East Pennsboro Area High School


Where we aim to know each student by name, face, and personal story.

Message from Dr. Bianchi, Principal

Happy Halloween!

As the calendar turns to November, one-quarter of the school year is already behind us. While there is much still to accomplish, it is worth highlighting numerous student accomplishments during the first marking period.

Our extra-curricular program has provided numerous, visible examples of students’ accomplishments thus far, and you'll see highlights in this newsletter. In addition to athletics and music, we offer over 20 clubs here at EPAHS led by dedicated faculty advisors. We strongly recommend participation in these activities because they allow students to develop new abilities, interact with a variety of people, and feel a sense of purpose in their high school. We want to do everything we can to offer opportunities and a robust, well-rounded high school experience.

Academic achievement is our central, though not sole, focus. In this newsletter, you will notice examples of students thriving academically. The most visible symbol of student achievement this past month took place at our National Honors Society induction. Roughly one-eighth of our 10th, 11th, and 12th graders are members of NHS! In the Counseling Corner below, you will find numerous opportunities available to students planning for their futures. We support the endeavors and pathways of all our students. As such, we are having ongoing conversations regarding academic and behavioral intervention programming. Behavior referrals through last week were at their lowest levels in recent years. Finally, our school hosted the region’s Special Olympics on October 18 at our stadium. Including participants, volunteers, and spectators, roughly 400 students took part in this great event.

We wish you a good start to the second marking period and a happy beginning to the eventual holiday season.

Dr. Bianchi

Student Spotlight


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EPAHS Students of the Month

Congratulations to our students of the month from September! From left to right, Mckenna Stitzel and Luka Strickland.

Way to go Panthers!!!

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EP Nation - Paint Wars

The students did an amazing job of having fun and being responsible! Special thank you to Dr. Womer for helping with the coordination of this fun event.

Piedmont Air Hangar

On Tuesday, October 24th, several students from the high school had the rare opportunity to tour the Piedmont Air Hangar located at Harrisburg International Airport to learn about the vast opportunities available in the Aviation and Aerospace industry. The event ignited their passion for the skies and unveiled the thrilling world of aviation. The students who attended were (from left to right): Conner Hacker, Ben Duncan, Brogan Barlup, Robbie Strickland, Logan Smith, and Morgan Stellfox.

Thank you to our teacher Jeffery Barlup for arranging this wonderful experience for our students!

Spanish-language production of Rapunzel

Gamut Theatre Group’s Popcorn Hat Players performed their Spanish-language production of Rapunzel to a group of students in our High School.

Sponsored by the Performing Arts Booster organization, this performance was free of charge to our students! Approximately 130 students, representing our Performing Arts Department, Spanish language Department, and English-language learning population were in attendance.

Of the experience, junior Vickie O’Keefe said, “It was a learning experience, going out of my comfort zone. Even though I didn’t understand the language, it widened my horizons and made me want to learn Spanish.” Junior Isander Gonzalez-Gonzalez, who also had the opportunity to participate in the performance, said, “I thought it was really good representation, and it was a really funny play -- especially singing ‘Como la Flor’.”

Caring Team for Grieving Students Summit

On October 12th, four of our high school students led by school counselor Hillary Miller were selected to be part of a student led panel at the annual Caring Team for Grieving Students Summit held at the Highmark Caring Place. We are Panther Proud of students Cici Perella-Carvalhaes, Sami Kuntz, Giana Boyd, and Ryleigh Magaro. These four young ladies did an exceptional job representing our school as student leaders and helped the audience learn about how to support students who are grieving.
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Cultural Food Tasting

Some students requested to use the LMLC during AP/Lunch to host a “cultural food tasting”. Students made dishes native to their countries – which included food representing Egypt, Sudan, Nepal, Morocco, Ukraine, and Pakistan. The students brought enough food to give plates to some of their teachers as well as eat lunch together.

When asked their thoughts on having this event, they stated that other schools they attended held such events and they were missing that aspect of school. So they organized their own event here.

Senior Sunrise

Senior Sunrise is a new tradition at EPAHS. Seniors gather at sunrise in the beginning of their final year at EPAHS and will gather at sunset at the end of their final year at EPAHS. Our senior leaders are a significant reason why we are having a great school year.
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Curriculum Corner

PA Vertebrate Projects

Ecology class completing small group presentations on their PA Vertebrate Projects!

Love the Collaboration (EPASD Core Value) between student groups.


Hello students! My name is Mrs. Sanders and I am your high school's LMLC librarian. I wanted to inform everyone about the resources we have available to you both physically and digitally. Attached you will find two flyers, one highlighting our most valuable resources and another one highlighting one specific digital resource called PowerLibrary. Throughout the year, I will be sharing an informational online flyer spotlighting certain digital resources for both students and staff to discover and hopefully inquire the LMLC how to utilize.

