| | Kudos 2012 - 2013
QCHS student writes one of best blogs in United States
QCHS senior Evelyn Miller wrote a stellar blog after finishing an interactive web-based financial literacy program in Personal Finance class with teacher Lynn Gunning. The blog, one of 1400 submissions from across the country, won her $250 from the curriculum company, EverFi, and $500 for the school, which Mrs. Gunning said would probably be used for future field trips.
"Financial confidence is the best lesson I have gained from completing the EverFi financial literacy certification,” Evelyn wrote. “I am so excited to use the knowledge given to me to make better decisions about money in the future. I know how to save money in savings accounts, CDs and other investments, as well as how to better spend my money on higher education and renting vs. owning. In EverFi’s ten short modules, I have gained self-assurance by knowing what I am talking about when finances come up in conversation. Each module is an exciting interactive experience to learn something new, or refresh something you knew before. I would definitely recommend these fun lessons to my friends because they have helped me understand what is going on in the real world. I am no longer intimidated by banks or stock rooms because I finally understand what goes on! EverFi has given me a taste of every aspect of the financial world which I can apply in real life, I have learned everything from how taxes and insurance work, to what a consumer has to look for when comparison shopping for loans, savings accounts and credit cards, and how to protect myself from scams and consumer fraud. I am even able to answer my friends’ questions about subsidized and unsubsidized loans, and other ways to finance their higher education. I am now the go-to money person when someone has a question which makes me feel so smart! This newly-gained confidence empowers me to make financial decisions which will affect the rest of my life for the better. With what the EverFi financial literacy certification has taught me, I see a future where I can be self-reliant, which is the best thing anyone can be given."
Mrs. Gunning emphasized that the online platform allows students to master financial concepts in real world settings that will benefit them throughout their lives. The curriculum is sponsored by Univest Bank, which also provided live speakers throughout the semester. Company representatives will bring the checks and pizza for the whole class on June 7.
Evelyn, who happened to play Muzzy VanHossmere in the recent QCHS musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, is headed to University of Massachusetts-Amherst to study psychology and neuro biology. She wants to embark on research. She said she’ll use the money for books.
More national recognition for QCSD
Once again, QCSD has been recognized nationally for its technology initiatives. K-12 Blueprint, an online educational platform, featured QCSD in an article titled Taking Risks, Reaping Rewards. It credits administrators for re-inventing the district in an effort to meet the needs of 21st Century learners.
The Blueprint is powered by Intel, Tech&Learning and Education. You can read the story by clicking here
QCSD’s Murray will serve on national advisory panel
1105 Media Education Group and T.H.E. Journal, the nation’s leading magazine covering technology in K-12 education, invited Tom Murray, QCSD Technology and Program Director to join its advisory board. Of course Tom said yes!
“We are about to complete our first year as an all-digital magazine and we are ready for a new set of minds and sensibilities to help us serve our readers in ways that are congruent with 21st century teaching and learning,” said Therese Mageau, editorial director of 1105 Media Education Group, the publisher of T.H.E. Journal. “The board that we have assembled is truly exemplary in their individual and combined expertise in leveraging technology to deliver world-class education and educational experiences. We expect them to help us deliver the same to our readers.”
Other members of the advisory panel are from California, New York, Florida, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.
“I am honored to be working alongside some of the best educational technology minds in the country with this nomination,” Tom said. “Together we will help steer the largest educational technology print resource for schools across the country, helping provide insight for administrators and teachers to better support our students in the 21st century.”
Matt Basile honored by national organizations
QCHS senior Matt Basile collected honors from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and the United States Department of Education. After spending hours studying, taking SATs, filling in numerous applications and writing plenty of essays, he was named a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship. He received a $2500 scholarship, which he said he thinks he can apply to room and board at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he will enroll on a full Air Force ROTC scholarship. He plans to major in nuclear engineering.
The U.S. Department of Education selected Matt as one of 550 semifinalists in the 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholars competition. From nearly 3.2 million graduating high school seniors, approximately 3,900 students were identified as candidates in the program. He said he did not advance to the finalist level, in which 20 boys and 20 girls from each state will travel to Washington, D.C. to pick up an award. The honor was based on SAT results, transcript, essay and self-assessment.
“I’m happy to be honored,” said Matt, who received a certificate, above, from Rod Stone, QCHS Principal. “It’s nice to know I was recognized and made it this far in each of the programs. And it’s nice that these programs exist to support students.”
He said he is “excited” about going to MIT, where he will engage in an “extremely challenging environment full of tons of kids who are at least as smart as me if not more intelligent. I will have the opportunity for research with professors. I’m looking forward to being independent in Boston and to the leadership training through ROTC.”
QCHS soccer players excel on track
The Morning Call recently ran a story about the change in girls’ soccer from spring to fall. The story featured three QCHS girls who capitalized and went out for track. Linzi Wolfe, Shannon Gibat and Shelly Cowan all qualified for the District 1 Championships, this week at Coatesville.
You can read the story and see a picture of the QCHS girls by clicking here
Interactive video profile offers great look at how QCSD's cyber program works
In December, the Alliance for Excellent Education created a video of QCSD technology initiatives. It was aired during the Feb. 6 Digital Learning Day internet broadcast. The Alliance extended its work by creating a case study of QCSD’s digital work and produced an interactive video profile. You can read about the district’s work as well as watch a series of short videos in which staff and students talk about the technology. In the final video of the file, Kim Reitnauer speaks about her experience. Kim recently passed away in a tragic accident, along with her parents and sister.
“Kim’s comments about her learning serves as a nice tribute to her and her success as a student here,” said Dr. Lisa Andrejko, Superintendent.
to read and watch!
Pfaff fourth graders and teacher recognized
Jamie Haddon, CEO of United Way Bucks County, recognized Pfaff fourth grade teacher Lisa Gridley and her class at a breakfast awards celebration. Lisa and the students of Room 202 received the Multiplier Award for their contributions to Hurricane Sandy Relief.
“The idea is, a small change can make a big impact and inspire others to do good things,” Lisa explained. “Every student got a foam finger and I brought a very cool medal back. My mom, Rose Marie, joined me at the breakfast.”
Lisa is pictured with Jamie Haddon, above.
QCHS students wow judges at Temple computer fair
Three QCHS students worked together in Computer Program II class to create a piece of software that they entered into a competition at Temple University. Cote Haas, Robert Samalonis and Matt Stevens received high praise from the judges at the Future of Computing 2013, which they attended with teacher Prakash Patel.
Over a span of a few months, the team developed a program with completely new, unique code, without using a previously developed template. The new code simulated a music database.
“At the competition, we were faced against other high school entries and had to verbally describe what our project accomplished,” Matt explained. “Only a few other high school groups presented, which showed how advanced the computer science class is at QCHS. The event creators were surprised at the level of knowledge we had for only a year of computer science.”
You can watch a video about the computer students at www.qcsd.org
Milford, Strayer students lead QCSD at TSA State Conference
Numerous QCSD students brought home gold from the recent State Conference of the Technology Student Association. The 35th annual TSA event took place in Seven Springs, where seven projects won gold and others placed among the top 10.
Milford 8th grader Stephanie Waddell took home two first place awards. She teamed with Milford’s Haley van den Burg and Strayer’s Tim Mallo and Benjamin Ocamb for first place in Global Manufacturing. Ben and Tim explained that the team created a cube that an autistic child could play with. The prototype featured sides made of different textures.
Stephanie teamed with Milford’s Trevor Fowler and Jacob Graham for first place in System Control Technology. “The best thing about TSA this year was getting to meet new friends and having fun competing with my friends in competitions,” Stephanie said. “I learned that teamwork was important for a great achievement.”
Milford’s Cassidy Owens won first place for Logo Design. Stephanie joined the Milford Chapter Team of Andrew Bagshaw, Hayden Smith, Ryan Stainer, Haley van den Burg and Graham Wilson for third place. Milford’s Ryan Stainer was second in Flight; Trevor Fowler and Ryan Stainer placed third in Problem Solving; and Sadie Fowler was third in Transportation Systems.
Strayer’s Rylie Hetrick was first in Promotional Design. She made a logo pin of a robot in Adobe Illustrator. She said she appreciated the challenge of creating the project. “It makes your mind work harder,” she said.
Strayer’s Nicholas Kreuz took first place in Materials Process for the corner cabinet breadbox he built out of wood. Tyler Slotterback was first in Snapshot for photos he took of his brother and third in Materials Process for the checkerboard table he built out of wood.
TSA advisor Jeff Seip of Strayer said his team started with 20 students. He took 11 of them to the regional event and 11 to states. Milford advisor Kathy van den Burg said 6 high school and 5 Milford students opted to travel to Orlando, Florida for this year's national event.
Seip emphasized the teamwork, time management and leadership skills that students develop through TSA.
QCHS junior Erinne Finlayson collected a third place for a table she made out of a very large tree stump. Teammates said they had to push and pull the heavy table onto the bus for the trip to Seven Springs, then roll it up a hill to get it into the competition hall. Matthew Cornelius was the only other QCHS student to place in the top three. He finished second in Transportation Modeling.
You can watch a video of the TSA state experience at www.qcsd.org
Leah Kaighn named Rotary Student of the Month
The QCHS Rotary International Student of the Month for March was Leah Kaighn. Leah was nominated for the award by several of her teachers. Leah is an exceptional young lady with an infectious enthusiasm for life.
Leah’s teachers described her as having “intellectual maturity” and called her a “rare student who shows real intellectual curiosity.” Those special qualities earned Leah a straight “A” average and high academic standing in the senior class. She was also one of three QCHS students selected to participate in the Lehigh University Outreach Program for High School Scholars. Leah is a standout among the best AP students at Quakertown.
Besides being a model student, Leah is well respected by her peers. She is kind, caring, has a tremendous sense of humor and is always ready to help or volunteer her time. In addition to being on the high school swim team, Leah also helps in the pool with Special Olympics. She is the secretary of the highs school’s National Honor Society, teaches Sunday School at her church and is a member of the QCEF/QCSD 5K Committee.
Leah plans to attend Pittsburgh University in the fall to major in Bio-Engineering.
Stephen Vanyo named Rotary Student of the Month
The QCHS Rotary International Student of the Month for April was Stephen Vanyo. Stephen was nominated for the award by math teacher Audrey Waddell. Stephen is an outstanding member of the senior class with remarkable leadership qualities.
Stephen is a charismatic, insightful “great guy! Stephen always shows tremendous character and is well respected by everyone in the building for his leadership and commitment,” Mrs. Waddell said. He is an honest, caring individual who is considerate of everyone and is viewed by most students as a role model. Stephen is a straight “A” student who seeks knowledge for its own sake rather than merely for the grade.
Stephen is a talented musician. He is a section leader in both the marching and symphonic bands as well as a four-year member of the award winning high school jazz band. He leads a popular teen band called Ultra Violet. He makes great videos for Video Production/QCSD TV, which can be seen at www.qcsd.org
, and on Comcast 968 and Verizon 34. Stephen is also a student ambassador to the Quakertown Community Education Foundation; a member of the QCEF/QCSD 5K Committee; a member of the National Honor Society; and a team member on the Quakertown Lacrosse Club.
Stephen will attend Loyola University (Baltimore) in the fall to major in Political Science.
QCSD staff members run Broad Street event
At least four QCSD staff members ran among the 40,000 entries in the May 5 Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. The 34th annual event was 10 miles. Pfaff kindergarten teacher Katie Zorzi ran the event in 1 hour, 11 minutes.
“It was a great day for a race,” Katie said.
Tohickon Valley fourth grade teacher Adrienne Tegge finished in 1 hour, 24 minutes. Tohickon Valley Principal Scott Godshalk finished in 1:25.49. And QCHS social studies teacher Andy Boquist also completed the race.
“Even though there were 40,000 runners there, Adrienne and I we bumped into each other near the start area!” Godshalk said. “It was a great event.”
Boquist said he felt like he was running in place for the first three miles because he was packed in with so many people. His pace for the first three miles was 9:43. Once he got into open space, he was able to run faster, at about 8:15 per mile.
“So many people,” Boquist said, shaking his head.
New QCHS National Honor Society members sworn in
Forty seven students were inducted into the QCHS National Honor Society last Sunday, April 28th. Of those, 32 were sophomores, 14 juniors and one a senior.
The new inductees were sophomores Elaina Abramson, Matthew Applegate, Morgan Bender, Mikaela Blaisse, Meagan Calhoun, Lindsay Chabak, Abigail Clark, Matthew Cornelius, Marissa Cubbage, Devon Dean, Lauren Delk, Hannah Galvin, Amanda Hafler, Rachel Hafner, Danae Leatherman, Keely Londino, Torin Martutartus, Lauren McKinley, Katie Moyer, Annabelle Pham, Laura Post, Simone Rumph, Jacqui Rush, Erin Shortall, Colin Smith, Katelyn Spieker, Danielle Stark, Jennifer Sterner, Andrew Stuhr, Megan Thompson, Kerry Vanyo, Amanda Weidemann.
The juniors were Louis Andreacchio, Cara Bard, Beth Ann Davies, John Gallagher, Connor Gordon, Robin Kramme, Sabrina Lee, Sara Reigh, Brent Rice, Heather Robbins, Mason Schmauder, Shane Schmauder, Devon Supper, Shelby Valent. The senior was Olivia Rutt.
The NHS Faculty Council poured through applications, which required candidates to explain their academic, leadership and volunteer endeavors. The outgoing NHS officers, along with advisors Becky Neitz and Gayle Quinton, Principal Rod Stone and Superintendent Lisa Andrejko, helped welcome the newly selected officers.
The outgoing officers were Sarah Post, President; Matthew Basile, Vice-President; Leah Kaighn, Secretary; Daniel Frasch, Treasurer; Hannah Swearingen, Parliamentarian; and Nathan Flath, Historian.
The new officers, pictured above, were Meghan Gall, President; Morgan Long, Vice-President; Colin Fowler, Secretary; Rachel Jesiolowski, Treasurer; Jason Prusch, Parliamentarian; and Joseph Cianciola. The NHS Choir performed the Star Spangled Banner and other music.
The ceremony was dedicated to the Reitnauer family, which recently passed away. The QCHS Food Service Staff and custodial staff helped set up the ceremony and reception.
QCHS senior volunteer honored by YWCA
QCHS senior Taylor Winters recently joined 16 other teenagers at a dinner, where the YWCA honored them at the 19th annual Bucks County Teen Volunteer of the Year award ceremony. Held at Ann’s Choice Erickson Living in Warminster, the event celebrated the giving spirit as part of National Volunteer Week.
Taylor has been a four-year member of Quakertown’s West End Fire Company. QCHS staff nominated him after watching him run out of the high school in his senior year every time his pager went off, alerting him of a fire call. He also made several Public Service Announcements for QCSD-TV this year about texting and driving, underage drinking and the importance of smoke detectors. He gives tours to future students and their parents at Upper Bucks County Technical School, where he recently took his national certification exam for carpentry.
Taylor said, “I lost my father when I was 5 years old. Because of that I decided to devote my life to helping others so others don’t have to go through what I went through.”
Taylor is now turning his devotion into a career. He has been testing to become a police officer in Maryland upon graduation. Although Taylor did not win the overall award, he was honored to be nominated by his high school. The YWCA invited all Bucks County high schools to nominate either a junior or senior who is an “outstanding volunteer,” according to organizers.
The nominated teens, all seniors, volunteered hundreds of hours going on relief missions to foreign countries, working with special needs students, stocking food pantries and working on projects at local nature centers, the organizers said.
QCHS German students pick up awards
QCHS students Maggie Dammer and Sydney Dickson attended the prestigious Awards Ceremony of the American Association of Teachers of German held April 27 at the Canstatter Volksfest Verein (German Club) in Philadelphia. The ceremony recognized students of German who scored 90% or better on the National German Exam.
The event was attended by representatives from 35 school districts in the Philadelphia Vicinity and the state of Delaware. More than 1200 students in the region took the exam this year, and the 149 students invited to attend the ceremony were those who had the top scores this year. Sydney scored 94% on the Level 3 Exam, and Maggie scored 94% on the level 2 Exam. QCHS German teacher Jodi Alderfer attended the ceremony with her students.
Technology director quoted in magazine
QCSD Technology and Cyber Director Tom Murray was quoted in another national magazine. He talked about how QCSD approaches access to technology in the May edition of District Administrator, an online magazine. The other district featured in the article is the very large Miami-Dade (Florida).
Murray highlighted QCSD’s differentiated networks, which are pretty wide open, to allow staff and students to research as needed. Potentially harmful sites are blocked, of course. Murray talked about why school districts should encourage BYOD – Bring Your Own Devices – and why we should embrace the advancement of technology.
You can read the entire article by clicking here.
