Who's Who and What They Do!
Pfaff Kindergarten Teacher
14 years in QCSD. Taught kindergarten and first grade at Tohickon Valley, the Old Pfaff, and Trumbauersville. In kindergarten at Pfaff the last 7 years. Also taught 3 years in Washington State while her husband was stationed there in the Navy.
“I absolutely love kindergarten,” Karen said. “I love the high energy. The kids keep me on my toes and there is never any down time. I love being busy. I don’t realize I’m tired till I get home to my own 3 kids.”
Loves interacting with the kids and watching them learn and grow each day. Enjoys watching their growth from beginning to end of the year. "Kindergarten is rewarding because I get to see their tremendous progress both academically and behaviorally." A colleague noted that Karen is “really kid centered. She takes kindergarten seriously and prepares the kids well for the other grades.” A 5th grader who comes back to help in the kindergarten classroom said, “Mrs. Pritchard always made things fun. We were always moving. We could never sit still and fall asleep!”
Appreciates the fact that QCSD is “always current” with educational strategies and the “technology is top of the line.” Also loves working with the “wonderful teachers and staff.”
Husband Jay is a software engineer. Son Mathew, 13, is a 7th grader, son Daniel, 9, a 3rd grader, and daughter Katelyn, 5, is a kindergartener, all in the Boyertown Area School District. “It’s wonderful having Katelyn in kindergarten. I’ve been able to steal some of the crafty projects she’s done and add my own twist! My kids keep me current.”
Family spends a lot of time at the Boyertown Midget Baseball League fields for the boys and Katelyn dances. They go to Disney World every summer as Vacation Club Members. “Disney keeps me young!” Karen said. “I get to relive my childhood. I get to see my kids happy and I get quality time to relax with the family.”
Instructional Aide, Quakertown Elementary
12th year on the job; started as a classroom teacher’s aide at QE and spent one year at Richland in the Read to Succeed Program. Works with small groups of students on reading and writing.
Loves the diversity of the students and staff at QE, the “camaraderie. Everyone supports each other and the kids. What don’t I love about this place?” Especially appreciates the smiling faces of “certain kids who make my day. I love that we can be there for those don’t have family support.”
Her grown children all went to QCSD. Son Joe, 32, is married and works as the recreation director at a retirement home near Philadelphia. He is pursuing his bachelor's degree online at Penn State. Daughter Terri, 22, just graduated with her Master’s degree in American History from Millersville University and will be attending the University of Southern Mississippi, where she is beginning work on her PhD! She wants to be a college professor. Son Tom will be a senior electronic media major at Kutztown University.
“I like this district,” Peg said. “It’s close knit. I love the programs my kids enjoyed. TSA for Terri and Tom was terrific.” All three of her children capitalized on sports and clubs offered in the district and traveled to events in many states.
Enjoys biking, walking, jogging and kayaking with husband Jim, a custodian at Upper Moreland School District. They like to kayak in lakes Nockamixon and Galena.
Peg also volunteers for school functions, such as Fall Festival, Winter Wonderland, Kindergarten Graduation and Thank You Day. "I like to interact with the students in different settings and the kids love to see us." Her favorite program this year was Girls on the Run (an after-school program just for girls). She helps to coach Girls on the Run and wishes the program was available when her daughter was in school. “I have seen a change in the girls’ energy level. The program has really brought out their personalities. They’ve been kinder to each other. I see them working together more peacefully and they’re excited about getting in shape.” Said her running buddy Olivia, " I love being able to just be me!"
Nurse, Quakertown Elementary
2.5 years in the district, 1.5 years as long-term substitute nurse at QE. The RN spent 20 years as an oncology nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital-Bethlehem and 4 years nursing in a pediatrics office. Earned her RN at Central Florida Community College.
Dispenses Band-Aids, lotions and cough drops, takes temperatures, offers consoling words and gives hugs all day long to a steady stream of “patients.” A recent Monday morning featured a flurry of bug bites and poison ivy. Christina treated students with kindness and lotion and sent them back to class. “I like the variety all day long,” she said.
Likes the support between schools in QCSD, where she sees collaboration between buildings as a parent of 3 students, as well as from her professional vantage point. “I don’t feel isolated,” she said. “Kids from the different elementary schools interact in the community in many activities before they meet up with each other at the middle schools, Freshman Center and high school. They re-awaken bonds when they get there. It’s a great community feel.”
Husband Bob works in the IT department at Vanguard; son Rob is a 7th grader at Strayer (and stands 6-feet, 1-inch!) and son Nick is a 5th grader at Richland. They both play lots of sports. Leah, a second grader at Richland, plays piano and participates in Irish Dance. All three play in the bands. Events keep the family busy all weekend. They all like to bike and hike together.
Runs with girls and coaches involved in Girls on the Run, along with her daughter Leah. “I wanted to get involved because many of our students here at QE don’t have a big support system at home. Some live with just Mom, or just Dad or a grandparent. I see the kids who are active and the kids who are not. I want them to be healthy and vibrant. I used to run all the time but I never did a 5K. This gives us a chance to get in shape while supporting the girls.”
2nd Grade Teacher, Trumbauersville Elementary School
26th year teaching in QCSD; started teaching in Kindergarten out in the church when 6th grade was in the elementary schools and then at QE. Taught second grade at the old Pfaff and Trumbauersville; taught first grade for 3 years then returned to second grade. “I like second graders the most,” the warm and caring teacher said. “I like the way they come so far from the beginning of the year to the end. They grow physically and they mature emotionally. They are still really excited to learn and share the things they know. They make good connections.”
Likes the way the teachers in QCSD work together as a team. “Here at Trumbauersville, the teachers are all here for each other, whether it’s to help with materials, strategies, technology or emotional support. Whatever anyone needs.”
Lives with husband Barry, an attorney, in a log cabin in the woods, where she likes to read, sit by the pool, and spend time with her family. They like to travel to new places. They went to Spain when daughter Megan was there for a semester abroad. Plans to go to Argentina this summer when daughter Kimberly is there for a semester. Megan, 24, graduated in 2010 from Franklin & Marshall College, majoring in Spanish and International Studies and works for Rovi, a Spanish television channel, scheduling the Latin American shows. She uses her Spanish sending and receiving emails from all over Latin America. Kimberly is a junior at the University of Delaware, pursuing a triple major in
Walked/Ran her third half-marathon recently, the St. Luke’s Half Marathon in Allentown. “I like the feeling of accomplishment when I finish the 13.1 miles.”
QCHS Biology Teacher
Third year teaching biology in QCSD; previously worked as an aide and substitute at all the elementary schools. Raised her 4 children before going to college when the youngest was in kindergarten. “My kids saw how hard I worked and how I value education,” Tina said. “That was powerful.”
Teaches face-to-face and two cyber biology courses. “Every day is a grand adventure in teaching!” Tina said. “It’s fun to teach biology because kids get to explore what makes us us. It’s about life. It’s easy to keep them engaged because they see that what they are learning affects them.”
Built two cyber courses, for college prep and honors. Her two students are from Pennridge. Others have tried the cyber option but discovered the subject is tough. “Science is such a hands-on subject,” Tina said. “There’s a lot of content. I had some positive feedback from a Pennridge teacher who commended me on the rigor of the course. One of my students even has a tutor!”
Student taught in QCSD before taking a long-term substitute job in CB East. Turned down a job offer from CB to come here. “It was a no-brainer. I love the community,” Tina said. “I live here, attend events here. My kids go to school here. I want to be a part of it.”
Enjoys the students in QCSD. “They’re bright, funny and honest. They speak their minds and they’re real,” Tina said. “Administrators have been supportive. I’ve always felt like I could take risks and try new things in the classroom. I appreciate that.”
Married 21 years to husband Tom. They were high school sweethearts who went to different schools. They married and had 4 children: Billy, 20, majors in business at the University of Mississippi (Ole’ Miss); Brenna is a senior at QCHS, planning a career in communications; Stephen is at the Freshman Center and wants to be a science teacher; and Gabby is a 7th grader at Strayer, a social butterfly and “full of sunshine.”
Family likes to camp, go to the beach, hike, and generally likes to do things together. “I love to watch sports but I especially like to play sports, like ice hockey and soccer,” Tina said.
Elementary Art Teacher, Pfaff and Trumbauersville
2nd year in district, long term substitute; writing a high school cyber art history course. Graduated 2005 from QCHS and 2009 from Kutztown University.
Likes how QCSD is “on top of” education trends. “It feels like contemporary ideas are the norm. There’s a huge focus on teamwork and learning. Everyone at Pfaff and Trumbauersville are so welcoming. I feel very included.”
Loves teaching art to small children because they often surprise him, in positive ways, with their ideas. Has loved art since he was small, since Marc realized his grandfather’s house was full of paintings the elder (Merrill Beyer) had painted. “The first piece of art I remember producing on purpose was in first or second grade,” he said. “I drew a penguin. Then I started drawing all the time. I knew in fourth or fifth grade that I wanted to be a teacher. In seventh grade my passion for art grew and I knew I wanted to teach art.” At QCHS, art teachers Sue Quinque, Lynn Kraft and Amy Migliore influenced his progress.
Currently, his art involves metalsmithing. He’s working on a layered wall piece in his home mini-studio. Also likes to make jewelry. Has sold a few pieces and wishes he had more time to work on his own art. Likes to show students how to work with a variety of materials they don’t normally experience.
Enjoys spending time outside, hiking and at the beach. Walks his dog, Kozmo, a German shorthaired pointer. “He’s my best buddy,” Marc said.
Life Skills Teacher, Milford Middle School
Working with Life Skills group since 2003; began her professional career with the Intermediate Unit as a long term substitute and then was contracted at QCSD as an itinerant teacher to work with children in all areas of specialties. She worked 4 years in the emotional support classes and with students with multiple disabilities (13 years). “With the multiple disabilities students, I liked when I could see a light of understanding,” Stella said. “With Life Skills students, I can communicate with them and give them advice.”
Assisted every day by Dottie Abbott, Debbie Clemens and Pam Alderfer. Students enjoy plenty of one-on-one attention, whether they are working in books, workbooks, on computers or working with kitchen activities. The adults take the students out into the community on a regular basis, to stores, among other everyday places. Her students put together an annual Family Fun Night, which recently took place at Milford. Students also sell coffee and snacks to staff members every day. The goal is to help students become independent. Several of this year’s group of students head out of the room to be included with students in regular education classrooms.
“I respect my students,” Stella said. “And they respect me back. They do the best they can. They have to feel confident that they can be sociable as they move on to the Freshman Center and high school.”
Takes students camping to their own Outdoor School every year in the spring. Husband Tim always went along on the trips, until he was stricken with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was diagnosed in May 2010. Within a week of receiving a stomach tube, he passed away. “Life is not easy,” Stella said. “I think my experience with Tim’s disease helped to reinforce my belief of never giving up. There are all sorts of pitfalls from disability for people who have to just put up with a disease [or other ailment]. You know you will never recover but the battle must go on.”
Colleagues marvel at Stella’s upbeat attitude and say she is always positive and smiling. She lives with a “can-do” approach for her Life Skills students. Through many activities, students incorporate math and social skills. “Stella really pushes her kids to do the most they can academically and always advocates for her students to be included in everything,” said one Milford teacher.
Helps when she can with her father, who is battling cancer. Her parents live in Chalfont, where she grew up with 5 sisters, 1 brother, 3 step sisters and 2 step brothers. Now she lives with 2 “puppies,” Reagan, 9, and Brody, 4. Sons Eric, 27, and Brian 22, work for an engineering company, “testing stuff.”
“When negative things happen in life, it is easy to choose to give up,” Stella said. “It was not an option for Tim and it is not one I choose either. I learned to count on others and humor to see us through. The support for those in our family was great but the support given to us by my colleagues and work friends was truly amazing. It is what got me through and still does to this day. I like to find a lesson in the tragedy and move on in life from there. That is what I hope to impart on my students. In life, you get knocked down, but then you get up again. Never give up trying, even if you’re told you cannot win. You just never know!”
5th Grade Teacher, Quakertown Elementary
2nd year in QCSD, long term substitute, last year 4th grade at Pfaff; 18th year teaching, overall; previously taught in Central Bucks School District, southern New Hampshire (Windham) and Charlottesville, Virginia. Relocated family to Doylestown to live near husband’s family.
Loves the community feeling in QCSD. “It’s small enough to feel close to people and get to know teachers in other buildings,” Kim said. “Everyone is accessible, from schools to district office.” Loves the diversity at QE. Teaching 4th and 5th grade is her niche. “Kids in these grades accept new challenges. They’ve got a foundation. They find the content interesting. I love the American Revolution.” Painted a liberty tree on a sheet, which serves as a background for many student projects.
Athletic background serves her well as a teacher because it helps her relate to students. Played soccer and tennis at Plymouth State (New Hampshire) and was the quarterback for the New Hampshire Freedom of the International Women’s Football League, for one year. “My dad taught his 3 daughters how to throw properly,” Kim explained. “I always complained that women had no access to sports that required that skill. When my husband saw the call for tryouts for the football league, he said I couldn’t complain if I didn’t try out. So I did.” The league played full field and full tackle. Now Kim plays in an indoor women’s soccer league at Buxmount and outdoor co-ed soccer for Lenape Valley.
Started Girls on the Run (GOTR) at QE this spring. Heard about the international program, designed to help 3rd-to-8th grade girls improve and establish strong self-esteem, and tucked it in the back of her mind. At QE, the environment was ripe. “I wanted to boost the girls’ self-confidence and peer communication skills. I saw that they needed guidance on feeling good about their unique qualities and that could be accomplished through running.” Twice a week, Kim and several other women district staff members lead the girls through lessons and running. They will all run a 5K May 31 in Flemington, N.J. as a culmination.
“It’s working well,” Kim said of the 15 girls in the program. “I hear them using the language in class, like ‘plug in your positive cord,’ and not picking on each other. One girl told me her mom was using negative self talk and she explained to her how to plug in her positive cord! The girls aren’t whining about running like some of them were at the beginning. They are not bickering with each other as much. A couple of them have been complete turn-arounds. What I really love about GOTR is the time spent with the kids in a nonacademic setting, getting to know them, and motivating them to do something really good for themselves. The program gives us techniques to teach about how to communicate with each other, handle peer pressure, and language that will help the girls stand up for themselves.”
Enjoys playing outdoors with husband Steve (a pre-trial officer for the federal court system in New Jersey), son Jack, 6, and daughter Katie, 4. They like to ride bikes, go camping, canoeing, swimming and travel to New Hampshire and Virginia. “I have two fantastic, fun, energetic kids,” Kim said.
Lead Teacher on Special Assignment for Special Education
Assistant Football Coach
Started current assignment at the beginning of March; previously taught 16 years of math, most recently at the Freshman Center; works as defensive coordinator with the QCHS football team.
New job requires him to interact with all teachers, K-12, in QCSD who work with special needs students. “Our teachers already do an outstanding job,” Tony said. “I can help them share what they do with each other and show them strategies I’m learning.” Also working as the “super user” of the IEP Writer program, which maintains the accounting for IEPs and GIEPs for all special needs students. This will allow Special Education supervisors Lenny Greaney and Shirley Moyer to meet all the requirements of their jobs. Has already observed in a first grade classroom at Pfaff and met with teachers in middle and high school. “It’s been fun running into kids I have had in class in the past and I love seeing my football players.”
Played high school football while growing up in Miami, Florida. In the early 1990s, Tony moved to Hatboro to help his father, who was recovering from triple bypass surgery. Discovered Kutztown University and decided to enroll to finish his college education. “The place was completely opposite of Miami, it was farm land!” Met his future wife, Kristi, an early childhood education major.
Settled in Quakertown with Kristi. She works at the Upper Bucks YMCA. Daughters Abby (sixth grade, Strayer), Madison (4th grade, Neidig) and Bekah (2nd grade, Neidig) inherited Tony’s humor and entertaining personality. “Our house is the drop zone for every kid in the neighborhood,” he said. “I was home sick one day, got out of bed and saw 10 kids. My wife just said, ‘Well, you know…’ She is the most, outstanding wonderful woman. She’s my best friend and asset. I would never have made it as far as I have without her.” Family likes to ride bikes, go to church, go to soccer, swimming and Disney World.
Believes QCSD is the “best district in the state. Of course I’m completely biased, but I’ve seen a lot of districts, and we’re first!”
Shares his great sense of humor with colleagues and students. Looks a bit like teacher Chad Evans, whom he calls “my brother from another mother.” Tony said, “Students do want to know teachers as human beings. Humor helps. I absolutely love the kids.”
Middle School Cyber Teacher, Strayer
3rd year in QCSD; previously taught 2 years of 8th grade science in Lower Moreland School District; graduated with Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern and Penn State (2003).
Teaches science and social studies for all middle school students who take cyber courses, including sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Strayer and Milford. Must individualize help for each of his cyber students. That first means adding to and updating the sixth, seventh and eighth grade courses in the cyber format. It can then mean remediating with students who need additional support to learn material, or finding more in-depth material for students ready to enrich.
“The value of cyber is that students can work at their own pace,” Mike said. “It’s an opportunity for them to work ahead of the curve and explore curriculum at different angles. Some of the kids really get interested in looking at more advanced topics. It’s a great way to differentiate for individual learners.”
Most students enrolled in middle school cyber courses are hybrid students, Mike said, meaning they attend some face-to-face classes and take some in cyber. Some students take cyber from home. Most come to his Strayer classroom at least once a week to work there. “Communication is pretty easy with phone calls, email, instant messenger, and the Blackboard collaboration tools,” Mike said. “I’m able to give kids a lot of feedback. Some of the communication challenge is that we can’t exchange body language and facial expressions, which are a big part of teaching in a face-to-face classroom. I do get to know the kids, though, because of the one-to-one meetings. Cyber is not for every student. Some students need the face-to-face.”
Married to Strayer social studies teacher Sarah Peters. They take 1-year-old daughter Madelyn with them wherever they go. Mike enjoys rock climbing, back packing and fly fishing.
“As with any new program, the cyber program is working through some growing pains,” he said. “Personally I think the cyber program is off to a great start. It’s only going to get bigger and better. It allows kids to go as deep with their learning as they want.”
Math and RELA Cyber Teacher, Strayer Middle School
Started in QCSD, in 2004, teaching math and RELA in 7th grade at Strayer; transitioned to cyber teaching in 2010-2011 school year. Works with 30 students in sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grades, from Strayer and Milford. A student from the Freshman Center and a fifth grader from Trumbauersville are also part of the mix.
Likes the challenge of the position. “It’s different every day,” he said, noting that he works with students in a wide variety of curricula, including pre-algebra, algebra and remedial grade-level work. “Hybrid” students, who take some cyber classes and some face-to-face classes, work in his room every day, which helps the communication aspect of cyber learning. Sometimes Damian drives to Milford , the FC or Trumbauersville to meet students.
Researches to find quality activities to build and revamp the courses, to make sure he is finding appropriate level work for students from remedial to enrichment. Starts with the Prentice Hall online version of the math textbook and must keep up with student goals. “Some kids set their goals to excel through some courses quickly. Some can do it and some realize it’s too intense to do that in one school year. Some students also discover that cyber is not for them in certain subjects and they go back to face-to-face classrooms. Some of them just need more interaction with other students.”
Teaches according to student questions, he said, including questions students ask on the weekends. “Cyber is a great opportunity for students,” he said. “The district is off to a great start with the program. We have more work to do, building the courses.”
Spends time with wife Melissa, who used to teach middle school social studies before staying home with three children and teaching pre-school. Damian and Melissa spend time with Kydalin, 6, Breckin, 4, and Brandtley, 1, outdoors as much as possible. They travel to Williamsburg, Virginia for a week every summer.
Guidance Counselor, QCHS
27th year in QCSD; taught one year at his alma mater, Pennridge High School, upon graduating from Temple University. Then taught Social Studies at Milford Middle School for 14 years before going back to Kutztown University for a Master’s Degree in Secondary School counseling.
Likes being able to interact with students “on an adult level,” he said. “I like connecting with young adults and watching them grow. It’s satisfying to help students develop a plan for life after high school, especially when they may not have all the support they need.”
Coached soccer, baseball and wrestling over the years. Competed in those sports until high school, when he had to get a job to pay for driving a car and his college education.
Raises six children with wife Kim, who “has stayed home and has selflessly devoted herself to giving them a solid base.” Rebekah graduated from QCHS in 2006 and Kutztown University in 2010. She teaches in Central Bucks School District. Quinn graduated in 2008 and majors in computer science at West Chester University. Heath graduated in 2010 and is a math major at Liberty University. Cara is currently a QCHS senior and will decide soon where she will major in music education. Blair is a student at the Freshman Center and Isaac is in third grade at Pfaff.
Family enjoys trips to the beach and day trips, as well as watching movies together. Everyone is very involved in church activities.
“My kids got a solid education in QCSD,” Doug said. “They’ve transitioned to college very well. Sometimes it’s hard for people to work in the school district their children attend. But I’ve enjoyed it. We love the community."
Secretary, Richland Elementary School
Started Feb. 23. Previously worked in enrollment and application processing for Blackstone Career Institute, an online college, and in Human Resources for ADP payroll services. Graduated with a degree in Business, Management and Marketing in 2010 and from Emmaus High School in 2006.
Happy to work in an elementary school, where she can gain experience. “I love the school. The teachers are very friendly. The students are sweet. And [Dr.] Les [Staffeld, Principal] is very helpful. I can see that she loves the students and wants to help the school be a great place.”
Enjoys working out at the gym and snowboarding, when there is snow! Plays volleyball.
Loves to travel. Conveniently, her sister, Alicia, lived in Hawaii long enough for Kristin to visit four times. Now Alicia lives in Barcelona, so Kristin is planning a trip there. She has also been to the Dominican Republic, Cancun, Paris and Amsterdam.
QCHS Science Teacher
2nd year at QCHS; previously taught 3 years of biology at Liberty High School (Bethlehem); 2 years as Instructional Assistant at Southern Lehigh High School (SLHS); graduated from SLHS and University of Pittsburgh, with a degree in Biology. Currently working on a Master’s degree in biology at East Stroudsburg University. Coached field hockey at Liberty and DeSales University and hopes to return to coaching in the future.
Teaches Biology, Environmental Science and Forensics, including Options Academy classes.
“I had a really good science teacher in high school who got me interested in science as a major,” Cate said. “I thought I wanted to be a nurse practitioner. Before my nursing program started, I got a job at Southern Lehigh as an Instructional Assistant, that’s when I realized I wanted to teach. I went back to Moravian for a teaching certificate.”
Likes the fact that every day of teaching is different and she’s not working a desk job. “Students keep me on my toes,” she said. Cate’s enthusiasm for the subject and teaching has influenced many of her students to major in science in college.
Appreciates that QCSD administrators are open to bringing on new courses to meet student interest and need, as they fit the budget. She started the Forensics course at QCHS this year. “Forensics is a capstone course. It’s a smattering of the sciences with real life application. I’m lucky the district was willing to add it as a class. I took a crime scene investigation course in college. I realize I like teaching about the dead bodies but I don’t like being around them.”
Spends a lot of her “free time” prepping to teach her high school classes and taking her graduate classes. Listens to audio books while driving to East Stroudsburg so that she doesn’t give up “reading” good books.
Enjoys traveling. Drove cross country last summer and backpacked across Europe three summers ago. Goes to the gym as a stress reliever, a trick she learned through her fitness minor at Pitt. This summer she will engage in research for her Master’s thesis, the topic to be determined!
Nurse, Richland Elementary School
Started part time in QCSD in 1997, at Tohickon Valley. Took full time job at Richland in 2006. After graduating from nursing school, worked in neurology and neurosurgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital; ob/gyn and pediatrics for National Health Service Corps doctors in a very rural town in South Carolina; for husband’s medical practice; and stayed home with her young children.
“I love little kids,” Maggie said. “They’re fun. The majority of them are very innocent. Usually their first question is, ‘Do you give shots?’ When I assure them that I do not, they are relieved.” There are also her “frequent flyers” who need to have “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” story told to them over and over again. The mother of an adorable 5 year old boy recently had him hand her a note apologizing for pretending to be sick when really he just missed his mom. “We, school nurses, see a large variety of injuries and illness. Ill QCSD children, that years ago may not have been able to come to school are now able to attend just like every other healthy child because there is an RN in every building. “
Deeply involved in Upper Bucks County Relay for Life, as the longest lasting original member of the committee, formed in 2000. Got involved for several reasons, including the fact that her mother died of malignant melanoma; her son survived Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 6; her father had colon cancer; and her sister had malignant melanoma. “It’s scary. Everyone is affected in some way by cancer. Relay for Life raises money for every type of cancer. They’ve done a lot of research with the money, helped local people with things like transportation and equipment, whatever they need.”
Proudly notes she has made a lot of great friends through Relay for Life. Committee members work all year long to make the May event at Quakertown’s Memorial Park a huge success.
Enjoys cooking, gardening and decorating her 1800s house. “My dream is to run into one of those HGTV House or Bath Crasher guys at the Quakertown Lowes. There is always something to update in my home!” Enjoys traveling with family and two best friends she has kept in touch with since elementary school.
Grew up in Durham and graduated from Palisades School District. Husband, Dr. Dan Stauffer, runs a family medicine practice in Quakertown. Son Dan, now 24,, gr, aduated from QCHS in 2006 and Penn State in 2010 with a degree in , Health Policy and Administration. He works as a procurement specialist for Siemens Medical Solutions, setting up cost analysis and equipment for medical facilities that purchase imaging equipment. Daughter Hayley, 20, is a junior at Muhlenberg College, majoring in neuroscience with a minor in public health. She plans to be a physician’s assistant.
Loves QCSD teachers. “My kids got a great education here,” she said. “I always say you get out of it what you put into it. Teachers here are more than willing to help a child do his best.”
Started delivering mail in the district in January 2012. Retired at age 50 last June after a 30-year career in the television broadcast industry. “I loved it. It was the greatest job in the world,” Michael said. “But after 30 years in such a cerebral and demanding job, I’m happy to have retired and to start a new career delivering mail and work for QCSD as my golden years approach.”
Broadcast engineering put Michael on the front lines of major news stories in New Jersey, where he worked for New Jersey Public Television (NJN). From 1981-2011, he maintained the four television stations and seven radio stations owned by the state of New Jersey. He would operate a “live truck” with a crew, broadcasting an event by microwaving the, signals to the transmitters and eventually to “the world.” During his tenure, technology changed, moving from color TV to stereo TV and finally to the high definition television we have now.
Helped cover hurricanes on the Jersey Shore; snowstorms; floods in Trenton; horseracing; college football and basketball; entertainment and political events, including election night coverage. Keeps albums of photo opportunities with such stars as Tony Randall, Joe Piscopo, Brooke Shields, Danny Devito, Bill Murray, Bill Cosby, former Governor Jim McGreevy, Mike Tyson, Tony Dorsett and ABC Philadelphia’s Nora Muchanic, a good friend. “I met all the senators and politicians over the years,” Michael said.
Grew up in Horsham. A teacher at Hatboro-Horsham High School guided him toward a disc jockey job and Saturday classes at the American Academy of Broadcasting in Philadelphia, where he earned his third class FCC license. When he graduated from high school, he went back to the broadcasting school full time to earn a first class license. He worked in radio before moving to TV.
Now lives in Quakertown, where he can be home more often to help wife Tina, who has undergone two heart transplants and is a breast cancer survivor. “My wife is the bravest person I know and my inspiration, as well as the love of my life,” said Michael. Also spends much time with his daughters, Megan, Dannielle and Taylor and two granddaughters, Madison and Molly. Also likes to spend time watching sports with his son-in-law Nathan.
Plays guitar with band his band, The Sharkskins, which plays 1960s retro instrumental surf music. Over the years, the band opened for Jimmy Buffet in Camden, American surf rock guitarist Dick Dale and Los Straitjackets at such venues as the Ocean City Music Pier and Musikfest. On Cinco de Mayo, his band will play at the Sellersville Theater with Southern Culture on the Skids and on June 23 at the Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia. You can find videos of the band on youtube.
“I like having my summers off now, so I can tour with my band and spend time at the beach with my family,” Michael said. “I’m fortunate and grateful to have this new QCSD courier position and the people I work with are so kind and friendly to me. I love the feeling of being back at school after 34 years…the thrill of the end of the school year, and the excitement of a school year starting.”
Third Grade Teacher, Tohickon Valley
22 years in QCSD. Started as a long term substitute in 1990. Taught Kindergarten, first, second and third, at Neidig, Haycock (3 years) and Tohickon Valley (17 years). Previously taught in East Penn School District (first and second grades) and Eastern Lancaster County School District (various grades from Kindergarten to eighth grade language arts in an alternative school for “plain” students.)
Appreciates QCSD’s growth in the use of technology and the ready access to technology to benefit students and open the world to students through technology. “I like that we seek and implement strategies to offer each student the opportunity to work to their potential,” Phyllis said.
Relishes the welcoming atmosphere at Tohickon Valley for new students and staff. “It’s a caring community. The staff work together and share time, talents and materials,” she said.
Loves working with third graders because it is a year of significant growth and change. Students take on more responsibility and join the “big kids.”
Joined the QCSD Energy Committee because she believes in the concept of conserving our resources. “I have been part of the nature center committee at Tohickon Valley since the nature center was developed. Saving energy and reducing what goes into the atmosphere has a connection to promoting care for the environment.”
Enjoys reading, knitting and spending time with her family. Her son is in college and her daughter goes to medical school. “I also wear the hat of pastor’s wife,” Phyllis said. “Church and community activities keep me busy.”
First Grade Teacher, Neidig Elementary School
Sixth year in the district; student taught at Richland and worked long term substitute stints in kindergarten at Pfaff and Neidig. Earned a degree in social work at Elizabethtown University (1998) and taught two years of pre-school before earning teaching certificate at DeSales University. Earned a Master's degree in Educational Development & Strategies from Wilkes University (2006).
Loves little kids and shows a real knack for working with them. Breaks into song while talking students through clean-up instructions and they join right in the singing! “I make songs up,” Marsha said, laughing. “They’re so willing to please. I love their energy. I have a really good class of sweet kids who are good helpers.”
Spends every day for more than two weeks before school starts in the fall filling every nook, cranny and wall space with stimulating reading material. Like all primary classrooms, Marsha’s room is full of posters with word families, vowel charts, number lines, baskets of books, earphones, netbooks, a reading carpet, easels with big books and important song lyrics: “Lining up is easy, I’m standing straight and tall, I’m looking straight ahead of me, I’m ready for the hall.”
“Students make the most growth in reading in first grade,” Marsha said. “They move up seven levels. At some point for each kid, the sight words click and they realize they are readers. I read them Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey, at the beginning of the year. They love the story. I tell them that if they use their reading strategies and practice, they might be able to read it, or read their ‘dreambook’ aloud before the end of the year. They all yell, ‘YEAH!’ like they can’t wait. I love watching their progress.”
