy to read.” Chet is getting ready to study engineering at Vanderbilt University.
Sophia Costanzo earned the Middle School Online Academy Student of the Month for March. Teacher Chris Deily said, “Sophia is a model of persistence and reliability with her online course. All of her assignments get submitted on time and she regularly asks questions when she is confused. In addition to being a stellar hybrid student at the middle school level, she also is a member of Strayer’s Band and a member of Strayer’s highly-acclaimed Messa Di Voce choral group.”
QCHS faculty names Students of the Month for March
(This is an updated version of a story posted earlier.)
QCHS teachers selected senior Evan Kaseman, junior Perry Williams, sophomore Samantha Shourds and freshman Adeniyi “Niyi” Onanuga as Students of the Month for March.
Niyi (pronounced Nee) wants to make the world a better place. The Outstanding Student of the Month will eat dinner with Upper Bucks Rotary Club members. He loves his AP Human Geography (HUG) class because it helps him understand how and why people do certain things around the world. It dovetails nicely with his membership in Key Club, a service organization that helps people near and far. “I was shy through elementary and middle school and it was hard for me to make friends. But this year I’m trying to be more outgoing and Key Club is a big thing for me. I enjoy how the club affects other people. Early in the year we did the hair cutting event and it showed me how so many people are affected by cancer. Everyone had smiles that day and it made me feel better about myself.” HUG teacher Janet Bassett said Niyi’s work is exemplary and he helps others by providing resources in class and in the class Edmodo page. “In class and in PRIDE, Niyi is respectful, hardworking, and sincere. He helps to keep our classroom environment clean, positive and enjoyable by his words and actions. He is frequently found organizing papers, cleaning up the coffee area, bringing in contributions to class activities. I can always count on him to help me and other students.” Niyi’s parents moved to the United States from Nigeria before he was born. They speak fluent Yuroba and they try to teach it to him and his sister. He is learning Spanish “surprisingly well,” he said. Niyi takes two math classes this year, Geometry and Algebra 2, so that he can take pre-calculus and Principles of Engineering next year. His house is full of computers, thanks to his father’s interest (he’s a computer engineer at a pharmaceutical company). Niyi also participates in Reading Olympics and he has taken karate lessons for four years.
Samantha Shourds works for As and Bs in her classes. She takes Chemistry, AP World History, Honors English, Pre-Calculus, Creative Writing, Spanish and Test Prep for College Admission. She said the first semester test prep course was helpful for SAT preparation. She played on the girls’ tennis team in the fall. She loves the Yoga Club and she makes a lot of projects with TSA (Technology Student Association). English teacher Brad Huebner said Sam works hard and is always on time. She offers great in-class comments and contributions. She is respectful, kind, friendly and writes well. Sam thinks at a high level. She uses creativity well in writing. She’s a first-class person all the way.”
Perry Williams was selected by his English teacher even though that’s not his favorite subject! He writes essays well but analytical papers are not his thing. He likes sciences and eventually wants to become a field biologist. “I like to figure out new things and how the world works,” Perry said. He takes AP Physics, AP Calculus and Spanish. He spends about two hours a night on homework and works at Party City. He also plays offensive guard and defensive tackle on the football team. Perry likes to do woodworking with his dad and spend other quality time with the family. English teacher Nicole Roeder said, “Perry consistently goes above and beyond class expectations and assists his peers in succeeding in class. He has high expectations for his academics and offers challenging perspectives in the classroom. He often produces work that becomes an exemplar for students. Perry has many friends and I witnessed him helping them with academics and social issues. He is positive and encouraging, but is willing to point out when someone is not meeting their full potential. Perry is respectful to adults in his interactions and asks for help when needed.”
Humble yet confident Evan Kaseman endears himself to just about everyone! He is working hard to steer clear of senioritis while maintaining As in his six AP classes. Through the middle of the school year, he cut back on his bagging and cashiering hours at Giant so he could spend more time studying. “The work load is quite hefty,” he said of the AP courses. “It’s not for everyone.” He is a Class Senator in Student Government; participates in community service projects with National Honor Society; serves as a student representative to the School Board; tutors students in the Math Lab he created with senior Brett Wolfinger; finished second with three friends (including Brett) in the QCHS Talent Show with a dance. His Eagle Scout ranking and his scholarly accomplishments earned him acceptance to the University of Pittsburgh, where he will major in biomedical engineering. Counselor Erica Henry nominated Evan because, “He strives for his best in everything. He gets straight As in all classes. He scored 4s and 5s on all the AP exams he has taken since his sophomore and junior years. Evan is mature, respectful and always willing to help others. He has an inquisitive mind and reaches out to his teachers beyond simple questions about curriculum. He is an Eagle Scout, believes in honorable behavior, follows rules and attends school regularly.”
Messa Di Voce and the Jazz Band both represented Strayer Middle School at the 2016 PMEA Conference March 31 at the Hershey Convention Center. This was the third time the QCSD a capella singing group was selected to perform at the event. Led by conductor Cynthia Teprovich, the group submitted a recording that was pitted against more than 130 choirs. The group previously performed at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conference in 2007 and 2012. The Jazz Band is directed by Joe Santanello.
Messa Di Voce also won the honor to perform at the Eastern (NAfME) National Association for Music Education Conference held in Hartford, Connecticut in 2013.
Messa Di Voce is an appropriate name for a middle school a cappella choir because, according to The New Harvard Dictionary of Music (1986), messa di voce means “to place the voice” from the Italian mettere (to place, to put). This auditioned a cappella choir from Strayer Middle School is the product of placing each voice within a rigorous choral curriculum that currently enrolls 330 choral students. The choir rehearses before school at 7:00 a.m. twice a week. The choir has performed with the Pennsylvania Youth Chorale, the renowned Baltimore Consort, and three concerts with the award-winning women’s barbershop chorus known as The Valley Forge Chorus. Messa Di Voce has achieved the Overall Chorus Award with first-place, superior ratings for the last 15 consecutive years in the Music in the Parks Festival.
Two boys win regional computer fair, off to state event
Senior Tim Lopes and junior Jay Patel won a gold medal at the recent BCIU 22 Computer Fair for the program they wrote to help elementary students with math and reading. Tim said he thought the game offered a unique perspective. The pair head to Dickinson College in Carlisle for the May 24 state computer fair with Computer Programming teacher Prakash Patel.
Declan Burke, Sean Wallace and Trey Wojochiewski also competed in the regional computer event, entering an edition of their TechKnow video series in the Digital Video category. In the episode they talked about the San Bernardino Apple iPhone case. They did not win a prize.
Middle and high school students compete in Reading Olympics
Strayer Middle School hosted 18 teams, 216 students and eight schools for the Reading Olympics last week. Three of those teams were from Strayer and Milford. Schools represented included New Hope-Solebury, Pennridge, Palisades and St. Jude’s. Strayer librarian Sara Wignovich said one advantage of hosting the event every year is that QCSD does not need busses to go somewhere else! Across Bucks County, more than 160 schools competed, sending 4,500 students and 321 teams to several host schools.
One of the Strayer teams, the Powerful Panthers, practiced right up until the event started. The girls said they each read from three to six books. Some of them have participated in Reading Olympics since third grade at Neidig.
The QCHS Reading Olympics team traveled to New Hope-Solebury on a bus to compete the next night in the senior level. The Q-Royalty team won a green ribbon for third place. Advisor Bekci Kelly, Librarian, said, “Everyone had a wonderful time. We're losing two seniors this year, and hope to have more students join us next year. Everyone enjoyed celebrating reading!”
The QCHS team plans to collaborate with the Palisades team in May. They will meet at Barnes and Noble at the Promenade Shops to unveil the reading list for next year.
QCHS teams pick up a few wins
In the past week, the QCHS boys' lacrosse team beat Norristown 9-4 and Perkiomen Prep 12-1. The Panthers were highlighted in an Intelligencer article, which you can read by clicking here.
The softball team beat Southern Lehigh 11-6. The boys' volleyball finished third in pool play at the Bobcat Invitational.
Graduate heading to China
Chris Chookagian, who graduated in 2015, is heading to China for two weeks this summer on a trip hosted by the Astar Education Institute. The goal is to immerse students into Chinese culture and language. The Bucks County Community College freshman attended a week long international leadership camp at Susquehanna University last summer. Chinese and American students participated. Chris continues to communicate with his roommate, Lee. In China, American students will visit local communities, sightsee at historical monuments and learn various aspects of Chinese social and economic structure. The trip will take Chris to the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Olympic Park, Beijing University, Feng, Feng Xiaogang's Film Commune and Hainan Wildlife Garden.
Add, subtract, multiply, divide = 24!
Richland fifth grader John Eatherton was the quickest draw in Wednesday night’s 2nd Annual QCSD Math 24 Competition at Pfaff. Second place went to fourth grader Max Arkans (Neidig), third to fifth grader Will Shaw (Richland) and fourth to fourth grader Michael Bianco (Tohickon Valley). The four squared off in the final round, after whizzing through two preliminary rounds and a semifinal round. Forty-eight contestants represented all six elementary schools. Richland won the team title for the second year in a row, with 237 points, followed by Tohickon Valley with 183 points and Quakertown Elementary with 153 points.
The four finalists, plus 13 others will represent QCSD in the May 14 Bucks County Intermediate Unit competition at Churchville Elementary School in Southampton, PA. The others attending are fourth grader Rylan Dauter and fifth graders Austin Tyahla and Haunah Thomas (all Neidig); Pfaff fifth graders Tyler Osika and Alex Gius; Tohickon Valley fourth grader Vincent Micucci and fifth grader Cameron Dawson; Trumbauersville fifth graders Katie Catalano and Ethan Horning; and QE fourth graders Cody Roth and Olivia Caison and fifth graders Dale Dietrich and Annaliese Warnke.
More than 175 parents, grandparents, and siblings packed the gym. QCSD Supervisor of Mathematics Greg Lesher said he was impressed “by how quickly many of our students were able to identify patterns and literally within seconds, and I mean two to three seconds, our competitors had the algorithm that would compute to 24. To call them human calculators would be an understatement.”
Tohickon Valley IST Misty Armstrong and Aide Mary Ellen Suhadolnik planned a smooth competition, which finished before planned because competitors were so quick to compute! While students practiced at home several days a week, their teachers and other staff members helped them prepare over a six-month span. Many of the staff members served as proctors during the competition. The staff coaches were Tammy Thompson, Mike Huber, Jen Froshour, Jeff Palen, Mackenzie Baver, Mike Benning, Patricia O’Neill, Jason Erk, Jen Ruggiero, Carolyn Schall, Adam Smith, Christine Gerancher, Cheryl Bigenho, Zach Garger, Azure Spigelmyer, Lauren Zeigler and Wendy Weidemeir.
Gymnast wins state title
QCSD Online Academy / Milford Middle School student Kennedy Bowen recently won a gold medal at the PA Gymnastics Level 9 Championships. She placed first on vault, second on floor, third on beam, and first place All Around in her age group, Junior A. With her qualifying score, she will move on to compete in the Regionals in Virginia. The regional competition assembles the best Level 9 gymnasts from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia! Kennedy trains with the Allentown Parkettes.
QCSD helps to feed the community
Strayer Middle School students and staff hauled in 2,760 pounds of food for the Quakertown Food Pantry during the United Way’s Operation Helping Hand, which wrapped up March 9. Quakertown Elementary gathered the next highest amount with 979.9 pounds.
Tohickon Valley totaled 738.3 pounds, followed by Pfaff with 667.4 pounds; Milford with 496.5; Neidig with 430.4; Trumbauersville with 283.6; and Richland with 226 pounds. Overall, Food Pantry volunteers picked up 6,582.5 pounds of food on March 10. Volunteers noted, “We would like to commend the students and staff of each participating school for their support in our mission to provide food for those in our community who are in need.”
Middle school jazz bands best in show
The Milford and Strayer jazz bands scored big, again, on March 18 at the Pennfield Middle School Jazz Festival. The QCSD groups were two of four bands to earn the highest possible judge’s rating of Superior. In addition, Milford won the Best Trumpet Section Award and Strayer won the Best Rhythm Section and Best Trombone Section Awards. Two Quakertown students were also recognized for their achievements by winning Outstanding Soloist Awards. They were Melanie Ficarra from Strayer on trombone and Adam Getty from Milford on soprano saxophone. Finally, Isaac Detweiler (trombone) from Milford and Jack Fox from Strayer (trumpet) won the two coveted Most Outstanding Musicians of the evening awards!
Senior sets new track and field record
Barbara Grossov broke the QCHS school record for shot put, set in the year 2000, during Tuesday's track and field meet against Pennridge. Barbara, a senior, threw the eight-pound orb 38-feet, 2.5-inches, eclipsing the 16-year-old record by a half inch. On each of the last three of her six throws, Barbara beat her personal record. Her last throw was the record-breaker. She said she ate a handful of peanuts before the meet and that may become her new snack.
“It’s not all about strength, just a lot of technique work and focus. My coach [Justin Kucharski] and my teammates believe in me, ” she said. The state qualifying distance is 37 feet. Barbara will need to throw that distance in the District 1 meet in mid-May. “No problem,” Barbara said. “If I did it once, I can do it again.” She will compete in track and field next year at East Stroudsburg University.
Last Saturday, the QCHS girls’ track and field team won the Palisades Pirate Invitational. Gold Medalists included Olivia Morano in the discus and shot put; Rachel Smith in the 100 hurdles; Neketa Woodson in the 400; Sierra Camburn in the 300 hurdles; and Samantha Bennett, Jess Braeunle, Neketa and Sierra in the 4x100 Relay. The rest of the team had too many silver and bronze medals to count!
In other sports news, the QCHS swimmers competed in the District 1 Swimming Championships several weeks ago. Coach Mike Peters compiled the results, as follows.
Alexandra Keeny finished 28th overall in the 500 freestyle and 31st overall in the 200 freestyle.
Kaylee Heimes finished 39th overall in the 50 freestyle and 38th overall in the 100 freestyle.
Michael Dierolf finished 26th overall in the 100 freestyle and 12th overall in the 100 breaststroke.
Noah Guckavan finished 42nd overall in the 50 freestyle and 38th overall in the 100 butterfly.
Christopher Cowan earned an alternate position for the 200 freestyle but did not swim in the meet.
The girls’ 200 free relay earned consideration for the district meet but did not make the final cut.
This week, on Tuesday, Alisa Robinson scored six goals to lead the QCHS girls’ lacrosse team to a 12-11 victory over visiting Cheltenham.
QCHS student named Student of the Month at UBCTS
QCHS senior Kyle Wambold was named the Upper Bucks County Technical School’s Student of the Month for March. He is a third-year cabinetmaking shop student. He decided to enroll at the program after touring UBCTS as a QCSD eighth grader. During his time at UBCTS, he has been involved in community service projects. He worked hard on a table-building fundraiser his class did in partnership with the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society. He was even featured in a Channel 6 news clip, explaining the covered bridge/table project to viewers.
Kyle placed third in SkillsUSA competition. He lost to classmates who placed first and second in districts. Kyle has earned first honors every marking period since his sophomore year. Cabinetmaking teacher Michael Kennedy said Kyle is a pleasure to have in class. He’s a hard worker and never caused a problem. He is a leader and well liked by his classmates. Kyle’s sense of humor adds a fun factor in class. He recently beat a staff member in a go-cart race during the cabinetmaking group’s annual trip to Williamsburg. Staff members said they will miss Kyle’s big grin and easy going nature when he graduates.
Kyle is currently employed by Stairworks Inc., located in Telford. He goes out on co-op two days a week. He said he enjoys using his skills and making money while helping to create all different types of staircases. He plans on working at Stairworks full time after graduation to continue to master his cabinetmaking skills.
Kyle is an avid outdoorsman. He spends his free time hunting and fishing. He likes catching local trout while deer and geese are his game of choice when he hunts. Kyle said the thing he will miss most when he graduates is the freedom to choose and make projects that he wants in the classroom. A real job dictates what he can and cannot make. That loss of creativity will be something he will work toward achieving again.
Choir tours Myrtle Beach
Seventy members of the QCHS Choir bussed to Myrtle Beach last week for plenty of audience and performance participation at restaurants and theaters. Choir Director Jonathan Lechner knew it would be a good week when a dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe turned into a singing and dancing spectacle combining the wait staff and choir members. “The wait staff was very entertaining as they sang, danced, and served. It didn't take them long to learn that they were serving a large group of musicians and in no time there were choir kids joining them in conga lines across the dining room floor, or lip-synching to classic Queen ballads,” he said. “But when The Village People came on over the loud speakers, that was it - 70 kids were on the grand staircase overlooking the dining room with all of the waiters doing the full song and dance routine to YMCA."
The group enjoyed time at the beach and on water slides. They filled the Palace Theater for an exclusive showing of Hot Jersey Nights, a music revue of The Four Seasons, the Frankie Valley group of the 1950s. “He was from New Jersey and he made really good music,” said choir member Sean Wallace. “I appreciate that the show has brought back that music.” At the end of the performance, the actors held a question and answer session with the Panthers, then sat back while the choir sang for them.
The choir performed at the Alabama Theater as a pre-show performance for the Legends in Concert. The choir learned about the music business during a seminar with the group. Trey Wojciechowski said the best part of the trip for him was making a lot of new friends and seeing the shows. Delaney Minor liked performing and watching professional groups. Declan Burke said he liked the beach, hot tubs, pools and water slides. “We worked really hard for several months, since December, for a lot of performances. This trip was a release. It was fun to see everyone enjoying themselves and not in a working environment.
Divers fare well at state championships
The sister-brother duo of Taylor and Bayne Bennett both won medals in the PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium. Bayne, a freshman, won a medal for eighth place on Wednesday, which was also his birthday. He scored 433.5 points, 90 points behind the gold medalist. Bayne placed fifth among the District 1 divers who dominated the top spots in Kinney Natatorium. The Suburban One website featured Bayne and other District 1 divers. You can read that by clicking here.
Taylor competed Thursday (yesterday). At the end of semifinals, she moved up to second place. She did her 10th and final dive in the wrong position and wound up sixth.
Caroff medals at state wrestling championships
Gavin Caroff won a medal for eighth place last week at the PIAA State Wrestling Championships in Hershey. Nick Bonomo and Tanner Seislove also competed, losing in the second round. Gavin lost in double overtime of the medal round. He returned to Quakertown as a hero and was the guest speaker at the Quakertown Youth Wrestling Banquet. The senior also slipped into ninth place on the QCHS all-time leaders list, with 116 wins and 50 losses. Tanner finished his career at No. 15 on the list, with a 105 wins and 55 losses. Nick, who finished his career at No. 22, with 93 wins and 44 losses, concluded that the state tournament experience was “a lot of fun.”
