In The Q


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Tears flow during Dr. Harner's emotional Memorial Day speech

Quakertown’s Memorial Day service received a major jolt of passion, courtesy of the Quakertown Community School District -- its students, teachers and administrators -- who displayed a love and appreciation for America’s veterans who went to war to protect our freedoms and never returned home.

The prideful event at Memorial Park, following the majestic sounds and marching of the bands from the high school and Strayer Middle School, included an emotional keynote speech by Dr. Bill Harner, QCSD’s superintendent and a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army.

Harner momentarily broke down when talking about Frank Parker, the high school band director whose father was killed in Vietnam.

“It was very difficult to get through that part of the speech,” Harner said. “I have a deep respect for Frank, his commitment to his students, our program, and his loyalty to the Quakertown Community.”

Harner’s emotion was not lost on Parker, who stood with his students not far from where the superintendent spoke. “It’s nice to know that he included a personal message to me,” Parker said. “It’s very nice for him to take that moment.”

Each year, Parker speaks with his students about the importance of Memorial Day. “It’s a connection my students will always have,” he said.

Coincidently, the theme of Harner’s speech, on Memorial Day’s 150th anniversary, was that very same historical perspective Parker provides to his students.

“Your attendance role models for younger generations this sacred tradition and creates habits for their behavior for years to come,” Harner said. “You reap what you sow!”

Several students from the high school played a role in the ceremonies. Ana Handel read “Flanders Fields” and Adam Fischer read “The Gettysburg Address.”

Grace Wilson and Micah Kunkle were each awarded the American Legion’s Certificate of Distinguished Achievement.

The high school band played a salute to the armed forces, in which veterans stood when their service branch was called. And after the names of the local service members killed in battle were read, followed by a ringing bell, members of American Legion Post 242 and VFW Post 11322 who died in the last year were given a similar sign of respect.

The American Legion Honor Guard performed a rifle salute and high school band member Paul Hand then played Taps.

When the service concluded, several people in the crowd thanked Harner for his speech and his service. “It was a very special day,” Harner said.

QCHS senior awarded prestigious scholarship

Anna Tran, a senior at Quakertown Community High School, has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship by the Foundations Community Partnership in Education Program.

Her selection into the prestigious program includes a summer internship that pays close to $4,000 for working with a local non-profit organization.

“This is about finding the top kids with the strongest academic performance who have shown a commitment to community service,” said Ronald Bernstein, FCP’s executive director who visited QCHS to present a check to Anna and explain the program. “We want to help these kids put their careers in motion.”

Anna, one of the district’s outstanding students, volunteers at St. Luke’s Hospital, is a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and also mentors a younger student during Pride Pack.

She will be attending the University of Pittsburgh and studying neuroscience and emergency medicine. “I’m super honored,” she said.

Her school counselor, Andy Scappaticci, who nominated her for the scholarship, said “We’re dealing with a heavy hitter here.”

He said when he met her as a 10th grader, she was wearing a Pitt t-shirt. “She’s the right fit for this award,” he said. “We’re excited for her. It’s not just the scholarship, but the whole program.”

That program includes a $3,800 summer internship, where Anna will be working for a non-profit organization four days a week, and spending one day in a classroom structure with FCP. The schooling is worth three college credits that the foundation pays for. “It’s a really great experience,” Bernstein said.

Last year, Madeleine Neiman, now at Gettysburg College, received the scholarship. Two years ago, the award went to Chet Friday, now studying at Vanderbilt.

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Strayer’s Messa di Voce chosen exemplary middle school choir

Messa di Voce, the auditioned a cappella choir at Strayer Middle School, was selected through blind audition as an exemplary middle school choir to perform at the annual Pennsylvania Music Educators In-Service Convention.

“It was an honor to showcase our choral program,” Cynthia Teprovich, choral director at Strayer, said of the April 19 event at the Lancaster Convention Center. “We prepared multiple genres of choral repertoire, including old traditional selections along with a few new choral publications. MDV performed for a large audience of future music educators, current middle school educators, and yes – we even have our own ‘groupie’ choral educators that follow all of our PMEA performances.”

MDV is the product of placing each vocal music student within a rigorous choral curriculum that emphasizes the Kodály Concept and the Cambiata Concept for the purpose of developing ear-training and sight-singing skills during the school day classroom hours.

Messa di Voce rehearses twice per week before school at 7 a.m. for a higher level a cappella repertoire.

