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January Points of Pride

posted Jan 27, 2017, 6:12 AM by Joe Ferry   [ updated Jan 27, 2017, 6:25 AM ]
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 Business

     Alanna Lee - 2nd Place in Introduction to Financial Math

     Kaitlyn Harries - 5th Place in Health Care Administration

     Daniel Reinhold - 1st Place in Public Speaking II

     Lauren Harries - 2nd Place in Public Speaking I

     Nick Perricone - 2nd Place in Job Interview

     Shannon Milligan - 3rd Place in Impromptu Speaking

     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.


Integrating 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 last year.
    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.