Concerned about energy use, recycling and the carbon footprint, Marsha joined the QCSD Energy Committee. Her students read by flashlight on Fridays and they just love it. “My parents instilled in me the need to care about the environment,” said Marsha, who went to Upper Perkiomen High School. “It’s all about education and awareness. Throughout Neidig, we’re using both sides of all the paper and that’s making a big difference. I'm looking forward to creating a bulletin board with energy saving tips.”
Enjoys riding her bike and participating in other outdoor activities, especially with boyfriend Dave and nephew Evan. She played basketball, softball and soccer in high school and still enjoys watching sports. Marsha also likes to travel to the beach and the spa!
Art Teacher, Richland Elementary
9th year teaching, all in QCSD, at QE, Pfaff and Richland. Hired before she graduated from Kutztown University in May 2003.
Enjoys working with her art department colleagues. “They’re inventive, collaborative and supportive,” she said. “We don’t get to see each other often, but if we send an email seeking supplies or ideas, everyone responds. I feel supported 100 percent of the time.” Also appreciates administrative support across the district as the art teachers hang up student work in gallery settings. “There will always be visual art,” she said. “It never goes away. Art gives the eyes something to look at and think about.”
Specializes in “fiber art,” also known as weaving. Had a big loom at home, but sold it when her toddler son started exploring the mechanical parts! “Weaving is therapeutic,” Jen said. “There’s a pattern, a repetition, a rhythm. We do some weaving with elementary students. It’s the first project for third graders and first graders also incorporate some weaving when we discuss Kente cloth. There are good skills that piggyback math patterns. And I challenge them to make some advanced patterns.”
Takes photos of her two children, Cooper, 2, and Talia, 8 months. Husband Bo is a middle school physical education teacher in the Conrad Weiser School District. Every day they head off to school in opposite directions. At home they all like to be outdoors, taking walks, going to the playground, and in the summer they like to dig in the sand at the beach.
Owen Breininger Counselor, Milford MS 4th year on the job; previously earned post-master’s certificates in Sports Psychology and Sports Counseling at California University of Pennsylvania; Master of Education and Bachelor’s degree (2006) at Lehigh University. Loves the close-knit community feel of QCSD, especially at Milford, where the veteran and newer staff members joke and laugh often. “The office team really gets along well, and Mrs. Koder and Mrs. Kirschman keep me on my toes,” he said. Wears many hats as a counselor. He is the only full time counselor in the building while Lillian Eskirack splits time at Strayer and Milford (1.5 days a week). Duties include counseling students; class scheduling; test administration for PSSA and other standardized tests. As a counselor, Owen sees himself as “the Band-Aid. With 450 kids in the building, my job is to get kids patched up and back into class. I try to help them get to a place where they are healthy enough mentally and emotionally to get back to class.” Student visits to his office “ebb and flow throughout the school year.” The sixth grade transition and holidays typically prompt more visits. Every day is different and Owen likes that.
Grew up in Richlandtown and went to Palisades School District. Played football at Lehigh and took on a graduate assistant job as one of the Strength and Conditioning Coaches. He is now in his 6th year coaching at Lehigh and works with every team in some capacity, with the exception of wrestling and swimming/diving. Needed another outlet for his competitive spirit, however, so he took up mixed martial arts. Some of his five competitions (in Atlantic City and Allentown) can be viewed on YouTube and he won a bit of money for his three wins and two losses. Arrived at Milford a couple times with a little bit of a black eye. “I like the intensity of the workouts and the discipline it teaches you,” Owen said. “It seems ironic that a counselor would be into this kind of thing, but I see it as competition, not fighting. I don’t have a conflict with the opponents. It’s a sport. We have kids here who are into Karate, Tae-kwon-do and wrestling. They like to talk to me about it the same way football players like to talk to me about football.” Promised his wife, Laura, that he is now “semi-retired” since they are looking to start a family. She teaches fourth grade in Palisades. They like to go to the beach in the summer and watch Phillies games. His father teaches emotional support in Perkiomen School District and his mother is a business manager at an alternative school called Perkiomen Valley Academy. Owen’s grandmother taught kindergarten in Saucon Valley. “I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of educators in my family,” Owen said.
Counselor, Milford MS
4th year on the job; previously earned post-master’s certificates in Sports Psychology and Sports Counseling at California University of Pennsylvania; Master of Education and Bachelor’s degree (2006) at Lehigh University.
Loves the close-knit community feel of QCSD, especially at Milford, where the veteran and newer staff members joke and laugh often. “The office team really gets along well, and Mrs. Koder and Mrs. Kirschman keep me on my toes,” he said.
Wears many hats as a counselor. He is the only full time counselor in the building while Lillian Eskirack splits time at Strayer and Milford (1.5 days a week). Duties include counseling students; class scheduling; test administration for PSSA and other standardized tests. As a counselor, Owen sees himself as “the Band-Aid. With 450 kids in the building, my job is to get kids patched up and back into class. I try to help them get to a place where they are healthy enough mentally and emotionally to get back to class.”
Student visits to his office “ebb and flow throughout the school year.” The sixth grade transition and holidays typically prompt more visits. Every day is different and Owen likes that.
Grew up in Richlandtown and went to Palisades School District. Played football at Lehigh and took on a graduate assistant job as one of the Strength and Conditioning Coaches. He is now in his 6th year coaching at Lehigh and works with every team in some capacity, with the exception of wrestling and swimming/diving.
Needed another outlet for his competitive spirit, however, so he took up mixed martial arts. Some of his five competitions (in Atlantic City and Allentown) can be viewed on YouTube and he won a bit of money for his three wins and two losses. Arrived at Milford a couple times with a little bit of a black eye. “I like the intensity of the workouts and the discipline it teaches you,” Owen said. “It seems ironic that a counselor would be into this kind of thing, but I see it as competition, not fighting. I don’t have a conflict with the opponents. It’s a sport. We have kids here who are into Karate, Tae-kwon-do and wrestling. They like to talk to me about it the same way football players like to talk to me about football.”
Promised his wife, Laura, that he is now “semi-retired” since they are looking to start a family. She teaches fourth grade in Palisades. They like to go to the beach in the summer and watch Phillies games. His father teaches emotional support in Perkiomen School District and his mother is a business manager at an alternative school called Perkiomen Valley Academy. Owen’s grandmother taught kindergarten in Saucon Valley. “I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of educators in my family,” Owen said.
Fifth year in current position; spent 21 years as a classroom teacher, at Quakertown Elementary (3 years in sixth grade); 18 years at Strayer (6th and 7th grades). After a short stint as QCHS Assistant Principal, was named Principal in 2007.
QCSD Lifer! Grew up in Quakertown and graduated from QCHS in 1980. Served as class president and scored 1,000 points for the basketball team before playing basketball at Penn State.
“I'm proud to be a Lifer,” Anita said. “I have a passion for this school district. Our kids do well because of their own drive, the teachers and administrators. I appreciate how hard my parents and the parents in our district work to put their kids through school and help them to realize a better life. I think some of our neighboring districts, where the parents are more affluent, don't always see us in their academic league. They look at us as a blue collar district. Even if we are, we are sending our kids to the same colleges where their kids go.”
Wants students to determine their own passion and vision for the future. “If one of our kids wants to go to a Princeton, which we've had, or a Drexel, they can go there.”
Happy to see the community becoming more diverse, in terms of religion, ethnicity and lifestyle. “This change can only help our kids grow,” Anita said. “They're seeing what the rest of the world sees.”
Excited about the upcoming high school renovation. “I felt strongly that this school needs to remain in the center of the community. QCHS is the core of Quakertown. I'm excited about some of the structural things we'll be able to do to showcase Quakertown students. We will not hide the pride!”
Enjoys spending time with her parents, Santo and Althea. Her mom graduated from QCHS. Likes exercising outdoors and capturing nature with her new hobby, photography.
Loves to honor fellow alumni at graduation as she looks out over the senior class at Stabler Arena. “I feel like I gave my heart and soul as a student here, and I still do now, as a faculty member.”
Management Assistant, Milford Middle School
16th year in QCSD. First year in current position; previously worked as a Special Education assistant at Pfaff (2 years), Milford (11 years with Life Skills), Strayer (2 years with Autistic Support). Also coached cheerleading for 29 years, at Milford, QCHS (3 years) and with QMFA.
Likes the “big family” atmosphere at Milford.
Works with students as the Milford disciplinarian and also helps to plan events and trips. Since the position is new at Milford, the job description is still developing. Principal Derek Peiffer said he would like her to control the day-to-day functions of the building so he can have time to work with teachers to develop the school’s future needs.
“I love working with the kids,” Holly said. “I always tell kids, ‘School is what you make it.’ I love that I can make a difference in students’ lives.” She also loves working with building secretary Dawn Koder and Mr. Peiffer. Holly said, “They are two of the most wonderful people.”
Visits classrooms and the cafeteria to be a presence for students. Relies on her own parental instincts and calls parents when working with disciplinary issues that involve their children.
Husband Michael is a farrier, a person who shoes horses! Daughter Vanessa, 23, graduated from QCHS in 2006 and East Stroudsburg University (2010). She is starting work on a Master’s Degree in health education and substitute teaches in QCSD. Son Michael, 21, graduated from QCHS in 2009. Holly grew up in Pennridge but her father and grandfather graduated from QCHS.
Loves to spend time with her family, including shopping with Vanessa and going to the beach. She de-stresses by crocheting and reading books.
Art Teacher, Strayer Middle School
9th year in QCSD, first year at Strayer; previously worked at Neidig, Pfaff and several other elementary schools.
Enjoys working with inquisitive middle school students who like to think, talk about and make innovative art. Works with sixth graders who have art everyday, which helps keep their momentum going on projects. “My students are so enthusiastic,” Kate said. “They love to design three dimensionally and especially like to work with clay. I am passionate about the power of art education to help prepare our students for their futures, no matter what life path they plan on pursuing. My goal is to help create confident innovators and communicators who are engaged with and open minded to the World around them.”
Takes photos and makes sketches when she travels, then creates oil paintings of the scenic shots. Especially likes mountain scenery since she is a dedicated rock climber. With husband Char, Kate has been climbing for 12 years in such places as South Africa (two summers); Yosemite National Park in California (usually twice a year); and often to the Gunks in New York state, known for its climbing cliffs. The couple climbs in rock gyms, also, in Doylestown and Wind Gap. Char works for a company that builds and inspects ropes courses and rock climbing facilities and teaches people how to use them.
“There are two kinds of rock climbing,” Kate explained. “There’s bouldering, on free standing rocks. We use crash pads but no harnesses. We also rope climb. I’ve even slept over two nights on a rock face in Yosemite!” She doesn’t compete but rock climbing competition is popular. She hosted an event called Climb for a Cause with Team In Training, which raises money for leukemia and lymphoma, and she climbs despite back surgery a little over a year ago.
Got interested in rock climbing while volunteering with Vista Americorps on a Nava, j, o reservation near Lake Powell, in Utah. “We would climb up the rocks and jump down into the lake to swim. I realized the part I liked best was the climbing up,” she said. Got involved with Vista while learning at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she felt very privileged. She would look out the windows at one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country and feel guilty. She decided to do something for others.
“Going to the Navajo reservation was so different and so good for me to be enmeshed in their culture,” Kate said. “The people have nothing, materially, but they are so comfortable and calm. I helped develop curriculum in their public school, to incorproate their culture. I co-authored a few small publications that documented Navajo legends and worked with kids in an effort to help them decide what they want to do with their lives.”
Appreciates QCSD’s policy of respecting teachers as professionals. “We’re encouraged to develop ourselves and the curriculum. We’re always trying to improve ourselves,” Kate said, noting her vocation fits well with her avocation.
Started 1.5 years ago; QCHS is his home base but he “floats” to other buildings as needed. Second career after working as a carpenter for 28 years. Guy is happy for the work since the economy forced him to look for a new source of income.
QCHS Lifer! Born in 1962, the last year Quakertown Hospital had its own maternity ward. Went to several elementary schools, Strayer Middle School and QCHS, graduating in 1982 with high school sweetheart Ruth Ann Amey. Guy remembers going to the drive-in theater that stood where Kohls department store is now. Ruth Ann went to college for a degree in elementary and special education. They’ve been married 25 years and have 9 children! Ruth Ann taught for many years, ran a nursery school for 8 years at St. John’s, then decided to stay home with her gr, owing family.
“Ruth Ann has a fondness for phonics,” Guy joked, explaining his children’s names start from A to I: Adam (graduated from QCHS and Keystone College as an artist); Brian (3rd year machining student at Penn Tech College in Williamsport); Cassandra (freshman large animal veterinarian major at Delaware Valley College); Douglas (QCHS junior); Eli (Strayer 8th grader); Foster (Strayer 7th grader); Giacinta (QE 5th grader); Harbert (QE 4th grader); and Ivyanna (QE 1st grader).
“By No. 5, I thought Eli was Enough and Foster was Finished,” Guy laughed. “But three more came along and they are wonderful. Ivyanna is such a sweetheart. When I work at QE, I get hugs from Ivyanna and Giacinta. When I started at the high school, Doug wasn’t too sure he was happy to see me there! He’s warming up to me now.”
Normal sibling squabbles erupt at times in the twin house. “They’re crowded,” Guy said, “but everyone gets along. ABCD have traveled for activities, such as People to People and baseball. Adam went to Australia; Brian to Yellowstone and Colorado; Cassandra to Europe; Doug to California, Florida and Las Vegas. They fundraise and they help pay for college. “They are all good students, so they do this on their own merit,” Guy said.
Credits everyone’s success to Ruth Ann’s organization. They take turns taking kids to many different activities, including dance, baseball and taekwondo. They eat big holiday dinners at “Mommom” Dolores Amey’s house. The QCHS grad used to own Liberty Bell Restaurant and “she doesn’t know how to cook small.”
Satisfied with QCSD. “My kids have done well here,” Guy said. “The academic program is very good. The teachers are personable with the kids and they’re interested in kids’ learning.”
QCHS Math Teacher
7th year teaching, all in QCSD. Teaches live classes at the high school and teaches cyber classes. One of the original cyber teachers two years ago, when he taught all the math cyber classes for 7th to 12th grades.
Quakertown lifer! Born and raised in Quakertown and graduated from QCHS in 2001, with high school sweetheart, Diana Kramer, now his wife! They went to Millersville University for teaching degrees. Mike has a BS in Mathematics and certification in science as well. Diana will resume teaching middle school English at Saucon Valley next semester, when 8-month-old Savannah is, almost a year old. Mike played football and basketball at QCHS.
“I feel like I earned and received a solid education here,” Mike said. “I remember almost everything that I learned in all of my high school classes. We have fantastic teachers here that work very hard and are very dedicated to their students. Almost all of the teachers that I had are now retired. I had great teachers whose lectures inspired me to learn more.” Mike was in his father Steve’s science class at the high school. (Steve now teaches at the Freshman Center.) “I would have done well with whoever I would have had because I walked into the class knowing almost everything. I spent many years working in the planetarium with my dad. We did hundreds of various science experiments together at home or at the shore from all branches of science - chemistry, physics, rocks, plants, oceanography, and astronomy, which included observations with telescopes. He was constantly teaching me science and how the world and the universe work everywhere we went as a kid, which has shaped my personal interests of today.” Mother Cindy is a nurse.
Enjoys and highly values spending time and relaxing with his family when he’s not working. The nightly ritual is watching favorite show King Of Queens and the other shows on TBS. Outside of family, he enjoys lifting weights and working out at the gym, swimming, watching and playing sports, going to high school and college football and basketball games (Big 5 basketball) with his dad, anything with electronics and science, and learning how things work. He likes to build things and also take things apart out of curiosity to learn how they work. His obsession has been audio and video as he used to install car stereos in his spare time and fine tune them to sound perfect. He is currently trying to plan out and save to build his dream home theater system that is loud with perfect, crystal clear sound for movies and listening to music.
With 3 years of experience teaching cyber school, Mike can say the key to success for students is for him “to keep on them. It takes lots of communication. Kids who sign up for cyber classes should be motivated and independent. They also need to be able to schedule themselves to get the work done. It does require the right kind of personality to be enrolled in cyber.”
Art Teacher, Strayer Middle School
8th year teaching at Strayer Middle School after two short stints, as an art substitute, in Palisades and CB West.
5th Grade Teacher, Pfaff Elementary
19th year teaching, all in QCSD. Taught 5th grade at Richland for 13 years before moving to the new Pfaff. Loves teaching elementary students so he can teach all subjects.
A lifer! Grew up in Quakertown, the son of 1959 QCHS graduates Richard and Shirley Wolfinger. Jeff graduated in 1988 after quarterbacking a “pretty good” Panther football team. Wife Nina, a hairstylist, also graduated from QCHS. Son Nick, 22, graduated and is working; and son Brett, 14, is an eighth grader at Milford Middle School.
“I like the people here,” Jeff said. “They are friendly, hard working and they support education. The Pfaff parents are super supportive. The kids are hard working. They want to do well. I hold before school support groups, like for math, a couple times a month, before major assessments. Most of the kids come.”
Coaches the quarterbacks and defensive backs as part of Head Coach George Banas’ Panther football squad staff.
Loves outdoor activities, including f, ishing a, nd hunting. “I like being in the woods,” he said. “I like archery , season. It’s a little more of a challenge.” Caught halibut and salmon last summer in Alaska on a trip with Brett and his father. “I can’t believe there is still a place left on earth that is that pristine and beautiful.”
Art Teacher, Milford Middle School
15th year teaching, all in QCSD; 2nd year at Milford; previously taught 13 years at Tohickon Valley, with itinerant time spent at the old Pfaff, Haycock and Richland.
5th Grade Teacher, Quakertown Elementary
Sixth year teaching, overall, five and a half years at QE. Started as a building substitute at Trumbauersville before teaching second grade at QE. Completed a Master’s degree in Classroom Technology from Wilkes University and also earned an ESL certificate.
“I like 5th graders because I can really challenge and push them, especially with the technology,” said Ryan. “Plus they get my humor. My jokes used to go over the second graders’ heads!”
Likes QCSD because “we seem ahead of the game in strategies, implementing Standards Based Grading, technology, everything. I live in the Lehigh Valley and I see what’s going on in other school districts. We seem way ahead of them. And we’re successful.”
Especially likes teaching at QE because he likes “helping kids who need it the most. Our population is different than in other buildings. The kids need male role models, so I feel like I have something to offer the kids who need that.”
Spent 7 years as a Physical Therapy Assistant at Coordinated Health in Allentown before becoming a teacher. “I worked in outpatient rehabilitation with kids and I realized I could connect with them, to push and motivate them,” he said. “I was ready to do something new. I love teaching.” Still works two weekends a month and summers as a PT Assistant.
Enjoys spending time with his family, which includes wife Caroline, daughter Addison, 5, and son Connor, 2. They like to walk and ride bikes at the park and visit his snow-bird in-laws in Venice, Florida for winter time beach swims.
“I really like connecting with kids for learning experiences that take them above and beyond our curriculum, like the egg drop competition, science fair and a K’nex Club,” Ryan said. “We’ve got a powwow coming up for our history lessons. And we’re having a culture lunch this week because I have a diverse group of students in my classroom this year.”
Played bass guitar in a rock band for many years, performing in Philadelphia, Allentown and New York City prior to teaching. Recorded three CDs.
2nd Grade Teacher Tohickon Valley
Started teaching in 1995 in first grade at Tohickon Valley. Also taught first and fourth grade at Neidig, returned to Tohickon Valley to teach Kindergarten for 9 years and is in her fourth year of second grade.
“I’ve loved every grade. Primary suits my personality,” said the busy teacher-mom, who has four blonde daughters at home. “When I moved to second grade I worried I wouldn’t have as many funny stories as I did from younger kids. But second graders are funny, too. My own kids know my school kids from the stories I tell.”
Loves QCSD because “we are always looking to challenge ourselves to meet the needs of all children,” said Melissa, who has a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology, a Reading Specialist certificate and is a National Writing Fellow.
Loves Tohickon Valley because of the camaraderie and collaborative nature of her colleagues. “Everyone is very generous of their time and talent. We all work well together.”
With husband Mark, a self-employed engineer, Melissa keeps busy with 11-year-old twins Madison and Meghan, 8-year-old Mackenzie and 5-year-old Macey. The twins play soccer, Mackenzie participates in gymnastics at Parkettes and Macey entertains the fam, ily with her charisma and charm.
Family activities include the beach, skiing, golfing, hiking (Hawk Mt. and Ricketts Glen are favorites), boating on the Chesapeake, shopping and following the Philadelphia sports teams (especially the Phillies). Melissa enjoys photography, reading, baking and staying active. She and Mark went sky diving for the first time last year. “It was exhilarating! We absolutely LOVED it!”
QCHS Physical Education Teacher
27th year in QCSD, 28th year teaching overall. Started at Parkland School District, at an elementary school. Has worked with students of all levels and age groups.
“It’s nice to see students as they get ready to graduate,” he said of the high school level. “To see how much growth they’ve made as they go into college, career paths or the military. We’re instilling in them the independence and responsibility required in life beyond high school.”
Loves to capitalize on the maturation phase as students see valid reasons to become fit. “I’ve seen a trend toward more personal fitness and lifetime activities over team activities,” said Jim. “The perception of high school students is that they don’t like p, h, ys ed class, but that’s not true. Most kids still enjoy being active and challenging themselves, physically. Our department tries to accomplish this in a positive, fun way. Many students enjoy the opportunity to explore personal fitness. For example, in our Fitness Unit, students develop their own personal fitness programs and work out in the Fitness Lab.”
QCHS purchased fitness equipment three years ago, including six stationary bikes, two rowing machines, four Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) pads, four game bikes (students race each other, thanks to a video screen), three treadmills, one elliptical, and one recumbent bike. “Not many kids have been on a rowing machine before and we take for granted they know how to use a treadmill. They don’t!” Machines will be moved out of the basement and into the upper gym when the high school renovation is complete.
“The focus is on lifelong fitness. By learning to use the equipment here, they gain an appreciation of exercise that often leads to other healthier lifestyle decisions,” Jim said. “Of course, we still like to get them outside when the weather is nice.”
Several students and teachers started joining Jim at 6:30 a.m. to work out. They use machines, weights and the indoor track. In fact, the students hope to create shirts identifying themselves as a club.
Jim coached football and track for 10 years before stepping away to concentrate on raising a family and individual fitness. He practices what he preaches, working out to maintain good health, especially knowing his family health history.
In addition to teaching, Jim enjoys spending time and traveling with family, which includes his wife Kathy and their two teenage children.
“Educational research tells us that the preferred learning style of many children is kinesthetic (movement) rather than auditory or visual,” Jim noted. “In some cases, physical education is the only class that encourages them to be active while learning. Active engagement that results in health benefits is a win-win!”&, nbsp;
QCHS English Teacher
25th year in QCSD, 27th overall. Started career at Pennridge South Junior High School, then left teaching to sell cars and work in a bank for two years. Missed students, so she took a job at QCHS. Over the years, took a turn as Lead Teacher and Literacy Coach, but loves teaching students in the classroom because “it’s the most rewarding” part of education. ,
Smoothly blends tea, ching fundamentals of writing and reading with technology and new applications as they come along. “I absolutely feel like I should work the technology into my curriculum,” Tracy said. “It’s part of my responsibility to bring 21st century skills into my classroom. I love the fact that QCSD is a progressive district. We don’t settle for status quo. We try to provide the best possible educational practices. While sometimes students and parents don’t see that now, they do realize later that we offered them the right tools.”
National Writing Project fellow, she feels her area of expertise is teaching writing. “It feels like coaching. I can break down the skills in practice, like prepping for a big game.” Students know they can go to Tracy for tutoring as needed. Typically, several students arrive an hour before school for pre-PSAT coaching sessions.
Played field hockey at Neshaminy Maple Point High School, then at Penn State during the era when women’s sports were gaining traction, with athletic scholarships and NCAA competition. She played and coached when the women’s Olympic Team gained worldwide prominence: Old Dominion University coach Beth Anders was the Olympic Team player/coach. “Her free hits clocked in at 102 mi, les per hour!” Tracy remembered. Tracy came close to making it to the Olympic Development Training Camp in Colorado, but illness and finances got in the way. <, o:p>
Worked as Assistant Field Hockey Coach when current Athle, tic Director Sylvia Kalasz was the head coach. Their teams made it to the state tournament several times. Current teachers Melinda Lepko and Kate (Gwilliam) Kemp, guidance counselor Brenda Roth and aide Mackenzie Armstrong were players on those teams.
Still plays club field hockey on Saturdays with many members of the group. Otherwise, she enjoys spending time with friends, family and her dog.
Palace of Mathematics, room 17, Milford Middle School
Retiring in June after 36 years teaching in QCSD. Grew up in Quakertown and went to QCSD schools. Talk about a Lifer!
“I will greatly miss what I do. It’s been a great 36 years,” Bruce said.
Takes “colorful character” term to heart. Loves to wear colorful ties, hats, shirts and Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers. Has taken thousands of colorful photos over the years of students and teachers. His classroom is crammed with photos and other memorabilia. “I have from June 7, the last day of school, to June 30 to clean out this room. My wife said I’m not allowed to bring it home.”
One corner of the room features SBG phrases. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest grader of them all?” he asks visitors. “I’ve taught from 7 different textbook series. I personally don’t like change, but it all works because of teacher style. I’ve always stolen the best stuff from other teachers and added my own to make it the best. I’ve always been emphatic about teaching. That’s a true fact.” ,
Many corners of the room feature Star Trek characters. Wearing a necktie with a photo of Captain Picard, Bruce stands next to a cardboard cutout of the captain, who is wearing a tie with a photo of Bruce.
One corner of the room features his sports teams. He coached 84 seasons of sports in QCSD, including high school boys’ and girls’ junior varsity soccer and Milford girls’ and boys’ soccer and basketball. He said 48 of the students he taught or coached are no longer alive. That makes him sad. “I’ve always had a good rapport with kids,” he said. “I’m lucky that I can get the students to work. Kids make things happen in my room. They’ve always been enthusiastic and I’ve always taken the opportunity to run with it.”
Invokes the memory of his father, his teaching role model. Bruce Knauss Senior taught 35 years in Bethlehem. He died 4 years after retiring. Bruce’s mom, Joan, still lives in Quakertown. Bruce and his wife, Colleen, settled in Southern Lehigh School District after meeting when she was a student in a night class Bruce taught at Moravian College. Colleen works in accounting at Coopersburg Sports, which makes baseball memorabilia. Son Andy, 23, gives tours at Lost River Caverns in Hellertown. Son Eric is in his second year of engineering at Northampton Community College.
Will most miss students. Plans to do whatever Colleen wants him to , do! “I will simply continue having fun with whoever I am with, wherever I am,” he said.
K. Eric Thompson
Assistant Principal, Strayer Middle School
Started in September. Previously worked as Assistant Principal at Warwick High School (Lititz, Lancaster County) for 2 years. Taught American History (5 years) in middle school in the Downingtown Area School District. He also coached middle school boys’ basketball there.
“I absolutely love it at Strayer,” Eric said. “The staff is terrific and the kids make me feel like a celebrity. When I walk down the hall, they s, mil, e and say, ‘Hi Mr. Thompson, how are you?’ It’s a great feeling. Cindy [Lapinski’s] been great and I met a lot of nice people at Back to School Night. It’s a good c, ommunity feeling here, similar to what I experienced at Downingtown and Warwick.”
Grew up in Chester County. Earned his B.S. at Eastern University and met his wife there. Earned his master’s degree at Villanova, where he was honored as one of the first students to pass the university’s Ed Leadership Comprehensive Written Examination “with distinction.”
Enjoys middle school aged students for their enthusiasm and positive energy.
Huge Philadelphia sports fan. Eric loves the Eagles, Villanova basketball, and the Phillies.
With wife, Alexis (a former teacher), chases after toddlers Jack, 2, and Farrah, 1 (and they are expecting a third baby on Christmas Day). They recently moved to the Quakertown area to be situated between her family in New Jersey and his in Chester County. “We used to take day trips to the beach, but that’s been replaced with Sesame Place,” Eric said. “Our life revolves around playing at the park, going to the playground and swimming at the pool. We love every minute of it.”
Assistant to the Director of Human Resources
Started Aug. 31. Previously worked in a similar position in Springfield Township School District (16 months); and as an intern with Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority. Graduated from Bloomsburg University (2009) with a Business Administration Degree and a concentration in Human Resources.
QCSD Lifer! Graduated from QCHS in 2005. “I know a lot of people here,” he said. “W, hen teachers come into the district office and see me, they do a double take. I feel at home here.”
Knows he has big shoes to fill from his predecessor. “It’s helpful that our time is overlapping,” Zach said. “Everyone has been friendly and helpful. This is an inviting place.” His first goal is to settle into his new role, learning all the protocols.
Fell into the human resources field after enjoying courses at Bloomsburg, where a trusted professor offered him good advice. Currently enrolled in an MBA program at Eastern University. His ultimate goal is to become the head of a human resources department.
Engaged to Carly Smith, a QCHS 20005 graduate. They started “going out” together in 7th grade at Strayer. She went on to Temple and Arcadia universities and now works as a Physician’s Assistant in Chestnut Hill. Carly and Zach like to stay active with biking, walking and working out. They like to hang out to relax and go to movies. He’s proud to say his parents (John and Debbie) and grandparents were all high school sweethearts at QCHS.
Human Resources Benefits Coordinator
Started August 31. Previously worked as a Human Resource Generalist at Bucks County IU #22, helping with “anything and everything!” Graduated from Widener University (2005) in International Relations, then earned a certificate in Human Resources at Lehigh Carbon Community College. Worked for Lincoln Investment Planning and has more than five years of experience combined in the financial and insurance industries.
Likes working at QCSD because the job suits her career goals. “Everyone has been super nice and welcoming,” she said, noting she is receiving on-the-job training from Director of Human Resources, and HR Assistant Gloria Hrabina, who will retire in January after 45 years in QCSD! Barb Jorgenson, Lindsay’s predecessor, left a manual and employees with the benefit carriers have also been very helpful.
Along with her new counterpart, Zachary Schoch, wants to update personnel forms on Panthernet, the district’s intranet. Hoping for feedback from employees so she can help them learn more about their benefits.
Played rugby at Widener before tearing her ACL. Now she takes nature walks, reads nutrition books and grows flowers and vegetables with her boyfriend, Dan. “We bought a 1921 house that sits on land just shy of an acre. The previous owner had developed substantial gardens so we are trying to keep up with them.” Also loves the beach in Delaware, where she plays lots of horseshoes. And she likes to bake, especially cheesecakes!
