In The Q

Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year

Meet the district's newest teachers!

Rich Batz

Education: Bachelors, Secondary Education, Kutztown University; Masters, Assessment, Curriculum and Teaching STEM, Millersville University

In QCSD: Biology, Space, Oceanography, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: Biology, Central York School District

Fun things: Lifting, sports, video games

Why did you become a teacher?: "I love science and what better way to spend my day than sharing that love."

Renee Cimino

Education: Bachelors, St. John's University; Masters, Queens College

In QCSD: Kindergarten, Pfaff Elementary School

Previously: Adjunct Instructor, Northampton Community College; Kindergarten, Elmont, NY; Seven Generations Charter School, Emmaus; St. Michael the Archangel School, Coopersburg

Fun things: Spending time with family and friends, reading

Why did you become a teacher?: “I became a teacher to make a difference in the lives of students I teach. I like the challenge of helping students to do their best and be successful in all that they do."

Maddie Conte

Education: Bachelors, Early Grades Education, West Chester University

In QCSD: First Grade, Quakertown Elementary School

Previously: Regular Education paraprofessional, Skippack Elementary School

Fun things: Playing tennis, spending time with family and friends, drawing, listening to music, spending time at the beach.

Why did you become a teacher?: “I had several awesome, influential teachers throughout my educational career and they have inspired me to make a positive difference in students' lives as they have done for me."

Molly E. Cook

Education: Bachelors, Secondary Education and English, Cedar Crest College; Masters Curriculum and Instruction, Liberty University

In QCSD: Spanish, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: English, Exeter School District; English, Allentown School District; Spanish, Parkland School District

Fun things: Hiking, reading, horses, cooking, spending time with family and friends.

Why did you become a teacher?: “I love working with students and am passionate about bringing content to life. I switched to Spanish because I have a huge passion for it and love bringing enthusiasm to the material! Spanish is a subject that lends itself to creativity and incorporates history, art, literature, and character development. I love bringing the culture and beauty of Spanish to students."

A.J. D'Angelo-Masko

Education: Bachelors, English Literature, Denison University; Masters, International Peace and Conflict Resolution, Arcadia University

In QCSD: Third Grade, Quakertown Elementary School

Previously: Second/Third Grade, Germantown Academy

Fun things: Reading, playing guitar, sports and music events, dad to a 3-year-old

Why did you become a teacher?: “To facilitate and inspire day to day, yearlong and lifelong learning through intellectual curiosity and engagement."

Kylie Derossi

Education: Bachelors, Elementary Education, West Chester University

In QCSD: Third Grade, Richland Elementary School

Previously: First Grade and Kindergarten Long Term Substitute, Richland Elementary School

Fun things: ATVs, exercise, spending time with friends and family

Why did you become a teacher?: "Influence from my own teachers who made a difference in my life and made me want to do the same for others."

Stacy DeStefano

Bachelors: Elementary and Special Education, Holy Family University; Masters, Teaching Technology, DeSales University

In QCSD: Kindergarten, Quakertown Elementary School

Previously: Teaching Assistant in Autistic Kindergarten Support, Pennridge School District; Learning Support, Souderton School District; Special Education; PA Virtual Charter School

Hobbies: Reading, gardening, swimming, spending time with my family and traveling

Why did you become a teacher?: "The desire to make a positive difference in educating children. Such a rewarding experience for me."

Christina Fields

Education: Special Education/Elementary Education (mid-level English and Science), Reading Specialist

In QCSD: Special Education, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: Building 21 High School, Allentown School District

Fun things: Spending time with my husband and two children and enjoying a good book.

Why did you become a teacher?: “School was challenging for me as an elementary student, and I had teachers that helped me, and built my confidence. I never forgot that, and I wanted to provide the same to students that I had the opportunity to teach."

Christal Horn

Education: Bachelors, Elementary Education, Kutztown University

In QCSD: First Grade, Quakertown Elementary School

Previously: Kindergarten, Mosser Elementary School, Allentown; Second Grade, St. Michael the Archangel School, Coopersburg

Fun things: Working out, cooking/baking, being with my friends, family, and cat

Why did you become a teacher?: “I love helping children reach their full potential. I also enjoy encouraging children to be lifelong learners. I grew up with a family of teachers, and the love of teaching was installed in me at a young age."

