Hatter Chatter

End of the School Year Edition

An Associated Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) Nationally Recognized Middle School Newspaper

We've come to the end of another incredible year at one of the top middle schools in the country. The Hatter Chatter is happy to bring you more news and highlights of this past school year as contributed by students, teachers, and community members. We wish everyone a tremendous and well-deserved summer break.

June 3, 2019

In this Issue:

The Hatter Chatter is Top National Scholastic Newspaper

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Mark Harrington, Patch, Neighborhood Posts, Hatboro-Horsham, Keith Valley Student Newspaper Receives National Award. 13 May, 2019. Https://patch.com/pennsylvania/horsham/keith-valley-student-newspaper-receives-national-award

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A Well-Traveled Paper

The newspaper is electronically blasted out to the Keith Valley community by the school and has been forwarded to almost every area of our country by parents in the community, from Main to Florida; New York to California. The Hatter Chatter has been read recently in China and in the Middle East.

The Electronic Hatter Chatter

The Hatter Chatter was published electronically for the first time during the 2017-2018 school year using the Smore Newsletter Platform. The platform was suggested to Mr. Gross by Mrs. Meghan Struzinski, and Mrs. Nicole McClure who both taught Mr. Gross how to utilize it for team newsletters in 2016. Also, Mr. Charles Farrell was instrumental in working with Mr. Gross and students to get the electronic version of the Chatter started. Mrs. Elizabeth Daleandro, who heads up the Hat Rack Yearbook, is also instrumental in contributing yearbook photos of sports teams and other activities to the Hatter Chatter. The electronic Hatter Chatter would not have happened without these individuals. There have been seven (7)electronic issues of the Hatter Chatter published, which in print pages would be approximately 60-70 pages per issue. The circulation of the Hatter Chatter is over 1,000 readers per issue.

2017-2018 Hatter Chatter Staff

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2017-18 Newspaper Staff

Front Row (Left to Right): Alex Lieberman, John Feather, Zach Ibrahim, Donnovan Grant;

Middle Row(Left to Right): Bryn Copman, Liberty Pancoast, Christin Wilson, Madj Victor, Tyler Larson, Samantha Murset, Grace Rovinsky, Chastity Anthony ; Back Row (Left to Right): Mahdia Ahmed, Julia Fumo, D. J. Cerisier, Aisosa Idahosa, Isosa Idahosa, Raina Conaway, Morgan Mattson.

2018-2019 Hatter Chatter Staff is in the Patch article.

An Outstanding Staff

Students from all three grades at Keith Valley, take photograph, and create cartoons for the newspaper. Many athletes, students acting in plays, students in reading Olympics, and students writing movie and book reviews all help write articles in the Hatter Chatter. Also students contribute/write articles about things they learn in their science, social studies, math, and language arts classes.

One of the most incredible middle schools in the country gets comprehensive coverage of all that makes it great in the Hatter Chatter. Over 40 full time students and staff have helped the Hatter Chatter over the past two years since it has been published in an electronic medium. This year’s staff received the highest honor in the country for their efforts.

The faculty sponsor who guides the newspaper is Mr. Stewart Gross, a seventh grade English Language Arts teacher, who has taught at Keith Valley for the past 32 years in several capacities.

Noteworthy Hatters

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Video Award to Tech Department Club - What's So Good About Manufacturing

Contributed by Mrs. Carol Miller

On Monday, April 8, five students from KV were recognized for their video project as part of the What’s So Cool About Manufacturing Competition in the Philadelphia area. Laine Giovanniello, Evelyn Acton, Zak Ibrahim, Justin Buonato and Jacob Schwartz worked with the local PMRS Manufacturing Corporation in Horsham. The students were awarded 1st place in videography and were one of three teams that have been invited to represent this area on the state level on April 30. There were 25 teams that competed in all.

The attached is a picture of the students and the teachers involved. The host for the evening was Barry Miller, who is the President and CEO of Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center. Our students and staff did a phenomenal job. Also, a special thanks to Sue King and Jen Wilson, who were at the ceremony with us.

Mrs. Virginia Lemon - KVMS Building Substitute and NATIONAL POLE VAULTING CHAMPION

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High school Pole Vaulting Coach is Women's National Champion in Age 30-35 Class

By Max Huertgen

Mrs. Lemon is one of the building substitutes at Keith Valley for the 2018-2019 school year. She has also been an assistant track coach at Hatboro-Horsham High School for the last three years. She specifically coaches the pole vault for winter and spring track. In that short time, she has coached state and national qualifiers as well as district, state, and league winners. In 2017, Nick Marino, of Hatboro Horsham High school, won the Penn Relays in pole vaulting in the high school category. This year, Allison Riches, another Hatboro-Horsham High School student, has also qualified and will be competing at the Penn Relays.

When Mrs. Lemon is not coaching or doing a great job substituting at Keith Valley, she also trains and compete in the pole vault herself. She competed in high school and then took a 12 year hiatus from the event. Over the last few years she began to retrain at the Philadelphia Jumps Club in Conshohocken. Many of the H-H HS pole vaulters also train there. Mrs. Lemon twice had the chance to meet and learn from her Olympic idol, gold medal pole vaulter, Stacy Dragila. She then began to compete once again.

Last summer, Mrs. Lemon matched her high school personal record (PR) of 8’6”. In January, she exceeded that and jumped 9’. In February she increased her personal best to 9’6”. This past winter Mrs. Lemon reached the pinnacle of her pole vaulting career when she competed at the Masters Indoor Track and Field Championship in Winston-Salem, NC. She won the gold medal in the Women's 30-34 age group pole vault and high jump, becoming the national champion in those two events.

Even more impressive is that she was ill with the flu during the competition and therefore did not pole vault as high as she had done in the weeks prior to the meet. In addition, Mrs. Lemon also competed in three throwing events in North Carolina and won a silver medal in each.

Finally, Mrs. Lemon's track team, the Philadelphia Masters, is responsible for starting masters relay events at the Penn Relays. The Masters relay is a series of relays for racers 40 and over. One of the most amazing feats at the Penn Relays is when participants in their 90's walk down the track and complete a race, always to a roaring ovation from the fans at Franklin Field.

Jonathan Weinstein Places at the "You Be A Chemist Challenge" at Penn State University

Keith Valley 5K Fun Run is a Success in its 14th Year

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5 K Fun Run was Founded by Mr. Robert Crosby and is as Much Fun as Ever

By Sarah Smith

The Keith Valley 5-K Fun Run was started in 2005 by Mr. Robert “Bing” Crosby, our former 7th grade principal and athletic director. Mr. Crosby started the 5-K to promote the spring sports season at Keith Valley. He ran in it himself for the first 12 years. Mr. Crosby was the first official athletic director of Keith Valley Middle School when the position was created by the school district. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, Mr. Crosby lived and worked in Florida and began doing fun runs for his students down there.

The course for the 5-K goes through the neighborhood surrounding Keith Valley. There is a teacher on a bike who is the pacesetter leading people through the course. This year it was Mr. Shea, one of our gym teachers. There are also designated runners that bring up the rear of the running pack to make sure they know their way through the 5 K course. The best time ever recorded in the race is 28 minutes and 42 seconds.

The 5K is open to the students, staff and community. The majority of the runners are Keith Valley students, and an average of 50 students dothe run each year. There is a registration fee to run in the race, and all of that money is donated to a charitable organization.