Health teacher named to wrestling hall of fame
Milford Middle School health teacher Scott Hovan will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association (PWCA) Wrestling Hall of Fame. The 44th anniversary banquet will be held May 19 at State College. A total of 12 inductees will be honored.
“It’s a privilege, an accomplishment,” Hovan said, humbled. He represents District 11 in the hall of fame.
Hovan wrestled at Allen High School (Allentown), graduating in 1987. He said he suffered six pins early in his freshman year before improving to a 110-16-2 high school record. At the University of Pittsburgh, he accumulated a 121-35-2 record before graduating in 1992. He coached at Pitt, in Richmond, Va., at his first teaching job, at Methacton High School and at Milford. He was previously inducted into the Allen and Pitt halls of fame.
“This hall of fame is a big one,” Hovan acknowledged. “They used to do the honors during the state championships in Hershey, but now they moved it to State College.”
You can watch a video about Hovan at www.qcsd.org. Scroll down to QCSD-TV Videos-on-Demand.
Teachers run fast in 13.1-mile half marathon in Allentown
Pfaff Elementary teacher Beth Miller is spending the school year at home with her new baby, but Milo is not holding her back from running fast. Last Sunday, the 36-year-old finished 131st overall, out of 3,340 finishers in the St. Luke’s Half Marathon in Allentown. She placed second in her age group and posted a time of 1 hour, 34 minutes and 26 seconds. The event featured runners from 21 states, Great Britain, Denmark and Brazil.
Strayer teacher Sue Labonge was impressed with Beth’s finish. “She smoked me!” said Sue, who finished 578th overall, in 1:47.55.
QCHS guidance counselor, finished in 1:49.40, for 653rd overall. “It was a hot one, so it was not my best time, but it’s over!” Andy said.
Beth said the event was her eighth half marathon, the second since having her baby a year ago on May 4. “I ran the Runner's World Half in October, six months after having Milo, my first baby, as a way to get back in shape,” she said. “When I decided to run the St. Luke's half marathon, I was hoping for a PR [personal record] but I knew that was a huge goal. I needed a race to focus on to help me get back into running shape. I was definitely fitter for this race and I had trained harder and hoped to do better. I ran 1:34, which was much faster than the race in October but still not my best. I was 2nd in my age group (35-39), so I was happy, especially considering how warm it was.”
From a family of runners, Beth said she runs most of her races with her husband and ran many marathons and half marathons before her son arrived. She ran throughout her pregnancy, “including the day I delivered! I had even qualified for the Boston Marathon but couldn't run it last year considering the day of the race I was nine months pregnant,” she said. “I was back out running within two weeks after giving birth. I have pushed Milo in the jogging stroller for many, many miles!”
Beth volunteers with Girls on the Run at Pfaff. It’s great running with the girls and sharing something I love with them,” she said.
QCHS student named Big Sister of the Year
QCHS senior Mina Koder was named “Big” of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County. She will attend a ceremony May 22.
Mina said she has spent time as the “Big Sister” of a little boy at Quakertown Elementary. Every Wednesday since the beginning of the year, Mina and seven other “big sisters and brothers” have walked across the street from the high school to QE. The big kids help the little kids with homework, then play games indoors or go out on the playground to play there.
“I do a lot of activities,” Mina said, noting her participation in Key Club, Best Buddies, Reading Olympics and Relay for Life. “But I love Big Brothers Big Sisters. “I can be having a bad day, go over to QE and I know my little is happy. That makes me happy. He loves it when I pay attention to him. I know I’m giving him support that he hasn’t had because he doesn’t have an older sibling.”
Mina joined Big Brothers Big Sisters in her sophomore year. She heard an announcement in the high school and retrieved an application in the office at the beginning of the year. She said many of the current “bigs” are graduating, so the organization will need more “bigs” next year. “When you hear the announcement, sign up. You’ll have to go through an interview. It’s worth it,” she said.
Mina plans to major in nursing next year at Wilkes University. You will be able to watch a video about her at www.qcsd.org
; QCSD-TV Videos-on-Demand.
Strayer student wins essay contest
Strayer Middle School 8th grader Sara Galloway won an essay contest for a fiction story she wrote. RELA teacher Jill McCauley said she assigns her students to write for every contest she finds, especially if a student can win money. Sara won $100 and will pick it up at an upcoming breakfast.
Sara said most students wrote a paragraph to answer the question, “Why is Volunteerism Important to you…” or “Why do you feel you should participate in a Martin Luther King Day of Service?” Sara said she was inspired by a television show she had watched, so she wrote a five-page fictitious story. McCauley submitted the essays to the United Way of Bucks County, which let Strayer Principal Cindy Lapinski know that Sara had won. Sara created a story about a homeless veteran who goes on to college and becomes the valedictorian of his class.
According to the contest rules, “One $100 prize will be awarded to the best essay in each of the elementary, middle, and high school levels (three prizes total). The three winners will be recognized at our Annual Breakfast in the spring. The United Way of Bucks County is very passionate about volunteerism.”
You will be able to watch a video about Sara at www.qcsd.org
; QCSD-TV Videos-on-Demand.
QCSD website wins award
The Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association bestowed upon the QCSD Website the Award of Excellence for the 2011-2012 school year.
QCSD was one of only four districts across Pennsylvania that won an Award of Excellence in the category. Nine districts received Award of Honor for their websites. Districts could enter the education communications contest in 10 categories. Ricki Stein, Community Relations Coordinator, said she entered the website because it best represented a wide team effort. While she, Todd Silvius and Alice Bishop maintain most of the content on the district home page, a huge percentage of staff members pitch in to maintain the building, curriculum, department and teacher subsites.
Dr. Lisa Andrejko said, “Congratulations Ricki Stein, Todd Silvius and all principals, teachers, and secretaries who keep our presence on the web current, informative, and effective as recognized by professionals in the communications business.”
QCHS Chemistry teacher named BSN Teacher of the Year
Matthew Rach, a second-year QCHS online Chemistry teacher, exceeds the standards of high-quality online teaching for the 20 students in his College-Prep and Honors online sections. He was named Blended Schools Network Teacher of the Year during a recent online, daylong workshop called the 2nd annual Blended Schools Network Jubilee.
At mid-day, Rach reported to the QCHS library, where QCSD Cyber Program tech support personnel Nicole Hazelwood and Todd Silvius joined him for the award ceremony. Blended Schools Network (BSN) CEO Jed Friedrichsen presented the award.
“It is so exciting to be part of a program that is capable of inspiring our students in a brand new way,” Rach said. “Our success is the result of a great team working together to meet the individual needs for variety students in a multitude of circumstances. I feel quite honored to be part of the team and especially to be the recipient of this award.”
Hazelwood and Silvius presented an online workshop later in the day. Mrs. Hazelwood wrote the proposal for Rach’s nomination. She said, “Matthew's student-centered approach to online teaching guides his successful attempts to be the ‘guide on the side’ for his Chemistry students. He undertook the project of adapting the content that is provided to better meet student needs. He also has created differentiated course materials and assessments to support all learners.
“Taking to heart the idea that communication is key in the online learning environment, he provides scheduled office hours on Blackboard IM for his students, makes frequent student and parent contact by phone and email, and maintains a connection with online support staff. He consistently makes himself available before and after school for additional student support. His communication is positive and encourages the student to communicate openly and ask for help when needed.
“Matt also understands the value of prompt, specific feedback in the online environment. He provides targeted feedback for every student submission and uses a variety of assessment tools to ensure that his students understand the content for which they will be accountable. With a combination of scheduled online exams, formative assessments, and one-on-one synchronous student audits, he can be sure that his students are learning and retaining the material in his class.
“Most of all, he continues to seek opportunities for growth, utilizing professional development days to better understand the online learning environment and the resources that are available to him.”
Tech director promotes blended learning during online session
QCSD Technology and Cyber Program Director Tom Murray was a guest on a BlendedSchoolsNetwork (BSN) MOOC discussion that ran Wednesday night. He was a guest panelist on a Google+ hangout streamed through YouTube with Bridges Virtual Education director Chris Harrington, Dan Lucas and Jed Friedrichsen of BSN.
The talk (and the MOOC) was about blended learning, why it's important and how it's being implemented. Hundreds of teachers from all over the world participated in the BSN MOOC on blended learning. You can watch the entire presentation above.
Later Wednesday night, Murray hosted a Standards Based Grading Chat on Twitter. He regularly moderates a discussion on Twitter by sending out questions and then the responses from the hash tag #sbgchat come in from hundreds of followers participating in the synchronous chat. SBG gurus Ken O’Conner and Rick Wormeli take part each week in the SBG chat.
QCHS Jazz Band performs on WFMZ
Because it won the 2013 Steel Stacks Jazz Fest, Jazz Band, the QCHS Jazz Band was invited to perform on WFMZ’s Music Monday. Click here
to watch the broadcast.
Strayer teacher joins education guru on webinar
Shawn Storm, Strayer Middle School teacher, joined education guru Grant Wiggins and another teacher as a featured speaker Tuesday night during a webinar on Essential Questions. Wiggins, who has presented to QCSD faculty on several occasions, is president of Authentic Education and the world-renowned author of Understanding by Design. He is hosting a series of free and open webinars throughout 2013. In honor of the release of his next book, the focus of the Tuesday webinar focused on Essential Questions. Another teacher, Nick Provenzano from the midwest, was also featured on the webinar, which was moderated by Authentic Education consultant Kristen Swanson, a former QCSD teacher.
“This came about via a Twitter connection with Kristen Swanson because of something she remembered when she observed my reading class several years ago,” Shawn said. “She thought it was interesting the way all of my students were engaged in the discussion.”
Shawn participated from home. “I have found the best essential questions that work with kids are the ones they understand. To me, the essential questions need to be introduced at the beginning of the lesson, but not discussed and analyzed until the students have a clear understanding of the text, or content.”
During the webinar, participants posed questions, comments, and thought-provoking ideas on Twitter and on a Youtube link. All webinars are free to interested participants and open to all educational stakeholders. The next webinars are April 25 and May 16. Click here to learn more https://www.smore.com/hnfr
Tom Murray nominated for another award
QCSD Technology and Cyber Program Director Tom Murray makes a lot of friends on social media. He tweets at all hours of the day and keeps up with the latest educational chatter. He participates in webinars and other information sessions. He also goes to face-to-face conferences and meets with staff members in QCSD. So he truly is living the hybrid education he promotes on a regular basis.
Recently, someone he met in cyberland nominated him for a Bammy Award, a cross-discipline award that identifies and acknowledges the good work being done all across the education village. The Bammy Awards were created in response to the tremendous national pressure on educators and education leaders to improve student outcomes, the impact of high-stakes accountability and the intense scrutiny that today's educators face. The Bammy Award is sponsored by BAM Radio Network, which produces education radio shows for the nation's leading education associations.
“It’s a long process, but doesn’t guarantee the award,” Tom said of the nomination. “I won’t know until this summer if I got it.” The awards will be handed out at a red carpet event September 21 in Washington, D.C. The Bammy Awards are presented by The Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International, which includes leading educators, education leaders, education professors, journalists, editors, researchers, commentators, advocates, activists, visionaries and pioneers.
So far Tom has earned five-star ratings in all possible categories from the people who have commented on his status on the site. You can add your two cents by clicking here
QCHS junior advances in Rotary speech contest
Wade VanValkenburgh recently won the Rotary Club’s 4-Way Test speech contest at QCHS. The junior was one of six competitors in the high school auditorium. He will compete April 13 at DeSales University in a regional competition.
Teacher Rachel Trosino assigned her Public Speaking class students to write speeches according to the Rotary contest parameters. Created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932, the 4-Way Test asks four questions of employees to consider in making decisions about their business and professional lives. It became a guide for sales, production, advertising and all relations with suppliers and customers. When we think or say, consider: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Wade wrote his speech about health care reform. “I’d like to see us get something done instead of just talking about it,” Wade said. The public speaking students voted for the best four speeches in class. Those students joined two others to speak on stage in front of judges from the Quakertown Rotary Club. Second place went to Meghan Gall and third to Amanda Hafler. The other participants were Annabelle Pham, Meagan Calhoun and Emily Dematteo.
One of the goals of the contest was to acquaint a large number of youth with Rotary, and specifically, the tenets of the 4 -Way Test. Wade and several other students joined the QCHS Interact Club, a division of Rotary. The other goals were to demonstrate and enhance Rotarians' commitment to youth; to heighten awareness of Rotary among parents, school officials, and the community at large; to recognize, encourage and reward hard work and accomplishment in our youth; and to provide an opportunity for Rotarians to participate in a community and vocational service program that focuses on the 4-Way Test as our standard of behavior.
QCHS senior signs to play football at East Stroudsburg University
The Barndt family can fill a library. It can help fill a stadium, too! So when QCHS senior Doug Barndt plays football next year at East Stroudsburg University, the Warriors’ fan base will swell.
“I heard they’re coming to every game,” Doug said, smiling, after signing his letter of intent in the QCHS library. Surrounded by seven of his eight siblings, his parents, three of his grandparents and an aunt and uncle, Doug also signed a Panther Pledge placed on his stack of papers by QCHS football coach George Banas. The contract requires Doug to give his college academic and athletic career his best efforts.
“We want to keep track of our kids in college,” Banas said.
The Barndt clan will be easy to spot around Quakertown for a while. Every single one of them is wearing red, black and white ESU clothing. Matriarch Ruth Ann is a good bargain shopper. When she found out that the ESU bookstore provider is changing, she capitalized and bought everybody gear at great sell-out prices.
In addition to family, many staff members from Quakertown Elementary and the high school stopped by the library for the largest gathering of fans for a college signing in at least five years. The crowd was testament to Doug’s popularity because he’s a nice guy.
“The interactions I see in this building on a daily basis are at a level I’ve never seen before for a student,” Banas said. “We get to interact with his dad, too [Guy is a custodian at the high school]. Everybody’s happy for Doug and his scholarship.”
Doug’s personality will serve him well as a sports management major. “I can go into a wide variety of jobs with that career,” he said. “I can go into ticket sales. I can own a gym, become an athletic director. It seemed like something I would like.”
Doug spent the last several years traveling around the country playing baseball. He thought he would pursue baseball in college. But after going back to football in the 2012 season, after a four-year hiatus, he decided he might have a better shot at a scholarship on the gridiron. He also considered an offer at top ranked Wesley College in Delaware but he felt he would fit in better at ESU.
“When I visited, it was a very welcoming atmosphere,” Doug said. “The coaches were kind and personal. I felt at home.”
He will be giving up time at home, where the nine children are named, in chronological order, Adam (the only one missing from the ceremony), Brian, Cassandra, Doug, Eli, Foster, Giacinta, Harbert and Ivyanna.
“We’re very proud of Douglas,” Ruth Ann said before serving everybody her home baked goodies.
Doug said he wants to earn a starting spot as soon as he can on the Warrior roster. “I want to accomplish as much as I can and represent Quakertown well,” he concluded.
QCHS junior auditions for early, early acceptance!
QCHS junior Rebecca Krown auditioned for early acceptance to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She played four pieces on her bassoon and was the youngest of 27 musicians to audition for the two bassoon spots available for next year. She would have finished her senior year of high school at the same time as she took her first year of college at the world renowned music conservatory.
On April 1, Rebecca learned she was a runner-up. She was disappointed but not discouraged. She was still smiling, as always, and plans to re-audition next year for Curtis, as well as to other collegiate music programs. The two bassoonists accepted to Curtis are current college students who will transfer from other schools.
She plans to take full time cyber school next year, which will give her time to practice and travel an audition circuit. She will audition at the Julliard School, Temple University, New England Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music. Rebecca practices about six hours a day. She performs with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra as well as the QCHS concert band.
You can watch a video about Rebecca at www.qcsd.org
. Scroll to QCSD-TV Warehoused Videos.
Thank you, Univest!
The Univest Corporation awarded $1,000 to QMPO (Quakertown Music Promoters Organization) to help with the music programs at Quakertown Community High School.
Strayer's Messa Di Voce will perform on national stage
Next week, on April 6, Strayer Middle School’s Messa Di Voce will perform at the 53rd National Association for Music Education (NafME) biennial conference. The QCHS Jazz band will also perform at the event, in Hartford, Conn.
The a cappella choir, made up of students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, sings with Miss Cynthia Teprovich. The select chorus wins many awards every year by singing in choral festivals. This year, the 26 member group recorded a CD, which Miss Teprovich submitted to NafME for the chance to perform.
“It’s a wonderful honor,” said Miss Teprovich.
After the group performed for the School Board, the Intelligencer recently published a story about the group. You can read the article by clicking here
. And you can watch a video by QCSD-TV News at www.qcsd.org
QCHS Jazz Ensemble wins SteelStacks competition
Following three rounds of competition in February and March, the QCHS Jazz Ensemble has been named the winner of the 2013 SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase presented by King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC. As the winner of the competition, the 24-member band, directed by Frank Parker, will now open for Preservation Hall Jazz Band May 9, 7:30 p.m., during RiverJazz presented by Concannon Miller at SteelStacks.
The SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase featured 11 high school bands from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, performing before a judging panel and live audience at the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café. Following two preliminary rounds on Feb. 17 and March 3, six bands advanced to the finals March 17.
During its performance at the finals, Quakertown impressed the judges with its renditions of “Song for Bilbao,” by Pat Metheney, “A little Minor Booze,” by Willie Maiden, and “The Jazz Police,” by Gordon Goodwin. Taking second-place honors in the competition was the Kutztown High School Jazz Band, directed by Doug Matz, while the Freedom High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Andrew Lynn, placed third.
In addition to the band honors, the judges also recognized several schools and individual students with ‘best soloist’ and ‘best section’ awards.
On April 6, 10:30 p.m., the SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase will be highlighted during a one-hour TV special on 69-WFMZ-TV. Family and friends interested in preserving all the magic and memories of the showcase may also purchase the official SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase DVD. The two-hour DVD, which costs $19.99 and is available at artsquest.org, includes the entire one-hour WFMZ special, as well as additional interviews and behind-the-scenes footage not found on the special. In addition, it includes at least one complete song from all 11 of the showcase participants.
“The SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase is designed to highlight the region’s student musicians in a fun and creative environment, while also helping to complement what these students are learning in the classroom,” said ArtsQuest Vice President of Performing Arts Patrick Brogan. “The level of talent in this year’s competition was absolutely amazing, with the groups delighting the audiences and making it very tough for the judges. We congratulate Quakertown Community High School and all of the 2013 showcase winners. We also thank King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC; 69-WFMZ-TV; Greenleaf Productions; and Moravian College’s Music Department for their support of this unique music-in-education event.”
QCHS senior a finalist in poetry contest
QCHS senior Jasmine Korr was one of 40 finalists in the 2013 Bucks County High School Poet of the Year contest. The gold, silver and bronze medalists were from Central Bucks East and William Tennent high schools.
QCHS sophomore raises plenty of money for American Cancer Society
QCHS sophomore Amanda Hafler hosted a Vera Bradley Bingo to Benefit the Upper Bucks Relay for Life for her graduation project. The event, attended by more than 200 members of the community-at-large was a complete sell out and raised $5,415.00 for The American Cancer Society/Relay for Life.
“I never imagined that this bingo event would so successful,” Amanda said. “The demand for tickets and the support of the community was unbelievable. All afternoon, people were coming up to thank me for organizing the bingo. Many of them had tears in their eyes because cancer has touched their lives.” Among those attending were cancer survivors, those presently undergoing treatment, and family members of those lost to cancer.
Amanda thanked those who helped her. The Upper Bucks Senior Activity Center not only rented its facility for the bingo, but also took care of the food concession, making a profit of $400 to benefit senior citizens of the community. Sophomores Lindsay Chabak and Jessie Keller volunteered their time to help out at the event. Another sophomore, Felicia Marsala, helped all day Saturday with set-up and then returned the day of the event to help. Other classmates came out to play bingo for a chance to win one of the popular fabric bags.
Chris Goerlitz, a history teacher at the Quakertown Freshman Center, acted as the bingo caller. “Mr. Goerlitz is a natural,” said Amanda. “He really did a great job.”
UBCTS Skill Build Team places at competition
QCHS students Dwight Weisel and Ryan Alexander were part of a 6-man UBCTS Skill Build Team that placed third in the Building Industries Exchange (BIE)/NARI (National Association of Remodeling Industry) construction competition in March at the Sunnybrook Ballroom Pavilion.
Dwight is an electrical student and Ryan a plumbing student at Upper Bucks County Technical School. They teamed with four Pennridge students, who added carpentry, electrical and plumbing work to the project. The team had to build a structure from blueprints and building supplies to complete the project.
Mr. John O’Boyle of J.O.B. Design & Construction, Inc. and BIE President provided all building supplies for the competition. The Building Industries Exchange is a trade association founded in 1952 and is composed of 300 area construction firms. The BIE serves to promote integrity in local building, operates a contractor plan room and sponsors the annual Pottstown Home Show.
Dwight and Ryan are second from left and second from right in the photo above.
QCHS track star named All-American
QCHS senior Jody Ann Evans was named a High School All-American in Indoor Track after competing at the New Balance Indoor National Indoor Championship in New York City. Jody finished 5th in the 60 meter dash.
Jody-Ann was also named First Team All-State by the Pennsylvania Track and field Coaches Association for her 60m and 200m performances at the State Championships.
Strayer student headed to national spelling bee
Strayer Middle School seventh grader Anna Tran captured the Bucks County Spelling Bee recently, earning a May 28-30 trip to Washington, D.C. for the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
She told a reporter from the Intelligencer, “I just took deep breaths. I’m still not sure it’s real.”
It took Anna 28 rounds of spelling to beat 29 other spellers from Bucks County in the event, organized by the Pennridge Community Education Foundation with funding by the Council for the Advancement of Public Schools. She and runnerup William Jerden, a fifth grader from John M. Grasse Elementary School, jockeyed for the lead through 12 rounds of complicated words.
The Intelligencer quoted Sue Myers, a neighbor and retired English teacher who coached Anna. “She’s really terrific and very motivated.” Anna’s parents speak mostly Vietnamese. “I wanted to make sure she focused on how to pronounce the words, on their origin and what they meant. You can’t just memorize them because you lose the richness and possibility of language,” Mrs. Myers told the newspaper.
Anna won the Strayer spelling bee to qualify for the regional event. She said she received a huge dictionary and a savings bond, in addition to the free trip. She said the words originating in German, Dutch and Slavik were the most difficult because of their spelling patterns.
“At first I was calm but in the final two rounds, I was really nervous,” said Anna, who noted that it helps to know what big words mean in order to spell them.
QCHS powerlifter sets state record
QCHS senior Dylan Weisbrod set a state record at the 2013 IPA Pennsylvania State Powerlifting Championships in York recently. Competing in the 181-pound, Push/Pull Amateur Raw class, he bench pressed 250 pounds and deadlifted 465 pounds. After the maneuvers, his total was 715 pounds.
“I ate a lot of oatmeal!” he said, noting that he just started training 18 months ago. “I was never in shape as a kid. I wanted to make a total life change.”
Dylan lost 70 pounds of fat and gained back 34 pounds of muscle. He currently weighs 190 pounds. He trains on Sundays with Coach Dave Richardson at the Upper Bucks YMCA. He works out by himself Monday through Friday. Dylan said he was impressed with the other competitors. “It was awesome. I watched three world records get set, one of them by a kid with autism.”
In the Raw category, Dylan does not use any wrist straps or other gear. He will now train for a national competition in June. He plans to become a physical therapist.
QCHS cheerleaders earn international championship award
The QCHS Varsity Cheerleaders won first place in their Division at the March 16-17 AmeriCheer and AmeriDance InterNational Cheerleading and Dance Championship Competition at Disney World. The team earned the title “ 2013 InterNational Champion” in their division.
The team received trophies, a banner and each girl got a medal and an InterNational Champion jacket. More than 70 teams competed across all divisions at the event. Four teams competed in the Small-Medium-Traditional Varsity division. QCHS bested that group with a two-minute routine, choreographed by Kelly Sally, a former QCHS cheerleader who now coaches the group along with Kim Oates. The cheerleaders practiced the routine for several months. It included stunts, jumps, tumbling, a cheer and a dance.
“Four of our 20 team members are seniors,” noted Sara Donahue, a senior co-captain. “We came together for one last time and performed a nearly flawless routine. When we looked up and saw we hit every stunt, we knew our chances of winning were good.”
The first day the girls hit the routine and judges handed them mostly positive critiques, which showed them in first place. They felt confident going into the second day of competition.
“When they announced second place and it wasn’t us, we all got excited because we knew we won,” Sara said. “We’ve been going to this competition, as well as other local competitions, for four years and this is the first season we’ve taken first place in any of the competitions. Our seniors and coaches really worked hard this year to produce a winning team.”
Friends and family welcomed the champions home after firetrucks from Quakertown, Milford, Richland Township, Shelly and Trumbauersville guided their bus from the turnpike to the high school.
QCHS, Strayer and Milford jazz bands wow judges and everybody else
What a weekend it was for Quakertown Jazz! The jazz season is coming to a close and the middle and high school groups shared some of their best for last. Joe Santanello, Co-Coordinator of the Music Department, summarized the festivities.
Friday – Our two HS jazz bands, the “Quakertown Jazz Ensemble” and “Joe’s Jazz Café,” attended the Pennridge High School Jazz Festival. “Joe’s Jazz Café” received a rating of Outstanding while the “Jazz Ensemble” received the highest possible rating of Superior. The “Jazz Ensemble” also received the Best Rhythm section award, Best Trumpet section award, and Best Soloist awards for junior Natalie Parker (alto saxophone) and senior Derek Maseloff (piano).
Meanwhile, at the Pennfield Middle School Jazz Festival, out of seven competing bands, the only two bands to receive the highest possible rating of Superior were Milford and Strayer! Milford was awarded Best Saxophone section and 8th grader Kelsie Howlett (alto saxophone) received an Outstanding Solo award. Strayer was awarded Best Trombone section and 7th grader, Sheryll Martutartus (flute) received an Outstanding Solo award. Also, Milford 8th grader, Anthony Awgul (electric bass), was awarded one of two overall Outstanding Musician awards for the night.
Saturday – Both high school jazz bands participated in the QMPO Spaghetti Dinner and had a chance to play with living legend Nelson Hill (saxophone). A wonderful time for all the students and families!
Sunday – The “Quakertown Jazz Ensemble” participated in the Championships of the Steel Stacks Jazz Festival at the Arts Quest Center in Bethlehem. The show was opened by the Steel Stacks All-Star Big Band, featuring exceptional musicians from each of the competing bands. Quakertown seniors David Bonilla-Garcia (trumpet) and Ian Painton (guitar), as well as Natalie Parker (alto saxophone), were included in this honor band. Later in the afternoon, the “Jazz Ensemble” played its set and was crowned the Steel Stacks champion! The “Jazz Ensemble” was also recognized for having the Best Trombone section and Best Saxophone section. Senior Max Claycomb (trombone) and Natalie Parker (alto saxophone) were awarded Best Brass Soloist and Best Reed Soloist respectively and were awarded scholarships to Moravian College’s summer jazz camp. As a result of their championship, the “Jazz Ensemble” will open for the famous Preservation Hall Jazz
Band May 9th at the River Jazz Festival at Steel Stacks.
In other music news, four QCHS students auditioned and gained acceptance to the PMEA All-State Band. Rachel Jesiolowski, William Diffin, Derek Maseloff and Colin Fowler started the process in December and played in the PMEA Region Band Festival in March at Council Rock North High School. The foursome will represent QCHS in the PMEA District 11 at the All-State Festival April 17-20 in Erie.
QCHS Student of the Month
The QCHS and Rotary International Student of the Month for February is Justin Klee. Justin was nominated for the award by several of his teachers. Justin is an outstanding student athlete and excellent role model.
Justin is well liked and well respected by both peers and staff. Teachers describe Justin as “hardworking, dedicated, with a positive attitude, excellent leader and strong role model.” Justin takes all advanced courses with a straight “A” average. He is willing to go above and beyond what is required to achieve excellence. Justin was selected by the guidance department to be 1 of 3 Quakertown students selected to participate in the Lehigh University Outreach Program for High School Scholars.
Justin’s activities include being the captain of the boys’ basketball team, a member of the Key Club service organization as well as helping with the Quakertown Community Halloween Parade. Justin is also an avid hunter and fisherman.
Justin plans to attend Lehigh University in the fall and major in Environmental Engineering.
QCHS Olympian will be inducted in hall of fame
Diane Bracalente attended Quakertown Community High School from 1978 - 1981 and was a multisport athlete. In 1980, during the fall of her senior year, she helped lead the Panthers’ field hockey team to the school’s first state tournament appearance. (Since then, QCHS has fielded only one other field hockey team at the PIAA State Final, in 1986.) It was during the state tournament when Diane realized she could play field hockey while attending college. She was recruited by several universities and decided to play field hockey at Old Dominion University in Virginia. While at ODU, Diane and her teammates won three consecutive
Division I National Championships; she became a two-time All American, and was selected to the All-Tournament Team. Along the way, she secured a spot on the USA National Field Hockey Under-21 Team, moving up to the USA National Team and eventually played in the 1988 Olympics, in Seoul, South Korea!
In April, Diane (Bracalente) Molinaro will be inducted in the Bucks County Sports Hall of Fame. When she first got the call, she was very honored to be considered for such an award. To be part of such a prestigious group is quite humbling. On a lighter note, she thought the honor made her sound very old, or otherwise. “I laughed,” the 49-year-old said. “I thought I was too young. I thought most of the people were honored posthumously. I have great respect for the people who have been inducted before me and I appreciate the people before me who helped the growth of the sport. It’s an honor. They paved the way.”
Diane is now happy to pass along her experiences to motivate others to follow in her footsteps. Invited to speak to current QCHS field hockey players, she arrived recently with daughter Mayv, an 8th grader at Moravian Academy and skilled field hockey player in her own right. They coached the girls through some stick skills in the gym and gave advice on sound field hockey techniques. Diane is still active with the United States Olympic Committee as a Team Ambassador. She handed out Team USA hats at the conclusion of the clinic. The video of their interview and brief clinic can be seen by clicking here.
“Making it to the state tournament [with head coach Becky Swartley] really started opening a variety of doors,” Diane explained. “Even though we were nervous and unprepared for such a high level of play, college coaches were at the tournament and I was recruited by several coaches to play hockey in college. The recruiting rules were different then and most coaches held play days on campus. I was allowed to go to ODU to try out for the team.”
ODU coach Beth Anders, previously a coach at Perkiomen Valley, is the most accomplished player and coach in field hockey history. (She recently retired from ODU after a 30-year tenure.) She played on the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Teams, winning a bronze medal in the ’84 games. Beth was the leading scorer in the ’84 games, knocking in a total of 9 goals for the tournament. In 1985 Beth retired from playing and began coaching the USA National Team. Through several training camps, she selected the most talented athletes, including Diane and three of her teammates from ODU. Diane started at right defense and also played right forward on occasion. In 1986 Beth resigned from coaching the US team and returned to coaching at ODU. Diane and her teammates went on to the Olympics in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea, where the team finished eighth.
Diane said her best memories were the Opening Ceremonies. “Stepping into that stadium with athletes from all over the world, people were world champions and had their own stories. We couldn’t speak to some athletes because of the language barrier, but we used a lot of sign language and hugging. It felt like the United Nations. Everyone respected each other. It was awesome.”
Diane earned her undergraduate degree from ODU and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts in 1992 with a focus in marketing. Following graduation from UMass, Diane began a career in marketing and technical solutions for an enterprise wide computer company called Pinnacle Software. She said the
Olympic experience opened many doors for her outside of sports. She developed confidence as she moved through the U.S. Olympic Development program, the traveling and the networking with players all over the country, with whom she stays in touch. Many of her ODU and Olympic teammates coach at Universities and “work” as ambassadors for the sport. Currently Diane is involved with a few business ventures, working with alternative energy suppliers mostly from China. She also takes her daughter, Mayv, to practices and tournaments with the WC Eagles Club Team and her school team at Moravian Academy. Mayv also participates in the USA Field Hockey’s Futures program with the U14 age group.
“I hope I’ve inherited her athletic ability,” Mayv said before displaying some amazing stick skills on the gym floor. “I don’t feel pressure. I just find her inspiring.”
Diane encouraged the QCHS players to get involved with club teams, and the USA Futures Program in addition to high school play, in order to increase their chances of playing in college and beyond. Many of the current players, coached by Peach Draper, Melinda Lepko and Jim Maiorino, are already playing for a club team. Diane told the girls to make sure they are all-around athletes and in good shape before going to camps and clubs. “The fitter you are, the better you can develop your skill and learn new techniques.” And, she emphasized, “make sure you keep a balance in your life. Besides athletics, you need to do well in school and other activities because you need to be well rounded as a person. Whether you play Division 1, 2 or 3, you need to be able to move on with your life if you get injured and can’t play anymore.”
Diane took a break from the sport for about 20 years and spent a lot of time traveling around the world and rock climbing. But she’s back now, staying very fit, coaching hockey for various club teams. Overall, she is a great ambassador for the sport and for athletic, successful young women.
