Hatter Chatter

November-December 2017 Holiday Edition


Edition 2 - Hatter Chatter 2017-2018

Welcome to our second edition of the Hatter Chatter for the 2017-2018 School Year. We continue to bring you news from one of the top middle schools in the country. This edition brings you more news about special KV events, sports teams, clubs, fundraisers, academics, current events, book reviews, movie reviews, past and present staff, and everything Keith Valley!

Inside this Edition

Contents of this Issue

A. Keith Valley Gives Back to the Nation and the World

1 .Veteran's Day Breakfast

2. Tribute to WW II Veterans: Concert Review of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the music of WWII

3. Needy Students in India wear Keith Valley Sports Uniforms

4. Keith Valley Gives Toys for Tots

5. Seventh Grade Students Help Thirsty People in the South Sudan Get Drinking Water

B. Retired Keith Valley Teachers Pitch in When Substitutes are Needed

C. Special School Events

6. KV Idol

7. 7th Grade Football Undefeated Season!

8. School Musical - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

9. Who was C.S. Lewis?

The Subjects We Love

D. Featured KV Teaching Departments

10. 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Science

11. Classroom Pets of Keith Valley

12. Safe Science Experiments for the Home

13. Winter Solstice

14. Life on Mars?

15. The Blob Fish Mystery

16. Mosquito Transmitted Diseases

17. KV Fine Arts and Technology

18. The Virtual Art Museum

19. Mr. Greg Telthorster - Remembering the Driving Force Behind the Virtual Art Museum

20. KV World Language and International Foods Day

21. KV Clubs - Girl's STEAM, Reading Olympics

Books and Movies

G. Book Reviews

22. "I Will Always Write Back"

23. "The Time Machine"

24. "Inside Out and Back Again"

H. Movie Reviews

25. Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

26. A Halloween Thriller

27. Casablanca - 75th Anniversary

Philadelphia Sports Exclusive

27. Eagles Playoff Preview: Is This the Year They Win it All?

28. Goodbye Doc Halladay


29. I Close My Eyes

30. I Just Can't Think

31. My Words

In Closing....

32. November Spirit Week Photos and Winners

33. Hatter Chatter Staff Photos and Credits

34. KVMS - Winter Calendar of Events

Thank you for preserving our freedom veterans!

Thanks for Serving, Veteran's Day Breakfast

By Rowan Hall

The annual Veterans Day Breakfast was held on Friday, November 10th. It was a well attended breakfast by veterans who are family relatives of our present KV students. The breakfast looked great and there was a huge attendance.

Mr. Iaia was the MC of the breakfast event. Mr. Iaia is an 8th Grade Social Studies and veteran of the Navy Sea Bees. This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Cory Etchberger who talked about his father who passed away in the service of his nation. His father earned the Medal of Honor 42 years later after losing his life during the Vietnam War. Our Pennsylvania State Representatives Todd Stevens and Thomas Murt, a veteran himself, were in attendance and spoke to the gathering. Each thanked those who served and reminded us the of the importance of our armed forces.

Mrs. Bardsley helped to put this wonderful event together. I got to ask her questions about how she organized the event and got so many people to come out. She started her planning in the summertime. This was the first time she has organized this type of event. She coordinated several groups such as the custodial staff, the teachers, the presenters, the food staff and KVTV in order make this day run smoothly. The custodial staff made the cafeteria and the hallways very clean for our guests, and they also rearranged parking spaces. Mrs. May and Ms. Rubinlicht were also able to take part in this event because they had the select chorus practice songs to sing at the breakfast. Mrs. Bardsley worked tirelessly as she juggled all of the tasks needed to make our students and veterans' experience one they will remember.

Just like the military itself, it was all hands on deck for the event from the main office staff welcoming our guests and student council serving the food to the helpers setting up the tables and placing over 900 thank you cards made up by students during KV K'Nex Advisory.

Overall, this was a great event that I hope is going to continue for many years to come here at Keith Valley. Thank you to all the teachers who made this happen especially our retired Vice Principal, Mr. Robert Crosby, a navy veteran, who started this tradition many years ago. Thank you to all our veterans who served and came to spend time with us and share their stories.

Thank you to all of our Keith Valley community veterans who have fought to keep our country free!

Former and Current KVMS Veterans

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Mr. Robert Crosby, US Navy 1965-69, 7th Grade Assistant Principal and Athletic Director KV, Retired and Still Substituting

A Musical Tribute to World War II Veterans: The Greatest Generation


Copyright Citation

AF117 .“Glenn Miller Orchestra: In the Mood.” Online video clip. You Tube. You Tube, 13 November 2007. 8 December 2017.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Greatest of the Jazz Bands of World War II Swings New Jersey

by Mr. Gross

Major Glenn Miller

Last evening I took a second time warp back to World War II. This one was a musical journey-- My family and I swung with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in Lakewood, New Jersey at the historical Strand Theatre.

Glenn Miller was perhaps the greatest of the big band leaders of the WWII big jazz bands. When I say big bands, they literally WERE BIG BANDS. These bands normally carried over 20 musicians, dominated by horns, including trumpets and trombones as well as saxophones/flutes/clarinets (woodwind section). They also included a rhythm guitar, stand-up bass guitar, drums and vocalists.

Famous big band leaders were Benny Goodman, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington, Count Bassie, and Guy Lombardo.

There were many famous singers who performed with these bands, most notably Tex Beneke, Louie Prima, Peggy Lee, Cab Calloway, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Sinatra became the first huge teenage singing star after singing with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey’s big bands.

These bands were the music of my parents, and I grew up putting my father’s large big band record collection onto my turntable (a record player) and swinging with them throughout my childhood and teenage years, right alongside my classic rock collection of the Beatles and other groups.

Glenn Miller Orchestra, December 12, 2017 at The Strand Theater, Lakewood, New Jersey

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Last evening at the Strand theatre, the band I saw was obviously not the original Glenn Miller Orchestra. Its members are long dead, beginning with band leader, Glenn Miller, himself. Miller broke up his original orchestra and took his band members to England in 1943 to entertain and raise the morale the troops who were fighting Nazi Germany in Europe. He renamed them Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band. Miller flew over the English Channel to France in a single engine plane in late 1944 to prepare for a concert to entertain Allied troops there. His plane disappeared. He was never heard from again. Miller was listed as Missing in Action.

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The Glenn Miller Orchestra in Action December 12, 2017 at the Strand Theatre

For years after the war, his saxophonist and lead singer Tex Beneke, continued to lead the band. The Glenn Miller Orchestra never again disbanded after 1956. The current band is manned by a new generation of jazz musicians who are endorsed by Glenn Miller’s family estate to carry on the band’s legacy in performances throughout the world. The band plays over 200 shows per year, keeping some of the best jazz music ever recorded alive for new generations of fans. They are led by musical director and lead singer Nick Hilscher who hails from Atlanta, Georgia. The orchestra does have some songs in their sets with lyrics and have a singing group. The original singers with the WWII orchestra were called the Modernaires. The current singers are known as the Moonlight Serenaders. The band also includes one Pennsylvanian, Carl Schultz, who I spoke to in the lobby at intermission. Schultz was born in Schwenksville, PA, and lived in West Philadelphia for most of his life. He plays tenor sax and clarinet.

Last evening, today’s Glenn Miller orchestra entertained me with their famous hits, including “In the Mood,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Moonlight Serenade,” “String of Pearls,” “Military Patrol,” “Little Brown Jug”, “Tuxedo Junction”, “Pennsylvania 6-500”, "The Military Patrol", and also included some holiday tunes such as "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"! The band had the whole audience swinging in their seats and whistling “Chattanooga Choo Choo” as they walked out the door. They put me “In the Mood” for a wonderful holiday season!

Trivia Question #1 What state is Chattanooga located in?

How did World War II Servicemen and Teens Dance?


Copyright Citation

BadZKarma99. “Hooked on Swing Dancing.” Online Video Clip. You Tube. 16 Jyuly 2010. 8 December 2017.


The main dance craze of teenagers and young servicemen serving in World War II was "Swing". Teens loved to swing to the sounds of the big bands. Therefore, big band jazz ensembles were also called SWING BANDS, because that is the main type of dancing teens did to their music.