Now that Mr. Crosby has been retired for a while, Mr. Fasy, one of Keith Valley’s technology teachers, along with the PE staff, and many other staff members help to organize the race. This year, Mr. Mark Wigand, Mr. Bryan Thompson, Mrs. Val Fasy, KV Principal, Mr. Jonathan Kircher, and Mrs. Erika Shwanbach, from the Keith Valley professional staff ran the race!

Mr. Mark Wigand, a seventh grade math teacher, who is a marathon runner in his spare time, always runs in the 5 K Fun Run. He challenges his students to come to the race and see if they can beat him. Mr. Wigand gives a pizza party for students who can beat him. He began this contest two years ago, and did it to motivate more students to run in the race and have fun. This year, five students beat Mr. Wigand. You're slowwwing dowwwn Mr. Wigand!


What is Autism?

By Samantha Murset

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability. It normally appears during early childhood and affects a person’s ability to communicate and socially interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently to varying degrees. Autism now effects one out of every 59 children in America based on our current knowledge. There is no known cause of autism. Dr. Leo Kanner is the first person to try to describe autism in 1943.

Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language, difficulty making eye contact, difficulty holding a conversation, difficulty with reasoning, and difficulty with planning. Other behaviors are narrow, intense interests, poor motor skills, and sensory sensitivities, such as being bothered by room sounds. Autism can also include repetitive speech and body movements such as hand-flapping. People on the autism spectrum may have a few or many of these disorders. Autism can be present in intellectually challenged, non-verbal people or be present in successful geniuses. Famous film director Steven Spielberg is diagnosed with autism.

Autism is almost five times as likely to appear in boys than girls. It is also found in all racial, ethnic, and social groups. Scientists' best guess is that it is genetic. The once popular theory was that it is caused by vaccinations, but this theory has been disproved.

April is Autism Awareness Month

By Samantha Murset

Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness. The goal of AS is to include people with autism as much as is possible in mainstream society (schools and communities) and achieve the highest possible quality of life.

Keith Valley promoted Autism Awareness month with posters throughout the building, staff, and students wearing the puzzle ribbon, sales of tee shirts and a raffle in Mrs. Gallagher's room to raise money for activities for Keith Valley students with Autism.

Autism Support Class - Mrs. Moynahan

By Mrs. Erin Monaghan

My students are just like everyone else. They are able to learn and complete the same things that everyone else can. My students struggle though, with social cues and more abstract concepts. They need a little more help to understand figurative language or why someone might be upset with something that they said. Some of my students have trouble with sensory input such as the humming of the heater, the brightness of the lights, or the level of noise around them. This may cause them to vocalize certain sounds or move their bodies in a way that may seem abnormal to others, but comforting to them.

I teach the expected and unexpected choices in social situations. I also may need to reteach a concept from class that they had difficulties understanding. We work on executive functioning skills and skills that will help them when they leave school. As an autistic support teacher, I work with my students on accessing the curriculum in a way that helps them to understand it better. I may need to provide these students with visuals that correspond with the classroom curriculum. I may need to help them talk through a situation that causes them difficulties. Sometimes, certain environment or noises upset my students and they need to have a calm and safe space where they are able to be themselves

I love when my student achieve a milestone that they have been working on for some time. I also love being able to help these students access the world and for the world to see beyond their label. I want others to be able to see my students’ abilities rather than their disabilities.

I take my students to different places in the community and work on skills such as making purchases at stores. While we are there, we go through different scenarios of expected behaviors. In the past, the students have been to a yoga studio to learn calming techniques, a trampoline park for handling sensory input, and a buffet for ;learning expected behavior such as using utensils instead of grabbing food with their hands.

I have three students participating in Special Olympics this year at the high school. They each will be participating in three events. The events they may participate in are the 200 meter run, the 50 meter run, the softball throw, and the standing long jump. , This is the 2nd year of participation for one of my students and he loves it.

Sarah Kim - I Love My Sister Eunbee!

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Christian Menno. The Intelligencer, 24 January, 2019. Art therapy helps autistic Horsham girl communicate. https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/news/20190124/art-therapy-helps-autistic-horsham-girl-communicate

Supporting a Sister with Autism

Sarah Kim's Story

By Sarah Kim

My sister is Eunbee Kim. She has autism and she can speak some Korean and English. My parents are from Korea. They speak mostly Korean and some English. I speak English very well and I also speak Korean fluently. It can be hard or easy to talk to Eunbee because when she really wants something she can speak English and Korean very well. When she doesn't really want to talk or she doesn't need anything, she doesn't speak that much even though she understands what we are saying to her.

If we force her to talk, she will usually have a temper tantrum. When she has a tantrum she kicks, punches, throw things, and screams very loudly. Whenever Eunbee has a tantrum, we usually tell her to color on her color booklets which that calms her down. Before she started to do art, Eunbee used to watch her phone all the time when she was angry or stubborn. Eunbee watches "Strawberry Shortcake", "Sunny Day", some Korean shows, coloring videos, and "My Little Pony". This inspired her to do art. First, she started out coloring in coloring books. Then she started drawing characters from "My Little Pony".They were really good, so my mom had her take art lessons with an art therapist named Jon. We use art therapy to help her communicate and express herself. Eunbee uses painting to express her feelings. If she is happy, she uses very bright colors to paint, if she is sad, she uses blue colors only, and if she is mad she uses dark colors. She draws and paints things that she likes, such as her favorite animation characters. Our family would encourage by telling her that her painting looks great. (She painted 51 pieces)

Eunbee likes singing too. She likes the songs “You Raise Me Up” and songs from “Frozen” like “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?”. She has a very light voice, so her singing is outstanding!

Jon Robins, from the Tyler School of Art, a caseworker from Merakey, a nonprofit behavioral care provider, and Yeji Shin, a registered behavioral technician with Access Services, help us to work with Eunbee. Yeji also has an art background, having studied at the Pratt Institute in New York. Yeji is with Eunbee every day. Robins has been visiting twice each month for the last year. Together, they all help Eunbee communicate through painting.

Art gets Eunbee to be at her calm and peaceful place. She usually paints by herself or with Jon. When she paints by herself, she usually paints for 9 hours. She is in tune with the room and people around her when she paints.

Eunbee looks up at our mom or Yeji and smiles. Eunbee also participates in art lessons at Simmons Elementary School in the autistic support class, where she is in the 4th grade. This helps her to to be a public and be engaged with all students from our Horsham community, as well as express her feelings in art.


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Special Olympics - Keith Valley Kickoff Assembly

By Mr. Stewart Gross

Wednesday, May 29th, we held our kick-off assembly for the Special Olympics. The entire student body at Keith Valley filled the gymnasium to watch and cheer our Special Olympians on to victory at Hatter Stadium. Students from our autistic support and life skills class went to compete against other special olympians from the Eastern Montgomery County. Students sat in the stands with signs to recognize competitors, who were announced over the PA by Mr. Farrell. Teachers and students cheered wildly for their classmates. This was their special day, and Keith Valley is a special school for cheering these students on!

Special Olympics - International, National, and Pennsylvania History

By Mr. Stewart Gross

Special Olympics is a worldwide event that was the idea of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. She believed that people with intellectual disabilities were far more capable in sports and physical activities than many experts thought. So, she began organizing the Special Olympics in 1962,

both as the driving force behind President John F. Kennedy’s White House panel on people with intellectual disabilities and as the director of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation.

Eventually, they became the world's largest amateur sports organization. It started very humbly in the backyard of Eunice and Sargent Shriver. Special Olympics grew so fast, that the first International Games took place in 1968. Today, Special Olympics is sponsored in 172 countries throughout the world.

The main idea behind Special Olympics is to build a more civil society that accepts people's cultural, racial, ethnic, and of course intellectual and physical diversity.