Students' zombie movie places second at computer fair
QCHS teacher Prakash Patel took six students to the fifth Bucks IU 22 regional computer fair. The trio of Nick Soriano, Mike Sawyer and Wade Van Valkenburgh finished second in the video category for their five-minute fiction movie about a zombie apocalypse, which you can watch by clicking here
Matt Stevens and Cote Haas entered the Computer Programming category as partners while Devaun Geruntho took first place in the same category on his own.
Reporter Hillary Bentman featured the movie trio in her Intelligencer story, which you can read by clicking here
QCHS German students score well on national exam
Two QCHS students will attend an awards ceremony at the Canstatter Volksfest Verein in Philadelphia on April 27 because they scored well on the National German Exam. They will also be invited to meet with a panel of German teachers and professors for the possibility of winning a trip to Germany this summer, awarded by the National American Association of Teachers of German.
Sydney Dickson, a junior, placed for the second year in a row. Now a German Honors 3 student, she scored 94 out of 100. Magdalena Dammer, a second year German Honors student, also scored 94. They earned Gold Level status. Sydney hopes to win a trip to Germany but even if she doesn’t, she wants to figure out a way to go so she can visit relatives. She will host a German exchange student through the Friendship Connection program from March 13-April 10. Maggie said she is not interviewing for the trip because she is already going to Germany this summer with a scout troupe.
A total of 14 QCHS students took the test, paying for their own entry fees. Frau Jodi Alderfer said their scores were higher than any previous local test takers. “I don’t prepare them for the test,” Frau Alderfer said. “They do it on their own. It’s a lot of vocabulary and grammar. Students who are pretty good with those two things are the ones who want to take the test. Like most World Language teachers, I choose to focus on broader aspects of the language, like culture and writing to or blogging with e-partners, rather than focus so much on grammar to teach to the test.”
Erica Schmidlechner, an Honors Level 2 student, and Alyssa Clymer, Honors 3, also scored well. They finished at the Silver and Bronze levels, respectively.
QCHS students who earned Certificates of Achievement were Meranda Weathers (Honors 3); Kate Robeson-Grubb (Honors 2); Hosanna Mullen (Honors 2); Frederick Dickson (Level 2); Lydia Stepanoff (Honors 2); Emily Hamrick (Honors 2); and Julia Henke (Honors 2). Certificates of Participation went to Alexis Griffith (Level 2); Heather Oeltjen-Bruns (Honors 2); and Ava Haekler (Honors 4).
“Their scores are reported as SAT equivalent as well so that college administrators can understand them,” Frau Alderfer said. “It looks good on their resumes for college entry. At the award ceremony, they can win cash prizes and one student will be awarded the 3-week trip to Germany. The Philadelphia panel of German teachers and professors will interview them but ultimately the national association decides who goes on the trip.”
Sydney explained that the test had 40 listening questions and 60 written questions. She scored a 98 last year and said the test increased in difficulty this year. She took the level 3 exam this year and the level 2 exam last year. When her German exchange student arrives, she plans to take her to New York City and Washington, D.C. She will also compete at the Delaware Valley Deutschfest while her visitor is here, and both will attend the weekend event in March. Sydney wants to show her guest some typical American activities.
Alyssa said her experience in German language class has afforded her opportunities to speak to German-speaking students online, as e-pals. She plans a career in biomedical science and believes the German will help her.
Rotary raises funds to purchase more Nooks for QCSD
Seven members of the Quakertown Rotary arrived with a large check in hand to donate $3,000 to QCSD so the technology department can order more Nooks for the elementary school libraries.
A year ago, the Rotary raised enough money for QCSD to purchase 36 Nooks. Students loved the electronic readers. Rotary member George Chambers, who spearheaded the project, said this year’s donation is the “second phase.” The money allows for the purchase of 42 more Nooks. Chambers and QCSD Technology Director Tom Murray praised the partnership between the district and the Rotary.
Other members of the Rotary who joined the presentation of the check were Douglas Donigian, Bill Tuszynski, Todd Baringer, Kyle Smith, Keith Mayer and Bob Moffett.
QCSD students fare well at TSA regional event
Dozens of QCSD middle and high school students competed in the Region 5 Conference of the Pennsylvania TSA (Technology Student Association), held at Strayer Middle School. Winners advance to the State Conference, in mid-April, at Seven Springs Resort in Champion, PA.
First place winners from each school were:
Milford - Grant Hunsberger, Matt Johnson, Techno Talk Team B, Brice Susavage, Joshua Bibighaus and Trevor Fowler.
Strayer - Benjamin Ocamb.
QCHS – Amanda Hunsberger, Mark Doman, Matthew Cornelius and Team A Video Game Design.
Students also represented the Freshman Center and placed from second to 10th. You can read all the results, by school, by clicking here.
QCHS student receives Congressional nomination to West Point
QCHS senior Dan Frasch received a congressional nomination to assist in his efforts to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Dan received a certificate at an official ceremony recently with Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and members of the interview selection committees.
“I’m still waiting to hear from the academy, but I’m hoping to receive an appointment sometime in the near future,” Dan said. “The step in the process is one that most other high school seniors don’t have to endure in order to attend the college of their choice. The interview committee consisted of about eight individuals with military and West Point backgrounds. It was a tremendous honor to be selected by the congressman.”
In the interview, Dan told the panel about his extra-curricular activities, which include Treasurer of the QCHS National Honor Society, editor of Key Club, football, church altar serving, and volunteering at the Upper Bucks YMCA. He explained his academic career achievements. He has taken AP and honors courses throughout high school.
“I want to go to the military academy because it has one of the greatest engineering departments in the world and I want to be a part of something more than myself. I want to be a part of the brotherhood that is the U.S. Army. I was inspired to go there by my friend Tim Dunn, who attended West Point and played football for the Army Black Knights.”
Jody Evans posts fast time in winning state gold
Senior Jody Ann Evans captured the 60-meter dash for the second year in a row at the Indoor Track Championships at Penn State University. Her time of 7.47 was the best time of the year in Pennsylvania and third best in the country! Jody Ann has been undefeated in the 60 over the last two years. She also finished 3rd in the 200 meter dash.
“It didn’t surprise me that my time was third best in the country,” Jody Ann said. “I feel like if I could run against the No. 1 and No. 2, I could run better. They would push me. There were a lot of freshmen and sophomores in the race at Penn State."
Jody Ann teamed with Meredith Vandegrift, Neketa Woodson and Jasmine Korr to finish 13th in the 4 x 200 relay. Lauren Suelke finished 12th in the triple jump.
Jody Ann said she wants to win the 100 and 200-meter sprints at the PIAA Championships in May. She will compete in the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet March 8-10 at the Armory in New York City. She hasn’t signed for a scholarship yet, but she is hoping to run at the University of Pittsburgh next year. Sister Alicia ran in the Big 10 Championships for Michigan State and qualified for nationals.
QCHS senior accepts scholarship to run Division 1 track
Signing a letter of intent to attend a university on an athletic scholarship often draws a serious crowd to a serious event. This week, the good natured Korr family drew good natured fans and coaches to the QCHS library, where Jasmine signed a letter of intent to run track at Division 1 Towson University next year. The group watched Jasmine sign her name, then spent time sharing warm wishes and one-line jokes that kept the session lively.
Tom Brader, Indoor Track Coach, pointed to the document and said, “That is the result of hard work and dedication and a refusal to give up. Jasmine trained on her own in the morning and at night and in the 100-degree heat. She has a lot of heart and desire to be a great athlete. The scholarship is testament to who she is as a person, as an athlete and as a fantastic student. Towson is lucky to get Jasmine.”
Jason Anderson, Outdoor Track Coach, said, “Congratulations to Jasmine and her parents. This is fantastic for Quakertown and our season hasn’t even begun. It’s great to have Jasmine for one more season to lead the young girls. She’s someone who sees the big picture. She’s a fantastic success story.”
The humble Jasmine deferred speaking to her mother, Monica, who explained that Jasmine started getting letters from college coaches at the end of her junior year. At first she heard from Division 2 coaches. She visited a few campuses before visiting Towson, where she met with Coach Roger Erricker. “She liked the atmosphere of the place and the academics,” Monica said. “It’s not a huge party school. She liked the diversity and the coaching style.”
Jasmine said Erricker’s style is like the QCHS coaching style, “laid back.” Assistant coaches Kate Auckland and Ashley Guenst also attended the ceremony.
Steve Korr, Jasmine’s father, said that from a parent’s perspective, the Quakertown and Towson coaches know how to balance what’s important for athletes. “They’re supportive, encouraging and they keep it fun.”
Jasmine’s older brother Tim played football at QCHS before heading for studies at Liberty University. He will teach in Baltimore after he graduates in May, so he will live near Jasmine. Jasmine said she may have inherited some athletic ability from her father, a 6-foot-9 basketball player at Pennridge and Shippensburg.
Jasmine said, “He tries to run with me,” but Steve said the speed came from Monica, who was a cheerleader at Upper Bucks Christian School.
“My parents pushed me to challenge myself,” Jasmine said. “This spring I want to try for a PR [personal record] but I see myself enjoying the season and pushing the young girls.”
Monica noted, “Jasmine has been surrounded by a great group of quality girls. They’ve built strong relationships.”
Junior signs letter of intent to play soccer at St. Joseph’s University
Shannon Gibat is a QCHS junior. She recently accepted a full scholarship to St. Joseph’s University to play Division 1 soccer. She’s only a junior!
“I’m so relieved I committed to St. Joe’s,” Shannon said. “Now I can sit back and enjoy the rest of high school. I can’t explain how happy and thankful I am.”
Sit back and enjoy may mean something different to Shannon than to others. She proudly and humbly maintains straight As in AP and honors classes. She hopes to become a veterinarian someday, but will major in either biotechnology or biological engineering. Until then, she plans to continue scoring a lot of goals as a forward. “Scoring goals is the best part of the game,” she said.
St. Joe’s coach Jess Reynolds has watched Shannon score goals for a few years. Mike Cook has coached QCHS girls’ soccer for three years. He also coaches the TS (Train Sundays) United Club, based in Hatboro-Horsham. Shannon and Emily Galluppi play for his club team as well as school team. Cook invited his good friend, Coach Reynolds, to watch his team play at a couple of tournaments. The team is regularly invited to play at high level tournaments in Florida, and Virginia, where college coaches from all over scout the talent. Emily is going to play at Misericordia University next year.
“I first started playing when I was 3 years old, on the T-shirt team,” Shannon said. “I slowly moved up to travel and premier teams. I’ve played for TS United, which is the No. 1 team in PA, and FC Elite. I’ve been recruited by coaches since I was in 8th grade. Most seriously I talked to coaches from Mercyhurst, Lake Erie, Drexel and Villanova. I went for a day visit and then an overnight visit at St. Joe’s and I really liked it. Coach Reynolds gave me two weeks to accept or decline her offer. I really like the campus and the team is really good. I got along well with the players and the coach, so I’m excited to take on a scholarship role.”
QCHS seniors who have committed to playing softball in college next year are Emily Reis, at Washington and Jefferson College; and Jessica Cramp, softball, at Indiana University of PA.
QCHS wrestlers advance to regional tournament
Two QCHS wrestlers will compete this weekend in the District 1 Regionals after placing first and second last weekend in the District 1 Championships. Junior Collyn Dorney grabbed gold in the 106 weight class and senior Tyler Seislove was second at 138. Freshman teammate Gavin Caroff placed 4th.
The wrestling team won the Suburban One League Championship, which Coach Kurt Handel said was remarkable because the team started with a 1-7 record. The Panthers wound up 9-2. They’ve won five of the last six league titles. “So the tradition continues,” Handel said.
Tyler has 99 career wins under his belt. He hopes to reach 100 and beyond at the regional event. Next year he will attend Penn State main campus to major in aerospace engineering but will not wrestle.
Handel was named Coach of the Year for the Continental Conference in the Suburban One League. Wrestlers who finish in the top three spots in their weight class advance to the PIAA State Tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Quakertown-based UBHCHY advocates garner honors at national conference
Lee Rush, Executive Director of justCommunity, Inc., based in Quakertown, received the 2013 National Advocate of the Year Award recently in Washington, D.C. for his anti-drug work with the Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth (UBHCHY) Coalition. Lee received the award during the 23rd Annual National CADCA Leadership Forum. UBHCHY conducts a bi-annual youth survey with 8th, 10th and 12th grade students measuring the level of the 40 Developmental Assets. The results are published in the form of the Upper Bucks Student Support (available at www.ubhchy.org
). The Support Card shows teen attitudes and behaviors, framed as assets, about drugs, alcohol and other topics.
“This is a feather in the cap of our current 9th grade students,” said Ray Fox of UBHCHY. “The most recent results show less alcohol and drug use than at any time since we started the survey.”
Since 1992, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) has been training local grassroots groups, known as community anti-drug coalitions, in effective community problem-solving strategies, teaching them how to assess their local substance abuse-related problems and develop a comprehensive plan to address them. Today, CADCA is the nation’s leading drug abuse prevention organization, representing the interests of more than 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions in the country.
The UBHCHY Coalition was selected and recognized in the 2007 National Drug Control Strategy as a model coalition thanks to its early adoption of a social norms campaign promoting drug free behavior. Lee is a certified trainer for the International Institute for Restorative Practices, the world’s first graduate school dedicated solely to Restorative Practices. He also serves on the board of directors for the International Bullying Prevention Association. He served as the Executive Director of the National Student Assistance Association (NSAA) from 1995 to 2008. Lee was instrumental in helping to cultivate Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick into a champion for the coalition field and the Drug Free Communities program specifically. Lee is a tireless advocate for the substance abuse prevention field.
At the Washington conference, Lee was honored in front of 2,500 other leaders from across the U.S. Congressman Fitzpatrick was also presented the Congressional Leadership Award for 2013 as a "champion" on Capitol Hill for his support in the anti-drug efforts in Bucks County and the nation. Senator Bob Casey also received a similar award.
In addition, Bucks County received a national award for its Drug Take Back Program. Ray initiated the idea with the Drug Take Back Boxes and a new physician's letter recently implemented. The group presented a workshop during the national conference designed to teach others how to do Drug Take Back the way the coalition does it in Bucks County. “We now have 23 permanent drop boxes and have collected over 8 tons of drugs during 5 Drug Take Back Days,” Ray said.
The next Drug Take Back Day is April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Quakertown and Richland Township Police Departments will be participating. The Quakertown Police Department houses a permanent drop-off box.
QCHS wrestler featured on sports website
QCHS senior Tyler Seislove is a highlighted athlete this week on the Suburban One Sports website. The hardworking student-athlete excels in the wrestling room and classroom.
In the story, QCHS wrestling coach Kurt Handel said, “This year he’s a leader by example in the practice room – working hard and pushing the guys. He’s really a pretty quiet kid, and he’s such a nice young man. He’s so polite, he’s so kind, and he’s so respectful.”
Tyler’s father is Milford technology teacher Dan Seislove. You can read the whole story by clicking here
QCHS student named UBCTS Student of the Month
QCHS senior Stephanie White was named the Student of the Month for January at the Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS). Stephanie has been enrolled in the Health Care Careers program for three years.
The Health Care Careers curriculum has allowed her to participate in clinical experiences at Doylestown Hospital, Grand View Hospital, Belle Haven, Lutheran Community at Telford and Rockhill Mennonite Community.
Stephanie has maintained an “A” average in the Health Care Careers program since her sophomore year and has earned her Nurse Aide Certification, CPR/First Aid and Bloodeborne Pathogens Certifications. She is currently completing a Pharmacy Technician Certification program offered as part of her Health Care Careers program. She also competed in the 2012 District SkillsUSA competition and placed second in Medical Math.
Upon graduation, Stephanie plans to attend Gwynedd-Mercy College with the goal ofbecoming a registered nurse.
Enrollment in the Health Care Careers program offers UBCTS students the opportunity to study Anatomy & Physiology, Medical Terminology, Nursing and Medical Assisting. Students earn certifications in CPR, First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens, and Pharmacy Technician.
QCHS sophomore sets up Relay for Life fundraiser
QCHS sophomoreAmanda Hafler has been spending a lot of time shopping for Vera Bradley bags. But not for her own use. Hafler has been busy selecting and purchasing the popular fabric bags for her senior graduation project, a bingo fundraiser to benefit The Upper Bucks Relay for Life, a program of the American Cancer Society.
“In today’s economy, fundraising is difficult. Most people don’t have a lot of disposable income. This year, I tried to think of a fun way for people to support Relay for Life,” said Amanda, a 3-year team captain and a 2-year member of the Planning Committee of the Upper Bucks Relay. “I decided to organize a bingo event with Vera Bradley bags as prizes.”
Representing her own Relay team, Amanda is working with members of another team, the Care Bears for Cancer, to host the event scheduled for Sunday, March 10, 1:00 p.m. at the Milford Township Fire Hall. “The Care Bears do so much for Relay. They organize and run the Survivor Breakfast on the day of Relay as well as running their team stand,” said Amanda.