Glenn Miller Records the First Gold Record

Trivia Note: Did you know that Glenn Miller's “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was the first million selling record in music history? When RCA Victor sold its millionth copy by February 10, 1942, they needed to create an award to celebrate this accomplishment. They decided to dip the 78 RPM single record in gold and created the first Gold Record! Radio DJ's actually started calling million selling radio hits "solid gold", a terminology which was used on music broadcast radio for over half a century afterward.

Also, MTV and VH1 did not invent the music video! As you can see, music videos existed during World War II.


Copyright Citation

Vinicius Taveras. “Chattanooga Choo Choo – Glenn Miller Orchestra.” Online video clip. You Tube. 26 January 2008. 8 December 2017.


Keith Valley Always Gives Back. It's just extra special in the season of giving!

Keith Valley Uniform Donation Benefits Impoverished Students in India

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Six Years Later, Keith Valley Charity Helps Indian Students

By Mr. Kevin Deissler

About six years ago Keith Valley began replacing some of our older athletic uniforms with newer, modern uniforms. We had a bunch of older uniforms in storage that hadn’t been worn in a long time. Instead of throwing them out, learning support assistant, Mrs. Babu, approached then-athletic director, Mr. Deissler, about donating them to one of her schools that she helps out with in India. With the approval of Mr. Kircher, she was able to send them back to The Good Shepherd School in the Yenkapalli Village in India. Mr. Bothwell of the science department also sent textbooks over and raised money for transporting them to India along with the help of Mr. Farrell and the KV student government. Many years later, Mrs. Babu was able to share pictures of kids at the school wearing Keith Valley uniforms while winning a Kabadi tournament. Some of those kids are the first of their families to receive a formal education and are filled with pride when wearing their uniforms. It’s just another example of Keith Valley doing good things, not just in our local community, but around the world.

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Toys for Tots Homeroom Donations Help Needy Children Celebrate the Holidays

By Mahdia Ahmed

Ever feel that holiday joy of bathing in a room full of toys while sipping a cup of hot chocolate? The snow is flying along with the cool breeze and holiday decorations fill your house. It's the season we look forward to. The season of rainbows and smiles.

Now, imagine if it was taken away from you. The toys, gone and never will they come back, and the happiness, gone. It can be taken away! Unfortunately, some unfortunate kids experience this hardship. Luckily, Toys for Tots can be their hero, and we can join them because everybody deserves to feel that holiday joy.

Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for the holidays. It's a very special gift for needy American children during the season of giving. It is the perfect opportunity to donate and get our hands active. Marines and volunteers distributed over 16.2 million toys to 7.6 million children as recently as 2008. It was a year where blissfulness spread from house to house.

One single toy being handed to a child can change their life forever. Each year, the Keith Valley Middle School collects literally thousands of toys to help put smiles on the faces of needy children. As a school, we are so lucky to have an opportunity to collect toys for Toys for Tots. So, parents and students, grab a few new toys if you are able and bring them in to your homeroom. The more there are, the better the holiday joy. START DONATING AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Collection will end on December 13th at KV. We will then hold our annual pass the toys to the front of the building ceremony during K'Nex Advisory time.

Mr. Tang's Homeroom Donations for Toys for Tots

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Bringing Water to the Thirsty in Central Africa: The Seventh Grade fundraiser enables poor Dinka and Nuer tribesman in the undeveloped South Sudan to have drinking water.

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Bringing Water to the South Sudan

by Madj Victor

There are many underdeveloped countries throughout the world where people do not have access to clean drinking water. Keith Valley has been on the forefront of helping this to happen in the South Sudan for three years now.

The farming villages in the south of South Sudan do not have running water and electricity that we take for granted. When these people can find ponds and lakes, the water is dirty and many times disease-ridden. Most Sudanese girls have to make an incredibly long walk, usually for miles and hours to retrieve this precious water for their family's survival! This is terrible, because the poor girls can’t even go to school due to the long walks. Just take a second to imagine having to carry a multi-pound canister of water every day, in the grueling hot tropical savanah of the South Sudan.

However, there is one way we can help to end these poor children’s misery, Water for South Sudan. Water for South Sudan is a US 505 nonprofit corporation whose mission is to create access to and monitor safe drinking water for communities located in remote rural areas of the South Sudan. The main thing they do is build wells so that these people have close access to clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing.

Keith Valley has had a water committee for three years now, organized by seventh grade English Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Sara Beltz. They put collection cups into each seventh grade homeroom. The change and paper money collected during the last three years has totaled in the thousands and has been used to dig wells in the South Sudan. The money is donated to the organization, Water for the South Sudan.

There is a section in which you may donate a certain amount to help the foundation on their website, http://www.waterforsouthsudan.org/.

This year we are having a pajama day, in which students wear pajamas to school and donate a dollar towards the fund. It will be held on December 19th.

Your money will go toward buying new supplies that will be used to dig wells filled with clean water to help improve the lives of the Southern Sudanese. It will allow their children, especially girls, to spend time on getting educated and climb out of poverty instead of spending eight hours a day toiling to get a smidgen of dirty water.

This Year's Seventh Grade Water for the Sudan Committee

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Substitute Teacher Special

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Keith Valley Retirees: Gone, but ...Not Gone? A Great Answer to Pennsylvania's Substitute Teacher Shortage

By Mahdia Ahmed

During our days in school, we grow fond of our teachers who work so hard for us and care about us so much. As the years go on, we remember them fondly and go back to their rooms to visit them, since they were such an important influence on us.

Nothing is worse than just leaving them at the end of the school year. The end of the school year is a time when long-time teachers retire. A person who has done so much for us and to help 30 or more years of students grow into strong and astute adults, has just walked out forever.

Luckily, these retired teachers are gone, but not gone.

Substitute Teacher Shortage

The Pennsylvania State Legislature cut two billion dollars out of the state budget for public schools almost a decade ago. There were large layoffs of teachers across the state as a result. Teacher colleges in Pennsylvania recommended that students interested in becoming teachers not to get certified to teach, since the job market was bad. As a result, the pool of possible beginning teachers available to substitute disappeared. In desperation schools, particularly in urban areas, had to turn to principals, department heads, and others to fill in for sick teachers.

Teacher Retirees Wanted!

To compensate for this problem, states and commonwealths like Pennsylvania throughout the country, created laws allowing retired teachers to substitute. The result is that many teachers who ended their full-time career after 30-40 years began to reappear in schools and use their invaluable veteran teaching experience to help fill in for sick teachers. We have been very fortunate here at Keith Valley in this area. There are four main substitutes we see almost daily, who spent their careers right here at Keith Valley. They are Mrs. Wendy Luvert, Mr. Bruce Angney, Mrs. Beth Maryott and Mr. Robert Crosby.

The Best Substitutes

Keith Valley students who get one of these four gems as their substitute will not a miss a beat academically in class and get another day of outstanding teaching when their regular teacher is out for the day. We are all lucky that they are gone....but not gone!

Mrs. Wendy Luvert

Mrs. Wendy Luvert retired in June 2017, after teaching remedial reading for 12 years and ELA for six years. Thank goodness she’s gone, but not gone. With a total of 18 years teaching at Keith Valley, it became her second home, and we all love to see her again. Mrs. Luvert says, “It’s great helping out my ex-colleagues when they are absent.” Like Mr. Agney, Mrs.Luvert also has an advantage. She knows the schedules, the layout of the school, the teachers, and most of the current 8th grade students. Mrs. Luvert also loves how she now gets to teach every subject. She explains, “I’m up for anything. I love the variety.” Thank you Mrs. Luvert for bringing the sun back out on the cold, rainy days when our teacher is not here.

Mr. Bruce Angney

Mr. Bruce Agney retired in June 2016, after 22 years of teaching 7th and 8th grade and serving as the science department chair. We all missed him when we heard the news he was retiring, but the smiles returned back to our faces because, he was gone but, not gone. In his time at Keith Valley as a teacher, he taught science, mostly on the 7-Grey team, but he also taught 8th grade for a while. This leads to an advantage now that he is a substitute teacher because Keith Valley is, and always will be, his family. Plus, he knows all the rules and expectations. We are so happy to see Mr. Agney here with us again. He himself is also very joyful. Mr. Agney explains how being a substitute teacher is the best. “I enjoy teaching different subjects and lessons.” Mr. Agney also explains how he loves seeing his old friends and is always excited to meet new ones. Thank you, Mr. Agney for bringing back the joy!