Administrative Assistant to the QCHS Principal
Started July 28. Previously worked (1 year) as middle school secretary and (1 year) at the high school in Upper Perkiomen School District; worked in several small schools as her family moved to several states.
Likes QCSD. Currently learning all the “intricate facets” of the budget process. “There are a lot of accounts!” she marveled.
Earned a degree in 2000 from Pittsburgh Technical Institute in Travel and Tourism. Worked for a specialty travel agency, arranging African safari itineraries for clientele, including celebrities Heather Thomas and the former President George W. Bush.
Married 20 years to Bill, whose job as Director of Transportation for Gordon Food Service takes him to five Eastern regions. Heather and sons Billy and Blake often tag along to take in the culture of Boston, Washington, D.C. and Manhattan. Bill wins trips, which helps Heather travel and take cruises and meet celebrities Jeff Foxworthy, Kenny Rogers, Amy Grant and Huey Lewis to name a few. Heather and Bill also went on two mission trips, including one to Barbados to work with Child Evangelist Fellowship. They served on the Board for CEF for 3 years while living in Pittsburgh. They also went to Jamaica, where she worked as a Youth Group Leader, building a church and teaching bible school to children. “It’s important to be a role model to kids, students who may be lacking that in their lives. To live a life of integrity, honesty, respect and compassion is something many children of this generation are missing. It’s an honor to serve our future leaders,” Heather said.
Besides living in 8 different places, from Miami to Michigan, Heather has also traveled to such places as the Bahamas, Grand Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Tortola, Antigua, St. Lucia, Dominica and Puerto Vallarta.
Watches plenty of ice hockey as Billy now plays Division I for Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Blake, who has played for teams in the many places they have lived. “Blake was practically born in a rink!” she laughed. Family likes the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“I’ve been blessed, really,” Heather said, “to be able to go to so many places and meet so many great people. I hope to be an asset here in QCSD.”
Rachel Holler, Ed.D.
Director of Educational Programs
Started July, 2011; specifically leadi, ng curriculum for math, science, practical arts (business, technology education, Family and Consumer Science), world language, and ESL services.
Previously worked as Principal at Norristown Area High School (2 years); Principal of Stewart Middle School in Norristown (5 years); Assistant Principal Perkiomen Valley middle school; and she taught five years in three states, Ohio, California and Allentown, PA. Graduated from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, where she was a swimmer. Swam at Dennison University (Ohio) during her undergraduate years; earned her Master’s degree from Ashland University (Ohio) and her doctorate in September, 2006 from Lehigh University.
“I love school!” Rachel admitted. “It’s always been natural for me to wake up and go to school. I took a few short breaks between degrees, but I’ve always enjoyed taking classes. That’s how I got my doctorate so quickly.”
Likes everyone she has met in the district. “The teachers, parents, administrators, support staff have all been friendly and welcoming. I’m impressed with everyone’s commitment to the initiatives that have been undertaken in the last few years. It’s amazing how much has happened.”
Set her goal to establish positive working relationships with staff members and specifically to help bring some overall improvement in math performance toward the district’s AYP goal.
For fun, she teaches as an adjunct professor at Lehigh University, specifically guiding educators through courses in The Principalship and Introduction to Organizational Leadership. Looking forward to reading more novels now that her own course work has slowed down.
Enjoys spending time with husband Adam, a supply chain manager for FMC Corp in Philadelphia. They like to travel and hike. Recently they hiked in Alberta, Canada. They have also hiked in Washington state and several national parks, including Yosemite. They hope to hike in all 50 states, mapping and tracking their hikes. Rachel also likes to check out old mansions. She loved the Biltmore in North Carolina, America’s largest home; and the summer homes in Newport, Rhode Island.
School Board Member
1.5 years on board. Encouraged to run by community members. “At the time there was discussion about the upheaval in the budget,” Bob explained. “Programs like foreign language, sports and music were being threatened. I felt those things were important and I will continue to support them.”
Learned that it’s not quite as easy as one would expect to change things. “Sometimes it’s difficult to get consensus among the board to move things forward.” However, he does find his participation “absolutely rewarding. It’s great to be able to have an impact, to have a voice and to be able to provide direction for things I feel are important to the community and students.”
Member of the high school renovation committee, hoping to get more community input on the high school design from people who have experience “with construction and education across the board.”
Between jobs. Worked for many years with computer chips in the semiconductor industry as a business analyst and program manager. Traveled around the world, spending a lot of time in Europe and Asia with a company acquired in Switzerland, integrating that company into the larger company. He set up locations in Asia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Daughter Hannah Smith graduates this year; son David graduated in 2008. He will be a senior at Philadelphia Biblical University in the fall. Married to Joyce, who works as an administrative assistant for a youth pastor. Family enjoys outdoor activities, including camping, skiing and hiking.
Looks forward to having a greater impact in QCSD and working closely with school board members and administrators.
QCEA President and Liaison for Professional Development
Two months in newly created position as Teacher on Special Assignment. Spends lots of time in meetings across the district, gathering information and brainstorming. “The goal is to improve communication between the curriculum office, administration and teachers, specifically as we move into the new Professional Development model and the new teacher contract,” Chris explained. “We want more teachers to take ownership and have more input into what they need to grow as teachers that will help improve student learning.”
In his 16th year overall and 13th year in QCSD; all 13 years at Strayer Middle School, where he co-taught 8th grade math.
QCSD “lifer!” He grew up in the district and graduated from QCHS in 1991, along with his wife, Brenda, a guidance counselor at the Freshman Center.
“I like the community feel,” Chris said. “The people here are always looking out for each other. Quakertown is big enough with things to do but small enough to know your neighbor.” Lives in Upper Perkiomen because he couldn’t find a house he could afford at the time in QCSD. Rest of his family lives in Quakertown, including sister, Jen Stover, a Reading Specialist at the Freshman Center, and father, Judge Robert Roth.
Does miss interacting with kids in his new job, but does enjoy the opportunity to communicate with a lot of different people as faculty and staff share responsibility and ideas for increasing student engagement.
Loves to play sports and especially wakeboard with wife and kids, Caleb, 8, and Megan, 5. They take friends to Lake Wallenpaupack and whip them around the lake behind the boat. A good storyteller, he tells funny stories about wakeboarding and his kids.
Secretary, Richland Elementary School
Started May 17. Previously worked 4 years as a secretary in the guidance office at Upper Perkiomen High School. Her job was furloughed. “It was an unexpected change but life is good. I’m happy!” she said.
Grew up in Pennsburg and graduated from Upper Perkiomen, where her mother worked for the school district for 30-plus years. Her three children go to Upper Perk schools. Chrissie stayed at home with her children before working at the high school.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone here at Richland,” she said. “The staff is friendly and the kids are so good. At the high school, I saw kids at the tail end of their public education. Now I will see them starting out and maturing.”
She and husband Perry, a civil engineer on a survey crew, take their kids to all their sporting events. Daulton, 15, plays basketball and baseball. Jacob, 13, plays football, , basketball and baseball. And Abigail, 8, plays field hockey, basketball and softball. They like to walk their English Spring Spaniel, Dakota. They like to go to Iron Pigs baseball games when they can.
M. Lincoln Kaar
Video Production and Digital Photography Teacher
1st year in QCSD. Previously taught 2.5 years at Easton High School as a Classroom Technology Coordinator; a half year in Allentown; and 17 years in middle and elementary with Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland). He taught web design, video editing, computer animation and world history!
Likes QCSD, where he finds “most students here want to learn. They’re not just going through the motions.”
The Apple-Final Cut Pro certified trainer sees the value for students in the Video Production/QCSD-TV News class, which he co-teaches. “So many of the skills can be used outside of school. There are so many opportunities for kids when they leave this class. They can use the skills in college, a trade school, a job. Everything now is done through video and the internet. Even newspapers run video stories online. They need people who can edit. It’s a big industry and it’s just starting.”
Grew up in central PA, playing soccer through college at Shippensburg University. Earned a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Design and Instruction with a focus on Technology at McDaniel College in Maryland.
Enjoys spending time with wife Karen, a Reading Specialist, and sons Jaden, 8, and Reagan, 5. Jaden already likes taking video. Both boys like to play baseball and soccer and with Legos.
QCHS English Teacher and Paw Prints Advisor
11 years at QCSD; taught a year in Charlotte, N.C., and at a school in Maryland, sandwiched around sports writing and sports editing jobs at the Savannah (Ga.) Morning News and course work for many college degrees. Graduated from Southern Lehigh High School and the University of Delaware, Cedar Crest College (teaching certificate), the University of South Carolina (Master of Arts degree in Mass Communications and Journalism).
“I loved sports writing full time, but it didn’t pay much,” said Brad, who continues to cover sports as a freelancer for The Morning Call. He has also coached basketball at Muhlenberg College, Parkland, Northampton, Quakertown, Southern Lehigh high schools and Providence Day School, an elite prep school in North Carolina. At 5-foot-7, he was a “feisty and tenacious” player on the basketball court, baseball diamond and football field in high school.
Currently teaches journalism (Paw Prints), mass media, American Lit. at QCHS. Also taught Freshman English and World Lit. and Composition. The change in assignments has kept him on his toes. “I like seeing the projects students create,” he said. “Seeing students improve their writing gives me the most satisfaction. That’s where I think I make the biggest difference.” Loves to read sports biographies, classics (“the greatest books ever written”) and books by former sports writer Mitch Albom.
Modeling reading and writing for students motivates them to read and write well. Brad collects books about writing craft. He is almost finished with a second Master’s degree, an MFA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University. Writing a sports memoir book about his experiences.
A good storyteller, remembers a time he wrote a letter to actor Robert Redford, asking for an extra’s role as a sports writer in his movie, “The Legend of Bagger Vance.” Redford was getting ready to shoot the golf movie in Savannah. By the time filming began, Brad had moved to his Charlotte teaching job. “I gave up on the role after going to a casting call at a local high school,” he said. “When I moved to Charlotte, I received a call to be an extra. I asked if I could do it on weekends since I had moved about 90 miles away. I once had a red cat named Robert Redford, an orange tabby.” Brad loves to follow up many comments with, “You know what I mean?”
Spends time with his fellow basketball coaches, his mother, Valerie Mensinger, and his father, Richard Huebner. His sister Heidi lives in Bethlehem with her three children. His brother, Michael Mensinger, is an engineer in California and is developing an electronic device to link up with a chip on a cell phone to help measure blood sugar in diabetics. Brad has driven across country twice to visit Michael in California. “I stopped at arenas, stadiums and historic sites along the way.”
Also met his hero, former Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly, in the Yankees locker room at a Baltimore Orioles game he covered. In high school he played a basketball game at The Spectrum in Philadelphia before a 76ers game against the New Jersey Nets, whose point guard, Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, was Brad’s basketball hero. And, he interviewed Tiger Woods and Anna Kournikova, among others.
George Banas QCHS Football Coach Started as Head Coach in Fall 2010. Coaching spring football mini camp now, with nine assistants and about 35-40 players. Started coaching Senior Legion Baseball when he was 19 years old and has never stopped leading teams. Worked as assistant football coach at Wilson Area, High School (near Easton), where he teaches in the middle school. Also served as assistant coach for 5 years under former head coach John Donnelly. “I love making this my own program,” George said. “I love giving back to a program that has done so much for me. I received a college education from playing football here and I’ve always been treated well in this community.” Graduated from QCHS in 1994. Played football at Shippensburg University , on a scholarship. Started what has become a 12-year teaching stint at Wilson Area Intermediate School, first 8 years in Math, Reading and Science; last four years in Technology Education. “It’s awesome. We’re bringing in engineering and problem solving, making gliders, bridges and C02 cars. Kids enjoy the class. They don’t fight it like they did with pre-algebra. I can make bonds with the kids, some of whom are typically the trouble makers.” Would love to teach in QCSD, if the right position opened. “I’m enjoying the woodshop classes so much, it would have to be the right fit.” Working with Booster Club to rev up fund-raising for the 2011 season. Looking to raise about $30,000.00. In the past the community has been generous, for which the Booster Club members are thankful. A golf outing is planned for the first weekend in June, a car wash/bake sale for the summer. Players will also sell Panther discount cards and ads for the game program. With the funds, the club will purchase game sweats, t-shirts and some jerseys, and food for away trips. It will also pay for the players to attend the end of the year banquet and the awards for that evening. Looking to start a mentoring program for the football program graduates so that football alums can continue to encourage them in the college years. “We have some good role models out there who could make sure these guys have a successful college career, both academically and on the field.” Married Jennifer Lutz, 1995 QCHS graduate. They have 2 children, Logan, 9, a third grader at Pfaff; and Ella, 5, who goes to kindergarten next year. Jennifer is due to give birth to their third child in October, mid-football season! They built a house in Quakertown four years ago. “I really believe in this community,” George said. “I want us to produce student athletes, good young men who become productive members of society. We have a mandatory study hall before practices. This staff has done a tremendous job. We also do two community service projects a month. We’ll set up tents at the park for the July 4 celebration. We moved the child development program from in town to Route 313 last July. We work at the food pantry unloading trucks. If anybody needs help with anything, they can get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll get our kids to help them if at all possible.”
QCHS Football Coach
Started as Head Coach in Fall 2010. Coaching spring football mini camp now, with nine assistants and about 35-40 players. Started coaching Senior Legion Baseball when he was 19 years old and has never stopped leading teams. Worked as assistant football coach at Wilson Area, High School (near Easton), where he teaches in the middle school. Also served as assistant coach for 5 years under former head coach John Donnelly.
“I love making this my own program,” George said. “I love giving back to a program that has done so much for me. I received a college education from playing football here and I’ve always been treated well in this community.”
Graduated from QCHS in 1994. Played football at Shippensburg University , on a scholarship. Started what has become a 12-year teaching stint at Wilson Area Intermediate School, first 8 years in Math, Reading and Science; last four years in Technology Education. “It’s awesome. We’re bringing in engineering and problem solving, making gliders, bridges and C02 cars. Kids enjoy the class. They don’t fight it like they did with pre-algebra. I can make bonds with the kids, some of whom are typically the trouble makers.”
Would love to teach in QCSD, if the right position opened. “I’m enjoying the woodshop classes so much, it would have to be the right fit.”
Working with Booster Club to rev up fund-raising for the 2011 season. Looking to raise about $30,000.00. In the past the community has been generous, for which the Booster Club members are thankful. A golf outing is planned for the first weekend in June, a car wash/bake sale for the summer. Players will also sell Panther discount cards and ads for the game program. With the funds, the club will purchase game sweats, t-shirts and some jerseys, and food for away trips. It will also pay for the players to attend the end of the year banquet and the awards for that evening.
Looking to start a mentoring program for the football program graduates so that football alums can continue to encourage them in the college years. “We have some good role models out there who could make sure these guys have a successful college career, both academically and on the field.”
Married Jennifer Lutz, 1995 QCHS graduate. They have 2 children, Logan, 9, a third grader at Pfaff; and Ella, 5, who goes to kindergarten next year. Jennifer is due to give birth to their third child in October, mid-football season! They built a house in Quakertown four years ago.
“I really believe in this community,” George said. “I want us to produce student athletes, good young men who become productive members of society. We have a mandatory study hall before practices. This staff has done a tremendous job. We also do two community service projects a month. We’ll set up tents at the park for the July 4 celebration. We moved the child development program from in town to Route 313 last July. We work at the food pantry unloading trucks. If anybody needs help with anything, they can get in touch with me (email@example.com) and we’ll get our kids to help them if at all possible.”
Options Academy and QCSD Cyber Program Teacher
2nd year in the position; 7th year in Q, CSD. Taught writing 4 years at Freshman Center and one year of 10-12 English. Became a teacher after many years in the business world.
Managed the technology support staff for Acco Brands (5 years), the parent company of Daytimers and other companies. Technology included software, gaming devices, the early version of a whiteboard and even an electronic stapler application! Traveled to California, Chicago and Canada for that company. Also spent 5 years with Dunn and Bradstreet, as the Senior Customer Coordinator for Outsourcing. She hired and fired employees, some who deserved it but many who just did not fit the company’s financial goals.
“Most people fired themselves,” Nicole said. “We gave them warnings. They chose not to change.” Mostly, however, she saw people, not widgets, and she wanted to help them. “Some of the smartest people couldn’t write or speak well. Some people had personal problems but they were loyal to the company. The question that drove us in business was, ‘Will it make us money?’ It was very cut and dry. I wanted to help people. I didn’t want to look back on my career and see, a lot of statistics about how I helped a company make money.”
Went back to earn her teaching certificate at Cedar Crest College (Allentown), which accepted her on a probationary basis because she had not been a stellar student 10 years before at Bloomsburg University. She completed her Master’s degree with a 3.9875 grade point average! She starts classes for her second Master’s degree in Technology and Learning on May 1st at Western Governors University.
Finds her current position in Option, s and Cyber a good match. “I love these students,” Nicole s, aid. “I want to be here to listen to them and see each of them as a whole person. If I help one student spend one more day trying to get an education, it’s worth it.”
When she’s not riding on the back of husband Michael’s Suzuki Boulevard motorcycle, she leads a Girl Scout Troop with daughters Sara, 10, and Emily, 9. The three women will sing together in an upcoming church production of Bye, Bye, Birdie! Nicole also plays drums in her basement and sings with the Bach Choir in Bethlehem. She sang with the choir at Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
With her typical humor, she’ll show you her half brother’s action figure doll, the one that looks like him as a former WWF wrestler. And she’ll admit she looks like her brother’s photos! But she’ll tell you the best thing about her teaching job is “learning something new from her students every day.”
QCHS Athletic Director
On this job since September 2009. Graduated from QCHS in 19, 75 after four years as an All-League athlete in field hockey, basketball and softball. After graduating from East Stroudsburg University and substituting and coaching for one year in Pen Argyl, returned to QCHS. Tried to retire in June 2008, but, she’s back!
Inducted into the Pennridge-Quakertown Hall of Fame May 6 at the Indian Valley Country Club in Telford. (Knowing her, she may try to slip in a round of golf before the dinner!) To be eligible, a nominee must be at least 50 years of age and brought lasting fame and recognition to the Pennridge-Quakertown area and its people through outstanding achievements and accomplishment in sports endeavor.
Outstanding achievements? Plenty! Started teaching and coaching at Milford Junior High and became the head field hockey coach at the high school in 1985. Moved to the high school to teach Health/Phys Ed in 1988, coaching until 1999 and racking up a record of 161-100-39. A perennial District 1 playoff team, one of her teams made it to the state finals (1986).
Several of her players went on to play at Division I colleges. Two even won National Championships, Kelly Driscoll at Old Dominion University and Amy Schubert at the University of Maryland. Amy was also selected to play on the U.S. National Team.
Sylvia also produced a top-notch field. She tilled the soil, planted grass seed, mowed the lawn, set up a fence and lights. A plaque designates it as the Sylvia Kalazs Field Hockey Field. “Not a memorial!” she joked. “We had it in such good shape that we even hosted the state semifinals in the mid-90s.”
During a sabbatical, she worked toward a Masters Degree in Sports Administration at Old Dominion University, where she volunteered as a coach with the vaunted Beth Anders, who produced numerous national field hockey championships and Olympic team members. The Monarchs won a national title that year, so Sylvia has a national title ring! Followed up by coaching for three years at Lehigh University. “I just wanted a change of pace, so I tried college coaching,” said Sylvia, always humble and full of humor.
Retiring from teaching really offered a change of pace. She worked four different jobs at the same time: at the rental shop at Bear Creek ski resort; as an exercise tech at the Easton YMCA; in the pro shop at Sweetwater Golf Course; and at Golf Galaxy retail. When Principal Anita Serge called to ask her to fill in after the previous AD left, Sylvia returned to QCHS, almost with relief.
Athletic Director job, however, is anything but easy. “I’m a jack of all trades, master of none,” Sylvia said before heading out in muddy shoes to check the baseball fields. Weather can wreak havoc on schedules. On Tuesday this week, she made 40 phone calls to ca, n, cel and reschedul, e games. Even when it stopped raining, the fields were too wet to play on. “It was very overwhelming at the beginning because I didn’t have a mentor to teach me how to do all this. No two days are the same and they each go by so quickly I always wish I could get more done.”
Loves to golf and will play for the second year in a row at the May 21 QCEF Golf Tournament at Center Valley Golf Club to help raise money for student technology. “Golf satisfies my competitive side now that my team sports playing and coaching careers have retired."
Health and Physical Education, Pfaff and Neidig Elementary Schools
7th year teaching Health and PE in QCSD; started at Trumbauersville Elementary; now spends 3 cycle days a week at Pfaff and one cycle day at Neidig. After graduating from Lock Haven University (1999), worked five years as a Sports Specific Strength & Conditioning Coach for junior high, high school and college age athletes in Newtown before earning his teaching certificate at West Chester University in 2004.
“In high school, I took four PE classes , m, y senior year of high school, even though I was only registered for two!” he said, chuckling with the memory. “I just wanted to play all day.”
Wants to guide children to the lost art of play. “We need to steer kids away from all the unhealthy activities that have taken over their lives,” he said. Planning the second year of three one-week, half-day camps this summer, with fellow PE teacher Jeff Bonsall, at Quakertown Memorial Park. “We’ll play basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, golf, lacrosse, racquet sports, and track and field, but we’ll teach the kids different games to play with the equipment for those sports,” Kevin said. “Kids can gain the confidence to join local teams for those sports.” Last summer 28 kids from K-2 went to the two weeks of camp and this year it is open for K-5 kids. www.sportandfitnes, sdiscoverycamp.webs.com
Runs a Fit Family program a couple early mornings a month at Pfaff. Preparing to offer a golf unit at Pfaff, where Principal Deb Lock donated her son’s golf clubs and cut them to kid siz, es. Kevin likes to show students how to enjoy lifelong activities.
Enjoys spending time with wife Kristin, an early intervention physical therapist for Easter Seals, and daughters Ryann, 4, and Reese, 2. Plays golf and skis downhill, runs, lifts weights and tries to do something different on a regular basis to stay fit.
Completed his third Tough Mudder event last weekend at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Berks County's Longswamp Township. His team of six included wife Kristin, his brother-in-law and his girlfriend, and QCSD elementary teachers Mike Huber and Adam Smith. The six worked together to complete the course, which included swimming through freezing water, running through fire and live electric wires along an 11-mile run. They had to climb over high walls. Approximately 5,000 people completed the team event on Saturday and another 5,000 people completed it Sunday. “The hardest part was the mental bloc, k of jumping off a 20-foot plank into freezing water!” Kevin said. “I couldn’t stand there and look at the water. I had to turn my head until they told me to go.”
Started Sept. 11, 2006. Employed by the Quakertown Police Department. Stops traffic at the intersection of 9th and Main Streets.
Walks to and from her house, one mile away, twice a day, for a 4-mile total, in every kind of weather. She is as dependable as the clock. She never misses work and is n, ever sick. She drinks nothing but tea and doesn’t believe , in vitamins.
Like the old “pony express” saying she can rattle off by heart, Marjorie arrives no matter what! “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night…”
With no cable at home, she watches Channel 69 for the weather forecast, and prepares accordingly. She also reads books one right after the other.
At 5-feet-8-inches tall, Marjorie makes an imposing figure when she steps off the sidewalk and into the intersection to stop cars and buses. She keeps a sharp eye because not all students reach the painted crosswalk before walking across the road. Some cars ignore her stop sign and fly through the intersection.
Always carries her stop sign and will stop to chat as long as she can still get to the Freshman Center at 7:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.
In the afternoon, she stops for a rest or for a weather reprieve in the , FC lobby, where she helps with the doors when teachers and aides push Life Skills students in wheelchairs out to the buses.
Graduated from QCHS in 1973. For many years, Marjorie worked at the Roselawn textiles factory, packing yarn and keeping it on the spools. The factory closed in 2003. She found her current job in the Penny Power and loved the fact that she could walk to work. In fact, she walks everywhere because sh, e never learned to drive.
QCHS, UBCTS, Richland Elementary
4th year; started in Life Skills classroom at QCHS (3 years); now spends part of every day in each of three l, ocations, supporting students who need help making transitions from one activity to the next.
“I help kids with academic work, emotional issues, peer relationships and other issues as needed,” Chris explained. “Sometimes at the high school, I’m another set of eyes when masses of students are out in the hallways.”
Starts at the high school in the morning, specifically to help students. At Richland in the afternoon, he works specifically with a student who needs a soothing male role model. In one week working with the student, Chris, a gentle, humorous giant of sorts, influenced the student to enjoy a relatively peaceful week.
“I’m a very patient person,” Chris said. “I’ve grown up learning how to let things go in one ear and out the other. Through non-violence crisis intervention training, I’ve learned how to show students the consequences of their actions without putting them down. I can de-escalate a situation and remain calm. A lot of it has to do with listening to students and talking to them with respect.”
Chris inspires mutual respect through his actions and humor. Students know he coaches the quarterbacks for the QCHS football team and works out at the Upper Bucks YMCA in Quakertown. Students look up to him.
Quarterbacked the QCHS football team in his senior season, 2001-2002. Went on to Bucks Count, y Commun, ity College and Ohio Dominican University before returni, ng to help out at home. Plans to go back to school in the fall to finish his Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in health and physical education.
Engaged to Special Education teacher Tammy Beach (Freshman Center), whom he met while working at the high school. They are planning a June 25, 2011 wedding. They like to hang out with his family (including his mother, Rea, an aide at QCHS and bus driver) and his “beautiful fiancé’s” family.
Technology Associate, Curriculum and Instruction
Started Feb. 15; previously worked (3 years) at Grand View Hospital Medical Practices in billing; as a Risk Systems Analyst, at Wendy’s corporate headquarters in Ohio (7 years), and yes, she met Dave Thomas before he died! Also worked as a corrections officer (7 years) in a women’s prison (that work encouraged her to go back to school for Computer Information Systems).
Loves her new job. “Everyone here is so nice and welcoming. I feel like I’ve always been here,” she said.
In the Curriculum and Instruction office, she has been setting up end-of-year benchmark tests in Limelight, the updated version of Pearson Benchmark, in order to gain familiarity with the system. While entering items, Tricia found herself taking the tests! “I love math!” she said. She took on the job when Ruth Camuse switched duties to working with other data systems.
Enjoys running and plans to run her first half-marathon in September, the Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon in Philadelphia, previously known as the PDR. Also considers herself a hard-core video gamer. “I still play Everquest, which was the first MMORPG, that all stands for massive multiple online role playing game. So I’m playing with thousands of people around the world. I’ve met dozens of them, at Sony sponsored ‘Fan Faires.’ That’s how I wound up coming to live in Pennsylvania. I met a man while playing Everquest.”
Friend Bill works as a Technician for Verizon, installing Fios TV, DSL and maintaining copper phone lines. Tricia met him in person for the first time at King of Prussia Mall when she drove from Ohio to meet him! “I hunted him down!” she joked. “So many of the people we game with are married to each other now. One friend moved to Australia to marry a guy she met online. It’s like a dating service!”
Daughter Jillian, 22, just graduated from the University of Akron, moved to Pennsylvania with mom and is looking for a public relations job. Tricia also enjoys the beach, especially Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the off season. “I love the peace and tranquility of the beach,” she said.
Started Feb. 2. Previously worked 2 years as a Building Technology Specialist in Central Bucks School District, stationed at the middle and elementary schools; also worked for Zog, Inc., a consulting company (2 years) that offers network operations. Attended CHI Institute in King of Prussia to learn the computer trade. Now covering technology issues at the 7 QCSD elementary buildings.
“I have the opportunity to learn more here,” Thomas said of his recent move to QCSD., “The people are, nice.” He grew up in the Olney section of North Philadelphia and now lives in Horsham.
Spends his “down” time with technology, too, as a hard-core videogamer. Every Monday for the past seven years, has taken his 3-foot-tall computer and monitor to a buddy’s basement. There, 10 to 15 friends each week play videogames together for six to seven hours. “Because it’s fun!” Thomas said.
Taking a certified hacker course to learn more about how hackers infiltrate networks. Would someday like to work for the FBI or be prepared to help in a national disaster. “Once you are certified, they put you on a list in case they need people to help,” Thomas explained.
Spends summer vacations in the northernmost reaches of Maine with his girlfriend. “The GPS says there are 10 miles to the end of the road before you go into Canada,” Thomas related. “Take the biggest geek and put him in the middle of nowhere, on a private lake with no wifi…it’s tough!”
Terry San Angelo
Building Secretary, Pfaff Elementary
“I know every nook and cranny of Lincoln Center, including the Julliard School of Music,” Terry said.
Philadelphia native, moved to Po, rtland, Maine for husband Michael’s job. Moved back to Yardley, then Quakertown. Sons Patrick (Freshman Center) and Drew (sixth grade, Milford) play football, baseball and basketball. “The boys keep us running and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said.
“I like the sense of commu, nity here,” Terry said. “People give a lot o, f time to be involved with kids. It’s not like that everywhere. No matter what you ask people to help with, they’ll step up do it. We never struggle to get help for those who need it.”
Remembers numerous funny stories about students who visit her office. Several years ago, a boy came in search of a specialist whose signature he required on a paper. Terry did not want to tell him the specialist was in the office with then principal Suzanne Laverick-Stone. The boy spotted the specialist, walked over and loudly plastered his paper on the office door window. All the adults in the office struggled to contain their giggles. Another student once asked the copy machine repairman where “the office teacher” was, which made the visitor burst out laughing. Some students call her “Mrs. T-Dog,” thanks to a teacher’s lead. Just last week the nurse was out of her office and in a classroom. A student came to the office and handed Terry a “freshly lost tooth” and gave her a big toothless grin. “How do you not smile when a child does that? The kids are the best part of my job!” she said.
The secretaries meet for meetings and fun and “we all share stories. There is always something going on in the office,” said Terry, who is almost always smiling and seeing the humor in every event. “We secretaries wear many hats; we fill in for the nurse when she is busy with other duties, guidance counselor for the kiddos who have lost their beloved treasures, and psychiatrist for whomever just needs to vent.”
Travels to<, SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Tahoma','sans-serif'; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'"> sons’ sporting events and family also enjoys summer trips to the Jersey shore. As an Air Force Brat, husband Michael lived in many parts of the world, including the Azore Islands (off Portugal), Guam and the Philippines. Terry said some day she would like to visit some of those places.
8th Grade Social Studies, Strayer Middle School
Learning Facility of 21st Century Learning
11th year teaching, all at Strayer; first year as Learning Facilitator; graduated from Penn State, earned Masters Degree from Wilkes University.
Loves getting to meet teachers and being able to support their work with kids. “It’s a privilege being able to see lots of different classrooms and strategies being used. Teachers do great things in their classrooms with kids,” Chad said.
Enjoys working with the other Learning Facilitators and administrators because it allows him to philosophize about education. “I’m very global,” Chad said. “I’m not a systems thinker, I’m not good at the details. I think I can look at things from a big perspective, at the vision. I like to think about where we want to go but I need help with the details that actually get us there.”