Strayer student will spell in Washington, D.C.
Strayer Middle School student Kathy Tran won the regional Spelling Bee last Saturday. She spelled cryptozoa in the final round. Her victory catapulted her to compete in the National Championships in Washington, D.C. Her older sister Anna won the regional event in 2013 and 2014. Kathy also won a trophy, a Merriam-Webster dictionary, an online subscription to Encyclopedia Britannica and a $100 savings bond. You can read an Intelligencer story about the regional event by clicking here.
Middle School jazz bands capture judges’ hearts and minds
Strayer Jazz Band conductor Joe Santanello said last weekend’s competition at the Pennbrook Middle School Jazz Festival proved to be the most successful in recent memory for both the Strayer and Milford groups.
They finished at the top of the listing of the seven schools competing and were the only two bands of the evening to earn the highest possible judge’s rating of Superior. In addition, Milford won the Best Trumpet Section Award and Strayer won the Best Rhythm Section and Best Trombone Section Awards.
Two Quakertown students were also recognized for their achievements by winning Outstanding Soloist Awards: Melissa Nong from Strayer on piano and Adam Getty from Milford on soprano saxophone. Finally, Isaac Detweiler from Milford won the coveted Most Outstanding Musician of the evening award!
You can watch the Strayer jazz and concert bands during the Spring Concert by clicking here.
Fourth graders go for the gold at robotics competition
Last weekend, fourth graders Michael Bianco (Tohickon Valley), Gavin Babel (Neidig) and Cody Roth (Quakertown Elementary) participated in the Pennsylvania State VEX IQ Robotics Championship with elementary and middle school students from all over Pennsylvania. They represented the Upper Perk Robotics Club, proudly by winning an Excellence Award. The three boys will be one of two elementary teams from Pennsylvania moving on to the World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. The other team is from Pittsburgh.
The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX IQ Challenge. The recipient of the award is the team that demonstrates overall excellence in all components of the VEX IQ Challenge. Key criteria include: Teamwork Challenge Qualification Round ranking; Robot Skills Challenge ranking; Programming Skills Challenge ranking; Design Award ranking; STEM Research Project Presentation Award ranking; other judged award rankings; and High Quality VEX robotics program. In addition to building a robot to complete in team matches, the boys also displayed their robot skills individually in driver controlled and autonomous skills challenges. They kept a notebook throughout their process that was judged as well as a STEM project that they presented during competition. For their STEM project hypothesis, Michael, Gavin and Cody looked at the belief that diamonds come from coal. They discovered that diamonds do not really come from coal!
You can learn more about the Vex IQ robotics by clicking here.
Liam stands with Liam: Self-portrait represents QCSD art program
QCHS senior Liam Brogan was honored Tuesday evening at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. His self-portrait was chosen as the single piece to represent QCSD in the IU’s Student Art Gallery. Ms. Laurie Stoudt, his art teacher and Mrs. Kate Fetterolf, QCSD Visual Art Advisory Council representative, both had the honor of standing with Liam as he was awarded. Schoolboard member Ronald Jackson also attended to support Liam.
Thursday’s annual Art Reception, organized by the Bucks County Visual Art Committee, is a celebratory event attended by school board members, administrators, teachers and families from throughout Bucks County. The group came together to celebrate the arts and share the knowledge of their importance in all quality educational programs to prepare students for the future. For more information about this event and to view a video created by the Visual Arts Advisory Committee about arts education in Bucks County, click here.
In other art news, QCHS senior Samantha Brady’s art will be featured during a concert at Allentown’s Symphony Hall. Oncologist Dr. Rick Boulay will sing April 29 and 30 to raise money to support cancer related charities. During Dr. Boulay’s singing, photographs of the art of 10 Lehigh Valley students (including Sam’s work) will be projected on a screen. Dr. Boulay treats cancer patients at Lehigh Valley Health Network. Hope and Healing organizer Heather Rodale helped select from work that had been entered into the Juried Art Show. The winners of that contest are exhibited in a Healing Through the Arts show. Boulay will sing songs and lessons about cancer survivorship. The performance is geared toward cancer survivors and their caregivers. Tickets are available at allentownsymphonyhall.org or by calling 610-432-6715.
QCHS Teachers of the Month
QCHS Student Council named three teachers as Staff Members of the Month at the recent faculty meeting. They were Ms. Laurie Stoudt, Art; Mrs. Amy Eisenmann, Social Studies and Psychology; and Mr. Nick Burch, English.
About Ms. Stoudt, Student Council wrote, “She is an amazing teacher and she takes her time helping everyone in her class. Not only that, but this entire month and last month she helped make decorations for the Best Buddies Ball. She is truly committed in helping the students and anyone who needs her help. Her help with the Best Buddies ball truly exemplifies QLove.
Students said Mrs. Eisenmann is always happy and always making students laugh. “She goes out of her way to make sure students are able to learn in a safe and comfortable environment and always makes students (even those she doesn't teach) feel welcome in her classroom. She is also the Mayor of the Mods.”
Mr. Burch received his Johnny Panther Staff of the Month coffee mug on his birthday. He helps students write college essays and they said, “He is a great teacher. He definitely prepares us for the AP test and even life. He is always reliable and always makes time to assure every single student understands the concepts being taught. Daily, he embraces the values of QLove.
Spring Breakfast a success
Quakertown Cares helps families throughout the community, including school aged children, veterans, and senior citizens. Last Saturday Quakertown Cares held its 20th annual Spring Breakfast at QCHS. Event director Lisa Green said that more than 100 people, including 40 children, attended. Children took pictures with the Easter Bunny.
“The event was a huge success,” said Mrs. Green. “We raised the highest amount in many years.”
The breakfast included a craft fair for the first time, with 28 crafters. QCHS café manager Carmen LaCava led the way in cooking a fresh breakfast. Thanks to a $500 check received last week from Ciocca Ford, Quakertown Cares has surpassed $48,000, its largest amount in years, according to QCSD Social Worker Kirsten Cochran.
Tax deductible contributions are always welcome. You can write a check to Quakertown Cares and deliver to Mrs. Eileen Bruchak, Counselor, at Quakertown Elementary School, 123 South Seventh Street, Quakertown, PA 18951.
Three QCHS seniors – Gavin Caroff, Tanner Seislove and Nick Bonomo - headed to Hershey for this weekend’s PIAA State Championships. Gavin (220) pinned his way to the state meet at last weekend’s regional championship. Gavin won by pin in every one of his matches. This was his second trip to the state meet in Hershey. He also was among the nominees for the Intelligencer newspaper’s Athlete of the Week, which depended on fan votes. Gavin said he hopes he got the nervousness of wrestling at the Giant Center out of his system last year. “I’m excited about going out to the state meet with my two best friends.”
Nick (182) finished third at regionals. This is his first time to states. He anticipated the experience to be “nerve wracking and intimidating” and was hoping for a top 8 finish.” Tanner finished fourth at regionals and took his first trip to the state meet. “Let’s get it,” he said as he, his buddies and Coach Kurt Handel walked out the front door of QCHS. #Hersheybound!
As of 9 p.m. Thursday night, Tanner and Nick were scheduled to wrestle last night in the consolation round after losing their first-round matches. Gavin also lost his first round match but received a bye and will wrestle Friday. By 9:20,p.m. Tanner and Nick had been eliminated in losses of 1-0 and 5-1, respectively.
Freshman heading to Paris for summer courses
Freshman Nicole Barbarito wanted to study abroad, so she took the initiative to research a reputable program, apply and win a partial scholarship. This summer, she will take two college courses in Paris, through the Oxbridge Program. From July 1-31, she will take a four-hour morning Creative Writing class, walk around Paris for two hours over lunch, then return for a two-hour psychology class every afternoon. The courses will be taught in English, but Nicole figures she will learn French in restaurants and through new friends.
“I needed two letters of recommendation, so I got six,” said Nicole, who is obviously a go-getter. “I’m passionate about education.” She wants to major in English in college, at an Ivy League School, such as Columbia, or at Hamilton College in Clifton, N.Y. She loves to write, so she posts fiction online to get feedback. In her last effort with fiction, she wrote about a girl with schizophrenia. In preparing to go to France, she is learning key phrases on the Duolingo app. In the summer of 2017, she plans to study in Scotland. She has taught herself how to play the guitar and piano. She participates in Student Council, Debate Club and TSA and plans to run track when she gets to the senior high.
Senior bowls perfect game, again
QCHS senior Derek Scherff bowled a 300 game two years ago. And now he’s done it again! During travel league play at Town and Country Lanes in Allentown, he bowled the perfect game.
“The first time felt lucky,” said Derek, who averages 205. “More than once? Maybe it’s skill.”
Derek rolled his first 300 at his home lanes, Earl Bowl in Quakertown. He plays every Saturday with his team, which includes QCHS graduates and a Pennridge student. He said he doesn’t practice often in between Saturdays. Homework takes up some of his time. He takes AP Statistics, AP Government, Honnors British Literature, Anatomy and Computer Programming 2. He would like to go to college for computer science or history. He said it’s “super hard to come by” a college with a bowling team.
You can watch a short video of Derek’s game by clicking here.
QCHS teacher publishes book
QCHS ESL teacher Lori Litchman has published long-form narrative pieces that have appeared in other people's books. Now she can gleefully hold up a first book “that's all mine!” Clerisy Press published her first book, recently released. According to the publisher’s press release, “A Philadelphia Story is an in-depth look at how significant founders and families made Philadelphia not only the birthplace of our country, but also truly a city of firsts. Through their efforts they stamped their mark on Philadelphia with parks, streets, and landmarks bearing their names. In A Philadelphia Story, author Lori Litchman brings to life the founding families’ stories, a history of lives lived large—truly the Who’s Who (as well as the When and Where) of Philadelphia—that, when considered together, made the City of Brotherly Love the great metropolis it is today.”
Mrs. Litchman earned a Master of Fine Arts at Goucher College. One of her classmates went on to become the acquisitions editor at the publishing company, which started the city history series with a book about Cincinnati. When it was time to find an author for the Philadelphia book, Tim consulted his alumni network. He found Mrs. Litchman’s website, liked what he read and contacted her to write the book. She spent a year researching and writing before submitting the manuscript. A year-and-a-half later, the book was printed in black and white with a full color, glossy cover.
“They didn’t do very much editing, which makes me happy because it means I did a pretty good job putting it together,” she said. “It’s a history book for the modern reader. It’s broken up into short, digestible chapters with sidebars and pictures. Anybody can flip through and learn something new about the history of Philadelphia.”
Mrs. Litchman will appear on the 10 Show on NBC Philadelphia in July. Her friend Tina produces the show. Normally reticent to appear in front of the camera, Mrs. Litchman realizes she will now have to do that in order to promote her book. It is available online through Amazon.com and at local bookstores, including all Barnes in Nobles in the Delaware and Lehigh valleys. “My goal is to get every Democrat coming to Philadelphia for the convention in July to buy one,” she said. The press release notes, “Mrs. Litchman is a lifelong Pennsylvanian. She grew up near coal country in the Pocono Mountains before making Philadelphia her home. She has lived in Philadelphia long enough to consider herself a native. She’s an outdoor enthusiast and loves to hike and kayak. When she’s not writing, she is usually teaching English to nonnative speakers. Lori lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Dave Tavani, and their basset hound, Wendell.”
QCSD Online Academy Students of the Month
Senior Alyce Hagenbuch was named QCSD Online Academy Student of the month at the high school level while Ashley Schroeder was named for middle school. Jonathan Pallone, Political Science teacher, said, “Alyce has really taken off in her online classes this marking period. Online learning has clicked and she has been doing well and staying on top of her assignments. All year Alyce has been extremely honest and easy to work with.” Alyce takes three online classes - Political Science, Personal Finance and Art History. She said the online experience helps her avoid distractions, especially when she works in the school library instead of at home. Face-to-face she takes Introduction to College Math, British Literature Honors and Physics. She took two classes online last year. “This year I really tried to care and I’m worried about my grades,” Alyce said. “I have mostly Bs.” She plans to attend Bucks County Community College before transferring to DeSales University to become a physician’s assistant.
Teachers consider Ashley Schroeder a “model hybrid student. Each week the seventh grader pushes herself to complete her assignments for her online class early in the week so that she can ask questions early if she has them,” said Chris Deily, Strayer Middle School teacher. “Ashley regularly asks questions both in person and electronically when she is confused or unsure of how to complete assignments.” Ashley also acts as the Chief Editor for Strayer’s morning announcement team. She uses the iMac to compile all of the videos and put them together into a seamless video format so that each morning the entire building can enjoy the morning announcements.
QCHS teachers name Students of the Month for February
Senior Rudolph Levinski, junior Megan Hillegas, sophomore Sadie Fowler and freshman Thayline Becker have all been named Students of the Month for February.
School Counselor Laurie Taylor noted that Rudy Levinski, earns grades that place him among the top 5% of his class. He is No. 11 out of 378 students with a 4.22 GPA. “Rudy has a strong work ethic, while participating in extra-curricular activities,” Mrs. Taylor said. “He has a positive character in school and out. He displays leadership among his peers. He’s always pleasant and respectful to teachers, staff, coaches and others around him. I have witnessed Rudy reaching out to support peers after school.” As the Outstanding Student of the Month, Rudy will eat dinner with the Quakertown Rotary. Over the years he has played football and he is a captain on the track and field team. Outside of school, he participates in Sea Cadets, learns about military history and tactics, fishes, hunts, kayaks and cycles. Rudy said he volunteered for activities through the Masonic Temple and his church before focusing this year on five AP courses.
Rudy received a Congressional Nomination from Mike Fitzpatrick to the Naval Academy and is waiting to hear if he has been accepted. His second choice will be ROTC at Virginia Tech, where he would major in engineering. “My grandfather spent 23 years in the Marines and his stories inspired me,” Rudy said. “It feels like a calling for me to join the service.”
English teacher Nicole Roeder said Megan Hillegas consistently prepares for class, maintains excellence in her work and helps others succeed. She currently has a 99% in English. “Megan is a positive role model who includes all of her classmates when working in groups and interpersonally sees the value in every individual,” Mrs. Roeder said. “She is courteous and sets an excellent example for her peers. She eagerly offers assistance to peers and adults and maintains a positive, upbeat attitude.” Math teacher Christine Valentini also nominated Megan, noting that she completes all her assignments, participates in all class activities as an active learner, and contributes to partner and group discussions. “Megan is always willing to help others. In one example, when a classmate was absent for an extensive note-taking activity where students were creating a review booklet with notes and examples, Megan volunteered to complete an extra booklet for the absent classmate. Megan is willing to help in any way.” Megan plans to volunteer as a counselor for outdoor school and has helped tutor younger students. She often jumps into the passenger seat of a small airplane at the Quakertown Airport, where she and a pilot lift off and head toward Doylestown and New Jersey as part of the Civil Air Patrol. She plans to join the Army and work as a mental health specialist, following in the footsteps of her older sister Jenny Wimmer (QCHS 2015), who stole the idea from Megan! Jenny is stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. Megan takes two AP classes and several honors classes, Fit Plus, Fine Arts and Spanish 2. “My teacher said I was named Student of the Month because I help people and I’m optimistic,” Megan said.
Always cheerful Sadie Fowler always goes above the requirements, according to AP Seminar teacher Janet Bassett. Sadie takes several AP courses as a sophomore, including the new AP Capstone Seminar, and is earning high grades. She is always responsible and conscientious. “When out for a school or other obligation, she communicates early and often with teachers,” Mrs. Bassett noted. “She has an excellent classroom demeanor and always helps other students. She makes good use of all the time allotted to her. Sadie is almost overcommitted.” Sadie is active in band, chorus, TSA, Varsity Singers, Women’s Ensemble and the tennis team. She especially likes AP World History because she’s interested in European history. She also takes Latin 2 through an Online Academy course. “Latin is a good basis for root words,” Sadie said. So that helps with history.”
Thayline Becker arrived in the United States in September, from her native Brazil, where she lived with her grandmother. She knew no English. Now she speaks fluently. Freshman Center ESL teacher Kelly Shaak said, “Thayline is always prepared for class and she keeps her things organized. She participates regularly and always appears to try her best with each and every assignment. Thayline has made great strides already this year because she is so receptive to support and focuses on her studies across the board. Thayline knows the importance of making school a priority! The other language learners look up to Thayline because she wants to do well, so she does! She is not afraid to make mistakes and ‘play’ with language learning. She is always helping others in our class and modeling good work habits. She is punctual and a rule-follower, too.”
Thayline said she moved to QCSD to live with her mother, who has been living in the United States for 12 years. Thayline speaks three languages – Spanish, Portuguese and English. She likes science classes and plans to go to college to become an oncologist. She said teachers selected her as Student of the Month because, “I believe in myself and work hard to reach my goals.” Outgoing, Thayline helped a new ESL student last week. “She told him, ‘My name is Thayline. I’m beautiful,’” reported Dean of Students Steve Kimball. “I love that about Thayline. She’s got such a positive spirit and she’s confident.” Thayline participates in open-gym volleyball and Key Club and she went to the Winter Formal. At home she works on a program called Empower to learn more English. “Thayline has a sense of values rooted in respect for all, understands the importance of following school rules, and yet she is a risk-taker looking for fun! She appears to understand balance,” said Mrs. Shaak.
College Fair a huge success
QCHS hosted its second annual college fair for juniors and sophomores. Sixty-four colleges sent representatives to talk to students who stopped by their tables. Students did a great job of interacting with the reps to ask about what the colleges offer.
“The most common feedback I received from the college reps was that our kids ask great questions!” said school counselor Eric Gozzard, who organized the event. “They also mentioned a few times how polite and well behaved our students were.”
Students learned how to best use their time at the fair through a QCSDTV News video produced by Nic Rubolino, Ryan Connelly and Taylor Meese. The video advised them how to dress, how to speak to representatives and not to hang on their phones or with their friends. “I think the video made a huge difference, especially for sophomores who were not sure what they were walking into,” said Gozzard.
Students filled out College Fair Passports, which became raffle tickets. Twenty three students won gift cards to Dunkin Donuts, Fandango, YumYums, Starbucks, Best Buy, iTunes, Applebees and Old Navy. Jocelyn Collazo and Allison Stewart each received $65 toward Junior Prom Tickets.
QCHS athletes and musicians post outstanding performances
Senior Gavin Caroff won a District 1 Wrestling Tournament gold medal by winning all his 220-pound matches on pins. QCHS hosted the tournament last Saturday. Teammates Noah Wood (170), Nick Bonomo (182) and Josh Stahl (106) earned silver medals. Senior Tanner Seislove (152) won a bronze medal and recorded career victories 100, 101 and 102. Senior Justin Correa (heavyweight) finished the day with a win to earn fifth place. QCHS placed third out of 22 teams. Caroff, Wood, Bonomo, Stahl and Seislove all advanced to the next round, regionals.