Mrs. Beth Maryott

In June 2017, Mrs. Beth Maryott retired after teaching 37 years at Keith Valley. Mrs. Maryott was a family and consumer sciences teacher and mathematics teacher in the sixth and seventh grades during her years here. She also organized retirement celebrations for teachers and holiday celebrations for the staff. She brought a lot of morale to the staff at Keith Valley during her years here. Luckily Mrs. Maryott is gone but, not gone.

Mrs. Maryott’s time here teaching all three grades in different roles make her an even better substitute teacher. She explains, “I feel very comfortable here at KV with anything that is asked of me.” In addition, Mrs. Maryott knows all the teachers and students. We are so happy to see Mrs. Maryott roaming the halls, lighting up the path for us students. Mrs. Maryott also explains how she loves that she can continue to teach and help all students and not just one team of them. Thank you, Mrs. Maryott for bringing back smiles into the hallway.

Mr. Robert "Bing" Crosby

Finally, there is Mr. Robert Crosby. Mr. Crosby, affectionately known by his colleagues as "Bing", was the Seventh Grade Assistant Principal and Keith Valley Athletic Director during his 15 years here at Keith Valley. Mr. Crosby, a graduate of the University of Florida, is the President of the Florida Gators Philadelphia area alumni chapter and a former football player there. He also served in the U.S. Navy and started the Veteran's Day Breakfast here at KV. Mr. Crosby loves the opportunity to substitute at all grade levels and keep in touch with former students and colleagues. He is even able to fill in as an administrator when one of them is absent for an illness or conference. Keith Valley is in good hands when Mr. Crosby comes to work in our building.

We are lucky to still have them!

All these teachers are a valuable part to the Keith Valley School and we all appreciate them and hope to see them in a KV classroom near us soon!


K.V. Idol - Championship Crowning Video


Copyright Citation

Wendy Stanley. “Winner Crowned KV Idol 2017.” Online video. You Tube. 23 November 2017. 6 December 2017.

K.V. Idol: Keith Valley's Answer to American Idol

By Liberty Pancoast

What is the most popular singing show in the USA? Your first answer was probably American Idol. However, we at Keith Valley know better. It is actually KV IDOL!

Keith Valley has created our own unique spin on American Idol. It is our own way of deciding once and for all, who will rule the music world of KV! It`s not exactly an award winning, best-voices-in-the-world show, but what can we do?

On Tuesday, November 21st, 2017, at 7:00 PM, we witnessed many talented and incredibly brave souls sing their hearts out on the stage. There were many different song choices, and each of them featured a stunning, gifted voice. Some of the singers even performed better than the original songwriters! These students demonstrated that we have some real talent at this school! But only ONE of the contestants could be this year's KV Idol. You may be asking yourself, "Well, what do you even get if you win?" But I can answer all of your questions!

The winner gets glory, the admiration of all of their friends, and a boost of confidence. Oh yeah, you also get a trophy. Also, if you win, you have the opportunity to sing in front of the whole school! Let me specify. You can (if you choose) sing the National Anthem at the start of the Keith Valley Challenge! What better reward for your bravery and perseverance?

Well, I suppose that a million dollars would be nice, but that’s not really an option. Anyway, many people got their courage up to sing and they rocked it. A few of the contestants were people such as, me, Liberty Pancoast, Hayley Goldberg, Jocelynn Daniels, and Dyamond Zayas. But now, we`re getting to the important part, WHO WON IT ALL?

I'm sure that it was a very tough decision for the judges, but it all came down to this final choice. Everyone was incredible, but there was just one person who earned the glory. Drumroll, please! This year's winner was Audrey Kim! She seemed very nervous, but excited to perform. Audrey was so incredibly happy to be announced as the winner, she was nearly crying tears of joy. "I felt like I owned the world," said Audrey as she came off the stage after her amazing victory. Although she may not have realized it, she had just made KV history. She is the first ever winner that was not an eighth grader!

Do you regret not signing up this year? Well fear not, there is always next year! Well, maybe. If you're in 8th grade, umm, I don’t know what to tell you, you're out of luck. Sorry. Well anyway, thanks for keeping up with KV Idol, even if you didn’t come to the actual event! Hope to see you next year!

Keith Valley Sports

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Varsity Football Undefeated League Champions!

By D.J. Cerisier

The Keith Valley Varsity Football team went 7-0 on the season. The Head Coach and offensive coordinator, Mr. Farrell, helped to keep the team focused throughout the season. He often would joke around with players, keeping things lighthearted. Mr. Farrell at times displayed his dazzling speed in practice while running the scout offense for the defense to practice against. The Head Coach of junior varsity team and minister of the defense, is Mr. Remailly. His intensity and attention to detail helped to mold the raw athleticism of our players into a cohesive unit that steadily improved as the season progressed. Coach Peronace was another offensive coach whose youthful humor and easy going demeanor helped to mentor the young Hatters as they prepare to take over the gridiron next year. Coach Kee helped to develop arguably the best middle school offensive and defensive lines in the tri- state area. He was a welcome addition to the KV Coaching staff this season. Coach Sullivan again this season helped the develop our lines and was the ultimate spirit builder. His unlimited passion and enthusiasm for the game was contagious and could be seen on the playing field when the Hatters faced their foes.

The season culminated with a dominant victory over our archrival, the Upper Moreland Bears, as the we defeated them in an evening game at Hatter Stadium. This sealed our undefeated league championship. The team was led by a strong core of 8th Graders such as Reda Ouldaissa, Sam Fink, two year starter at QB, Russell Lily, Aaron Lyner, Dylan Logue, Hunter Long, Liam Rowan, Jadyn Vanderburgh, Damien Bickhardt and all-world running back, Crishon Avery. The challenge will now be passed down to our 7th graders such as Kyree Butler and Christian Daniels to continue the winning tradition that is Keith Valley Football. Trivia Question #2 How many colleges were represented in the Spirit Week Photo for College Day?

2017 School Play - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Narnia Comes to Life at Keith Valley

by Aisosa Idahosa

This year's Keith Valley school play was the musical, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," based on C.S. Lewis' children's book from his famous Chronicles of Narnia series. It was presented in the Keith Valley auditorium November 16,17, 18, and 19.

The story is timeless. The story takes place during WWII. The Pevensie children, Peter, the oldest, Susan and Edmund the two middle children, and Lucy, the youngest are evacuated from their home in London to live with a Professor until the war is over. While playing hide at seek, Lucy discovers the magical world of Narnia inside of a wardrobe and has a cup of tea with her newfound friend, Mr. Tumnus the fawn. Soon after, her siblings also enter Narnia. Edmund is cursed by the wicked white witch, current ruler of Narnia, after eating some of her Turkish Delight (seriously kid, NEVER EVER TAKE CANDY FROM STRANGERS). They are greeted with Mr. Tumnus' house destroyed by the White Witch's secret police and him gone. The children learn from two kind beavers that they, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, are destined to break the horrible curse that the White Witch placed on Narnia. With the help of deep magic, a THEE lion named Aslan, and Father Christmas, the 4 children are able to defeat the White Witch, free Edmund, and save Mr. Tumnus and become kings and queens of Narnia.

As expected, this years cast performed flawlessly and left the audiences wanting more. The musical was brilliantly put together by Producer, Jen Basmajian; Music Director, Ed Conrad; Choreographer, Caroline Butche; Artistic Director, Barry Dougherty; and Assistant Directors, Lauren Ralston, Kristen Schada and Kelly Snyder. All of the hard work and effort were definitely worth it. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

This Year's Cast Members

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THE AUTHOR: The Chronicles of C.S. Lewis

by John Feather

The Author of the children's fantasy book, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, is Clive Staples Lewis.

C.S. Lewis, was born on November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. When he was just ten, his mother died, and less than thirty days later, he was sent to the Wynyard school in Walford, Hertfordshire, England. C.S Lewis traveled all over the U.K and Ireland until he received a scholarship from Oxford University in December of 1916. A year later, he enlisted in the British Army. He made a close friend named Paddy Moore, who sadly was killed during a battle. After the army, he moved in with Paddy Moore’s mother and started his writing career.

