In The Q

Welcome Back! Kicking off 2018-19

The First Day of School is Tuesday, Sept. 4th We can't wait to see you!


Meet the district's newest teachers

Amanda Cordisco

Education: Bachelors, Elementary Education with Elementary K-6 and Mathematics 7-12 teaching certificates

In QCSD: 9-12 Mathematics

Previously: Mathematics, Palisades High School; LifeWorks School, Doylestown

Fun things: Running, softball, soccer and spending time with family and friends

Why did you become a teacher?: “I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I’ve always enjoyed helping friends and classmates succeed in their courses, and now seeing my students succeed.”

Krista Greene

Education: Bachelors, Spanish/History, Appalachian State University; Masters, education, Chestnut Hill College; plus-30 ESL certification

In QCSD: Spanish, Trumbauersville Elementary

Previously: Archbishop Wood; East Wilkes (NC) High School; Holicong Middle School; Hatboro-Horsham High School; Keith Valley Middle School

Fun things: Travel, running, hiking, adventures, reading

Why did you become a teacher?: "I love the Spanish language/culture and sharing my experiences with others. Aha moments are the best!! Kids can always use another cheerleader and someone on their side."

Rachel Hess

Education: Millersville University

In QCSD: 9-12 Mathematics

Previously: Mathematics, Central Bucks School District

Fun things: Hiking, boating, fishing

Why did you become a teacher?: “I love working with people and teaching them new things.”

Fiona James

Education: Temple University

In QCSD: Life Skills, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: Allentown School District, Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School, Pennridge School District

Fun things: Reading, crocheting, and spending time with my kids

Why did you become a teacher?: “I’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as I could remember. I went into special education because of my brother.”

Brett Kaseman

Education: Bachelors, Mid-Level Education, Math concentration, Millersville University

In QCSD: Spanish, Pfaff and Quakertown Elementary

Previously: Math Learning Support, Sixth Grade Center

Fun things: Watching Philadelphia Eagles football, Reading “Game of Thrones” series, going to Applebee’s with friends for half-price appetizers

Why did you become a teacher?: “I wanted to become a teacher in order to make a difference in students’ lives, and be a positive influence for young learners as they grow.”

Stephanie Matula

Education: Bachelors, University of Pittsburgh; Masters, University of Michigan

In QCSD: 10th grade World History

Previously: Student teacher at Wayne Memorial High School, Wayne, MI

Fun things: Reading and drawing. “I’m also a foodie, so I love exploring new restaurants and coffee shops.”

Why did you become a teacher?: “I wanted to become a teacher because I love working with kids and helping others. I want to help my students become lifelong learners.”

Sari Miller

Education: Bachelors, Elementary Education, University of Delaware; Masters, Reading, Kutztown University

In QCSD: First grade

Previously: Reading specialist at Pfaff, Strayer, Tohickon Valley; reading specialist in Bethlehem and Philadelphia

Fun things: Reading, exercising, travel, photography, scrapbooking

Why did you become a teacher?: "I want to inspire children to learn. Especially to read!"

Allie Riegel

Education: Bachelors, Psychology, Kutztown University; Masters, School Counseling, Gwynedd Mercy University

In QCSD: LTS School Counselor, Richland Elementary

Previously: School Counselor at MaST II Community Charter

Fun things: Running, shopping and playing soccer

Why did you become a teacher?: “I love helping people and working with kids :)”

Trevor Smith

Education: Bachelor of Science, Secondary Social Studies Education, Biblical Studies, Cairn University

In QCSD: High School Social Studies

Previously: Social Studies, English, Berks Christian School; Social Studies, Poinciana High School, Kissimmee, FL; Social Studies, Executive Education Academy Charter School, Allentown

Fun things: Reading, cooking, Kombucha making, fermenting foods

Why did you become a teacher?: “I had lots of amazing teachers in high school who helped me figure out what I needed and wanted to do in life.”

Jennifer S. Tyrpak

Education: Bachelor of Science, Masters of Education in Art Education

In QCSD: Elementary Art at Neidig Elementary

Previously: 13 years experience in various settings

Fun things: Creating art, bird watching, doing puzzles, active in local church, reading

Why did you become a teacher?: “Teachers have the opportunity to impact others, making a positive influence for the future.”