Sophomore Taylor Bennett and brother Bayne Bennett, a freshman, will both compete at the March 17-18 PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships. Taylor placed sixth and Bayne placed fourth at District 1 last weekend. Bayne improved his league championship score by 57 points at districts with a score of 539.95.
Senior Brett Wolfinger took home a fifth place medal in the 800-meter run from the Indoor State Track Meet. Teammate Hudson Delisle finished as the top sophomore in the state in the 800. Hudson finished 16th with a time of 1:58.95. Wolfinger set a school record in a time of 1:55.35, which ranks him 28th in the country!
The QCHS Cheer Comp Team turned in a great performance at Reach the Beach Nationals in New Jersey.
Senior Becky Haywood was honored as the Best Soloist on her baritone at the North Penn Jazz Fest and Jared Spry earned honorable mention. The QCHS Jazz Band earned a Superior rating and awards for best bones and best rhythm section.
Freshmen enter math competition at Lehigh University
Eight brave QCSD freshmen took a last-minute challenge and entered the Lehigh University Math Competition last Saturday. Along with 52 other ninth graders and dozens of upper classmen from the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia region, the Panthers took a 40-problem, two-hour test without a calculator. It was the first time in at least 13 years QCSD sent a team. Three weeks ago, math teacher Allen Hunsicker received emails from Dr. Bill Harner, Superintendent, and Greg Lesher, Math Supervisor about the event. The team practiced twice. Individuals and teams from other schools obviously practiced since September, Hunsicker said. The highest scoring individual of the day was a ninth grader, Steven Liu, of HighTech.
Still, the Freshman Center team was not intimidated. Instead, they all want to practice and try again next year. Adria Retter fiished 39th among freshmen. She walks to the high school every day to take calculus with Mrs. MaryAnn Byatt. The rest of the team takes Algebra 2. They were Ashton Herd, Nam Le, Alexandra Whalen, Daniel Cubbage, Elizabeth Maceri, Ben MacMullen and Niyi Onanuga.
“They were abstract problems,” said Mr. Hunsicker. They asked questions about set theory, summations, permutations, combinations, things that calculus doesn’t necessarily prepare you for.”
I think I spent one minute actually working on the problem and four minutes praying,” joked Ben. Nam said the problems were worded differently than anything he had seen previously. Elizabeth liked the challenge. Niyi wants to get more than five right next year. Ashton said she feels challenged to learn the material on the test for next year because “I don’t want to be behind other people.” Alex said she the test was hard because she didn’t know the content but she wants to learn it for next year. Lehigh professors made up the questions.
The team is ready to create a Math Club with Mr. Hunsicker for next year, although they will start studying now because “there is no off season in math.” They already re-named the new QCSD van that helped them get to the contest: The Math Mobile or Rhombus.
Milford team answers plenty of questions correctly
Milford Team A earned third place overall at last week’s Academic Challenge at Pennfield Middle School. The Milford A team consisted of Morgan Thrush, Logan Herr, Michael Dennis, Jonas Moll, Anthony Schiller and Micah Hooper. The team squared off against the sixth ranked team and lost in a close match, 390 to 350. The Milford Team B did not earn enough points to make it into the semifinal rounds. Coach Corey Beil said, “Both teams well-represented our Milford Family!” Team B consisted of Hannah Braun, Moriah Wilt, Jordynn Cheatle, Jonathan Setman, Riya Sembhi, Andrew Sturgess and Diana Chookagian. Teacher Kristen Bruck also coached the teams.
The other schools in the competition were Indian Crest, Indian Valley, Pennbrook, Penndale, Pennfield, Pennridge Central, Pennridge North and Penn View Christian.
Student athletes headed to outstanding colleges
Three seniors who plan to compete at the collegiate level were recognized by family, friends, coaches, reporters and QCHS staff members at an Athlete Recognition Ceremony last week in the Media Center. Kyle Baskin will play football at Columbia University. Jake Bovard will punt for the Air Force Academy football team. And Brett Wolfinger will run at Johns Hopkins University.
Coach George Banas remembered that Kyle “came on the scene” as a sophomore when he scored a touchdown against CB West. Kyle suffered a concussion as a junior and in his senior year, “he was an absolute beast. He put the time and effort in to raise his game.” Banas said Jake “honed his craft. He truly loved punting. He led the state inside the 20 [yard line] and was a two-time All-State player. I wish them both luck in college and I can’t thank them enough for their importance to this program.”
Ryan and Sean Stetler coached Brett in cross-country and track. Ryan pointed out that Brett switched from football to cross-country to help him prepare for middle distances in track. “He developed a wonderful summer routine, working out his breathing, stride rate and nutrition. That’s a testament to the student he is.” Sean added that Brett is “first a good person, second a student, and third an athlete. He’s the embodiment of a student athlete. He provided impeccable leadership. He was the general of the team, leading by intense example.” The Stetler brothers both complimented Brett on his leadership and work effort and believe he helped turn their programs toward success.
Kyle joked that he looks forward to life after college in New York City. He said, “I want to live at the beach, have a great job and a beautiful wife.” He will major in business, economics or political science. Jake said he shanked as many punts as he made and some of them hit Assistant Coach Jeff Wolfinger in the head. He credited perseverance and hard work as the ticket to success. “After college, I’ll be serving five years doing something fun, like flying planes or jumping out of them.” Brett offered his typical refrain of giving credit to those around him. “A group of senior leaders put me on the path and I try to pay it forward by giving those behind me the same edge. We can do more than we think we can. I want to survive college, sleep every night, run. It would be cool to make it to nationals. I want to help lead my team in the conference.”
QCHS Staff Members of the Month
Co-Executive Directors of QCHS Student Council Sammie Kang and Nic Rubolino presented Staff of the Month coffee mugs at the February faculty meeting to Dr. Nick Hood and Profe Alaina Wert. Students who voted noted that Dr. Hood makes learning math fun and they look forward to going to his class every day. Other student comments included, “He really knows the information and how to teach it.” “He is the best.” “He has helped me so much in cyber just clarifying what is going on.” “I had him all throughout middle school and he has been the most influential teacher for me.”
About Profe Wert, Spanish teacher, students said, “She's such a caring teacher.” “She cares for her students, not only their grades but how they are doing.” “She is friendly to everyone, including other staff members.”
Principal named Director of Elementary Education
The QCSD Board of School Directors confirmed Dr. Kathleen Winters as Director of Elementary Education, effective June 10, 2016. In January, she began serving as Lead Elementary Principal in addition to serving as Richland Principal.
Dr. Winters, a long-time administrator in QCSD, will vacate her office at Richland, where she has been the principal for four years. She served as the principal at Haycock Elementary and Quakertown Elementary for 11 and 12 years respectively before her transfer to Richland.
Dr. Winters spent 18 years in the Whitehall Coplay School District as a K-12 Special Education teacher and elementary teacher. She also served as principal at Slatington Elementary School in the Northern Lehigh School District from 1998 to 2000, before she moved to QCSD.
Dr. Winters earned teaching certifications in Elementary, Special Education (Penn State University) and English as a Second Language. In her post graduate work, she earned her Master’s Degree in Administration from Lehigh University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2002 at Lehigh University.
Dr. Winters said, “It has been an honor to serve as a teacher and principal over the last 36 years of my career, supporting and educating children from all walks of life. I will miss many parts of the position and daily interactions with staff, students and families. I look forward to continuing to serve and support our district’s elementary students and QCSD in this new role. In retrospect, a long time ago, I grew up watching a TV icon named Mr. Rodgers, who shared special messages to children who watched his program. I share this quote in thanks of all of those teachers and people along this path that I met who were and are the real heroes…”
"When I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me." Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers
Vote for Milford video in a contest
Today is the last of three days of voting for the Milford video entry in the What’s So Cool about Manufacturing contest through PBS in Bethlehem and the DreamItDoIt initiative to inspire students toward manufacturing careers. Click here to watch the video and vote. The awards ceremony will host nearly 800 people February 23 at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem.
QCHS swimmers cruise to success at league meet
QCHS senior Mike Dierolf won his first scholastic gold medal ever last weekend when he captured the 100-yard breaststroke at the Suburban One League Continental Conference Championships at CB South. Teammates Alex Keeny, Kaylee Heimes, Taylor Bennett and Bayne Bennett also qualified for the March 4-5 District 1 meet at LaSalle University (swimming) and February 26-27 at North Penn (diving). The girls’ 200 freestyle relay posted a consideration time and is waiting to find out if it will swim at districts. Junior Stephanie Waddell and senior Vivian Ha swam that relay with Alex and Kaylee, placing fifth at the league meet in 1:57.62.
Mike bested his previous best time by a second, swimming 1:00.7 for the 100 breaststroke. He is seeded second heading into districts. He also qualified for the district meet in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing sixth in leagues with a 49.64. “We’ve been practicing a lot this year, with longer practices,” Mike said. “Mr. [Mike] Peters makes good workouts. I never qualified for districts before. My goal at districts is to better my time. I haven’t looked at states yet. But it would be pretty cool to qualify.”
Sophomore Alex Keeny won a bronze medal in the 500-yard freestyle at the league meet (5:20.18) and was sixth in the 200-yard freestyle (2:00.36). She is seeded sixth for districts in the 500. The girls meet was held at North Penn. Alex will swim both events at districts. “I was not expecting to swim that fast, so I am happy about going to districts,” Alex said. “I placed 20th last year at districts. I’d like to place near 10th this year and I think I can.”
Sophomore Kaylee Heimes placed sixth in the 100 backstroke (59.79) and seventh in the 100 freestyle (54.90). She will swim those two events, plus the 50-yard freestyle, at the district meet. She said she would like to at least post similar times or “maybe improve” at districts.
Sophomore Taylor Bennett took home a bronze medal from the league meet in diving and brother Bayne Bennett, a freshman, finished fourth. They both qualified for districts. Taylor said she placed third last year at leagues, as well. Last year she finished fourth at districts. She would like to move up to top three this year. A day after the league meet, Taylor and Bayne competed in a club meet at Rutgers University. Bayne was first on the three-meter board. Taylor finished eighth on the one-meter board in her first 16-18 age group meet. She said she likes competing in club meets because the judging is “very fair.”
"The entire team has worked incredibly hard this year and every swimmer has earned at least one new personal-best time," said Coach Peters. "We have more swimmers going to districts this year than any other year and breaking long-standing team records in the process. I could not be prouder of the effort and dedication from this year’s team."
In other sports news, Prokicker.com listed QCHS senior Jake Bovard No. 13 on the Ray Guy Honorable Mention All-America Punter list. You can read that by clicking here.
QCHS senior Gavin Caroff was named @UnivestCorp #FeaturedAthlete on Feb. 5. You can read about him by clicking here. Gavin has won more than 100 matches as a wrestler.
Sophomore Hudson Delisle ran 1:59.21 for an indoor PR in the 800 meters, a state qualifying standard, and a facility record at Glenn Mills. The Milford-Strayer wrestling squad placed third at the Middle School Championships last week, hosted at QCHS.
Wish the Milford Academic Challenge team well
Milford’s Academic Challenge team will square off against eight other middle schools Thursday, Feb. 25 at at Pennfield Middle School in the North Penn School District. Students have been practicing once a week since December. The 13 students answer questions in six categories: Language Arts, Spelling, Math, History, Geography and Science. Across the three grade levels, students have studied the material in classwork.
The Milford A team consists of Morgan Thrush, Logan Herr, Michael Dennis, Jonas Moll, Anthony Schiller and Micah Hooper. Team B consists of Hannah Braun, Moriah Wilt, Jordynn Cheatle, Jonathan Setman, Riya Sembhi, Andrew Sturgess and Diana Chookagian. Teachers Corey Beil and Kristen Bruck coach the team.
The other schools in the competition will be Indian Crest, Indian Valley, Pennbrook, Penndale, Pennfield, Pennridge Central, Pennridge North and Penn View Christian.
Students said they like the competition and the “rush” of the experience. All questions are timed, so students must discuss and work out math problems on white boards quickly before answering. At next week’s competition, five students will compete at a time. After 15 questions, two alternates can rotate into the lineup to finish the last 15 questions in the round. The teams each play three rounds before breaking for dinner. Quarterfinals, semis and finals are held after dinner. Milford won in 2008, which it hosted the event. Mr. Beil has coached the team for 12 years. He said the host teams usually do the best. “Getting to make up the questions seems to help,” he said. “I continue to coach this because the kids enjoy it so much. The like the competition but they like to see how kids in other schools are studying. They appreciate getting out of the ‘Quakertown bubble,’ to broaden their perspective. We have kids who do sports and we have kids who like to do these kinds of events. It gives them a place to shine.”
QCHS senior heading to West Point
Last week, QCHS senior Nick Basile accepted an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick honored Nick with a Congressional Nomination. Nick became the second QCHS senior appointment of the year to a U.S. Service Academy. Jake Bovard is heading to the Air Force Academy.
Nick attended two week-long Summer Leadership programs at the Air Force Academy and West Point last summer. Administrators liked him and invited him to apply for appointment. Nick said he filled out five applications, including one each for the schools and three for the Congressional nominations. “It was stressful,” he said. “I did not hear back for a long time.” Nick also applied to several other schools, including Purdue, University of Michigan, Duke and to Penn State for nursing.
Nick was accepted to both West Point and the Air Force Academy and received a total of three nominations, one from Congressman Fitzpatrick for the Air Force Academy and two for West Point, one from Senator Toomey and one from Senator Casey.
“I would definitely recommend that others try for a military academy,” Nick said. “I will have no tuition to pay, no debt, no student loans and I will get paid monthly to train at one of the best schools in the country. I’m excited.”
Nick’s older brothers have fared well. Rob graduated from Princeton and is currently attending New York Law in New York City. Sean graduated from Duke and is currently studying at The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton. He went to Duke on an ROTC scholarship but deferred his service so he can earn his medical degree first. Had he gone to med school under the Army’s auspices, Sean would owe 12 years after graduating. This way he will own only a few years. Matt is a student at MIT and is not on an ROTC commitment. There is one more Basile brother in the pipeline, Adam, a fourth grader at Souderton Charter School.
Online Learning Academy Students of the Month
Online Learning Academy Students of the Month for January were Cortney Kingsbauer, a junior, and sixth grader Samantha Radzai. Cortney takes three core classes through the online program. Chemistry teacher Matthew Rach nominated her, noting, “Cortney is always reliable. She gets her work done with high quality and has great self-advocacy. She's a model online student."
Cortney said she always emails her online teachers when she needs help. She said she takes courses online to help her avoid distractions. She works in the QCHS Commons during the day and puts in another one to two hours each night when she gets home. On the weekends, she devotes about 12 hours to her schoolwork, surrounded by eight cats. She is a member of GSA and likes to garden, bake and sleep! She is considering a career in culinary arts.
Sammi Radzai is a sixth grade hybrid online student taking online Social Studies and face-to-face classes at Strayer. She is an avid gymnast, missing part of the school day to train and compete. Sammi completes all of her online assignments at home and still maintains an “A” average in her online course. Sammi is very motivated and not only submits high quality assignments but turns them in on time as well. Sammi is a great example of a successful “hybrid” student.
QCHS/UBCTS students qualify for States at regional SkillsUSA event
Senior Nicolette Pattison was the only QCHS student among the nine Upper Bucks County Technical students who qualified for the SkillsUSA state event by winning gold medals at last week’s SkillsUSA District 11 Championships in Allentown. Nicolette, who attends UBCTS for Health Care Careers, placed first in Customer Service. She said she had to solve a mock customer service problem in which a caller wanted to return a jacket that was not purchased at Nicolette’s store. Nicolette handled the case so well that the caller wound up buying another jacket of finer quality.
“I work at BonTon,” Nicolette said. “It was pretty easy for me.” She said she got involved in SkillsUSA this year when UBCTS held an in-house competition for customer service. She was amused at the competition that a boy from Lehigh County Technical Institute felt “100 percent sure” he was going to win. Nicolette heads to UBCTS in the afternoon after taking a rigorous morning schedule of classes at QCHS that includes AP Psychology.
The other eight UBCTS gold medalists were from Pennridge, competing in machining technologies, construction technology, cabinetmaking, carpentry, prepared speech and welding.
QCHS junior Casey Sherman, a Graphic Communications specialist, placed second in Advertising Design. Junior Austin Bergey, a Machining Technologies specialist, placed second in CNC Milling. Junior Shanyn Simmer placed second in CNC Turning Specialist competition. Seniors Taylor Rinehimer, Samuel Pacella and Cody Schaffer placed second in Law Enforcement Crime Scene Investigation. Sophomore Chris Poulton, a Small Engine Technology specialist, placed second in Power Equipment Technology.
Third Place finishes went to QCHS juniors Kyle Rubin (Electrical Construction Wiring); Brandon Flynn (Law Enforcement Extemporaneous Speaking); and Meghan Woulfe (Law Enforcement First Aid/CPR).
Jazz bands kick off season and musicians participate in symposium
Last Friday night, the Milford and Strayer Jazz Bands made their season debuts at the Penndale Jazz Festival. Among the six competing bands, Strayer and Milford were the only two to earn the highest possible rating of Superior. In addition, Milford won the Best Saxophone Section Award and had two soloists, Sierra Lee (piano) and Isaac Detweiler (trombone), recognized with Outstanding Soloist Awards. Strayer won the Best Rhythm Section and Best Trombone Section Awards and Melanie Ficarra (trombone) earned an Outstanding Soloist Award.
Strayer Jazz Band will perform next at the Strayer Spring Concert on Tuesday, March 1. The group will be joined by Milford at the Quakertown Middle School Jazz Festival, hosted at Strayer, on Friday, March 4.
The QCHS Wind Symphony traveled to West Chester University last week for the National Band Association Concert Band Symposium. Only three high school bands from Southeastern PA earned an invitation to spend the afternoon and evening learning from some of the best Instrumental Music Educators, Conductors, and Applied Music Faculty in the United States. International Tuba Artist Sam Pilafian was a special guest. In addition to touring the world as a solo performer and clinician, Sam is a member of the Boston Brass. The students also worked with Dr. Kevin Sedatole, Director of Bands at Michigan State University. Dr. Sedatole is a wonderful conductor and an amazing educator, according to QCHS band director Frank Parker.