Kimberly Ivory

Education: Bachelors, Special Education K-8, General Education Pre-K-4, Millersville University; Masters, Special Education, Lehigh University

In QCSD: Learning Support, Trumbauersville Elementary School

Previously: Second Grade, St. Michael the Archangel School, Coopersburg; Elementary Program, Centennial School

Fun things: Spending time with family and friends, reading

Why did you become a teacher?: "Always loved working with children; loved tutoring in high school; coached since age 16; fell in love with special education in undergrad."

Andrew Kane

Education: Bachelors, Theatre and Education, DeSales University; Masters, Creative Writing, Warren Wilson College

In QCSD: English and Theatre, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: English and Theatre, Muhlenberg High School

Fun things: Writing, reading, playing music, acting

Why did you become a teacher?: “Because of teachers I had at Quakertown Community High School instilling me with a love of language, I want to try to help instill it in others."

Ryan Kelley

Education: Bachelors, English, Journalism, Temple University; Masters, Creative Writing, Chatham University; Masters, Secondary Education, LaSalle University

In QCSD: English, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School; Bucks County Community College; Gwynedd Mercy University; Arcadia University; Community College of Philadelphia

Fun things: Editing science fiction and fantasy novels, gardening

Why did you become a teacher?: “Because it is when I am the best version of myself, being of service to others. Once I realized my love for supporting and helping others, I knew it was for me, for life."

Nina Li

Education: Masters, Foreign Language Education and TESOL, New York University

In QCSD: Mandarin, Strayer Middle School

Previously: Stoneleigh-Burnham School, grades 7-12

Fun things: Running, yoga, cooking, piano, reading, spending time with family

Why did you become a teacher?: “I had a great teacher in middle school, and he always tried to give students an extra push and believed in us. One day he asked if I wanted to teach a piece of a Chinese classical poem. It's a really exciting experience for a 14-year-old. I really appreciated this experience and enjoyed it a lot. I love teaching, reading, and traveling to seek other places, other lives, and other goals."

Shelby Ramirez

Education: Bachelors, Masters, University of Puget Sound

In QCSD: English and Honors English, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: Taught English in Nashville and Allentown

Fun things: Sports, reading. movies, friends, eating, traveling

Why did you become a teacher?: “I love working with teenagers and helping them accomplish their dreams."

Alex Shinskie

Education: Bachelors, Elementary Education, Bloomsburg University; Masters, Special Education, Lehigh University

In QCSD: Learning Support, Richland Elementary School

Previously: Centennial School of Lehigh University, Central Bucks, Alamance/Burlington Schools, Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools

Fun things: Time with family, Barre3

Why did you become a teacher?: “To help and empower others."

Susy Smith

Education: Bachelors, Secondary English with TESOL, Biblical Studies, Cairn University

In QCSD: English Language Development, Strayer Middle School

Previously: English Language Arts, Philadelphia, and Kissimmee, FL; English as a Second Language, Executive Education, Academy Charter School, Allentown

Fun things: Traveling, spending time with family and friends, using and researching Korean Skincare, reading, consigning.

Why did you become a teacher?: “I wanted to be a teacher since I was young. I had many teachers who inspired me, and I hope to do the same for my students."

John Stoverink

Education: Bachelors, Biology, Kutztown University; Masters, Secondary Education

In QCSD: Chemistry, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: Innovative Arts Academy, Catasauqua

Fun things: Spending time with family and friends, raising my kids, tie-dying, Aquaculture, who knows what's next!

Why did you become a teacher?: "Experiences as a student and becoming a swimming instructor led me to know I enjoy the relationship building and dynamics of a classroom, always thinking and doing new things.

Victoria Travor

Education: Bachelors, Health Education, East Stroudsburg University; Masters, Health and Physical Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

In QCSD: Health and Physical Education, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: Health and PE, Gov. Mifflin HS

Fun things: Biking, kayaking, running, lifting, cooking, football (Eagles), family

Why did you become a teacher?: “I want to inspire students to value their health and physical fitness in order to live a long, happy and healthy life!"