The LMLC does have a new website, developed last year, housing all your research needs. Digital resources that will be highlighted can be found through the LMLC Resources webpage. My hope is for everyone to check out the website and see the vast array of both physical and online opportunities the LMLC provides. You can find the LMLC website through Clever (see the attached picture to locate).

At the LMLC, both the wonderful Mrs. Boston and myself live by our mission: "EMBRACE CURIOSITY – READ BOOKS – BE HAPPY!". We strive to provide a space that helps students embrace curiosity, want to read more books thus learn new information, and just overall feel happy meaning less stressed. We hope you come down to visit us because we are a really cool place to use. We even have a free coffee/hot chocolate bar (must bring your own drink cup though). If you have any questions or just want to visit, please come visit us sooner rather than later :-).


Mrs. Sanders

Info.Tech.for Bus.Ed.

EPAHS Librarian

East Pennsboro Area School District

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Escape Room

We have recently finished reading The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, and I have to say, this group has fully embraced the story and have taken it to levels I haven’t seen before!

The groups worked through a multi-classroom “escape room.” Their groups will be tasked with navigating their way through SEVERAL clues and tasks that will test the limits of their understanding of this important literature and its allegoric nature.

Some main learning goals:

Author’s purpose (and allegory)

Character development

Text connections


All of the groups worked extremely well together and had so much fun working through all of the tasks!

EPAHS Yearbook Award

East Pennsboro High School Recognized for Yearbook Excellence

“The EPHS Yearbook Staff has been recognized by Balfour Yearbooks for its outstanding contribution to scholastic journalism. The 2022 edition of the East Pennsboro High School yearbook is recognized and featured in the 2023 Balfour Yearbook Yearbook. The yearbook adviser is Hanna Schaffer.

“Congratulations for creating a book that both captures the history of the school year and the unique stories of your students,” Mike Cobb, Director of Marketing said. “Your inclusion in the 37th edition of the Yearbook Yearbook allows your outstanding work to serve as inspiration for yearbook staffs across the nation.”

Yearbooks published by Balfour for the 2021-22 school year were evaluated in one or more of the following areas: theme development, layout design, photo contest, secondary packages, and cover design. East Pennsboro High School’s outstanding work earned placement in the Yearbook Yearbook for a showstopper design and a spread layout design.”

The 2024 East Pennsboro Yearbook staff is hard at work on this year’s edition, continuing the tradition of excellence in design and journalism. Be sure to pre-order your book today!

Contact Hanna Schaffer at hschaffer@epasd.org with any questions!

Foundations of Fitness

High School students working on their chipping skills in their Golf Unit! Many students have never played the sport before and realized that it is a lot harder than it looks!

Maybe some new golfers will join our Golf Team next school year.

Sixth Annual Cake Off Competition

Students practice soft skills like collaboration, problem-solving, teamwork, and presentation during our sixth annual Cake Off Competition. In this competition, students work in groups of 2-4 to create a cake that will wow the judges. One of this year’s judges was famous fashion designer, Jessica Bacon, who said she was blown away by the students at EPHS and their ability to create so well together. “The best students are here,” said Bacon.

“Learning is an active process. We learn by doing. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.” -Dale Carnegie.

Teamwork Thursday

Every week, Mr. Durika’s Career Exploration class does “Teamwork Thursday,” where they group in teams and learn communication and cooperation skills while having a bunch of fun.

Last week, students participated in a “Selfie Scavenger Hunt.” They were given a list of locations inside and outside of the high school and told to form groups of three and take selfies in those locations.

It was a fun way to get out of the classroom to explore the school and to work together to accomplish tasks.

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Counselor Corner

Career & Technical Center

Dave Payne, a school counselor from Cumberland Perry Area Career & Technical Center (CPACTC), visited the high school on Thursday, October 5th to share information about their programs to our 9th grade students. Students who are interested in attending CPACTC next school year should aim to turn in their application by the first-round deadline of December 22nd.

Here are some upcoming nights hosted by CPACTC:

  • November 1st: Career Exploration Night for Arts & Technology, Health Sciences, Human Services & Hospitality
  • November 2nd: Career Exploration Night for Advanced Manufacturing, Construction & Maintenance, Transportation & Logistics

Financial Aid Night

Diona Brown, a representative from Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), visited East Pennsboro Area High School on Wednesday, October 11th for our Financial Aid Night to present information to students and families.