Inclusion and Co-Teaching

By Mrs. Allison Swartz and Mr. Stewart Gross

Over thirty years ago, students with learning, emotional, or physical disabilities, were taught in self-contained classes in which special education teachers taught them every academic subject adapted to meet their learning needs. That was under old Public Law 94-142. That changed with the passing of the IDEA Laws which made a philosophical push for placing students with mild disabilities into mainstream classes. These classes were "co-taught" with special education teachers. All teachers followed "Specially Designed Instruction" and differentiation in all classes to meet the varies needs of all students. The fully inclusive co-teaching model was initiated at Keith Valley Middle School in the 2009-2010 school year.

According to eighth grade learning support teacher, Mrs. Allison Swartz, "My job as a learning support teacher is to help students who have difficulties with academic tasks. I help modify or accommodate assignments so these students can be successful. For example, I change wording in directions or create a different assignment that meets the same standards. I also push into classrooms to help students stay on task and focused, or work in small groups when reading novels. Sometimes I just check in with each student to make sure they understand tasks and help answer their questions.”

Mrs. Swartz tells the Chatter, that there are a whole array of challenges for students with learning disabilities. “Students that I work with have a learning disability, which makes it difficult for them to comprehend what they may read or write. Some students need help with math due to a learning disability in mathematics, which makes it hard for them to understand the processes to follow in math. Other students may have a medical diagnosis and need help with focus, organization, and following directions.”

Unlike 30 years ago, educational programs for students with learning disabilities are no longer a self- contained classroom, where the teacher instructs them in every subject. All students are now included in mainstream classes as per IDEA Law. This places special education teachers in the role of co-teaching with “regular education” teachers and supporting their students in the mainstream.

“I meet with teachers daily or weekly to discuss what is happening in each class and we work together to meet the needs of all students," states Mrs. Schwartz. "Teachers will also communicate with me if a student needs extra time on an assignment, a re-test, or more instruction on a certain topic. I then help support those needs into my schedule. Based on what the teachers are doing, I push into those classes that need the most support. This may be for a big project, where I help the students brainstorm, complete graphic organizers to help get their ideas in one place, and then create a checklist and work with them to make sure they are working at a good pace to complete their project in a timely manner.I enjoy working with a diverse group of students. I like that I am able to work with all subjects and experience all the classes during the day.”

Finally, there is a tremendous rate of future success for students with learning disabilities. Mrs. Swartz comments that, “These students are amazing individuals who work extra hard on their school work and try their best every day. Some students on my caseload will be moved out of the program by high school, or after a year in high school if they do well with the transition.”


Girl's 7th Grade Softball

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7th Grade Softball

By Ryleigh Almond

The girls' softball team is guided by Coach Tooley. The team includes 16 girls: Alyssa T, Alyssa E, Rylee P, Danielle, Avery, Logan, Gianna, Olivia, Kathleen, Ashley S, Ashley R, Katherine, Anna, Maddie, Kirsten and Ryleigh A. Every girl has a part whether on the bench or on the field. We are always cheering for one another; we never get down on each other. We listen to our coach for signals. Even if we are on the bench when others are on the field, we are still cheering for each other. We work hard in games and at practice. The softball 2018-19 season will soon be over. So far the team has won every game except one. Alyssa T, an amazing pitcher, throws many strikes, and if the ball is hit the fielder always helps back up for the out. In our first real game, we won 20 to 2. The closest a game has ever been was when we lost 6 to 5. Sometimes the games are quick and other times the games are short, but no matter what we always give a good fight.

The softball field has 9 girls on the field at one time: the pitcher Alyssa T, 1st baseman Ashley R or Avery, 2nd baseman Logan, short stop Ryleigh A or Gianna, 3rd baseman Rylee P or Kirsten, catcher Kirsten or Rylee P, Left field Katherine, Olivia, or Danielle, centerfield Ashley S or Kathleen, right field Ashley S, Gianna, or Maddie. Our regular season is over on May 22 but there will be make up games, too. The 7th grade softball season is almost to an end.

Boy's 7th Grade Baseball

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7th Grade Baseball

By Brendan Craven

Our team this year has been working extremely hard and because the two coaches, Coach Walker and Coach Lightner thought everyone had the potential to be great, no one was cut from the team.. We are all friends on and off the field so we have a chemistry that can help us out from time to time. We are working hard at practice to keep a winning record. Right now we have 3 wins and 2 losses. We use so many drills to improve our skills and because of these drills we make very few errors in the games. On the offensive side, we are very aggressive at the plate and we hit a often and only ever had 3 strikeouts.

The team consists of Isaac Kakiko, Brendan Costello, Casey Nealon, Steven Plefka, Jaxson Bumpus, Matt Fumo, Jackson Fryer, Eli Gonzalez, Hank “Buzzcut” Bergan, Danny Locherdy, Danny Livingston, and Brenden Craven. My role on the team is the designated hitter so I only hit and try to get on base. I love our team so much and next year I hope we go even farther then we did this year. Go KV!

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Eighth Grade Baseball Has Best Record in the League

By Trey Bondy

The eight grade baseball team had an excellent season this year. They won eight games, with only one loss. They battled through their extremely tough schedule. The team was led by top contributors Kyle Dittus, Thomas Shegogue, Josh Henley and Noah Schlosser. These gentlemen had an excellent season at the plate and opposing pitchers were scared to face them home or away. The team and these boys deserve a huge pat on the back. Even if these kids put forth a huge effort and played with tremendous grit, we must not forget the excellent teaching and leadership of Coach Kenneth Remaily. Coach Remailly is a great coach and he deserves huge credit for leading us to this excellent season. Great season boys!

Boy's Track

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Boys Track

By Andrew Marks

This track season has been an amazing season so far. We have had 7 meets so far and our record is 4 wins and 3 losses. We have also had a scrimmage against Lower Moreland which we won as well. We have 1 regular season meet left as well as the league tournament. My favorite meet to this point has been against Abington. Abington had a strong sprinting team. In the 90-pound weight class, Jordan Cohen and D.J. Hernandez got 1st and 2nd place. In the 105-pound weight class, Andrew Marks, Braden Thorne, and Jason Barbin went 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, getting all 6 points for our heat. In the 120-pound weight class, is things didn’t go too well. Aidan Shannon placed second in a well fought race by Abington. An Abington runner placed third as well which meant they got 4 of 6 points in the heat. In the open weight class James Long-Stratton,one of the best runners Keith valley has ever had, won and his teammate, Jared Sweeney, finished close behind in second place. In this race James achieved the 2nd fastest time in school history with an 11.45 seconds. The meet was evenly balanced in the distance races with Brian Dicola, Lance Hartman, and Cole Scattergood running amazing races in the mile and 800. In the 400, Aidan Jostonball ran one of his best races, coming from behind to catch two of Abington’s runners, but one sprinter still lurked just ahead of Aidan. Aidan gave it all he had, but lost the race by a hair. Another 5 feet and Aidan would have won. In the 4x100 my relay team won to continue our undefeated relay streak. We also won 2 of the other 3 relays. It was a very close meet, down to the wire, with Abington just barely behind us going into the last event,the 4x400 meter relay. Our lineup was Brian Dicola, Spencer Alderson, Andrew Marks,and Braden Thorne. We knew this was going to be a tough race due to the fact that one of Abington's runners was running a sub minute 400 where Brian, myself, and Braden run between 61 seconds and 65 seconds and Spencer runs between 70 and 75 seconds.