Kelli Williams

Education: Bachelors, Elementary Education, Southeastern University

In QCSD: First grade at Quakertown Elementary

Previously: Quarles Elementary, Winchester, Va.; Renaissance Academy Charter School, Phoenixville; James Burd Elementary, Shippensburg

Fun things: Reading, running

Why did you become a teacher?: "I always wanted to become a teacher. When I was young, the teachers I had inspired me to be like them. When I got older, I found myself working with children a lot, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Now, I love to watch the excitement kids have when they enjoy learning."

High school seniors enlist in Marines

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Before starting their senior year at Quakertown Community High School, five students have enlisted in the Marines’ Delayed Entry Program.

Dylan Engelman, Matthew Esch, Armando Honorato, Cybil Krout and Zachary Werner are officially poolees, meaning they have signed up to become a Marine but have yet to leave for 13 weeks of recruit training at boot camp in Parris Island, SC. Another student, Noah Adorno, is in the process of completing the paperwork.

“When someone enlists with a branch of our armed forces, that commitment to service is indicative of their true character,” Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the dedication shown by these young people here in Quakertown."

The poolees will be working out once a week with Marine Sgt. Dallas Jackson to be “physically, morally and emotionally prepared” for boot camp, Jackson said. “They have shown me they want to start off their lives in the best possible way.”

In the above photo, Armando Honorato stands with Marine recruiter Sgt. Dallas Jackson after enlisting.

Each student, Jackson said, has different reasons for enlisting. “I would just like to thank each of them for entrusting me with this commitment.” Jackson said he’ll be checking the grades of each poolee “because education is very important. Without a high school diploma, you’re not going anywhere.”

Brilliant bassoonist makes grade at Juilliard

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QCHS grad Rebecca Krown is living her dream

With a mother, grandmother and aunt who thrived with careers in the music field, it should come as no surprise that Rebecca Krown grew up with a love of music.

But Rebecca's passion for music might only be surpassed by her rare gifts in playing the bassoon. The nation's top educators have certainly noticed, as the Quakertown Community High School and Temple University graduate recently began working toward her masters of music in bassoon performance at the famed Juilliard School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

"I'm just so excited," Rebecca said. "I've dreamed about this for such a long time, and to get to where I am now is just amazing."

Juilliard accepts only 6 percent of the students who apply, so Rebecca's achievement is already extraordinary. During the school's orientation, she Tweeted "Dreamed it, did it! Enjoying my orientation week at Juilliard! @BillHarner @QCSDnews @qchsband @JuilliardSchool #hardworkpaysoff #juilliardorientation"

Her mom is a middle school band director in the Perkiomen Valley School District, her aunt is a choral director in Pennridge, and her grandmother is a musician. Rebecca began to play the bassoon at an early age because it was "a more unusual instrument. I fell in love with it. I always like to be different, and this makes you stand out."

The 2014 graduate attended QCSD schools from K-12 and was part of the Panther Marching Band, Wind Ensemble and performed a solo concerto with the band as a senior. She praised district music teachers Frank Parker, Marcia Vanderslice and the since retired Alan Shugart for her "great experience at Quakertown."

"Kids in Quakertown can do great things," she added. "I want to be a testament to that. I'd like to thank the community for their support and the great start in my education."

Dan Cubbage achieves Eagle Scout status

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'My accomplishment is a reflection and a reminder of everyone who helped me along the way'

Dan Cubbage, who will be a senior when classes begin at Quakertown Community High School on September 4th, qualified as an Eagle Scout this summer, the highest achievement attainable with the Boy Scouts of America.

Dan, who comes from a Scouting family, said his father and two other brothers, Ronjon and Matt, were “role models” for his interest in Scouting, and they helped him “develop a passion for the outdoors.”

“The process to become an Eagle Scout is really unique,” said Dan, a member of the high school chorus and frequent volunteer at school events. “The first couple of years you learn outdoor skills, like how to build a fire. Then, as you continue, they develop your leadership abilities, your moral compass and help you become a well-rounded individual. Then you give back by teaching the younger Scouts to become a leader.”