Barbara Hafler,Amanda’s mother, sees it another way. “I see this as a great learning opportunity for my daughter. By teaming up with the Care Bears, Amanda will see first-hand the importance of working effectively with others to make a successful event happen.”
An added bonus is the involvement of the Upper Bucks Senior Activity Center, housed in the MilfordTownship Fire Hall. Members will offer the food concessions on the day of the bingo event as a fundraiser for programs of the Senior Center. “I’m really happy about that. Not only will this event benefit Relay for Life, but it will also help out the senior citizens of our community,” Amanda said.
The Vera Bradley Bingo to Benefit the Upper Bucks Relay for Life offers 20 games of bingo, raffles, a Chinese auction, and door prizes. Each bingo game will feature a different Vera Bradley bag. Even “tie” prizes are Vera Bradley products! Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be available. Advance tickets are $20. Tickets at the door are $25. For more information, or to get tickets, call 215-538-7817 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To see all of the prizes, like us on Facebook: Vera Bradley Bingo to Benefit the Upper Bucks Relay for Life.
(Read an update on a headline page all its own at www.qcsd.org.)
Dr. Lisa Andrejko, Superintendent, and Tom Murray, Technology and Cyber Program Director, will be interviewed, live on camera, during the Feb. 6 Digital Learning Day internet broadcast. The two will travel to Washington, D.C., along with Freshman Center teacher Dan Wallace, to participate in the Town Hall.
The Alliance for Excellent Education created a video of QCSD technology initiatives in December. After the segment is aired, the two will be interviewed. Wallace will teach a lesson in the morning to a group of people in town for the event. He will not be broadcast. You can watch the QCSD-TV video of that video experience by clicking here
Digital Learning Day is in its second year. As of January 29, 20,000 educators had signed up for Digital Learning Day activities, and partnerships doubled since last year: 44 states are participating this year, compared to 28 in 2012, and 50 partner companies and organizations are participating this year, up from 25 last year.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will join Digital Learning Day organizers for a morning demonstration of five digital learning lesson plans. Special guest speaker Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer for the White House, will be at Digital Learning Day’s annual Town Hall meeting as well.
“The success of last year is certainly one of the reasons why the event has grown, since a lot of partners and schools said they found out about the new event too late and they knew to participate this year,” said Sara Hall, director of Digital Learning & Policy for the Alliance for Excellent Education, “but also because we led with instruction and good instructional practice last year, and this is a keystone for DLD.”
Hall said that Digital Learning Day makes sure to focus on teachers and what they need—specifically, not adding technology as yet another layer to instruction, but learning how to integrate technology in order to transform classroom practice. Because of this, many teachers have led grassroots movements this year, letting peers and school leaders know about Digital Learning Day.
QCHS-UBCTS students impressive at skills competition
More than 400 students from five technical schools in Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe and Upper Bucks counties competed in the SkillsUSA District 11 Championships in Allentown. Gold medalists advance to the April 3-5 state event in Hershey. A win there would mean a return trip to Nationals, June 23-28 in Kansas City, Mo.
A total of 42 QCHS-UBCTS students competed. Amanda Werst, a junior Law Enforcement student, placed first in First Aid/CPR. The Team Works crew of junior Cody Weisel (mason), and seniors Ryan Weisel (carpenter), Rhett Shewell (plumber) and Kent Ridge (Palisades electrician) captured first place. You can read more about them and see other photos in the February 8 QCommuniqué.
Second place QCHS-UBCTS results:
Dylan King, junior,Technology (Automated Manufacturing Technology)
Victoria Roeder, junior; Taylor Bauman, sophomore; Brandon Bednar, sophomore, all Law Enforcement, in Crime Scene Investigation.
Jon Killaly, senior, Cabinetmaking in Job Interview.
Amanda Weaver, senior, Health Care Careers, in Medical Assisting
Shawna Hoke, junior, Megan Troxell, senior, Chelsea Bradford, senior, Tammy Kinnon, senior, Krystal Borowski, senior, all Cosmetology, in Opening Closing Ceremonies Team.
Third place QCHS-UBCTS results:
Nikki Bianco, senior, Health Care Careers, in Basic Health Care Skills.
Danya Standish, senior, Baking, in Commercial Baking.
Amanda Hillegass, junior, Auto Collision, in Extemporaneous Speaking.
Citara Davies, senior, Health Care Careers, in Medical Terminology.
Angela Roloson, senior, Cosmetology, in Nail Care.
Grace Hartzell, sophomore, Diesel Technology, in Prepared Speech.
QCHS contributes to American Cancer Society
The QCHS athletic department recently participated in the Suburban One Challenge Coaches vs. Cancer. The girls’ team hosted Springfield and Hatboro played Upper Dublin in a boys’ game. Spectators put donations in a jar and the QCHS teams added $1 for every $5 donated. QCHS Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs sent $234 to the American Cancer Society.
Milford TSA donates to food pantry
The Milford Technology Student Association (TSA) has been collecting food monthly to donate to the Milford Food Pantry as one of the chapter’s service projects. John Leister, Milford TSA Advisor, and Haley van den Burg, Milford TSA Chapter President, received a “Certificate of Appreciation” from John Kunes, Milford Square Volunteer Coordinator for the Milford Food Pantry. TSA has donated more than 562 pounds of non-perishable food to the food bank so far this year. Student Hailey van den Burg holds the certificate.
Buy tickets to support a nursing scholarship
Every year the Certified School Nurse Association awards three $1,000 scholarships to students interested in the nursing profession. To qualify, students must be a senior in a Bucks County school, complete an application form, and compose a letter.
Raffle tickets are available to support the cause. Bridget Oppenheim, Trumbauersville Elementary School Nurse, has tickets to sell. You can contact her at email@example.com
, or 215-529-2559. The deadline for ticket sales is the first week in March. All the nurses have the Angel of the Sea Bed & Breakfast Raffle tickets available to sell at each school.
“Our nurses have participated in this for many years,” Bridget said. “We are making a difference, one scholarship at a time.”
Of the four scholarships awarded in the 2011-2012 school year, QCHS student Joyce Whittaker was a recipient. She was headed to Wilkes University.
Current seniors who plan to become a registered nurse may wish to apply. They can get an application by going to http://www.csnabc.org/
and by speaking to the school nurse or guidance department staff members. The deadline is March 1. Finalists will be interviewed by the scholarship committee, which consists of school nurses from several schools in Bucks County.
In the photo above, QCHS/UBCTS health care students competed in the Skills/USA District 11 event June 30 in Allentown.
QCHS Student of the Month
The QCHS and Rotary International Student of the Month for December is Hannah Swearingen. Hannah was nominated for the award by several of her teachers. Hannah is an outstanding member of the senior class with a passion for helping others.
Hannah is an incredibly gifted student with outstanding grades and she exhibits exceptional work ethic. She currently has a 4.0 grade point average and continues to go above and beyond what is expected. Hannah is a very mature young lady with a true enthusiasm for learning.
Hannah has been a dedicated student manager for both the football and wrestling teams. She has been an integral part of organizing the wrestling team’s senior night festivities. In addition to her countless hours of being a team manager, Hannah is an officer in the local National Honor Society, vice president of the German Club and has been a national level competitor in TSA (Technology Student Association).
Outside of school, Hannah is very active with her church youth group and works at the Kuman Learning Center as a math and reading tutor.
Hannah plans to attend Centre College (Kentucky) in the fall and major in Behavior Neuroscience.
QCHS volleyball team presents check
The QCHS girls’ volleyball team recently presented a check for $3,491.70 to doctors and administrators at St. Luke’s Hospital. Led by senior Meghan Lopes, the girls raised the money during their Dig Pink campaign in October. They raised an additional $2,000, which they put into a scholarship fund for a QCHS student.
After the photo session, St. Luke’s Director of Business Development Mark Springer told Meghan, “When you do things like this, it inspires the doctors.”
Seven team members shook hands with doctors who can help patients with breast cancer. On hand for the ceremony were Joseph Pinto, Vice President of Oncology Services; Dr. A. Asim Ali, Physician of Hematology; hospital President John Sylvia; Dr. Darius C. Desca, Surgical Oncology; and Kathy Ranson, Vice President of Patient Services.
Volleyball coaches Wendy Snyder and Lisa Cravener joined the girls, along with QCHS Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs.
Varsity team members who raised the money were seniors Ava Haekler, Jessica and Sarah Hunsberger, Alyssa Moore and Colette Todd; juniors Autumn Bolton, Liana Buonanno and Sabrina Lee; sophomores Amanda Pursel, Haley Sheehan, Jennifer Sterner and freshman Lindsay Beck.
Jayvee team members were Jordan Schan, Erica Schmidlechner, Taylor Snisky, Katelyn Spieker, Meredith Vandegrift, Kerry Vanyo, Brooke Winter, Beth Anne Caldwell, Skylar Lee, Maddie O’Camb, Casey Cuncane and Kelsey Gallagher.
Freshmen team members were Sara Townsend, Alyssa Wilkson, Lindsay Cummings, Allison Sterner, TroiAnn Gerhart, Barbara Grossov, Kat Rodenbach, Carlie Rader, Brynne Stone and Jamie Dettery.
Senior selected to represent QCHS at scholar athlete event
Senior Shelly Cowan represented Quakertown Community High School at the recent Lehigh Valley Soccer Scholar Athlete Banquet at Northampton Community Center. The nominees from each school were selected by their coaches and school administration. Students were selected based on 40 percent academic achievement; 40% athletic ability; and 20% extracurricular activities.
The overall winners at the banquet were Bethlehem Catholic’s Bridget Smith and Moravian Academy’s Alec Talsania. A year ago, Jake Barlow of QCHS was the top male soccer scholar athlete, announced at the banquet.
Shelly is a State and National level competitor in TSA (Technology Student Association), helps to tutor students in and out of school and mentors special needs students in the Best Buddies program.
Shelly plans to attend college in the fall to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine. Her top choice is North Carolina State.
QCHS art teacher honored
QCHS art teacher and Art Department Chairperson Amy Migliore recently received an award from Kutztown University for Outstanding Community Involvement and Advocacy for Project Innovate. Mrs. Migliore and the QCSD art teachers are gearing up for the 2013 edition of Project Innovate, which will involve many more schools than last year in the recycled fashion show.
New white boards make the learning easier!
Quakertown Elementary’s PIE (Parents in Education) purchased 200 individual white boards for students to use in several classrooms. They replaced boards that had been marked and erased hundreds, perhaps thousands of times, and could no longer be erased clearly. Students and teachers love the new boards!
QCHS cheerleaders win a big competition
The QCHS cheerleading squad won the Plymouth Whitemarsh Cheer Competition Jan. 12. The girls placed first in the large varsity division and won the Grand Champs trophy for receiving the highest score in all the varsity divisions. You can watch a video of the team soon on QCSD-TV News.
QCHS musicians ready to play with select band
Six QCHS students will play with the PMEA select band this month. They were selected from 650 students representing 40 Bucks and Montgomery County schools.
Rachel Jesiolowski, Josh Delk, Will Diffin, Derek Maseloff, Max Claycomb and Colin Fowler will be playing with the Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association band. Altogether, 13 QCHS students auditioned Dec. 8.
Frank Parker, QCHS Band Director, said the state organization runs a “great music festival system.” He said the PMEA selections have been taking private lessons for at least four years, practice daily, and in general, love music.
“Graduates of our program stop in to see us for our Christmas and spring concerts,” Parker said. “They speak highly of how their PMEA experience helped them learn how to work hard, sequence and budget their time. Many have gone on to play in their college wind ensembles, marching bands and jazz groups. A few major in music, some are currently teaching in other districts.”
QCHS student revels in star's limelight
QCHS senior Kylie Clowney jumped in to take her picture with Mark Wahlberg in Philadelphia Tuesday night before the advance screening of his new film, Broken City, at the Prince Music Theater in Center City. ABC-6 also took Kylie’s photo with Mark and video ran on the news.
QCHS Student of the Month
The Quakertown Community High School and Rotary International Student of the Month for November is Thomas Swope. Thomas was nominated for this award by several of his teachers and coaches. Thomas is an outstanding student athlete and all around good person.
Thomas is a dedicated and motivated student athlete. He excels in the classroom and currently ranks in the top 2% of his graduating class while taking Honors and Advanced Placement classes. According to his teachers, Thomas’ work is completed with precision and detail no matter the size of the assignment. Excellence also follows Thomas onto the soccer field and track. This past season he was selected captain of the soccer team and voted All-League by the Suburban One League soccer coaches.
Thomas’ good work does not stop at school. He is a member of his church youth group, which actively participates in missions around the country to help people in need. Thomas is a great role model and leader by example.
Thomas plans to attend college in the fall to pursue a degree in Environmental Engineering.
QCHS student named Student of the Month at UBCTS
Carter Stein, a senior from Quakertown Community High School, has been named Student of the Month for December at the Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS). Carter has been enrolled in the Plumbing & Heating Technology program for three years.
Carter is consistently receives First Honors at UBCTS. In addition, he received a perfect attendance award and the Outstanding Level II Plumbing student during the 2011-2012 school year. Carter serves as the SkillsUSA Treasurer and recently attended the SkillsUSA Professional Development Conference. He will compete in the upcoming SkillsUSA District 11 Action Skills event.
Upon graduation, Carter plans to attend the Pennsylvania College of Technology and major in Heating & Air Conditioning. He then plans to pursue an apprenticeship position and obtain his master plumber’s license.
QE teacher saluted by student, mother and radio station
Quakertown Elementary teacher Steve Wysocki heard on the radio that he had been named a teacher of the month before he received an email from DJ Mike Kelly.
“I heard it while I was getting ready for school!” said Mr. Wysocki. “I said, ‘WHAT?!’”
Student Megan Bloss and her mother, Rhonda, submitted Wysocki’s name to the B104 Teacher Salute Program. The Lehigh Valley radio station’s website asks, “Do you have a teacher that has touched your life or the life of your child? Why not nominate them below for the B104 Teacher Salute!”
One teacher is selected on the first Friday of every month, from October to May. Last year, now retired Milford math teacher Bruce Knauss was honored.
“Why not honor teachers?” Kelly asked after serving Little Caesar’s pizza to Wysocki’s students last week in the QE library. “They are everyday heroes.”
Wysocki received a $250 gift certificate to Meera Salon & Day Spa. Students suggested he get a mud pack and cucumbers on his eyes.
In the nomination, Megan and Rhonda wrote, “Mr. Wysocki makes learning fun and rewarding for the kids. He encourages them to be in charge of their own learning. He plays the piano for them and sings with them and they love it! My daughter has so much excitement about learning and loves to go to school. Mr. Wysocki has a definite talent for working with young kids. It’s easy to see how much he enjoys his job.”
QCHS students care about others!
QCHS National Honor Society cares! Part of the NHS code requires students to volunteer and help the community. So the local group raised money by selling tickets to the Homecoming Dance in October. Led by Vice President Matt Basile, the members decided to give a large chunk of the money raised to Quakertown Cares.
“Quakertown Cares helps families with meals and gifts during the holiday season,” said Sarah Post, President.
Former QCSD Assistant Superintendent Dr. James Newcomer volunteers with Quakertown Cares. He said, “Cares really appreciates the NHS donation. The students deserve recognition.”
Pictured above are Basile, Post, Hannah Swearingen, Dan Frasch, Nathan Flath and Leah Kaighn.
Overall, the Quakertown Cares/QCSD Holiday Campaign raised $10,700. QCSD schools and others “adopted” 84 families. A total of 199 families with 420 children received help.
Dr. Newcomer noted that Quakertown Cares distributes funds throughout the school year. “Our partnership with QCSD for the holiday campaign has been a real success. The larger Cares campaign annually raises an additional $40,000, which it distributes to our neighbors in need who live within the school district's boundaries: Senior citizens, veterans, families with school-aged children or Head Start, including homeless children and youth.”
He also noted that QCSD was one of the founding members of Quakertown Cares (about 1995) when Dr. Newcomer was the district's Director of Pupil Personnel Services. The town's newspaper at the time, The Free Press, was the catalyst for the founding. Other entities were QNB, Hutchinson, Gillahan & Freeh (accounting firm), the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, veterans groups, and the Quakertown Senior Center. The steering committee has retained four of the original members. Kirsten Cochran, QCSD Social Worker, is a key member of our Quakertown Cares Committee. And the Bucks County Herald helps with free publicity.
“We have no office, no paid staff, no expenses, so every dollar goes directly to our neighbors in need,” said Dr. Newcomer.
For more information or to send a donation, click here
for the Quakertown Cares flyer.