His vision of 21st Century Learning is to help students have “authentic experiences, to expand the walls of the classroom by allowing students to collaborate with classmates as well as with experts and with other classrooms around the world. We need to do a better job of making things relevant and problem based. W, hen you give , students the freedom to choose, they often, produce far greater results than we expect. Activities like videoconferencing and Skype allow us to bring the world into our classrooms. There’s a lot of pressure for teachers to use ‘tools’ in their classrooms. The reality is that 21st Century Learning is about pedagogy. The tools help save time and help with student engagement. At the end of the day, best practice is best practice. We need to use , strategies to help kids learn.”
Energetically applies his personal interest in history to his social studies lessons. Takes students to Valley Forge, the Constitution Center, Independence Hall, Old City, the Eastern State Penitentiary and Philadelphia Art Museum. “There’s no better way to learn history than to experience it on field trips,” Chad said. “If we treat kids like historians, they can be historians. If we treat them like chemists, they can do chemistry.”
Loves to watch sports, including the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Penn State. His own workouts involve playing with technology. “I love gadgets,” he said.
Library Secretary, Tohickon Valley Elementary
3rd year; previously worked 2 years as an instructional aide in the Tohickon Valley Reading Room. Before staying home with her children (now in QCHS), Cheryl earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. She worked for Rohm Haas (now Dow Chemicals) in Research as an Organic Chemist, an Analytical Chemist (for a botanist), with a robotics group doing chemical screenings, and as a database manager working on chemical archives.
“I like change because I like to learn,” Cheryl said. “Plus, I get along easily with most people. So the company moved me where I could help the most.”
Still deciding what she wants to do next! Passed the Pennsylvania teacher Praxis exams, so she could teach. She is also considering a career as a medical/scientific researcher and writer.
“I love Tohickon Valley,” she said. “Working with elementary students is fun. It’s close knit. My own kids, Colin and Kelly, went to Trumbauersville and Pfaff. They loved Milford. I like the size of the district. It feels like a community because it’s not too big.”
Survived a Nov. 9 “heart attack,” caused by a SCAD, or spontaneous coronary artery dissection. She did not know she had the rare condition, more common in women than men, with only 400 published cases.
Ironically, she had just left her doctor’s office, driving to pick up daughter Kelly at the Freshman Center. As Cheryl got on the 309 expressway at Sellersville, just driving past Grand View Hospital a minute before, she suddenly felt all the typical male symptoms of a heart attack. She felt intense pain in her left arm and chest and her jaw clenched. She felt nauseated and started to sweat. “I didn't realize I was having a heart attack, but I knew something was wrong,” she said. “But I kept driving because the symptoms were mild at first and then quickly became very severe. I was afraid if I pulled over I would pass out before being able to call for help., , "
Cheryl pulled off 309 at the Wawa at Tollgate Road and parked next to an empty police car, rolled down her window and hunched over her steering wheel, so that when the policeman returned to his car, he would see her. Ten seconds after she parked, he came out of Wawa. She yelled to him, “I’m not feeli, ng well. I need help." He immediately called an ambulance.
Incredibly, she thought through a string of actions, and pulled them off! First she phoned son Colin, a senior, who was standing at his locker in the high school with his cell phone. She told him to skip football practice, pick up his sister Kelly at the Freshman Center, then go home and wait. Colin, thinking quickly, told her to give the police his cell phone number so they could let him know where they took her! Husband Greg, an electrical engineer, was at work, in Corpus Christy, Texas. (He flew home the next day.)
In the ambulance, she passed out. She woke up in the emergency room, and asked a nurse to call her sister, then the hospice manager at Grand View. Her sister, Cathy Haberle, met them at the Emergency Room, where most of the cardiac staff had already left for the day. Staff sent her to Doylestown Hospital for a cardiac catheterization. The catheterization revealed the tear (dissection) in one of her left coronary arteries, which caused the blockage that led to the "heart attack."
Doctors are not sure why the dissection occurred. Several diseases and syndromes that can cause dissections have been ruled out by blood tests. “I had no risk factors for heart disease, and I still don't, even though I had a "heart attack.” she said. “I’m willing to tell my story because I think it is a good reminder to me and everyone else to enjoy each day. I experienced a feeling of peace beyond understanding that day which I attribute to my faith in God. It could have been my last day on earth, but I am deeply grateful that I am still here."
Analytical to the core, Cheryl delved into the research and may be able to explain the physiology of her heart attack better than some doctors, so that lay people can understand. Officially in cardiac rehab, she will continue to walk and is considering taking up running. Family skiing and snowboarding outings still figure into the scenario and she and Greg will continue to support Colin and Kelly in their sports. Her goal is to keep her heart i, n shape, functioning at low normal.
Dr. Jennifer Bubser
K-12 Coordinator Health/Physical Education Department
Eighth year teaching PE at Milford, sixth year as department coordinator. Previously taught health, PE, and Adapted PE for five years at Neidig.
Earned Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Toledo in 1998. People always ask her, “Why Toledo?” after they say, “Holy Toledo!” Answer: She was recruited for the track team and the coaches wanted her to compete in the heptathlon, her favorite event. The combination of a competitive MAC conference and a quality Health and PE program attracted her to Toledo.
Earned Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Temple University in 2001. “I figured that if I was crazy enough to do the heptathlon, why not see if I, could finish a Doctoral program?” she said. “My dad, also my role model and former college professor, gave me a lot of guidance and support. I also love to write, so I thought that would help get me through the dissertation.”
Completed Ph.D. in Kinesiology, Curriculum and Instruction. “Someday I hope to be a , , professor, but for now I love teaching middle school students, and I enjoy working with wonderful people at Milford and in the QCSD HPE department. I like finding ways to motivate students to participate actively and pursue lifelong healthy habits. One of my passions is coaching Milford track and field. It’s fun to watch young athletes try a new sport, and reach levels of performance they never thought were possible. I’m also passionate about quality PE that includes holding students accountable for content and skills. To truly have the tools necessary to lead active, healthy lives, students need a solid foundation of concepts, strategies, and physical performance.”
February is Heart Health Month. Jenn said it is a great opportunity to reflect on eating and exercise habits. “I love the saying, ‘If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?’ I would encourage people to start out simply with a few small changes toward better nutrition and increased physical activity, and then gradually progress to healthy habits that can be sustained. Most importantly, have fun!”
Moved to Quakertown last year and joined the YMCA. Favorite exercises classes are BOSU (Both Sides Up on an exercise ball), power step, boot camp, and super circuit. Also loves to golf with husband, Glenn, a former QCSD student, and spend time with almost 2-year-old daughter, Sammie. Expecting another daughter in June. “I look forward to many amazing moments with my girls, especially when they attend Milford and have me as their teacher and track coach!” she said.
Secretary, Quakertown Elementary
12th year at QE, 17th year in QCSD; started in the high school library. Previously worked in layout-and-design for the Quakertown Free Press.
Keeps the QE office full of cheerful decorations, or as one administrator noted, “visually stimulating!” Student art work, photos, seasonal ornaments adorn the walls, ceiling, countertops, mailboxes, pretty much every nook and cranny!
“QE is my home for 8 hours a day,” Jan said. “This office is a pretty good reflection of me. I love the kids and all the staff members. It’s constant in this office. Something is always happening and sometimes it’s hard not to get excited or upset. I try t, o stay calm so everyone else will stay calm. All the decorations make this office welcoming. Kids know they can come in here any time and it will, be a happy, safe place.”
Considers the teachers her “kids. Some call me ‘Mom’ or ‘Mommom.’ I could be their mother! We have a young building and I just love them all. I love what they are willing to do for this community. Everyone is always thinking of what’s best for the students.”
A Quakertown “lifer,” Jan grew up on 10th Street and moved to 3rd when she got married. She graduated from QCHS in 1974 and spent a year away at college before returning home. She and childhood friend/husband Jay, a Dimmig Electric appliance repairman, do travel across Pennsylvania once a month to Grove City, where they visit daughter Robin and grandchildren Ellie, 5, and Asante, 3. Robin works in wrap-around services to help children. So far Jan and Jay have not traveled much to Salt Lake City, Utah, where son Bryan is an event coordinator for Miller Motor Sports Park.
Working at QE keeps Jan young. She can dress in silly clothing when spirit days or the mood strikes. A student sitting in the office said Mrs. Detweiler laughs a lot. Jan relaxes at home by reading.
“I am one of them,” Jan said of the QE community.
Paul R. Stepanoff
Board of School Directors, QCSD
6th year on School Board. “I ran because I was concerned that the Integrated Math program was not adequately preparing our college bound students and because I thought we could do a better job of controlling spending. Although there is still much more work to do, we are well on our way to accomplishing both goals since QCSD has gone back to a more traditional math program that the kids, teachers and new administration are happier with and our test scores have improved. District spending increases have also been far better controlled since I've joined the board. I was humbled by the tremendous community support I had on my re-election and I feel like the community wants me to continue focusing on improving student achievement and controlling spending, so I may run again in 2 years.”
Owns a business called Penn Renewables, Inc., which designs, installs and services all ki, nds of renewable energy systems, including solar photo voltaic (PV), solar thermal, wind turbines, LED/Lighting controls, energy audits, and Ge, othermal Heating/Cooling. The company works on industrial, municipal and residential systems, mostly in Eastern Pennsylvania and helps people secure grants to pay for them. Locally, people can see Paul’s work at the Richland Township Walnut Bank Farm Solar PV site, where he oversaw the design, engineering and construction of the project.
Graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA. He worked at Air Products for many years and has 3 patents and a Professional Engineering license. From 1996 to 2002, he commuted back and forth from Pennsylvania to Kazakhstan, in the former Soviet Union, for the U. S. Department of Defense doing defense conversion work. “We literally aided world peace,” Paul said, noting that he is fluent in Russian. “They had the world’s largest nuclear test site. We retrained the Soviet Nuclear Weapons Scientists into careers that produced commercial and consumer electronics and not bombs." The company that was created in Kazakhstan to employ these former weapons workers, KK Interconnect JSC, is still in business today and Paul has many friends in the former Soviet Union who still contact and visit him.
Practices what he preaches! Renewable energy systems installed at his own house in Haycock help him stay even with the utility companies! He has solar electric (photo voltaics, or PV), which convert solar energy directly into electricity. He has solar hot water and a wind turbine. He heats and cools the house with geothermal energy, which takes heat from the ground. “That’s the most efficient heating and air conditioning systems that can be installed in a home,” he said. “School districts are using geoth, ermal for heating and cooling.” A greenhouse in his home ca, n heat the entire house passively on the coldest, sunny day. Power outages are also not a problem since the solar PV system has battery back-up.
Enjoys summer and winter outdoor activities on his Haycock farm, where he has lived since 1984. He and wife Jocelyn (who works at Air Products) and five children ride 4 horses and take care of dogs, cats, birds and d, ucks. They play hockey on their pond and cross country ski and hunt in the fields. Neighbors typically see Paul and Jocelyn running or cross country skiing at 6 a.m. They also like to go camping and skiing – both water , and downhill. His three oldest children graduated from QCSD: Nick, 30, Peter, 28, and Catherine, 21. Lydia is in 9th grade at the Freshman Center and Sergei is in 7th grade at Strayer Middle School.
Learning Support Teacher, QCHS
22nd year at QCHS; previously worked 9 years at Gateway Special Learning Center in the Lehigh Valley.
Shares Special Education responsibilities with about 10 people in the high school. “I love my colleagues,” Scot said. “We have a good rapport and we support each other.”
Feels good at the end of the day when he knows he has worked with a student who “got” a concept h, e didn’t get previously and can now work independently. “I’ve had the opportunity to experience lots of success with students who now are independent,” he said.
Colleagues note that the soft-spoken Scot is often the first one in and the last one out of the building on school days. Scot modestly said he accommodates students’ and teachers’ schedules to help kids.
In his 18th year coaching Special Olympics basketball for Bucks County. The program draws athletes from 10 to 45-years-old from the north-central part of the county. The current crop of 40 team members practice Tuesday nights from 6-7:30 at Strayer Middle School, from January to May. They take turns making up rosters for Saturday tournaments.
“It’s fun for the athletes,” he said. “It’s something they don’t get to do otherwise. It’s a social event for the athletes and a social and respite event for their parents. They come to socialize and communicate with other parents while their kids are playing.” QCHS students volunteer to help. Scot’s daughter Laura, 28, is a coach (with a coaching certificate) and parent Mary Hangey also coaches. <, o:p>
Enjoys traveling with wife Maureen, a nurse. Last summer they went to Vancouver Island, where they could see the Canadian Pacific Coast. They also went to Maine and Cape May. This summer they will travel to Italy. He likes to backpack and hike, including with sons Nate, a lawyer in Philadelphia. He also spends time with Jason, a police officer in Doylestown, and Laura, who works in a physical therapy department in Bethlehem.
Works out a lot and eats yams! Used to run marathons and half marathons. Reads non-fiction books about travel, adventure, and culture. Also plays musical instruments. Moved from traditional saxophone, clarinet and piano to m, andolin and , now, the Celtic hammered dulcimer, a double stringed trapezoid that he strums with wooden mallets. “I saw somebody playing it and I wanted to try it,” he said.
Guidance Counselor, High School and Freshman Center
Just started! Filling in on a maternity leave. Grew up in Hatboro-Horsham; graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore (UMBC) in 2007 and worked for a year as an Admissions Officer. Went back for her Masters Degres in Guidance Counseling and finished in December 2010. Worked her internship in Quakertown at the Freshman Center last spring and from September to December at Richland and Neidig.
“I like working with students and hearing their individual stories one-on-one,” she said. “I like helping them know I’m another resource for them and that I’ll be here as support for them.”
Students stop in to see her for a variety of reasons. Some need help with emotional problems, others need help deciding what courses to take.
Likes the fact that district personnel have been “very helpful. I have tons of questions and they answer them! I’m learning a lot.”
Played softball in high school, at Division 1 UMBC and professionally in the Netherlands for four months. Her 3 sisters also play softball. A pitcher, Amy, will begin to help coach the QCHS softball team.
Reading Specialist, Quakertown Elementary
6th year<, , /SPAN> in the position, 3 of those years the job also included, ESL support; previously worked as Reading Specialist at Richland; taught third grade (3 years) at Neidig and second grade (4 years) in South Carolina.
Likes teaching children how to read, especially kindergarteners who are just learning beginning skills. “It’s great to see their progress and how excited they get,” she said.
Enjoys the close-knit community of staff and students at QE. Knows every one of the 257 students by name, even if she doesn’t teach them in the Reading Room.
Appreciates that the district is “always looking to better itself. We are in a constant learning process, keeping up to date with current best practices,” she said.
Loves to read, watch movies and shop! Loves spending time w, ith family and friends. Husband Jon teaches 7th grade math and science in the Pennridge School District. Their schedules allow them to take summers off together. They take short trips, do house projects, and enjoy children Jared, 7, and Julia, 4. She likes the beach but loved Disney World last summer.
Technology Associate, Instruction
Third year on the job. Grew up in Hellertown. Taught 5th and 6th grades in Lancaster before moving to Arizona for 29 years. Worked as an Educational Technology Specialist (ETS) in Tempe (Arizona) Elementary Schools.
Started working with computers in the early 1980s, at the for, efront of education technology. Ran the office at Energy Control, a solar company. Typed technical articles for professors in the Arizona State University Math Department, on an IBM Selectric typewriter. In order to type math equati, ons, she had to “take the little typeball out and put the little typeball in,” in order to type needed characters and numbers. Became a graduate assistant (in 1981) for computer pioneer Dr. Gary Bitter and started working with microcomputers. “It was the beginning of the technology age,” she said. “It was fun working on a number of different computers, figuring out how technology could be used to support education.”
Next worked for 23 years in Tempe Elementary Schools as an ETS. “We went from one or two computers in a school to many computers in every school, including one-to-one (one laptop p, er student) classrooms.” She was very active with the Arizona Technology in Educational Alliance (AzTEA), from its inception, serving as a board member and chapter president. The “creative and forward thinking” group pushed the technology envelope throughout the state.
Returned to the Bethlehem area in , 2007 to help her aging parents and to be closer to family in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Husband Dennis holds down the fort, taking care of her father in a three-generation household also inhabited by grown sons Jesse and Bryan. “We all pitch in and enjoy each other’s company,” Ruth said. Ruth and Dennis like to travel to see friends and relatives in Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Arizona, California, and Prince Edward Island (Canada) and have special interests in photography, astronomy, genealogy, and history.
Enrolled at Wilkes University, taking courses leading to a Masters in Online Teaching. Hopes to use the skills to support QCSD’s efforts. “Taking all these courses, online, I’m experiencing what it’s like to be a student, over and over again!” In her position in the Curriculum Office, she supports administrators, i, ncluding her work , with My Learning Plan, QCSD’s Professional Development record-keeping system. She also manages software systems such as Empower3000, Read 180, and benchmark testing.
Proud to be part of the initiatives in QCSD. “Everybody is so nice here. It feels like a good place to be, working with people who are so talented.”
Health and Physical Education Teacher, QCHS
1, 6th year teaching, ninth in QCSD; previously taught in Sebring, Florida (1 year, Hartland Christian School); Plumstead Christian School (5 years); Pennridge (1 year, part time). Taught at every building in QCSD, including adaptive phys ed at Milford, Strayer and QE and girls health class at Haycock, Neidig, QE, Trumbauersville and Pfaff.
Coached track and field and cross country at CB East and field hockey at Plumstead Christian. Ran track and cross country at Philadelphia Biblical University and competed in both sports, plus softball and field hockey over the years.
Loves teaching physical education. “I like to see people play and move every day,” she said. “I think play and sportsmanship reveal one’s true spirit. My favorite quote is from Plato, ‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”’ Also,, I like teaching people how to live healthful lifestyles. You only get one body in this life. If you don’t have your health, not much else matters.
Likes the idea that she can have a positive impact on the future. “My students can do things I could never do, like find a cure for cancer.”
Agreed to be this week’s Who’s Who so she and her supporters can show cancer What’s What! Recently diagnosed with stage 3 ductile breast cancer, which means it has spread to her muscles and lymph nodes. She decided to tell everyone she knows and even those she doesn’t so she can benefit from as many well wishes as possible and to thank everyone for the support.
“My doctor told me at my l, ast appointment that she is going to cure me of cancer. I’m young and I’m in really good shape.”
Starts once-a-week chemotherapy treatments Dec. 9. Will also participate in a clinical trial at HUP – Hospital University of Pennsylvania. “They have new medicines that will shrink the tumors faster. They put a titanium chip in me to mark the tumors. They’ll watch me very closely. I’ll have an MRI every week. I’ve already had about 25 tests in the last month. A CAT scan, a PET scan. My son asked me if I’m going to have a dog scan!”
Son Samuel, 12, is handling the developments well, Lisa said. He talked to his school guidance counselor at North Penn School District. He talked to her parents. He followed a doctor around Penn, where , he gained confidence that his mom is under competent care.
Sam and Lisa are big Phillies fans. Sam has been to a game every year of his life. This summer they sat near the bullpen and Chad Durbin threw a ball to Sam after the game. It was an amazing memory. Lisa and her best friend, Melissa Cook, are also huge Eagles fans. Lisa is flying to Dallas for the Dec. 12 Eagles game and she’ll be in the stands with her friends Melissa Cook and Cynthia Donahue in Philadelphia for the Jan. 2 home game against Dallas.
Will cut her hair short next week and donate her long blonde braid to Locks of Love. She’ll lose her hair after the first chemo treatment, so she plans to shave it off and wear hats. Students have already given her a few base, ball and knit hats. “I plan to save time and money!” she joked. Plans to work through chemo treatments as much as possible; will need to take off 4 to 6 weeks in April or May for surgery. Co-workers started a fund raiser through Mary Kay products to help her defray uninsured costs.
Click on http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lisamorganbabb to follow her blog.
“I have a large support group of friends, family and co-workers,” Lisa said. “There is no other option for me than to survive. I have a young son who needs his mom. I feel very optimistic.”
Reading Specialist and Instructional Support Team Specialist
Milford Middle School
23rd year; 7th year at Milford; 16 years at Tohickon Valley, including 5 years in 4th grade, 3 years in 2nd grade, 8 years as Reading Specialist.
Loves QCSD because of “our respectful, hard-working students and supportive parents.” Plus, “Every principal and teacher I’ve ever worked with in this district is very dedicated to students and their education. The attitude is excellent. Staff members keep the best interest of students in mind.”
Believes that QCSD is a progressive district, a, head of other districts in many areas, including Guided Reading, differentiation and using research-based p, rograms.
Early in the year she and 2 aides test every student in the school and collect information to evaluate their reading and math ability. “We don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks. We want to know who needs help and to figure out how we can best provide the remediation. If students need enriching, we determine that as well, and provide it. We want every student to achieve a year’s growth in reading and math. We have enough data to show we’ve done that for several years.” Helps teachers with students in classrooms and works with stu, dents to learn how to manage their own learning. For 6 years has run Milford’s Homework Club after school so students can work on projects, do research in the library and on the computers, and get help with their homework.
“You know you love your job when the days and years fly by,” she said. “People always ask me what grade level is best. I can’t pick a favorite because the, re is something fun about kids at any age. No matter what grade, kids and their individual personalities and learning styles make, every day challenging and interesting. You never know what they’re g, oing , to say!”
Manages her own 4 children, who attend the Parkland School District. Stephanie, 14, and Jennifer, 12, are cheerleaders. Twins Christopher and John, 9, play football. Every season the kids play different sports and Kathryn gets them where they need to go! She reads with them as well. Recently read A Light in the Forest, by Conrad Richter, with her daughter. The boys are reading the Percy Jackson series (The Lightning Thief). Kathryn reads plenty of professional materials, the most recent The Fourth Way by Hargreaves and Shirley.
Health and Physical Education Teacher, QCHS
5th year; previously worked on a production line at Lucent Technologies (now LSI), making fiber optic internet components. “It was tedious microscope work,” he said. Lucent laid him off but helped pay for him to go to col, lege, so he went to East Stroudsburg University, graduating in December 2005.
Influential teachers with whom he still communicat, es inspired him to teach phys ed, Dave said. “Plus, I played sports all my life, so teaching health and phys ed seemed like a natural thing to do.” He played football for Emmaus High School (and intramural basketball and baseball), graduating in 1997.
Left the week after high school graduation for Paris Island, S.C., for basic training in the Marines. Spent time at Camp Lejeune, N.C. and the 29 Palms, Calif. (in, the middle of the desert) before a 6-month stint in Kuwait and Iraq at the beginning of the war. Worked in a communications unit assigned to a combat unit in a resupply point between Baghdad and Kuwait. “My job was to help other units communicate with each other; I did the technical set up,” he said.
Glad he joined the Marines. “When I graduated from high school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life,” he admitted. “The Marines gave me direction, discipline and guidance and some adventur, es I would not have gotten anywhere else. It’s not for everybody. But I would recommend it to high school students who are not ready for college. It gives you a jump start into the real world. It was challenging. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.”
At QCHS, he deals with a different challenge every day. Figures out how to motivate and encourage students to be active. Most students are easily motivated by the archery unit because it’s something they have never done. Those who hunt are able to show off something they can do well.
Stays fit running around with son Mason, 6, daughter Brielle, 4, and wife Julie, a Business teacher at QCHS. They like to play Wii Sports and Just Dance, play outside, and do woodworking projects.
Started Oct. 20. Previously worked in Central Bucks School District (1.5 years), Schaumburg School District in Illinois (4 years) and 3 other districts. Grew up in Illinois; lived in Pennsylvania for 14 years before, ret, urn, ing to Illinois for a stretch, and happy to be back in PA!
“I love it here!” she said of QCSD. “People are very friendly and family oriented. I feel welcomed with open arms.”
Currently learning the QCSD system and some software imaging. “This is my fifth school district. Network wise, everyone is set up differently,” she explained. She will respond to middle school technology and District Services Center work orders. “I will repair computers [and other technology items] whe, n , they are not working or if there are teacher or student, , , , issues with the technology.”
Enjoys spending time with husband Jonathan; daught, er Ann-Mari, a junior at Kutztown University; and daughter Araceli, 6, who likes to put on “shows” and act out her imaginative stories. They all gather for in-home movie nights with quilts on the floor and popcorn. Maria and Jonathan also work on remodeling their old home. “This is it. We’re staying. I’m not moving again!” she said.
Likes to learn. “I always say it’s a good day when you learn something new,” she said.
23rd year teaching, all in QCSD. Currently teaches Health and Physical Education at QCHS. Originally taught phys ed in K-2 at 3 elementary schools. Earned a second certification in elementary education, which opened the door to changing assignments over the years. Has moved back and forth between elementary physical education and assignments in second and fifth grades at Tohickon Valley and Neidig. Next year he may be back in second grade.
“It keeps me hopping,” he said, chuckling, thinking about the range of subjects he must teach, from solids, liquids, and gasses, t, o Sexually Transmitted Infections!
Loves elementary student enthus, iasm for learning and pleasing teachers with their can-do attitudes. Appreciates deeper thinking from teens, but works hard to make meaningful connections with them. “Many high school kids put up walls, in survival mode. If they let other kids see them making connections with adults, they fear being made outcasts. Of course, we don’t always witness the impact we make on kids.”
Enjoys camping, fishing and playing board games with wife Melanie and sons Stephen, 12, Timothy, 8, and Benjamin, 4. They successfully completed a Summer 2010 trip of 7,000 miles in a recreational vehicle to British Columbia, Canada. “The Rocky Mountains are breathtaking,” Mark said. “Glacier National Park is a masterpiece.”
QCHS Assistant Principal
One month on the job, Lisa is thrilled to be a part of the Quakertown community. Her previous experience in the classroom and as a staff coach in Bristol Township School District, along with her coursework in educational leadership, have prepared her for her role as the high school’s newest assistant principal.
Loves spending time with her own family. Husband Mark is the Director of Technology at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. Daughter Maddie, 6, is a second grader, and son Sam, 5, goes to pre-K. The family loves to travel. Recent trips include Cancun and Jamaica and summer excursions to Cape Cod. “We just like to hang out and play,” she said.
Business and Information Technology Teacher
4th year; previously taught at Northampton High School (1 year) and Saucon Valley High School (1 semester); worked for 8 years in banking as a manager and financial advisor.
QCSD Lifer! Graduated from QCHS in 1993. Wife Kendra (also a 1993 Quakertown Graduate) teaches Spec, ial Education at Milford and they raise sons Shawn, 8, and Gavin, 3, and daughter Kasey, 6 months, in Milford Township.
“I love it here,” Brad said. “I have a connection.”
Father Robert taught Calculus for 36 years at QCHS and coached football at Quakertown for 39 years. He taught Brad AP Calculus in his senior year. Mother Anna worked as a secretary at Haycock Elementary for 20 years. Brad and brother Eric both played football and basketball for Quakertown. Brad used to coach 7th grade basketball at Strayer, b, ut n, ow is in his first year coaching the middle linebackers and running backs on the high school football team.
“I love working with the kids,” Brad said. “I like the excitement of getting the kids ready for the games.”
Preparing sons for future varsity athletics! Shawn plays flag football, baseball and wrestles. Brad loves to play football and baseball with his boys in the back yard. The family likes to spend time in the summer at Dorney Park.
Teaches 9th graders Introduction to Business, in an elective course. Students learn about banking, investments, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, money management, marketing, credit and debit cards and how to write checks. He also teaches Introduction to Engineering Design with Project Lead the Way. Students can continue the path of all his electives at the high school.
“I love teaching,” Brad said. “Although I initially had a career goal of pursuing a business related field, I always had a passion to teach. Watching my father enjoy all 36 years of his teaching experience here at Quakertown, and see the connections he made with his students was the motivating factor of my career switch. It was a great decision!”
4th Grade Teacher
Pfaff Elementary School
6th year teaching, all at Pfaff. After graduating from Penn State in Health Administration, he worked in the nursing home industry and enjoyed socializing with the residents. He went back to school at age 28 for his teaching certificate at Gwynned Mercy College and worked for a year-and-a-half as a Learning Support Aide in Central Bucks School District.
“Teaching is a good fit for me,” the loquacious, outgoing Bill explained. “I can relate to the students. I like that every day is different and that every student has a different learning style. I use my comedic abilities and sense of organization to reach students.”
Enjoys teaching science the most. Considered majoring in meteorology at Penn State because he loves weather. But he loves to talk more!
Shares his combined experience in health care and elementary education by teaching a course at the Chester County IU on abuse, neglect and risk factors for youth. He likes to keep current by reading professional journals. In the future he may, consider an, other career specialty.
Loves to cook and to try new foods with his wife Mandy, a guidance counselor in Central Bucks School District. They live in Spinnerstown and juggle their schedules while taking care of sons Keenan, 4, and Evan, 5 months.
“I’m really content right now,” Bill said. “For the first time in my life, I’m just concentrating on my teaching and my family. I’m not trying to figure out what’s on my horizon.”
6th grade RELA/Science Teache, r
Milford Middle School
Started teaching in QCSD in 1996 at Milford and Strayer. Then taught three years at Freshman Center. Returned to Milford, where she has taught for the past three years.
“I just love teaching 6th grade,” she said. “I like helping the students transition to middle school and watching them grow during their time at Milford.”
Enjoys teaching the hands-on science curriculum in 6th grade, which features storms, simple machines and the human body. Likes the labs and projects students do and how excited students get when they discover something new.
“I’m very fortunate to work here,” she said. “I like the community of teachers, students and families. There’s a great camaraderie and support in general for the overall atmosphere.”
A runner, she finished the 26.2-mile Via Marathon along the Lehigh Canal Towpath three weeks ago. Her final time of 3:40 was better than she expected, considering she just had a baby last April. “I finished without walking and I could walk the next day!” she said. She hopes to run between 3:10 and 3:18 in a favorite event, the May 1st Jersey Shore Marathon in Long Branch, N.J.
A college softball player at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, she plays in an adult women’s league in Easton. Husband Stephen supports her athletic endeavors while he watches their 4 children: Nicholas, 9, Danny, 7, Joey 5, and Ellie, 5 months. “He knows I need an outlet,” Val said.
Family likes to spend time at the Outer Banks beaches in North Carolina. Val likes to read James Patterson and Mitch Albom novels.
Elementary Physical Education and Health Teacher
Trumbauersville and Haycock
14th year in district; taught for 17 years in New York state, where she grew up; moved here for husband’s job.
Loves working with children and getting them physically active. “I like them to learn the importance of physical activity and healthy eating.” The favorite unit in elementary physical education is gymnastics and students also love field day.
Looking forward to the PTO Fall Fitness Day Oct. 15 during the Race for Education fund raiser.
