First Reads

Contribution to Sellersville Elementary Playground Fund

posted Jun 14, 2018, 10:08 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jun 14, 2018, 10:11 AM ]

Two women holding oversized check.
Sellersville Elementary School Learning Support Teacher Susan Bowers recently presented a check for $1,205 to parent Kristine Kovaleski, chairperson of the school's Playground Fundraising Committee. The money was raised through contributions made by teachers and staff during several Denim Days throughout the school year. 

Total cost of the new playground is $99,000; new equipment is being installed as funds are received. So far, a GaGa pit and new swings have been installed.

If you would like to make a contribution, please send a check made out to "Sellersville Playground Fund" to Sellersville Elementary School, 122 W. Ridge Road, Sellersville, PA 18960.

Summer Hours to Begin June 18

posted Jun 5, 2018, 7:55 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jun 14, 2018, 10:56 AM ]

Summer Hours sign
Pennridge School District employees will switch to summer hours starting June 18, continuing a practice that has saved taxpayers more than $135,000 in cost avoidance since it began in 2009.

By shutting down building systems -- especially air conditioning -- at the close of business Thursday evening and not restarting them until Monday morning, the District has saved approximately $15,000 each year the policy has been in effect, according to Superintendent Dr. Jacqueline Rattigan.

"It is a win-win for everyone," said Rattigan. "Employees enjoy the benefit of a long weekend during the summer and the District realizes a significant reduction in utility costs."

Under an agreement with the Pennridge Education Support Professionals Association, full-time employees will work 10.5 hours each day Monday through Thursday, said the Superintendent.

Work schedules are set by individual building administrators. Check with individual offices to determine availability of personnel.

Normal hours will resume on Monday, August 13. 

PHS Track Closed for Turf Replacement

posted Jun 5, 2018, 7:08 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jun 5, 2018, 7:13 AM ]

Piles of artificial turf
The track at Grand View Health Stadium / Helman Field is currently closed to the community while the synthetic turf replacement project is underway.

The project is tentatively scheduled to be completed by August 1. At that point, the track will be open to the community from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday until students return for fall sports practices. 

Worker removng turf from field.
Worker removing artificial turn field


PSD Middle Schooler to Star with Melissa McCarthy

posted May 17, 2018, 12:05 PM by Joe Ferry   [ updated May 17, 2018, 12:34 PM ]

Young man kneeling in front of school sign.
While his classmates at Penn North Middle School are winding down the school year, 7th grader Nicholas Zoto is cranking up his acting career.

Nick is in New York City this week to begin filming a movie called “The Kitchen” with Melissa McCarthy. “The Kitchen” is a classic gangster story that follows a group of Irish mobsters sent to prison. Their wives take over their jailed spouses’ organized crime operation to become the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in 1970s Hell’s Kitchen.

Nick plays Melissa McCarthy’s character’s son and figures prominently in the story.

This will be Nick’s fourth movie in an acting and modeling career that began when he was six months old, but first with such a prominent role. At age three, he was the face of Crayola Crayons in some marketing and packaging materials.

Nick is in the gifted program at North, is a member of the band, basketball and baseball teams.

Pennridge High School To Host Afternoon and Evening Programs by Bill Ehrhart

posted May 4, 2018, 11:13 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated May 4, 2018, 11:14 AM ]

Headshot of Bill Ehrhart
PHS grad and Perkasie native William D. Ehrhart, featured in the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary, The Vietnam War, will present two programs for students and community members on Thursday, May 31 in the Pennridge High School.

Ehrhart will speak to students at 2:30 p.m. and will address the public at 6:30 p.m. The event is presented by the Pennridge High School Social Studies Department. There is no charge for the evening program. 

The son of Reverend John Ehrhart, pastor of St. Stephen’s UCC for 29 years, and Evelyn Ehrhart, who taught special education for the Bucks County IU for several decades, Ehrhart joined the United States Marine Corps after graduating from Pennridge in 1966. He served in Vietnam, attained the rank of sergeant and was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Navy Combat Action Ribbon and two Presidential Unit Citations. 

After his honorable discharge from the military, Ehrhart became an active member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Over the next 50 years, he authored 18 books of prose and poetry, including his memoir as a combat marine, Vietnam-Perkasie. As a noted speaker about his wartime experiences, Ehrhart was prominently included in the Burns-Novick documentary about Vietnam.

Ehrhart holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wales in Britain and in 2003 was elected to the PHS Wall of Fame.

The afternoon presentation to students will focus mostly on his years growing up in Perkasie, his experiences as a Pennridge Ram, his time in the Marine Corps and his experiences during the Vietnam War.

The 90-minute evening presentation will be more focused on the community, with a special emphasis on his formative years, his journey to Vietnam and the long road back and his life as a writer. Ehrhart will also read selected passages from his work. 

For more information, contact Keith Veverka, Secondary Social Studies Supervisor for the Pennridge School District, at or 215-453-6944 (Ext. 111072).

PHS Team Headed to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals

posted Apr 18, 2018, 7:44 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Apr 18, 2018, 7:46 AM ]

A group of Pennridge High School ninth graders will represent the District next month at World Finals of Odyssey of the Mind, the largest creative problem-solving competition in the world.