This choir has had the honor of performing with the Pennsylvania Youth Chorale, the renowned Baltimore Consort, and four concerts with the award-winning women’s barbershop chorus, known as The Valley Forge Chorus.

Messa di Voce has achieved the Overall Chorus Award with first-place, superior ratings for the last 17 consecutive years in the Music in the Parks Festival. In 2007, 2012, and 2016 the ensemble was selected to perform for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Annual In-Service Conferences. In 2013, Messa di Voce was honored to perform at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Eastern Division Conference in Hartford, Connecticut, and that performance is available on iTunes.

In the above photo are (top row) Brooklyn Spear, Jordan Mitchell, Rachael Szabo, Trinity Rodriguez, Jadyn Fuentes. Middle row: Michelle Barratt, Alyssa Cassel, Jesse Kempter, Amelia Cianciola, Austin Hunsberger. Front row: Bryce Widdos, Mason Lippincott, Nathan Grebb, Faith Pflaumer, Sonya Roeder. Missing from photo are Elizabeth Callan and Ayden Hendricks.

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Educators marvel at QE's 'How the West Was Really Won' performance

Quakertown Elementary School’s fourth- and fifth-grade production of How the West Was Really Won was a major hit with the audience of school officials and kindergartners through third graders who viewed the outstanding performance.

The musical, performed for the school Friday afternoon and for parents in the evening, encompassed events such as the Westward Movement, the Gold Rush, The Cherokee Trail of Tears, The American Civil War, the Underground Railroad, the Transcontinental Railroad, Chisholm Trail Cattle Drives, and women who changed the country.

“I was blown away by how well the students did,” said Stephen Wysocki, the lead teacher on the project. “The greatest thing is that they will never forget it! “They knew their lines and every word to the songs. They were incredibly in-character and full of enthusiasm. Most of all, I could see the pride on the faces of our students. They knew they were doing something extraordinary and it was obvious throughout the production.”

Several teachers helped with the play. Christa Held was in charge of square dancing, while Lori Pierce, Sarah Derby and Neysa Maxwell helped coach the students. Wysocki said the training and subsequent tremendous performance helped to build self-confidence in each student.

In an email to the teacher-team that helped with the production, Wysocki stated, “How cool is it that our kids are now so excited every time they see anything about the history of the transcontinental railroad, the gold rush, the Lewis and Clark expeditions, the Civil War, the Oregon Trail, the life of the pioneers, the plight of the American Natives who were forced off their lands, the age of invention, the wild west shows, rodeos, and on and on it goes!”

Principal Michael Zackon praised the efforts of the students and teachers. “Through the teacher leadership of Mr. Wysocki, and other QE staff, all fourth- and fifth-grade students participated in this outstanding musical performance,” he said. “The planning and preparation for this started months ago by Mr. Wysocki, and students were trained by actors of "River Union Stage" for a valuable Artist-In-Residence program.

“The students then practiced many days in preparation; which culminated in an outstanding performance. We are incredibly proud of the student effort and hard work.” Wysocki and Held were awarded a $500 mini-grant from the Quakertown Community Education Foundation to help put on the performance.

Senior citizens' dance creates memories

The student council at Quakertown Community High School has been involved in many important events this year, but perhaps none as inspiring as the May 4 Senior Citizen’s Dance.

Close to 50 senior citizens in the school community were treated to food, a live band and dancing, compliments of student council, which is advised by social studies teacher Michael Sandler.

The seniors had a great time, even the shy ones who were often invited to the dance floor by welcoming students. The Fabulous Philadelphia Mojo Kings Dance Band provided the music, and when they were on break, Grace Kave, a high school senior, entertained with her songs and guitar.

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Athletes announce college choices

Seven Quakertown Community High School student-athletes have announced their college selections.

In the photo above are (front row, left to right) Lily Colflesh, Madison Mood and Joel Welliver. Second row (left to right) are Mackenzie Mulkiewicz, Tim Shevlin, Ashley Morris and Bridget Campion.

Bridget will be a cheerleader at Kutztown University. She plans to major in education.

Lily, who will compete in track at York College, will study nursing.

Madison, all-league in the discus and shot put, will study accounting and agriculture business at Delaware Valley University.

Ashley, who plans to play volleyball at Penn State-Berks, is interested in criminal justice and will study law.

Mackenzie, who aspires to play professional golf, will study criminal psychology.

Tim, second all-time in receptions and third in yardage at QCHS, will play football at Ithaca College, and plans to become an athletic trainer.