Members of the Wind Symphony are seniors Susan Asplen, Brooke Blair, Dana Getty, Becky Haywood, Travis Jackson, Richard Krisher, Jeff Prusch, Andrew Snider and Jared Spry. Also, juniors Ethan Beeco, Kelly Brecker, Isiah Buzdygon, Erin Cairns, Trevor Dean, Trevor Fowler, Jessica Gall, Sara Galloway, Julia McCarthy, Cody Smith, Brad Stark, Caleb Szabo and Graham Wilson. Also, sophomores Liz Aber, Jen Calhoun, Weston Carpenter, Adam Fischer, Sadie Fowler, Kayle Funk, Kevin Juzinski, Raymond McCarroll, Matt Meyers, Olivia Mosley, Melissa Rosson and Alexa Rummel. Finally, freshmen Antonio Bonilla-Garcia, Robert Bryant, Alex Cummings, Riley Davis, David Fletcher, Adam Germ, Sarah Godshalk, ,Paul Hand, Zach Miller, Jenna Mitchell, Christian Rice, Josie Rowley, Danielle Ruser, Joey Sinsel, Tatianna Spry and Zack Zajkowski.
TSA participants qualify for state event
About 140 QCSD students participated in last Saturday’s Pennsylvania 2016 Regional competition at Strayer Middle School, along with teams from all over Region 5. Region 5 included eight middle schools (292 students) and 27 high schools (465 students). Most of the QCSD students placed in at least one of their events, which qualified them to advance to the State competition, April 13-16 at Seven Springs Resort. Most of the photos above were taken by Mrs. Deborah Slotterbach.
Milford teams, advised by Mrs. Kathy van den Burg, placed first in Problem Solving, Mass Production, Website Design and Robotics. Third places went to Alex Chan (Career Prep); a Catapult Design team; Jared Leatherman (Flight); and Team B (Junior Solar Sprint). Jonathan Witte and Erin Miller placed ninth and 11th in Dragster; Teams A, B and D placed eighth, fourth and ninth in Structural Engineering; Teams A, B and C placed sixth, seventh and fourth in Video Game Design. Robbie Eskicirak and Jonathan Witte placed seventh and 10th in Delta Dart. Team A finished sixth in Design Build Test; and Jacob Hodge placed ninth in Engineering Math.
Jeff Bonsall, co-advisor with Andrew Evan at Strayer, said, “Strayer TSA students have been working extremely hard and their hard work paid off.”
First place finishers for Strayer were Ella Lucabaugh (Career Prep); Taylor Connelly and Madison Jeffery (Children’s Stories); Abbie Sicher (Dragster); Dylan Moyer (Flight); Connor Murray and Lucas Schwartz (Junior Solar Sprint); Elizabeth Hilton (Snapshot).
QCHS first place finishers, advised by Allen Hunsicker, were Ben Ocamb (Dragster Design); Trevor Fowler and Ryan Stainer (Technology Problem Solving); Trevor Fowler, William Thayer, Bryce Susavage, Cole Light, Nolan Fletcher and Adam Fisher (Video Game Design); Trevor Fowler (Engineering Math); and Nicholas Kreuz (Nanotech).
Others who placed in second through 10th places for Strayer were Cole Merman, Samuel Barndt and Jake Dilger; Jordyn Basile, Haley Gordon, Elizabeth Hilton and Emily; Stephanie Beinhauer, Kyli Rabenold and Isabela Santiago; Evan Slotterbach, Jaidyn Nahon, Kyli Rabe and Kyle Harwick; Lanie Kalbach, Jake Dilger, Austin Hunsberger, Daniel Litvinchuk, Cole Mehrman, Tyler Barnes and Nick Hall; Abby Sicher, Philip Richwine and Naomi DeVries Stephanie Beinhauer and Kyli Rabenold; Ella Lucabaugh and Kathy Tran; Kyle Harwick, Daniel Litvinchuk, Brett Musselman, Alex Obando and Andrew Santiago; Jordyn Basile and Haley Gordon; Elizabeth Hilton, Kara Kreuz, Emily Maceri and Isabela Santiago; Jordyn Basile, Hannah Beil and Haley Gordon; Alysse Deterville and Ella Lucabaugh; Hannah Beil and Kara Kreuz; Meghan Kertis, Ella Lucabaugh; Alysse Deterville and Kevin Richwine; Lucas Albright, Paul Avinash, Cameron Byelich, Emily Mory and Dylan Moyer; Jake Dilger, Veronika Durr, Justin Pham and Kaitlyn Zajkowski; Mervyn Brumbach, Austin Hunsberger, Connor Murray and Lucas Schwartz; Connelly Taylor; Lanie Kalbach and Abby Sicher; Brett Musselman and Cheyenne White; Chris Godshall, Austin Hunsberger and Abby Sicher; and Sam Barndt, Taylor Connelly and Stephanie Beinhauer; Evan Slotterbach, Kyle Harwick, Abigail Dickson and Teddy Xenelis; Samuel Barndt and Tyler Barnes; Mervyn Brumbach and Paul Avinash and Emily Maceri.
Second through 10th place finishers for QCHS included Nick Kreuz, Graham Wilson, Jacob Graham, Autumn Coulton, Adam Fischer, Dimitri Herr, Jeff Prusch, Chris Cowan, Samantha Shourds, Rebecca Miller, Melissa Gallo, Ben Ocamb, Brandon Fetz, Matt Johnston, Miranda Rullman, Zack Chan, Nolan Fletcher, Trevor Fowler, Megan Johnson, Dean Meyer, Victoria Lefferts, Maddie Dayton. Freshman Center team members who placed third through ninth included Nathaniel Besch.
Other QCHS members were Lindsay Applebach, Leo Bernabei, Josh Bibighaus, Russell Boehringer, Chris Cowan, Bella Fiume, Sadie Fowler, Christian Gagliano, Hunter Halteman, Dimitri Herr, Rylie Hetrick, Thomas Irvine, Mattie Kerns, Liah Kim, Kyle Mauger, Matthew Meyers, Jessa Michener, Jeff Prusch, John Stevens, Colin Stover. Other Freshman Center members were Morgan Black, William Bryant, Madison Cummons, Dylan Donze, Jackson Force, Nick Levinski, Elizabeth Maceri, Benjamin MacMullen, Christian Patrick, Tyler Rabenold,
Madeline Schnitzler, Jacob Schwartz, Sophia Shaiman, Jenna Smith, Alexandra Whalen,
Piper Yerkes, Benjamin Yocum.
Public voting February 17-19 for video contest
Public voting for the third annual “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Student Video Contest will open Wednesday, February 17 at 12:01 a.m. and end Friday, February 19 at 11:59 p.m. at the Dream It. Do It. Pennsylvania website, dreamitdoitpa.com.
The video with the most votes will receive the “Viewer’s Choice Award.” The videos will also be reviewed by a panel of judges for awards in other categories such as Outstanding Educational Value and Outstanding Creativity. The contest received more than 100,000 votes during the three-day voting period in its first and second year.
Presented by Pennsylvania’s Dream It. Do It. (DIDI PA), the “What’s So Cool About Manufacturing?” Student Video Contest gives students in Lehigh, Northampton, Schuylkill, Carbon, and Bucks Counties the opportunity to connect directly with local manufacturers, document their experiences and present them in an educational and “cool” way through film media. The contest was created to generate excitement that draws students towards manufacturing career paths.
During the past four months, 30 student teams researched and filmed 30 local manufacturers, interviewed employees, and edited their work in order to present their final 2-minute video for judging. “We encourage everyone to get behind the students, view their videos and vote,” says Jack Pfunder, President & CEO, Manufacturers Resource Center.
The WSCM campaign was started under DIDI PA, the public platform for the manufacturing career awareness partnership led by MRC. This year partners include MRC, PBS 39, the Da Vinci Science Center, the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board, and career and technical high schools in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties.
Two athletes sign National Letters of Intent
QCHS football players Kyle Baskin and Jake Bovard committed themselves to playing at Columbia University and the Air Force Academy on February 3, National Letter of Intent Day. Kyle signed a simple piece of paper while Jake signed a paper inside a fancy folder! Jake’s letter needed to be faxed to Colorado by 2 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. The two will be part of a planned Athlete Recognition Ceremony February 25 in the QCHS Media Center. Brett Wolfinger will also be part of the ceremony and others may be added before the 25th. All well-wishers are welcome to attend.
QCHS Students of the Month
QCHS teachers named four Students of the Month for January. They are senior Tyler Harrison, junior Sara Galloway, sophomore Nerissa Chase and freshman Jenna Kurtz.
Tyler Harrison is getting ready to embark on a college major in business. He watches the stock market ticker every day on his phone and he wants to become an investment banker so he can advise people about how to spend their money. “I think I have the personality and I like to help people,” Ty said. Indeed, Tyler reaches out to help people from all walks of life. He especially loves helping special needs students. On a trip down the hall, if he notices Gabe needs help with his wheelchair, Ty will take over and give him a push in the right direction. He is Gabe’s Best Buddies buddy. House Principal Jason Magditch noted, “Ty has been on our radar as a student who really has a caring attitude towards those less fortunate. He does a great job with Gabe during lunch and always sits with him and keeps his spirits up.”
For two summers in a row, Ty will have volunteered at PALS Camp for young adults with Down Syndrome. Ty has been playing basketball since he was six years old and is the point guard for the QCHS squad. He dresses impeccably every day and he’s always smiling. Unless another great offer comes through, Ty plans to study business at Robert Morris College in Pittsburgh. Social Studies teacher Jonathan Pallone said, “Tyler works hard in class. He asks questions and is responsible when he misses class for college trips. Ty is always prepared for class. He is not afraid to ask questions and always participates in classroom discussions. Tyler is an amazing student. I have been impressed with his kindness to other students and how socially well balanced he is. He takes time out of his day to help others with their projects in classes he isn't even in. He is extremely respectful to other students and staff and is well mannered.” Ty said, “I like Quakertown. I’m happy I went here.”
Sara Galloway earns all As. She takes AP Seminar, AP English, AP Calculus A/B, AP Euro, Chemistry Honors and Spanish 3 Honors. She also takes two courses through QCSD Online Academy, Personal Finance and Health 2. She is a member of GSA, Model UN, Debate Team, Color Guard, Jazz Band (alto sax). She practices sound time management so that she still has time to socialize and even watch Netflix! Sara will eat dinner with the Rotary Club as the Outstanding Student of the Month. She is only a junior, but her mother encouraged her to create a table of the colleges she wants to consider – University of Pennsylvania, New York University (NYU), UCLA and American University. Teacher Rachel Trosino said, “Sara works overtime on all of her assignments, revises her writing over and over again, and she thinks repeatedly over her academic plan, what the best classes would be for her to take considering her college choices, and what would work best for her interest and passions. Sara is an incredibly dedicated student, even going so far as to edit and revise other students’ assignments to help them improve their grades.”
Nerissa Chase works hard on her school work and works to balance it with her sports. “I try to be a nice person, too,” she said, smiling. “I have bad days.” Dr. Nick Hood, math teacher, said, “Nerissa always tries her best, but in addition helps many others in her class. She finished the second marking period with a 97%, but still pushed herself in everything we did. It's rare to see Nerissa without a smile. She is always cheerful and respectful. She makes the day for those around her. Nerissa is currently playing basketball. She never lets that get in the way of her work. She is always prepared and ready for class.” Nerissa said her favorite subjects are math and English. She thinks it is fun to do equations in math and she loves to read and write. She takes creative writing. She is currently playing basketball on the QCHS team and she played volleyball in the fall. She plays intramural soccer outside of school. Sometimes she and her mom volunteer at the Upper Bucks Y.
Jenna Kurtz earns all As in her classes, which include Honors English, Honors Geometry, Spanish 2, Introduction to Business and Honors History. She likes Spanish and math and is considering becoming a translator or a therapist to help those with emotional issues. “I had help and I’d like to help others,” Jenna said. She is a member of the Key Club. “I think teachers recognize that I am respectful of other kids, I pay attention and I’m organized. I do all my homework to make sure I get the A. If you do the work, it pays off.” Science teacher Mellinda Toro said, “Jenna has maintained one of the highest percentages in honors science throughout the year. She works diligently and engages in classroom lectures and activities. Jenna is a positive student with excellent attendance. She is willing to work and help students around her and is never afraid to ask for help herself. She is respected and liked by her peers and is a pleasure to have in class.” Jenna is traveling to Costa Rica with the Spanish Club in March. She has worked hard to fundraise for her trip all year. Profe Wert, Spanish teacher, added, “Jenna scored the overall highest academic average out of all of my Spanish 2 students. She is an outstanding student and person. She takes a leadership role in both the planning for our upcoming trip to Costa Rica and all of its fundraising as well as volunteering weekly for our community ESL program. She is often seen helping other students.”
QCHS field hockey players named to national academic squad
Seven QCHS field hockey players have been named 2015 Scholar Athletes selected to the
National Field Hockey Coaches Association/ Keith Waldman - Optimal Performance Associates High School National Academic Squad. Juniors and seniors are eligible for the award.
Scholars of Distinction were awarded to Becky Gerhart, Claudia Tangradi and Anna Thompson. Scholars were awarded to Emma McLaughlin, Taylor Scheetz, Rylee Lawler and Melanie Olivieri.
“This is a well-deserved honor that brings a level of respect and recognition to the Quakertown Community,” said QCHS field hockey coach Diane Molinaro. “On behalf of the coaching staff and administration, we are so proud of your dedication on the field and in the classroom!”
Milford tops Strayer in wrestling
The Milford Middle School wrestlers held on for an exciting, hard fought and down to the wire victory over visiting Strayer Middle School 51-50 on February 1. The victory lifted Milford to a 7-1 record, which tied the team for the Bux-Mont Championship. Coach Bill Mapes, whose two-year Milford record is now 13-3, said, “This a feat that has not been accomplished by Milford since the 2000 season. Special recognition to first year wrestlers Kaylee Bruelliea for her unyielding attitude and never quit personality; Paul Putera for taking on the hard challenge put in front of him; and Logan Banas for jumping from 187 to 212 pounds and delivering the near improbable pin to secure the victory.”
From its perspective, the Strayer wrestling team gave up 24 points in forfeits, and lost a heartbreaking 51-50 match to host Milford, ending the season with two straight losses and finishing 6-2. Vinnie Despirito, Justin Rosenberger, Pablo Salazaar, Kyle Goodwin, Omar Zamudio, and Joe Gilligan earned pins for Strayer, while Kyle Miller won by decision and Aaron Sanchez earned an 11-3 major decision. Vinnie Despirito and Justin Rosenberger were named co-Big Cats for their dominating pins.
Vinnie DeSpirito, Pat McCoy & Ryan Schiable finished their respective seasons undefeated for Strayer. Coaches Chris Deily and Chris Goerlitz said they were quite proud of the Strayer team. “Anything we asked them to do in practice, they did without hesitation, gave 100% and bought in to the ‘Third Period’ philosophy!” Goerlitz said. “They really epitomized what it means to be a team. Thank you gentlemen, being your coaches this season was our pleasure!”
Coach Mapes said the season for Milford can be best described with hard work, perseverance, adaption and heart. “Every wrestler on the team contributed throughout the season in one way or another. First year wrestlers Dillon King, Kevin Umanzor-Ramirez, John Connell, Max Jalboot, Jesus Lopez and Justin Meyers worked hard every day to make themselves better. Veteran wrestlers Mitchell Stover, Zach Lewis, and Ralph Martin demonstrated leadership in the room and on the mat day in and day out. Wrestlers Adam Wunch, Joe Mannarino, Micah Kratz, Micah Kunkle, Hans Muse, and Chris McGill moved around in the lineup as needed and gave their best efforts.” Coach Mapes thanked his managers, Brandon Pierce, Karley Mapes and Robert Tulio for all their hard work and dedication to the team.
New vehicles purchased for district use
The School Board recently purchased several vehicles to replace deteriorated equipment. Money was made available through savings from the 2014-15 budget. You may notice the 10-seat passenger van when staff members take small groups to special events. As you can see in the photo above, the van is well marked! Red Hill Ford put in the lowest bid. Teacher and Community Relations Coordinator Ricki Stein took the van on its inaugural trip this week as she and four students traveled to the Allentown Agriplex to capture the action at Skills USA. “It’s a nice ride and a big step up from the old district vans,” Mrs. Stein said.
Other items purchased from the lowest bidders for use by the Facilities Department were a 2016 GMC Sierra 3500 HD from Star Buick GMC Cadillac; 2016 RAM 550 Dump Truck from Sands Chrysler Jeep Dodge; 2015 Deer 301SL W/Coupler, Bucket, and Forks from Plasterer Equipment Co.; and a John Deer 1585 Terrain Cut Front Mower from Robert E. Little Inc.
January is School Board Directors Recognition Month
Click on the image above to read a larger version of the declaration from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. The current QCSD School Board members, clockwise, starting at top left, are Paul Stepanoff, President; Chuck Shermer, Vice President; Ronald Jackson; Stephen Ripper; Steaven Klein; Dr. Austin Sedicum; Jonathan Kern; Dwight (Mitch) Anderson; and Bob Smith.
Thank you to the maintenance crew
The snowstorm dumped an inordinate amount of white stuff and the QCSD and municipal maintenance crews worked long and hard to clean up so that schools could open for staff on Tuesday and students on Wednesday. The QCSD crew includes the district facilities workers – Rob Christine, Todd Pearson, Jon Kingcade, Dave Greger and Tony Henry - and numerous GCA staff members, led by Doug Moreno and Arlin Yons. QCSD custodians cleaning up included Wayne Gilbert, Scott Hendricks, Jeff Snyder and Tamara Vargo.
QCHS Staff Members of the Month
Co-Executive Directors of QCHS Student Council Sammie Kang and Nic Rubolino presented Staff of the Month coffee mugs at the January faculty meeting to Rebecca Kelly, Librarian, and Rachel Trosino, English teacher. Sammie said, “I nominated Mrs. Kelly because she does so much for the school. She is incredibly involved with numerous clubs because they needed a teacher leader. She is also an extremely nice person who exhibits every aspect of Qlove.”
Nic said, “Mrs. Trosino is so caring and an amazing teacher to not only her students, but everyone she encounters. She makes sure she provides snacks for us if we get hungry, shares school supplies and offers advice. In addition, she makes sure everyone understands the AP content. She is also relatable, kind, and works with the writing lab and Model U.N. I am always excited to go to AP English because of her. She deserves Staff of the Month because of her true QLove. She also has an excellent taste in movies.”
Quakertown Skatepark undergoing renovation
When the snow melts, the renovated Quakertown Skatepark will get closer to becoming reality. Pastor Dave Kratz and several local teens have spearheaded a fund raising campaign to upgrade the facility. As he explains in a QCSDTV News video, Pastor Dave is excited about the opportunity to offer local youth an even better space in which to participate in positive activity. Click here to watch the video.