On May 20th 1919, he published his first book “Spirits in Bondage”. On May 11, 1926 he met his best life-long friend, J.R.R Tolkien, well-known for “The Lord of the Rings” series. The two wrote fantasy and science fiction books for children and adults alike that are frequently read classics by today's generation.

C.S Lewis wrote 34 books and novels until he sadly died on November 22, 1963.

C.S. Lewis' was not only a children's author. His space trilogy pictured below was written for an adult audience and is considered one of the classic trilogies of modern science fiction.

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Featured Teaching Departments


What are KV Science classes studying in November and December?

The Sixth Grade Science Department

by Mrs. Tracey Remailly

We have been having a lot of fun learning about forces and how they effect the motion of objects. To study balanced and unbalanced forces and the force of friction, we challenged each class to a Tug of War. In our second lesson, we challenged our 6th graders to design and construct a parachute that would fall slowly and accurately to the ground. We have spent a few weeks working on this project and we are near the conclusion. Later this week, the top two parachutes from each class will compete with the other 6th grade science classes to determine our overall winner.

The Seventh Grade Science Department

by Ms. Stephanie Keene

In 7th Grade Science, students are learning about Heredity and Genetics. Students in all classes will be completing a DNA analysis of their own cells. The amazing technology that we are using was made possible through an Innovative Learning Grant from the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation. Students will complete a DNA gel electrophoresis to observe the lengths of their own DNA. In addition to this investigation, students will complete research to gain understanding about common genetic disorders and how they can be passed from parent to their offspring. Before winter break, students will be discussing the pros and cons of advancements in genetic testing.

The Eighth Grade Science Department

Mr. James Sullivan

by Mr. James Sullivan

Eighth Grade Earth Science classes are focusing on Astronomy, the study of celestial objects and the phenomena of outer space. Are there other forms of life out there? What happened to Pluto’s status as a full-fledged planet? Will we ever send a human being to Mars? How long would it take to walk to the Moon? Is it true that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are on a collision course? What exactly is a Black Hole? These and other questions are being explored in the planetarium and Room 129 from Thanksgiving to Winter Break.

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Classroom Pets of Keith Valley

Mrs. McPoodle Pants

By Brynn Copman and Jameson McKnight

There are many crawling critters around this school, from the tiniest snail to the biggest rabbit. They are here to help the seventh grade science teachers teach us biology.

The smallest pet belongs to Ms. Keene with microscopic snails. Her classroom also contains three box turtles. Ms. Keene and Mrs. Daleandro share two guinea pigs whose names are Coconut and Chestnut. They are both short-haired guinea pigs. Mrs. McPoodle Pants is the Seven-Gray Team's mini lop rabbit. Mrs. McPoodle Pants was rescued by Mrs. Daleandro from a classroom in Philly that could not take care of her any more. All of the Keith Valley pets are either adopted or rescued.

During PACE, our morning study hall and tutoring time, a variety of students clean the pets' cages. A different selection of students feed the guinea pigs. The Seven-Red team even allows you to take two fancy rats home for the weekend. Their names are Kitty and Perry. If you are on that team, you are able to sign up to take them home over a weekend. Mrs. Daleandro takes home the guinea pigs over weekends and summer break to make sure they are cared for.

Aside from being teaching aids for biology, Mrs. Daleandro thinks that the pets bring a source of calmness to the classroom and all students look forward to seeing them in Science class each day. She also thinks that kids can become emotionally attached to the pets since they are there for you every day. The pets won't talk back to you and love getting attention. Even if you are having a rough day, these pets will put a smile on your face. The 2017-2018 seventh graders love these pets and so do the teachers.


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Safe Science Experiments You Can Do At Home!

Baking Soda Volcano

by Jospeh Acton

Baking Soda Volcano: I know everyone has heard of this one, but it is a classic, as well as easy and cheap to make. Combine vinegar, water, and dish soap in an empty soda bottle. Fill another cup half way with baking soda and the rest of the way with water. Mix it until it is liquid then pour it into the soda bottle. If you want to get your clothes dirty, stand right next to it. If you would rather save on laundry bills, back up quickly, this will cause a mess. That is why you should do it outside.

How it works: Baking soda is a base, while vinegar is an acid. They have a chemical reaction, creating carbon dioxide which makes it shoot up.

Growing Gummy Bear

Growing Gummy Bear: If you are in 7th or 8th grade you already did this. Even if you did do it, it is still fun to do. You need to fill a cup with water and drop a gummy bear in it. Wait about 24 hours and check in on it. If you want to take it out, be careful. It is fragile.

How it works: Osmosis is the movement of water from a high concentration to a low concentration. When you put the gummy bear in, it had little water, the lower concentration. The water had a high level of concentration, so the water moved from the cup into the bear (osmosis), causing it to grow.


Tornado: This is not a real tornado, parents! It is just two bottles with water in them that are connected by a tube. You just shake the bottles around in a circle and let go.

How it works: When you spin the bottle, it creates a vortex as it goes down into the second bottle. When water goes down, air must go up, creating that spiral shape.

Balloon Rocket

Balloon Rocket: Tie a piece of string to a door knob and a chair about 10-15 feet away. Before you tie it to the second side, put a straw through it. Blow up a balloon, but don’t tie it. Tape the balloon to the straw and let it go!

How it works: The straw can move freely of the string. Thanks to Sir Isaac Newton, we know that when air blows out one way, the balloon goes the other way.

The Winter Solstice

Zachary Ibrahim

The Winter Solstice is coming up on December 21st. It is the shortest day of the year and, therefore, the longest night. It is the official first day of winter. But what exactly is the winter solstice?

The winter solstice is the beginning of winter, but it is the "turning of the sun". It marks the shortest day of the year. But this is only half of the story. In the southern hemisphere, it is actually summer. This is due to the Earth's tilt. The Earth is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees to the equator or "ecliptic" of the sun. This means that the sun will have its most direct light and heat directed at the southern hemisphere, hitting between the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn located at 23 degrees South Latitude. The other half of the year, between March 21st and September 21st, the direct light and heat of the sun hits the northern hemisphere between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees North Latitude. Those are our spring and summer seasons. After the Winter Solstice, the earth's orbit draws more direct sun rays in the northern hemisphere, leading us back towards the Spring (Vernal) Equinox when we get equal amount of sun in both hemispheres.

The Solstice Created Cultural Celebrations

Historically, Christmas was chosen to be on December 21, so that all the days following would be lighter. Why did they switch to December 25th? They did so to offset the pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. Besides this, many other people celebrate this as well. Just a few examples are in Poland is Gody, which is an observance showing forgiveness and sharing food, Santo Tomas in Guatemala in honor of St. Thomas the Apostle and the celebrations of the Mayan Indians for their sun god, which included a ritual where people would jump off of a 50-foot pole with a rope to see if they landed on their feet. Trivia Question #3 What was the name of the first ever gold record?

That, in turn, is the winter solstice. It marks the shortest day of the year and the lighter days to come. It affects many religions and beliefs, and so, many people. So look on the bright side: it’s the winter solstice!

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Life on Mars?

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A Space Flight to Mars

By Mahdia Ahmed

Start packing, because by the year 2030 we will be asking each other what planet we are from.

As NASA estimates, humans will be able to live on our neighboring planet, Mars by the early 2030’s. By 2020, NASA will be sending a rover in search for the availability of oxygen. If all goes successfully, we might as well be ready to get going. NASA calls this big leap of discovery, the JOURNEY TO MARS. It starts off with a step called EARTH RELIANT, where the goal is for astronauts to learn what it takes to live and work in space for prolonged periods of time, so that we can travel out farther into space. This will help scientists to understand how the body changes in space and what additional needs may be needed to stay healthy and safe. With this, NASA can change history, leading the world into a whole new era. We already know from the International Space Station, that human bone and muscle atrophy (break down and get weak) from prolonged space travel and that even the normal of circulation of blood that we take for granted changes in zero gravity conditions.

The MARS ERA - After these discoveries, NASA hasn’t quiet reached the last step in the staircase to Mars because they have to go through the PROVING GROUND. This is done to make sure that their theory of humans being able to sustain space travel to Mars can actually be realized. NASA estimates this will take place from 2018 to 2030. It will consist of a series of missions in the cislunar space, the area of space between the earth and the moon.