Dan completed all 21 merit badges, including the Service Project that benefits the community. His project was to build a bench along the mile-long walking trail that's part of the Milford Township Park System. The bench, which converts into a table, was only part of his effort. Dan also built five bird houses and cleaned up trash along the trail.

He described the Eagle Scout achievement as “very emotional. I’m the first Eagle Scout in my family. My true belief is that people build Eagle Scouts. My accomplishment is a reflection and a reminder of everyone who helped me along the way. That’s what the program is all about.”

Chef's camp receives 5-star reviews

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Chris Polk has students cooking up 'amazing' fare

Christopher Polk’s Advanced Chef’s Camp began on a Monday, and two days later the Quakertown Community High School educator had his students ready to cook and serve diners at “Panther on Park,” a pop up restaurant across the hall from his cooking lab.

“It’s crazy,” Polk said after the event, which was aired by WFMZ Channel 69 reporter Jamie Stover. “I just met these kids two days ago.”

They executed a menu that included a salad, caprese flatbread, surf & turf with vegetables and potatoes, and crème brûlée. Reviews from the district employees who sampled the cuisine said the dishes were outstanding.

“It was really impressive, pretty darn amazing what they put together,” said Terry San Angelo, an administrative assistant in the Office of Teaching and Learning. “Someone described it as good as a five-star restaurant. I’d have to agree. It was really good.”

For more on the event, please click here.

Tech school's new director sets example for students

If you were to build an executive director for a technical school, Jeff Sweda might be the optimum prototype.

The Upper Bucks County Technical School’s new leader is a graduate of Hazleton Senior High School and Hazleton Area Vocational Technical School, where he excelled in both academic and vocational education, while also working for Marchetti Plumbing and Heating as he became dual certified in plumbing and HVAC.

That’s on top of playing high school football and wrestling. Sweda later played semi-pro football for the Pottstown Bandits, wrestled at Millersville University, coached high school wrestling and was elected to the Hazleton Area Sports Hall of Fame for his prowess as a grappler.

He earned a degree in education from Temple University, where he also received his vocational directors certificate and K-through-12 certification. Sweda has a masters of education in curriculum and instruction from Bloomsburg University.

“I’m a living example of what vocational education can do for you if you have the drive,” he said. “I can speak to students about the path they need to take. I can speak to parents about what their students need to do to succeed. I went through it. We definitely want our kids today to have the opportunity to take or participate in all of the college prep classes, as well as learn a trade at our school."

For more on the new director, please click here.

Students pickup laptops and Chromebooks

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The Quakertown Community School District, as part of its one-to-one program, loans a laptop to each high school student. At Strayer Middle School and the Sixth Grade Center, each student receives a Chromebook. In photo above, Joe Kuzo, the district's director of technology, hands a laptop to a high school student.
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School Bus drivers needed

The Levy School Bus Company is seeking drivers.

The position has flexible hours, a positive environment and is conveniently located in the Quakertown area.

Levy offers a competitive wage package, 401(k) benefits with company matched funds, bonus incentives, training and development, career opportunities, extra hours available evenings and weekends (optional), and community involvement.

This is a perfect job for people who love children, stay-at-home parents, college students looking for education experience, former teachers and anyone in need of extra income.

If you’re interested in becoming a school bus driver or want to hear more, please call Len at 215-536-4567 x121 or email

VFW seeks students for audio/essay contests

Last year, two Quakertown Community High School students scored highly on the Veterans of Foreign Wars audio/essay contest.

Leo Bernabei finished fourth in the state and earned a $2,500 college scholarship. And Samantha Norton initially tied Leo for the best essay at the Post level, according to Paul Gerhart, commander of the John Rivers Memorial VFW Post 11322.

The VFW essays promote patriotism, and award $30,000 in college scholarships to high school students and $5,000 to middle school students. For high schoolers, the 2018-19 theme is: Why My Vote Matters. For middle schoolers, the title is: Why I Honor the American Flag.

For more information on the project, please click here or contact Post Commander Paul Gerhart Jr., 267-992-4973.

Quakertown Community School District

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. Find more District topics of interest on the website by clicking here.