Save these dates: February 17-18-19
On February 17, 18 and 19, we hope thousands of people will vote and spread the word to others to vote for the QCSD entry in the DreamItDoIt What’s Cool About Manufacturing Student Video Contest. Teachers Amy Migliore and Ricki Stein are working with middle and high school students who have been collaborating for several months to make a video about Bracalente Manufacturing. Voting will be open February 17, 18 and 19 when PBS releases the link. We will keep you posted. After several visits to Bracalente, and the sticky shoes that result, and numerous editing sessions in the QCSDTV News studio, we want to win! The Milford students include Erin Figueroa, Julianne Redmond, Raygen Calabria, Hailey Cirino, Maaha Bashir, Melanie Croissette and Jake Burton. QCHS students working as mentors are Chad Coleman and Nic Rubolino.
Save these dates for another reason!
Also on February 17, 18 and 19, you can go to Strayer at 7 p.m. to watch an enthusiastic group of Milford and Strayer students in a production of School House Rocks Jr. QCSD Director of Strayer Players Karen Quinn and Milford vocal music teacher Marcia Vanderslice have been rehearsing with about 60 students for the first-of-its-kind production in QCSD. Each director has produced a slew of plays and musicals over the years, but decided during a summer conversation to give the collaboration a whirl. Retired teacher Wayne McConahey has helped with sets, costumes are under construction and the students are singing up a storm. You can read a flyer about it by clicking here.
Art teacher leading discussions around country
Two years ago, QCHS Art Teacher Amy Migliore took a sabbatical to pursue her art education doctorate. She’s back in the district, teaching at Milford for College and Career Ready and Art. She has been traveling around the country to lead art think-tank conferences. At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, participants exchanged ideas on the latest research in design and the growing interest in PreK-16 design education. In Harrisburg, she led a discussion called Re-Imagining Art Education as Art & Design Education, as well as mindful collaborations. In Washington, D.C. she led a discussion at the U.S. Department of Education. In New York City, at Christie’s, she worked with Crayola and FAPE (as an independent consultant) for an Invitation-Only Children’s event with FAPE artists. The Project Innovate she initiated at QCHS continues to grow across the state through the Pennsylvania Art Educators Association. At the end of January, Amy will speak about Design Thinking at a Rethinking High Schools Design-Aware Lab in Delaware.
Mrs. Migliore is also working with a group of Milford and QCHS students and Video Production teacher Ricki Stein on a video about Bracalente Manufacturing for a contest through PBS in Bethlehem. Be prepared to vote Feb. 17, 18 and 19 when PBS releases the link. We will keep you posted. We want to win! The Milford students include Erin Figueroa, Julianne Redmond, Raygen Calabria, Hailey Cirino, Maaha Bashir, Melanie Croissette and Jake Burton. QCSDTV News students working as mentors are Chad Coleman and Nic Rubolino.
International travelers raising funds
Students in Mrs. Wert's Spanish class at the Freshman Center helped load 1,275 pounds of clothing donations received to benefit the QCSD International Travel Club. QCHS students will travel to Costa Rica and Germany this spring.
A&E Clothing picked up the clothes and paid the travel club by the pound. A&E sorted and distributed the clothes to those in need in inner-city New York City. The leftovers were distributed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Anything not usable was recycled. None of the clothes donated will end up in a landfill, according to A&E.
Online Academy teachers name December Students of the Month
Senior Abbie Miller, sophomore William Robbins and sixth grader Logan Bealer were named Students of the Month for the QCSD Online Academy. Abbie was nominated by teacher Kurt Handel. “"Abbie turns in her work on time, communicates well with her teacher, and is very thorough on assignments,” Mr. Handel said.
Will was nominated by math teacher Nick Hood. “Will works hard and always gets his assignments done on time. He is a rock star,” said Dr. Hood.
Logan was nominated by both of the middle school online teachers, Chris Deily and Kevin Butz. “Logan is a hybrid online student who currently takes two online courses as a 6th grader,” said Mr. Deily, explaining that Logan also takes face-to-face classes. “Logan always asks questions when he is confused and does a great job communicating with his teachers. Logan completes his assignments early so he can experiment and ‘play’ with different types of technological devices such as the iMac.”
It’s time to root for a gymnast!
Zach Miller is currently in Florida, possibly spinning at this very moment, through a triple full back flip. The QCHS freshman is competing in the Sand Dollar/Whitlow Gymnastics Invitational January 22-24 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The Level 9 gymnast has trained with Coach Stephen Smith for seven years at High Performance Gymnastics in Chalfont. Competitions have taken him to gyms in such places as Las Vegas, Florida; Philadelphia, Virginia, North Carolina, Harrisburg and Bethlehem. His favorite event is the floor exercise because, “I like the tumbling and twisting in the air.” For the triple full back flip, Zach must keep his body straight for three twists. He said he has learned it through a progression, from one twist then “setting up to wrap tighter and do more.”
Zach said he definitely wants to continue training and competing through high school, a time when many gymnasts pack it in for other activities. Zach said he will consider competing in college, but “that’s still far away.” Many of his gymnastics friends are homeschooled, but he likes the public school system. Every day after school, his mother drives him to Chalfont for practice, which lasts 4:30-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. He first fell in love with the sport when he was 4, at a cousin’s birthday party. He started competing when he was 8. He helps to coach gymnasts from 5 to 14 years old.
In school, Zach earns all As. He especially loves math but is keeping open his future options in college and career. English teacher Karen Sciarillo said, “Zach is conscientious and demonstrates excellent critical thinking skills. He expresses himself well both verbally and in writing. He is a pleasure to have in class.”
He has already qualified for the Pennsylvania state championships, which will take place in early March in Harrisburg. From there he can qualify for regionals and then, possibly, for nationals. Last year he placed first at states on floor exercise and vault and second in all-around, which also included parallel bars, rings, pommel horse and high bar.
His friends know about his gymnastics pursuits because he posts a video every other month on Instagram.
“I’m pretty driven,” he admitted, humbly. “My favorite thing about gymnastics is the environment. The people are all driven to accomplish something. I get to meet new people all the time.”
Zumba Thon a success for cheerleaders
The QCHS Cheer Team raised $600 at their Zumba Thon last Saturday at the Freshman Center. Sixty participants danced as twin coaches Carrie and Kate Maha led the routines. The 1980s themed event helped the cheerleaders to raise money toward their upcoming competitions. The state meet will take place next week in Hershey, postponed from this weekend because of the weather. The girls will compete in preliminaries, hoping to get to semifinals and finals.
QCHS Alumni Association raising funds for scholarship
Members of the QCHS Alumni Association are gearing up for a first-ever bingo fundraising event to be held at 1 p.m., Sunday, March 13 at West End Fire Company in Quakertown. Co-chaired by Barbara Schwenk Hafler (’80) and Melea Barto Rupert (’73), the event will include 20 games of bingo featuring Vera Bradley and Coach bags. Door prizes, food, raffles, and a Chinese auction will also be included in the afternoon.
Recently retired from the school district after 40 years of service, Melea Rupert has experienced first-hand the importance of supporting our young people. “In my job as a secretary in the guidance office of the high school, I had the opportunity to interact daily with many students. Encouragement of our young people is so important, not only to them but to society as a whole. Students of today are the leaders of tomorrow. As a community we need to do all we can to give these students the best possible start to their post-high school education.”
Toward that effort, the Alumni Association presents two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors each year following an application and interview process. All proceeds from the bingo event will benefit the scholarship fund.
“My daughter graduated from QCHS last June so I am well aware of the huge financial responsibility of attending college,” said Mrs. Hafler. “While I place a tremendous value on education, post-high school education comes with a huge price tag these days. Through the efforts of the Alumni Association, we have the opportunity to help ease the burden of continuing education by awarding these two scholarships each year to deserving seniors.”
Tickets are now on sale for the event. Advance tickets are $20, while tickets at the door will be $25. To purchase tickets, email email@example.com or call 215-538-7817.
Wrestling team celebrates seniors and yet another coaching record
Coach Kurt Handel and Assistant Coach BJ Poster pulled out win number 205 Wednesday night as the wrestling team beat Hatboro-Horsham 43-32 in front of a home crowd on Senior Night. The two have coached together for 15 years.
Before the varsity match started, the Quakertown Wrestling Booster Club introduced the Quakertown Youth Club sixth grader wrestlers who will be leaving the QYC and moving up to the middle school wrestling program. Next, announcer Kyra Handel, freshman daughter of Kurt, introduced 11 seniors: Nick Basile, Nick Bonomo, Gavin Caroff, Justin Correa, Jheremy Correa, Josh Deets, Hailey Malischewski, Tanner Seislove, Bobby Mason, Jon Potinski, and manager Madison Bocior. Wrestlers ran off to warm up and returned to the mat in time for Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs to surprise Coach Handel and Poster with a moment of recognition. They struggled to straighten out a set of balloons that read 402, oh, no, make that 204! And by the end of the night, they added a number 5 to the helium balloon party.
Handel wrestled when he was a QCHS student, under the tutelage of Coach Dave Evans, who was on hand to congratulate Kurt for surpassing his record of 203 wins. Several other coaches who assisted Handel over the years were on hand to enjoy the moment. They were Chuck Yarnell, John Pfeifer, Scotty Wolfinger, Pat Doyle, Eric Rosencranz. Over the years, Handel has pulled 13 different assistant coaches into the ranks to gain experience. In the stands, as always, were Handel’s supportive wife, Tanya, and mother, Georgine. Ana Handel, a sophomore, sang the National Anthem.
The milestone sparked quite a conversation among QCHS coaches about who has been the most successful Panther coach. Evans, baseball coach Rich Rodigero and basketball coach Kevin Keeler each won District 1 titles. Rodigero and Keeler coached for 30 year and 33 years, respectively, and Keeler has 331 victories in the middle of the current season. Long time football coach Dick Wisneski posted a 94-58-7 record for a 62% winning percentage over 16 years with three Bux-Mont championships. Current Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs, posted more than 150 victories, including several league and district titles and one state field hockey team appearance.
Handel noted that Ed Dougherty was the first QCHS wrestling coach, from 1959-1960. Handel, The Spreadsheet King, has tracked the wrestling team through 482 dual meet victories since 1959, which means No. 500 is on the horizon. The team’s dual meet record is 475-375-4. In the last 15 years, Handel’s Panthers have won five Suburban One League titles, including four in a row from 2008-2011; they lost the league title in 2012 by one point and repeated as titlist in 2013. In 2009, the Panthers were the District 1 Dual Team Champion of 64 high schools in District I. In 2005, the team placed fourth in the State Individual Tournament. Individually, 34 Panthers have qualified for states and Pat Flynn captured a 2005 PIAA State Championship.
Almost every year, several Handel wrestlers have been named to the All State and All-League Academic Team. Many have gone on to wrestle in college, coach and join the military.
“Fifteen 15 years of having the opportunity to coach so many wrestlers with extremely different and colorful personalities has been the most rewarding part of this job,” Handel said. “I would have never expected to have so many lifelong friendships with my wrestlers. We keep in touch with many of the wrestling alumni. Coach Poster and I love seeing ‘our guys’ out and hearing what they remembered the most about being on the wrestling team.”
Quakertown gamers showcase a game in San Diego
QCHS seniors Eric Vongvixay and Jessie Dager and several teammates went to San Diego last week to showcase a video game they created called Beyond Equestria. Eric wrote the music; Jessie coded the game; Victoria Dager (QCHS graduate) provided the art and modeling; and Josh Choeychan provided the public relations. Josh contacted Pacific Ponycon (http://pacificponycon.com/), which ran the convention.
Eric created the music with digital audio work stations. Jessie used C++ to code. The group’s website is called Jcamtechnology. Eric said the group just started out by playing a video game. A friend challenged Jessie to make a game in a week, so he did! “We expanded upon it,” Eric said.
The group bought plane tickets and went to San Diego for an adventure. At the convention, the group led a question-and-answer session in a room filled with about 40 people. Guests wanted to know what additional components the group was going to add to the game and how they were going to make it happen. People made suggestions for them, too, about what they could put in the game. The team plans to continue updating the game but will not sell it. They will offer as a free download because of copyright issues. The individuals also plan to work on separate projects so they can branch out.
“We’re doing this to essentially get our name out there,” Eric said, noting that the highlight of the trip was a rave dance party. Some team members got to perform at the convention, playing guitar and ukulele. Eric volunteered to DJ at the small children events. “We gained more connections with other people.”
More accolades for fall athletes
Two QCHS fall athletes were named to All-State teams while they joined five other athletes as First Team All-League selections. Senior Emma McLaughlin, who will play field hockey at Villanova next year, was named First Team All-State. Jake Bovard, who punted for the Panthers, is hoping to play football at the Air Force Academy. He was named Second Team All-State.
The other athletes named First Team All-League were Becky Gerhart, field hockey, missing from photo above; Rob Burns, football (offense); Kyle Baskin, who plans to play football at Columbia next year (offense); Gavin Caroff, football (offense); and Noah Wood, football (defense).
Strayer readers achieve
Teachers Jessica Evans and Michele Sturges guided their Strayer reading class to a first place in the National Read to Succeed contest for Teen Biz. From all the classes in Strayer that completed Achieve3000 lessons over the contest period, their class completed the most activities, with remarkable literacy achievement. “The students continue to work hard and are very proud of their achievement so far this year,” said Mrs. Evans.
The class spent its $30 gift card on a party.
Saying good bye to a favorite administrator
Dr. Rachel Holler, Director of Secondary Programs, will leave QCSD next week to pursue the next opportunity in her career. She will wear many new hats at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit as the Director of Programs and Services. “One of my most important roles will be to support all 13 school districts in the county with whatever projects they earmark as initiatives in need of IU support. For example, I will be running a Program Quality Review of K-12 math this spring in one of the school districts. I will be working with curriculum directors and Assistant Superintendents through the Programs and Services Advisory Council as well, and I also will be supporting different levels of principals through similar advisory councils. I will still be coming back to Quakertown as new projects in need of support are identified. So I look forward to seeing some friends and colleagues again in my new role.”
Dr. Holler said she will take with her with fond memories of the past 4 ½ years of working with the administrators, teachers, students, and parents in the district. “I have been grateful to work with such a high-performing group of administrators who always keep student learning front and center. I also had a chance to work with many different groups of teacher leaders, including the amazing learning facilitator team.”
Students are learning math through Dr. Holler’s complete overhaul of the middle school math curriculum to align it to the PA Core Standards. “It was gratifying to see that we held our own on the first year of the PSSAs despite a significant decrease in performance statewide,” she said. Among countless other projects, Dr. Holler also spearheaded the first-year implementation of Project Lead the Way at both middle schools. “The three middle school technology education teachers rose to the challenge and have done some heavy lifting this semester to engage students in a great Automation and Robotics course!”
Strayer students part of QMFA semifinalists in Florida
Several sixth grade students in sixth and seventh grade in Strayer and Milford competed on the 115-pound junior Pee Wee football team that made it to nationals this year. The QMFA team won the Bux Mont Championship and the Eastern Regional Championship. They went to Florida to compete in the Pop Warner Nationals as one of eight teams in the nation in their weight class. They won the quarter finals 7-6 against a team from Colorado, the Loveland Titans, in the last 35 seconds. They lost in the semifinals to a Florida team, the Forestview Steelers. They were predicted to lose 35-0 but they lost 14-0 and the game was 0-0 until the fourth quarter. So the boys finished in the top four teams in the nation in their weight class.
The boys showed amazing commitment and team work. They competed against teams that drew players from huge pools. QMFA drew from two little middle schools in Quakertown. The boys made QMFA history, being the only Division I team to ever make it to nationals. The team was featured on Philadelphia news programs.
Griffin Schmidt reaches 1,000 points
Going in to the first game at the December 28 Salisbury Christmas Basketball Tournament, all eyes were on QCHS senior guard Griffin Schmidt, who needed just four points to reach the 1,000 career point milestone. Averaging 24 points per game, Schmidt’s ability was unquestionable and he scored the magic point on a breakaway, beating one Lincoln Academy player to the net. Schmidt treated the easy task as just another score. Quakertown coach Kevin Keeler stopped the game and presented Griffin with a ball. He promptly ran into the stands and presented to his parents.
Eager to rush back onto the court for fear of delaying the game, Schmidt had to be coerced by the announcer to take his time, hug his parents, and enjoy the moment before resuming play. Schmidt has joined elite ranks in the 1,000 point club, which will be exhibited when his name and total career points are added to a banner in the QCHS lower gymnasium after finishing this season. Those ranks include Marian Afflerbach, Jack Znotens, Ed Becker, former QCHS Principal and current QE Principal Anita Serge, Dave Young, Rob Gluck, Jen Carlson, Harley Moyer, Colleen Gavin, Daniella Ciccarone and Dalton Nice. Ciccarone is the all-time leading scorer for Quakertown with 1,473 career points.
Thank you to Jeff Pursel Photography for the action photo above. You can view a full sequence of photos at his link by clicking here. QCSDTV News students are prepping an interview video with Griffin, which will be viewable next week on Comcast (968), Verizon (34) and YouTube.
In other basketball action, on December 18, the QCHSboys’ team faced its first opponent in a three-game homestand. North Penn brought its top game, but Quakertown’s boys fought hard to keep the final score within 10 points. The resulting score was 77-69 in favor of North Penn, with Griffin Schmidt accounting for 27 of Quakertown’s points, JR Grimmage with 20, Charles Ervin 10, Branden Lewis 5, Jerome Wynder 3, and Nick Drosnock and Ty Harrison with 2 points each.
The boys came back with a vengeance on December 19 after their loss to North Penn the previous night. Led by Griffin, who scored 25 points over the course of the game, the Panthers held on to take down Freedom, 51-46. (Basketball coverage provided by QCHS graduate and current Clemson University junior Becca Waddell, Communications Intern.)
Videos go viral
ICYM (in case you missed it), check out the QCSDTVNewsYouTube video posted on Dec. 23. Shared on QCSDNews Facebook, it was viewed there 2,677 times within 20 hours. This week, statistics showed it had by seen by 2,959 people. On YouTube, it was viewed more than 1,000 times. Seniors Emma McLaughlin and Meghan Klee made the video in just two days. Another QCSDTVNews video, about the QCHS pep rally, has been seen through Facebook by 2,917 people. That video was edited by senior Tim Schiller.