QCHS-UBCTS students will work and compete at Farm Show in Harrisburg
The Upper Bucks County Technical School Animal Technology program will work and compete at the 97th annual Pennsylvania Farm Show from January 4-8, 2013. Animal Technology teacher Mary Miller-Ettwein will chaperone 13 students to the event for the 33rd year. UBCTS is the only school in the state to be hired to work at the show. Hired students will pen animals, work at the auction block and be runners for the show organizers. Students will also show their goats, lambs and pigs at the show. The animals live on campus at UBCTS and are cared for by their student sponsors. The animals do not return to UBCTS and are sold at auction.
QCHS students Samantha Murphy, Lauren McChesney and Caroline Sodano will market goats with two students from Pennridge and one from Palisades. Ashleigh Kimak will market lambs with two Pennridge teammates. Shana Dunbar will work with three Pennridge teammates as student workers.
The theme for the 2013 Farm Show is “Made in PA-It Makes A Difference” and expects more than 400,000 people to attend the largest indoor agricultural event in the country. There are 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits at the event. The show pays tribute to the state’s number one industry-agriculture and the products made and grown in Pennsylvania.
The Animal Technology program is an animal science course covering scientific principles in large and small animal production, breeding, selection, nutrition and management. Students participate in supervised agricultural experiences where proper handling, health care and breed identification are learned in our active large and small animal facilities. The student organization, FFA (Future Farmers of America), provides students the opportunity to develop leadership skills among peers and community.
Strayer student runs fast and far!
Nolan Pernia is only 12 but has already run in a national cross country meet and a 26.2-mile marathon! The Strayer Middle School seventh grader placed 174th in the Dec. 9 USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Junior National Cross Country Meet in Albuquerque, N.M. He placed 174th in the boys’ 3k race with a time of 12:14, competing with 11 and 12-year-old boys from all over the country. Nolan qualified to run at nationals by placing first at the Mid-Atlantic Association qualifying meet at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia on Nov. 3rd and placing 10th in the Region 2 qualifier in North Chili, NY on Nov. 18th. The regional race included runners from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.
“I just like to run,” Nolan told QCSD-TV News. You can watch a video about him by clicking here
Nolan has been running since he was 7. He watched his mother, Heidi (McAdams Pernia), run in road races and felt compelled to join her. She said she has been running competitively for 30 years and wins many age group and master’s awards. She grew up in Western PA and didn’t realize her talent until after high school. “No one ever really encouraged me,” she said.
Now Heidi coaches Nolan. He joined her and an uncle in running his first marathon when they entered the September Wineglass Marathon in Corning, N.Y. Nolan was the youngest entry and Heidi had to get special permission for him to run it. He finished in 3 hours and 50 minutes.
Experienced runners might question whether or not it is sound for a 12-year-old to run a marathon. Heidi has a degree in Exercise Physiology and is an emergency room nurse. She trained with famous exercise physiologist and coach Jack Daniels. So she is training Nolan with plenty of scientific research. He said his legs hurt after the marathon but he has not had any long-lasting injures. He is also a USTA tournament level tennis player.
“After he ran his first 5K at 7 years old, I realized that he not only had potential, he had the mentality and the mindset of a runner and truly enjoyed it,” Heidi said. “His running often seemed effortless and the look of enjoyment and excitement on his face was apparent. From there it just evolved to the point where he was running nearly every race I did and wanted to tackle bigger and bigger things.”
Between running gigs, Nolan is a Distinguished Honor Roll student. He plans to run track for Strayer in the spring. Brother Zach, 11, also plays tennis, so the sports are a family affair.
Pfaff students collect goods for United Way
Fourth graders in Mrs. Lisa Gridley’s class at Pfaff Elementary School collected items for United Way of Bucks County. They packed a van and United Way volunteers will distribute the blankets, clothes and toys to families that need them. United Way posted a video to youtube. You can click here
to watch it.
Exciting connections link QCSD to space and national broadcast
In connection with the Digital Day of Learning filming that occurred in QCSD Monday and Tuesday, students in Dan Wallace’s Astronomy class visited via teleconference with a former astronaut. The Link to Learn crew who provided the live feed produced a video and posted it to youtube. You can watch the video by clicking here
The story about how QCSD was involved in the Digital Day of Learning preparation is featured in the Dec. 21 QCommuniqué, which you can access by going back to the main webpage.
Community raises funds to help families in need
Once again, the Quakertown community has stepped up to help its members in need, who will be helped for the holidays through the Quakertown Cares organization. Kirsten Cochran, QCSD Social Worker, said, “It is hard to quantify in dollar numbers the exact amount of help that was provided to our families, but here are some numbers.”
QCSD staff and students raised $5,700. The Dec. 8 Quakertown Cares Breakfast served 100 families and raised $600. Total monetary donations and gift cards amounted to $10,700. There were also several hundreds of dollars in gift cards given out by those who “adopted” families or participated in the Giving Trees at various schools. Schools and others “adopted” 84 families. A total of 199 families with 420 children received help.
Organizations that participated were Sertoma; Synergis; Revivals restaurant; Shop with a Cop (local Quakertown police took students on a shopping spree at Walmart); and the Angel Program. The Richland Softball Association donated $1,000 in gift cards; the QCHS National Honor Society donated $1,000; and the Quakertown Neighborhood Association donated $570.
First graders collect supplies for animals
Students in first grades at Pfaff Elementary decided to do a service project in lieu of teacher gifts. Students and their families gathered materials for Animals in Distress of Center Valley. Students packed the trunk of teachers' cars with towels, bones, cat and dog toys and food, newspapers, buckets. Some of the students used their allowances to purchase items. Teachers involved with the project were Emily Agostino, Sarah Kelly and Kristen Newill.
Maddy, a current third grader, made a monetary donation because she remembered doing this when she was in first grade at Pfaff and she wanted to help again.
Tom Murray featured in national publication
Technology and Cyber Education Director Tom Murray is the subject of a two-page feature in the newly released issue of Tech&Learning, an online and print magazine. The cover notes the content of the edition as The Best of 2012. The author of the HP & Intel Profile presented the story in interview style. The digital and print magazine is read by 243,000 subscribers.
In his responses, Murray talks about the QCSD blended learning program that began in 2008 to help keep high-risk students from dropping out and to provide more flexible course offerings to students with outside commitments who wanted to accelerate. The program has grown by leaps and bounds from 91 students at the high school level. Now, about one-fourth of QCSD students in grades 6 to 12 take at least one online class. Students can combine several options for taking courses face-to-face and cyberly.
Murray also talks about student achievement, financial aspects, goals and advice to districts looking to add a blended learning component to its curriculum.
“I’m pretty honored by this,” Murray said.
You can read the entire article online by clicking here
or in PDF format by clicking here
QCHS and Strayer named National Demonstration schools and to AP Honor Roll
Numbers speak volumes. Out of more than 1,400 schools across the United States that offer SpringBoard curriculum for Reading/Language Arts/English to 1.4 million students, only 5 schools were chosen as SpringBoard® National Demonstration Schools for 2012-2014. Two of the 5 are Quakertown Community High School and Strayer Middle School. Including schools selected in previous years, there are only 19 model schools nationwide.
Let that sink in a moment. We must be doing something right here in Quakertown Community School District! The SpringBoard curriculum has been phased in over the last three years to its current use in grades 6 to 12.
The other National Demonstration schools reside in Florida and Washington. The College Board, based in New York, selected the schools because of the outstanding practices of their teachers and administrators during the implementation of SpringBoard. These schools will serve as model sites for future SpringBoard implementations throughout the country. In addition to the recognition, the schools will receive additional professional development; registration and recognition at College Board events; a customized school banner and plaque; and opportunities to preview new SpringBoard-related teaching resources.
Dr. Suzanne Laverick-Stone, Assistant to the Superintendent, said, “SpringBoard is a program that is designed to provide the content, skills and strategies that will ensure that every Quakertown student is prepared to read, write and think in the ways that are necessary for AP courses, SAT exams and college and career expectations. But SpringBoard is only a program, and would not have the impact that is needed without excellent teachers. Our National Demonstration Schools, the senior high school and Strayer Middle School, 2 of only 5 selected in the nation, will be visited by teachers and administrators from across the United States to learn about the program and exceptional teaching. It is fitting that we are able to honor our teachers for their hard work and dedication to high level, rigorous instruction.”
Teachers and administrators joined School Board members for a celebration reception before College Board staff member Lola Greene presented the award to QCSD teachers and administrators at Monday Night’s School Board meeting. During the same celebration, College Board staff member Steve Zori presented high school staff with their second AP Honor Roll award in two years. He offered his own set of impressive numbers.
Greene noted the teachers’ dedication to collaboration that helps them “shape SpringBoard to meet the needs of all QCSD students. After we saw a great video and two great portfolios about the Quakertown program, I had the good fortune to come here for a site visit. I saw all students actively engaged. Every student knew and could articulate what the academic experiences were and how the tasks would help them reach the goals and objectives. I saw teachers as guides on the side with students at the center, thoughtfully focused on discussions that moved beyond the text in the program. One young lady, a sixth grader, told me that by the time the class got to the two major embedded assessments in each unit, they were ‘a piece of cake’ because all the activities scaffolded up and prepared her to be successful.”
SpringBoard was developed by the College Board as a college readiness program in English Language Arts and Mathematics for students in grades six through 12. The research-based program provides culturally and personally relevant activities designed to engage students in problem solving and critical analysis — creating a pre-Advanced Placement® program that increases participation and prepares a greater diversity of students for success in AP® and college. Designed to align with the Common Core State Standards, SpringBoard provides teachers with a rigorous curriculum and highly informative student assessments.
“SpringBoard provides rigorous learning opportunities with a curriculum that engages and empowers both students and educators,” said Pamela L. Nelson, vice president and general manager of SpringBoard at the College Board. “These five outstanding schools have been recognized and honored because they have shown that by aiming higher, rigor can be achieved by all students.”
Zori works for the College Board out of its Philadelphia regional office. He said, “We know a district is doing all the extra things it needs to do when it doesn’t need a lot of in-person support. I don’t come to Quakertown. The AP District Honor Roll recognizes that a school is doing two things, offering access to all students at increasing numbers and producing successful students who perform better on the AP exams. Quakertown is one of 37 districts in the state of Pennsylvania, where there are 500 districts, to be named to the AP Honor Roll.”
Advanced Placement courses offer students college-level curriculum. If they score a 3, 4 or 5 on the end-of-year-exam given for each course, they can earn college credit. Zori explained a study done in 2008 that showed that students who take AP courses are more likely to graduate from college in four years (instead of needing to extend their time). AP students often place out of college classes. Both situations help families save money on the cost of college.”
To be considered for the honor roll, schools must increase student participation in AP courses by 11 percent. QCHS guidance counselors placed 23% more students in AP courses in 2012-2013. Ethnic student placement, another requirement, increased by 9% at QCHS.
“We are very proud of being once again selected as an AP Honor district,” Dr. Laverick-Stone said. “It is our goal to continually strengthen our Advanced Placement offerings and increase the number of students who take AP exams and score well. To be an AP Honor District means that we have improved our students’ high school program to better impact their future college and career experiences. It is a goal that never ends, and to be recognized for our efforts is a testament to the hard work and commitment to students by our high school administrators and teachers.”
Overall, the academic rigor offered by SpringBoard and AP courses helps students prepare for college and career. A college professor told AP administrators that there is a discernible difference between students who take AP courses and those who don’t. The AP students have learned time management skills and discipline that help them do the intellectual work to be successful in college. Zori said AP courses help students increase their self-confidence, which translates their ability to go out and do college level work.
The Strayer RELA teachers for 2011-2013 SpringBoard school years are Gail Ferry, Chris Glaunert (currently at Milford), Karen Hearn, Kathy Infante, Barbara Kirby, Sue LaBonge, Jill Macauley, Michelle McMaster, Shawn Storm, Kathy Dressel, Marty Friel, Judy Maccarone, Bruce Russell, Kadishe Stoudt, Michele Sturges, Damian Gomm, Michael Peters, Mike Huff, Becky Brown, Ursula Cronin, Stephanie Traumuller, Peach Draper, Amanda Foltz, Enzo Martellucci, Sue Scherffel and Lynne Morgan.
The QCHS and Freshman Center teachers collaborating with SpringBoard are Melinda Lepko, Stephanie Peel, Julie Pennabaker, Karen Sciarillo, Tracy Houston, Rachel Trosino, Sue Goodwin, Nancy Nielsen, Julie Saab, Brandy Pollock, Nicole Roeder, Elizabeth Alvino, Mike Mackey, Brad Huebner, Amy Amato, Martha Giesse, Nick Burch, Nicole Landen and Teresa Salvatore.
In 2011-2012, students filled 680 AP seats. Many students take multiple AP classes. The QCHS Advanced Placement teachers through 2013 are Mike Mackey, Jason Anderson, Tom Brader, MaryAnn Byatt, Amy Eisenmann, Andy Boquist, Prakash Patel, Jonathan Lechner, Maria McCorry, Audrey Waddell, Katie Hoffman, Darlene Hardy, Carol Fagan, Andy Snyder, Nick Burch and Alaina Wert.
Secondary administrators involved are Cindy Lapinski, Eric Thompson, Anita Serge, Rod Stone, Lisa Hoffman, Pat Tannous, Mike Zackon and Karen Shanton.
“Celebrating the good things we do in education is good,” concluded Lola Greene. “We should do it more often.”
Breakfast and donations on tap for holiday season to help those in need
Quakertown Cares and the QCHS Junior Class will co-host a breakfast Dec. 8 from 7:30 to 11 a.m. in the QCHS cafeteria. The cost is $5 per person for all you can eat. Children can sit on Santa’s lap, enjoy musical entertainment and watch a magician.
At the same time, QCSD’s Give the Gift of Giving Campaign is underway! The campaign supports our neediest families during the holiday season. Last year, the QCSD community raised more than $15,000 in donations. This enabled QCSD to provide holiday help to 194 QCSD families. This year, there are many more families in need.
Kirsten Cochran, QCSD Social Worker, and Lenny Greaney, Director of Pupil Services, said they recognize the state of the economy, but respectfully request assistance from those who can give. Instead of collecting gift cards, tax deductible monetary donations, cash or check, can be given to any counselor or social worker. The money will be used to purchase gift cards. Please contribute by Dec. 10.
Mike Sawyer featured on Suburban One site
QCHS senior Mike Sawyer was the featured football athlete of the week on the Suburban One Sports website last week. Humble, funny and strong, Sawyer led the Panthers’ offense this year, in spite of the fact that the team struggled to win.
“He did some good things for us, and we thought going into this year that he would be the guy that would carry our offense, and he did,” Banas told Suburban One. “He was our offensive threat this year.”
In the photo above, Sawyer is wearing the new sportsmanship banner, earned by the QCHS spring 2012 teams. Sawyer runs track, so he helped earn the banner, which will be hung in the gym.
You can read the Suburban One story by clicking here
Magazine article explains thrust of Project RED program
QCSD was named one of 20 districts across the nation involved in Project RED for the 2012-2013 school year. EdTech Magazine posted a story this week to explain what it means to be a Project RED Signature District.
Selected schools will benefit from the support and guidance of the organization on implementing and maintaining a results-focused one-to-one laptop learning program. Project RED, financed by technology giant Intel, will offer the 20 Signature Districts customized support throughout the technology implementation process while encouraging collaboration among these education leaders. Nearby districts Salisbury and Southern Lehigh were also designated to the project.
You can read the entire EdTech Magazine story by clicking here
QCHS student honored for community service
QCHS junior Devon Supper was one of 12 teens honored for their community service by the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce. They received plaques at a Nov. 17 luncheon held at The Waterwheel Restaurant in Plumstead.
In its 31st year, the Young Citizens Award program is sponsored by David Werrett, of Wells Fargo Advisors, and his wife, Peg. The awards recognize teens for their commitment to their communities, for acts of courage and extraordinary character, for unusual service for people in need, and for unique personal achievements.
The Chamber of Commerce solicits nominations from its members. Devon said she does not know who nominated her! This year, the chamber received more than 30 applications. Devon was honored for her involvement with 4H, for raising money to help feed the hungry, for helping her former elementary school in Souderton, and for baking dog biscuits for her local animal shelter. She also works with children through ice hockey clinics. She is the goalie and only girl on the Quakertown Ice Cats ice hockey team.
“It was nice to be recognized, but I didn’t really do that much compared to the other kids who were at the luncheon,” Devon said. “Some of them actually saved lives.”
Madison McHugh, 14, a freshman at William Tennent High School, jumped into a pool to save her grandfather’s life after he fainted while swimming. She administered life-saving CPR, which she learned from a babysitting course.
Other teens honored raised money for cancer; collected clothes and supplies for children in Haiti; collected football gear for children in Philadelphia; stuffed a bus with school supplies; traveled to volunteer at an orphanage in India; worked in a hospital; and overcame a traumatic brain injury.