Runners take your mark. Get set. BOOM! The race was underway. Brian took off running a 61 second split. The handoff to Spencer was perfect and Spencer started running, but as he ran, Abington slowly gained ground. When Spencer handed off to me, there was about a 3-yard gap between us. I could hear the footsteps of the Abington runner behind me. It was the runner who had beet Aidan. I knew If I let him pass me it was over. I held my ground around the second turn. I felt him coming up behind me to try and pass. I accelerated and held him off, but in the last 40 meters he passed. I handed off to Braden, but their final runner was just as good as the last and we were not able to win.

If we didn’t do well in the field events we would have lost, but we swept in the field. Kyree Butler, the state record holder in shotput, threw a 50 foot to win. In the long jump, James Long-Stratton won by jumping 16 feet. Finally, in the high jump Wesley Hudson won having to jump only 4 feet. It was a well fought victory for us.

Our team is like a family. We are a very tight knit group. We may fool around telling jokes and that kind of thing at times, but during meets, workouts, and when coach D’alanzo is talking we all pay attention and focus. If you’re not focused during a race, the chance of winning is slim.

There is no other sport that can beat a track meet. All you hear when you are racing is your teammates screaming, cheering you on. We are a family. No matter what happens in a race you still feel amazing knowing that your teammates are there for you. My personal favorite race is the 4x100 meter relay. My team which consists of Jason Barbin running 1st, Jason Bollendorf running 2nd, Braden Thorne running 3rd, and myself running anchor. We are the only undefeated relay team on the KV track team. It is an honor to be running on a relay team with those three amazing guys. We give all our credit to coach D’alanzo. He has been a great coach this season. We especially thank coach D’alanzo for coaching us since it is not an easy task.

Girl's Track

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Girl's Track

By Haley Wallach

This season, the girls track and field team was hard working and gave it their all when they ran. We are currently 5 wins and 1 loss and we continue to work hard. We are led by Mr. Farrell also known as Coach Farrell, and Mr. Vanderpool also known as Coach Vanderpool.

Every day at practice, the coaches push us to do our best. We go out at 3:10 and do two warm up laps and then we stretch. After we are done, our coaches have us do a work out where each day they push us a little more because they know our potential. Coach Farrell and Coach Vanderpool bring a good attitude everyday which enlightens the team and helps us work hard and stay motivated.

At meets we gather in a circle and stretch. Then we motivate ourselves and stay positive. We always do our best and try to win. We had a tough loss to Colonial, but we went out and tried our hardest. We have an ending to our season on 5/20 against Murray Avenue School. We are going to make it our best. The girls track team this year was full of heart and I made many new friends that I will continue to talk with after the season ends.

7th Grade Girl's Lacrosse

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Girl's Lacrosse

By Emma O'Reilly and Amber Emsley

This season has been exciting and extravagant for the 7th grade girls lacrosse team. We have some players on our team who have played for Horsham Girls Lacrosse Club, also known as HGLC, a local club lacrosse team. But we also have some girls who are new at playing lacrosse, but they were very fast learners and have helped make our team what it is! As many of you know, we have played against some tough teams such as Sandy Run and Springfield but that made our team stronger and better. We played and practice even harder to make our team better. During the practices, which were from 3:00 to 5:00 PM, we did sprints, ran miles, and exercised. We also did scrimmages against our 8th grade team to make us fast, resilient, and strong. While we had our rough games, we always managed to bounce back and play harder.

Enough talking about our poor games. We have had six unbelievable games so far. In one of those games, we even had a 10-0 score. The team consists of: Emma O’Reilly, Amber Emsley, Gianna Carr, Maggie Rezza, Elizabeth Conaway, Kali Fullmer, Ellie Fazio, Lauren Steinberg, Cassidy Hudson, Emma Levin, Franny Gambino, Tara Orloski, Madeline Klenk, Sarah Roesing, Laura Hoang, Natalie Tocci, Sarah Dukisis, Jonna Nelson, Mika Gelbard, Halie Marques, and Ella Vogel.


Everyone's Gone to the Movies

Spider-Man: Far From Home

By Cole Jordan


Avengers: Endgame has been out in theaters for a little over a month now and it has made billions of dollars across the globe. Many devoted fans are excited to see what comes next in this franchise that has lasted more than a decade. Enter the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far from Home. Far from Home follows our protagonist Peter Parker following the events of Avengers: Endgame. While on a school trip to Europe, he is recruited by Avengers Initiative founder Nick Fury to battle the Elementals alongside Mysterio.

There are many questions regarding the film after witnessing the epic conclusion to Avengers: Endgame where Spider-Man alongside other heroes such as Doctor Strange and Black Panther are brought back after the snap from Thanos. In Endgame, Peter reunites with his mentor and father figure, Tony Stark, but that doesn’t last long as Tony sacrifices himself to snap away Thanos’ army and dies because of his inability to hold the infinity stones for a long period of time.

One question I have is how will Peter get through high school after he just witnessed the death of Tony, a.k.a Iron Man, whom he loved so dearly? Peter is only a kid has suffered from traumatic experiences throughout the past two Avengers movies. Personally, I think it would be very cool to include a backstory where Peter suffers from PTSD, the same way Tony did after the events of the original Avengers.

Another question is why in the trailer is Mysterio perceived as a good guy, when throughout the comics he has been an important antagonist to Spider-Man? Mysterio is a villain who practices illusions as a magician. He realizes he can use his abilities as an illusionist to become an effective criminal. I believe that Mysterio is a bad guy in the movie, deceiving the public eye, and that he created the Elementals so he could look like a hero.

All these questions will be answered when Spider-Man: Far from Home hits theaters on July 2. Avengers: Endgame is also still out in theaters and it plays an extremely important exposition into the plot of Far from Home.


Click on the play symbol to watch and hear Elton's famous performance of "Bennie and the Jets."
Elton John performed Bernie and the Jets live on the Soul Train in 1974. He was a regular on the show. My favorite Saturday show at that time, featured "60 non-stop minutes across the tracks of your mind" with iconic host, Don Cornelius.

Fernando Miranda. “Elton John - Bennie and the Jets.” Online Video Clip. You Tube. 23 July, 2008.

Elton John Biopic Rocketman and Elton's Musical Influence on Mr. Gross

by Mr. Gross

The Importance of Elton John- The reason for this article is not mainly to review Rocketman

I would like to personally tip my hat to the influence of Elton John’s music on my love of music.

Rocketman, is the Elton John biopic told in flashback and fantasy sequences and featuring Elton’s hits from the early thru mid-seventies. Rocketman tries to capture Elton John’s personal story and his rise to fame. It features some of the best classic rock ever recorded.The movie is a must see for music fans. Students must see it with their parents or older relatives ,just as they did with Bohemian Rhapsody, which Owen Fisher reviewed in the winter. It stars Taron Eggerton, who gives an Oscar worthy performance, as perhaps the greatest rock piano player ever.

During the 60’s, when I attended elementary school in Northeast Philadelphia, I was a big fan of the pop hits on the radio. So , if I tuned in to WFIL, or WIBG AM, I would hear hit songs by the Beatles, Temptations, Smokey Robinson, and Buffalo Springfield, among others. But I wasn’t a music buyer. I was not old enough or interested.

Then a musical explosion occurred in 1970 that made me start buying records.