If you couldn't make it, click the link to her presentation below:

PA Area Health Education Centers: Virtual Career Awareness Program

For any student interested in health careers, the Pennsylvania Area Health Education Centers is providing a virtual health careers awareness program. The program is completely free and a good opportunity to explore possible careers. Please see the attached flyer for more information on deadlines and schedule of events for February 2024:

Children's Grief Awareness Day

In honor of Children's Grief Awareness Day on Thursday, November 16th, a table will be set up in the cafeteria during both lunches to provide students with information about grief resources as well as an optional activity to memorialize the loved one's students have lost.

PA Youth Advisory Council Application

The PA Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is currently accepting applications! YAC gives teens a voice to make a difference in health policy and programming that affects them and their peers. Teens will join the YAC for two years to provide feedback on youth-related healthcare, practices and policies impacting youth across PA. By participating in YAC, teens will gain real-world experience collaborating with the Department of Health and other youth-serving agencies, add skills and volunteer experience to their resume, and receive a certificate of participation for college and job applications. The online application (due November 3rd, 2023) and more information can be accessed through the attached flyer and application:

Shippensburg University Instant Decision Day

On November 8th, a college admissions representative from Shippensburg University will be visiting East Pennsboro Area High School for an "Instant Decision Day". That means you will have the opportunity to meet with the college admissions representative for a 10-minute session to review your application and be notified of your admittance THE SAME DAY! No waiting!!

The benefits of an Instant Decision Day:

  • No waiting for your acceptance letter!
  • This is non-binding, meaning you do not have to attend Shippensburg, even if you are accepted
  • You will have the opportunity to discuss your application and make your case about why you should be accepted to their school
  • You will have the chance to ask them questions about their school

Here is what you will need to be prepared for your Instant Decision Day:

  • A completed online application to Shippensburg a few days in advance
  • A copy of your high school transcript on November 8th
  • Dress appropriately for an important (but brief!) interview on the 8th

To sign up for this Instant Decision Day, please complete this Google Form by TUESDAY, Oct 31st:

PAYS Survey

East Pennsboro Area School District is taking part in the 2023 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS) sponsored by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The survey will ask questions about the behaviors of students in the 8th, 10th, and 12th grades, including questions about school climate, violence, depression, bullying, and substance abuse. We have created a PAYS Survey page on our website, www.epasd.org, under Departments à Pupil Services and Special Education. This page contains information about the PAYS Survey, FAQs, our Opt-Out Letter, and results from our most recent PAYS Survey. The middle school will be administering the survey to 8th grade students on Wednesday, October 25th, and the high school will be administering the survey to 10th and 12th grade students on Wednesday, November 1st. Parents and guardians wishing to opt-out their student must complete and return the form on the PAYS Survey page by Friday, October 20th.


  • Early Dismissal - 12:20 PM - October 27th
  • End of the First Marking Period - October 27th
  • Senior Portrait Make-up (Last Chance) - October 30th and 31th
  • Photo retake day for students in grades 9-11 - November 1st
  • Report Cards Posted in Sapphire - November 3rd
  • Coffee Friday - November 3rd
  • Election Day - November 7th
  • College Announcement & Signing Recognition - November 8th
  • Veteran's Day Ceremonies - November 9th
  • Winter Sports Enrollment Deadline - November 9th
  • All Offices & Schools Closed, Veteran's Day (Observed) - November 10th
  • Fall Production of Puffs, 7 pm - November 10th
  • Fall Production of Puffs, 7 pm - November 11th
  • Fall Production of Puffs, 2 pm - November 12th
  • Winter Sports Begin - November 17th
  • Parent Teacher Conferences - November 20th and 21st
  • Fall Break, All Schools & Offices Closed - November 23rd-25th
  • In-service Day, No school for Students & Offices Closed - November 27th

Photo Retake Day

Dear families,

Photo retake day for students in grades 9-11 is Wednesday, November 1 during the school day. If you are interested in ordering photos, you can pick up an order form in the office or send your student to room 212. You can also pre-order your photos online at mylifetouch.com using Picture Day ID EVTBW837F.

If your student received a picture order packet from the original photo day in September, they should bring those to retake day and return them to the photographer.

Please direct questions to hschaffer@epasd.org.

Thank you!

Notes from our Nurse:

For Attendance in 12th Grade: 1 dose of MCV (Meningococcal) on the first day of 12th grade. If one dose was given at 16 years of age or older, that shall count as the twelfth-grade dose. The student will be excluded on August 30th without evidence of vaccination.

Letters have been sent out if your student is missing their twelfth-grade dose. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 717-287-8764 or bhawk@epasd.org.

Illnesses: If you are sick, stay home. You may be sent home if you show signs of a sore throat, headache, stomachache, or cough.

Medication Policy: If you need medications during the day, you will need to provide a doctor’s note stating that you need the medication during school hours. The medications should be brought In by an adult/guardian in the pharmacy-labeled container. Empty containers may be sent home with the students, but the refills will need to be brought in by the parent/guardian.

