In The Q

March 8, 2019 newsletter

PA Teacher of year semifinalist

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Kristen Martin is a full-day kindergarten teacher at QE

Kristen Martin, a full-day kindergarten teacher at Quakertown Elementary School, is a semifinalist for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year.

“I am humbled, surprised and honored,” Mrs. Martin said. “I believe my nomination is a recognition of how hard we work as teachers in Quakertown to best support all of our students. It’s great to be recognized for the passion and dedication I have for our Kindergarten students’ success and future success.”

Mrs. Martin, who has taught in the Quakertown Community School District for 12 years, all at QE, was nominated for the honor by Principal Dr. Michael Zackon, who wrote a glowing letter on her behalf.

Please click here to read the full story.


Combining art and engineering at SGC

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students go above and beyond to excel

Sixth Grade Center teacher Mr. Anthony Carty recently highlighted the work of two students - Mya Mallari and Elijah Wassmer.

The class project was to create a diagram of a volcano and describe the different major functions of each part. Mya and Elijah, however, went a step further and did the descriptions on paper and then developed a 3-D version.

Mya, in the above photo, used paper mache and paint with a plastic magma chamber. Elijah's, pictured below, is a PVC magma chamber with a pressure valve that is pressurized with a bike pump. The pressure is released through a valve on the central vent and sends liquid 30 feet in the air.

"We actually tested it!" Mr. Carty said. "Both Mya and Elijah are outstanding examples of students taking ownership of their own learning and transferring it to art and engineering."

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Big-timers in the big house

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Wrestlers advance 3 to states

Three Quakertown Community High School wrestlers qualified for the state championships in Hershey with exceptional performances at the South East AAA regional tournament. The three qualifiers for the Continental League champions are Corey Cope, Domenic DeFalco and Max Russell.

The above photo shows the Big 3 - Max, Dom and Corey, from left to right - in the Giant Center. Below, they're pictured with their teammates and coaches holding a trophy emblematic of their achievement.

Please click here for a story in the Bucks County Herald.

On Twitter, it was QCHS teacher Ms. Byatt who said it best: "Yet again Coach Handel leads a great group of young men to an amazing season. Congratulations to the entire team."

As an update, Max, an outstanding football lineman in addition to wrestler, lost his bouts Friday night and was knocked from the tournament. In Tweets, both the wrestling and football coaches thanked him for "four great years."

"Max’s great senior season comes to an end. 27-15 on the year! Thank you for 4 great years Max!"

"Congratulations on a fantastic Football & Wrestling Careers at our great school! #67 #MultiSportAthlete"

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Mason Ziegler places 6th in JV tourney

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Mason Ziegler, a student at Strayer Middle School, placed sixth in the PA Junior High School State Wrestling Tournament in Johnstown.

Mason's hard work paid off!


sports not waiting for spring to spring

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Athletes training indoors for season

The athletic fields may be covered by snow outside, but Quakertown's athletes aren't waiting for a melt to get into shape. They're training indoors in preparation for the spring campaign.
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Quakertown Tech School students shine in regionals; 13 advance to states

Quakertown Community High School students attending the Upper Bucks County Technical School were phenomenal at the recent SkillsUSA 2018-2019 District 11 Championships. Thirteen scored high enough to advance to state competition, while several others placed second and third. Here's the list:

First Place: Advancing to State Competition

Automated Manufacturing

Chase Geiger: Machining Technologies, junior

Mike Hoover: Machining Technologies, junior

Basic Health Care Skills

Celina Rajkowski: Health Care Careers, senior

Building Construction

Hayes Hepburn: Construction Technology, junior

CNC Technician
Reese Panfil: Machining Technologies, senior

CNC Turning

Raymond Slifer: Machining Technologies, sophomore


Lucille Walters: Cosmetology, senior

Graphic Communications

Colin Patterson: Graphics Communications, senior

Health Knowledge Bowl

Rebekah Damon: Health Care Careers, senior

Abigail Eckert: Health Care Careers, senior

Job Interview

Thane Goetz: Machining Technologies, freshman

Nail Care # 1

Elizabeth Crawford: Cosmetology, senior

Prepared Speech

Austin Stoudt: Law Enforcement, sophomore

Second Place

Commercial Baking

Aliyah Holloway: Baking & Pastry Arts, junior

Crime Scene Investigation

Gianna Carcifi: Law Enforcement, senior

Nick Sereny: Law Enforcement, senior

Trevor Robinson: Law Enforcement, junior,

Extemporaneous Speaking

Brayan Flores: Plumbing Technology, junior


Jarod Leatherman: Construction Technology, sophomore

Third Place

Action Skills

Eli Mohr: Law Enforcement, junior


Alexis Klein: Carpentry, senior

First Aid/CPR

Faith Clark: Health Care Careers, junior

Medical Math

Angela Harbeck: Health Care Careers, junior

Power Equipment Technology

Ethan Clark: Small Engine Technology, sophomore


Austin Richardson: Welding Technology, senior


After 5 years, so much for everyone to be proud of

Dr. Bill Harner reflects on five years as Superintendent in the Quakertown Community School District. Please click here for his thoughts.