Rock-a-Day Johnny

In 1970, I heard a few songs on the Radio by a new English artist, who could play a piano better than Jerry Lee Lewis. His stage name was Elton John (he changed it from his birth name, Reggie Dwight). He had a hit love ballad called “Your Song.” I went to Sound Odyssey, at the Leo Mall and bought the 45 RPM single, whose “B” side was a Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis-styled rock song called “Take Me to the Pilot.” I was blown away by that one, and went back to the store with my dad, who bought me Elton’s first American Album, the self-titled, “Elton John.” I was amazed at tracks on the album such as “Border Song,” which is a southern gospel song and “Sixty Years On,” which is a classical piece. Elton John could write and play songs in any genre, and was great at all of them!

Although I loved the Beatles, and the Motown groups, this was the first artist for whom I was in on the ground floor. I bought Elton’s first album in real time, when it came out. I couldn’t do that with the Beatles, since they had broken up, and their albums began selling when I was three years old.

I collected albums for the first time, as they were released in record stores.

So, as each new Elton John album came out, my friends and I began buying them on the first day they were released in record stores. We were in 6th grade, so we were middle school age, just like the students here at Keith Valley.

The western-themed album, “Tumbleweed Connection”, came out next and featured Elton classics such as “Come Down in Time”, “Amoreena,” and “Country Comfort.” I noticed the lyrics on this album were really poetic. Elton John DID NOT write the lyrics. His best friend Bernie Taupin did. Taupin was a very historical lyricist and wrote songs about Geronimo ("Indian Sunset") and Marilyn Monroe ("Candle in the Wind"). So, Elton John has spent his life writing melodies and having Taupin put lyrics to them, or Taupin writing lyrics and Elton scoring them. They are very symbiotic writing partners, who had as great a song-writing relationship, as John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Bernie Taupin should be in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame as a lyricist.

"Tumblweed" was followed by the albums :“Madman Across the Water”, “Honky Chateau”, “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player”, and “Goodbye Yellow Bring Road.” These albums yielded huge hits such as “Tiny Dancer”, “Levon”, “Rocket Man”, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters", “Crocodile Rock”, “Daniel”, “Bennie and the Jets”, and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” They also featured even better album cuts that only the Elton John collector would know.

For my entire middle school experience, Elton John was the biggest hit artist. Everyone at school wore Elton tee-shirts. Platform shoes were the rage for school kids at this time, and guys would put on shades or glasses to look like Elton. His songs were heard on the radio every five minutes on both AM, and also on FM radio which was quickly becoming popular.

Elton was My Musical Gateway to Other Artists

Elton John also opened-up other bands' musical library to his fans. He recorded the Beatles', Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds in 1974, and the "B" side of that single was recorded live with John Lennon at Madison Square Garden singing Paul McCartney's "I Saw Her Standing There." Immediately, a lot of my friends, including myself, started to collect Beatles albums, starting with Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Next, Elton starred in the movie version of the Who's Tommy, as the Pinball Wizard. He recorded his own version of the Who classic, which got a lot of radio play. Everyone at school immediately went out and bought the Tommy soundtrack and the Who's version of Tommy, opening up the Who's musical library to us. Elton also played on Jackson Browne's second album, "For Everyman" in 1973, leading many of us to begin listening to Jackson's music. Jackson Browne nicknamed Elton John, "Rock-a-Day Johnny."

Elton became a fan favorite in the city of Philadelphia in the spring of 1975, when he released the single “Philadelphia Freedom” as a tribute to his friend Billy Jean King, and her professional tennis team as well as the "Sound of Philadelphia." It turns out that Elton John was also a big fan of Thomas Bell (the Berry Gordy of Philadelphia) and the "Sound of Philadelphia," which included The Spinners, Patti La Belle, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, The O'Jays, and the Stylistics. As Philadelphians, we were very proud of this music. We just didn't know that Elton John was listening to it in England, and loved it as well!

I went on to collect over 400 albums by various artists in rock, jazz, R&B, and Soul, but I will always have fond memories of the first artist I collected, Elton John. I used my babysitting money to go to Jerry’s Records and Sam Goody’s and collect his first seven LP’s. A big tip of the large glasses to the Rocketman (who made being nearsighted fashionable) and is out on the road doing his farewell tour!

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Musical Review - Six (A Tale of Henry the VIII's Queens)

By Raina Conaway

Divorced. Beheaded. Died. Divorced. Beheaded. Survived.: Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, this musical is about the six wives of Henry VIII, a king popular for beheading “all” his wives. This musical changes how history knows them by giving them their backstories and showing how their demises came to be. Starring Renee Lamb as Catherine of Aragon, Christina Modestou as Anne Boleyn, Natalie Paris as Jane Seymour, Genesis Lynea as Anne of Cleves, Aimie Atkinson as Katherine Howard, and Izuka Hoyle as Catherine Parr, this musical truly changes history and makes it herstory.

I loved the musical from my first listen. Being a novice in that area of history, I learned a lot listening to the musical and researching the queens. Each soloist has incredible talent and I listen to the musical on a loop as often as possible. It’s designed to sound like modern music popular amongt teens and is set like a concert.

This musical is great for people who love history (especially such regarding England/Tudor England), those who love theatre, or those looking to get into theatre but needing a transition. This musical plays in London, but has been recently moved to Chicago. Please be advised that this musical includes mostly true information about the six queens.

What are books are Keith Valley Students reading?

Book Review - Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

By Raina Conaway

Told from Tinkerbell’s perspective, this story centers around the forgotten Tiger Lily of the beloved Peter Pan novel. We learn more about Tiger Lily and Tinkerbell because of the unique choice of story-teller and plot. We learn more about Neverland itself and the ways of Tiger Lily’s village.

Being a big Disney fan, I loved this book from the second I finished the preface. I read it every night and even reread it before returning it. I didn’t know what to expect when I began reading, but it was completely different from Tiger Lily’s characterization in the animated film.

This book is great for people who love Disney, Peter Pan, fantasy, and those who are looking for a ne

Book Review - “Jack and Louisa Act 1” by Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherhead

By Raina Conaway

Living in New York, Jack Goodrich is told he must move out of the city to Shaker Heights, Ohio. His voice is changing and he is devastated to have to leave rehearsals of his third Broadway show. In Shaker Heights, he meets a girl who shares his love of Broadway, Louisa. They begin to become friends, but when auditions for Into the Woods rolls around, Jack is unsure whether he should try for a part. Will their friendship fade as fast as it started? Or will something else get in the way?

As a theatre fan, I loved this book. I was introduced to it by my friends, one of whom let me borrow her copy. There are two sequels to this book and I can’t wait to read them.

This book is great for people who love musical theatre, realistic fiction, and those who are looking for a new favorite genre or read. This can be found in the realistic fiction section of your local library.

A Cartoon by Ariel Roth

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50th Anniversary of Abbey Road Memes

The Keith Valley Select Chorus Performs the National Anthem at Citizen's Bank Park

The Keith Valley select chorus sounded heavenly, performing The National Anthem before the Phillies, Cardinals game at Citizen's Bank Park, on May 30, 2019. They are standing on the 3rd base line, and are under the direction of Mrs. Meghan May, and Mrs. Mindy Rubenlicht.
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“Keith Valley Select Chorus.” Online Video Clip. Philadelphia Phillies.com. 30 May, 2019. https://phillies.app.box.com/s/915vyxojc2dk0z0u7hhmlesl6jrdhd9q

Click on "philliesbox.com" to see and hear the performance.

KV Update

Follow-up Articles

In this update, Raina Conaway gives us an update on her scoliosis that she wrote about last year. Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that effects children and early adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15 years old. It effects about 3 percent of the population and is more prevalent in girls. Many times it is mild, but scoliosis can be severe enough to effect the normal functioning of lungs if its progress is not corrected or arrested by the wearing of a brace, which is many times worn at night. The condition is many times diagnosed through public school nurse screenings.