Shelly Cowan named Rotary Student of the Month
The QCHS and Rotary International Student of the Month for October was Shelly Cowan. Shelly was nominated by several of her teachers and coaches. Shelly is an outstanding student athlete with remarkable leadership qualities.
Shelly is a role model for any student who wants to become an all-around, exceptional scholar athlete and school community leader. Shelly is the heart, soul and inspirational leader of all her athletic teams (soccer, track and football). She is mature beyond her years and leads by example, encouraging everyone around her to be better. Shelly is a rare student athlete who refuses to use athlete demands as an excuse in her academic responsibilities. She takes challenging AP (Advanced Placement) courses along with a class at Lehigh University.
Shelly is also involved in many school and community activities. She is a State and National level competitor in TSA (Technology Student Association), helps to tutor students both in and out of school and mentors special needs students in the Best Buddies program.
Shelly plans to attend college in the fall to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine. Her top choice is North Carolina State.
Tom Murray published online
SmartBrief in Education asked QCSD Technology and Cyber Program Director Tom Murray to be a guest blogger. About 50,000 educators read the online magazine. Murray wrote about how cyber courses add versatility to a face-to-face, “traditional” education, which has helped boost rigor and graduation rates in Quakertown Community School District.
Murray was the recipient of the Blended Schools Network Leadership Award in 2012 and will be featured in Tech & Learning Magazine’s Leader Profile next month. The QCSD program has been highlighted by Forbes.com, THE Journal, Project Red, the Innosight Institute and iNACOL, among others. Connect with him on Twitter @thomascmurray.
To read his blog, click here
Generous teachers give to Quakertown Food Pantry
Neidig teachers get to dress down on Fridays all year because they collected $1,000 for Casual for a Cause. They donated the money to the Quakertown Food Pantry. In the photo, Mark Wimmer, of the Food Pantry, accepts a large check from Principal Adam Schmucker and Teacher JoAnn Klee. Wimmer said the food pantry has seen an increase in families served by one third this year.
Three QCHS students commended by NMSQT
Three QCHS seniors have been recognized by the National Merit Scholar organization as Commended Students for performances on the PSAT they took in their junior year. Mara Imms-Donnelly, Heidi Kern and Derek Maseloff received certificates from QCHS Principal Rod Stone and guidance counselors Patty Sabol and Erica Henry.
Mr. Stone explained that the three students scored in the top 5% of the 1.5 million students across the country who took the test. The trio
joined 34,000 other students in the category. While they do not qualify for scholarship rewards, the Commended Student designation will put them in good stead for acceptance at most top colleges.
A month ago, QCHS senior Matt Basile was named a National Merit Scholar semifinalist.
“You all serve as great role models for our other students,” Mr. Stone told them. “Your results will encourage more students to make concerted
efforts in taking the PSAT and SAT.”
A common love of foreign language links Heidi, Mara and Derek. Heidi wants to major in Spanish and study abroad. She’s not sure where she
wants to go to college but is applying to small schools such as Swarthmore. Mara wants to double major in Spanish and math and study abroad. She is considering several majors, including architecture. Derek applied to Cornell University’s CAPS program, which will allow him to return to China, where he went to meet his QCSD Cyber Program Mandarin Chinese teacher. He wants to study economics, politics and foreign relations.
Kindergarten teacher qualifies for Boston Marathon
Pfaff kindergarten teacher Katie Zorzi ran 3:33 at the Oct. 7 Steamtown Marathon, fast enough to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon! Steamtown was her second marathon. She ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2011, just hoping to finish, which she did.
“I really trained for speed this time,” Katie said. “It is definitely more challenging training for a marathon that you want to race, opposed to just finish!”
She had to run 3 hours, 35 minutes or better to qualify. “As soon as my time was posted, I registered for Boston,” she said. “It ended up closing a few days later so I am lucky I got in for 2013.”
The Steamtown course in Scranton started with plenty of downhills. The last three miles featured uphills! “NOT NICE!” Katie said. “Who puts hills in marathons? I am pretty sure the finish line was up a hill.”
She paced herself at 8:09 minutes per mile over the 26.1-mile course. She placed 439 out of more than 2,000 entrants.
“After the race I got an email and photos from one of my students that he was there!” she said. “He was visiting his grandparents and saw my name in the paper. So he made a sign and went out to watch me run by on the course.”
QCHS teacher Andy Boquist and Milford teacher Chris Glaunert completed a three-race series called the Hatfield Township Hat Trick. The first race, the 5& Dime, was a five and 10-mile event in April. The second, a Dash and Splash, featured a 5K in August and the final event was the OctoRun 13k (about 8 miles).
Runners were awarded points based on their performance in each race. Chris finished first for the Hat Trick in his 25-29 age group and Andy finished second in his 40-44 age group.
Strayerteacher Sue LaBonge and several QCSD parents ran the Philly Half Marathon inSeptember. John and Bekke Kowalski (parents of Emma and Molly) and Jeff and Kelly Calabria (parents ofRaygen, Mackenna and Ashyln) ran together.
The four teachers will be looking to run with students and parents in the June 8 inaugural QCEF & QCSD 5K, starting and ending at the Freshman Center.
QCSD receives designation, support from Project RED technology research group
Project RED, of Mason, Michigan, named QCSD one of 20 districts to participate in a cohort to collaborate and learn from each other about technology issues. As the leader in 1:1 technology implementation research, Project Red is committed to bringing its research practices to action. The company will support the 20 districts as they implement education technology in the 1:1, student-to-laptop initiative. QCSD is now in its third year of the program. Students in the Freshman Center, 10th and 11th grades carry laptops with them to every class, all day long. They can take their laptops home, to continue their anywhere, anytime learning.
During the 2012-2013 school year, Project RED will offer the signature districts customized guidance and collaboration opportunities to learn from each other. Project RED will review QCSD’s implementation plan and help the districts to align their plans to the research-based strategies of the Project RED Design, a blueprint for implementing technology-based school reform. Districts will then publish findings to the signature district community for a three-year period and will become best-practice models for other districts.
“It’s a big deal,” said Tom Murray, QCSD Technology and Cyber Program Director.
Leslie Wilson, a Project Team member, said, “Quakertown Community School District has made a definitive commitment to improve student learning and provide personalized instruction through a meaningful integration of technology, ongoing professional development and administrator support. We were impressed with their initial plans and look forward to helping them use outcomes of our research to move their initiatives to the next level.”
Tom Greaves, a member of the Project RED Team, said, “We know that districts are challenged by large-scale project planning. We will provide the entire community with both tools and a timeline for implementation. The signature districts will get extra help through our mentoring process.”
Southern Lehigh and Salisbury Township schools, in Lehigh County, are the only other Pennsylvania districts selected to the cohort. The others are from South Carolina, Arizona, Missouri, Washington, Nevada, New Jersey, Iowa, California, Alabama, and Michigan.
QCHS represented in 3-day cancer walk
QCHS seniors Tori Feldmeier, Sara Scheetz and Collette Todd participated in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk recently in Philadelphia. Tori walked the event a year ago and was part of the organizing committee this year. Sara and Collette did the walk this year, which required participants to raise $2,300 each and walk 20 miles per day.
You can watch an interview with the three women at QCSD-TV News.
Fall athletes qualify for first round of district tournaments
Three golfers and two runners, as well as the girls’ soccer team qualified for the District 1 Championships this season. They were the only athletes to represent QCHS this year in district competition.
Joey Rochelle, Carson Sinnott and Brittny Buonanno-Taylor qualified for the boys’ and girls’ golf tournament based on their performances at the league event. None of them moved on to states.
Alex Balla finished 5th and Collin McLaughlin finished 11th at the Suburban One cross-country meet at Lehigh. They will run Oct. 26, also at Lehigh, in the District 1 Championships.
The girls’ soccer team qualified for districts for the first time in three or four years. The Panthers played Boyertown Tuesday night in the first round, but lost 2-0. Third-year coach Mike Koch and leading scorer Shannon Gibat led the team to a 7-10-1 overall record.
Dig Pink event surpasses its goal
The QCHS Girls’ Volleyball Team raised more than $5,000 with its 4th Annual Dig Pink event. Senior Meghan Lopes organized the event for her Graduation Project. She added a “Twist of Purple” to the DIG PINK Event this year in memory of a close friend’s mom who lost her battle to Mesothelioma, Maureen Montoney. With part of the proceeds, she opened a scholarship called “Momma Montoney,” which will be presented annually to a senior athlete who has been directly affected by cancer or an immediate family member. The rest of the proceeds will be donated locally to St. Luke’s for Breast Cancer Research.
In the past 4 years, DIG PINK has grown into much more than just a charity volleyball match. Fundraising for this year’s event included the
following: the sale of more than 700 t-shirts, a bake sale outside of Wal-Mart, the sale of handmade chocolate candy and the sale of necklaces. All donations/proceeds from the match including the proceeds from the snack stand also went toward the cause.
Beyond the team’s contributions, here are a few more people the team thanked:
Dr. Lisa Andrejko, Superintendent, for allowing us to“ PINK OUT” the district with “Casual for a Cause” dress downs. All the District personnel who purchased shirts to support the event. Milford Middle School for the top dress down collection of $250, followed closely by Richland and Tohickon Valley, also totaling more than $200. Individual donors. Strayer 7thgrader Maddie Routson, who spent the last month baking cookies to raise money to donate to the cause. Her efforts alone raised $265.10!
The goal was to surpass last year’s total of more than $4,100. To date, this year’s event hasraised $5,491.70. The team will put $2,000
into the previously mentioned scholarship fund for a $500 award this year and a $250 award for each of the next six years. The hope is that future players will pick up the project and continue to fund the scholarship. The remaining $3,491.70 of this year’s proceeds will be donated to St. Luke’s.
A Giant thank you!
During halftime of the Homecoming football game, administrators thanked Giant Food Stores for its generous donation of a new scoreboard for Alumni Stadium. At the 50-yard line, Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs, Principal Rod Stone and Business Manager Bob Riegel welcomed store managers Todd Woodring and Steven Bowlby, from Quakertown, and Debra Thomas from Coopersburg.
QCHS teacher heals, thanks to outpouring of support
In July, QCHS biology teacher Tina Sullivan was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The tumor, called aMid-line B-cell,was locatedon top of her heart and was the size of a baseball. Now, after four chemotherapy treatments, the tumor is not visible on her most recent PET scan. Shewill continue with chemo and a maintenance treatment.
With a beautiful bald head, Mrs. Sullivan addressed her predicament with humor. Employing her biology background, Mrs. Sullivan explained her cancer through a QCSD-TV News interview, which you can watch by clicking here.
On Oct. 16, the QCHS field hockey team honored her for her courage and strength. The members wore lime green socks. The $828 proceeds from their snack stand and sale of green wristbands will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The total donation will be $1,656 because GSK’s Light the Night initiative will match the donation.
The team gave Mrs. Sullivan flowers, a symbolic check and a pair of green socks. They wanted to echo the slogan Mrs. Sullivan has obeyed, “No one fights alone!” The sentence is written on the green bracelets, along with her name.
At the Wednesday QCHS staff meeting, Mrs. Sullivan choked up as she told colleagues about the wonderful field hockey tribute. She added, “Your amazing outpouring of kindness, love and support have helped me fight this disease. I am so thankful for such caring friends and co-workers.”
Jeff Pursel Photography provided the photos above.
Seeing pink: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 17 and 19 were “pink out” days in QCSD in honor of the district’s efforts to raise money for cancer awareness and research. Senior Meghan Lopes spearheaded the volleyball team’s event, which culminated with the Wednesday home match against Souderton. The football team will wear pink jerseys in the Oct. 19 home game against Souderton.
Both teams sold t-shirts to raise money, which will go to St. Luke’s Hospital’s program to help local cancer patients. The volleyball team’s t-shirts were gray with pink and purple. The front honored breast cancer and the back featured a twist of purple in honor of Maureen Montoney, a district parent and staff member who passed away from mesothelioma in Spring 2012. Meghan is a close friend of Maureen’s daughter Kathleen. The volleyball team is setting up a scholarship to be awarded to a senior athlete who is or has been affected directly by cancer. So $1 from each shirt will go toward this scholarship and the rest will be donated to St Luke’s for cancer awareness and research.
Homecoming Court knighted!
QCCHS students selected nine seniors to become members of the 2012 Homecoming Court. At the Homecoming Football Game, Kylie Clowney and Austin Henry were named King and Queen. The high achieving, community-minded Court members are all respectful people!
Kylie is a member of Best Buddies, Key Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Henry, who had to quickly wipe off his football game face and smile for the cameras, is a member of the Executive Student Council, Best Buddies and Key Club.
Alex Dyer plays varsity baseball and hockey with the Philadelphia Revolution. Stephen Vanyo is a member of the marching and jazz bands, plays drums in a youth band called Ultraviolet, member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and volunteers at St. Isidore’s Food Bank. Dan Frasch also stepped off the football field of play. He is the NHS Treasurer, coaches youth basketball and sings with Ultraviolet. He recently wrote lyrics for a school-wide Neidig song. Video of the project will be available soon.
Gabe Nazarro said he watches a lot of sports, studies a lot, and is an FCA member. Morgan Kraus is a varsity cheerleader and a member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Key Club.
Rachel Keyser is an officer of the Gay Straight Alliance, co-edits the yearbook and works as a monster at Dorney Park! Jenn O’Neill has been a captain of a Relay for Life Team, plays softball and is a member of the German Club. Isabella Sutton is a spirited captain of the tennis team. She was nominated for a Wendy’s Heisman Award for her academic, sports and community extracurricular activities.
You can help win some iPads for Strayer students!
Somebody entered teacher Shawn Storm’s name in a contest through WLEV radio. He has a chance to win free iPads for his classroom.
Click on the link below and VOTE FOR SHAWN by Oct. 30. Shawn teaches sixth grade at Strayer Middle School. Students will benefit if he wins.
Click here and follow the directions.
Retired QCHS teacher inducted into Temple U. Hall of Fame
Long time QCHS teacher Doug Shobert was recently inducted into the Temple University Hall of Fame for his decorated football career as an Owl. Retired QCHS teacher John Pilecki took a photo of Shobert on the Jumbotron as he accepted his award during halftime of the Temple football game against South Florida.
“I know Doug would want the other 2012 Temple Hall of Fame inductees mentioned,” Pilecki said, “so here they are: J.R. Read, Men's Crew, 1997-2000; Peter Moore, Baseball, 1996-1999; Lance Johnstone, Football; 1993-1997; Mark Jackson, Men's Basketball, 1994-1997; and Danny Akerman, Men's Gymnastics, 1991-1995.
Shobert played football at Temple from 1969-73. One of the most decorated quarterbacks in Temple football history, Shobert earned Associated Press All-America honorable mention and second team All-East honors as a junior in 1971. A team captain as a senior in 1972, he still owns the Owls’ career completion percentage record (57%) while his 3,913 passing yards ranks sixth on the all-time list. His 26 career touchdown passes also ranks sixth at Temple. The Chalfont, PA native led Temple in passing in each of his final three seasons, leading them to winning records in each year.
Temple’s record during Shobert’s time behind center was 18-9-1. His two best passing yardage games came as a senior when he threw for 227 yards against Boston College and 230 yards against Delaware.
"The ceremony was so great. One of the best weekends of my life,” Doug told QCHS teachers. “Jen and Marta [daughters] hosted a brunch on Sunday for all the family, a few of my TU friends, and Mike Pettine [currently defensive coordinator for the New York Jets, originally from CB West]. Too cool.”
After retiring from QCHS, Shobert lived many years in South Africa.
UBCTS receives grant for new signs
Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation of Mooresville, N.C. has awarded a $10,000 grant to Upper Bucks County Technical School for a front entrance sign replacement project. The replacement project will add more visible entrance signs. The project is a joint effort among UBCTS students, Lowes and an area sign company. Students will build the signs.
The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation provided 32 grants to Career and Technical schools across the nation. UBCTS is one of two Pennsylvania Technical Schools to receive the grant. Lowes will present UBCTS with the $10,000 check at 1 p.m. Friday, October 12 on the school campus.
“The grant in Perkasie represents Lowe’s commitment to career and technical education,” said Marshall Croom, chairman of Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. “By supporting schools like Upper Bucks County Technical School, we believe we are contributing to a cause that’s important to our customers and employees by helping provide improved learning environments and build stronger communities.”
Brandon Pfaff, a QCHS senior enrolled in the Carpentry Program at UBCTS. Brandon, along with some other carpentry students, provided input and quotes on why a sign replacement project is important to UBCTS. His input was part of the written grant process and was crucial to UBCTS securing the grant.