Likes the fact that the QCSD Physical Education Department is a cohesive group. “They’re good to work with and w, e collaborate w, ell. We all have a good relationship because our leader, Jen Bubser, is great.
Played sports available in her high school days, which included soccer, volleyball, basketball and softball. Would have participated in track had it been available.
Enjoys outdoor activities. Runs short distances during the week and 12-milers on the weekends. Has run a few half marathons. Also enjoys biking, cross-country skiing and working in her yard.
Hiked in Canada this summer, with husband Ken, through Banff and Jasper National Parks. They have hiked through many U.S. National Parks. “When you hike to the top of a mountain, the scenery is unbeatable,” she said.
Elementary Guidance Counselor, QE and Haycock
4th year in QCSD; worked as a social worker at Kids Peace afte, r earning Masters Degree in Social Work and before earning school guidance certification.
Likes the amount of support and resources available for students and the collaborative spirit of QCSD team members to help students and identify their needs.
Appreciates the diverse population at QE and the sense of community at Haycock.
Knows her work has been successful when she and teammates identify a student’s and family’s needs and secures them appropriate services or resources. “People in this district are willing to go out of their way to do the best they can and what’s right for kids,” she said.
Enjoys spending time with husband Jeff a, nd children Casey, 6, and Jake, 9. They go to the beach and pool and walk their two Labrador puppies. People notice her at QCSD football games, where she is surrounded by her children and her 2 nieces and nephew, children of her brother, John Donnelly, former QCHS football coach.
Loves the book The Survival Guide for Kids with LD (Learning Differences) by Gary Fisher, Ph.D. and Rhonda Cummings, Ed.D. She shares it with newly identified special needs children and their families. “It’s written in a kid-friendly way about how their brain just works differently. There is nothing wrong with them, they just learn differently.”
4th Grade Teacher, Tohickon Valley
4th year teaching, all in QCSD; taught 5th grade until this year; graduated from QCHS (2003), East Stroudsburg University and Wilkes University (Master’s Degree).
John Flynn, physical education teacher at QE, is Brenna’s dad. He was her physical education teacher at Neidig.
“I like the personal feeling in the district. You get to know the families and their commitment to education,” Brenna said. “We have a strong background here. I was able to compare that with other students when I was in college and I felt proud that Quakertown offered me that background. Coming back to teach in my hometown was a great decision.”
Feels confident in her flexibility to meet students’ achievement needs. “I like seeing all the perspectives. I get to know the kids and I am open to trying new and different strategies to help them. I’m not afraid to feel uncomfortable, to let my guard down, if it means trying something I’m not already well versed in, to help students learn a concept. I like to learn from the kids, to see how they think.”
Enjoys playing sports, including field hockey. She enjoys dancing, including Zumba. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian Wimmer (in finance at Vanguard), dog Louie, parents, mom Diane, brother, Pat, and sister, Kelly.
Loves working with students in Reading Olympics. Likes to read kids’ books, memoirs and professional literature.
Bob Riegel, CPA
Business Administrator, QCSD
Started July 1, 2010; spent 21 years at Council Rock School District, as Accounting Supervisor and Assistant Director of Business Affairs; several years in public and industry accounting; earned his accounting degree at Albright College and takes pride in having passed the Certified Public Accounting exam.
Likes the people in QCSD. “They’re very knowledgeable and they are hard workers,” he said. “I’ve learned that this is a well run district with innovative ideas, such as the cyber school. I think the district will offer a new challenge for me.”
Dr. Lisa Andrejko, Superintendent, said she feels confident with Riegel on board. “He didn’t miss a beat. He’s a very hard worker.”
Bob’s goal is always to “provide the best services at the best price. It’s a balance between fiscal restraint and providing the things people need to operate. My job is to make things happen when money is tight, to find alternatives.”
He grew up in an athletic family full of wrestlers in Catasauqua. He and wife Ilene, a pension administrator for Paragon Alliance in Souderton, followed daughter Allie’s C.B. West state championship (2007) soccer team for the past 4 years. They will try to see as many of her soccer games at Kutztown University now that she is a freshman there. They also watch son Ben, 12, play soccer, basketball and baseball.
Bob goes to Phillies’ games in Philadelphia and Reading and also watches them on T.V. “I’m pretty narrow minded about the sports as my hobby,” he said. He plays tennis and works out on a regular basis.
1st Grade Teacher, Neidig Elementary
5th year; grew up in Quakertown, attending QE, Strayer and graduating in 2001 before graduating from Muhlenberg College in Allentown.
“I wanted to go into teaching because of some of my Quakertown teachers, so I wanted to come back to teach here,” she said. “I got lucky to get first grade here.”
Likes Neidig because of its sense of community. “When a job can be tiring and stressful, it’s nice to have a good support system. The teachers here provide strong friendships.”
Loves teaching 1st grade because she gets to see enormous academic and social growth among her students. “I’m fortunate to get to teach them t, o read! A lot of kids come in not knowing how to work in a group. They may be reading at a B text level and now, at this time of the year, they’re at K level. They’ve surpassed the goals. First grade can make such an impact on a child. Our data shows that. I remember Donna Butz was my first grade teacher at QE. She’s retired now.”
Volunteers as an assistant coach of the QCHS girls’ soccer team. As Becky Armstrong, played soccer through high school and college.
Enjoys spending time with family, including husband Jonathan, a 6th grade social studies teacher at Strayer. They met at Neidig in her 2nd year, his 1st year, as a teacher. Her parents, Michael and Suzanne Armstrong, will send little sister Payton to kindergarten at QE in September. Brothers Rob and Mat Armstrong, graduated in 1999 and 2003 and work for Philad, elphia Verizon and as a pharmacist, respectively. Sister MacKenzie (class of 2005), substitutes in the district.
Jonathan is a huge Mets fan (“unfortunately,” she said) and Becky loves the Phillies, so they spend time in the summer at both ball parks. They also travel to see his family in Syracuse. They are expecting a baby Thanksgiving Day.
Project Lead the Way Teacher
2nd year; previously taught at Wilson West L, awn, (8 years), where he served as the Tech Ed Department chairman and taught Project Lead The Way (PLTW) courses.
Came to QCSD for the opportunity to start a PLTW program from scratch. “There was a lot of support,” he said. “One thing they told me about Quakertown was that the word community was in the district name for a reason. People here really are a community. A couple weeks ago I pulled people together for a partnership meeting. It was kind of last minute, but 8 people showed up and started firing ideas off. They were excited. They want to make this PLTW program something big.”
Brings plenty of mechanical ability to the job. Had PLTW existed when he was a high school student, he believes he would have become an engineer instead of a teacher. Built many structural pieces for his classroom, including a presentation platform that includes an expansive desk, instructional technology, SmartBoard, computers and projector. Also set up pieces that allow students to build projects, including a conveyor belt and robots. The laser engraver and 3D printer did not come with instructions, so he had to “play” with them until he could teach students how to use them. “That’s the fun part,” he said.
Puts his , hands-on ability to use outside of school by building custom cakes and cooking equipment to cater events. At home he cooks on a smoker he built out of two 55-gallon drums , to smoke 100 pounds of briscuit at once. On the road, he takes along two 5-foot-long, collapsible gas grills. For last week’s wedding, he built upon the couple’s cowboy theme. He pieced together a serving table with canvas and pine boards to look like a chuck wagon. , He added checkered linens and built up his detailed display with cast-iron Dutch ovens. “It looked just like Cracker Barrel,” he joked. He rounded the 3-tier cake to look like barrels, dry brushed the outside of them to look like wood grain, and made straps out of fondant (flat icing). He added gum paste horseshoes to look like wedding bands.
Wife Kristin and sons Evan, 6, and Connor, 2, help bake cakes (sort of). For his birthday, Evan picked out 2 toys, a tank and a helicopter, as his cake theme. Chris made the toys edible out of Rice Krispie Treats, adding the cover art in fondant. “I learned how to do this by researching online and not being afraid to try new things,” he explained. Kristin, an assistant director at a day care center in the Reading area, helps Chris cater events when his usual help can’t make it. “I think I missed my calling,” he said. “I have no skill in sports, but I have an art skill for this. I try stuff and it usually works the first time.” When the family camps at Knoebel’s, Chris brings all his cooking equipment with him! He also cooks for annual retreats for the Minsi Trails Council Catholic Committee on Scouting and he is a member of the Knights of Columbus. “I work to relax,” he said. “That’s how I was brought up.”
Staff members who hav, e ordered desserts will tell you Chris’ tortes, in chocolate, peanut butter and strawberry, are delicious.
QCSD K-12 Guidance Coordinator
11th year at QCHS; spent 6 years as a Special Education math teacher before switching over to become a guidance counselor; started this school year as coordinator so that guidance counselors from K-12 can work together to support students through transitions and offer consistent help and advice.
“I love the kids and I love the fact that staff members are student focused,” she said.
Planning to pursue a certificate in Pupil Service Administration at Lehigh University.
A good listener, switching from Special Education to counseling allowed her to work with a broader spectrum of students. “The one-on-one conversations are the best part of my day,” she said. “We get to know the kids as people, get to know their stories, versus just knowing them as students. My hope is that some days they leave here feeling better than when they came into the guidance office.”
Shares a great sense of humor with friends and colleagues, who describe her as “a little crazy,” and she hates to wear socks.
Enjoys spending time with husband Jack, a QCHS math teacher, and playing with daughter Zoe, who will go to kindergarten in the fall. Spends as much time as possible at the beach and any place else warm, although she likes to ski in the winter.
Enjoys reading fiction and non-fiction. “I’ll read anything!”
Art Teacher, QCHS
4th year at QCHS; teaches Art History, Crafts and Fine Arts. Previously worked (9 ½ years) as an artisan, sculpting and painting for handmade collectible figurines at Byers’ Choice in Chalfont. Also worked at the Banana Factory, a community arts center in South Bethlehem, for 2 years.
Loves to see the pride and excitement when students finish a project. “Sometimes students struggle a lot as they work toward the end product. When they realize they’ve been able to master a certain technique, they’re excited and want to do more, that’s what I like to see.”
Advanced Crafts students will exhibit furniture, including mosaic tables, in this weekend’s K-12 Art Show (6:30-9 tonight and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow). Other students will display paintings, jewelry and ceramics. “Our students have a wide variety of talent and experience. It’s great to see the range of creativity in all the different Art classes offered at the high , school,” Laurie said.
Working on her Masters in Education, which leaves her not a lot of time to work on personal art projects. When she has time, she leans toward glass fusi, ng and jewelry making. Has taken jewelry-making workshops recently with retired art teacher Sue Quinque. (She took Sue’s place when she retired.)
Enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially sister Karen and her 1 ½ -year-old twin boys, Caleb and Noah.
Last summer traveled to Colorado and New Mexico to meet artists and see their work. Dreams of traveling to Italy to see all the wonderful architectural and sculptural sites that she often teaches about in her Art History class.
Instruction, al Aide, Life Skills, QCHS
Levy School Bus Driver
1st year in Life Skills classroom; 15th year in QCSD; 15th year as bus driver, starting in 1997. Football fans will recognize her instantly because she has been selling home game tickets in the booth at Alumni Field for many years.
Students keep her feeling young, thanks to all the “high energy.” The ul, timate caregiver, she also works as the General Manager of Quaker’s Green, the 287-house development behind the Bon Ton (“We’re getting the pool ready now.”); takes care of her “beautiful” 15-month-old grandson, Derek, who lives at he, r house; a, nd spent 17 years coaching and coordinating cheerleading events for the Quakertown Midget Football Association (QMFA) and Bux-Mont League.
Started as a bus driver, with a.m. and p.m. runs while working as a lunchroom aide at Strayer in the middle of the day. Started working in the, Life Skills classroom there and wanted to work fu, ll time in the school, but Levy wouldn’t let her quit her bus run. “I knew all the kids so well,” she explained. Eventually she began driving special needs students, which she loves. “They really appreciate you and they tell you all the time.”
Enjoys working with Life Skills student, s, teaching them everyday skills, “to show them what they are capable of doing. I feel if I can make a difference in the life of one student, then I am happy for them.”
Keeps a mental stash of relevant sayings to share with students, because she believes the wisdom. Suc, h as, “Enjoy high school while you’re here, because one day you’ll leave and you’ll miss it and wish you were back here.” Graduates have come back to tell her she was right!
Enjoys spending time at Sea Isle City with her family, which includes “wonderful husband” Curt, retired; daughter Liz (2004 QCHS graduate), mother of , Derek; son Nick (1997 graduate); and son Chris (2002 graduate, quarterback of the championship football team), who works as a one-on-one aide at QCHS.
Loves to organize things and do paperwork! Invited to help organize someone else, Rea said, “Everybody asks me to do that!” Loves to read Danielle Steele books at the beach and to swim in the summer. Also walks and plays Bingo.
Coordinator of Custodial Services, QCSD
29 years in QCSD. Started in 1981 as a night custodian at Milford Middle School (4 years); became head custodian (3 years); moved into supervisory role at Facilities Building.
Never left Quakertown! Grew up here and graduated from QCHS in 1976. Built a house in the 17 acres of woods on the same street, in Richland Township.
“I really do like cleaning,” he said. “I like to see things look better, from seeing the floors stripped to refinishing them to turning the dingy gym floors glossy. It’s satisfying to me to work with my hands.”
Supervises about 45 custodians, spending much of his time dealing with personnel issues and making sure all, parts of the 11 school buildings receive the cleaning attention they need. After 6 custodian positions were cut in last year’s budget, coverage has become more challenging. Substitutes are tough to recruit.
Recently supervised repair of potholes in all the parking lots. Keeps up with painting, locks and issuing keys. Works with Integrated Pest Management. “We try to find w, ays to eliminate pests inside buildings without using pesticides,” he said. “We seal cracks and make, sure door sweeps are, in place to try to keep out , mice.”
Considering retirement in another year or two so that he can drive fast cars in legal places, such as Pocono Raceway. For his 50th birthday, his wife gave him a ticket to drive a NASCAR type car at 165 miles an hour. “I was really, really happy. That was fun!” he said. He wants to get a job as a Stock Car Experience driver, which means he would drive a car in front of other wanna-be’s driving a car behind him or taking people for a 180-mph joyride on the track.
Drives his own 1969 Mustang Mach 1 as fast as he can! Also enjoys hunting, fishing and playing guitar (electric and acoustic) in a band.
Spends time with wife Diane (Bolton), who graduated from QCHS in 1978. Son Seth, 20, attends Bucks County Community College and daughter Leah, 13, is a 7th grade honors student at Strayer Middle School.
Retired QCHS Social Studies Teacher
QCEF Vice President
QCEF Golf Outing Committee Member
Retired in 2008 after 35 years of teaching. And now he does, “anything I darn well please!”
Spent his first year of retirement as the general contractor of major renovations on his house so he and wife Lila can live there for the next 20 years. “I didn’t realize how much time it would take and that there would be so m, any questions to answer,” he said.
Babysits his grandchildren when their parents need help. Travels to Virginia to pick them up and bring them back to PA or stays in Virginia with them. Grandson Kaiden, 4, and his sister Blakely, 2, belong to Dave’s daughter Abby. Grandson Tyson Penepacker, 20 months, belongs to daughter Sarah. Son Andy and his wife Maggie are expecting a baby in August. “I enjoy being with them; they are a lot of fun,” Dave said.
Initially spent much of the babysitting time as the solo guy in charge, until Lila was forced into retirement in December. After surgery last August to replace both knees, Dave has more energy to chase after the grandchildren.
“With little kids, you can anticipate how they will react to something and you don’t have to reason as much with them. With high school kids, you have , to anticipate what’s going to happen and set a direction for what you want to happen positively,” Dave analyzed.
Stays connected to QCSD through his position with the Quakertown Community Education Fo, undation (QCEF), which is hosting its first golf tournament May 22. He helped start the non-profit almost 10 years ago. After a few years, it stopped operation, until it was revived six years ago. “We still have a lot of growi, ng to do,” he said. “The foundation is a way of giving back. I’ve always felt Quakertown was a second home to , me. I always enjoyed the staff and the kids, just always enjoyed working there. I never went to work , for 28 years, I just went to school. It was fun. , I miss the interaction.”
Enjoys gardening, planting and maintaining flowers and shrubs and m, owing his 2-acre yard with a big mower. Has traveled with Lila to Florida, Maine, Canada and New York (for wine tasting). Planning trips to Hawaii and Alaska. Also runs a Hall of Fame Dinner for the Deep Run Valley Sports Association and helps at the polls on election days as the machine inspector.
“I’m busy but not too busy,” Dave said. “Every night is Friday night. I’m enjoying myself.”
Retired QCHS Art Teacher
QCEF Golf Outing Committee Member
Retired in 2006 after 34 years teaching art at QCHS.
“Sundays are just another day of the week,” Sue said, smiling. “I don’t need to plan for the rest of the week. I miss the people and the kids. I love teaching, so I still teach [mostly adults] at 4 different bead shops and through the local branch of a national show that travels around the country.”
Keeps very busy. Teaches in Pottstown, Media, Coopersburg and Allentown. Learning more about beading in June in Milwaukee at the largest bead and button show in the country that will feature 485 classes! Sells her own jewelry, at Primitive Seasons shop in Dublin; through Accessories, owned by an i, ndependent seller; and at the Francis Tucci salon in Hazelton, near her native Conyngham.
Third year serving on the Quakertown Community Education Foundation (QCEF) Advisory Board and helps advisors with the TSA (Technology Student Association), which keeps her connected to the district. “Quakertown provid, ed me with a very good living for many yea, rs,” she reasoned. “This is a way to give back to the community. I first was drawn to the foundation on the Baum Committee, which was near and dear to my, heart.”
First time QCEF is running a golf tournament, as a way to raise money for technology. “I would just like to see more Smart Boards,” Sue said. “I want all the kids to be better equipped to live in today’s society.”
So far, she and others on the committee are making good progress soliciting sponsors for the golf tournament. She and retired teacher Dave Tyson discovered many former students managing local businesses. The managers instantly offered merchandise prizes and to sponsor holes.
Enjoys walking but does not golf. Husband Harry, who retir, ed as Assistant Principal of Milford in 2005, works as a jack-of-all-trades at Macoby Run Golf Club. He also serves as President of the Upper Perkiomen School Board. Son Geoff loves to golf. He graduated from Upper Perkiomen High School in 2007 and is current, ly a junior at Elizabethtown University. He plans to continue toward advanced degrees in order to work in the medical field, likely in research.
“I love retirement,” Sue said. “I’m busy, but the alarm doesn’t go off at 4:38 a.m. I’ve learned recently how easy it is to get busy and forget about family and friends. [Sister’s recent death] helped me reconnect with my family and friends. I realize a lot of peo, ple can use an extra ha, nd.”
Science Learning Facilitator
8th grade Science Teacher, Strayer Middle School
22 years teaching, 18 of them at Strayer; taught 7th-8th grade science in Pennridge (2 years); 10th grade biology at William Tennett High School in Centennial School District (1 year); biology and physical science at Radnor High School (1/2 year); biology and science and technology at Upper Merion High School (1/2 year).
, Likes teaching middle school students, “who have an energy about them that you can harness toward learning. Many of my former students tell me I tricked them into learning because they were having so much fun they didn’t realize they were learning until they got to high school or college.” She enjoys running into former students in the grocery store and trading stories. She is especially pleased when she learns that her students selected careers involving science.
Working on a grant to examine the impact of Standards Based Grading on the achievement of 9th grade algebra students in 44 school districts in the greater Philadelphia area. Jacki is the Professional Development Coordinator for the grant, from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Her work on formative assessment was published in Educational Leadership December/January of 2006-07. Jacki takes pride in seeing her work quoted by other educ, ators writing about , formative ass, essment. , She serves as a member of the professional developmen, t committee for the National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA). Recently, she joined other NSTA committee members to lead a session at the convention in Philadelphia.
As Learning Facilitator, she makes sure the curriculum matches the standards. She shares her expertise with scientific inquiry and assessment by teaching workshops for new and veteran teachers about these topics. She also leads Professional Learning Communities and Professional Development days.
Teaches an undergraduate college course at Arcadia University, in Methods of Teaching Elementary Science. This is a natural extension of her work as learning facilitator since it is teaching pre-service teachers about best instructional practic, es in science teaching.
Enjoys gardening and hiking with fami, ly, , which includes husband Mark, a product manager for the scientific equipment group at Olympus America; daughter Alyssa, an 8th g, rader at Milford; and son Reid, a , 2nd grader, at Pfaff.
Secretary, Milford Middle School
Plucked out of a Quakertown Community High School class in her senior year, 1964, by then superintendent, for selection as a district secretary. Took nine years off with her children, but has worked in the district otherwise for 36 years, with no plans to retire.
I love my job!” Dawn said. “I love the kids. I love the environment. I love my bosses. This job gives me a good reason to get up every day.”
Remembers sitting in homeroom one day when Richard Strayer, Superintendent, came in the door and asked to see Dawn Hafler in his office. Mrs. Becker, head of the Business Department, had recommended that she be hired. In her first year, Dawn worked at the junior and senior highs and also worked on Saturdays.
When younger daughter was 4, she got a call from Mr. Ely, then principal at Milford, asking her to finish the year as the attendance secretary in that building. Her cousins, Ruthann and Grace Stump, were phys ed teachers in the school and recommended her because they knew it would be perfect for her. She had also worked for Mr. Ely when he was Assistant Principal at the high school. She’s been there ever since, 32 years.
Teachers in the building said she is, an unsung hero, and “we always say that she's the one who REALLY runs the place. She makes the rest of us look really good.” One teacher noted that Dawn is one of those people who you truly miss when she's out, even for a day. She anticipates what will be needed before we even ask for anything. Sh, e doesn't get near the recognition she deserves. Making her Who’s Who would touch her heart, and let her know how much we adore her.”
Ins, ists students say, “Please” and “Thank you,” when they come to the office to ask for her help. Some students can be demanding but Dawn makes every attempt to teach them good manners!
Husband Jerry has been retired 7 years after 37 years as a maintenance supervisor with the Department of Environmental Resources at Nockamixon State Park. He spends a lot of time with , their grandsons, Nicholas and Tyler, while their mom, Kristin, works as a legal secretary in Allentown. Daughter Shelley is an occupational therapist supervisor at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Passionate about reading anything. Also enjoys decorating and re-decorating her house. Helps organize all her class reunions and stays friendly with all the people from her class who still live in the area. Spends vacations in the Outer Banks with Jerry, daughters, their husbands and grandsons.
Keeps candy and snacks in the office for well behaved students, who call her their Milford mom. “It’s crazy to think how fast time has gone,” Dawn said.
Reading Specialist, Pfaff Elementary School
11th year in education, 2nd year at Pfaff; previously worked 4 years at Tohickon Valley and 5 in Coatesville Ar, ea School District, as Reading Specialist, 1st and 3rd grade teacher. Transitioned to education after a career in the corporate world.
Loves being able to work with all grade levels and all staff members. At Pfaff, enjoys interacting with Learning Support as well as regular education students. “It’s a great learning e, nvironment for the staff to learn from and with each other.”
Appreciates the opportunity to expand leadership abilities. Has worked as the Elementary Summer School Coordinator, helps to lead Professional Development days with other district Reading Specialists.
Looks forward to defending her dissertation in 2011 for doctorate in Educational Leadership/Curriculum and Instruction at Immaculata University. Holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from West Chester University. Would like to take on an administrative , role, preferably in QCSD, and eventually as a full time college professor teaching new teachers. Works as an adjunct professor some summers at WCU, in the Literacy Department.
According to author Louisa Moats, “Teaching reading is rocket science!” Karin points out. “We try so many different ways until we find the right way that works for each child.
When she’s not studying or writing professional materials, she loves to cook and feel the sand between her toes at the beach. Spends time with her two Blue Point Siamese cats, Ava and Grace, her younger sisters, Heather and Holly, and her parents. Enjoyed the book Julie and Julia (the cooking interest) and the children’s book SkippyjonJones by Judy Schachner (the cat interest).
After a week’s worth of Read Across America activities, Karin noted, “It’s a chance to celebrate reading and dig in and discover more about Dr. Seuss, one of the most recognized authors during the annual week. Students were able to share reading experiences district wide and building wide.”
, ;Linda Beason
Kindergarten Teacher, Richland Elementary School
28th year in the district, 22nd in kindergarten, all at Richland. “I could have gone to another , school but I like the Richland families,” Linda said. “Most of them share my values on education.”
Finds every day with kindergarteners self-satisfying. “There’s never a dull moment. It’s different every day. For students in school a half day, I get to see more growth in one year than most teachers at other grade levels. Another plus is that all the kids love to be here. We make it fun for them and they will do almost anything for us.”
Spends all of September to teach kindergarten students how to be in school, to show them where everything is and how to work around the classroom. “My advice to parents is, ‘Don’t do the work that a five year old can do. Teach them how to hang up their coat and put away their things.”’,
Believes today’s children could easily spend a full, day in kinde, rgarten without a nap. Full days would allow teachers to cover the curriculum more thor, oughly, to reach Guided Reading Level B by the end of the year, wi, th 15-18 sight words, simple sentences and pictures.
Enjoys gardening, knitting, hanging out with her black lab, Cinder, and traveling to warm places with husband Bill, who works in manufacturing. He speaks via 9 p.m. conference phone calls to people in China, who speak English. They have taken cruises to most of the Caribbean islands. They go to Florida, North Carolina, an, d Texas to visit family.
Son Dan graduated from Penn State with a degree in business. Daughter Stephanie is a senior dietetics major at the University of Pittsburgh.
Listens to funny stories all day long in kindergarten but only believes half of them. Humoro, us situations arise constantly. “Just yesterday I found a tooth on the floor. I asked, ‘Boys and girls, whose tooth is this?’ I heard, ‘Let me see the tooth.’ Then I checked all the kids who had missing teeth. It belonged to a boy who had never lost a tooth before. He didn’t even know it.”
QCHS Math Teacher
4th year at QCHS; previously taught 10 years at Upper Bucks Vocational Technical School, until the math program was returned to home (sending) schools; besides math, also taught Aviation Maintenance at UBVTS; worked in the field and served 9 years, 3 months in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, including a stint in Okinawa, Japan in 1991 during Desert Storm.
Proud to teach at the high school from which he graduated (1980). He also attended UBVTS, for Aircraft Maintenance. Teaches math to many of QCHS’ vo-tech students.
Took a circuitous route to teaching. Joined the Marines 18 months after graduating high school. After returning from his initial active duty, he worked for a year at Bethlehem Steel as an aircraft mechanic at Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton (now Lehigh Valley International) Airport. When the division closed, he started on a degree in engineering for the aerospace industry at Penn State-Allentown. Two years later, the industry downsized and Chad transferred to Kutztown University to earn a degree to teach math. Eventually he worked at the vo-tech after another stint in industry with Continental Express Airlines.
Recently traveled for 25th visit to Colonial Williamsburg. He and wife, Barbara (Bright), also a 1980 QCHS graduate, are “history geeks.” Over the years they have taken their dogs with them and re-enactors have worked the dogs’ names into their scenes. In the past, they have raised and bred Dalmatians. Six Dalmatians were their family pets for 17 years before Chad and Barbara began taking in Golden Doodles.
, Currently wears a sling until mid-March to keep him from over exerting his left arm. Doctors installed a defibrillator Jan. 15. He returned to school as cheerful as ever.
“I have great kids in my classes,” Chad said. “Many of my students who atte, nd the vo-tech say the same things I did when I was here as a student– they love it there,” Chad said. “I listen to them and I think, , ‘Gee whiz, that was me 30 years ago.’”
Secretary, Strayer Middle School
3rd year on the job. After college graduation, Linda worked, in Mutual Fund Operations at Merrill Lynch before starting a family and spending the next 18 years as a stay-at-home mom. Before coming to Strayer Middle School, she worked 6 months at Muhlenberg College.
Loves the Strayer family. “Everyone makes you feel like you are contributing to the well being and smooth operation of the building. People make you feel valued,” she said.
Busy every day, from the minute she arrives till the minute she goes home. Works on attendance; website; test scanning; letters to parents about discipline; custody issues; cumulative files and updating key staff members about them; phone calls to parents; and any other projects concocted by Cindy Lapinski, Principal, and Adam Schmucker, Assistant Principal.
Recently retired after 10 years on the Pennridge School Board. First ran for office when her three children were very young and class sizes were large. Served as chairperson of committees for activities and facilities and was instrumental in the renovation and addition of the high school and turf field. “Our board got along well. We had a good working relationship with mutual respect with the administration. We were very transparent and welcomed people from the outside. Many of the board members over the years were parents of students in private school or older kids who had graduated. I was on the board while my kids were growing up in the school district so I had an inside look.”
Looks forward to some free time, now that her School Board term ended in December. Enjoys visiting family in her native Connecticut and hopes to travel after her children graduate from college.
Watches a lot of son Michael’s soccer and lacrosse games at Pennridge, where he is a sophomore. Daughter Jessica is a senior Communications Design major at Syracuse University. Son Drew is a sophomore Chemistry major at the University of Pittsburgh. Husband Greg is Vice President of Retail Operations at Lifeclinic.
Enjoys reading historical fiction, suspense thrillers, her daughter’s blog as well as the Wall Street Journal.
5th Grade Teacher, Richland Elementary School
2nd year; previously worked 2 years in the QCSD Technology Department; 3 years teaching at St. Philip Neri in Lafayette Hill; 24 years at Prudential Insurance Company.
Returned to, school, to Kutztown University and Cedar Crest College, and continued to volunteer as a soccer coach. “I actually had a downsize plan, which I always try to tell people they shoul, d have. Don’t think , it won’t happen to you,” Luke said. “I took a 24-year detour but I’m very appreciative that I was let go because now I’m doing what I always wanted to do.” Appreciates the collegiality among elementary teachers in QCSD. “There is a strong desire among teachers to share and communicate,” he said. Also appreciates the small school, strong knit community atmosphere at Haycock among staff, students and parents. Likes the “fluid” mixture in which he gets to work with students from 1st to 5th grade. Enjoys spending time with wife, Bridget, an RN at Pine Run Community Health Center, and granddaughter, Kaylee, 8, a 2nd grader at St. Isidore School. Daughters Jaime Lynn, 26, Brittany, 24, and Lauren, 22, all graduated from Quakertown Community High School. Jaime Lynn dances, along with, her new husband, for Austin (Texas) Ballet Company. Brittany is a case manager for a mental health agency in Quakertown. Lauren teaches in the Souderton High School Life Skills classroom. Still plays soccer and currently plays in a co-ed league with Brittany.
Returned to, school, to Kutztown University and Cedar Crest College, and continued to volunteer as a soccer coach. “I actually had a downsize plan, which I always try to tell people they shoul, d have. Don’t think , it won’t happen to you,” Luke said. “I took a 24-year detour but I’m very appreciative that I was let go because now I’m doing what I always wanted to do.”