This process starts with the history changing spacecraft Orion. Orion has a special role in the history of the MARS ERA because it revolutionizes the thinking of NASA. NASA has already begun practicing Orion’s landing procedures in the Pacific Ocean. The mission to Mars will start off with Orion going on a thousand-mile expedition beyond the moon for an approximately three-week mission. The astronauts must prepare themselves for a back breaking, breath suffocating expedition.

Once it returns, NASA must go through another milestone. The Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The mission starts off with the ARM robot capturing an enormous boulder off of an asteroid. NASA assumes will take about ten minutes. It will then place the boulder in the Distant Retrograde Orbit. After they have collected a few samples, they will then return back to Earth, landing in the Pacific.

This mission will leave a spot in history because it will be the farthest a human has ever travelled in space. After, NASA has reached this destination they are only footsteps away from phase Earth Independence. The objective of the mission as NASA hopes will be to help test the capability needed to lead the mission to the "Red Planet."

Finally, after the astronauts have returned and the results are analyzed, NASA moves onto phase three, Earth Independence. This will occur from the 2030’s and beyond. NASA writes that their goals are to demonstrate entry, descent, and landing, and in-situation resource use. Also, NASA is conducting robotic round trip demonstration with return in late 2020. Then the big moment will be here. It may seem like a long process, but before we know it we will be living there. The top priority on my bucket list is to start packing. See you on Mars!

The Blob Fish Mystery

By Mahdia Ahmed

We all have favorite animals, and some say their reason is because they’re so adorable! But in the case of the blob fish, that doesn’t apply. The world's ugliest marine animal is the blob fish, and scientists are still discovering more and more facts about it as time go on. Its scientific name is the Psychrolutes Marcidus, and the Order is Scorpaeniformes.

One of the most shocking facts about the blob fish is that it is the only fish that cannot swim, but moves by floating. In addition, scientists believe the Blob Fish has human facial characteristics. Luckily, this creature is not related to humans. Like the rest of them, their appetite is also pretty repulsive. Since they live at the bottom of the ocean floor, they are bottom feeders, which simply means that they feed on the waste at the bottom of the ocean.

Sadly, like many other species, this marine animal is slowly becoming extinct. This is from fisherman throwing down fishing nets down into the ocean to catch other fish. Unfortunately, the lazy blob fish comes up with them and their time out of water is way too long for them to survive.

Blob fish are located off the coast of Australia or California. They were first found in 2006 between New Zealand and Australia. Scientists hope to discover more about this ugly yet mysterious marine animal.

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Mosquito Transmitted Diseases, A Global Problem

by Katie Barnette

Students in Seventh grade English Language Arts had to research and present a global problem related to a novel they read, A Long Walk to Water. Many students ended up researching science based subjects, for example water and mosquito born diseases. Here is a presentation that student,Katie Barnette, did on Mosquito spread diseases, which kill millions of people throughout the world on a yearly basis, because they do not have access to modern health care.

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K.V. Fine Arts Meets K.V. Technolgy: The Virtual Art Museum Project

by James Gibson

Mrs. Sara Sweet - Fine Arts

The Keith Valley Technology Department works with all other subject areas in the school to create technology projects to make learning interesting and take it into the 21st century. One of the most interesting collaborations is between the Fine Arts Department and Technology, who together created the "Virtual Art Museum" over 15 years ago.

I’ve interviewed one of the Fine Arts teachers to get some questions answered. One question many people had was, “What is the Virtual Art Museum? What grade do I do it in?” The answer to those questions is that the Virtual Art Museum is a project that 6th grade does to get an idea of what art really is, and do perspective and realistic drawings. Seventh and eighth graders focus on ceramics and 3D drawings when they do their fine arts rotation.

The purpose of the virtual art museum is to learn about different artists and what they painted, drew and wrote. That information about the artists and their paintings all goes into the Virtual Art Museum project. The Virtual Art Museum as the name suggests, exists in cyberspace in a 3D Museum. When the Virtual Art Museum is finished, it looks really cool! When you get to the art room, you can already see all the things you can do with art! Art is a very cool and interesting subject, here in Keith Valley Middle School, especially when it is combined with technology!

The Virtual Art Museum

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Remembering Mr. Greg Telthorster - The Driving Force Behind the Invention of the Virtual Museum

by Mrs. Valerie Fasy

The Virtual Art Museum project was heavily influenced by Gregory Telthorster, a former art and technology teacher here at Keith Valley. Mr. Telthorster wanted to take a research project about an artist and bring it to life using technology. Mr. Telthorster was a unique teacher in that he taught Fine Arts for many years and then became a Technology teacher. This gave him the idea to combine both disciplines in a very innovative project. The project is an interactive, student designed presentation, created using PowerPoint and Adobe Photoshop Elements. Students utilize internet search strategies to locate, download and credit information and graphics. They use drawing tools in Power Point to create rooms and "hang" paintings in linear perspective. Presentations are brought to life with hyperlinks, animation, and digital images.

We owe a debt to Mr. Telthorster for creating this project along with Mrs. Heitzenrater and Mrs. Fasy, who were the technology teachers here at KV at the time.

Unfortunately, Mr. Telthorster's career was cut short, when he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in the early 2000's. He retired and spent his last years wheel chair bound. Despite this, Mr. Telthorster frequently visited Keith Valley to see his former colleagues and students who he missed tremendously, after it became physically impossible for him to carry on with the profession he loved. Sadly, Mr. Telthorster passed away from the disease in the late fall of 2014. Fortunately for us, he left an important mark at Keith Valley with the Virtual Art Museum that continues to benefit generations of students who pass through our school.

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International Foods Day

One of the culminating projects that the World Language Department does each year is to hold International Foods day. Students in Spanish, French and German classes cook foods that were contributed to the United States and the world by these three cultures. This entails very hard work by students, their parents, and the World Language teachers, who look exhausted by the end of the two days. It is also enjoyed by the Keith Valley staff, who are invited in by their students to enjoy delicious foods that have been prepared for the day.
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by Senora Green

In Spanish we learn about various foods and drinks and their influence on the Spanish culture. The students have a chance to research authentic recipes and bring in items for International Foods Day. We also have many native speakers who bring foods that are popular among their culture. We set up a main table with quesadillas, chips and salsa, guacamole, empanadas and rice and beans to name a few items. The drink and dessert table is filled with tres leches cake, flan, sopapilla cheesecake and various other sweets. Horchata, pina coladas, jarrito sodas and Sangria are popular drinks. This rotation we were even lucky enough to try Chapulines or bacon flavored crickets!

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By Mademoiselle Catrambone

Trimester one of French was a success with students learning how to speak, write, read, and listen in the French language! Students absorbed the language through games, role plays, music, art, history, videos, articles, and technology. Students presented their choice topics everyday of the rotation to teach others about the French culture. International foods day was a great culmination of the language and cultural studies where students made their own French recipes to share with their classmates.

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by Frau Netter

In German class, we are happy to introduce the students to the German Language and Culture. As the trimester progresses, the students look forward to International Foods Day. The students bring in German themed food that has sometimes made by them , their parents, grandparents or on some occasions store bought. Pretzels, butter cake, wiener schnitzel, and sauerbraten are just some of the scintillating tastes that will be experienced by our students exploring German Culture.

Special Note: At the beginning of November, long-time German Teacher, Frau Susan Salambier, retired from teaching. Frau Salambier was also spotted substituting here at Keith Valley last week. She was here from the beginning of the International Foods Day project, and all of her hard work throughout the years is very appreciated by students, teachers and all Keith Valley staff. Good luck in the next phase of your life Mrs. Salambier!

Keith Valley Clubs

Keith Valley has a plethora of clubs for all sorts of academic and non-academic interests.

Girl's Steam 2017-2018

By Gabriella Chandler

As we entered the 21st Century, one of the glaring trends in teaching and the U.S. economy, was the lack of girls going into science and technology related jobs.

This has almost exclusively been a male dominated vocation throughout our country's history.

Dr. Sally Ride, The Founder of STEAM

One of the main things that former astronaut, Sally Ride, the first American woman in space advocated for, was more women going into science related professions. Ride herself, aside from being an Astronaut, held a PHD from Stanford University in engineering. She helped to develop and build the mechanical robot arm used on the space shuttle for the repair and deployment of space satellites and the Hubble Space telescope.

Dr. Ride founded STEAM at UC San Diego. It was adopted by the San Diego Public Schools and has now spread across the entire nation.

