Tonight I would like to recognize nine people who spend dozens of hours each month voluntarily leading our District and making difficult
decisions – your Board of School Directors.
These elected officials spend countless hours reviewing budgets,
approving curriculum and textbook choices, reviewing hiring decisions, adopting
policy, and evaluating the academic and operational results of the District.
They are our neighbors and friends who are doing a necessary, sometimes thankless,
job for the benefit of our children.
As we continue to celebrate the success stories in our schools, let us
not forget our elected school directors who play a significant role in creating
the environment where those successes can happen. We are fortunate to have such
a dedicated group of volunteers.
As you know, our January’s
T.A.K.E.S. P.R.I.D.E. theme is “service.”
These individuals exemplify the theme.
We thank members of the 2017 Pennridge School Board for their years of
dedicated service. Each
has been presented with a certificate from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Combined, they have a total of 54 years of service to the Pennridge School District.
Dr. Peter Yarnell, 27 years
Mr. Barry Casper, 7 years
Mrs. Christine Yardley, 6 years
Mrs. Ada Miller, 5 years
Mr. Steven Ragomo, 3 years
Mrs. Suzette Schmidt, 3 years
Mrs. Megan Banis-Clemens, 1 year
Mrs. Joan Cullen, 1 year
Mr. William Krause, 1 year
Tonight, we have the honor
of recognizing our Future
Business Leaders of America Club. 39 members attended the Regional Leadership
Conference last month at Delaware Valley University and competed in various
areas of business through a comprehensive exam or judged competition.
The following members placed in the top 5 of their respective events:
● Ian Kacergis, John Konieczny, Adam Yeager
- 2nd Place in Management Decision Making (a team event)
● Vincent Olindo - 1st Place in
Introduction to Business
● Nick Spano - 4th Place in Introduction to
● Alanna Lee - 2nd Place in Introduction to
● Kaitlyn Harries - 5th Place in Health
● Daniel Reinhold - 1st Place in Public Speaking
● Lauren Harries - 2nd Place in Public
● Nick Perricone - 2nd Place in Job
● Shannon Milligan - 3rd Place in Impromptu
● John Casey - 3rd Place in Client Service
Ian, John, Adam, Vincent,
Nick, Alanna, Kaitlyn, and Daniel will advance to the state competition.
Congratulations to the
students and their advisors.
technology into our curriculum in a meaningful way is an ongoing priority for
our teaching staff. At the elementary level, no one is doing it with more
passion than Mrs. Peg Volak, who found an interesting way to bring second
graders at JM Grasse an unforgettable experience, using Skype to take students on a virtual field trip to Antarctica, where they could see first-hand the Adelie penguins they had been studying about.
- Congratulations to our
varsity cheerleading squad on their Second Place finish at the PIAA State
Championship over the weekend. The team competed against 36 other teams in the
medium division and will finish their season at the UCA National Championship, February 11-12 in Orlando, Florida.
- Last week, the Perkasie
Rotary Club honored seniors Kaitlyn Stevens and Chad Schaeffer as its Student
of the Month for November and December.
Kaitlyn has taken six
honors courses in her high school career: Biology, Algebra II, Physics,
Pre-Calculus, Chemistry, and Calculus. She has also been a member of Executive
Council and Mini Thon, serving as President this year and Fundraising Chair
Kaitlyn has been on the
Distinguished Honor Roll and Honor Roll several times, and she won the Family
and Consumer Science Undergraduate Award as a Junior. She has also volunteered
for three years at the Central Bucks Family YMCA in Abilities, Aquatics, Camp,
and Youth Development.
Kaitlyn’s plans include
attending college to major in Elementary Education and Special Education.
Chad has taken a total of
13 Honors-level courses in high school, including AP Calculus AB, AP
Chemistry, AP Physics, AP Statistics, AP Government, and AP Calculus BC. He has
also been involved in Key Club, the Technology Student Association, baseball,
and the National Honor Society.
Chad has won a Design
Engineering Award, Applied Technology and Robotics Award, and Physical
Education and Wellness Award. He also has reached the rank of Eagle Scout by
building a pavilion at his church and is currently restoring a classic Camaro
in his spare time.
Chad’s community service
includes working with his Youth Group to feed the homeless. He also volunteers at
Alpaca Days, Boy Scouts, activities through Key Club and National Honor
Society, and Shared Table and Urban Cupboard in Philadelphia.
Chad plans to study mechanical engineering in college.
- Penn North sixth graders
Andrew Lizak and Landon Moyer took the two top spots in the Philadelphia
section of the American Chemical Society’s annual poetry contest. Students were
asked to write and illustrate a poem incorporating forensics concepts. Since
our sixth graders do not have a forensics unit, Andrew and Landon needed to do some
research before completing their projects.
Andrew won First Place,
receiving a certificate and $50. Landon Moyer took Second Place and received a
certificate and $25.
The boys were presented
with their awards during team activity on Friday, January 6.
- Maria Hough, a PSD bus
driver, stopped by Deibler Elementary recently to read her book “Outside My
School Bus Window” to first graders.
Maria wrote the book in
2003, soon after she began driving a bus for Pennridge. Beautifully illustrated
with her own photos, Maria’s book describes some of the interesting sights
students can see on their daily ride to and from school.
Maria also generously
donated a copy of her book to each first grader at Deibler.
- Congratulations to the
eight students who represented PHS at the Pennsylvania Music Educators
Association’s District XI Chorus Festival.
They were: Pragun Bhardwahj,
Daniel Walker, Seanan Ellis, Jeremy Noel, Katelyn Hughes, Kristen Dowling,
Joseph Zook, and Jonathan Worthington.
- During winter break, PHS
Student Council members Abigail Bennington and Madalyn Johnston presented Grand
View Health’s Breast Cancer Services Department with a check for $4,000 from
Pink Out 2016.
Since 2010, Pink Out
fundraisers by our student groups have raised $29,630.25
for the Grand View Health Breast Cancer Support Fund. President and CEO of the hospital, Jean
Keeler, sent me a personal note along with her sincere thanks!
- Do you know someone who has had a positive impact on Pennridge students over a long period of time? Someone whose hard work and dedication is worthy of public recognition?
If so, please consider submitting a nomination for a 2017 “Friend of Education” presented by the Pennridge Community Education Foundation. Nominations are due by this Friday, January 27.
The individual could be a teacher or administrator. A staff member or parent. A volunteer, school director, custodian, or bus driver...anyone (individual or organization) who has made indelible contributions to our school community.
Winners will be recognized at the Seventh Annual "A Lovely Evening" on Tuesday, April 25 at the Sellersville Theater.
To date, PCEF has contributed more than $20,000 in Innovative Learning Grants, scholarships, sponsorships and educational opportunities to students and teachers in the Pennridge School District.
- Finally, students at Penn Central Middle School put January's T.A.K.E.S. P.R.I.D.E. theme of "Service" into practice with two projects:
- A book drive organized by students Tara Kelly, Jamie Murray, Amelia Scholl and Rebecca Yardley to support the Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown was a huge success. Thanks to the generosity of the Central community, the girls collected over 1,700 books.
- Operating on behalf of the entire student body, the PCMS Student Council recently donated money to FoxSox4Soldiers. The program focuses on providing high quality socks to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The donation secured socks for 83 servicemen and women serving abroad. The annual tradition of donating socks to soldiers elicits thank you letters yearly from appreciative recipients.