Joel will study media communications at East Stroudsburg University, where he'll compete in track.

Congratulations to an outstanding group of hard-working student-athletes!

Pfaff, Richland students excel at county level Math 24 competition

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Four QCSD students placed in the top five among fourth and fifth graders at the Bucks County Math 24 Tournament.

Three Pfaff students excelled: fourth grader Shawn Zhu finished second, while Taylor Kletzing was second and Sean Egan third among fifth graders. Richland fifth grader Leah Schwalm finished fifth.

These outstanding students were the top four finishers in the district's Math 24 tourney in April when Richland won the event and Pfaff finished second.

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New School Board member, Diliberto, is sworn in

Robert J. Diliberto is the newest member of the Quakertown Community School Board, chosen on May 24 by Directors to fill the vacant seat following the resignation of Dr. Austin Sedicum.

“I’m excited,” said Diliberto, who works at Paychex, Inc., and has two sons in the district. “This is all new to me, and I’ll do my best to try and figure it out.”

The Board had four candidates to choose from as high school senior Leo Bernabei, Dell James and Chris Spear, also applied for the Region 2 seat, which includes Milford and Trumbauersville. Leo and Spear are well known to regular attendees at Board meetings; Leo as a student representative and Spear as a frequent speaker.

Diliberto, however, was the only applicant to receive five votes.

In his application for the Board, Diliberto wrote: “Personally, my wife and I are grateful for the education and experience our children Jack (13, Strayer), and Cooper (8, Richland) have received. “We have been extremely impressed with the care, attention and opportunities each of them have been provided. I would like to help out with my 20 years of experience in the areas of streamlining workflows, improving reporting and managing the costs associated with labor and benefits.”

High school video team records St. Luke's groundbreaking

When St. Luke's University Health Network officially broke ground on a new Quakertown hospital along Route 663, our high school students were there to cover it.

The video news reporting team of Kacey Lambinus and Jen Stumpp recorded the event of the $100 million hospital on 17 acres, just down the road from the District Services Center.

When completed in the fall of 2019, the 131,000-square-foot hospital will have 40 patient rooms and capacity to outfit an additional 40 in the future. It will include radiology, surgical and emergency departments as well as a laboratory, pharmacy and cafeteria.

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Strayer's students of the month

Strayer Middle School's awesome student of the month of April are, from left to right, Anna Zheng, 8th grade, Haunah Thomas, 7th, Kathryn Nahon, 7th, Livian Stover, 7th and Isaac Snyder, 8th.

Parent Council hears from drug prevention expert

David Fialko, a certified prevention and treatment specialist with the Council of Southeast PA, dispensed tremendous information to Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner's Parent Council.

His conversation was so powerful, he was asked to come back in the fall.

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Quakertown Community High School Baseball Camp: Boys and Girls ages 7-14

Camp Structure:

12:30-1:30 - Defense

1:30-2:30 - Batting

2:30-3:30 - Games

Dates: June 13th – June 15th, 2018

Place: QCHS Field by 6th Grade Center

Times: 12:30-3:30

Price - $50 by 5/30 $60 after 5/31 (Price includes camp T-Shirt)

  • This camp will be run by the High School baseball coach

  • What to Bring: bat, glove, helmet, sunscreen, water

*Anyone attending Soccer Camp in the morning will be walked to Baseball camp by Baseball camp coaches/counselors.

Mail completed forms with payment to:

Any Questions please contact Stacey Hicks, 267-664-2353,

Kelly Rostick

148 Redwood Dr.

Quakertown, Pa 18051

Please return this section with payment Checks made payable “QCHS Boys Baseball

Child Name________________________ Age_____ Shirt Size___

Parents Name______________________ Phone#________________

Email _____________________________

Emergency Contact_______________ Number________________

Insurance and Policy Number______________________________

This is to certify my child __________________ is in excellent physical health free from any and all illnesses, injuries, or

defects which would inhibit any or all participation at camp. In case of emergency, I grant permission for my child to be

given emergency treatment by appropriate medical personnel. I release the Quakertown Baseball Camp, Qtown HS and all camp staff from any and all liability for any injury or illness occurring to my child at the camp

Allergy/Medical Concerns _________________________________________________________

Dates Attending June 13th June 14th June 15th

Parent /Guardian Signature________________________________________

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Quakertown Community School District

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. Find more District topics of interest on the website by clicking here.