You can watch dozens of student-produced videos on QCSDTVNews and QuakertownBorough YouTube, as well as on television at Comcast 22, 852 and 968 and Verizon 34 and 37. If you have an idea for a video, contact Community Relations Coordinator Ricki Stein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents, students pack transition and electives information session
Students and parents packed the Q-PAC (Performing Arts Center) Tuesday night for the separate versions of the 9th and 10th grade Transition Nights. Each group left the auditorium to mill through the AP/Electives Fair in the Commons so they could learn about optional courses to select for next year. Approximately 800 people represented the rising freshmen, while another 500 arrived for the rising sophomores. Electives teachers decorated their tables with items to show what students can expect to produce in their classes. Project Lead the Way teacher Chris Polk spearheaded the organization of the fair. QCHS Principal David Finnerty was thrilled with the turnout. “Feedback from parents and student was very positive! I truly appreciate the teachers’ dedication and commitment.”
QCHS Students of the Month for December
QCHS teachers selected four recipients for December Students of the Month. They are senior Madeline Ocamb, junior Michael Schaeffer, sophomore Luis Oliveras, and freshman Josh Colella.
Teachers Amy Eisenmann and MaryAnn Byatt nominated Maddie Ocamb. She will receive an award from the Quakertown Rotary as the Outstanding Student of the Month. The teachers said Maddie goes above and beyond in an academic setting and she serves as a tutor in the Math Lab during PRIDE, even though math is not her strength. Her empathy with struggling math students uniquely qualifies her to help them! Maddie is constantly engaged and contributes to discussion, inside and outside of classes. “When she doesn't understand something, she is empowered to ask questions and seek extra help,” said Mrs. Eisenmann. “She exceeds the standard on every assignment and it is because of her preparation in and out of the class that contributes to her academic success.” Maddie always has a smile on her face when walking down the hallway and shares a wonderful rapport with her peers and faculty members. An outstanding runner, Maddie participates on the cross country and track and field teams. You can always find the class officer, Student Council member and NHS member working the football snack stand to help her class raise money for the prom and class trip.
“I like school,” Maddie said. “I like all my teachers this year and that makes me want to do well. I like to come to school to see my friends.” Recently, she volunteered through NHS to ring a bell for the Salvation Army outside Wal-Mart. She will also volunteer at Last Chance Ranch. She applied to 10 colleges and is hoping most to hear from Loyola (Baltimore), Villanova or George Washington in D.C. She wants to major in business programming/marketing.
Teacher Nicole Roeder nominated Michael Schaeffer. He was also named Student of the Month as a sophomore and also in middle school. Mrs. Roeder said Michael goes beyond basic research and preparation and often contributes more than necessary to class discussion that extends his thinking and that of his fellow students. Often he thinks beyond the lesson and offers ideas to the classroom discussion that pushes the entire class to make connections to the world and their community. Respectful to all, Michael advocates for those who struggle, thanks to a positive and supportive attitude. He offers help with technology and higher order tasks to his peers.
“I always try to have good relationships with my teachers,” Michael explained. “I think I communicate well with everyone, which helps me as a customer service person at Best Buy! I try to keep a smile on my face with all different types of people.” He takes AP Seminar and AP Euro along with honors classes in his other subjects. As the middle of five children, he helps with his younger siblings. Last year he thought he wanted to eventually become a military doctor in Asia, but he’s still developing his ideas for the future. He knows he wants to help those less fortunate. “We lived in Philadelphia when my dad was in the Marines in Iraq. We had a lot of help from people in our church and other sources. My mom’s philosophy, which I share, has always been that we will give back.”
Luis Oliveras returned to his multi-disabilities class after back surgery. Teacher Carolyn Young said he came back with a great attitude and “has actually mastered a few of his objectives in his IEP goals this marking period. Luis is always smiling and laughing with others. He loves to do his chores in the library and the cafeteria. He also gets excited when it is his day to go to art class.”
Teacher Kevin Laboski nominated Josh Collela, who, he said, “quietly and unassumingly goes about his work. He’s curious about the content and in engaged in the classroom. Josh has a tremendous respect for the school, his teachers and his classmates. He is polite and friendly to all of his classmates and never cares who he’s working with or who his partner is. He is involved in Marching Band and indoor drum line. Josh earns As and Bs in his classes. He said he gets his homework done in school. At home he likes to tinker with computers, taking them apart and fixing them. No matter what the weather, Josh can be found wearing shorts!
QCHS girls' basketball team spreads holiday cheer
The Quakertown community always comes through for those in need, especially during the holidays.
The QCHS girls’ basketball team is full of sentimental softies! Inspired by a class assignment about altruism during the holidays, senior Olivia Morano decided the players could make a great Christmas for a QCSD student whose family experiences financial difficulty. Coach Brittany Remmey loved the idea and together, the group brainstormed, built team spirit with a breakfast, and went shopping at Walmart.
On Monday, glowing with pride, Olivia and co-captain Meghan Klee arrived at school with a huge batch of beautifully wrapped presents and a food gift card to Giant. At practice Monday afternoon, the players all signed a basketball. On Tuesday, Olivia and Meg delivered the presents to Quakertown Elementary, where QCSD Social Worker Kirsten Cochran delivered the gifts to a boy, whose identity remains confidential.
“The girls are amazing!” said Coach Remmey. “You should have seen their reaction when I told them what we were doing. They all started crying. They are amazing young women and were excited to make this little boy’s Christmas when a lot of them are in the same troubles. Amazing kids. I'm so lucky!”
In the assignment, Olivia wrote, “I love the idea of giving gifts to others, especially around the holidays. I encourage others to donate at least one gift to those who can't afford Christmas, or to support parents in order for them to give their kids the Christmas they dream of. You could encourage your friends and family to donate food, clothing, gift cards, shoes and toys that could be evenly distributed to shelters, or organizations. You could also go through any clothes that are unwanted in your household and donate them to local Salvation Army shops or thrift stores. The organization of collecting these gifts could come through school as an anonymous gift drop.”
Mrs. Cochran, a key organizer with Quakertown Cares, helps families all year long. She was touched by the girls’ generosity. “That is just so sweet and kind! This melts my heart. What a great group of girls.”
After receiving the gifts, the mother said, “Thank you and everyone so much. I appreciate it. It made me cry. He's going to be so happy. It’s been a rough year.”
In addition to Olivia and Meghan, the seniors include co-captain Joelle Simeu, Brooke Alwine and Spenser Gray. The two juniors on the varsity roster are Marina Cooke and Jillian Martin. The sophomores are Maggie Garlick, Veronica Best, Nerissa Chase and Samantha Howard. The junior varsity roster includes Nora Myers, Bryanna Chantelau, Tiana Ainsley, Kimmy Best, Emelia Graham, Hannah LaBonge, Najomi Peralta and Ashley Witman. Assistant coaches are Megan Daly and Katelyn Donohue and the manager is Delaney Craighead.
Earlier in the year, the girls’ soccer and football teams collaborated on a pile of gifts for several families in need. The gifts included food, kitchen, bathroom and cleaning supplies, toys and games.
At Trumbauersville, the Life Skills students spearheaded a mitten drive, to which the entire school community contributed. Donators placed mittens, hats and scarves on a tree in the lobby for a week. Life Skills students took the tree apart, sorted the items and boxed them. Teachers sent the boxes to an organization in Perkasie, called the Open Link, which offers many services to people who need help. You can click here to read about the organization.
Wrestling coach racks up wins
QCHS wrestling coach Kurt Handel secured his 200th victory last Saturday night with three team wins at the Duals at Abington. The Panthers beat Abington, Upper Moreland and Pennsbury. Once Handel reaches 205 victories, he will surpass Dave Evans, Handel’s coach when he wrestled at QCHS. Handel credits his success to longevity and great wrestlers. You can read a story posted on suburbanone.com by clicking here.
In other sports, at the indoor track meet last weekend at Lehigh University, Barbara Grossov and Ron Jon Cubbage qualified for the Meet of Champions in the shot put and pole vault, respectively.
QCSD students sparkle in Pass Punt & Kick competition
Last Sunday, before the Eagles won their second game in a row, about 200 children competed in the NFL’s Pass Punt & Kick (PP&K) in the Eagle’s Novacare Center practice dome. They advanced from an initial group of 10,000 Pennsylvania participants in the first round in August. Richland fourth grader Caroline Harmonosky placed second in the 8-9 age group. Neidig fifth grader Madisen Baker placed third in the 10-11 girls’ group. And Strayer eighth grader Matthew Tuley placed second in the boys’ 12-13 age group. After the competition, they attended the Eagles game and walked out on the field to applause.
PP&K is a program of Play 60. The website says it is the oldest grassroots initiative at the NFL, for children ages 6-15. It allows them to “experience the fun of learning football fundamentals in an engaging and supportive non-contact environment.” Caroline said she tried out in the first round last year at the QMFA fields but she didn’t make it to the next rounds, at Pennridge and Delaware. That made her more determined to succeed. So her mother, Christina, contacted QCHS junior Gabby Sullivan, who kicks for the Panther football team. Gabby coached Caroline in the backyard for one session. “She was already good before I got to her house,” Gabby said. “She did her steps differently than I did, so we worked on that.” Caroline said after the session, she hurt her ankle and wasn’t kicking so well. Once she got to the Eagles’ Novacare Center, the 9-year-old warmed up and gave it her best shot. She said she didn’t kick too well but her strong arm carried her. She thinks she could have won a gold medal if her ankle had been in better shape. Caroline admitted she was nervous. When she’s not kicking and throwing footballs, Caroline participates in softball, dance, gymnastics, cheerleading and Crossfit. She wants to be a professional athlete when she grows up.
Madisen said she loves football. She plays with friends in the neighborhood. Once Madisen and her dad, Todd, heard about the competition, they practiced by throwing and kicking footballs in the yard. She competed in August at the local event at the QMFA fields. She took home a second place ribbon. Next she competed at Pennridge and in Delaware and brought home first-place medals, which catapulted her into the Philadelphia regionals. Although she is shy and was nervous to walk onto the huge field, it didn’t surprise her that she finished third. From first to last competition, Madisen’s distances were compared to thousands of participants in the region.
Asked what her favorite school subject is, Madisen replied, “Does recess count?” She likes to play kickball out on the playground during recess because she has a strong kicking leg and a good arm. She also likes to write. She hopes to kick for the high school football team one day, which would certainly give her something to write about!
Matthew said he has participated in the PP&K for four years and fell short of making the Eagles’ practice field by one round last year. This time he didn’t “mess up.” He played quarterback for the Strayer football team this year and injured his knee in the Milford game. He was cleared to play PP&K just three days before the Novacare round. He’s ready to play basketball now. Matthew will try again next year and looks forward to playing quarterback for the QCHS Panthers. “Ten thousand kids in PA tried out for PP&K,” Matthew noted. “I lost first place by 10 feet on a bad punt at the Eagles’ field. It was a good experience.”
Watch for a QCSDTV News video next week on Comcast 968, Verizon 34 and YouTube.
Professional staff members Choose to Move
All 71 participants in the recent Choose to Move Challenge for QCSD Professional Staff received prizes. They followed motivational challenges toward 150 minutes of physical activity each week, over a multi-week period, which earned them a sports bag, a pair of athletic socks and a $5 WaWa gift card. Five teachers won $100 gift cards - Alicia Hughes, Carolyn Schall, Maria Peters, Laura Sipes and Cynthia Teprovich. Participants logged their minutes of physical activity each week to receive 25 points toward 200 points for additional prizes.
Learning Facilitator Lynne Morgan represents QCSD on the Bucks and Montgomery Health and Wellness Consortium. She said the goal of the challenges is simply to get people moving, which will lead to a healthier employee pool.
College acceptances and scholarships begin to roll in
QCHS senior Joelle Simeu won a QuestBridge match, which means she was one of 657 exceptional low-income students hailing from 44 states across the country to win a full, four-year scholarship to college. In the 2015 National College Match, Joelle won a prestigious scholarship to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Joelle has been a high achiever at QCHS. She was an AP Scholar. She is a class senate officer and a student government member. She is a member of Best Buddies and the Drama Club. She plays basketball and runs track. And, because she is just a really nice person, her peers selected her as the 2015 Homecoming Queen. Joelle said she will not play sports in college so she can focus on academics.
A few other students have also received college acceptances. Notably, senior Brett Wolfinger has been accepted to his dream school, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Assistant to the Superintendent ready to retire
Dr. Suzanne Laverick-Stone will retire as of January 3, 2016 after 27 years in QCSD. She served as an educator for 35 years. In QCSD, she started as a fifth and sixth grade teacher and became a reading specialist and reading coordinator before moving on to administration. She was a principal at Neidig, Richland and Pfaff elementary schools. She spent time as Program Director for RELA, Social Studies, the Fine Arts, HPE and World Language, and most recently, as Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.
“It’s all I ever wanted to do – be a teacher,” said Dr. Laverick-Stone. “I was a teacher from the time I was 5 years old. Ask the kids in my neighborhood! Ask my little brothers. Ask my stuffed animals. Back then, I was never the student. Fast forward to real life as an educator, always a student! Funny how that works.”
She said highlights of her time in QCSD are “too numerous for words, but include the opening of Pfaff and the fact that at all three elementary schools, children still say the pledges that we started. That warms my heart. By far, the most wonderful part of the job over the years has been working with fine educators and making a difference for kids, especially their literacy.”
In her retirement, Dr. Laverick-Stone plans to keep active in education in some capacity. She will teach graduate classes and will travel with husband, Rod, a retired educator. “I am grateful for the opportunities I have had in my career in Quakertown,” Dr. Laverick-Stone said. “It has been an honor to serve the children of this community.”
UBCTS names QCHS student Joseph Heller Student of the Month
Joseph Heller, a third-year auto technology student from QCHS, was named Student of the Month for November at Upper Bucks County Technical School. He started UBCTS knowing exactly where he wanted to be and what he wanted to do when he graduated. He established his goals at the beginning of 10th grade, to work with cars to become a mechanic. He has taken advantage of the three years he has spent with teacher Mike Young and will have accomplished both goals before the end of the year.
Joe said he has thoroughly enjoyed the chance to work with his hands on a daily basis. He loves the idea of being able to practice on all the donated vehicles in the shop. He enjoys doing things he is good at, but said he likes the comfort of knowing if he does something wrong on the practice cars, he can find the mistake and learn from it. Out of everything he has learned to date, he believes his strength is in strut assembly.
Joe is the one and only student who took the opportunity to take the Emissions and PA state Inspection test with adult education students at night. UBCTS offered the opportunity for all the students, but the rest wanted to wait until they finished the class in June. Joe studied hard and successfully passed the Inspection test and is diligently studying to take the Emissions test in January.
Joe is focused in doing his best in everything in which he gets involved. He spends all of his free time studying and working on cars, when there is one in the driveway to work on. His favorite car is a 1969 Camaro; he looks forward to the day he can purchase his own. He wants to work in a cooperative experience before the end of the fourth marking period and hopes it will lead to a permanent job after graduation. Joe said he will really miss all the teachers who were “so nice” to him throughout the years. He makes a point to say hello to his favorites daily.
Choir impresses with two nights of school concerts
Delaney Minor, a senior, reported that the QCHS Choirs put on successful winter concerts on December 15 and 17 in the QPAC (QCHS Performing Arts Center). The concert included the High School Choir under the direction of Rebecca Giampa and the Varsity Singers and Senior High Choir, both under the direction of Jonathan Lechner. Displaying the advanced music learned by senior high school building students, the choir performed Bach’s Magnificat in D Major. Magnificat showcased 14 soloists, including Tori Marks, Aleigh Rummel, Darby Keller, Laura Stackhouse, Koby Kilgore, Dustin Kulick, Naomi Cropton, Kenny Orrego, Sydney Pitta, Hayden Smith, Tyler Faulkner, Liam Fletcher, Sadie Fowler and Maddie Routson. To conclude the concert, the choir invited QCHS Choir Alumni to sing the 28th year of O Holy Night. Principal David Finnerty and Superintendent Bill Harner played trees in the production, for which choir members were grateful.
Quakertown Panthers Junior Pee Weeks play in Super Bowl
At least four QCSD middle school students played two games in the 2015 Pop Warner Super Bowl in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
On Sunday, Dec. 6, the Quakertown team beat the Loveland (Colorado) Titans 7-6 in the Junior Pee Wee division first round. On Wednesday, Dec. 9 the Quakertown Panthers lost 14-0 to the Forestview Steelers of Florida in the semifinals. Scores and photos, courtesy of Gerardo Mora-Josh Mora, can be found by clicking here for the Pop Warner Super Bowl website. Milford’s Connor Patrick, Will Steich, Brandon Pierce and Strayer’s Jacob Donze are part of the team.
QCHS athletes named to all-star teams
Many QCHS athletes were named to their respective Suburban One All-League squads for the fall sports season. Here they are:
Volleyball – 2nd Team – Lindsay Beck, senior; 3rd Team – Ashley Morris, sophomore.
Field hockey – 1st Team – Emma McLaughlin, senior forward; Becky Gerhart, senior midfield; 2nd Team – Hillary Scott, senior defense; 3rd Team – Melanie Olivieri, junior defense.
Cross Country – 3rd Team – Hudson Delisle; Shelby Daugherty.
Tennis – 2nd Team – Aubri Stetina, senior; Rebecca Miller, sophomore; 3rd Team – Ashley Harpster, senior; Abby Campion, junior.
Girls’ Soccer – 2nd Team – Victoria Sturgess, junior; Morgan Small, sophomore; 3rd Team – Katie Crouthamel, junior; Honorable Mention – Haley Pursel, freshman.
Boys’ Soccer – 3rd Team – Ryan Leatherman, junior; Honorable Mention – Kevin Mannino, senior; Steven Hippauf, junior.
Golf – Honorable Mention – Tanner Seislove, senior.
Football – 1st Team – Rob Burns, senior running back; Kyle Baskin, senior wide receiver; Gavin Caroff, senior lineman; Noah Wood, junior linebacker; Jake Bovard senior punter; 2nd Team – Tom Garlick, senior quarterback; Aaron Besch, senior end; Chris Curry, senior lineman; AJ Soriano, senior placekicker; James Palush, junior lineman; Nick Bonomo, senior linebacker; John Potynski, senior back; Kyle Baskin, senior back; 3rd Team – Nick Bonomo, senior running back; CJ Bach, junior lineman; Honorable Mention – Dom Melso, senior lineman; Bobby Boyd, senior end; John Lilley, senior end; Aaron Besch, senior linebacker.
Messa Di Voce selected to perform at state conference
Strayer Middle School’s acapella singing group, Messa Di Voce, was selected for the third time to perform at the (PMEA) Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Conference. More than 130 choirs submitted recordings to perform at the 2016 annual PMEA Conference, set for March 31 at Hershey Convention Center. Messa Di Voce will perform a 45-minute concert. The group previously performed at the conference in 2007 and 2012. Messa Di Voce also won the honor to perform at the Eastern (NAfME) National Association for Music Education Conference held in Connecticut in 2013.