Woman Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling of Science Jobs

Keith Valley has taken up this challenge and formed the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Club. The driving goal behind the club is to get girls to consider going into jobs that involve engineering, technology and computer science. During lunch for all three grades, girls get to go to a certain place with a pass and learn about science and technology jobs that guest speakers in those professions come to KV to talk about. You get to learn about the person, their journey, and supporters in the person's life. It is a learning experience for girls, which tries to expand the horizons of their eventual job choice. The last meeting included a speech by Michelle Peralta, who is a Health and Wellness specialist from the University of Maryland. She was very educational and explained the road from not being sure about herself, to her current job.

The point of STEAM is that there aren't that many girl technology workers in our American work force and some people have a ridiculous prejudice that girls can't do it. So, the school district wants girls to be interested in the different technology jobs or have an idea about different technology jobs that exist.School districts and colleges are advocating for women so that ridiculous preconceptions about their abilities in the sciences will be proved wrong. In fact, the girls in STEAM attended a viewing of the movie Hidden Figures last year. This showed the STEAM club the plight of the women who were discriminated against because of their gender and race, yet helped put astronaut John Glenn into the United States' first orbital mission in space through their innovations in mathematics and computer science.

So, I encourage all the girls reading this to sign up for STEAM. Ask Mrs. Fasy or Mrs. Miller of the KV Technology Department any questions you have about signing-up for STEAM. I hope you are interested in STEAM!

The long-term goal of Girls STEAM is for a larger portion of our female students to take STEAM-related classes in high school, leading them to pursue STEAM majors in college and STEAM careers. You go girl!

Watch this video to learn how Sally Ride founded STEAM


Copyright Citation

UC San Diego. “Sally Ride Science.” Online vide. You Tube. 27 September 2016. 10 December 2017.

Reading Olympics

By Samantha Murset and Grace Rovinsky

Reading Olympics is a countywide competition pitting teams from different area schools in Eastern Montgomery County in a competition to read and answer questions about the top fiction, non-fiction and biography books being read by school students. There are usually around 45 books on the list every year, and a good strategy is to divide all of the books among your teammates, and have them cover those books. There are three rounds in each competition, and 40 questions in each round, or 20 questions for each team. The teams go back and forth, and if they can't figure out an answer in the 20 seconds given, or they give an incorrect answer, the question will pass to the other team and they will have a chance to steal the point. All teams who score 50 points by getting 50 questions correct as a total for their three rounds of work, receive a first place Blue Ribbon.

The goals of Reading Olympic are to have fun, meet new people, and expose yourself to new books and new genres that you wouldn't have typically read. Students meet weekly in their English Language Arts teacher's rooms for lunch and hold a "Book Club" in which they meet and discuss the books they are reading. The program helps build team skills, such as:

· Communicating

· Working together to achieve a goal

· Leadership

There is an elementary school competition for grades 4 and 5. However, in Keith Valley, you can join Reading Olympics in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade to participate in the Eastern Montgomery County Middle and Jr. High School Competition at Upper Dublin High School. Last year, there were four 6th grade teams and two 7th grade teams. You can have 8 to 14 people on a team.

The books are selected by librarians and teachers from Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, and Delaware County school districts for all of the Philadelphia regional competitions.

Each team entered designates a team captain for each round, and the captain is responsible for giving the answer or designating another team member to answer the question. Moderators will read the question twice and teams have 20 seconds to come up with an answer.

If you would like to join Reading Olympics this year, pick up a list in the library, and ask Mrs. Quinn or your ELA teacher for details.

The History of Reading Olympics at KVMS

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Keith Valley's First Reading Olympics 1999-2000

Montgomery County started the Reading Olympics for the Middle and Junior High School level in the fall of 1999. The first competition was held at Wissahickon Middle School where it was held until March 2015. The competition has been organized by the Montgomery County IU since the beginning. The IU has a committee of librarians who select the 45 books for the list each year. The books are made up of grades 6-9 level books, most of which are classics, Newberry Award Winners and notable new releases that are being considered for the John Newberry Medal as the best in Young Reader's Literature in the United States.

Keith Valley organized its first teams in the fall of 1999. They were comprised of three, Six Grade Teams. The competition was organized by former librarian, Mrs. Connie Kehs and former Language Arts Department Chairperson, Mrs. June Freeman. The Sixth Grade Coaches included: Mr. Brett D'Alonzo, Mr. Stewart Gross, Mrs. Wendy King, Mrs. Karen Condit, Mr. Ken Heaton, Mrs. Carol Diem, and Mr. Brian Vanderpool.

Keith Valley expanded its representation to include a Seventh Grade Team in the 2000-2001 school year. The first seventh grade team was coached by Mrs. Janet Whiteside and Mrs. Wendy Luvert. K.V.M.S. is getting ready to send teams to the Reading Olympics competition for the 19th consecutive year. We now have multiple teams in all three grades comprised of students who read for enjoyment, something Keith Valley does an outstanding job encouraging in its students. The competition has moved to Upper Dublin High School since the spring of 2016.

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Students Review Reading Olympics Books and Classics

I Will Always Write Back

Book Review by Raina Conaway

"I Will Always Write Back" By Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda is a great book for middle schoolers who enjoy reading autobiographies.

For Caitlin, it was a homework assignment to write to a stranger in a foreign land. But when Caitlin signed up to write to someone in Zimbabwe, a place that sounded exotic to her, her life changed forever. Martin was lucky to even get a pen pal but being the top of his class had its advantages. When he writes back to Caitlin, they become best friends and find out that even though they're far away from each other, they can change each other's life.

This book moved me, and I really liked the way Martin and Caitlin impacted each other. This amazing true story can be found on the Reading Olympics shelf or biography/autobiography section of your local library. This is a great book for middle school students who enjoy reading biographies, participate in Reading Olympics, or are looking for a new favorite genre.

The Time Machine

Book Review by Zachary Ibrahim

I have recently read the Time Machine, by H.G. Wells, one of the fathers of modern Science Fiction. It is a true classic of the genre. It not only was a good book, but was also a metaphor for our society. The book is about a time traveler who takes his self-created time machine into the future and finds that a whole new society has appeared on earth. Though even it is very different from ours, there are some fundamental ideas that carry through.

Having traveled across the fourth dimension of time, the "Traveler" arrives in the year 2701. He finds that man as we know him is gone, replaced by the Eloi, a group of small creatures who simply have fun all day, but are afraid of the dark. As the Time Traveler explores the new world, he finds his very own time machine was stolen. On his search to find it, he travels around the new land, finding that all of the buildings of his time are crumbling and gone, with the only other buildings being sleeping places for the Eloi, who sleep in large, elaborate buildings which hold many. On his search, he finds that his previous conception that the only living beings were the Eloi, was wrong.

In actuality, there is another species called the Morlocks, a carnivorous, subterranean group who are afraid of the light. As the time goes on and the Time Traveler gains more knowledge of the world around him, he comes to this conclusion: the Morlocks are the working class and the creators, while the Eloi were like the upper class, the ones who lied around all day and relaxed.

Over time, the Morlocks were forced underground and were told to do the work, while the Eloi stopped working and caring about anything. And since the Morlocks relied on meat for food, they basically fed on the Eloi like sheep. So in the end, what happens? Do they fight? Does the Time Traveler find his way home? Read the book to find out.

Inside Out and Back Again

Review by Samanatha Murset and Grace Rovinsky

Thanhha Lai tells a tale of war, fear, and hope in Inside Out and Back Again, a book written in verse. The main character, Ha, flees Vietnam along with her family to escape the dangers of the Vietnam War. Ha's mother has a troubling time when choosing where to relocate her family to, but eventually she chooses America for its opportunities. Ha's family gets sponsored by a man in Alabama, the "cowboy", as Ha calls him, and they go to live with him.

When they think they've escaped all their worries, Ha and her family struggle to figure out their place in America. Getting bullied is one of Ha's main struggles in the U.S.A. The "pink boy" shouts, "She has a pancake face. She has a pancake face." The pink-skinned boy doesn’t like Ha, so he pokes, pushes, and chases her after school because of his racism. Ha has difficulties with her English. She feels stupid because she doesn’t understand what people are trying to say to her. With the help of her teacher and neighbor, Mrs. Washington, she can start a new life as an American schoolgirl.