Appreciates the collegiality among elementary teachers in QCSD. “There is a strong desire among teachers to share and communicate,” he said. Also appreciates the small school, strong knit community atmosphere at Haycock among staff, students and parents. Likes the “fluid” mixture in which he gets to work with students from 1st to 5th grade.
Enjoys spending time with wife, Bridget, an RN at Pine Run Community Health Center, and granddaughter, Kaylee, 8, a 2nd grader at St. Isidore School.
Daughters Jaime Lynn, 26, Brittany, 24, and Lauren, 22, all graduated from Quakertown Community High School. Jaime Lynn dances, along with, her new husband, for Austin (Texas) Ballet Company. Brittany is a case manager for a mental health agency in Quakertown. Lauren teaches in the Souderton High School Life Skills classroom.
Still plays soccer and currently plays in a co-ed league with Brittany.
QCSD Social Worker
10th year on the job; previously worked as Social Worker in Bensalem School District and at Kidspeace in Orefield; coordinates with 2 college interns, guid, ance counselors and Special Education staff members but is currently the only Social Worker in QCSD.
Connects children and families in need with a plethora of agencies, thanks to her huge network of contacts in the Quakertown area. Makes from 1 to 4 home visits a day in her 4 days per week schedule. Meets with children in schools, establishing relationships and helping them find their strengths. Emphasizes, in a non-judgmental way, , to adults and children that she and staff members “want them to feel comfortable, that school is a good place t, o feel safe and that people here care about them. They may be in a bad spot right now, but that happens to everybody at some point and we will help them move beyond it.”
Finds “triage” solutions to families’ crises, most often with mental health and financial issues. Often connects families to Quakertown Cares, an organization of various businesses and community members who help low income families with such problems as paying for oil heat. “Other communities don’t have charitable organizations l, ike Quakertown Cares. It is unique to this area and is a good illustration of the level of care and support that is part of what makes Quakertown special.” Also organizes the district’s annual Give the Gift of Giving holiday support program for families in need.
Original member of HUBBUB, Helping Upper Bucks Be Univer, sally Better, an 8-year-old organization that represents agencies across the county and state. Group meets monthly to bolster networking opportunities. Connections can help families cut through red tape much more quickly than if people must call government agencies.
Became a social worker because she wanted to help people. Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at St. Joseph’s University and a Mast, ers of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania. “My favorite part of the job is working directly with the kids and advocating for them. I just love them.”
Husband Kevin is a Reading Specialist in Central Bucks School D, istrict, where several other famil, y members teach as well. Kevin and Kirsten like to travel with son Jack, 5, and daughter, Molly, 3, to Rehobeth, the Poconos, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and next summer to California.
Belongs to a Community Supported Agriculture Farm, in Blooming Glen, where they help grow vegetables. Enjoys reading nonfiction books about nutrition and other topics, such as autism. Also speed reads 2 to 3 thriller and mystery novels a week! Likes to paint for decoration. Earned money during grad school doing murals and furniture for people’s , houses and for stores. Painted a princess themed castle room for her daughter and a jungle safari for her son’s room!
3rd Grade Teacher
Neidig Elementary School
6th year at Neidig; 18th year teaching, all in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades.
Loves the community of teachers and families at Neidig. “It’s a wonderful place to be. Everyone works together and supports each other.”
Finds te, aching rewarding every day. “It’s rewarding to see the progress the children make. You can see the ‘Oh, I get it,’ on their little faces. They’re c, onscious of their progress, and they appreciate what they learn. We are a team in my classroom. We learn together and make mistakes together.”
Pleased with the education her son and daughter receive in QCSD. “Teachers at the elementary and middle schoo, l, and now the Freshman Center, all go above and beyond to do what’s best for kids.”
Grew up in Mansfield, PA. Met husband Tom at Shippensburg University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. Later earned teaching certification at Kutztown University and last summer completed her Master’s Degree at Wilkes University. They live in the house in which Tom grew up.
Keeps busy attending sports practices and events for son Justin, a freshman, and daughter Meghan, a 6th grader at Strayer. , Justin plays baseball and basketball., Meghan plays soccer, basketball and softball.
Enjoys spending time at the Outer Banks, N.C. and in the mountains in New York, at the family cabin. “There’s no TV! We relax outdoors. We love it there.”
Loves to read and garden. Exhausted all the Nicholas Sparks novels and is now working her way through Jodi Piccoult books.
8th grade Math and RELA teacher, Milford Middle School
5th year at Milford; previously taught 4 years in Bethlehem, Maryland and Chester, in first, seventh and eighth grades. Knew “30 seconds into” his year with first graders that the grade level was not his niche!
Finds 8th graders the “perfect” mix of maturity and enthusiasm for his teaching style. “We have good conversation,” he said. “They want to learn.”
Loves the community feeling at Milford. “I know it’s cliché, but it is a big family here,” he said.
Born and raised in Quakertown, graduated from QCHS in 1995. Believes he was “overly prepared for college,” especially compared to his classmates at Kutztown University. “I think we’ve always been a progressive school district but I like that we’re looking now to push kids even more to do better.”
Earned a Master’s degree at Temple University and is 80 percent finished with his PhD in Educational Psychology at Temple. Currently researching for his dissertation, to determine the achievement gap between boys and girls in reading at the seventh grade level. “I don’t believe boys lag behind girls in r, eading ability just like girls don’t lag behind boys in math ability. But I’m wondering if boys like to learn differently or if they need more time to catch up.”
Enjoys playing golf, oft, en! Also enjoys hiking and fishing, especially every summer in the Rockies. He travels frequently with his girlfriend, Tanya, who is a middle school teacher in Bethlehem.
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In addition to his parents, his family includes two sisters, two nieces and nephews, 16 aunts and uncles and 47 first cousins, all of whom live all across the United States.
Attendance Secretary, Freshman Center
5 years on the job, since the building opened; previously worked one year in the Senior High library and six years as the manager of the Tohickon Valley cafeteria. “The cafeteria is hard, hard work!” she said. “Now I can sit all day.”
Main job is to take care of attendance and excuse notes.
Gatekeeper to the Freshman Center; greets everyone wit, h a smile, including students arriving late to school or leaving early; parents who appreciate her friendliness; unruly students sent from class; and students looking for bus passes. The mornings and e, nd of the day prove the most hectic.
“I know most of the kids, but many of them I remember from Tohickon Valley. Even though they’re older, they don’t look that different.”
Likes the students and staff. “It’s a nice place to work,” Sue said. “We try to be friendly. This is a very welcoming school. We’re always laughing about something.”
Likes the summers off. “I can plant flowers in my garden. It’s very peaceful there. I can never drive my car by the plant place. It just sucks me in!” Also enjoys reading mysteries and sewing quilts.
Husband Dave works in logistics for the Pennsylvania Air National Guard at Willow Grove. Plans to retire when the base closes. They sometimes travel to Florida to see her parents. Son Jeffrey, 22, is a super-senior at Penn State, ready to graduate in December in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Son Christopher, 19, is a sophomore at Penn State, majoring in Intradisciplinary Digital Studio/Computer Graphics Animation. Both sons graduated from Quakertown Community High School.
Co-workers call Sue hilarious, gregarious, fun and absolutely fabulous.
Started Sept. 8. Previously worked for the Geek Squad, computer sales and inventory at Best Buy in Quakertown (4 years). Earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, plus several certifications in hardware, software and networks.
“It’s like being a doctor. You can take all the tests and read all the books, but the hands-on experience is the best teacher,” Alain said of his ability to work with computers and make it all seem simple, . “I almost learn something new every day. Technol, ogy is forever changing our lives.”
Receives about 6 to 10 tech work order assignments on a daily basis. Tackles some of them from the technology office and goes to school district buildings to troubleshoot the others. “I get things like people cannot log onto their profiles, or they can’t access the public drive, or they can’t connect to the wireless. Some people need me to install hardware or software. Some things I can do from my computer, like remotely update Adobe Flash. If a teacher puts in a work order and allows me to take control of [her] computer for about 10 minutes, I can complete it. I recently worked on an issue with the Options academy staff, mapping printer IP addresses to staff’s computers . But it’s basic stuff.”
Outside of school, likes to go to the movies and work on – guess what! Computers! “I’m a real gadget nerd. I love anything technology related. I’ll surf the net or go to Barnes and Noble to read up on the latest stuff.”
Grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., which explains why he loves to cheer for the Yankees and Giants. Moved to Pennsylvan, ia to be closer to his fiancé and now cheers for Penn State football. Looking to retrieve his huge collection of baseball cards from his parents’ Florida basement. Has a Reggie Jackson rookie card he estimates is worth a couple hundred dollars and Derek Jeter’s original professional card. Also cherishes his Mickey Mantle autographed baseball.
Getting married Nov. 21 to Ann, who loves the holidays and will celebrate her birthday and wedding anniversaries within three days of each other, forevermore. Parents came to the United States from French Haiti, so they added an i to his name. Don’t be fooled by his quiet look, Alain loves to talk about sports and politics!
Elementary Music Teacher
Trumbauersville and Quakertown Elementary
28 years on the job, all in Quakertown. Plans to work five more years.
Believes her job is the “funnest, bestest” job in the world when she and students agree they all like the same piece of music. On Wednesday, for instance, she showed fifth graders a music video of the song “Africa,” by the rock band Toto. Next students listened to the same song performed by a choir. “I really thought they would prefer the rock group but they all liked the choir, which I thought was an outstanding performance. It makes me happy to share something I love and have them love it with me.”
Knows that music education is important because “kids come in all kinds of abilities and talents. They all deserve to develop those talents, whether they are in music, arts, sports, reading or writing. Of course music is great for developing reading and math abilities, for self expression and working together. There are a whole host of strengths students can develop out of music.”
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Abandoned dreams of becoming a nurse when a really good music teacher in high school, in Bernardsville, N.J., steered her through choir and voice lessons. She realized singing was a better fit for her.
Loves to shop, mostly for clothes and books. Over the summer, husband Steve, a retired (2008) QCSD music teacher (Strayer, Milford, High School) helped her catalogue 350 books on a rolling bookshelf at Trumbauersville. She finds “a million ways” to turn the picture books into songs that students write, sing and simply set to music. To Click, Clack, Moo, for instance, students play rhythm sticks, ratchets, triangles, xylophones, glockenspiels and metallophones.
Loves to read anything relaxing and uplifting, nothing that makes her worried or depressed. The beach is her favorite place to read. The beach is her favorite place to do, anything!
Enjoys singing in church, where Steve is the worship leader. He also teaches guitar, banjo and voice at DeVoe’s Music Store. Son Stephen, 32, teaches English at a university in China. Son Raymond, 30, is a physician’s assistant for Lehigh Valley Hospitals. Both are married but no grandchildren have been born to join the music!
Ten years volunteering, since daughter Becca, now a 10th grader, was in first grade. Doesn’t volunteer for recognition, just enjoys working with kids and working in the QCSD schools.
Co-chairs operation of the outdoor concession stand at the stadium, with Gail Fritch; serves as the Quakertown Music Parents Organization (QMPO) General Secretary; as the Chairperson of Market Day fund raising at Neidig, where she also runs the school store. Recently, she took inventory of the school store supplies, making herself at home among the boxes in the s, chool lobby.
Enjoys helping tutor seco, nd graders with math in Mrs. Hippeli’s classroom at Neidig.
“I used to work a full time job, but putting three young kids in a day care took my whole paycheck,” she said. “So I decided to stay home. I started volunteering when Becca went to school. Now I just like to do the same thing for all three girls.”
, Still gets big hugs in school from Alexa, 4th grade at Neidig, and Alison, 6th grade at Strayer, but Becca doesn’t want to know her at the high school! Brenda, husband Don, a machine operator, and the girls take vacations that allow them to explore history.
All three girls are involved in the music program. Becca sings in the choir. Alison plays the tenor saxophone and clarinet. Alexa just starte, d the French horn, relieved and excited that the district was able to offer music to fourth graders this year. “She wrote a letter to the superintendent, all on her own, asking her to keep the program,” Brenda said, proudly.
Reading Specialist, Richland Elementary School
6th year in this job, 12th year teaching; previously worked as Title 1 Reading Specialist at Neidig and QE; taught sixth grade Language Arts in North Carolina.
Originally from Scranton, graduated from Penn State Universit, y and moved to “som, eplace warm,” to North Carolina. Returned to area to live near , family.
Loves collaborating with other readin, g specialists because it’s always a “great learning experience. I love working with kids. In the small groups we get to see so much growth and we get to know the families so well. The exit celebrations are very rewarding.”
Gets to know a lot of kids in the building thanks to family reading nights and when she stops in classrooms to find her group members. “The kids who aren’t coming with me always ask, ‘When do we get to come?’”
L, ives in Souderton with husband Pete, a car salesman, and daughter Eva, 5-months-old. Robbie made it to the end of April before giving birth because Eva was 10 days late. She just returned from maternity leave this school year. Gator, a mastiff dog, loves the baby. Parents and baby flew to California this summer to visit family outside of San Francisco.
Loves to read, balancing educational books with series novels, such as those by Janet Evanovich.
Social Studies, Teacher, QCHS
2nd year on the job; graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, May 2008, with a BA in History and a Secondary Certificate in Social Studies.
Teaches four sections of 12th grade Political Science, one section of the new Medieval History elective for 10th-12th graders; two courses in the Infinity Cyber Academy – Political Science and U.S. History III.
“One of the biggest things I learned as, a new teacher last year was how important, it is to take the job day by day,” Steve said. “I may think I have the greatest lesson planned and then it flops. I just keep trying to connect with the kids, engage them in meaningful lessons. Teachers are perfectionists. We can be pretty critical of ourselves. I learned not to let the daily results get me down, but to just keep caring about the kids and looking for ways to help them achieve success.”
Discovered that he can pique students’ interest in political issues by showing clips of the Daily Show with John St, ewart and the Colbert Report. “Kids don’t like watching clips on the [cable] news channels but if they see John Stewart and Stephen Colbert mocking authority figures, they become so much more engaged. The kids appreciate the humor and the clips give me a chance to fill in the context, to explain the real news behind them. This year I want the kids to pick clips and use them as jumping off poin, ts to do research on current events and political issues.”
Taking courses at Wilkes University for Educational Leadership. Ideally would like to teach a course (to keep in touch with kid, s) and work as an administrator at the same time to , help build a climate of social caring and academic demand.
Loves to read, especially non-fiction, “hard stuff that makes my head hurt.” Passionate about studying medieval history because the values upon which , our nation was founded were rooted in the bloody, clashes and intellectual debates of the medieval era.
Outside of school, values sleep, spending time with friends and family, and following sports and politics. Loves Saint Joe’s Hawks basketball. Enjoys downhill skiing and traveling to Boston and Washington, D.C. Family includes mother Janet, who works for Upper Southampton Township; father Brad, a chemical engineer; brother Kyle, 21, a history major at Temple University; and dog Chip, a 4-year-old shitzhu.
Art Educator, Freshman Center
12th year teaching, 9 years at Quakertown and 5th at the Freshman Center; helped open the Freshman Center because she loves new challenges and liked the opportunity to pilot new courses; previously taught 4 years at Lehigh Valley Christian High School.
Currently, art course is called Digital Design and Studio Art, combing classic media with computer as an art tool. Students, regardless of their skill level, are encouraged to create a variety of digital and , hand-made 2-dimensional designs. They also create 3-dim, ensional sculptures from fo, am core board and recycled junk; hand carved prints; and animated graphic design projects through Adobe Fireworks and Flash.
“I like everything about my job!” Amy said. “There is so much variety in the content. I like in, teracting with my excited , students. This is the place to imagine and invent. I consider myself a creativity coach.”
Encourages s, tudents to take creative risks with the art. “You don’t have to feel like you are an artist. You can take anything, put it toget, her with the skill level you have and come out with a sophisticated product that you can be proud of, no matter what media is used if some basic guidelines are applied.”
Selected to present workshops for the Bucks Intermediate Unit Arts and Technology Conference.
Enjoys climbing Hawk Mountain and picking apples and pumpkins with husband Ed (a QCHS Spanish teacher) and sons Ben, 8, and Andrew, 7. The boys attend Lehigh Christian Academy. Soccer game, , s and movies fill free time during the school year and everybody in the family enjoys taking photographs. The boys love art, too. Amy and Ed photograph weddings on some weekends and Amy is an avid scrapbooker.
Amy can sing! During the family’s recent summe, r vacation to Disney World, she put her Performance Art background to the test in front of 1,000 audience members in a 3-hour, whirlwind American Idol Experience. She sang I Hope You Can Dance, a tear jerker made famous by Lee Ann Womack. Audience members with quick-click voting buttons made the final decisions and although she was not t, he overall winner, it was still a fun experience that rekindled her desire to record an album.
Reading Specialist, Tohickon Valley
Job requires her to provide reading instruction to s, mall groups and one-on-one with children. Also supports and collaborates with teachers in any kind of literary endeavor; assesses students’ reading ability.
Works with children and adults every day. “The best part of my job is working with kids,” Sally said. “I have the luxury of thinking about r, eading all day and working with small groups of children. I love when things start to click for kids, when they get that twinkle in their eye, and they say, ‘Oh, I get it!’ I also like the connections with families. It’s very rewarding when parents come to see me, saying, ‘Thank you so much for helping my child.’ Every child’s success is a teaching team’s victory. I’ve always worked with awesome teachers.” Sally admitted to teaching long enough that now she’s teaching child, ren of kids she taught in 1st and 6th grade. “Yikes!”
Likes the personal connection the district affords. “This district is small enough that I recognize many teachers when I see them at workshops or on in-service days. It’s nice to have a, conversation and catch up.”
Enjoys spending time with daughters Mallory, 13, and Meredith, 10, who go to school in Boyertown; and with husband Brent, a project manager for a phone system company. They like to swim, vacation at the beach, go camping, hang out with friends, read and cook. “Mallory and Meredith are great kids and very good cooks! If I make cooking fu, n for my girls, eventually they can make dinner for me!” she said.
Social Studies Teacher, QCHS
Social Studies Learning Facilitator
19th year teaching, 11th at QCSD. Currently teaches AP Government and Ethics Seminar to 12th and 10th graders. Previously taught in Houston, Texas (7 years) and Wilmington, Delaware (1 year).
Learned about the art of teaching from his mother, a retired teacher and elementary school principal, and during high school/college summers, which he spent as a counselor with the West Chester Area School District’s Summer Science Program.
Die hard Villanova basketball fan; card carrying member of the American Numismatic Association, which means he collects, coins! Not a current member of the International Jugglers Association but has juggled as a freelance performance artist. He likes to emulate the juggling/performance style of the Flaming Idiots, , a trio of jugglers named Gyro, Pyro and Walter. Andy has been known to watch them all day long at the Renaissance Fairs in Pennsylvania and Texas.
Enjoys spending time with wife, Laura, and three children, Abby, 7, Matthew, 5, and Michael 2. Family vacations at Cape Cod every year; goes to lots of baseball games; hikes at Haw, k Mountain; and swims at their community pool.
Student Management Assistant, QCHS
Started October, 2007; previous work experience has included probation, juvenile corrections, foster care & residential psych facilities as well as resort work in Connecticut & Florida.
Daily responsibilities include communicating with students, teachers and administrators when students are referred to administration for behavioral and attendance issues. “I try to be the eyes and ears, for administration and teachers to assist in fast tracking issue resolution,” James said. “I try to anticipate things to secure the physical and mental safety of the students and to help set a positive environment in which they can learn. I like to try to head problems off at the pass which translates to paying a lot of attention to the physical, and mental states of our kids on a daily basis and communicating with appropriate staff to assist our students.”
Strives to make personal connections with students and provide positive support to both teachers & students in their endeavors. Believes his personal and job history makes that possible.&nbs, p;
Currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology through Chestnut Hill College at DeSales University. Eventually he would like to earn a doctorate and open a private consultation firm that will provide individual & family counsel and also trouble shoot job training for r, esidential facility staff. “I want to help adults learn how to engage at-risk kids in a way that will create a fiduciary relationship that will be the foundation for, a clie, nt/residents suc, cess.”
Enjoys playing with 18-month-old son Owen and 6-year-old stepdaughter Skyler. In three weeks, wife Emily is due to give birth to a girl, already named Emma Grace. Also enjoys playing golf and guitar when he can, snowboarding, reading and writing when possible.
“People who don’t know me think I’m mad or mean all day because I don’t smile. My expression is because of my intensity to obs, ervation, not my mood,” James said. “Kids who know me know they can come to me can count on me to be honest, direct and supportive while holding them to a firm expectation of what they are capable of achieving.”
Food Service Director
5 years on the job; started in QCSD in 1985 and worked at Quakertown Elementary, Richla, nd, Elementary and the High school, experiencing the gamut from washing dishes to cooking to managing the kitchens.
“I could write a book!” Joan said, only half joking. “I have seen continuous change over the years, everything from soup to nuts! Change is always good, although it’s difficult for some.”
Makes sure everything runs smoothly in the kitchens of 10 schools (Haycock gets its food from Rich, land Elementary). Oversees operations, which include safety issues; ordering and making sure food gets delivered; keeping track of the warehouse and freezer; running monthly manager meetings.
“Fortunately, I have a great staff,” Joan said. “Every day is different. I enjoy this [district office] end of the job, although sometimes I miss the cooking part.” Known for her shortbread and scones, she doesn’t cook at home as much as she used to either. She likes to let her children cook for her at the holidays.
Moved to the United States in 1971, after meeting her husband, Larry, now deceased, who was stationed in her native England with the U.S. Air Force. Joan goes home to England every summer to visit her mother and two sisters.
Shares her lively sense of humor with an English-Scottish blended accent. Born in Manchester, England, she lived in Scotland until she was 6, then returned to Corby, Northamptonshire, in the middle of England.
Spends time with daughter Wendy Yons, son Ryan and 5 granddaughters, who range in age from 5 years to 3 weeks. Wendy and Ryan graduated from QCHS. Wendy graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and works as a Special Education aide at Neidig and coaches the high school girls’ swimming team. Ryan graduated from DeSales with a BA and a MBA from New York Institute of Technology. He works for Sanofi Pasteur, a pharmaceutical company.
Enjoys water walking and on dry ground, going to the movies and reading romance novels with some drama!
Associate Network Engineer, QCSD Technology Department
On the job since 2000; previously worked at Montgomery County Community College (2 years); Computers for the Professionals (5 years); heavy construction in the U.S. Navy, in Spain, Italy, Somalia, The Gambia (West Coast of Africa).
<, P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal>“I was in The Gambia on embassy duty and we reconstructed a school,” Harold said. “I brought in pictures of our project to share with Mrs. Reese’s class at Tohickon Valley.”
Likes the people he works with at QCSD and likes learning new technology. Lives in the district and his sons go to school here. When he’s not working for the district, he runs his own business, Quakertown Computers, “networking top to bottom, whoever needs help.”
Known by high school staff for his speedy runs down the hallway when he discovers a student bypassed internet filters.
“Yes, I hear, ‘He’s here!’ when I run into a classroom,” Harold said, chuckling. “Sometimes kids do questionable things. Some of them are innocent, related to assignments. For instance, last year a class was working on Civil Rights and I saw some hate sites come up. That raised alarms. I contacted the teacher and found out it was part of the as, signment.”
In addition to monitoring network activity, also manages Windows updates, passwords, user accounts and telephones. Uses district Computer Use , Policy as a guideline. “I think from a parent’s point of view, what would a parent find objectionable? I know elementary teachers like to use nick.com because the games help kids with skills without paying for extra services.
“Lots of people don’t understand the security issues and why some sites are still blocked,” he added. “It might be a good resource but , I have to determine how many students are affected if something objectionable comes up. Sometimes just misspelling words results in bad sites.”
Plays sports and online games with his family: wife Mandy and sons Kevin, 13, who goes to Strayer, and Stephen 8, who goes to Tohickon Valley.<, /TD>
Lead Technician, Technology Department
10th year on the job; previously worked in East Penn School District technology department; attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania; graduated A, llentown Business School and Parkland High School; currently enrolled at DeSales University in Information Management Systems.
Enjoys the positive interactions with people in QCSD, from students to administrators.
Typical days include managing Help Desk work orders, which can include recovering data on teacher laptops that experience disasters. In the summer, he gets into classrooms to upgrade software, receives new equipment and configures it for use.
“I’m not in the classrooms as much now as I used to be,” Joe noted. “Before, 95 percent of my time I was in the elementary and middle schools and those people knew who I was. Now I work more behind the scenes,” at the District Services Center, at Milford Commons, where he fixes problems.
Used to work in the trailer outside the high school with, tax office staff. Now he and the rest of the technology department have company at Milford Commons since the rest of the district office staff joined them this summer.
“I like having people around!” he said.
Enjoys spending time with wife Stephanie, traveling once a year to the Caribbean, working out at the gym, pl, aying recreational disc golf and 9-ball APA (American Pool Players Association) pool.
Assistant Director of Facilities Services
Marks 2 years on the job in Octobe, r; previously worked as an Assistant Plant Engineer for Montgomery County.
Collects Work Orders submitted by staff all over , the district , on the Panther Net, then coordinates the repairs by distributing the jobs among seven maintenance workers. Custodial requests are delegated to Barry Hillegass, who assigns the work to the custodians. Maintenance repairs can be for anything building related, but more often than not involve heatin, g,, , air conditioning, plumbing, electricity and grounds.
“Everyone has access to the “SchoolDude” Work Order system. The Technology department uses SchoolDude for work orders as well,” Kelly said. “It tells the staff member the status of his or her request. It’s a pretty friendly system!”
Can be called upon in the middle of the night. The facilities department responds to emergencies 24 hours a day. “We’re always working to keep our fa, cilities safe,” he said.
Likes QCSD because people are friendly and appreciative. He wants them , to know he and the Facilities Services staff, including Director Paul Lum, are friendly too, and receptive to repair requests. “It’s hard to change people’s perceptions. I, want people to know that we do not operate under the principle of ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it.’ I like to think we’re making a positive impact.”
Noted that many maintenance problems crop up at the high school, and hopes to see renovation in the near future. Kelly also noted that the sports fields consume a lot of time for the maintenance department. Besides the QCSD teams that use the baseball field from April to June, for instance, outside groups use the facilities all summer long. Maintenance workers line and repair the fields regularly. “We don’t look like the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs’ field, but we’re improving every year.”
Takes his work home with him, sort of. He and wife Valorie fixed up their first house and now are fixing up their second house. “We’re slow flippers!” Kelly joked. In the basement he has completed ceramic and marble tile, new heating and air conditioning, new kitchen and bathrooms. Now that it is like new, it’s time to look for the next project.
Between house fix ups, Kelly competed with his dog Piper,, a border collie, in AKC dog agility, winning two AKC titles and a wall full of ribbons. He and Valorie enjoy spending time with his two children, Matthew, 12, and Ryan, 23, and his stepchildren Casey, 24, Justin, 27, and Michael, 30, as well as first grandson Gavin, 3 months. <, /P>
Known aro, und the Facilities department as the “camera guy.” He has taken thousands of digit, al pictures, worth thousands of words, especially when he has 11 schools to keep in shape.
Acting Assistant Principal, QCHS
Named to the position this summer; previously worked as Teacher on Special Assignment in the same position at the high school after internship experiences at the Freshman Center and Neidig Elementary. Taught environmental science at the Freshman Center for 6 years. His goal is to earn a doctorate and become a building principal.
Passionate about education and helping students achi, eve , , to their full potential. Comes by it naturally, considering his mother has taught for 39 years in the North Penn School District, father has 38 years in public education, maternal grandparents were teachers and sister teaches in Boyertown. Brother is working to become a nurse.
Will miss the subject matter, labs, inquiry, aha moments and dynamics of a successful classroom, but is finding reward in discovering how to make a different type of impact on more children and teachers from an administrative vantage point.
“We really do have wonderful people on our staff who want to help student, , s be successful. In this job, I’m learning how to help individual students achieve on a case-by-case basis, which in turn can help teachers and students in the classroom,” Michael said. “It’s, important to take pro-act, ive measures and corrective action, both academic and behavioral. I’ve learned through many communications with parents, both positi, ves and about areas of concern, that everyone can work together to create an optimal learning environment so children can succeed.”
Passionate about soccer. Played soccer for 4 years at Shippensburg University and still plays on a German-Hungarian club team out of Northeast Philadelphia. Coached 3 years at QCHS and is still helping until the school finds a new coach. Assisted as coach in the fall of 2008 at Moravian College. Worked with QCHS girls and the Back Pass program, guiding high school mentors as coaches of little kids.
Enjoys spending time with family, talking and reading about educational trends. “I reall, y want to help teachers and students get to the best possible place to teach and learn.”
Administrative Assistant, QCHS
37 years on the job; started two days after graduating from Quakertown High Sc, hool; interviewed for the pos, ition as a student in the business program.
Sat at the middle of three desks for many years until the high school office underwent renovation. For the past 10 years, has sat at the same desk, the left-side desk as visitors enter the of, fice.
Deals with substitutes and early dismissals first thing every morning, then with whatever else comes along in a steady stream, including teacher, student and administrative requests.
Cannot explain the secret of her longevity. “Where else would I go?” she asked. Some days are more stressful than others, depending on who is sitting in the office waiting for an administrator’s attention. No two days are ever the same.
Enjoys spending, time with 3 grandchildren, Morg, an, 5, Blake, 4, and Chase, 1½, children of son Brian and wife Stacey. They live near Donna and husband Jerry in Coopersburg. Son Matt, who has substituted at QCHS, begins a new music teaching position in Baltimore, Md. this summer.
When Donna and Jerry, who works for PennDOT, are home, they take care of flower beds or go to T-ball games and the park with the grandchildren, . “They are full of energy,” Donna said.
Custodial Maintenance, QCHS
One-and-a-half years at the high school; started as a “floater” in QCSD schools three years ago. This will be the first year he can take a vacation between Christmas and New Year’s Day and he is excited about that! Previously worked, at Fiber Mark, a paper mill, in Quakertown, 12.5 years. Six years to go until retirement.
Easy going with a good sense of humor, he gets along with everyone and he likes them all! “This situation has been a good experience and I don’t want to go anywhere else,” he said.
Works regularly with custodian Bobby Balik, cleaning or fixing whatever needs work on a given day. Recently they chased a bird out of a classroom. “All the kids were pretty excited,” he said, chuckling. “It was just a little bird.”
Remains calm most of the time. “I try to be easy going and blend in. Some days there’s a bit of tension, but mostly I try to be happy.”
Ready for the super summer cleanup, always busier than the school year for custodians. Opted to work four 10-hour shifts so he can have 3 days off a week. Knows he’ll have a bit of an adjustment from his usual 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. shift.