My Scoliosis - A Year Later

By Raina Conaway

It’s been over a year since I've stopped wearing the back brace and about seven years since I’ve been diagnosed. So what’s happened since last June? Well, I’ve gone from low 20 degrees in August to 17 degrees in December. I now have two curves. But that’s just my spine; what about my body?

Because the brace is designed to stabilize hips, make a window for one of the ribs to grow back to its normal position, and to arrest the progression of the curve, it unintentionally also causes muscles to rely on the brace for strength. This meant some muscle atrophied in my lower back, despite only wearing the brace for eight months, shorter than many patients. Whether and where atrophy is may be different for others, but I now find it difficult to do as many sit-ups and push ups and other exercises as I could pre-bracing. It means I have to build up that muscle in order to regain the physical strength I had. Sometimes after doing a lot of running, such as attimes after a soccer game or track, my lower back aches. Not too much, but enough that I take notice of it.

Luckily I am entering the period during which my body is slowing down growth. In medical terms, if I remember correctly, I’m entering Risser 3, or adult stage of skeletal maturity. What that means is it’s likely I won’t enter a growth spurt at the point. Risser 0 is growth in childhood, 1 and 2 are during puberty, 3 and 4 are during adulthood, and t is during the end of life. The Risser scale is used for scoliosis patients and was invented by Joseph Risser in 1958. Determination of when I enter Risser 3, relies on my wrist. Yes, my wrist will determine whether I continue to be at risk for bracing or not. The reason is that the skeletal plates in my hands will close when I stop growing rapidly. Of course, I may still be monitored by my orthopedist, but appointments will be months apart rather than 3-6 months apart.

Fortunately for me, scoliosis doesn’t mess with my self esteem about my body. But for more particular people, they’ll notice how their waist and hips don’t align and how their shoulders sit at different heights. I think it’s intriguing that the human body would do that to itself and unless I decide to go into biology and study orthopedics, I’ll never find the answer as to why. It’s possible, however, some think this is a terrible thing to live with and hate their off-balance self. While respecting their feelings, people who feel this way need to be encouraged that their bodies are beautiful.


Social Studies Brings the Civil War Alive

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Civil War Reenactment

by Joseph Acton

If you walk through the 8th grade hallway this time of year, you might as well be walking through Washington or Richmond days before Bull Run, the first battle of the Civil War. As soon as you turn the corner from the 6th or 7th grade hallway, you are going to hear phrases like, “About... Face!” or “Column Right... March!” or “Get that smirk off your face!” or “Are you a Yankee spy?” This is Boot Camp, 8th grade’s famous Civil War Reenactment.

Boot Camp is the first step after joining the army. This is where the army tries to rub off all those years of civilian life by doing tedious drills. Everyone must stand in ranks and the officers shout out commands like “Left... Face!” Then everyone turns to the left. Except, sometimes, someone turns right. In real life, they will get heavily questioned as to why they don’t know their left from their right, and they might even get punished. In the reenactment, they tone it down a bit and ask, “Why don’t you know your left from your right?” followed closely by, “Get that smirk off your face!”

Boot Camp does have to be educational, though. So, we were all given a name, an occupation, and state. If you are in Mr. Iaia's or Mrs. Boyle's class, you are a Confederate. If you are in Mr. Keyes' or Mr. Farrell's class, you are Union. It was our job to make our character come to life. It must be historically accurate, though, so if you are a Southern farmer, you cannot own 52 million slaves. How is this incorporated into Boot Camp? The officers/teachers go up and down the ranks asking, “What’s your name, private?”, and you will meekly answer, “Joseph Acton, sir,” if you answer with your real name, they will say, “No, your Civil War name, Private!”, “Jerimiah Abbott, sir”, “What is your occupation?”, “Farmer, sir”, “How many acres do you have?”, “...I don’t know, sir”, “How do you not know? Are you a Yankee spy?” The purpose of this is to get us to learn about civilian life before the Civil War and get us to do more than one thing at once. In a battle, you must stand in line, march as one, listen to the general’s instructions, fire, and reload, all while getting shot at from seemingly all directions. Very stressful.

Where does this lead? The Battle of Bull Run. In real life, the Union hastily assembled a very large and very undisciplined army and marched towards Manassas, a very important railroad junction. A smaller Confederate army had to keep them at bay for several hours for reinforcements to arrive. The Union army was able to defeat the smaller Confederate army, but their general ordered his troops not to continue attacking. He could have destroyed half of the Confederate army, but instead gave his soldiers, and consequently the opponent’s soldiers, a rest. The Confederate army regrouped, got its reinforcements, and beat the Union. In the reenactment, we throw sponges at each other.

The battle is just part of it, though. There is also a battle of the mind. We were given a choice of about 10 projects, anywhere between trivia to speeches to instruments to cooking. We had to present in front of all our period’s social studies classes, and the teachers had to decide which was better, Confederate or Union, and that team got points for their side.

For the 6th and 7th graders coming up next year, don’t treat the reenactment as a joke. Several of the Social Studies teachers believe that a 10-page essay is just as informational as the reenactment. Take it seriously.
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7th Grade ELA, Solving Global Problems, Teaching Argument and Debate, and Promoting Civil Engagement

The Classwork - Research, Writing, and Debate

The Classwork

7th Grade ELA students are in the 4th Year of their Global Problems Research and Argument Unit. Students start by selecting a global problem, and have to come up with a problem solving plan for the issue. The global issue could be the water supply, reducing eco-carbon footprint, ending child labor in developing countries, protecting endangered species, stopping whaling, or many other issues. Students must eventually take a position on an issue. For example, students may be pro adolescents participating in competitive sports. They may also argue against it. Students read about both sides of each issue and them do live debates in class following debate format. Finally, students must research their topic and write an argumentative essay, in which they support their position with actual citation of evidence and real-world research, and also acknowledge counter-arguments from the opposing position and rebutting, much as they do in oral debate.

Civic Engagement - Speakers who Are Working on Solving the Problems Modeling How to do be an involved citizen for Keith Valley's Future Participants in our Democracy

The 7th Grade ELA teachers arranged for speakers to come in and engage students in how they are trying to solve these problems at the state and local governmental level.

Representative Tina Davis

By Chase Fricka

Mr. Gross kicked off the speaker series by having his friend, PA State Representative Tina Davis speak to interested 7th graders about voting reforms she is sponsoring in the legislature. One of our national problems, is that registered U.S. voters are not...voting. The United States ranks 138 of 172 nations in voter turn-out for elections. Representative Davis is working on sponsoring legislation which could allow early voting in PA (we're one of only 14 states in the US that doesn't allow it), change absentee ballot rules, and even discussed the idea of a voting holiday on Saturdays, to make it easier for voters to get to the polls. Representative Davis, and her Chief of Staff, Bryan Allen, who is a township councilman in Bensalem, also did extensive Question and Answer sessions with students interspersed throughout the presentation.