Since September, team members Alyssa Anderson, Anna Dent, Gavin Kuebler, Madeleine Lange, Carly Levy , Ashton Muhlig and Thomas Reid worked together to solve an assigned problem that involved creating a humorous performance centered on a science fiction hangout that includes original creatures, food and a search for space treasure.

The team developed an original script and designed and produced as theatric performance, including design and construction of a portable set, as well as props and costumes. The competition also involves a spontaneous session where teams are presented with a problem they have to solve on the spot in just a few minutes, testing their mental agility, creativity, engineering skills and teamwork.

While team coaches Linda Reid 

State Champs

Group of students with state championship trophy

The PHS Odyssey of the Mind Team, from left: Madeleine Lange, Ashton Muhlig, Alyssa Anderson, (wizard mascot), Thomas Reid, Brian Kuebler (coach), Gavin Kuebler. Front: Anna Dant, Linda Reid (coach). Not pictured: Carly Levy
Brian Kuebler supervised the team, OTM rules dictate that they were not allowed to help in any way.

"Everything about their performance, from the script to the costumes and sets, all of it was 100 percent envisioned and created by the students," said Reid. "Everyone at Pennridge is so proud of them."

The team won second place at the OTM Regional competition in March and advanced to the world competition as one of only two Pennsylvania teams in their division to win at the state level.

The OTM World competition is a four-day event (May 23-26) at Iowa State University.

OTM has a rich history at Pennridge, with several state titles and three World Championships. Last year, the team from Penn Central took fifth place at the World Competition.

This year, the District entered five teams in the competition, four of which qualified to compete at the state level.

Since its inception in 1978, OTM has recognized the importance of Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Math skills, and has partnered with organizations such as NASA, IBM and Microsoft to help students develop the skills and experiences needed by future scientists. OTM has also challenged students to incorporate creative problem solving into learning, requiring students to perform not just in the sciences but in the arts as well.


Seniors Performed at All-State Music Festival

posted Apr 17, 2018, 12:53 PM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Apr 25, 2018, 12:21 PM ]

Two male students in front of a piano
Seniors Daniel Walker and James Morrison represented the Pennridge School District at the 2018 Pennsylvania Music Educators Convention and All-State Music Festival.

Daniel, a tenor, performed with the All-State Choir. James played the trumpet in the All-State Concert Band. Along with other musicians from around the state, Daniel and James rehearsed Thursday and Friday with a culminating performance on Saturday.   

Last fall, both students auditioned for their respective performing groups and ranked high enough to become members of the PMEA District XI Chorus and Band. Since then, they both have advanced to the regional and now state level.

School Safety Presentation Rescheduled to April 16

posted Apr 3, 2018, 12:03 PM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Apr 5, 2018, 9:27 AM ]

School Safety is a Shared Responsibility Sign
Our School Safety Presentation, postponed last month because of snow, will be held starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 16 in the Large Group Instruction Room at Pennridge High School.

Presented in partnership with our local police departments, this educational event will focus on procedures and practices that are in place throughout the District, such as the Raptor system for school visitors, volunteer procedures and safety drills.

Several questions that were submitted online by residents before the meeting will be addressed by school district administrators and law enforcement officials.

If you cannot attend, the presentation will be available on the District's YouTube Channel.

View School Board Meetings and More on You Tube

posted Mar 27, 2018, 11:59 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Mar 27, 2018, 12:14 PM ]

You Tube Logo
The Pennridge School District recently launched a You Tube Channel to provide important news and information about activities throughout the District. Subscribers will be notified via email whenever a new video is uploaded.

Our plan is to record all School Board meetings, including committee meetings, and make them available as soon as possible on the channel. We will also upload special presentations that may be of interest to you, as well as content created by students in our Broadcast Journalism class.

For now, we are using one static camera to record Board meetings; eventually, we hope to take advantage of our new state-of-the-art Digital Production Studio and make it a meaningful learning experience for students.

Subscribe to the PSD You Tube Channel

District Seeks Candidates for Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee

posted Mar 27, 2018, 11:50 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Apr 2, 2018, 8:43 PM ]

Proud, Principled Prepared Logo
The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires all school districts to undergo a comprehensive planning process every three years. The process includes a close examination of the goals identified in the previous plan, a look at the District's current position relative to those goals, and most importantly, a vision and action plan for where the District will be going during the next three years.

Districts perform these tasks in cycles; we must submit our plan to the Department of Education by November 30, 2018.

As part of the planning process, the state requires us to involve a broad range of people to participate. One responsibility of the School Board is to select two representatives from each of the following groups: residents, parents and the business community. Those participants, along with other required members, will form the Pennridge School District Comprehensive Steering Committee.

If you are interested in being considered for one of these positions, please complete the following questionnaire no later than Monday, April 2. Your commitment, if selected, will be to attend at least one meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the District Administration Office Board Room.

While the number of participants on the Steering Committee is limited, those not selected may be asked to serve on an action team later in the process.


If you have any questions, please send an email to Anita Cron, Assistant to the Superintendent.

Thank you.

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