Enjoys hunting and fishing, especially in Bloomsburg, where friends own a cabin. Also enjoys shopping for antiques at flea markets with wife, Shari, a Learning, Support Aide at Tohickon Valley.
“We don’t have any kids or pets so if we go out and we want to stay out, we stay out,” Dale said.
Dr. April Fisher
2nd year in QCSD; previously worked in , Mifflin County School District (Lewistown, PA); graduated from University of Pittsburgh in 2001 with a B.S. and Penn State University in 2006 with a Masters Degree and Ph.D. Originally from Bradford in the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania.
In QCSD, really likes “all the people and the resources available to kids. If a child does not qualify for special education, there are still other ser, vices to help him, such as IST [Instructional Support Team], Reading Speciali, sts and guidance counselors.”
Travels to 11 schools in the district, sharing duties with the other district psychologist, Kevin Kelly (last week’s Who’s Who; scroll down, he’s still there!). Teachers, parents and administrators can refer a student to the district Special Education office, led by Director Lenny Greaney. From there, April and Kevin work down the list, evaluating students in order of referral.
“It takes us about a month to get to the new referrals, to evaluate them, observe them and write reports and recommendations,” April explained. “We have more younger kids for first time evaluations but we also work with older students, sometimes for re-evaluations to make sure they are getting the appropriate services.”
Finds her time spent with students interesting because she likes to hear them talk about their interests. “M, ost of them don’t know why they are being tested, but they are so willing to work hard for a total stranger,” she said. “It’s fun to hear about what they like to do when they aren’t in school. Sometimes they answer my questions with unusual responses I haven’t heard before and they’re humorous! “
Enjoys spending time with husband Andy, who works in marketing for Comcast, and with 4-month-old son Brayden. “He doesn’t like to be put down. I do everything with one arm!” she said, laughing. She also likes spending time with her two fluffy cockapoo dogs.
Dr. Kevin Kelly
9th year full time; part time during 1990s while working toward his PhD at Lehigh University; worked at Centennial School, Bethlehem, a school for children with emotional behaviors; worked in adult homes; supervised a grant program at Lehigh through which graduate students worked with people with low incidence disabilities; earned his Masters Degree at St. John’s University, N.Y.; teaches a course as an adjunct professor at Lehigh.
Originally fr, om New York and Maryland. Loves the Quakertown community. Has established many ties since marrying QCSD librarian Bekci , Kelly (Freshman Center). “I like the staff, parents, kids. It’s always a warm environment,” he said.
Easy going personality and sense of humor h, elp him in his travels to all 11 schools. He splits duties with the only other district psychologist, April Fisher, and an intern. He spends all morning testing and observing students and most afternoons writing reports. “Test, write, test, write,” he joked. A test, which includes conversation with children, can take 3 to 4 hours and the reports each take more than 2 hours to write. They run as long as 12 pages and so far this year he has written 111 reports.
“We mainly evaluate to see if kids have disabilities for learning or emotional behaviors or autism,” he explained. “We test IQ, achievement, observe kids in class. A full assessment can take two days. We evaluate all the preschoolers [such as those at Head Start] coming in who have IEPS [Individual Education Plans]. We just finished 30 of those evaluations. We work on the district crisis team, so if there is any traumatic event, such as a death, if anyone needs services, we help. We counsel kids and work with teachers through the trauma.”
Enjoys spending time with wife Bekci and daughter Kyra, 2. He pl, ays tennis with Bekc, i and occasionally runs. Before Kyra’s arrival, he played the banjo. Now the family goes to folk , and bluegrass concerts. Kevin loves watching sports, especially his favorite team, the New York Mets.
Warren M. Levy, Jr.
Second in Command-Levy School Buses
10th year full time, 4th generation manager at his family’s business in Trumbauersville; started cleaning school buses when he was 12; worked at just about every other job on site, as needed.
Averages 45-50 hours per week of work during the school year but never really leaves the job since he lives in the house at the Levy Bus terminal.
Asked what he likes about QCSD, Junior asks, “Have you met the people? They’re down to earth, very easy to work with. The superintendent works with us. The teachers, coaches, everybody we work with there is so respectful. We’re not flashy people, we don’t put on airs. When we get a call from the school district, no matter what time of day or night, we go help out.”
Puts his Class B driver’s license to use, as needed, when a problem arises. “If a team bus breaks down, sometimes I’ll go over and pick up the kids. We see that kids get home safely.”
Raised on Main Street in Trumbauersville before graduating from Freedom High School (Bethlehem) in 1999 and Temple University. He worked as a waiter through college, but never took on another full time job outside the family business. Back in Trumbauersville, he often helps neighbors with lawns and snow removal.
Enjoys remodeling his house, growing vegetables in his garden and spending time with his 3 nephews, all of whom, like him, have red hair. In fact, 10 Levy family members have red hair. Grandfather Franklin has been retired from the company for 23 years; father, Warren, Sr., is the current President/CEO. Brother Franklin and sister Tammy work in other occupations.
“Tammy teaches in Bethlehem and was raving about SmartBoards. That’s how I first heard about them,” Junior said, referring to his family’s gift of a SmartBoard to QCHS. (Click here to read more about it.)
Collects yellow-and-black school bus memorabilia. “Even my Labrador dogs are black and yellow!” he said.
4th Grade Teacher, Quakertown Elementary
1st year in fourth grade; previously taught 4 years in 5
Especially enjoys teaching math, although she “hated” math as a student. “I thought I struggled with it. I loved reading and writing as a student. Now, I like the fact that math is so concrete. Students must take concre, te steps. I like teaching reading and writing, but they are not as concrete.”
Switched grades when she returned from maternity leave and realized the change was good for, her professional growth. Continually revises lessons and adapts them to meet students’, needs. “Striking a b, alance is important,” she said. “Teaching is a work in progress.”
Daughter Hannah, almost 2 years old, has added new perspective to her teaching role. “I can put myself in parents’ sho, es now,” she said. “I see their point of view. I underst, and why they are concerned about their children’s behavior as much as they are concerned about their academic learning.”
Feels strongly that students need to learn how to learn and how to be respectful so they know how to live in the real world. “It’s just as important to me that students learn how to be a better person as it is to learn how to do math problems,” she said, noting that teaching students not to blurt out information about each other’s underwear showing is one of those lessons!
Happy that students are tolerant of each other’s differences, from social backgrounds to learning abilities. “Children are gentler with each other in fourth grade than in fifth grade and up.”
Mother DottiAnne Edmonds is the QCSD Food Services Bookkeeper and was the subject of a previous Who’s Who (scroll down; she’s still there!). They work in different departments and different buildings and hear different gossip!
Husband Scott and beagle dog join Katie and Hannah outside of their Quakertown house for lots of projects, including gardening. Katie likes to read any popular fiction she finds at the bookstore.
Food Services Bookkeeper
10th year on the job; , previously 11 years part time accounting secretary at a company in Quakertown; 4 years as church secretary; home with daughter; 8 years secretary at Bell of PA phone company.
Likes the fact that each day is different in her QCSD job and that she has lots of contact with the 9 food service managers and staff at all 11 district schools and at district office.
Job equates to grocery shopping on a “huge scale.” Works with Food Services Director Joan O’Keefe and deals with distributors on weekly and monthly orders for all the schools, including weekly perishables (produce), bread, dairy and snacks. Also reco, nciles cash receipts and meal counts wit, h bank deposits, and works with the café managers in using their computer software.
“I pay the bills for the Food Service Department, which is separate from the rest of the school district bills because of the National School Lunch Program,” she explained. “We have to be able to prove that federal reimbursement money goes only to support lunch service for the students and no other district use.”
Ironically, does her home grocery shopping whatever day it fits in on a given week, depending on her busy recreation schedule. Enjoys going to Pilates class once a week with daughter Katie Yerger, a fourth grade teacher at Quakertown Elementary and spending time with 2-year-old granddaughter, Hannah and husband Don, to whom she has been married 29 years. They have made numerous friends over the years through the Order of the Eastern Star (women’s organization) and the Masonic Lodge (Don is a member of the Lodge in Coopersburg). Met Sarajayne and former Personnel Director Doug Fraley in 1983 through Eastern Star, and that’s how DottiAnne heard about her present job at QCSD.
“The Masons have many branches,” DottiAnne explained. “Eastern Star is one of the women’s branches. Other well known ones include the Shriners, who support various hospitals across the country and Scottish Rite, which supports learning centers for dyslexic children. They help a lot of kids. There is , a learning center in Allentown. All branches are fraternal/civic organizations, like a Lions or Jaycees or Moose. The purpose is to support their members and anything that would benefit the community. PA Eastern Star has done a lot of work for the Masonic Homes (retirement facilities with independent living units and nursing facilities), March of Dimes, Easter Seals, college scholarships (especially for those involving ministry). The specific charity each year depends on personal choice of the state president.”
Huge Philadelphia Phillies fan. Goes to spring training in Clearwater, Florida every year (five so far) with an Eastern Star friend who is now a retired music teacher. Learned to love the Phillies from her dad, who took her to many games at Connie Mack Stadium before he died when she was 15. “I’ve kept th, e tradition alive,” she said. “I like going to the Iron Pigs, too. They’re g, reat for anybody who’s a fan of the local team.”
Administrative Assistant, T, ohickon Valley
10 years on the job; previously spent 4 years as secretary at St. Phillip Neri Catholic School (East Greenville); 4 years at St. Agnes Sacred Heart School (Sellersville), where her children attended; 10 years at Merck in West Point, PA and Los Angeles, CA.
Likes the family atmosphere of Tohickon Valley. The students, staff, and parents make T.V. “an awesome place to be!” Enjoys the diversity of the job. “There is never a dull moment. I’m involved in everything here. I truly do have my finger on the pulse!”
High energy keeps her popping out of her chair to help with daily job duties, Relay for Life, Field Day, kids and staff who sit in the little chair by her bowl of chocolate candy.
Always wears socks to match her shirt.
When she leaves school, she heads to her family house at Sea Isle City, travels anywhere anyone will go with her, and t, o where she’s never been. “I’m alwa, ys ready for a NEW experience!” She goes to Philadelphia, Phillies and Eagles games, the casinos, New York City (to a Broadway show). Farthest she’s gone – Italy. “If you ask me, I’ll go!”
Loves to walk. Will drive somewhere (such as Philadelphia, New York, Sea Isle City, a park), get out and walk 5 miles, or until she finds a good place to eat and drink, then walk back to the car!
Husband Jerry is retired and spends time working on the house at the shore. Daughter Kristen, 25, teaches at Pfaff and is pursuing her Doctorate at Widener University, daughter Alyssa, 23, works at Temple Unive, rsity in International Affairs, where she is earning her Masters degree.
“I like my job but it is much more important to me to help others feel happy,” she said.
Supervisor of Special Education
In QCSD, works with out-of- district placements and consults with the district’s special and regular education teachers, training them to deal with students’ special needs.
Trained as an FBI hostage negotiator. Served as team leader of negotiations at Chester for more than 10 years, but “luckily” never needed to use her skills i, n , an ac, tual situation. Has made presentations across the country and in PA corrections systems, teaching about adults with learning disabilities. Her program was recognized by Penn State University as a top teaching program.
“There are a lot of adults in the prison system who struggled in school,” Shirley said. “Many of them were able to articulate to me what their problems were and the inmates shared their coping methods. I feel I can make a di, fference in the public schools with all of, my experience.”
Said she is adept at observing people’s behaviors and listening to them, noting that many students act out in school because they have experienced trauma.
“Teachers fee, l like they are walking on eggshells,” she said, “because they don’t really know how to deal with the students. When the teachers feel frustrated, they unintentionally agitate the students. I’m trying to bring in a shift in thinking. Teachers can learn trauma-informed-care and learn to deal with a child’s issues in a more communicative way.”
Wrote a research paper in which she argued that when American schools moved away from the one-room schoolhouse, education destroyed student difference, s.
“Difference is great and teaching tolerance is the key,” she said. “Children are the most valuable resource we have, yet we have so many misunderstandings about them. Some day I’m going to write a book!”
Enjoys traveling with her husband, Durrell. They spend as much, time as possible with her stepchildren, Christi, an, 16; Shane, 18, a marine in basic training at Paris Island; Salvatore, 36, in Atlanta; Sherri Lynn and 4 grandchildren. Also spends time with her side of the family in Pittsburgh.
Loves to ride a Harley motorcycle. Has ridden 42,000 miles through all but nine states; once rode 1,000 miles in 22 hours, 45 minutes, in a Shriner fundraiser with a group of correctional, officers.
“Kids are worth saving,” , she said. “As adults we get so wrapped up in curriculum and pushing kids through that we forget the human factor. We need to make all classrooms more peaceful.”
Graduated (as Naomi Mumbauer) from QCHS 1965, started substitute teaching in 2004, , including a semester as library substitute and full year as building substitute at the Freshman Center.
“I wish the superintendent could have my experience,” Mrs. Strunk said. “I get to see every class in every building. I get to know students. I’ve had carry over from elementary to middle school to the Freshman Center to the high school. Students tend to be more respectful because they remember me. I’m able to build relationships with them.”
Earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education at Kutztown University and eventually her Masters degree in early childhood educa, tion, after working as one of the first pre-K teachers at Neidig Elementary. Followed husband Stephen (QCHS class of 1964) to Dallas, Texas, where he attended theological seminary and she taught in an all-black school.
“We lived through the, civil rights movement,” she said. “I feel like I lived through [big] moments in history. During my evaluation, the principal apologized to me and said he didn’t think anything good could come out of the North.”
Life took the Strunks to Oklahoma, tornado country, for five years, where daughters Amanda and Elizabeth were born. They spent eight years in Eastern Lancaster County (PA), where Hannah, Lydia and triplets Ezra, Susanna and Ben were born to round out a seven-sibling household. They lived 13 years in Holland, PA (Council Rock School District), before moving to Quakertown. The children were “privately tutored,” a technical term for homeschooling because Naomi was a certified teacher. They spent plenty of creative time in an 1830s house with two kitchens and two living rooms. The four older , girls also went to community college during high school years a, nd the boys went to Middle, then Upper Bucks vocational technical schools.
Enjoys spending time with Stephen, a science teacher at Lakeside School in Willow Grove and a part-time pastor at Saucon Mennonite Church in Coopersburg; and with her children and 4 grandchildren. Likes to be home before and after school hours with daughter Susanna, one of the 22-year-old triplets. , Susanna has Down’s Syndrome and has transitioned to a work situation at Giant Food Store. Amanda, 31, has 4 children; Elizabeth, 28, is a case manager at Vantage, an alternative school in Souderton; Hannah, 26, teaches third grade ESL in the Reading School District, an, d Lydia, 24, Ezra and Ben, 22, all wo, rk with computers.
Sister Faith Zimmerman is an elementary music, teacher at several schools in QCSD.
“I love Quakertown,” Naomi said. “What troubles me the most is the politics. Teachers are criticized as the weak link but they should be praised for the job they are doing. They leave me such detailed lesson plans, whether it’s calculus or kindergarten. A student can get an excellent education here.”
4th year; previously Milford Middle School librarian (6 years). Currently serves as Classrooms for the Future (CFF) coach; served as Milford cheerleading coach (six years), Reading Olympics coach (3 years at Milford, 4 at FC); helped in a pinch as Ski Club Adviser and went through lifeguard certification to help with Outdoor School.“I am a team player!” Bekci said. “The decision to leave , Milford was one of the toughest decisions of my life. I loved it there. But my BFF Janet [Bassett] had gone from Milford to Strayer and that was hard. We came to the Freshman Center together, when it opened four years ago because we come as a two-person deal!”
Likes the fact that in QCSD, she has met “some of the most incredible people, including students, teachers and ad, ministrators who constructively learn from each other. It’s been wonderful to play and work with them.”
Colleagues return the love to Bekci, to borrow one of her favorite phrases. They credit her with a quick willingness to help them create, lessons with technology and with library magic.
Husband Kevin, a QCSD psychologist, is one person she met in the district. They have a 21-month-old daughter, Kyra, a total ball of energy with lots of personality. “She’s very stubborn. She knows what she wants,” Bekci said.
Ties to the community include her parents’ business, Spor’s General Store in Trumbauersville. She worked there as a kid and still works there sometimes in the summer. Her brother will take over the store when her parents retire.
“It’s a piece of Americana,” Bekci said, n, oting that few general stores exist anymore.
Dreams of owning a book store like the one she visits in upstate New York, where the owner invites writers from the Adirondack mountains to come in and share their work with customers.
“The beauty of technology is that now, books don’t have to be print media,” she said. “We can share in other , ways. I thrive on people and t, heir energy.”
So what’s with the spelling of her nickname? “When I was in ninth grade, there were lots of Beckys. I was into self expression, joining activist groups. I didn’t like the way Becky looked, so I changed it. My family figured it wouldn’t stick. But it did. So look at that. Th, at was in ninth grade and look where I am. I’m still in ninth grade!”
Student Accounts Manager
QCSD Cyber School
Second year; previously worked 2 years from her home for Achievement House Charter School, another cyber school based in Bryn Mawr; graduated from St. Joseph’s University (2007).
Passionate about how cyber school can help students achieve. “I like that it gives the student all of the decision-making power,” she said. “Students are able to get on the course at 9 a.m. or midnight. As long as they’re completing the assignments, the time of day doesn’t matter. For the most part, our, students are finishing their work. We have some students who are absolutely excelling. They’re taking this opportunity and making the most out of it. However, just like any cyber school, we have students who chose this as an alternative to education rather than an alternative method of receiving an education. For those students, this has been a very difficult transition.”
Emphasized that “one misconception is that cyber school is going to be easier than going to bricks-and-mortar classes. Some wanted the, curriculum to move faster than in a regular classroom. While the pacing side is true because students are able to work at their own pace, the curriculum is the same. So if a student is having trouble with the school work itself, those problems aren’t going to disappear
just because he is in a new setting.”
Believes cyber education is exploding as a whole. “There’s a cyber school in Bangkok that started in 1999. Most around here have only been doing it for 5 or 6 years. The exponential growth of the student body of each of those schools shows a true desire to do this. Students, parents and teachers see it as a viable option for moving forward. Students , are able to integrate technology into their daily lives and we shoul, dn’t, stop th, at i, n, tegration in the classroom.”
Knows that the social aspect is still an important part of learning. “That’s where Quakertown has an edge with a blended approach to cyber learning,” Nicole said. “At an online charter school, stu, dents do not have the option to join clubs and activities that their home district offers. In Quakertown, students are allowed to do all those things.”
Manages her time carefully. Daily workload includes managing 75 student accounts between the Options and Infinity programs. For each student, she studies 4 different learning spaces, or platforms. She gets in touch with , students and families via Skype, phone and email. “I make sure we are all on the same page.” Works on site in the QCSD Cyber, Academy (the old dist, , rict offices at 600 Park Ave.) two full days and from home the other days.
Also works as a Therapeutic Support Professional for Carson Valley Children’s Aid, providing support for students with special needs in their homes across Montgomery County. She also works for Kaplan Premier, preparing high school students for the SAT.
With her little bit of downtime, she reads “all the books I was supposed to read in high school but never got to! I’m in the middle of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. Also hangs out with her family, often at the family business, Sunday’s Deli & Restaurant in Quakertown.
Attendance Secretary, Freshman Center
Fourth year; previously QCHS library secretary (1 year); service representative for Bucks County domestic relations (1 year); managed care coordinator in family health practice offices (15 years).
Manages attendance with teachers, welcomes tardy students, gives them a stern but respectful little lecture in the sweetest possible voice and sends them to class with a pass. (“Take your hood off buddy, you’re in school , now.”)
Attendance office is the one closest to the front lobby. Conversations with adults are constantly interrupted as students come in to see her.
Loves her job. “I enjoy the kids, even the grumpy ones,” she said. “It’s the best job here. I like people. The kids respect me. I treat them like an adult. I try to make a nice environment for them.”
Also makes her office a pleasant place for s, taff members to stop when they need a smile and a positive thought to get thr, ough the day.
Lives next d, oor to the high school and walks to work every da, y. Moved here 13 years ago from her native Philadelphia.
Daughter Noelle graduated from QCHS in 2000 and from East Carolina University with an art degree. Noelle works as a Freelance Stylist. Son Michael graduated from QCHS in 2005 and is a fourth year finance student at Bloomsburg University.
Enjoys working on house renovations with husband Michael, a tile and marble mechanic. Every other weekend, she travels to Wilkes-Barre to visit with her 77-year-old father, who lives in a VA nursing home. Also enjoys shopping and cooking.
“I love to read,” she gushes enthusiastically. “The kids told me about the Twilight series, so I’ve read all of those. I also recently enjoyed John Grogan’s A Long Way Home.”
Insists it is important to be cheerful, and “likes to promote a positive environment. It’s counterproductive not to be,” she tells an adult. To a child complaining he is only one minute late to class, she will sweetly order, “Step it up a pace!”
Social Studies Teacher, Freshman Center
TSA Advisor, QCHS
10th year in QCSD, fourth year in ninth grade; previously 5 years at Milford, 1 year at Strayer; 5 years as f, ield curator and consultant for Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Raised three very successful students through QCSD, including sons Lee and Michael and daughter Laura.
“The district has good teachers,” Janet said. “As a parent, I could see the schools improving all the time. Milford in particular was amazing. My kids got a good education with a lot of opportunities, which made their advancement in college possib, le. Th, ey, all benefited from the music opportunities and they all participated in TSA [Technology Student Association]. Laura and Mike won trophies at nationals.”
Taking 40 high school students to this year’s TSA state championships in Seven Springs. More than 60 students registered for TSA this year. At the Freshman Center, is assistant Reading Olympics advisor and helps to run the FC Spelling Bee and Geography Bee each year.
Focuses her time on good teaching. Currently serves on the Standards Based Grading Committee; used to be on the Curriculum Council; helped write the Social Studies curriculum. Thanks to her museum background, uses lots of artifacts and primary sources, which students analyze during lessons, .
“I want kids to make connections to today’s world, to see the relevance , of history,” Janet said. “They need to make those connections now more than ever.”
Enjoys spending time with husband Jerry, a programmer analyst with Unisys Corporation. Jerry has be, en an involved school district volunteer for more than 15 years. Son Lee, now 27, is finishing his PhD in quantum physics at Cambridge University in England. His wife Dani is finishing her PhD there in brain research. Lee still plays tuba in a brass quintet and with the Cambridge University orchestra.
Daughter Laura, 23, graduated from Carnegie Mellon and teaches elementary music and private music lessons in Bayonne, N.J. She lives near the Big Apple and , sings in theater shows. Son Michael is a senior at Penn State University, in physics and physics educati, on. He will do his student teaching in the fall in Sweden. Currently working in his second internship with Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, partially thanks, Janet said, to his TSA experience.
“All three of them will travel at the drop of a hat,” Janet said. “Lee, especially, is very adventurous. He sur, fs and bungee jumps all over the world. Michael got his first , international , travel experience thanks to a student exchange with England while he was in 8th, grade at Milford. He’s going to be a groomsman , in our 2001 exchange student’s wedding in July.”
Secretary, Strayer Middle School
Third year on job; previously worked 4 years as an instructional aide, 15 years as manager of an animal hospital and 14 years in sales at Bethleh, em Steel, . “I wanted something less stressful,” she said. “I stopped here one day and they, said, ‘Come work for us.’” None of the jobs has used the skills she learned as a hist, ory major at, Penn State.
Likes the fact that people in the district are open and friendly, like her! “The district has done well by my daughter’s education. Everyone has really attended to her academic and health needs. I’ve heard horror stories, about diabetic kids in other districts, but everyone here has always gone above and beyond to help her.”
Loves the atmosphere at Haycock, where she attended school! She graduated from QCHS in 1968.
“I love it out here. We’re in a world by ourselves. It’s small and friendly. I know all the parents, all the teachers, all the kids. We’re a real community. You get to know everyone at the firehouse and the church. Everyone has bonded.”
Enjoys reading just about anything and growing all her vegetables in her garden. Husband Jamie and Rachel Bradley help with the canning and freezing. Jamie makes a living as a cabinet builder but his true passion is acting. He is a fine arts graduate of Ithaca College and a graduate of Pennridge High School. Rachel is a top senior at QCHS.
So what is her last name, Smith or Bradley? “I never changed my name,” she said. “I was too lazy! It was too much paperwork!”
Mary Ann Byatt
24th year at QCSD as a math teacher and class advisor (25 if you take into account she also student taught here). Counting on her fingers (!), she figured out she is advising her 8th class through the 10-11-12 process.
“I live for the aha moment from students who come in saying, ‘I hate math’ and leave saying, ‘I get it. It’s not so bad.’ When I meet new adults and I tell them I am a math teacher, I get the groan. My response is always, ‘You didn’t have the right math teachers.”
May know more students in the high school, by name and face, than any oth, er faculty member! Likes to spend time with students outside of class, through such school activities as sports, music and character breakfasts, so she and students can get to know each other as people.
“Students absolutely relate to me better and I to them because I participate with them outside of class,” she said. “I like the fact that the school district is a community in that people genuinely want to help each other and learn from one another. It’s not just students learning from teachers.”
Chief cheerleader of the wrestling team. She attends all the matches, taking pictures and organizing pre-match banners around the school building. “I was Coach Handel’s advisor for the class of 1990,” she noted.
Serves as a youth advisor at her church, Morning Star. Spends time with her aging parents “because our roles have changed.”
Loves to read, all kinds of fiction, and shares her books from her classroom library, shelf with stude, nts.
Director of Bridges Cyber Program
On this job, with this title 1.5 years; Technology Director in QCSD since 2003; previously Technology Director in Wilson-West Lawn (WWL) School District 2 years; technology education teacher 8 years in Wilson-West Lawn and 3 years in An, nville-Cleona School District (Lebanon County).
Attended QCSD from kindergarten through 12th grade. After attending Millersville University, he settled in Reading area with work, family and friends.
“I was away from Quakertown for 10 years and I’ve been in enough school districts to understand that the caliber of the administrative , staff and educational program here in QCSD is superior to many other school districts,” Chris said. “It’s great to be part of a team lik, e the one we have here at QCSD.”
Getting rea, dy to write the dissertation to complete his doctorate in Educational Leadership, through Immaculata University, which will give him the credentials to become a superintendent.
Working side by side with his staff to create a system-wide structure that can anchor growth for technology in the district. “T, he staff is unified in attitude about establishing procedures and protocols to get us to that goal,” Chris said. “It will take time. We’re saving money along the way. The technology , staff is fantastic.”
Best days are time spent with his wife and two children. If he had a choice about how he would spend the rest of his life, he would operate a charity for underprivileged families, .
Principal, Tohickon Valley Elementary School
4th year; previously served for two years as an Assistant Principal in the Central Bucks school district, 3rd and 4th grade “looping” teacher at Upper Perkiomen; IST teacher. Graduated from Emmaus High, School, West Chester University and Lehigh University (principal’s certification).
Likes the “community feel” of QCSD. “Everybody knows everybody else. FAMILIES have a vested interest in the schools and school distr, ict, which makes it feel mo, re personal,” he said.
Extremely proud to be part of the TV motto – working together to be our best. “The teachers are working really hard, AND rely on each other’s expertise to achieve the goal of meeting every student’s needs. Their hard word is paying off,” Godshalk said. He is also proud of the students at TV. They continue to demonstrate the academic, social and emotional skills necessary to become lifelong learners. Scott is also proud of the colla, borative relationship with the Tohickon Valley PTO. The PTO supports school initiatives, and has invested in Smart Board technology at TV.
Part of a Powerful Learning Practice cohort through Kean University (N.J.) to learn Web 2.0 technology for job embedded staff development. The course work identifies 21ST Century Learning Tools to help, teachers and administrators become more efficient and effective. He set up a private wikispace for the TV staff to communicate and share their ideas more effectively.
Hopes to make a big impact on the partnerships between all stakeholders in the school district – teachers, students, families, businesses – to increase awareness of the effective practices occurring in our schools.
Dream job? Playing third base for the Phillies.<, /P>
Enjoys spending all of his non-working hours with his family. The family loves playing games, visiting other family members and spending time at the beach. Wife , of 10 years, Susan, a former teacher in the Spring-Ford Area School District, i, s an Everyday Math consultant. She travels up an, d down the East Coast training teachers. Daughters Sarah, 8, and Megan, 5, go to second grade and kindergarten at Richland Elementary School. “They love their school,” Godshalk said.
Erica (Ricki) Stein,
Community Relations Coordinator
Creative Writing and TV News Teacher
Creative Writing and TV News Teacher
3rd year in QCSD. Previously taught Language Arts for 13 years at Southern Lehigh Middle School and advised student newspaper; taught fifth grade in Allentown School District (1.5 years, ); worked as a sportswriter for The Morning Call (11 years) and Foster’s Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H. (3.5 years).
Impressed with the fact that QCSD students and teachers do so many projects to help others. Never heard of eligible content till she got here!
Serves as Youth Programs Coordinator for the Penn State-Lehigh Valley Writing Project, mostly organizing summer camps with the site co-director. Based on their experience of creating a camp in Allentown School District, including Professional Development for teachers, they were invited to speak at the November 2008 National Writing Project Convention, i, n San Antonio, Texas. “It was an interesting experience,” Ricki said.
Loves to write and loves to share that passion with students and teachers. “Even though I had spent 15 years as a sportswriter, I did not get the kind of writing I wanted out of students. Going through the National Writing Project's Summer Institute changed that. I highly recommend the 6-credit graduate course for any teacher, across the curriculum, who wants to learn how to help children write well.”
Hopes to publish a book some day, but would feel just as gratified if a student publishes a book some day. “I think some of my former middle school students are well on their way to authoring novels and next year I will start teaching creative writing in QCHS.”
Community Relations Coordinator job allows her to combine many, of her ideas. “For years I have wanted to find a way to tell the public about all the good people and events that go on in entire school districts, beyond just one school like, I did at SLMS. We cannot rely on the media, which has become increasingly negative in the past 20 years, to tell these stories. We have to do it ourselves. The website allows us to do that.”
Enjoys swimming, running and biking with husband, Randy, who she met when she wrote a story about him preparing for Hawaii Ironman in 1983. Son Alex, 23,, graduated from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and works as a Dynamics Positioni, ng Officer on an exploratory oil ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Son Max, 21, is a junior nursing major at Widener University.
“My mind teems with ideas all the time,” she said. “It’s actually kind of exhausting! If I could find a financial backer, I’d create a school of my own in which students, teachers and families engaged in very cool activities, indoors and outdoors.”
At QCSD 1 year. Previously worked as Director of Secondary Education at Southern Lehigh School District (2 , ½ years); Assistant Principal of Southern Lehigh High School (2 ½ years); Science Department Chair and teacher at Northwestern Lehigh School District (13) years; science teacher Pocono Mountain School District; claims authorizer with the Social Security Administration in Birmingham, Alabama.