Senator Maria Collette

By Marissa Anthony

Mrs. Beltz then organized an assembly, by having PA Senator Maria Collett come out to speak about the water legislation she is working on. Students in 7th Grade ELA have read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park which is about the water crisis in the South Sudan. Many are also writing argumentative essays on well water versus tap water and both of their effects on the environment. It is well-documented that the U.S. Department of the Navy dumped firefighting foam into the ground at the former Willow Grove Naval Air Station, contaminating the well water in this geographic area. However, the amount of GFA's in Pennsylvania tap water is at legal levels for Pennsylvania. Unfortunately legal Pennsylvania levels are much higher than the levels legally allowed in our neighboring state of New Jersey. Senator Collett would like to get them to safer levels. During the assembly she answered all of the great questions that the students who attended asked regarding the purification process and the P -FAS chemicals contaminating it from the former air base. Senator Collett discussed her own concerns about discarding environmental waste coming form the purification process of the water, and how she is trying to find a more environmentally friendly way to get rid of it. She also had a Question and Answer discussion with a small portion of the Water for the South Sudan Club at the end of the assembly. The honorable Mrs. Collett discussed the goal of raising enough money to build yet another Keith Valley well for the struggling people in Sudan. The South Sudan does not have water systems like post-industrialized countries and does not have access to clean water. Senator Collett is aware that we are holding a carnival for 7th grade students on March 31st, and stated that she may be able to attend the carnival to help raise money along with us.

Councilman Mark McCouch - Horsham Township Council - An Interview on What Horsham Township is Doing to Insure the Safety of our Water!

Interview by Miss Amanda McCouch

Since water quality is a large concern for residents here in Horsham, Miss Amanda McCouch interviewed her father, Councilman Mark McCouch. Mr. McCouch is a member of the Horsham Township Council and was formerly on the Board of the Horsham Water and Sewer Authority. This interview was shared with all 7th grade ELA classes as an example of someone here in Horsham, who is "in the trenches" dealing with environmental issues right here in our township.

1. Are all the 15 wells throughout the Township safe to drink?

All the wells we are currently operating are safe to drink from. But, all the wells are not currently open. Those wells are scheduled to be filtered to ensure they will be safe to drink from. To prevent another contamination issue like the one we had last year, we decided to implement a filtration system, but we can only do so many wells at a time because we have to keep the township’s water running. In the meantime, we purchase water from two sources: Aqua PA and North Wales Water Authority. That water makes up for the wells that are shut down until the filtration system is in place across the board.

2. Do people call or come to you to ask about water concerns?

It depends on the concern. We mostly get calls about unique issues such as the water running brown in an individual household. That type of thing can happen if the water system is being flushed; however, we notify residents when a system flush is scheduled so they are aware they should not use the water at that time. The vast majority of calls concerning the water go to Horsham Water & Sewer Authority.

3. What steps does Horsham township take to make sure that people have safe water to drink and use?

The Department of Environmental Protection, which is a state agency, sets our water-testing procedures—how often we test, what we test for, etc. All tests are made public knowledge (test results are always and immediately available on the Horsham Water & Sewer Authority website) so the people of Horsham can make informed decisions about what they are consuming. By strictly following Pennsylvania state policies regarding water testing, we remain confident in the safety of our water.

4. What is your responsibility as a town council member?

To begin, here is some background information: The Horsham Council is a separate entity from Horsham Water & Sewer Authority. We do not have authority over them in how they operate; that is, we cannot “tell them what to do.” However, we do appoint the members of their board, so we can make sure the right people are in charge. Also, even though the responsibility of clean water falls on Horsham Water & Sewer Authority, it is Horsham Council’s responsibility as a whole to make sure the Authority is performing their duties despite not formally overseeing them. That said, both Council and Authority enjoy working together because we take the safety of Horsham’s water extremely seriously.

5. Is there anything else citizens should know about the water they use?

First and foremost, I want every citizen of Horsham to confidently know that Horsham’s water is safe to drink. Even when we had that contamination issue last year, it was caught and handled immediately because the water is, quite literally, always being tested. And it is being tested for an array of minerals, contaminants, toxins, and more—daily, weekly, and monthly depending on what we are testing for (lead, mercury, strains of bacteria, etc.).

I would even say Horsham now has the safest drinking water in the area because we hold ourselves to higher standards than most. Ever since we were told about the dangerous PFAS chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, that were discovered, we took every step needed to not only ensure the chemicals were removed, but also increase the standard for “clean.” For example, the Environmental Protection Agency, which is a federal agency, states that there can be 70 parts of PFAS chemicals per trillion (per trillion parts of water) and the water is still safe for consumption. However, Horsham decided that 0 parts per trillion was the acceptable quantity even though water passes the testing at 70 parts or lower—we feel that ANY AMOUNT of anything that's hazardous in the water is not safe. So, in a nutshell, Horsham’s standard for clean water is 0 parts per trillion, or “non-detect.” What we have to wait for now is for the EPA to set the new standard; but we retain the power to enforce stricter standards than they determine. As a side note, because of the steps we took to handle the contamination issue, many areas across the country are beginning to implement Horsham’s water filtering procedures. We are the first township to filter using a resin process instead of a carbon process, and now Horsham is the model to follow.

Keith Valley Gives Back to the World

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7th Grade Carnival for the South Sudan

By Jaznie Patel

Miss Sarah Beltz, Miss Amanda McCouch, and the Water for the South Sudan Club ran their very first "Carnival for the South Sudan" at Keith Valley's Alden Athletic Field on Friday, May 31st. The carnival was part of the on-going mission of this club, to raise awareness that there is a world problem accessing clean water. It is a charitable organization that has helped bring well water to residents of the South Sudan. The carnival consisted of trivia challenges, fun carnival games, and raffles, to generate more charity money as the club aims to build it's second well in Africa. The carnival was attended by all Seventh Grade students during their English Language Arts class periods. It raised over $1000. Students enjoyed a great time outdoors, on a beautiful spring day, and raised money and awareness for a great cause. The first carnival was a smashing success. A special thank you to School Board member, Marion McCouch for helping with the early morning set-up and visiting the carnival.

Keith Valley's Water for the Sudan Club is dedicated to building wells in the South Sudan to bring clean drinking water to this underdeveloped region of the world, where they have no water systems and need wells desperately. The club has raised $13,000 after four years and already built a well that is dedicated to the Keith Valley Middle School. The idea for the club came from Seventh Grade ELA teacher, Sarah Beltz, as a result of students reading the book, A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park. It details the Sudanese Civil War, and the fact that the South Sudanese would literally walk all day to get polluted, muddy water for their survival. The student club under the direction of Sarah Beltz, was formed to do community service to help these people and is a shining example of Keith Valley's 47-year tradition of giving back to its surrounding community. Miss Amanda McCouch has joined Sarah Beltz this year, as co-director of the club. This has been a great Keith Valley tradition of teaching "kindness to others" for almost a half century. It is also what is called, "Deeper Learning" in education; which is creating community projects out of classroom learning, to make learning "come alive" for students.

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Retirements - Goodbye to the Best!

By Mr. Stewart Gross

Retirements are always bittersweet. We are happy that our colleagues have brought a lot of happiness into our lives and the lives of generations of students, as well as tremendous professionalism and dedication to the profession. We are, of course, sad to not have them here at Keith Valley everyday doing this anymore. We are happy that they are moving on to the next phase of their lives and having extra time to travel, focus more on their hobbies, such as music, painting, and golf in the case of these four retirees.


Miss Karen Condit

Miss Condit has served Keith Valley since 1986. In her 33 years at KV, she served as an Emotional Support teacher, a Learning Support Teacher, A Life Skills Teacher and a sixth grade teacher. Over the majority of the past two decades she was a social studies teacher for the Western Civilization course in the 6th grade. It is Miss Condit who first brought the idea of the Greek and later Western Civilzation Wax Museum to the sixth grade. Miss Condit has served on countless committees, ran the extremely popular holiday cookie exchange, organized retirement celebrations and countless other staff unity activities over her 33 years here. Miss Karen Condit exudes the word "leader."