On Tet, New Year, one of Ha's older brothers has to wake up and step on the floor first. Ha gets upset about this and wants to be the one to step on the floor. She wakes up first, even before mother, and touches just her big toe to the ground before anyone noticed right before falling back asleep. Ha's mother loses her amethyst ring, their whole family takes it as a sign that father is gone. When this happens, Ha and her family preforms a ritual to say their goodbyes to their beloved father/ husband.

Inside Out and Back Again received a John Newbery Medal and a National Book Award for Young People's Literature. This novel has been chosen to be on the Reading Olympics book list this year. You can find it in the KV library, in the Reading Olympics section. Inside Out and Back Again has an inspiring theme about immigrants struggling to fit into a new culture and never giving up. You can buy this book at your local bookstore, or borrow it from the Hatboro Union, Horsham, or Keith Valley Libraries.

Movie Reviews

Star Wars, Halloween Fun, and a World War II Classic

Movie Preview Special - Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi


Copyright Citation

Film Select Trailer. “STAR WARS 8 The Last Jedi Trailer 2 (Extended 2017).” Online video clip. You Tube. 9 October 2017. 10 December 2017.

The Saga of Good versus Evil in the Gallaxy Continues

Rey, successor to Luke Skywalker

Movie Preview by Joseph Acton

George Lucas' famous science fiction/modern mythological hero story film serial Star Wars is back on the screen for the ninth time. The Last Jedi is the 8th episode in the original series (Rogue One was the first stand-alone movie). It is riddled with excitement, glory, adventure, betrayal, death, success, and failure.

What will be the excitement, glory, adventure, betrayal, death, success, and failure of this episode? The goal will be the same as the last episode, bring the First Order down. They have picked up a generation later after the defeat of evil Emperor Palpatine and the tyranical Galactic Empire. The First Order is the next force of evil trying to obliterate freedom and democracy in the Galaxy and bring back a brutal and authoritarian empire in which formerly free planets and star systems live in fear.

Vader's Successor

The evil Kylo Ren has assumed Darth Vader's place, trying to take control of the galaxy with an iron fist. Our heroine, Rey, who has assumed the role of Luke Skywalker, has the force and wants to be a Jedi. She locates the hiding Luke Sykwalker seeking his training. This might be where the betrayal comes in. Either Luke will become scared of Rey’s immense power and will decide to run away, or Rey will join Ren to help her find her place.

In the trailer, Luke said, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before, it didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.” He could be talking about Ren, his former apprentice, who like his father Attican who became Darth Vader, turned to the Dark Side. He fears that the same thing will happen to her.

Sad Last Appearance by Carrie Fisher as Leia

Obviously, Princess Leia will die, because Carrie Fisher, the actress who plays Leia, died on December 27, 2016. Luckily, though, she finished filming her scenes for this installment before she passed. This follows on the heels of Kylo Renn, played by actor Adam Driver, killing his father Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in the seventh installment. Therefore, two of the three key heroes of Lucas' original Episodes 4 thru 6 are gone. Mark Hamill, who reprises his role as Luke Skywalker in this movie, is the only one left standing, pending the outcome of The Last Jedi and whatever the ninth installment will bring us.

Good versus Evil - George Lucas' Vision Continues

Star Wars continues to show us the classic, epic battle of good versus evil that George Lucas created in 1977. It is a stark reminder to movie goers that freedom is something that must be earned. It will forever have to be fought for, because the forces of evil who would love to take freedom away from everyone to gain power for themselves, will be with us forever unfortunately!

Movie Review: A Halloween Thriller

Movie Review by Julia Fumo

Get up. Live your day. Get killed again. This is simply a normal birthday for Tree, a self-centered college student with a fierce attitude. However, while on her way to a party, she is brutally murdered by an unknown figure. Suddenly, after Tree is killed, she is revived and wakes up on the same day. This repeates, until she figures out who her murderer is and kills the person herself. After reliving the same day over and over, Tree realizes how she affects others and begins to show gratitude towards everyone and everything around her.

Happy Death Day is a recent horror/mystery movie, released by Universal on Friday, October 13, grossing about $26 million on the first weekend. A horror movie version of Groundhog Day, Happy Death Day took nearly ten years to complete after it got shut down and revisited by the director.

Personally, I think the movie is outstanding. The story line is easy and exciting to follow. It is suspenseful and thrilling, with tons of unexpected twists and turns. Overall, Happy Death Day is must-see, new blockbuster film that all horror audiences will enjoy.

Casablanca Turns 75 - Back at the Movie Theatres, A Tribute to World War II Veterans from the "Greatest Generation"

Movie Review by Mr. Stewart Gross

Casablanca has been called one of the greatest and most popular films in United States film history. It was rated as one of the top five films ever made by the American Film Institute (AFI) when it ranked all of the landmark films of the Twentieth Century. It made it back to the big screen this November of 2017 to commemorate the 75 year anniversary of its release and I was lucky to view it with friends and family at the Warrington Regal on November 12th.

Casablanca is a huge allegory for the United States' entry into World War II. Although Nazi Germany began its quest for world domination by invading Poland and other European countries in September 1939, the United States remained isolationist and on the sidelines, until the December 7, 1941 Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor. During Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart's character, Rick Blain, who runs Rick's Cafe American, in Casablanca continually says "I stick my neck out for no one," even though he has a history of having fought against the fascists in Spain in the mid-1930's. Rick Blain and his Cafe American are therefore a metaphor for America doing the same at the onset of World War II.

During the course of the story, Bogart is forced to choose between remaining on the sidelines or helping the cause of freedom as the Nazis close in on resistance leader Victor Lazlow, an eastern European organizer who has escaped from a concentration camp. Lazlow is played by actor Paul Heinreid. In the end, Blain rejoins the fight against the brutal tyrany of the fascist Nazis. Also, in a romantic twist to the film, Rick gives up the former love of his life, Ilsa Lund, played by Ingrid Bergman, to Lazlow so that Laslow may escape to the United States with her. There, Lazlow will continue his fight to help the US defeat the evil Nazi's bent on world domination and the destruction of Democracy.

Play it Sam

Casablanca, like most classics, is filled to the brim with classic lines: "Play it Sam," (Bograt does not say "Play it again Sam." This was the title of a Woody Allen movie); "Louie, this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," "I stick my neck out for no one," "Round up the usual suspects,"and of course, "Here's looking at you kid," Rick's special way of saying "I love you" to Ilsa.

The movie is also famous for it's theme song, "As time goes by," sung by piano player, Sam, played by actor Dooley Wilson.

One of the Best American Films Ever Made

Casablanca is a great love story and one of the most patriotic movies I've ever seen. It won three Academy Awards, Including Best Picture, and Best Director for Michael Kurtiz. Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains (the corrupt French Captain Rennault, who also tries to remain neutral to the Nazis and also decides to rededicate himself to their defeat at the film's end) were nominated for best actor and supporting actor respectively, but did not win.

It is very fitting that the film was brought back to the big screen the day after Veteran's Day, to honor "The Greatest Generation." TV news anchor, Tom Brokaw, coined this name to denote young Americans who endured the strife of the Great Depression and fought in World War II to keep America free, and the leader of the free world.

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Once again, thanks to all of our war veterans for keeping America free!

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Highly Recommended Movie to See at the Holidays - Darkest Hour

This edition of the Hatter Chatter was published a little over a week prior to the release of the movie Darkest Hour, so we couldn't review it. It is the biographical tale of Winston Churchill and how his incredible leadership kept the British Isles from being conquered by Hitler and the Nazis in World War II. Professional reviewers are already predicting that the movie will be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and that actor, Gary Oldman, who plays Churchill, is a front runner for the Best Actor Oscar. If you like World War II history or just want to see an excellent movie, this one is highly recommended.

Eagles Playoff Preview

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Can the Birds Finally Win a Super Bowl?

by Mr. Stewart Gross

I personally had a lot of questions about the Philadelphia Eagles going into this season. Is Carson Wentz an MVP in his second season? Can the Eagles have the best record in the NFC? Can their defense shut down the run and defends the pass? Will the Eagles ever have quality wide receivers, who can catch the ball? Will they ever develop a post LeShaun McCoy running game? Will Doug Pederson ever figure-out how to coach professional football? The answer they happily gave me was YES TO ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS.

Sports Reporters Were Correct!