Jenn Tucholski

Education: Bachelors, Elementary and Special Education, Millersville University; Masters, Special Education, Arcadia University

In QCSD: Primary Life Skills, Trumbauersville Elementary School

Previously: Life Skills, Montgomery County Intermediate Unit; Fulltime Learning Support, Central Bucks; Life Skills Aide, Trumbauersville Elementary School

Fun things: Attending sporting events with family; running.

Why did you become a teacher?: “To help students build a love for learning."

Rachael Urquhart

Education: Bachelors, Music Education, West Chester University; Masters, Music Performance (Wind Conducting), West Chester University

In QCSD: Band Director, Strayer Middle School; co-director, Panther Marching Band

Previously: Elementary Band and General Music, Ridley School District; Long Term Substitute, Oxford, Hempfield, Lebanon

Fun things: Distance runner, crafting, my dog

Why did you become a teacher?: "To provide the same life-changing experiences of the highest quality I had through music to the next generation of students."

Ashley Walter

Education: Bachelors, Special Education, English, Early Childhood Education, Bloomsburg University; Masters of Special Education, Lehigh University

In QCSD: Learning Support, Pfaff Elementary School

Previously: Centennial School, both high school and elementary programs

Fun things: Spending time with friends and family, soccer coach for Harleysville, traveling

Why did you become a teacher?: “Love working with children. Want to help children learn and grow."

Haley Welker

Education: Bachelors, English, Wilkes University; Special Education certification

In QCSD: English, Quakertown Community High School

Previously: Recent Wilkes University graduate

Fun things: Sports, played softball at Wilkes, junior varsity coach in Quakertown, HUGE Philadelphia sports fan, being active, hiking, running, working out, spending time with my dog Cole.

Why did you become a teacher?: “I want to inspire students to discover their own definition of personal success/greatness regardless of the kind of learner and person they are. All students have the ability to make a poignant impact in the world in their own, unique way."

Lindsay Wisser

Education: Bachelors, English Secondary Education, Susquehanna University; Masters, Special Education, Lehigh University

In QCSD: Special Education, The Academy at Quakertown

Previously: Seventh Grade Language Arts, Saucon Valley Middle School; Centennial School at Lehigh University; Emotional Support, Northampton Area Middle School

Fun things: Mountain biking, hiking, hanging out with my dog, Mazy

Why did you become a teacher?: “To help students develop goals, work with them to achieve those goals, and to help them realize their potential."

Natalie Woodward

Education: Bachelors, Criminal Justice, Gannon University; Masters, Special Education, Applied Behavior Analysis Certification, Mercyhurst University

In QCSD: Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Grades 7-12

Previously: Autistic Support, Eastern Lancaster County School District; Autistic Support, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, IEP Facilitator, Wilson School District; Learning Support, Salisbury School District, Whitehall Coplay School District

Fun things: Running, coaching basketball, traveling, Penn State football, watching my children play sports

Why did you become a teacher?: “I love seeing children grown and learn. The 'little' things are huge in their world and I enjoy celebrating these milestones with their families. I also take pride in disseminating principals and practices of behavior analysis with colleagues and parents. Producing meaningful change in their lives makes it all worth it."


Transportation safety

What you need to know to keep your students safe to and from school

With school starting on September 3, students will be hearing about several rules they need to follow. Perhaps the most important one, for their personal safety, is the 10-foot rule around school buses.

That’s considered the Danger Zone -- the area on all sides of the bus where students are in the most danger of not being seen by the driver (10 feet in front of the bus where the driver may be too high to see a student, 10 feet on either side of the bus where a student may be in the driver’s blind spot, and the area behind the school bus).

“It’s the number one factor in student safety,” said Pat O’Donnell, Safety Manager for Levy School Bus Company. “Bus stop safety is one of the most critical areas.”

Please click here to read the full story.


Trust and positive relationship building focus of district convocation

The Quakertown Community School District’s convocation Wednesday centered on trust and positive relationship building throughout QCSD schools and community.