Attendance Information

Parents/Guardians - Please remember you have the option to submit absence notes, doctor, tardy, early dismissal, and educational trip forms to our high school attendance mailbox at ephsattendance@epasd.org


East Pennsboro Spirit Store is OPEN!

Open 24 hours for all of your EP Spirit needs!
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Athletic & Activity Highlights

Scholar Athlete of the Week

Congratulations to East Pennsboro senior Paul Sanderson on being selected as the Friday Night Rivals Scholar-Athlete of the Week, sponsored by Shollenberger Januzzi & Wolf. The story was featured on CBS 21 local news and can be viewed below.

Paul says, "I was really honored to receive this award, and I got a lot of support from my family and friends. I just always try to help everyone and try to stay busy." Dr. Bianchi added, "We need leaders like Paul in our school. Paul is a great role model and a leader for his peers."

Paul exemplifies his drive, determination, and leadership on and off the field, and we are Panther Proud of his achievements!

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Field Hockey

Congratulations to Maddie Druckemiller on achieving 200 career saves!
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Cross Country

We spent time this afternoon at our final home Cross Country meet celebrating our five seniors. Congratulations and thank you to these student-athletes for their dedication to the orange and black!

Congratulations to our medalists from yesterday’s Mid Penn Cross Country Championship race at Big Spring!

Jessalyn Welsh finished 30th overall and Andrew Namatka finished 12th overall.

Both boys and girls teams also qualified for Districts!

EPAHS Marching Band

The marching band won 1st place at the US Bands Halifax competition.
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Girls Soccer

Tonight we celebrated our girls soccer seniors! Thank you girls and best of luck in all of your future endeavors!
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Awesome comeback win Panthers! You make us proud!

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Panthers improve 8-1!

Girls Tennis

Congratulations to our medalists from the Mid Penn AA Girls Tennis Tournament yesterday!

Gabby Jovic and Danica Martin won silver in number 2 doubles

Ella Harter and Mihaela Hristozova won silver in number 1 doubles

Boys Soccer

The boy's soccer team punched back in its playoff opener against Lower Dauphin but saw its breakout season end with a 3-2 loss.

What an amazing season and we could not be more proud of our Panthers!


The golf team had a very successful season and finished 2nd in the Mid Penn Capital division with an overall record of 30-12!

Four golfers, Isaac Gilbert, Mason Smith, Brody Rafferty, and Blake Pasda all moved on to the Mid-Penn Qualifier!

Special Olympics

Thank you to everyone who came out to support our Special Olympics on Wednesday, October 18th! We are so thankful and Panther Proud of the support and love shown to these athletes by our school district and the East Pennsboro community. Please enjoy the video below with photographs courtesy of Matt Kark Photography. Thank you!

Special shout out to all of the EPAHS Students and Staff who participated in this amazing event!

Special Olympics 2023

EPAHS Drama Club Presents


Tickets for "Puffs" are now on sale online!

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students (ID required and will be checked at the door).

Use this link to order now!

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Puffs Rehearsal

Molly Bartolo (left) and Ashleigh Klose (center) help Layah Simmons practice lines during a break at "Puffs" rehearsal.


Environment Club

Did you know that our high school Environment Club is building a Greenhouse? We have spent the last year raising funds and are getting closer to our $17,000 goal! Our students submitted a permit application and are currently working with a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Engineer Tim Carre, P.E, C.W.I who is donating his time to help us accomplish our goals this year. We are passed the halfway mark but need YOUR support!

Our goal is multi-disciplinary:

  • to create an opportunity for our Environmental Club & AP Environmental classes to learn about the growing process of food.
  • to create a space for our curriculum to teach the importance of food science in our Family & Consumer Science classes.
  • to create an opportunity for our engineering students to create an opportunity to create a building used by our students.
  • to create an opportunity for our Marketing classes to help our Environment Club to market our products for the farm markets @Adams Ricci Park once we have produce.
  • to create a green space for a reward for our PBIS & mentoring programs
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EPASD Holiday Card Design Contest

After an overwhelming response last year with 124 contest entries, we are excited to announce that the EPASD Holiday Card Design Contest is BACK! Students need to submit their design on the contest form below to their school office by Friday, November 17th. We are looking forward to seeing everyone's wonderful designs!
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EPASD Tech Support/Resources

The EPASD Technology Department has created a link for parents and students to reference for technical issues.


Parent's Guide to Google Classroom

Click the link for a parent-friendly guide to navigating your student's Google Classroom.


Tutoring Resources

The Cumberland County Library System is offering virtual tutoring sessions. Click the link for more information.


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