Safe2Say's unintended consequences

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A great deal has been happening in the school district regarding the state's new Safe2Say Something tip line.

If you're not aware, here's a presentation that Assistant Superintendent Nancianne Edwards, the district's safety director, made to the School Board.

Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner alerted the community to a tip that turned out to be a hoax, after several hours of work by police and school administrators.

In the photo above, School Resource Officers Brian Hendrzak and Bob Lee speak to students at the Sixth Grade Center about Safe2Say.

Here's a story on the unintended consequences of Safe2Say in the Bucks County Herald.


10 student-athletes announce college choices

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On February 28 in the Quakertown Community High School Media Center, 10 student-athletes announced where they plan to attend college following excellent high school careers.

Here are the choices they made:

Tori Caputo, softball: Elizabethtown College

Matt Ciarrocchi, baseball: Moravian College

Ashley Gluck, soccer: California University of Pennsylvania

Dan Grubb, lacrosse: Chestnut Hill College

Kyra Handel, soccer: Ursinus College

Mason Hicks, baseball: Harford (Md.) Community College

Eli Ortiz, basketball: Cairn University

Dennis Pierce, baseball: West Chester University

Haley Pursel, soccer: Lafayette College

Sam Rice, baseball: Clarion University


all-league basketball selections!

Four Quakertown Community High School basketball players - one girl and three boys - were recognized by the Continental Conference for their outstanding seasons.

On the girls side, Kimmy Best, a senior guard, made Honorable Mention.

For the boys, freshman forward Bobby Rosenberger made second team. Teammates Eli Ortiz, a senior guard, and back court mate Jimmy Casey, a sophomore, are Honorable Mentions.

Congratulations to all for their accomplishments!


neidig, richland ready for QCSD's math 24 challenge

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Neidig Elementary School teacher Trish O'Neill, in photo above, stands with a group out outstanding math students. This is the team who will represent Neidig in the district's Math 24 challenge on March 25.

In photo below, fifth-grade math students have been practicing their calculating every day to prepare for the building finals. Several students will move on to represent the school later this month.

Good luck to all competitors!

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Parent federal program meeting

Tuesday, March 12th, 8pm

123 South 7th Street

Quakertown, PA

Parents and guardians of students at the District's Title I schools, Neidig, Quakertown and Richland elementaries and Strayer Middle School are invited to attend this meeting in the QE cafeteria.

During this meeting, Erin Oleksa-Carter, QCSD's Supervisor of Literacy and Arts, will share information about our Federal Programs and collect parent input to ensure that we continue to meet your child's needs.

Your feedback is very important. Please take a moment to share your experiences and ideas using this Google Survey. Thank you!


Richland Leaders shine

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Richland Elementary School recently hosted a visit from the staff at Pleasant Valley Intermediate School, who wanted to learn more about the school's "Leader in Me" journey.

Students acted as greeters, tour guides, and members of a question&answer panel. Richland Principal Nicole Zuerblis said "We are so proud of our Richland student leaders!"


A first for Theatrical Arts Club

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3 students earn roles in Desales' Shakespeare showcase

For the first time, three Quakertown Community High School Theatrical Arts Club students earned places in the DeSales University Shakespeare Showcase.

Juliet Marvelli and Mikayla Fuentes (performing Macbeth, Duo) and Liberty Ashe (Romeo & Juliet, Monologue) landed roles following two months of auditions. Mikayla, a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and a member of the Varsity Singers, was then awarded a $1000 scholarship for her performance, said Mrs. Kelly, who advises the club with Mr. Farley.

The students, Mrs. Kelly said, auditioned in January to compete at DeSales, and worked on their performances for two months, either in monologues or duo/trio. Club members performed weekly for one another, with feedback and coaching.

For the competition, the students took part in three adjudicated sessions where they performed and were given feedback. Based on the performances, a showcase was put together of the most outstanding work of the actors in the competition.

In the photo, from left, are Moriah Wilt, Evan Acker, Sophie Schneider, Mr. Farley, Juliet Marvelli, Mikayla Fuentes, Haley Arnold, Liberty Ashe and Mrs. Kelly.


Read across America

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Lots of participation in Read Across America week in Quakertown, as all elementary schools took part in the joy of reading.

QE students, above, had fun practicing their reading skills to therapy dogs. The dogs were incredibly gentle and calm.

Below, Neidig students discuss what they're reading.

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At Trumbauersville, compassion, perseverance, respect

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Trumbauersville Elementary School students and staff had a blast with a first Friday assembly that focused on diversity.

Following the assembly, students participated in games in their homerooms. Classes talked about how it felt to have different abilities and how to use compassion, perseverance, and respect while competing.

Great job tigers showing CPR!


Mini-thon: preparing for the big day!

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QCHS's official Mini-THON may not by taking place until April 5, but there's been lots of great stuff happening for the enormous fundraiser that helps children and families battling pediatric cancer.

On March 1, the school held a pep rally and dodge ball tournament. QCHS teacher Mrs. Rachel Girman, an adviser to Mini-THON, thanked the setup team, in the above photo, "for getting us ready for today!"