Lowe’s supports the communities it serves through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. The company’s signature education grant program, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education®, has donated nearly $5 million in grants to K-12 public schools every year since its inception in 2006. Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers support local community projects and our national nonprofit partners such as Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. In 2010, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation together contributed more than $30 million to support communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. To learn more, visit Lowes.com/SocialResponsibility.
QCSD teacher's input key to published educational works
Strayer Middle School teacher Jacki Clymer’s name appears in several books and articles that mention her extensive work with Standards Based Grading and its components. Most recently, her work appears in a book by Dylan Wiliam called Embedded Formative Assessment. Wiliam, a nationally recognized education guru on formative assessment, visited QCSD in 2005. He and Mrs. Clymer co-authored an article that ran in the December 2006/January 2007 edition of the journal Educational Leadership.
“When he was here, Dylan challenged us to conduct action research,” Mrs. Clymer remembered. “I sent him student achievement data from the first year I did standards-based grading in my classroom. He commented on how effective it was and asked if I wanted to write a paper.”
The article they wrote together represented a blend of Wiliam’s work and Mrs. Clymer’s practical experiences. They wrote collaboratively in cyber space and never met in person. In Wiliam’s latest book, Mrs. Clymer’s work is used as an exemplar in the section on grading. There are five pages dedicated to her examples.
Mrs. Clymer’s work has also been included in other books and a training binder from ETS (Educational Testing Service). She receives emails from people all over the world who have read her work. Some ask for help, others simply make a connection by complimenting her ideas. She has presented at several conferences, including the High Schools that Work, in New Orleans; the National Science Teachers Association in St. Louis; Pennsylvania’s ASCD Conference in Hershey; as well as taught workshops at the Bucks County and Colonial County Intermediate Units.
“I like to keep learning and to keep helping other people who want to impact student achievement,” said Mrs. Clymer.
QCSD teachers discuss state of history learning at legislative gathering
State Representative Paul Clymer, R-Bucks County, called together college professors and high school teachers for a meeting during the summer to discuss the state of history learning. Clymer, chairman of the state education committee, said the topic is important because “too many people take our freedom and liberties for granted.”
Learning Facilitator Chad Evans and Freshman Center history teacher Janet Basset represented QCSD at the meeting, held at Upper Bucks County Community College. Teachers also represented Pennridge and Palisades. Legislators asked college professors, at the outset, if they believed students came to them with background knowledge. Next they quizzed high school teachers about what they value in teaching history and what gets in the way of classroom progress.
Evans said discussion included whether or not rote memorization indicates college readiness. He said he told the gathering, “If I can teach kids to find information, they don’t necessarily need to memorize it. Of course it depends on the subject matter. But they need to understand context and gain background knowledge. The level of memorization can be debated.”
QCHS athletes attend leadership seminar
Six multisport QCHS athletes attended a sports psychology seminar Sept. 27 at DeSales University with Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs to get tips about leadership. With their fall sports listed, they were Dan Frasch (football), Shelly Cowan (soccer/football kicker); Brittny Buonanno-Taylor (golf), Nick Lapinski (soccer), Liz Ebersole (cheerleader) and Meghan Lopes (volleyball).
The lively group met students from such schools as Notre Dame-Green Pond, William Allen (Allentown), Father Judge (Philadelphia), Southern Lehigh and Palisades. They all listened to a presentation from sports psychologist Dr. Jarrod Spencer, a former athlete from New Jersey, Lafayette College and West Chester University. He has developed a program called “The Mind of an Athlete.” He encouraged students to leap over five hurdles that typically trip up leaders. Dan said the main hurdles are anxiety and loneliness, which occur when the followers don’t agree with the leader’s decisions.
“He encouraged us to make healthy decisions when opportunities present themselves that aren’t so healthy,” Dan said.
All of the QCHS athletes said they most liked the advice about setting goals.
Meghan said she always writes down goals because she likes to check them off when she reaches them. “It makes me feel accomplished,” she said.
The athletes returned to school with blue bracelets that say, “Clearer mind, better performance.”
Freshman Center staff, students impress visitors with 1:1 demonstration
The Freshman Center hosted a team of teachers and administrators from the Pennridge School District on September 24. Pennridge will begin piloting a 1:1 laptop program in October with one ninth grade team and some middle school teams. The visitors were extremely impressed to see how engaged students were in lessons and how few management issues they saw.
“They came to us with the goal of learning more about a typical day in a 1:1 school,” said Karen Shanton, Freshman Center Principal. “While here, participants visited classrooms and spoke with both students and teachers. Administrators picked our brains about how routines and protocols were developed, and were pleased to see the level of engagement among the freshman while working on various tasks. Pennridge teachers reported that our staff and students were extremely helpful and accommodating, and expressed significant appreciation for the opportunity. They really enjoyed speaking with students.”
Art teacher will receive award
The Kutztown University Department of Art Education selected QCHS teacher Amy Migliore to receive the Outstanding Community Involvement Arts Advocacy Award.
Each year KU hosts an Annual Fall Art Education conference, during which faculty members recognize and honor arts educators who have made a difference in Pennsylvania. The awards chairwomen said they recognize Mrs. Migliore as a leader in the region and state for her Project Innovate recycling fashion show in the 2011-2012 school year. She will receive the award Nov. 16.
Mrs. Migliore instantly “shared” the award with colleagues who helped her “pioneer a vision on behalf of our exciting and capable students! In a time when other districts are pulling back, we found a way to give more and were enriched by it. A district’s strength lies in the hearts of its educators and staff. And that is what makes us great. We listened and watched as students excitedly worked together in a collaborative spirit on a project that was much larger than one of them alone could handle. In a visual arts setting, where competition can sometimes be the more definitive measure, and talent and skill levels often separate more than congregate; our students learned to give, share, lead, cooperate and do more than they thought possible. We surprised celebrity judges with our high level of craftsmanship and innovation and set a high standard for students in the midst of economic turmoil and academic uncertainty. I asked and you responded. The students succeeded because we all said, ‘Yes!’”
QCHS Senior named NMSQT Semifinalist
Nice guys do finish first! Or, so far, in the semifinalist position. QCHS senior Matt Basile has been named a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, based on scores he produced in his junior year on the PSAT. In the next few weeks, he will fill out an application documenting all of his standardized test scores, including his SAT cumulative score of 2390 (out of 2400), and his extra-curricular activities. If selected, he can become a finalist, which will help him secure scholarships to pay for college.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” Matt said. “I’m really hoping it will ease the financial burden of paying for college, which is expensive.”
In presenting Matt with the semifinalist award, Rod Stone, Principal, noted that all QCHS sophomores take the PSAT in October. Juniors can select to take the PSAT. Across the country, 1.5 million juniors took the test in 2011. Those who scored in the top 16,000 were named semifinalists. Among the applications that will pour into NMSQT offices, the top 8,000 will be selected as finalists.
“Matt is a good role model,” said Mr. Stone. “We want many more juniors to take the PSAT because it can open up some opportunities.”
Matt said he took the PSAT twice in his sophomore year and once in his junior year. He took the SAT twice during his junior year. “I did a lot of work to prepare for the tests and I do think the practice helped me.” Matt said that although he couldn’t remember his scores from PSATs, he did think they were in the range good enough for acceptance into Stanford and MIT, his top two choices. He’s not sure about his major yet, but plans to narrow it from engineer, math or some other science.
Outgoing and humble, Matt does do a lot more than prepare for tests! He is president of the National Honor Society and is excited that he and his club members are ready to start working on numerous service projects. He participates in choir, Varsity Singers and Marching Band. The band participates in its first competition Sept. 29.
Matt is the Pennsylvania State President of TSA (Technology Student Association). His first meeting, with seven chapter presidents from across the state, will take place in October. The group will plan the state event, which takes place in the spring at Seven Springs. He also just finished constructing and installing signs at a Trumbauersville park to complete his Boy Scout Eagle badge. He blended that project with his work as a junior member of the Trumbauersville Borough Council and he will report on all of that experience for his graduation project.
“I do participate with a wide range of people, from music to technology and a variety of ages,” Matt acknowledged. “I feel comfortable that I find people with similar interests as mine. I think I’ve got a good balance of academic and extra-curricular activities.”
(Left to right, in the photo above, Mr. Stone, Matt, Guidance Counselor Doug Detweiler and House Prinicipal Michael Zackon.)
QCHS senior meets Chinese teacher in … China!
Derek Maseloff held his father, Andrew, to his word and went to China this summer. The QCHS senior is a fourth-year QCSD Cyber Program student in Mandarin Chinese. Andrew promised Derek that if he sticks with Chinese, he would take him to China during his senior year to meet his My Chinese 360 instructor, Ning Wu.
“I was able to use a decent amount of my Mandarin,” Derek said. “I could hold basic conversations with my dad’s business associates. But the taxi drivers were another story. It was a different dialect.”
Andrew originally met Wu two years ago. The Quakertown parent goes to China often on business trips, so he met Wu in an international Back-to-School Night experience to put a face with a name. A story about Andrew’s adventure ran in a QCommuniqué, and was reprinted in a blog on the My Chinese 360 webpage.
During his Chinese lessons, Derek does not experience the sights, sounds and smells that permeated his senses when he arrived in Shanghai. “There were areas that were nice, like Times Square, but generally, the culture was shocking. People do a lot of spitting on the streets. The subways and the alleys are smelly.”
During his two-week stay, Derek enjoyed many tasty meals, and liked fried milk, but did not like a fish called Yantai. “It was worse than bad. There is nothing that could help that fish,” Derek said.
He enjoyed nights spent in Hiltons and other western hotels, but one night he slept on a bed that felt like marble in a Chinese hotel. They visited five cities. A trip to a sixth city was derailed by bad weather and “airline shenanigans,” Derek said.
Derek said he wished he could read Chinese signs better. He spent his second evening in China speaking with Ning Wu. Now, through Skype and other learning materials, they are working together on the year four curriculum, which emphasizes reading and writing. Derek said he looks forward to going back to China when he can more fluently read, write and speak the language. He would like to attend Cornell University’s Capstone Program, which offers an international component. He knows that the ability to speak Chinese will offer him a huge advantage in the business world upon graduation.
He conducted a bit of business while there. “I bought a copule of ceramic owls at the Great Wall and it was stupid fun bartering for the price. I did that with polo shirts, too. And I got some Gucci and Oakley sunglasses that I bartered for. They’re probably not real, but that would be disappointing to know that.”
In about a week, you can watch Derek on QCSD-TV.
Tohickon Valley plants a garden!
It takes a village to raise a child and a group of dedicated parents to spruce up a school’s landscaping!
Mrs. Manuela Bezilla brought her green thumb and Dr. John Azzatori donated time and materials to construct a stone walkway to spruce up the Tohickon Valley flag pole terrace. Mr. Bill Mapes pitched in with his landscaping expertise to assist in the project. Teachers, parents, support staff members, and even students contributed to the project.
Mrs. Bezilla led the project and contributed much time. In fact, she couldn’t stop! After planting flowers around the bus circle, she continued planting in other landscape spots around the school, including around the front entrance sign. The Tohickon Valley PTO supported the project by purchasing the plants, flowers, and bushes for the project.
QCHS student featured on sports website
QCHS field hockey player Stephanie Thompson is featured on the Suburban One Sports website. Head coach Peach Draper said she answered a query for nominations two weeks ago. She submitted reasons why Stephanie should be featured and a reporter contacted the senior.
A standout in the classroom and on the field, Stephanie went to London to watch several Olympic competitions, including field hockey, this summer.
You can read the whole story by clicking here.
QCHS students: Good Sports!
The photo is worth 1,000 words! QCHS students know how to support each other. They took their positive spirit into Alumni Field football stadium and the home gym (Panther Den) and on the road to the competition venues.
Affordable internet for families that qualify
Do you know a family in Quakertown Community School District that could use help accessing the internet at home? Comcast and Verizon offer reduced rates for families that qualify. QCSD wants students to be able to learn anytime, anyplace. Access at home is essential.
The programs allow families to communicate through email and photo sharing, do homework, search for jobs, pay bills online, watch videos and download music. You can read the flyers by clicking here and here. Print them out and share them with families you believe can benefit.
QCSD represented at White House in education forum
QCSD Superintendent Lisa Andrejko and QCEA President/Professional Development coordinator Chris Roth visited the White House August 30 as part of a Pennsylvania contingent. Thirty education leaders were invited to meet with senior policy advisors and top staff of the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).
Of the 30, Roth was one of only two teachers. Allentown School District was represented by Superintendent Russ Mayo and Mayor Ed Pawloski. The group also included a few superintendents, five principals, a few school board members, deans and officials from higher education and a few community organizations.
“We listened to three presentations with White House officials and then they met us in small groups for our feedback and questions,” Dr. Andrejko said. “It was a long day but very, very cool to be at the White House and have the ear of top education staffers."
According to one online report of the day, Larry Feinberg of the Keystone State Education Coalition and Haverford school board member, reminded White House staff that middle-class students in well-resourced schools actually score at the top on international tests. One staff member agreed, noting, “We need more investment in public education, not less,” with a focus on early childhood education, curriculum, wrap around programs, and parent engagement. He reported on the 300,000 teaching jobs lost in recent years, noting the economic implications for the U.S. and warned that sequestration – which will happen if congress does not head off looming mandatory budget cuts this fall – will mean billions of dollars cut to Title I, special ed, higher ed, and other student programs.
Dr. Andrejko left with impressions of “security, many offices, hustle and bustle.” She had time to offer suggestions in a small group session. What did she think would come of the sessions?
“I do think some things are easy fixes,” she said. “For example, the federal grants require so much reporting and paperwork. We suggested a streamlined process reminding them that schools have had cutbacks in administration and that there are few to do this work. With the big policy issues, like testing and standards, I don’t think they understand some of the negative impact. We did ask that the president portray a more positive message about education and teachers. We explained how devalued teachers feel and the lack of respect for what we all do with kids every day. I think that message got through loud and clear.”
Roth said, “Though everyone in the meeting was there representing different roles in education and sections of the state, the passion for public education and the success of all students was clearly evident in the dialogue throughout the day. It is the duty of all stakeholders - parents, teachers, administrators, school boards - to continuously provide feedback on the regulations and programs that are being promoted by legislators for the future of public education. Together we can ensure the best education for all students in Pennsylvania. Hopefully the conversation will continue.”
QCSD technology gurus quoted, published online
QCSD technology staff members and Superintendent Lisa Andrejko found their way into the paragraphs of more online publications this summer. First, Supervisor of Technology Joe Kuzo was quoted in a story about how school districts deal with students and their personal technology devices in school. A few weeks later, Cyber Program Technology Facilitator Todd Silvius wrote an article for CompassLearning Navigator. And on Aug. 20, Technology Director Tom Murray and Dr. Andrejko were both quoted in THE Journal, one of the largest edtech magazines in the country.
A reporter from the Pocono Record set out to discover how districts in the Stroudsburg area deal with students and their personal technology devices in school. In her research, she discovered QCSD’s three-year-old one-to-one laptop program and interviewed Kuzo. The story first ran in the Pocono Record and was posted online at Philly.com, powered by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.
This will be the third year Freshman Center students receive district-issued laptops. Or, students can choose to bring their own. (Only 15 percent opted to bring their own computers the first year and 30 percent brought their own the second year.) Students in 10th and 11th grades will also receive laptops this school year. By the 2013-2014 school year, all high school students in grades 9-12, will have personal laptops, all year long.
The one-to-one initiative blends with teachers’ use of Blackboard, an online program where they post classroom notes, assignments, articles and other class details. Students receive school email addresses so they can communicate with teachers and collaborate online.
"It gives kids who are hesitant to raise their hand in class a chance to be more interactive," Kuzo was quoted. You can read the entire story by clicking here.
Meanwhile, Silvius took matters into his own hands after reading a blog about Standards Based Learning (SBL) on the CompassLearning Navigator site. The cyber program technology facilitator had just finished working with summer school teachers and students when he read the blog. He explained QCSD’s implementation of both SBL and Standards Based Grading using online curriculum for summer school from grades 6-12.
Silvius’ explanation is clear and compelling reading for anyone who may still feel unsure of the value of SBL and SBG. You can read the entire story by clicking here.
THE Journal cover story focuses on getting students online at school and at home. Murray explained how QCSD wired all its buildings with wifi, thanks to government funding in 2008. He explained the one-to-one netbook program and the cyber program, initiated to meet student need. Comcast offers reduced rates for qualified families through its Internet Essentials program. On pages 28 and 29, Dr. Andrejko explains that blended learning (a mix of face-to-face and cyber courses) help meet student interest and need. You can read both stories by clicking here.
QCHS raises money for cancer
The QCHS boys’ volleyball team raised $750 to help fight cancer during the spring 2012 season. Kyle Krause and co-captains Ryan Mease and Nick Grossov presented a big ceremonial check to St. Lukes. The Dig Blue event was their first such effort.