Group members, made up of sixth, seventh and eighth graders, are Annabelle Lachman, Heather Le Bourgeois, Carson Jefferis , Jack Fox, Lillian Farrell, Amy Nyugen, Austin Nguyen,
Kaitlyn Zajkowski, Megan Godshalk, Maddie Barlow, Jack Burke, Erin Holman, Kaylee Kratz, Ashlyn Hickey, Zachary Webb, Erika Griffo, Alyssa Crager, Vanessa Hall, Sophia Constanzo, Jadyn Fuentes, Jack Monaghan, Julia Roman, Melanie Ficarra, and Thomas Engard.
QCHS names Students of the Month for November
Teachers selected four Students of the Month for November at QCHS. They are senior Allison Sterner, junior AriAnne Gehring, sophomore Alexandra Benetz and freshman Mason Bruzgo.
Allison Sterner wants to be a nurse anesthetist or nurse practitioner. She has developed the outstanding work ethic that will get her through the tough studies that lie ahead. AP Literature teacher Nick Burch noted her worth ethic and improved writing as key reasons for nominating her as Student of the Month. “She is a positive role model,” Burch said. Ally also takes Calculus and tutors in the math lab during PRIDE. She didn’t know she wanted to become a nurse until she started visiting colleges. Her mother, a respiratory therapist, helped spark Ally’s interest. “I loved bio and the sciences and nursing combines them.” She is a member of National Honor Society and is thinking about helping with miniTHON in the spring. Ally raised a German Shepherd puppy for her graduation project for the Seeing Eye of Bucks County. She said she learned a lot about herself because she had to wake up early and be responsible. “It’s a great way to give back to the community,” Ally said.
AriAnne Gehring will enjoy a dinner with Upper Bucks Rotary Club members as the QCHS Outstanding Student of the Month. She said she appreciates that teachers recognize how “very hard” she works and her positive attitude. Her favorite class right now is Introduction to Crafts. She made a mosaic with glass that required hands-on skill. She has also made a collage, two clay projects and a tumbler and is working on a story box. “Art will always be a hobby for me,” said AriAnne. She wants to be an art therapist and work with children. In the summer, she volunteers at the Trumbauersville recreation camp. She likes her AP Psychology class. She also takes AP Language and Composition and AP History. She started touring colleges and so far visited Gettysburg. Math teacher Mike Cherrybon nominated AriAnne. He said, “She is always well prepared for class and works bell-to-bell. She was absent one day and e-mailed me that morning, letting me know she would be absent and wanted to know what was going to be done in class. The student is not afraid to ask for help and often helps others when they need help.” AriAnne is president of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) an is a member of the Art Club. Her father is an artist whose work was recently displayed in the Community Artist showcase in the QCHS lobby. He said AriAnne is a much better artist than he!
Alex Benetz looks forward to becoming a veterinarian when she graduates from QCHS, Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS) and college. She especially likes working with the chinchillas in the UBCTS animal tech lab. She’d like to take a chinchilla home for the summer, but she doesn’t think her parents will allow it. She said she likes interacting with the animals even though she gets dirty. She works hard in all her classes. Brittany Remmey, biology teacher, said, “Alex is always on task and asks critical thinking questions. She constantly gives her best effort and completes all assignments, including enrichment activities. She is often paired up with another high level-thinking student so they can push one another to understand the higher level thinking concepts. She is always positive and nice towards her classmates and teachers.” Alex participates in the QCHS Animae Club. Outside of school, she participates in Girls Scouts and Venture Crew.
Mason Bruzgo likes to help teacher Karen Sciarillo keep order in the classroom. He helps students who are struggling and he calms students who cause issues. He demonstrates great concern for his academic responsibilities. “He is the only student in 12 years of teaching who wrote me a note to explain his work because he was concerned about issues,” Mrs. Sciarillo said. “Mason is diligent and hardworking. Several times Mason has shown excellent citizenship and maturity beyond most of his peers. He cleans up for others who refused responsibility; he found a book left in the gym and brought it to me.” Mason said he likes to write poems and music. He plays his base guitar in his room, playing old metal band music, such as Metallica. He also writes fictional horror stories, adapting ideas from real life. He likes learning about history. He was excited to learn about his selection as Student of the Month. “It’s good to know early in the year that teaches are on your side,” he said. “It gives me motivation to continue doing well.”
QCSD gains AP Honor Roll again
QCSD is one of 425 school districts in the U.S. and Canada honored by the College Board with placement on the 6th Annual AP® District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. Reaching these goals indicates that a district is successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are ready for the opportunity of AP. To be included on the 6th Annual Honor Roll, QCHS had to, since 2013, increase the number of students participating in AP while also increasing or maintaining the number of students earning AP Exam scores of 3 or higher.
“This is good news again!” said Dr. Bill Harner, Superintendent.
National data from 2015 show that among black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students with a high degree of readiness for AP, only about half of students are participating. The first step to delivering the opportunity of AP to students is providing access by ensuring courses are available, that gatekeeping stops, and that the doors are equitably opened so these students can participate.
The College Board recognized that QCSD is committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.
“That the committed teachers and administrators in this district have both expanded AP access and also helped their students achieve high levels of performance on AP Exams shows they’re delivering opportunity in their schools and classrooms, and it is a real testament to their belief that a more diverse population of young people is ready for the challenge of college,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “Congratulations to these teachers and administrators, and to their hard-working students.” Helping more students learn at a higher level and earn higher AP scores is an objective of all members of the AP community, from AP teachers to district and school administrators to college professors. Many districts are experimenting with a variety of initiatives and strategies to determine how to simultaneously expand access and improve student performance.
History book makes a great gift!
Dr. Robert Leight and Thomas Moll wrote a book in time for next year’s 50th anniversary of the Quakertown Community School District. Each building received a copy and some order forms. The book is $25 and $5 of that will be donated to Quakertown Community Education. Click here for an order form.
Thanksgiving Day football game inspires plenty of activity
Pennridge jumped out to a 21-0 first-half lead in the Thanksgiving Day football game. In the locker room at halftime, head coach George Banas launched a garbage can that made a big noise and woke up his players. Throughout the second half, Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner joined the cheerleaders, coaxing fans to stand up and cheer and dropping to do pushups when the Panthers scored touchdowns. The frantic strategies worked. The Panthers stormed back to score 28 unanswered points for a 28-21 victory. Student section fans, dressed in free Sea of Blue t-shirts, followed Coach Banas’ instructions from the rousing speech he gave during Tuesday’s pep rally to “keep it positive.”
A week earlier, QCHS led 14-0 before losing to visiting Neshaminy 31-17 in the second round of the District 1 tournament. The Thanksgiving game topped off an overall successful season.
QCHS Student Council members and Advisor Mike Sandler organized a highly successful pep rally. The fast-paced entertainment included choir, band and cheerleader performances; videos that recognized all fall teams, spirit week themes, and the rally’s Hunger Games theme; pie-in-the face; relay games; and numerous dance performances and contests. For the grand finale, senior students squared off against staff members, including Dr. Harner, in a Michael Jackson “Beat It,” dance contest. The football players sat in chairs on the floor, enjoying the entertainment provided to them for all the entertainment they provided fans all season long. DJ Rak Sound provided loud music and colored lights.
After the pep rally, students gathered for a bon fire Tuesday night at the Quakertown Borough skating rink. Photos provided of that event, in the gallery above, were taken by QCHS junior Cody Schultz. The gallery also contains photos by parent John Greulich, Community Relations Coordinator Ricki Stein and the Life Touch yearbook photographer. You can view more John Greulich photos by clicking here. The gallery also includes photos from the Homecoming Dance, which featured more than 750 students, including King Kyle Baskin and Queen Joelle Simeu.
Choir takes in sights, musical in the Big Apple
Every year, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the QCHS choir travels to Manhattan to spend the day and take in a Broadway show. The entourage includes the freshmen as well as many chaperones. One of the groups this year was escorted by Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner. In the early morning, students and chaperones loaded up three buses. In New York, groups split up to explore the city. In the evening, they gathered to see a musical, The King And I, before heading back to Quakertown.
This week, the choir started its annual holiday concert tour at schools and nursing homes. On December 9, the choir will perform at Barnes and Noble at the Promenade Shops in Center Valley as part of the QCHS Book Fair. Singers will hold their Winter Choir Concert December 15 and 17 in the QPAC (aka auditorium). The concert will include the freshman choir, the Varsity Singers and the Senior High Choir. Many of the song are holiday themed, and entertaining for all ages.
QCHS athletes recognized, headed for college
Before the district playoff game, senior Kyle Baskin was nominated for Athlete of the Week on the Suburban One website. He has committed to attend Columbia University. He will celebrate with other college bound athletes at the next Athlete Recognition Ceremony in the QCHS Media Center. Meanwhile, five athletes talked about their high school careers and future college plans in an event held Nov. 19.
QCHS field hockey players Emma McLaughlin and Becky Gerhart have played together for four years but they will square off when they get to college. Emma said her new team, Villanova, “will win” when the Wildcats play Temple, where Becky will be an Owl. Emma told the gathered crowd in the Media Center that she learned to “enjoy what you do and good things will happen.” She wants to make an impact on the Villanova field hockey team. Becky said she learned that when she focuses herself, she sees “good outcomes.” The two players were honored on the All-League First Team. QCHS coach Diane Molinaro noted that Becky scored 14 goals and 14 assists from her midfield position and on the corner rush. Mrs. Molinaro said Becky’s athletic fitness and energy will carry her through a collegiate career. Molinaro noted Emma’s 16 goals and 12 assists made her a force on attack. “Emma has fast hands and she’s quick getting to the ball. She will have a great time playing at Villanova.”
Spenser Gray plans to play softball at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte. Coach Rich Scott noted her great speed will help her at shortstop, as it did throughout high school and travel softball. She said she learned not to dwell on the past. She said she looks forward to make a big impact to help her collegiate team win a conference championship.
Meghan Klee will play softball at Shippensburg University. The two-sport athlete is featured on the suburbanone.com website as the Univest Athlete of the Week. You can read that story by clicking here.
Tyler Guidos is headed to Mansfield University to play baseball. He appreciated the opportunity to play high school baseball with his brother. Coach Jonathan Pallone noted that Tyler had one of the best batting averages of catchers in the Suburban League. He complimented Tyler’s focus and dedication.
QCHS football plays tonight: Go Panthers!
The QCHS football team hosts Neshaminy at 7 p.m. tonight (Nov. 20) in the second round of District 1 playoffs. The Panthers beat CB East, 7-6, last Saturday, after losing to CB East 28-27, at home the week before. Head coach George Banas said the two losses before the playoffs helped his team re-focus. You can watch a video here in which Coach Banas and quarterback Tom Garlick discuss the game.
Next time you drive up and down Route 309, watch for two Adams electronic billboards on the west side of the road. One is between Pizza Hut and a car wash, facing north (as you drive south you see it). The other is slightly south of that, facing south (as you drive north you see it). They feature QCSD messages. Dr. Bill Harner is using money from sponsor banners in Alumni Field to pay Adams for the billboards. Video teacher Lincoln Kaar prepared the graphics for the boards.
The billboards feature the U.S. News and World Report logo (as does the QCSD and QCHS webpages) because the magazine ranked Quakertown Community High School as the 66th best high school in Pennsylvania. There are 574 school districts and 673 high schools in the state. One reason the school was rated so high was because it offers 22 AP (Advanced Placement) courses. The other logo on the billboards and webpages is the AP Honor Roll. QCHS has earned three AP Honor Roll statuses of the five ever handed out in the last five years. The College Board honors schools that offer many AP courses, convince students to take the courses and then guide students to take and pass AP tests. QCHS boasted 66 AP Scholars who fared well on the AP Exams in 2015.
Click here to read the U.S. News and World Report evaluation.
Freshman Football Team undefeated!
For the first time in the history of the Freshman Football team, the Panthers posted an undefeated record. They won seven official games plus a pre-season scrimmage for an 8-0 overall record. The victories included one over Pennridge, of course. Head Coach Bob LaSalle was happy to report that all 39 boys who started the season finished the season. “Every year you get some that quit. But if they were with us from day one, they were with us at the end. They practiced hard, and pushed each other to be better players.”
LaSalle, a Special Education teacher in Upper Perkiomen, has coached 14 of the last 18 years in Quakertown. He said the 2001 and 2002 teams, which he coached with QCHS Social Studies teacher Tom Brader, each lost just one game, to Pennridge in the finale. This year, both QCHS and Pennridge were undefeated going into the last game of the season. “It was nice to knock them off for a change,” LaSalle said. The week before the Pennridge game, Quakertown played CB South. “They, too, we're undefeated at that time. So we played two really good undefeated football teams back-to-back.”
Offensively, Christian Patrick and Delbert Ross were the primary running backs, taking handoffs from quarterback Brad Bryan, who threw two great touchdown passes in the final game against Pennridge. The offensive line, anchored by center Ashton Herd, did a great job all year. Defensively, the guys were great every week, LaSalle said. “Only two times all season did we give up more than one score.” In the fourth quarter against Central Bucks West, the Panthers scored to take the lead 12-8. “We got the ball and put together our best drive of the season,” LaSalle said. “We went 83 yards in 11 plays to go up 14-12. West got the ball back, drove down the field, and lined up to kick a field goal on the last play of the game. We blocked it to preserve the win.”
LaSalle and Assistant Coach Jon Kingcade said the thing they most appreciated about the players was their attitude. “They worked hard every day. They pushed one another,” said LaSalle. “In games, they didn't take bad penalties. They didn't get flustered when things didn't go right. They would come off the field and offer insight into what they were seeing. They were just a great bunch of kids, cooperative.” Another coach, Craig Ollivier started with the team, but he had to depart when he took a job in another district. “I can't say enough good things about Jon. He took over running the defense from Craig and he did a great job with that. Jon played for me back in 2000, so it was fun having a former player working with me.”
The freshman team consisted of Jack Anthony, Justin Bennett, Brad Bryan, William Bryant, John Byers, Will Chenoweth, Matt Ciarrocchi, Jake Cuevas, Riley Davis, Richard Dennis, Dylan Donze, Justin Flor, Jackson Force, Nick Frasch, Zach Frei, Donny Glass, Ashton Herd, Gavin Hillaert, Austin Jaegers, Ryan Keel, Nick Levinski, Ryan McDermott, Nick Mestayer, Zach Mulkiewicz, Robert Nadal, Trent Neilsen, Daniel Nunuz, Christian Patrick, Sal Pistone, Tyler Rabenold, Sam Rice, Delbert Ross, Max Russell, Ben Schlegel, Joey Sinsel, Stone Snyder, Aiden Sullivan, Jake Wheeler and Josh Wolf. Parent Lorraine Frasch provided the photo above and those on the high school web page.
QCSD Online Academy Students of the Month
Junior Samantha Riley was named the QCSD Online Academy high school Student of the Month for October. Joshua Whitlock was the middle school Online Academy Student of the Month.
Samantha takes French and pre-calculus honors online and takes the rest of her courses face-to-face in AP and honors classrooms. “French is only offered via cyber,” Samantha explained. “I got interested in the language by watching French films and listening to French music. I like to get tutoring help in math from my neighbor and the online coursework is all put online at the beginning of the week. So I can get it done early and manage my time for the rest of my courses for the rest of the week.” Samantha said she is enjoying digital photograph. She also takes AP English, AP Psychology, Honors World Culture and Honors Chemistry. She recommends online courses for students who want to manage their personal time. She is a member of the Key Club.
Christine Valentini, face-to-face and online math teacher, said, “Samantha completes her work on time and turns in quality work. Samantha has also advocated for herself by contacting me for help when she needs it.”
Strayer student Joshua Whitlock was nominated by online teacher Chris Deily, who said, “Joshua is a full-time at home online student. He comes in to Strayer once a week for two hours to touch base with his teachers. Josh regularly submits high-quality assignments and turns in everything on time. Josh carries the highest grades in each of his courses. This is Josh’s second year as an online student. In addition to his online course-load, Josh spends his weekends helping his grandmother with her business.”
Fourth graders help children at Philadelphia doctors’ offices
Richland fourth graders conducted a Reach Out and Read campaign to collect books for doctors’ offices in Philadelphia, where children and their families spend a lot of time. The students collected 1,692 books for children of all ages. Kirsten Rogers, Coordinator of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Reach Out and Read Program drove to Richland in a van to pick up the books. She talked to all the fourth graders to explain the program and thank them for helping the families.
Among the many helpers in the project were fourth graders Sarah Schultz, Athena Knox, Ella George, Mackenzie Clayton, Lauren Harwick, Gracie Maceri, Olivia Bach and Leslie Lopez. Many students were involved with advertising, posters, school announcements, sorting, counting and collecting the books.
Buff n Tuff wins Powder Puff Tournament
Spenser Gray scored three straight touchdowns in one game to lead her Buff n Tuff team to the championship at Tuesday’s Powder Puff Tournament. Started in 1989, the 26th Annual event raised $831 so far, in ticket sales and team donations. The total will rise once snack stand and dress-down money is tallied. The money benefits Relay for Life. Other members of the team in the tie-dye shirts were Brooke Alwine, Maria Lopez, Taylor Scheetz, Anna Kahn, Kelsey Gallagher, Sam Bennett, Kendra Williams, Christy Volovnik, Val Camerlengo and Olivia Morano. The group was coached by Jay Mohavier, Dom Melso, Aaron Besch, Jared Kishbaugh and Gavin Caroff.
The positive attitude and sportsmanship shared by the 16 teams and 164 players made the action fun. Teams took photos together before going head-to-head in the playoffs. The girls never forgot the main goal of the tournament, to raise money for cancer research.
Teachers Amanda Salansky, Tina Sullivan, Scot McClellan and guidance counselor Eric Gozzard coordinated the event. Team names and player nicknames added creativity. Teams were Real Housewives of the NFL; Fruit Squad; Her-ricanes; Savage Patch Kids; VIP Passes; Football and Chill; Shoe Ins; TBD; Straight Outta QTown; The Villains; Beauty and the Blitz; The Griffins; Eagals; SuperHERoes; and Lady Savages.
QCHS Marching Band places 5th at national event
The Quakertown Panther Marching Band completed its competitive season on Saturday with a top five finish at the USBands National Championship at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Sixty-seven bands performed throughout the day. The Panther Marching Band's score of 95.275 earned fifth place in Group IV Open. The band was awarded the United States Marine Corps "Esprit de Corps" Award for their outstanding spirit, work ethic, and performance.