In Miss Condit's words:

Miss Condit

After 33 years the time has come

Soon I’ll be a Keith Valley Alum

Thousands of students have walked on by

Always correcting grammar, wanting you to fly

Loved the chance to watch you grow

Becoming adults, your seeds to sow

Wishing my KV Family, all the best

Retiring this year feeling truly blessed!

Mrs. Carole Budilov

Mrs. Carole Budilov came to Keith Valley from Hatboro-Horsham High School in 1999. She has served as a sixth grade learning support teacher, and an ELA and social studies teacher at the sixth grade level. Mrs. Budilov is well know for her "lunch bunch," and knitting club. She is a talented water painter, a prolific knitter, avid reader, movie buff, and is looking forward to taking piano lessons after retirement. Mrs. Budilov originally worked in business, and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. She then decided to switch to her true love, teaching students. Mrs. Budilov frequently enjoyed eating lunch for 15 years with Mr. Gross, before he moved on to the seventh grade. She was always a great support to her colleagues in every way possible, and we were very lucky to get her from the high school. Mrs. Budilov served as a Sixth Grade Team Captain for the past 13 years and has been a tremendous leader in the Keith Valley Middle School.

Miss Elizabeth Swierzawski

Miss Swierzawski spent 33 years teaching at Keith Valley since 1986, when she came here from Central Bucks School District. Miss Swierzaski was a long-time seventh grade math teacher. One of her students was current principal, Mr. Jonathan Kircher. Miss Swierzawski has worked for many years as the Mathematics Department Coordinator, and has been an outstanding leader for the Keith Valley Math Department. She has her degree in mathematics education and computer programming from Penn State University , where she attended the main campus in University Park, PA. She attended along with Keith Valley teachers, Miss Lisanne Liney, and Mr. Stewart Gross, both of whom lived near her in East Dorms, adjacent from Beaver Stadium. Miss Swierzawski is a big fan of Crosby, Stills and Nash, and has literally, attended dozens of CSN&Y concerts with Mr. Gross. She is also an avid theatre goer and can often be found attending performances at the Academy of Music or on Broadway. Miss Swierzawski's most interesting professional experience was traveling to Russia as a US Teaching Ambassador. Miss Swierzawski is a renowned world traveler, who has been to almost every corner of the world. It wouldn't be shocking to find her on the way to Morrocco on the "Marrakesh Express" someday soon, or in England, re-visiting Winchester "Cathedral." "49 Bye Byes" to Miss Swierzaski, a huge leader at Keith Valley and in our school district!

Mr. James Sullivan

Mr. "Sully" Sullivan is originally from Rhode Island, and is a big fan of all of Boston's professional teams, especially the Red Sox. Mr. Sullivan moved to Pennsylvania in the 1980's and began teaching at Upper Merion High School in King of Prussia. There, he met the love of his life, Eden, who also taught at the high school. Only in his twenties, he was "A Child in These Hills." He them moved to Hatboro-Horsham High School, where he served as a science teacher, assistant principal, and then head principal of the school. "Sully" then transferred to Keith Valley and went back to his true love, classroom teaching. He has served as a math and science teacher here for the past, 14 years. Mr. Sullivan is a big fan of Jackson Browne, and has attended shows with Mrs. Robin Ayres and Mr. Gross. Upon retirement, Mr. Sullivan now has time to travel to the place where the "Road and the Sky" collide, or possibly to "a corner in Winslow, Arizona." Mr. Sullivan is an avid reader of everything, and will now have more time to read and golf. Mr. Sullivan's team always loved hearing his "Sullyisms", for example, "This is like trying to row a boat with one oar, left-handed." "Sully" brought tremendous leadership to Hatboro-Horsham High School and Keith Valley throughout his tenure in our school district, and always had a kind word and a smile for everybody! James Sullivan is a living exemplar of the "Golden Rule."

Pennsylvania Holds First Mr. Roger's 143 Day - The Main Message: Unity and Community

Click on the play symbol to watch and hear Mr. Rogers' performance of "143."

oku. “Mister Rogers - 143, Mr. Mcfeely.” Online Video Clip. You Tube. 19 January, 2013.

Who was Fred Rogers and what was Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?

By Mr. Gross

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the PA Legislature pronounced, May 23 (the 143rd day of the year) 1-4-3 Day in Pennsylvania. 1-4-3 was Mr. Roger's code for "I love you." The numbers correspond with the amount of letters in each word.

Fred Rogers was born and raised in Latrobe, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh. He was bullied as a child for being overweight and when he got older, decided to dedicate the rest of his life to teaching children that they're special no matter what their circumstances were, and to, in the truest sense of the word, love thy neighbor.

He created a television show specifically for young children called Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. The show premiered on Pittsburgh TV, and then went national on PBS. It featured puppets and neighborhood characters such as the postman, police officer, and aimed to educate young children about the importance of diversity, accepting others, and of course, love. The music for the show was all original and written by Fred Rogers himself, who was an accomplished piano player. He also did the voices of all the puppets. Rogers featured special shows about horrific subjects such as 9/11, from a child's point of view, so that young children could make sense out of tough issues that scared both them and adults.

My own daughter, Lara, was a regular viewer of the the show and used to ask for it by name as she pulled her plastic chair in front of the TV to watch. I'm glad she got such a positive message from the media as a child.

Mr. Rogers saves Public Broadcasting

When congress wanted to cut funding to public television in 1969, it was Fred Rogers who testified before the senate and convinced them that it was impossible to have educational programming for children without public funding, since it did not generate much advertising money. Congress kept the funding based on his testimony!

First 1-4-3 Day Celebration in Pennsylvania

The aim was for Pennsylvanians to do an intentional act of kindness for strangers and friends. The state's website created a "kindness generator" which pumps out ideas such as "Donate to a local children's fund" and "Write your favorite teacher a letter." The site also tracked how many people shared their kindness on social media using the hashtag #143DayinPA. By late afternoon, it had been used nearly 12,000 times.

In our current world atmosphere, it is refreshing that Pennsylvania honored its native son from suburban Pittsburgh, Fred Rogers', and his philosophy of UNITY, COMMUNITY, KINDNESS, AND LOVE. He was a true leader and role model, and had a great message for children of all ages.

Examples of kindness popped up all around the state in honor of the special day.

Hatter Chatter Staff for Year End Issue 2019

A special thank you to Keith Valley Alumnus, Mrs. Robyn Ayers, for doing the final proofread of the Chatter. Mrs. Ayers was one of the best English Language Arts teachers to ever teach in Hatboro-Horsham school District, and mentored Mr. Gross many decades ago, when he began teaching ELA at Keith Valley. Also, thank you to our Principal, Mr. Kircher, for reading the proposed Hatter Chatter and approving all content in the newspaper prior to distribution as always.

Faculty Advisor, Mr. Stewart Gross

The last issue of the year is bitter sweet, since we say goodbye to the eighth graders who are moving up to Hatboro-Horsham High School. A fond goodbye to Joseph Acton, Raina Conaway, Samanatha Murset, D.J. Cerisier, and Grace Rovinsky, who were tremendous contributors to the Hatter Chatter for two years, and Isossa Idahossa, Zach Ibrahim, Madj Victor, and Donnovan Grant who were huge contributors for one year. You will be missed! Good luck at the high school.

To all of our readers, we wish you a safe and happy Summer of 2019!


Click on the play symbol to watch and hear The Beatles performance of "The End."

TheFabFour14. “The Beatles-The End.” Online Video Clip. You Tube. 17 October, 2009.

The Hatter Chatter is the Nationally Recognized Newspaper of the Keith Valley Middle School

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A Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School Since 1991

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