Mountain Lion Minute

Week of December 21st

Mountain Lion Families,

As we conclude an unprecedented and tumultuous 2020, and break for the winter holiday, I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to all who help make Montgomery Elementary an amazing place to be. We are a community with many gifts and talents, which we share daily with one another and most important, our students. Our collective efforts to raise the whole child are filled with passion, commitment and a willingness to make decisions that may be hard in the present, but will have a positive and lasting influence in the future for all.

You, our Mountain Lion parents, are such a critical part of all we hope to accomplish at Montgomery. These past 9 months have certainly been a trying time, for us all. I am eternally grateful to you for masterfully doing what I know firsthand is the hardest yet most rewarding job of all. Many of you have had to juggle many roles in order to accommodate a learning style that can be extremely confusing, frustrating, and taxing.

In the spirit of this holiday season, I want to extend my thanks to all of you for everything that you do for our school community. As we enjoy the upcoming holidays, it is my ardent wish that each of you receives and returns the good tidings that make these days truly special.


I look forward to seeing everyone as we return for a fantastic start to 2021.

Virtual Learning Update- Dr. Dietrich

Dear North Penn,

Last night, the NPSD Board of School Directors approved a motion to move to virtual instruction from Monday, January 4 through Friday, January 8, 2021. This means that students will return from winter break to our schools in the hybrid model during the week of January 11, rather than a week earlier as previously adopted. You can find questions and answers regarding this time period here.

The proactive decision was made as a preventative measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, similar to the transition to virtual for the week after Thanksgiving. We feel that this strategy will limit the potential impact of student and staff exposure during indoor, holiday social gatherings over the coming weeks.

On a related note, we are continuing to plan and organize for rapid testing for staff and some students. As previously announced, NPSD is working with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, supported by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), to provide rapid testing to staff and potentially a small number of students in January. NPSD is proud to be selected for this pilot testing program. Details about this great opportunity are being finalized and will be announced soon.

As always, please do all that you can to control the spread of COVID-19. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Stay six feet away from others. And limit large-group gatherings. This will be especially important during winter break. We must stop transmission outside of school and keep our staff and students healthy for their return in January. We do not want to risk the chance of a functional shutdown because too many staff and students are sick or quarantined to hold in-person instruction. And of course, we just want everyone to remain healthy and safe.

As always, thank you for your patience and support as we navigate this pandemic together.

Take care and stay North Penn Strong.

Sincerely,

Curtis R. Dietrich, Ed.D.
Superintendent, North Penn School District

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Christmas- Mrs. Emily Kline

Many people are familiar with the story of the young girl told by an angel that she was to give birth to the son of God, and her journey to Bethlehem in the final days of her pregnancy. It was there that Jesus Christ was born humbly in a stable, and wrapped in swaddling clothes. Like most Christians, I grew up hearing the stories of shepherds and wise men alike coming to honor this newborn baby, and the star that led their way.

For Christians, the Christmas season begins with the start of Advent. During Advent, Christians prepare their hearts and minds to celebrate the birth of Christ, as well as his eventual return. The Gospel tells us to watch, wait, look for guidance, listen to God and the world around us, and ready ourselves to welcome the Messiah. Opening our eyes and ears to both our spiritual and physical surroundings is an important practice in general, but it takes on a particular importance during Advent.


As a child, my family celebrated the Christmas season in many special ways. Setting up our family nativity was always the highlight of Christmas preparation for me, and continues to be one of my favorite Christmas traditions to this day. Each December my family would also host a ‘soup party’ - a special day set aside for anyone that wanted to stop by and celebrate the holiday season with our family. My mother, sisters and I would spend hours in the kitchen making cookies, cakes, pies, and of course a huge variety of different soups. Our kitchen would be full of rolls, butter shaped like poinsettias, soups, and yummy treats. People stopped in all day long - neighbors, friends, classmates, the mailman, even strangers we'd met at the grocery store while buying our ingredients. Our doors were open and all were always welcome! It was a simple, joyous way to honor the spirit of the season. I will always cherish the memories of our soup parties.


Many of my childhood traditions continue today with my own children. After mass on Christmas Eve, we drive around our neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. On Christmas morning, Miller, Maddox, Maris, and Marlowe wake up to a letter from Santa, an empty plate of cookies, gifts in front of the fireplace, and a ‘Santa Brunch’ with a festive table set by Santa himself. I remember staring mesmerized as a child at the little baby now laying in the manger in our church’s nativity at mass on Christmas morning, and now I love seeing my children do the same.

Perhaps my favorite moment throughout all of Christmas is the singing of ‘Joy to the World’ at Christmas mass. It truly embodies the joyousness of every Christian as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.


Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And Heaven and nature sing


As families of different faiths gather to celebrate, honor, reflect, and rejoice this holiday season, I wish you all peace in your lives and joy in your hearts. Let us remember that goodness and blessings are everywhere, if we choose to open our minds and hearts to receive them. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Klines!