Like many other fans in the Philadelphia area, I figured that this was a transition year and the Eagles would flirt with being a .500 team. On an Eagles discussion forum on Philly Sports Talk, Ray Didinger, Seth Joyner, Michael Barkham, and Barrett Brooks all agreed that this was a playoff team. I laughed!

Boy was I wrong! The Eagles have turned out to be one of the best teams in football this season and appear to be getting stronger each each week.

Breaking the Team Down!


Their defensive line featuring Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham are shutting down other teams' run game. Their cornerbacks, featuring Jaylen Mills and Ronald Darby, and are doing a nice job covering top receivers; a huge area of weakness for the Eagles in the previous three seasons.


The Eagles have discovered a running game! The three-headed monster of LeGarrett Blount, Corey Clement, and Jay Ajai have the third most rushing yards in the NFC. This takes a lot of pressure off of quarterback Carson Wentz, who does not have to throw 40-50 passes a game any longer. Alshon Jefferies gives Wentz a big target to throw to, and in year three, Nelson Aguilar has finally figured out the NFL as a slot receiver. Finally, Zach Ertz has developed into one of the elite tight ends in football supplanting, an aging Brent Celek.

The Last Three Eagles Championship Game Quarterbacks

Wentz himself, has been an amazing story in only his second season. The Division IAA quarterback out of North Dakota has played like a league MVP. An amazing statistic came out after 9 games that is very telling about the Eagles Superbowl possibilities.

After 9 games, Wentz had 23 touchdown passes, the most ever by an Eagle quarterback after 9 games. Numbers 2,3 and 4 are the kicker. Number 2 was Donnovan McNabb with 18 TDs after 9 games in 2004. That Eagles team went to the Superbowl. Tied for number 2, was Ron Jaworski, in 1980. That is the only other Eagles team to go to a Superbowl. Number 3, was Norm Van Brocklin in 1960 with 17 TDs. That was the last Eagles team to win a World Championship.

If this statistic is predictive, the Eagles would have been Super Bowl bound had it not been for the season ending injury to Wentz!

Coaching and a Deep Team


The Eagles have done this, having lost four important players to season ending injuries. Left offensive tackle, Jason Peters, who was on his way to a 10th Pro Bowl and is a sure fire Hall of Famer was protecting Carson Wentz's blind side. Jordan Hicks, lost in game 8 is arguably the Eagles best linebacker. Darren Sproles, the Eagles best third down back and punt returner was lost early on. The Eagles place kicker, Jason Sturgis, was also lost to injury early in the season and yet was easily replaced by Jake Elliot, who has been one of the top kickers in the league. Despite these key injuries, the Eagles have had substitutes come into the starting line-up and haven't seemed to have lost a step. The season-ending loss of Carson Wentz is the latest and toughest challenge.


Doug Pederson, a protege of Andy Reid in Kansas City, looked outclassed and indecisive during his first season. During his second season, he looks like he has learned his trade very quickly. Pederson has made in-game adjustments to counter other teams and molded the Eagles into a very tight, cohesive unit who play with a lot of spirit and character.

Do we finally get to see a championship?


The Eagles beat the Greenbay Packers to win their third and last world championship on December 26, 1960. I was one month old at the time (I was born on November 25, 1960). I have seen film footage of Norm Van Brocklin, Tommy MacDonald and Chuck Bednarick winning that game 17-13 at Franklin Field, particlularly the final tackle of Greenbay running back Paul Hornung by Bednarick, who sat on Hornung and would not let him get up until the clock expired and the game ended. It would truly be amazing to view one as an adult! Everyone, including myself has been waiting 57 years for another NFL Championship.

Is this finally the year? NOT WITHOUT WENTZ!

As of the publication of this newspaper, the Eagles record is 11-2, having defeated the Los Angeles Rams in LA, 37-35. The Eagles have clinched the NFC East Division Title and hold all the cards going into the playoffs. With one road game versus the Giants and the final two games at home against the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles will determine their own destiny and can clinch home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs by winning their final three games.

Unfortunately, Carson Wentz left the game with a knee injury to his ACL. The Eagles' legitimate shot at a world championship left with him. This is the one injury this team CANNOT overcome. Without this dynamic franchise quarterback, the Eagles will not be able to beat the league's elite in a championship showdown. Although Nick Fowles is a competent professional back-up who can keep the Eagles in games, he's not the difference maker Wentz is. You need a difference maker at the quarterback position to win a championship. MAYBE NEXT YEAR!

Enjoy seeing a Philadelphia team in the playoffs none-the-less. It happens so rarely in this area.

Goodbye Doc

By Majd Victor

Popular Phillies pitcher Roy "Doc" Halladay died in a single engine plane crash on November 7, 2017,in the Gulf of Mexico just off the coast of Clearwater, Florida. Halladay pitched the final four years of his career with the Phillies, after spending the first twelve (12) with the Toronto Blue Jays. Halladay was the Blue Jays' first draft selection in the 1995 MLB draft, the 17th pick overall, and played for the team from 1998 through 2009, after which he was traded to Philadelphia. Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history for the Phillies. He was a remarkable player, with 203 wins and 105 losses. He pitched over 2,500 innings, and became the 67th major league pitcher to record 2,000 strikeouts. Halladay was also one of six pitchers in MLB history to win the Cy Young Award in both the American and National Leagues. He averaged a 17-9 win-loss record during his sixteen major league seasons, almost the definition of a "staff pitching ace."

Halladay will always have an important spot in Phillies history because of his record setting 2010 season. Halladay won 20 games and was named the National League's Cy Young Award winner as best pitcher. He threw a perfect game Memorial Day Weekend (27 batters, 27 outs) during the regular season against the Florida Marlins. He then followed that feat up by pitching a no-hitter in the playoffs, becoming the only pitcher in baseball history to pitch a no-hitter in the regular season and playoffs. He is one of only two major league pitchers to throw a no-hitter in post-season play.

Halladay was only 40 years old when the accident happened! He was born in 1977, in Denver, Colorado. Halladay is truly deserving of serious consideration for enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for an outstanding pitching career. His death was a devastating loss for Philadelphia and Toronto sports fans as well as baseball fans throughout America. Goodbye Doc. The Philadelphia area will miss you!

Roy "Doc" Halladay, May 14, 1977 to November 7, 2017


Hallday pitches only the second no-hitter in MLB Post Season history.

Copyright Citation

MLB. “Roy Halladay Finishes Off a No-Hitter.” Online video clip. You Tube. 9 December 2013. 13 December 2017.

The Poetry Corner with Christin Wilson

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I Close My Eyes

By Christin Wilson

I close my eyes

Only hoping where to go

Would I go to England or a chocolate factory?

Would I just go to sleep and dream?

Would I fly?

Or having a tea party with the queen

Will I be on the sun or running with coyotes?

Will I even dream to night?

I Just Can't Think

By Christin Wilson

I just can’t think

I stare at the screen

But I just can’t think

I sit in my chair

But I just can’t think

The clock goes by

But I just can’t think

People talk

But I just can’t think

My teacher chatters

But I just can’t think

I try really hard

But I just can’t think!

I type and type

But I can’t think

Not of birds elephant jokes fish poems


I just can’t think

I read what I have typed

But I still just can’t think

My Words

By Christin Wilson

I may not be popular

Nor gym class hero

But when I write I am the hero

You just can’t stop my words

From Flying on the paper

Like bird migrating in the winter

My words arrange themselves to complete a stanza

My words are something I can control

My words are how I feel

And what I think

My words are the key to and endless imagination

My words are my future

And my future is my words

Keith Valley Spirit Week Photos - November 6 - 10, 2017

Four Fun Filled Spirit Days

Keith Valley held its annual Fall Spirit Week, November 6-10, with students and teachers dressing for the ocassion, including pajama day, college day, superhero day and red, white and blue day.

Pajama Day

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College Day

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7-White, Winners of the Best Participation in KV Spirit Week

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The Hatter Chatter Staff

KVMS Winter Events Calendar

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Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone in the Keith Valley community. We hope that you have a healthy and happy 2018, enjoy the love of your friends and family, and that all your dreams come true in the coming year!

Thank you to KV alumnus, Mrs. Robyn Ayers, for doing a final proofread of our newspaper. 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.
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Keith Valley Middle School - A Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon Middle School since 1991.