The topic was brought into focus by Michael Swenson, who teaches the FranklinCovey Institute’s Leader in Me process, which has been embraced by staff and students at Neidig and Richland elementary schools.

Hundreds of district employees attended the August 28 event, kicked off by Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner and St. Luke’s Quakertown Hospital CEO Dennis Pfleiger, a Quakertown Community High School graduate who helped sponsor the session.

Mr. Swenson’s power-packed talk fits in with the Superintendent’s Goals of expanding the district’s mental health systems of support for students.

Please click here to read the full story.

Welcome to the new

The Quakertown Community School District is excited to unveil its new website.

For those with students in the district, please check out a new page titled "For Families." It can be found on the main page in the "Community" section, and is loaded with useful information.

At the bottom of each page, there are "Quick Links" that can take you to frequently used sites.

There's also a search tool at the top right of the main page and each school page that can get you what you're looking for quickly. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact your individual school.


Marker dedication a Unique educational event for Quakertown families

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Quakertown Community School District students and families have a unique opportunity to participate in a significant event on Saturday, September 14.

A historical marker will be placed and dedicated outside the private residence at 401 S. Main Street in Quakertown to honor the former owner, Richard Moore, as an important figure in local and Pennsylvania History. Please see the above flyer for details.

Mr. Moore lived in the Quakertown community throughout the early 19th Century. Aside from being a schoolteacher and owning a pottery business, he was also a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Throughout the era prior to the Civil War, Mr. Moore provided sanctuary to a significant number of escaped slaves and ensured safe travel through his home.

We hope you will consider attending the events around the historical marker dedication as well as visiting the QCSD website to learn more about Richard Moore and some curricular connections and lesson plans tied to Richard Moore and the Underground Railroad.

Dr. Robert Leight and Thomas Moll, both local historians and community members, have published a book about Mr. Moore and the Underground Railroad at Quakertown. Click here if you are interested in learning more about Mr. Moore.


Dual enrollment program can yield significant college savings

Carly Pagano managed her high school career in such a way to receive a two-year Associate of Arts Technical Entrepreneurship degree in only one year.

The Quakertown Community High School 2018 graduate is thankful for the dual enrollment program at the Upper Bucks County Technical School that allowed her to pile up college credits and save money as she obtained a degree from Bucks County Community College.

“It is a great feeling of accomplishment and I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity,” Carly said. “Going to community college saved me money and gave me credits that allowed me to get my degree. I certainly encourage it for others. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’ve gone so much farther than I ever expected by doing this.”

Please click here to read the full story.


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QE places emphasis on summer reading

Quakertown Elementary School held five QE SLAM nights of the summer at the Quakertown Branch of the Bucks County Free Library.

With the support of the library, Quakertown Rotary and QE’s parent organization, each student received a bag filled with four books and a bag of chips.

SLAM stands for Summer Literacy at Michener. “This is an awesome opportunity to say hello during the summer, and for the students to meet their teachers,” QE Principal Dr. Michael Zackon said.

Please click here for the full story.


Resiliency a key learning tool for today's students

Whether they wanted it or not, today’s teachers, no matter what class they teach, are in the mental health business.

“It’s the critical piece” of education, said Dr. Michael J. Bradley, a Bucks County-based adolescent psychologist and award-winning author, who spoke to approximately 150 teachers, administrators, staff and parents at Quakertown Community High School on June 19.

Dr. Bradley was brought to the district by Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, who wanted school leaders to hear his “incredibly powerful” presentation. “Every year, mental health issues that we see in our schools are growing,” he said. “Things are very different than they have been, and the disruptive behavior from mental health issues are starting in earlier years.”

Which is why the administration recommended four new positions, all approved by the School Board, devoted to the mental health of students. In addition, a 2019-20 superintendent goal specifically deals with the “Culture of Safety, Security and Wellness.”

Please click here to read the full story.

Please click here for Dr. Bradley's video presentation.


Safe2Say annual report

Please click here for the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Safe2Say Something annual report.


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ALICE training for district employees

QCSD's Human Resources Department coordinated with the facilities and food services departments to hold an ALICE training for custodial, food services, and maintenance staff on August 26.