Kwanzaa- Mr. Nick Taylor (North Penn HS Assistant Principal)

Kwanzaa is a non-religious holiday that was created to honor African American culture and community. It is a cultural holiday that celebrates the growth of the agricultural harvests in Africa during the southern solstice—in the Southern Hemisphere, summer starts around December 21st. Kwanzaa is a seven day celebration that starts on December 26th and ends on January 1st. Each day of Kwanzaa honors one of seven core principles called Nguzo Saba:


Umoja - Unity

Kujichagulia - Self-determination

Ujima - Collective work and responsibility

Ujamaa - Cooperative economics

Nia - Purpose

Kuumba - Creativity

Imani - Faith


To celebrate Kwanzaa, a Kinara is set up with seven candles (three red, three green, and one black). A candle is lit each day to honor the core principle of the day. While there are different ways in which families and friends can celebrate Kwanzaa, typically each day starts with a greeting of Habari gani?, which means What’s the News? in Swahili. The response to the question will be a statement of the core principle that the day honors. For example, on December 26th, celebrators and/or observers of Kwanzaa will state Habari gani? and the response will be Umoja! Gifts are usually exchanged on the last day of Kwanzaa: Imani.
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Mrs. Kristen Tarsiewicz

"2020 brought a big change to this wonderful committed Montgomery staff member's life. Our Miss Wieland became Mrs. Tarsiewicz on the most beautiful Saturday afternoon in August. Kristen Tarsiewicz has been teaching third grade at Montgomery for the past seven years! She is caring, compassionate, and creative. The students that she has had always remember the theme that her classroom was decorated as, whether it was the beach, donuts, and presently lemons. Mrs. Tarsiewicz always has past students stopping in to say Hi and to see what magical creation she has in her room. The warm inviting atmosphere that she creates supports her students to always strive to do their best! Through the years, Mrs. Tarsiewicz has been very dedicated to Montgomery through her participation in Girls on the Run, Mini Thon,as well as other school activities during the day and after school. Those of us that know her know that Mrs. Tarsiewicz is a fabulous cook and baker. She loves to spend time at the beach as well as outside in the sunshine! Kristen is dedicated to her own family and is always sharing stories about them! How lucky we are to have her as part of our Montgomery Mountain Lion Family!"

Ms. Beth Reehling

"One of the most important things to know about Beth is she would give you the shirt off her back. She would do anything for you, and if she couldn’t, she would go out of her way to find you someone who could. She has affectionately been given the nickname “Mary Poppins” by her 5th grade team because she possesses a multitude of useful knick-knacks, posters, art supplies, coats, bins, the list goes on. You name it, Beth has it. You can count on Beth to help you out in any jam you may find yourself in. She is also the resident IT woman for the second floor of the building. She will help set up cords, reboot your epson, and email you helpful hints and shortcuts to the abundant amount of information we receive on a daily basis. Beth is selfless this way. She is always thinking about other people. She makes a difference every day in the lives of her co-workers and her students. She will dance and sing her way around the water cycle. She will pull out primary sources and artifacts to help her students better understand the concepts. She is always thinking of ways to help get her students involved in their learning. She loves her Montgomery family (almost) as much as her biological family. Her mother, daughter, and adorable granddaughter are her world. Montgomery is very lucky to have a wonderful teacher like Beth! "

Mrs. Theresa Thomas

"Mrs. Thomas has been part of the Montgomery family for many years. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Thomas for a couple of years and she is one of the most dedicated people I know. She cares very deeply for all of the students and it shows everyday. Mrs. Thomas goes out of her way to ensure that every student feels confident and safe. She is a great collaborator and always thinks of creative new ways to teach a skill! The students and staff who get the opportunity to work with her are very lucky! Montgomery is very fortunate to have such a dedicated person in our school community! "

Bingo with Mr. Seidenberger!

Join Mr. Seidenberger for a game of virtual bingo! We'll play as many rounds as possible in 45 minutes. Every winner gets a prize! Please RSVP for this event in Membership Toolkit by Clicking here! . Registered players will be emailed a Zoom link and additional info prior to game night.

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Monty's 12 Days of Giveaways

Monty wants to end 2020 with some giveaways! Our 12 day countdown to 2021 begins on 12/20, with a new winner picked each day. Winners will be contacted by email and will receive a special holiday prize pack from Monty! Enter here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bfb1911715/?
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6th Grade Class Fund Raiser: Stocks Pound Cake!

They're BACK! Order one of these famous, delicious cakes now through January 6, 2021. Pickup at school Lobby (tentatively) on Saturday January 23. Cost $16 each. Order & Pay through Membership Tool Kit by clicking here: https://montgomeryhsa.membershiptoolkit.com/store/5205
Click here to see flavors, icing options, and details on how to order outside of MTK.
Any questions, reach out to Diane at dbradley112@hotmail.com or Denise Matlack at dmatlack3@verizon.net

Home and School Leadership

Emily Kline - President

(c) 912-308-5808

emilyakline@gmail.com

Marci Ramos - 1st Vice President
(c) 610-405-6619

marcisomar@gmail.com

Katie Hersh - 2nd Vice President

(c) 267-984-8633
kathryn.hersh@icloud.comOpening in a new window

Deb Dancer - Vice President of Ways and Means

(c) 215-485-3564

debradaley@hotmail.com

Michelle Judge – Treasurer
(c) 267-227-8556
michelle.m.judge@gmail.comOpening in a new window

Jayme Maitz - Secretary

(c) 215-880-7565
jaymemaitz@yahoo.com

Montgomery Elementary School

Mr. TJ Seidenberger, Principal


Mrs. Lorraine Oliver, Principal's Secretary


Mrs. Beth Faia, Building Secretary


Mrs. Toby Sterling, Counselor


Mr. John DeSimone, SCC

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