Likes the fact that in QCSD there is so much potential for teachers and students to make a difference in th, e world. “We have the people to go to incredible heights,” she said.
Goal in QCSD is to improve student achievement and student opportunity, to meet the needs of each student where he, /she is and take students to their potential by impacting instruction.
Loves everything outdoors, including backpacking, biking, canoeing, sailing. Has hiked much of the Appalachian , Trail, including parts in North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Maine and Georgia. She still has her first pack from 1974. Her son took it winter camping recently to Shenandoah, Virginia. She instructed him to ask the pack for instructions! Likes to sail her parents’ 34-foot sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay.
Very married to John for almost 30 years. “I still like him,” she joked. Daughter Jody is a speech pathologist in the Wyomissing School District. She just got married in June. Son Aaron, is a Navy flight officer based in Norfolk. After survival school in Maine, he will deploy on the USS Eisenhower in February to fly an E2-C Hawkeye, the, plane with a dish on top that orchestrates squadron maneuvers in ground battles.
Principal, Richland Elementary School
Fourth year as Richland principal. Previously spent 11 years as principal at Tohickon Valley and 8 years at the old Pfaff; 8 years teaching in Bethlehem Area School District.
“I love what I’m doing,” she said. “I love the children because they help me to continue to grow and learn. I’ve had offers over the years to move to other levels, but I declined because I want to be with kids. Every day, I try to model to students, teachers and parents the energy of being a lifelong learner and reader.”
Richland is undergoing renovation, the second project Dr. Staffeld has overseen. “The key is to keep children and faculty safe and keep the , construc, tion in the background,” she said. “We are about education.”
Especially proud of writing and receiving a $6,000 grant from Met Life in the late 1980s that brought a Growing Healthy hands-on science program to the district through which students learned to make healthier decisions.
Finds humor in the “things that come out of children’s mouths.” Remembers that during her tenure at Pfaff, while she was very pregnant, a child attempted to run away. As she chased him up the parking lot, she yelled, “That’s not fair! I can’t keep up with you. I’m pregnant.” The child stopped and came back. “It’s all about having relationships with kids. They love you and hug you and they’re glad to be here. Sometimes school is the only stability some kids have in life.”
Staff members appreciate that she is active in learning about the students in the school - she greets each one as they enter school each day. Staff membe, rs also credit Staffeld’s dilig, ence in making sure that high standards are maintained for all students.
Happy recreation time, means spending the day reading on the beach, gardening or w, atc, hing an old movie while cooking.
Receptionist/Registrar, District Office
Started in November. Previously worked as the building secretary at Richland Element, ary (2 years); managed an apartment community in Jeffersonville (3 years); served as a building secretary for Pleasant Valley School District in California (3 years); moved from Hatfield to California and back to QCSD.
“I like interacting with people,” Pam said. “I thought this new position would be a good opportunity because I worked with central registration in California. It will take a while before it is totally implemented, but I thought it would be exciting to be in on the ground level and it will help out new families moving into the district.”
Collected too many stories – humorous and touching – while working at Richland to share. “At the school site you really get to know families, some intimately. They really are a treasure,” she said. “We have some awesome families in our town.”
Delivers The Morning Call newspapers with her husband from 1:30 a.m. to 4 or 5 a.m. every day of the week. He drives, she dives over a 13-mile route in Quakertown and an 11-mile route in Coopersburg. After folding the papers and stuffing them in plastic bags, she gets out of the car to throw them on front steps. When her aim is off, she sometimes has to dive into the bushes to retrieve the papers and place them more carefully on the steps.
“We’ve had several run-ins with the police when they see us diving in the bushes or driving on the wrong side of the road,” she said, laughing. “They want to know what we’re doing.” She could toss them on the driveways without getting out of the car, but she said, “I know I’d like to be able to open my door and get the paper without walking out to the end of the driveway.” For the special service, “We rocked on tips this year.”
Also works every-other-Friday night and Saturda, y mornings as a receptionist at Shear, Perfection hair salon in Quakertown. She gets awesome h, aircuts!
Works so she can send daughter Ashleigh, currently a QCHS senior, to college next year and to support daughter Sarah’s ice hockey hobby. Sarah is a QCHS freshman. Between jobs and catching a few hours of sleep at a time, Pam and husband Mike (a retired Navy career man and project manager of a steel company) watch Sarah’s soccer and hockey games and take Ashleigh to various musical lessons.
Raising Shih-Tzu puppies, thanks to Ashleigh’s graduation project. Mother dog Jazmine had seven puppies. They sold five with one left for sale and one to keep, along with the mother, father Jasper and an older cocker spaniel named Odie. They will do, nate proceeds to PAWS, an area shelter for strays.
Stands “5-feet, 12-inches,” but did not play basketball. “If I had a dime for every time someone asked me that, I wouldn’t have to work all these jobs.”
Assistant Principal, QCHS
Loves modeling the respectful character he wants students to develop the minute they walk into Milford Middle School. “If we can generate the focus on developing strong character, we have fewer discipline problems,” Tannous said. “The staff reflects respect first, develops it intentionally, then repeats it. Additionally, it’s about building relationships.”
Very few of the 450 students at Milford return to Tannous’ office for repeat discipline offenses. Most get the message on the first visit.
Intent on impressing students to understand they should “come to learn and serve, leave to serve their best.” Tannous says his twist on the QCSD slogan explains him “in a nutshell.” He firmly bel, ieves that through everyday contact in classrooms and hallways, and through the Milford Matters lessons, students learn tangible ways to become respectful and responsible (sixth grade), trustworthy and fair (seventh grade), and caring citizens (eighth grade).
Believes in repetition. He repeats his good character messages over the loud speaker on Mondays and Fridays and during assemblies. A few examples: “I believe every day brings opportunities to learn and do something meaningful.” “I believe no , matter how I behave, some people will be mean-spirited, dishonest, irresponsible, and unkind, but if I fight fire with fire, all I’ll end up with are the ashes of my own integrity.” “I believe the surest road to happiness is good relationships.”
“It’s a constant promotion of all the messages,” Tannous said.
Started a few summer camps at Milford, which he hopes to increase, to help fifth graders transition to middle school. Helped start Push the Rock Sports Camps in the , Lehigh Valley. Still plays basketball and used to, coach basketball at every , age level, from youth, to middle school, to high school.
With wife Robin, an O, perating Room nurse at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Tannous enjoys supporting his three children’s sports and church activities. Nathan is a 9th grader at Emmaus High School; Derek is an eighth grader at Eyer Middle School; and Leah is a 3rd grader at Shoemaker Elementary School, all in East Penn School District. “My wife takes care of all four of her children and two dogs,” he said, chuckling.
His staff finds his sense of humor and self-deprecating nature positive attributes. Milford secretary Dawn Koder added, “I think Pat genuinely has the best interests of the students at heart. He is great at communicating with the students, encouraging them to do their best in the areas of school work, athletics, and character development.”
Food Service Manager, Strayer Middle School
Started January 2005. Previou, sly served in same job at Trumbauersville, 1999—2004 and two years before that at Richland. Total 18 years in the district.
Likes the people in QCSD because of their care, concern and co, mpassion. While working at Trumbauersville, she had to stay out for a few weeks because of a car accident. People from all over the district sent her cards, flowers and gifts while she recuperated. “It’s the heart of the people in this district that is so awesome.”
Leads a staff of seven hard working, dedicated women who serve four back-to-back lunches for 600 students a day. She handles the many phone calls from parents, mostly asking about their children’s lunch accounts.
Born in Bucks County, moved to Quakertown in 1988. When asked, happily jumped in to cook for the Alumni Breakfast Thanks, giving Morning, held at Quakertown Elementary. Started baking (known for her kiffles and rice pudding) the day before and got up at 5:30 to finish the work. About 200 people attended. Later, met her family at her father’s house in Perkasie for a ham feast. Everyone brought a piece of the meal.
Loves NASCAR racing and is a diehar, d Tony Stewart fan. “He speaks his mind!” she said. “He’s very talented in all aspects of racing and he’s very charitable. He gives a lot of money to children.” Among 500 fans, she got to shake his hand last summer at Home Depot in East Stroudsburg.
Office is filled with Tony Stewart memorabilia from February to June and with Dallas Cowboys items from September to February, not easy in a kitchen full of Eagles fans!
Socializes with people of all age levels. Makes a lot of friends by play, ing Bingo every Wednesday at a club in Bethlehem. “I love it!” People from 21-90 years old play. Also likes to go to Mount Airy Casino in the Poconos every fall. Just went to celebrate her 50th birthday.
Enjoys spending time with sons Brian, 30, his wife Melissa and their two children (Autumn is a seventh grader at Strayer and Joshua is a fourth grader at Tohickon Valley); with sons Christopher, 26, and Matthew, 24. Brian and Chris work in construction and Matthew is, a green hat supervisor at Hatfield. They all pitched in to renovate her home kitchen.
Proud to say she earned a 4.0 in three courses she took at Bucks County Community College. Wants to earn her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification, to add to her repertoire of people-helping skills.
“The glass is half full,” she said. “I’m an optimistic person.”
Assistant Management, Freshman Center
Spent 24 years in the Navy. Started in 1981 at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, writing base newspaper stories and working as the tour guide for the Public Affairs Department. Biggest highlight in the service was being chosen to cover a story in Miami about a major drug bust during the Reagan Administration. “It was a wonderful feeling to be taking pictures of President Reagan, and being part of such an important event.”
Met her husband in the Navy and they moved to the Naval Air Station in South Weymouth, Mass., near Boston. Worked in the legal department and in administration for the Commanding Officer and the Executive Commanding Officer of the base, doing paperwork to run the place!
“Schools and the Navy command different levels of stress,” she said. “In the Navy, , you work an eight-hour day and then you stand watch for another eight hours. There is responsibility and accountability and no excuses. It’s good for anybody to do. It brings out a strength in you. I’ve been on my own since I was 18 because of the military. I traveled, I met wonderful people. I think that’s the be, st part. I stay in touch with people all over the country and overseas.”
In QCSD, she loves that “the district keeps the focus on the s, tudents. Students are expected to work hard for their own growth but the district also makes sure that staff keeps developing and growing. I work with s, ome of the best people. I am very lucky.”Enjoys spending time with husband Warrick, (Woody), now retired after 24 years in the Navy; son Zachary, a sophomore English major at Arcadia University; son Jacob, a senior at QCHS, ; and son Gavin, a seventh grader at Strayer Middle School.
“We do a lot of camping but I also spend a lot of time getting my sons to all their activities,” including soccer, cross country, baseball, band and drama. She recently jumped in to help with the fall drama production at the high school when the drama advi, sor had to take a medical leave of absence. (You can read more about this in From the Inside Out on the district homepage Dec. 11.)
Likes to scrapbook, “when I have time. Mostly, I’m the behind-the-scenes mom,” she said. “I’m the one who takes the kids for college visits and, works in the snack stand.”
House Principal, Freshman Center
Named to position November 2007, after three-and-a-half years as Assistant Principal at the High School; three years as Science Lead Teacher, 10 years as a chemistry and biology teacher, all at QCHS after graduating from DeSales University.
“I work with a phenomenal staff and group of colleagues. We have generally supportive parents and I love th, e kids,” she said.
Looks forward to the moment when “we find better ways to make sure all students move along as far as they can possibly go,” before graduating from the district.
Believes the “awesome” club and activity offerings, including after school programs, offer students great reasons to come to school.
“If kids want something, they can ask,” she said. “Kids wanted bowling. It started as a club and now it’s a sport. They wanted a guitar club, we’ve started a guitar club. We’ve got an author’s club and a literary magazine. Those are just a few examples.”
Staff members say Karen is a “good listener” and, responsive to requests.
Enjoys spending time with husband Pete, a radiological (x-ray) technologist; , son Matt, 12;&, nbsp; and daughter Grace, 9. They like to bike and hike near their Lehighton neighborhood and “there is lots of reading going on in the Shanton household.” Karen loves to read science fiction.
Principal, Neidig Elementary School
Started October 27, 2008. Previously taught fifth grade (3 years) in Central Bucks School District; 10 years in Colorado, in Eagle County School District; Emotional Support, fourth grade at Avon Elementary and sixth grade math/science and Master Teacher for curriculum work at Berry Creek Middle School.
Family moved back to PA to live closer to his family in York and his wif,, e’s family in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Looking forward to “being part of Strayer’s strong staff. They look be, yond the test scores at the whole child. That fits my educational philosophy. I want to support the kids of Quakertown.”
Already feels like he is developing strong ties, “growing roots to grow and strengthen” his experience as an educator in QCSD.
The Great Outdoors draws his interest, which is why he moved to Colorado, B.C. (before children). Likes rock climbing and skiing and anything else outdoors.
Enjoys spending time with wife Jessica, daughter Claire, 6, and Emmett, 3½. They are raising 6 chickens, which have yet to start laying eggs.
Principal, Strayer Middle School
Named Principal in July 2008 after four months as Acting Principal and four years as Assistant Principal. Helped open the building with then Princ, ipal Richard Zink and Assi, stant Principal Jim Johnston.
Likes , being part of the Strayer family culture in which staff members “educate the whole child, holding them accountable and celebrating their successes.” She will be honored to know people acknowledge that she was part of initiating and carrying through the Strayer Strong program.
“The reason our students are doing so well on standardized tests is because we have a solid instructional program and our staff values educating the whole child. Kids value the relationships they have with their teachers and work not to disappoint them."
Started in 1994 as an instructional aide at Richland Elementary afte,, r staying home with her growing children. She went back to school, Moravian College, to earn a teaching certificate. She worked for six months at Pennridge School District as a Tech-Ed teacher; one year as a second grade teacher in Southern Lehigh; five years as eighth grade Language Arts and Science, then Science and Computer Lit at Strayer.
Enjoys spending time with husband Greg, , an equipment operator, to whom she has been married 29 years; wi, th daughter Lauren, 27, soon to be Teacher of the Year for her Tech-Ed work at Bala Cynwyd Middle School in Lower Merion School District; daughter Shelley, 25, an athletic trainer helping to open a $26 million athletic center at the exclusive Baldwin School for girls on the Main Line; son Adam, 22, who graduated in May with a physics degree from Villanova and is working on a masters degree in education.
When she has time, she enjoys spending time at the beach. She is a long time active participant with the Technology Student Association (TSA) attending many regional, state and national conferences with Quakertown students.
The Baker, QCHS Food Services
Started in 2005 in QCHS kitchen, after running a home manicuring business, which involved a lot of paperwork. Works , which puts her on schedule with her s, on, a student at
“I love the ladies I work with,” said Sue, who cheerfully handles many more lunchroom tasks than just the baking. “We work a, s , a team. This couldn’t get done without everybody pitching in. I like that it’s a busy but short day. I love my day! My mom was a lunch lady in
Arrives at QCHS at to walk on the track in the lower gym. She committed herself to walking 10 years ago and is now training to participate in the October 2009 Breast Cancer Three-Day Walk in
60-mile, Three-Day Walk will mark her 5-year anniversary of overcoming breast cancer. She was diagnosed in March 2004.
“Cancer was certainly life changing. It made me more than I ever thought I could be,” she said. “It motivated me to have to change. To see I was strong enough to face my fears, accept, new challenges.”
First risk? She cu, t her waist length hair two weeks before she started chemotherapy and donated 19 inches to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for cancer patients. She loves her short hair.
“I’ve learned to look for and appreciate the simplye joys in everything every day,” she said.
Appreciates her husband Bernie, son Chris, a third grader at
Needs to raise $, 2,300 to enter the Three-Day event. She will cheerfully accept donations from QCSD family members!
“In my locker in back of the kitchen, I keep two pictures of myself when I was bald. They remind me of where I’ve been. I’, m so happy to be alive!”
QCSD Payroll Supervisor
Started at QCSD in 1989 and earned a Bachelor’s degree , in Business Administration. After being out a year for breast cancer treatment, she was happy to return to work and threatens to work until she is 80.
Diagnosed in April 2006 with the most aggressive form of breast cancer, inflammatory ductal carcinoma. Her oncologist told her she was in Stage IIIB, which has a statistical rate of survival of 50%. Andrea wants to share her story because it may save someone else’s life. Both men and women can g, et br, east cancer.
“In three months I would’ve been gone if I had not had treatment,” she said. “I want others to be aware. We’re programmed to look for a lump. But I had no lump. I thought I had an infection because the skin was somewhat red with the texture of an orange peel. I had no pain a, t all.”
“I like the fact, that while I was out, I had great s, upport from everyone in the District Office, as well as other employees, B-, , LAEOP members and friends. I , got cards, gifts, ph, one calls, prayers and visits. I appreciated that concern. It encouraged me.”
Kept her sense of humor in tact through chemotherapy, a modified radical mastectomy, radiation and a wig. “It’s a waste of time to ask, ‘Why me?’ You have to keep your goal in mind. You need to read as much as you can and ask questions.” To every doctor appointment she took a notebook wi, th questions and grilled everyone in sight for answers and tips. “It’s impor,, tant to be your own advocate,” she said, adding, “I received excellent care, although I did become a very mouthy advocate!”
Continues to work with a nutritionist for extreme nutritional immune system support; continues to pray (“We don’t always get the answers we want.”); continues to exercis, e four times a week to fight cancer related fatigue and reton strength; continues to pump her arm every night and wear a custom , compression sleeve and gauntlet to combat lymphedema; continues to be “thankful to be alive.”
Support from husband, Matthew, and daughter, Amber Renee, (in
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everyone can wear pink on Friday, Oct. 24 to show support. Watch for seminars offered at area hospitals and read everything you can.
Became Principal at Pfaff last week after more than six years as Principal at
“I will miss Ne, idig,” she said, “but I look forward to becoming part of the Pfaff Learning Community. M, y goal wi, ll be to continue the strong emphasis on student achievement while also focusing on nurturing the whole child.”
Will defend her doctoral dissertation Oct. 1 at
Transition from one building to the next has not left her with a lot of time to think about the actual dissertation defense next week. She tries to balance her personal and professiona, l life by walking, reading, and working in her vegetable, flower and herb garden.
Empty nest syndrome keeps her house quiet in Doylestown, where she lives with husband Cory. They have three grown children: Travis, 26, manages Skippack Golf Course; daughter Morgan, 24, teaches fourth grade in Lake Village, Arkansas, with the Teach for America program; daughter Kodi, 21, is the No. 1 senior in the Navy ROTC program at
“I like the community aspect of
Became Technology Director in July 2011. Previously Principal at Neidig this week after 1.5 years as Assistant Principal at Strayer, business teacher at Strayer (3 years) and fourth grade teacher at Neidig (4 years). Looks forward to “establishing relationships with kids, teachers and the community. I want to continue moving the building forward academically and find ways to create a ‘family atmosphere’ for both students and teachers.” Graduated from “I love the student centered mindset in Quakertown,” he said. “Staff will do anything for kids to help them succeed. I’m passionate about watching students learn and grow. I also enjoy using technology to improve instruction by engaging students.” Grew up in Enjoys sp, ending, time with his wife Tammy, a guidance counselor at QCHS, and other family members, , including Reilly, their 4-year-old Goldendoodle dog. Tammy and Tommy enjoy traveling to the “I hope people can think of me as being a compassionate person who makes decisions in the best interest of kids,” he concluded.
Became Technology Director in July 2011. Previously Principal at Neidig this week after 1.5 years as Assistant Principal at Strayer, business teacher at Strayer (3 years) and fourth grade teacher at Neidig (4 years).
Looks forward to “establishing relationships with kids, teachers and the community. I want to continue moving the building forward academically and find ways to create a ‘family atmosphere’ for both students and teachers.”
“I love the student centered mindset in Quakertown,” he said. “Staff will do anything for kids to help them succeed. I’m passionate about watching students learn and grow. I also enjoy using technology to improve instruction by engaging students.”
Grew up in
Enjoys sp, ending, time with his wife Tammy, a guidance counselor at QCHS, and other family members, , including Reilly, their 4-year-old Goldendoodle dog. Tammy and Tommy enjoy traveling to the
“I hope people can think of me as being a compassionate person who makes decisions in the best interest of kids,” he concluded.
Started in QCSD in 1987 as Principal at Quakertown Elementary. Moved to Pfaff in 1992. Helped architects to design Trumbauersville, which opened 10 years ago.
Previously taught Special Education and worked as a school psychologist in
Likes the fact that “every day’s a new day,” he said. “I can’t begin to predict what is going to happen.”
Learned when he was hired that “the only mistake I could make was to try to do things by myself. I have learned to work collectively with people to resolve problems and reach good solutions and best practices.”
Proudest of the work ethic of teachers and students at Trumbauersville. He opened the building with the theme, “Hard work pays off,” and he said adults and children in the building take it to hear, t.
Happy to admit he loves to laugh. “I’m a comedian, a philosopher and an artist. I like to write, draw and take photographs.”
Framed, enlarged photograph o, f railroad tracks running between autumn foliage hangs on the , wall of his office, the result of one of his favorite hobbies. “I am truly a Sunday driver, ,” he said. “I love to drive out in the country and look at the world through a different lens. , I like to capture moments that inspire thought.”
Loves cars and keeps a cartoon-like model of an old-time sheriff’s patrol car, which doubles as a clock, on his desk. “I take lots of photos in junkyards,” he said. “There is art in junk!”
QCSD Education Program Director
Starts in the new position September 2 after 3 years as
Previously served as principal at
“I will miss Pfaff,” she said. “It’s a jewel of a school. I’m excited for this new challenge. I will be working with curriculum, staff development and teachers.”
Likes working in QCSD because she believes, “It is a cutting edge school district with a small town atmosphere. It is community centered and children centered.”
Lived as a QCSD community member for 24 years in Spinnerstown.
Enjoys traveling with her husband, Rod Stone, Principal at
Loves spending time with 3 ½-year-old grandson Teddy the Fifth – Theodore Francis Harrington V, and with sons Ted, Bo, bby and Billy, and daughter Betsy.
Over the years has collected and shared many funny stories with staff members, who can attest to her fondness for reading and shopping… “clothes, especially shoes.”
16 years in QCSD. Previously worked at Richland Elementary and taught in
Returning from a year’s sabbatical in which she took four classes; traveled to
Enjoys spending time with husband, Rick, who works at Air Products; with daughter Laura, 27, an oncology nurse in Philadelphia; with son- in- law Scott; and with son David, 25, a law school student.
Keeps a pink phone with feathers on her library desk and likes to shop for shoes. For fitness she does yoga, weight training and swimming. She has completed English Channel Swim Challenges in the pool.
Starting 13th year as a , teacher in the district. , A lifer! Attended Pfaff Elementary, Milford Middle and QCHS (class of 1990). Graduated from
“I like being able to share my exp, erience of growing up in Quakertown,” Handel said. “Kids always say there’s nothing to do in Quakertown and that they’ll never come back here after they graduate. I had that taste. When you mature, you realize what a great place it is. It was the great teachers I had at
Taught keyboarding and word processing for nine years at
“I like working with students,” he said. “I like the fact that they bring diverse issues, positive and negative, to deal with every day. I like to see kids of all abilities helping each other.”
Wrestled for QCHS. “When I went through, it was one of the best programs in District 1,” he said. “We’re bringing it back to that leve, l. More important than state rankings or wins and los, ses, though, I’m proud of the program in terms of the great kids. They are excellent in academics, discipline wise and making the right choices. Of the six seniors this past year, five of them are going to college, including
If you see him jogging through town in the mornings, you’ll know he’s preparing for his first marathon next spring. He also plans to compete in a few Olympic distance triathlons.
QCSD Accounting Assistant
High School Volleyball Coach
9 years in the accounting office. Nine years coaching volleyball.
Likes dealing , with the more than 100 student activity accounts. She re, ceives the fund-raising money and banks it for all the elementary through high school accounts, which include German Club, all the sports, Student Government, SADD, and National Honor Society.
She especially likes to coach! She will start her third year as the varsity girls’ coach. Last year’s team won 8 and lost 6 matches and nine senio, rs return this year. Lisa Craven, er, a
This was her first year as assistant boys’ volleyball coach, with varsity coach Snyder. Her team posted a record of 12 wins and 2 loses.
“I just love the sport,” she said. “I like teaching the love of the game.”
Wendy and Andy have coached a Junior Olympic club team, Xceleration Volleyball, in, Hatfield,, from December to May for the last three years. She is Impact certified.
The QCHS girls’ team will go to a summer camp at
Wendy’s two children, Zachary, 8, and MacKenzie, 7, attend St. Isidore Elementary School in Quakertown. Z, ac plays flag football and travel soccer.&, nbsp; MacKenzie plays so, ftball and travel soccer. They took one vacation so far this summer and will take another before the volleyball season starts. Wendy loves spending time with her kids.
Wendy likes to help oth, ers; she went exempt from the Quakertown Fire Company #1 after being a volunteer fire fighter for over 20 years.
“It’s quiet around here in the summer, but it’s our busiest time of the year,” Mahler said of the business office.
5th year in current position. Previously spent 4 years as Assistant Principal a, t the high sch, ool; 10 years as a Social Studies teac, her at Emmaus High School and one year as a seventh grade teacher at Sacred Heart in Allentown.
Always liked th, e fact that the Quakertown community is so connected to the schools. He is involved with the Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, Healthy Communities/Healthy Youth and the Quakertown, Education Foundation. “So many groups want kids to do well,” he said.
Partial to his building, he assures, “Milford is the best school in the world!” He hopes people will be able to look back and say he served the students, parents and faculty well. “We emphasize service to others. I plan to serve at Milford until we accomplish our vision. I believe we can get 100 percent of our students to pass the PSSA. We’ve set the groundwork.”
Nearly 90 percent of Milford students scored proficient in both math and reading on the last PSSA. “I’m confident that we’ve developed strategies to attack the skills that elude students. It’s important for people to know that this can happen, even with 450 div, erse kids.”
Humor helps Derek connect with his staff and students. Over the years, he has read to students in an elf outfit; cooked at the grill in colorful aprons; worn a Steelers shirt when the football team beat his Dolphins; dressed as John Travolta in a white suit and wig. Teacher Bruce Knauss, who takes a lot of pictures, always manages to include those pictures during beginning and end-of-year slide shows.
Kids can’t fool him!, “I was a sneaky kid. I can usually surprise others. It was all that stealth training I had as an Assistant Principal.”
12 years, in the high school, 2:30 to 11 p.m. shift, with 4 years to go to retirement.
Raises co-workers spirits because she is always smiling, cheerf, ul and pleasant to be around!
Her secret? “You’ve got to let things r, oll off you. You can’t take , your work home w, ith you,” she said.
Spends all her home time with her children – daughter, Chrissy, 44, with t, wo children,
Prev, iously, Judy ran a machine in the Landis meat packing company. The demanding job required her to keep up a steady rhythm throughout the workday. She didn’t mind because even back then, she said, “You gotta make it good.”
In June, Judy played softball with high school staff and students during t, he last day picnic. She helped make the game a lot of fun. In her junior high days in Quakertown, she won medals for running track in seventh and eighth grade. “I loved gym. My teacher was Mrs. Stover.”
Judy likes to keep moving. “When we wer, e kids, I was always outside [with her five brothers] while my four sisters were all inside learning how to bake and cook. Me? Nah!, ”
President, Quakertown Community Education Foundation (QCEF)
, Fully vested in QCSD as an alumnus, parent, spouse, former volleyball coach and with the Foundation. He was a charter board member since QCEF inception in 2002. The nonprofit organization was formed to provide and promote unique and meaningful educational experiences that supplement those already provided to the students in QCSD.
Works as Vice President of Commercial Lending at QNB, formerly known as Quakertown National Bank.
“QCEF is my way of giving back to the district and helping children in the district expand their learning opportunities,” he said.
After graduating in 1985, went to Shippensburg to earn a B.S. in Public Administration.
Very involved in many orga, nizations, including Lions Club of Quakertown (past president and board member) and serves on various committees for the Bucks County Boy Scouts.
Coached QCHS boys and girls volleyball, as assistant or head coach, from 1989 to 2003. Played soccer and tennis for QCHS as a student. Has helped coach his children’s softball, basketball and baseball teams.
The family spends time in the mountains, hiking and quad riding, hunting and fishing.,
“Technology is a goal for us in the next year with the Foundation,” he said. “We want to raise sufficient funding to purchase state of the art technology. We need to educate the Quakertown community that this organization is here for them, to promote what cannot be done without our support.”
One way the foundation raises money is by selling reproduction prints of 8 Walter E. Baum paintings. Contact the Superintendent’s office or visit http://www.qcsd.org/ (look under Community section) for more information.
Elementary Instrumental Music Teacher
4 years in QCSD. Previously taught at Southern Lehigh, Northwestern Lehigh, and
Directs an elementary jazz band, two elementary concert bands, and elementary santa band during the school year; will direct two-week elementary summer band camp in July, with a free, kids’ co, ncert Aug. 1 at 7:00 p.m. Enjoys seeing “how proud my students feel when they share their musical talents with others in perfor, mance.”
Lives in Nazareth, PA; married to a former elementary instrumental music teacher, Lisa, who now stays home full-time with their daughter, Andie Lynn. Andie just turned two May 31. Mom and Dad recently threw the wildest Elmo birthday party "this side of the Lehigh.” Favorite moments are being, at home with hi, s wife and receiving spontaneous hugs, kisses and "I love you, Daddy" from his little girl.
Serves as director of music, choir director , and organist at
Teaches private trumpet lessons from his studio and enjoys playing freelance piano and trumpet, such as at weddings. Recently played trumpet in the Verdi Requiem with the Lehigh Choral Union.
21 years in Quakertown.
Teaches 1st and 2nd grade, alternate years, looping with students, so she works with the same students for two years.
“I love it,” she said. “In the second year, on the first day of school, we’re ready to go. We don’t have to get to know each other. [About 10 years ago] when I just taught first, the second grade teachers would say, ‘You should see …’ and I wanted to see! Things very often come together for children in second grade.” <, /o:p>
Students help carry the books to her partner,, Nancy Lubenetski, who teaches the 1st and 2nd grades opposite “Mrs. W.” They , move the reading carpet to the opposite end of the room to change the learning look.,
It warms her heart to receive a hug at the end of the day and to hear childr, en share books they read over the weekend.
At home she enjoys time with her son and two daughters, 11th, eighth and sixth graders in
No. 1 hobby: Shopping!<, /TD>
14 years in the district, starting in the high school library and central office before moving to the FC.
Likes the fact that every day is different. “I love my job. I consider myself lucky to be working here in such an, upbeat atmosphere.”
“Huge” Philadelphia Flyers fan.
Three grown children work in pharmaceuticals, sports management and masters degree studies for in English.
Fills the empty nest syndrome with her Yorkies.
Plans to retire eventually to