Providing ALICE training for staff in these departments falls under the Superintendent's goals by way of the Community Safety Committee recommendations. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

Special thank you to School Resource Officers Bob Lee and Brian Hendrzak, and high school teacher Sean Burke for taking the time to conduct the training.


Chef's Camp cooks up tasty educational fare at Panther on Park

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As he bounces around the Quakertown Community High School culinary arts lab, Chris Polk is in his element, both cooking and giving instruction to his students.

For three weeks in July, the passionate educator has been leading Chefs Camps filled with excited campers. July 24 was perhaps the most special day as a makeshift restaurant - Panther on Park - was set up across the hall.

Please click here for a photo gallery.

Under Chef Polk’s direction, students created a delicious four-course meal for eight lucky district employees. The menu included Melon & Cucumber Salad, Caprese Chicken, Surf & Turf, and Chocolate Solo.

“A crazy day,” said Chef Polk. “The kids worked really hard.”

It’s all part of the district’s efforts at summer enrichment, with a robust schedule of activities. The four-day camp - Chef Polk’s third this summer - costs $65, plus materials.

Please click here to read the full story.


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Student organizes story time event at SPCA

Quakertown Community High School rising freshman Julia Henry organized a Pop-Up Kitten Story Time that was held August 5 at the Quakertown branch of the Bucks County SPCA.

Julia and her friends, Devin Sparwasser, Haunah Thomas and Emily Tolchin, read cat/kitten-themed books to several children who attended the event. There were also crafts, songs and lots of fun!

Julia's effort was part of her Silver Award for the Girls Scouts. A Senior Scout, she was supported by Cadette Riley McGinty, Junior Isabella Valleley and Brownie's Angelina Valleley and Makayla McGinty.

Julia led action-filled rhymes that included Five Little Kittens. Rainbow Kittens, Two Little Kittens and I'm a little Kitty Cat. Books read included The Cat Who Walked Across France, by Kate Banks; The Summer Nick Taught His Cat to Read, by Curtis Manley and Kate Berube; I Don’t Know What to Call My Cat, by Simon Philip; Grumpy Cat, by Britta Teckentrup; and They All Saw A Cat, by Brendan Wenze.

Natalie DiGiacomo, the SPCA's Director of Community Outreach, also spoke and said the event was important to help bring attention to how the SPCA takes care of animals and, as a nonprofit, is in need of contributions.


Strayer students win ribbons at Grange Fair

Layla Cotter of Strayer Middle School had the second-highest score among all age groups for the 4H Club Pronking Pacas on August 14 at the Middletown Grange Fair.

Layla, at right, and Elizabeth Pederzani, both Strayer 8th graders, are in the photo.

The competitions included showmanship and obstacles. Alpaca showmanship classes are like other animal shows in that the handler is scored on how well he/she knew and showed the animal. The obstacle event demonstrates the alpaca’s ability and willingness to accept training and to work with its handler through a variety of obstacles. The obstacle course had participants leading their alpacas through a set of challenges, including a jump, a see-saw, running to a stop, a safety knot to a fence, and cones just to name a few.

The club brought home several ribbons in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior age divisions. Layla was awarded a Grand Reserve champion ribbon and plaque.


VFW Patriotic Essay Competitions offer scholarship prize money

Applications for the Veteran of Foreign Wars Voice of Democracy Patriotic Audio Essay Competition and Essay Writing Competition are now being accepted.

Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives.

Please click here for more information and an application for the audio essay.

Please click here for more information and an application for the written essay.


substitute teachers needed

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Training is being offered for college graduates with a bachelor’s degree

The Quakertown Community School District is asking residents with a bachelor’s degree to consider becoming a substitute teacher.

“This is a great opportunity for an adult with a degree to contribute to the community in a way that will really have an impact on our young people,” said Barb Philips, QCSD’s human resources manager. “People can choose when they want to work, and have a schedule as flexible as they choose.”

Please click here to read the full story.


we're hiring

The Quakertown Community School District has several openings, including Business Office/Operations Manager, substitute school nurses and substitute aides. Please click here to see the positions available.
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