Mrs. Girman also congratulated Dodge Style, pictured below, for winning the tournament championship. Seniors won the games at the pep rally.

If you're not involved in Mini-THON and would like to be, just ask someone. Your help is needed. Thank you!

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Indian Valley Volleyball Club wins title

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The Indian Valley U18 AAU volleyball team, with six Quakertown Community High School athletes, captured the championship at 2019 Volleyball East Winter Classic at Kutztown University.

The team, made up of players from Quakertown, Lansdale Catholic and North Penn,

has advanced to all four tournaments it has competed in, achieving the crown at Kutztown.

The Panthers in the photo above include senior Alex Whalen, 14; senior Jenny Starzecky, 16; senior MacKenzie Mahler, 17; senior Samantha Barkholz, 13; Junior Kara Gallagher, 12; sophomore Grace Wilson, 19; and coaches Wendy Snyder, Andy Snyder and assistant Nathan Barkholz.


Former Panther named to Atlantic East Honor Roll

QCHS grad Cameron Delisle of Immaculatta University has been named to the Atlantic East Weekly Honor Roll.

The senior outfielder is majoring in Sports Management with minors in Business Administration and Spanish. In 2018, he was selected to the Colonial States Athletic Conference All-Sportsmanship Team.

Cameron played baseball and ran cross country at QCHS.


High school seat belt safety challenge

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Quakertown Community High School students are developing a video for the Bucks County High School Seat Belt Safety Challenge.

The students will be submitting a 30-second video public service announcement on teen driver safety as part of a Teen Driver Video PSA Challenge for TMA Bucks.


Summer camps: Sign Up Now!

The Quakertown Community School District is once again excited to offer a variety of Summer Camps for our learners. Our teachers have designed camp experiences to expand students’ knowledge and skills over the summer. Students will participate in small classes where the emphasis is on exploring, thinking, and risk-taking. The summer camp sessions reinforce a culture for learning for students at all grade levels. Camps will be run Monday - Thursday during the weeks of July 8-11, July 15-18, and July 22-25. These sessions will run from 9 a.m.-noon and will take place at Quakertown Community High School.

  • Registration will begin on Monday, March 11, and run through Friday, April 5.

  • The brochure for these camps can be found here.

Additionally, our Instrumental Music Teachers will once again be providing a Summer Instrumental Music Academy. These camps engage students in small group lessons over seven weeks throughout the summer months. Upon registration, students will be organized by instrument and assigned to specific times.

For all information, including registration fees, locations and times, please visit


Seeking Wall of Fame nominations

Quakertown Community High School Principal Dr. David Finnerty has observed students stand in the lobby, just outside the Cyber Commons, and read the names on the school’s Wall of Fame.

He enjoys the connection between former and current Panthers, and wants more role models on the Wall for students to emulate. “It’s great to see the connection,” Dr. Finnerty said. “I want them to be proud of their predecessors, and have it motivate them to be great.”

Dr. Finnerty is seeking Wall of Fame nominations from the public. Alumni considered will have demonstrated exceptional achievement in a career or have contributed significantly to the health, welfare or human rights of the local, state, national, or international community.

Please click here for more information, including a nomination form.


Scholarship opportunity for high school seniors

PPL Electric Utilities has announced the creation of a scholarship program to aid high school seniors pursuing an environmentally related career.

The PPL Electric Utilities Future Environmental Leaders scholarship contest will be open

to students looking to attend both two-year and four-year schools. One winner will be picked

from each of seven geographical regions within the utility’s service area in central and eastern

Pennsylvania to receive $2,000 toward college expenses.

Please click here for more information.


Pre-K Counts information

Pre-K Counts is a free preschool program open to children ages 3 and 4 (by September 1, 2019) who meet the income eligibility guidelines. There are three local locations for this program: Pfaff Elementary, Richland Elementary, and LifeSpan's child care center.

Please click here for more information.


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Youth baseball league for those with special needs

Baseball For Special People, a program for individuals with special needs, is seeking coaches.

Coaches must be at least 14 years old. Student coaches need a letter of recommendation from an adult. Adult coaches must have a background check similar to those of school employees. The league is also looking for players from the age of 5 to 99. Games are played on the Little League fields in Quakertown on Sunday afternoons, starting at 3:30 p.m.

For addition information, contact league president Paul Gerhart Jr., at 267-992-4973.


Presentations on vaping for parents, guardians

Two important presentations were recently given at Quakertown Community High School that Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner wanted to make parents and guardians aware of.

One involves drug abuse and vaping; the other is about the Pennsylvania Youth Survey.

David Fialko of the Council Of Southeast Pennsylvania, a highly sought after speaker, spoke about drug abuse and vaping. His presentation can be found here.

Carolyn Staffieri, a QCSD Pupil Services Administrative Intern, presented on PAYS data. Her presentation can be found here.


Custodians needed: Here's how to apply

The Quakertown Community School District is in need of custodians. SSC Services, which services the district, is seeking full and part time permanent and seasonal custodian positions.

Candidates may contact Laird Ihle, director of SSC, at 610-392-1059 or via email at


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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

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.