On Tuesday, the nine band members who posed for a Route 309 billboard were quick to turn on and off their smiles, because, they said, they are well trained! Indeed, the musicians said that since July, when they started practice in the 100-degree heat on the black parking lot, Marching Band members have been practicing and playing together for about 30 hours a week, outside the school day. They said it was all worth it. They gushed over the experience of stepping into Met Life Stadium and feeling an adrenaline rush straight through their performance.
“I think it’s straight up inspiring that a small town band can kick butt in a big stadium,” said senior Susan Asplen.
Frank Parker and Joe Santanello co-direct the band, which features 87 members. A slew of other adults, including paid professionals and volunteer parents support the production, from choreography to uniforms to transportation to color guard training. Junior drum major Sara Galloway explained that this was the first year the Panthers re-joined the USBands circuit, which uses different judging criteria than they were used to in the past several years. Santanello said high school bands across the country play in a variety of circuits or leagues. US Bands is the biggest circuit, featuring over 800 performing ensembles from around the country.
The Panthers competed in Group IV Open, for highly competitive bands of 81-99 members. During the competition season, they met up with Nazareth and North Penn. At the Pennsylvania State Championships, Quakertown finished second to Nazareth by less than one tenth of a point and soundly defeated North Penn who finished third. At National Championships a week later, North Penn finished second, Nazareth third and Quakertown fifth. So three area bands placed among the top five in the very competitive Group IV Open.
Senior Brooke Blair, a color guard member, said she was excited to see so many great color guards at the nationals. Junior Jessica Gall said she was “amazed by the ambiance” in Met Life stadium. The nine all talked at once to credit the band’s success to focus, hard work, great attitude, seniors and section leaders. Senior Becky Haywood said members spend 12 hours a day together every Saturday, “so we have to like each other.”
Many band members will take their success into the next band seasons for the concert and jazz bands.
Junior varsity football team undefeated
The QCHS junior varsity football team has one game left, on Saturday, Nov. 21, at home against Pennridge. At the moment, the Panthers are undefeated. Head coach Chris Lemuell said the defense has been the key to the victories, having kept opponents off the scoreboard in many games. The toughest competition came from Harry S. Truman and Council Rock North. The Panthers trailed CR North by two at halftime and came back for the victory.
Many players rotate through offensive and defensive positions and every player on the roster has played at least a quarter in every game. Lemuell said the players learned a lot of plays because they practiced against the varsity as the “opponent.” Lemuell said several team members played through illness. He also noted that he learned what plays to call by watching the varsity team coaches on Friday nights because his team played the same schools the following Mondays. He credited varsity coaches George Banas, Jeff Wolfinger and Chris Hunter as his mentors.
Players who keyed the offense and defense were Dalton Frederick, Charles Witman, Austin Clarke, Gabby Sullivan, Kyle Tooley, Tim Shevlin, Nick Cass, Garrett Sylsberry, Chase Oliver, Jared Kishbaugh, Nick Lefkoski, Charles Ervin, Matt Fugitt, Josh Moyer, Matt Kerns, Bobby Wheeler, John Roush, Tyler Applegate, Zach Veltri, Josh Benner, Sean Kratz, Chris Poulton, Jesse Redmond, Colin Stover, Braydon Mitchell, Daryn Fournier, Mason Wood, Noah Thayer, Jake Goldman, Cole Hoener, Drew Stout, Connor Rea, Dillon Kraus, Jacob Barndt, Christian Morano, Rob Mestayer, Charlie Klock and Matt Mory. Assistant coaches are Craig Whitten and Joe Martin.
The photo here and on the high school page were taken by Jen Stover.
Veterans Day Assembly opens elementary students’ hearts
Neidig Elementary School hosted its annual Wall of Honor event for Veterans Day November 11. A dozen vets, including students’ and staff members’ parents, attended the assembly. Mrs. Carolyn Budwig, Instructional Aide, explained to the assembly why Neidig started the event six years ago. With fifth graders, she was reading a book by Eve Bunting, called The Wall, about a boy and his father’s visit to the Vietnam War Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Budwig connected to the story because she wore a POW’s (Prisoner of War’s) bracelet as a young girl. She encouraged everyone in the audience to “respect” veterans, every day of the year, because they sacrificed so all Americans can live a great life.
Principal Scott Godshalk played a video of a reading of The Wall. He guided students through respectful applause and solemn understanding of what Veterans Day is all about. Every student in the auditorium held a green glow stick while the chorus, holding bigger green glow sticks, sang Thank You, Soldier. Staff members bought the glow sticks to join the #GreenlightAVet movement promoted by Walmart. Homeowners who put a green light outside their houses show support of veterans.
First grader Porter Ervin’s father joined the ceremony. He served in the Coast Guard in Florida and Philadelphia for five-and-a-half years. In one unique event, he served as a pall-bearer for Ronald Reagan. He said he joined the Coast Guard, like his father before him, because of a sense of duty. Chris Murray, father of second grader Ian Murray, spent eight years in the Marines, including a deployment to Iraq. He now works as an engineer for a construction company. He said joining the military is a tough choice, but the benefits can set a person up for the rest of his or her life.
Students and staff posted stories, photos and quotes along the hallway ramp walls to create the actual Wall of Honor. One famous quote, from President John F. Kennedy reminds viewers, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
The oldest veteran on hand was 83-year-old Dave Kachline, the father of Neidig secretary Linda Clymer and Neidig teacher Sue Hippelli. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
QCHS alum running well
Shippensburg University sophomore Alex Balla stepped up with a huge top-five finish, placing fifth overall and second of four SU runners to break 31 minutes over 10,000 meters at the 2015 NCAA Atlantic Region Championships hosted by Lock Haven last Saturday. Balla posted a time of 30:38 and was the fastest sophomore in the race by eight seconds. The QCHS alum posted a personal best for the distance and earned All-Region honors. Shippensburg won the team title and has qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships for the third straight year. The national championships will be held in two weeks at Missouri Southern State University.
QCHS Students of the Month
Rebecca Haywood was named the Outstanding Student of the Month (SoM) for October. Joining her on the SoM wall of fame at QCHS for October were junior Madeleine Neiman, sophomore Lauren Mannion and freshman Haley Pursel.
Rebecca will attend a dinner as the Rotary Club’s Outstanding Student of the Month. The energetic senior earns all A grades while managing several extra-curricular activities, including marching band, work, Key Club, YFC, FCA, and her church youth group. Guidance counselor Laurie Taylor said, “Becky will reach out to help others without hesitation. She is always respectful, an excellent role model, and will reach out to ensure others feel included. There are very few, if any, days that you will catch Becky without a smile on her face, both in school as well as outside of school.” Becky plays baritone in the concert band and marching band and the bass guitar in the jazz band. She participates in every activity that promotes school spirit. Inducted Sunday in the National Honor Society, Becky takes AP courses in English, government, physics and statistics and is currently “especially loving” digital photography. She also works a field study with band director Joe Santanello at Strayer. After college, Becky would like to pursue a job with a non-profit business. “I want to make a difference in the world,” she said.
Madeleine earns As in her classes, which include AP English, European History and Calculus AB, along with Honors Chemistry, German 3 Honors, journalism and AP Seminar. She is a member of TSA, Vice President of German Club and a member of Student Council. She works with a “little” at QE as part of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She was just inducted into National Honor Society. And she takes and teaches piano lessons. Journalism teacher Brad Huebner said, “Maddie works on pace and even ahead of her peers. The first story she wrote for journalism included interviews from several downtown business owners about the plans for commercial development. She wrote cleanly and with great information. She always hands in assignments on time and has a great attitude every single day. She’s mature beyond her years and an excellent journalist. Maddie is a great listener in class who takes great notes and maintains great eye contact during lessons. She arrives to class early and prepared. I am going to make her one of my editors and leaders.”
Lauren is a colorful character, literally! She likes to dye her hair bold colors and she likes to participate in all her classes. She earns As in her classes, which include World Literature Honors, Chemistry Honors, Spanish 2, Pre-calculus, AP World History and Fine Arts. She would like to participate in after school clubs but must rely on the bus to get home. She’s hoping administrators will resolve that problem before her senior year. Spanish teacher Brenda Sharp said, “Lauren is an exemplary student. She is always prepared, motivated and volunteers to answer literally every single question. When we did the airplane activity, she volunteered to be the flight attendant, which was the toughest job and she excelled. She is a fantastic role model, very humble, respectful and helpful. She never laughs at others making mistakes or mispronouncing words.”
Haley Pursel earns As at the Freshman Center, where she said she loves all of her teachers. She said she loves the FC in general because she has been able to make friends with students from Milford and Strayer. She also said she is determined to earn good grades and spends four to five hours a night doing homework. She takes AP Human Geography; Honors Biology; Spanish and Introduction to Engineering. She played for the soccer team and works out in the weight room after school. She is a member of Key Club and Best Buddies after a successful Milford career in Builders Club, yearbook and National Junior Honor Society. Hers is the voice for the morning announcements at the FC. Teacher Brad Mushrush said, “Haley always goes above and beyond to complete work, ask questions, and turn in work on time. She is one of my top IED students and top students overall.”
School Board flips the solar switch
New members inducted to National Honor Society
Thirty-seven new members were sworn in Sunday at the 70th Induction Ceremony of the National Honor Society in the QCHS Performing Arts Center. Current members and officers led the leadership and service candle-lighting activities while Principal David Finnerty and Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner presented certificates to the new members. The officers are President Chet Friday, Vice President Jennifer Friel, Secretary Samantha Gill and Treasurer Jack Chenoweth. Selection to the society is based on scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
David Acker, Brandon Baker, Lauren Beal, Jessica Berkezchuk, Lindsey Bright, Sierra Camburn, Bria DeBernardi, Etielle deGruchy, Trevor Fowler, Jessica Gall, Rhiannon Gilley,
Parent Jeff Pursel provided the photo above.
Students learn about business careers at local college
A group of QCHS business students traveled to Moravian College Monday, October 26 to attend the PICPA’s Accounting Career Day. Students heard firsthand about the careers of CPAs Ron Semanick from Landau Jewelers and Chris Basile of France, Anderson, Basile & Co. A recruiter from Baker Tilly named Imad Khoury told the students, “The way you dress, your eye contact, your handshake - these are all important things that form a first impression. Be sure to present yourself in the best way possible. Also, emotional IQ and the way you communicate is very important to us.”
QCHS students also met with a Moravian College panel of students who explained college life. High school students were treated to a presentation called “The Beatles, Big Data, and Beyond” by Ruth McCartney, of McCartney Multimedia. She is the stepsister of Paul McCartney!
Mrs. Julie DiGiacomo, QCHS business teacher, said, “She had a great sense of humor, but was talking about the important topic of how businesses collect data about their customers and how they organize and use that data.”
Students finished the field trip with lunch in the dining commons and a tour of the Bethlehem campus.
Recognition for field hockey players
Seniors Emma McLaughlin and Becky Gerhart are featured on the Suburban One Sports website for their field hockey play. Both will play in college next year, Emma at Villanova and Becky at Temple. They will be honored during an Athlete Recognition Ceremony in the QCHS Media Center at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, November 19. All are welcome to attend. You can read the online story by clicking here.
In other sports news, the football team takes its 8-1 record into tonight’s home game against Central Bucks East. The Panthers lost last week to Council Rock North, 41-31. Winter sports teams begin practice, Monday, Nov. 16.
Special needs swing delights children and adults
Students in the multidisibilities class at Pfaff Elementary School have joined the playground swingers! Parent Melissa O’Rourke led a fund raiser that allowed the Special Education Department to order equipment from Swings for Sunshine. Mrs. O’Rourke said she started the fund raiser at Tohickon Valley last year when the MDS class resided at that school. MDS was moved to Pfaff this year, so when the swing was delivered, it was installed next to the existing swing set. At recess, little girls and boys eagerly run over to help push the MDS students back and forth. Teachers and aides can easily load the wheelchairs right onto the swing and close a gate.
“The MDS kids never had anything to do on the playground,” said Mrs. O’Rourke, whose niece Emily is a member of the MDS class. “Once we moved our fundraiser to a Go Fund Me Site, it spiraled. We had all the money raised by the end of last school year. We had to meet all the ADA [Americans with Disibilities Act] regulations, so it took some time to place the order and put it in place.”
Mrs. O’Rourke designed a special T-shirt for the students to commemorate the occasion. Students’ finger prints became part of the design.
“The students were so excited with the new swing. What a memorable moment!” said Shirley Moyer, QCSD Director of Pupil Services.
66 QCHS students named AP Scholars
In July, the College Board released the list of 2014-15 AP Scholars, which included 66 QCHS students. They qualified for the honor by earning passing scores of at least 3 (out of 5) on at least three Advanced Placement tests in the spring. The average score for those 66 students was 3.57. Students can get college credit for passing AP tests. Forty-seven of the students graduated in June and 19 of the students, picture above, are still at QCHS taking more AP courses!
Three graduates – Matt Cornelius, Brett Graver and Danielle Stark – earned National AP Scholar honors for earning an average of 4 on all AP Exams taken. Twelve QCHS students earned designation as AP Scholar with Distinction, for earning an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken. They were current seniors Caitlin Dicar, Chet Friday, Evan Kaseman and Brett Wolfinger; and graduates Elaina Abramson, Matt Cornelius, Devon Dean, Abigail Dickerson, Brett Graver, Keely Londino, Emily Rush and Danielle Stark.
Eighteen students earned AP Scholar with Honor for earning at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken. They included current seniors Vivian Ha, Sergei Stepanoff and Allison Sterner; and graduates Brandon Besack, Nicholas Bluder, Philip Bohner, Samantha Bouton, Madison Calder, Meagan Calhoun, Marissa Cubbage, Emma Dean, Margaret Fedorocsko, Shauna Foley, Hannah Grecian, Julia Henke, Connor Hunt, Lauren McKinley and Erin Shortall.
Thirty-six students earned AP Scholar, for earning 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. Current seniors in the group were Brooke Blair, Nicholas Campbell, Ron Jon Cubbage, Trevor Fowler, Alexandria Lacey, Skylar Lee, Rudy Levinski, Madison Shourds, Joelle Simeu, Amina Sohail, Jared Spry, Nicholas Wang and Savannah Webb. Those who graduated were Kimberly Baj, Morgan Bender, Karina Bolton, Victoria Bright, Jessica Butterworth, Abigail Clark, Lauren Delk, Kristina Diefenderfer, Caroline Heft, Kasey Hill, Michael Kelsall, Torin Martutartus, Kyle Paradis, Laura Post, Delaney Saugling, Erica Schmidlechner, Colin Smith, Courtney Smith, Joshua Starner, Jennifer Sterner, Coulton Terry, Kerry Vanyo and Jose Villanueva.
QCSD’s PSSA scores good
WFMZ reporter Mark Reccek reported on QCSD’s PSSA scores. You can read his story by clicking here.
Administrators share QCSD’s Full Day Kindergarten success
Assistant to the Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Laverick-Stone, elementary principals Adam Schmucker and Dr. Kathy Winters, and Learning Facilitator Kelly Cramer recently presented QCSD’s Full Day Kindergarten program to attendees at the Pennsylvania Principals’ Association at Penn State. QE Principal Anita Serge also helped to prepare the presentation but did not attend. The group highlighted the development of the program through research, implementation and evaluation. They noted unique aspects include curriculum design, scheduling, guidelines for student participation, communication, parent involvement and program evaluation.
They also highlighted the collaborative leadership enacted to bring about the implementation of high quality instruction for some of QCSD’s neediest kindergarten students. The presentation also focused on the relationships of teacher leaders, building principals, central office administrators and intermediate unit personnel as they work to ensure high expectations for all students.
They shared a QCSDTVNews video, which you can watch by clicking here.
Strayer players win offense and defense awards
Strayer’s Matt Tuley and James Lacey won the coaches’ Big Cat and Hammer awards for their performances against Penn Dale last week. Matt won the Big Cat award for his epic run for a touchdown. “With his gaping stride no one was able to catch him,” said Coach Chris Deily. James earned the Hammer award for his dominating play inside as Defensive Tackle. He caused a fumble shifting momentum back to Strayer.
Milford and Strayer square off in football at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Alumni Field.
Musicians head to Nashville
QCHS Choral Director Jonathan Lechner and three students flew to Nashville, Tennessee this week, where Ron Jon Cubbage and Hayden Smith sang and Adam Rizzo played his oboe in the All National Honors Ensemble festival. Ron Jon became the first Quakertown student selected for All-National Chorus twice, and then he became the first Quakertown student to solo at a National festival.
The event took place at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center. Each student won their spot in the national ensemble by being selected for one of the PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) All-State ensembles last April. Then, each student had to submit a video audition to the NAfME for consideration and selection for the top honor group.
More than 650 students from all over the United States and military bases are participating.
Teachers commit to healthy habits, win prizes
QCSD employees won four of the 16 $250 Visa Gift Cards from the Health and Wellness Consortium, which helps the district curb health insurance costs. The 2014-15 Plan Year Exceptional Wellness Champion Points Prize Winners were Strayer teachers Carrie Allen and Kadishe Stoudt, elementary music teacher Melanie Hazelrigg and QCHS science teacher Katie Hoffman. A grand prize raffle winner of a $1,000 travel voucher went to someone in another school district. Learning Facilitator Lynne Morgan (far left, above) and Benefits Coordinator Anita Kaseman (far right) represent QCSD for the Bucks and Montgomery Health and Wellness Consortium.
The Bucks and Montgomery County Schools Health Care Consortium (BMCS) Wellness Committee is pleased to commend all those that achieved their wellness goals last plan year by tracking and earning 200 or more Wellness Points on Health Advocate’s website. The eligible participants who earned 200 or more Wellness Points were entered into a raffle and selected randomly. A new incentive year is currently under way and continues to June 30. The goal is to get more people engaged in Health Advocate activities like the challenges, biometric screening, personal health profile completion and healthy lifestyle workshops. Also, the consortium wants more people involved in making healthy lifestyle choices.
Mrs. Hoffman said it was not difficult to earn the points. She completed the personal health profile, entered the Choose to Lose contest, underwent the biometric screening and took the online workshops about such topics as nutrition, walking and stress. Mrs. Allen said she didn’t realize she could win anything. She just did all the activities for fun. Mrs. Hoffman said she plans to spend the gift card money on Christmas presents. Mrs. Allen said she just moved, so she’ll use the money to purchase “house stuff.” Mrs. Hazelrigg recorded her running miles, fruit and vegetables on the health tracker. She input all the information once a week. She’s currently taking an online nutrition workshop. She plans to spend her winnings on a North Pole Express train ride with her family in Ivyland.
PSAT/NMSQT Commended Students
QCHS seniors Ron Jon Cubbage, Skylar R. Lee, and Brett D. Wolfinger have been named Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. Principal David Finnerty presented a letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, to the three at last week’s School Board meeting.
“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”
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