Unionville-Chadds Ford School District • March 2023
2023-2024 District Calendar Now Available!
The Unionville-Chadds Ford School District School Board approved the calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. Check it out to start planning ahead for the upcoming school year!
BIG NEWS from the Hardwoods!
The UHS Girls Basketball team has had a historic season! The team qualified for the Ches Mont Final Four for the first time in school history! They also qualified for PIAA Tournament for the first time since 2001 and will compete in their first PIAA Playoff game on March 10. The last time the girls were in the PIAA tournament, assistant coach Christina Halloway was a player on the UHS team!
The UHS Boys Basketball team is also having an incredible season! They finished as the Ches Mont Tournament Runners Up and played in the District Final on March 4 against Radnor, who ended up taking home the District title. This was the first time the Unionville team made it to this game since 2006. Additionally, the team qualified for the PIAA Tournament and will have their first PIAA Playoff game on March 10 at Home.
Not only are their teams having exceptional seasons, but this year we celebrated milestones for both our head coaches. Girls Coach Fred Ellzy won his 100th game at the helm of the Unionville Girls Basketball Program this year on January 7. Combined with his previous wins at Coatesville HS, he has over 150 in his head coaching career. Boys Coach Chris Cowles won his 100th game in his coaching career (including his wins at WC East) on January 31.
Be sure to come out and support both teams on their continued success this season!
Winter Sports News
In other exciting sports news, from Unionville wrestling, Topher Tryon, competed at Regionals on March 4 and qualified for the State Tournament.
In the pool, the girls 200M Freestyle Relay (Amelia Miller, Jillian Murphy, Lauren Dobie, & Izzy Iwasyk) qualified for the state tournament. Izzy Iwasyk also qualified for States in 50 Free and 100 Free. From the boys team, Matt McClellan qualified for the state meet in the 100 Back.
The Unionville winter Track & Field team sent their Girls 4 x 200 relay (Mirielle Sherman, Natalie Quinlan, Morgan Chapman, and Ava Haley) to the state championship on February 26. Additionally, Mirielle Sherman qualified individually for States in the 200M race.
UHS Students Selected to Attend Ultimate National Choral Experience at ACDA
Congratulations to Lucca DiMario, Amy Goodman, Bri Greeley, Abby Mangan and Anuj Peri, who performed with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) All National Honor Choirs in Cincinnati, OH! This is the largest group of students from Unionville to qualify and attend ACDA. These students were chosen through a selective audition process to compete against other talented choral students across the country at the ACDA National Conference.
The ACDA National Conference was held February 22-25. This conference brings choral directors, professionals, and students from across the country together for skill development as well as the opportunity to perform in popular venues for a supportive audience. The mission of the ACDA is “to inspire excellence and nurture lifelong involvement in choral music for everyone through education, performance, composition and advocacy.”
Jason Throne, the Vocal Music Teacher at Unionville High School describes the ACDA Honor Choir experience as phenomenal. He says, “Students meet some of the best high school singers from across the country and have the opportunity to work with some of the best conductors in the world. They also meet and work with many of the composers who give them insight into their works. No other place gives our students that sort of amazing experience.”
Anuj Peri, one of the students selected by audition for the ACDA All National Honor Choirs, described that “There is no other experience that can replicate the amazing feeling that comes with performing with so many other talented students and a dedicated conductor. Performing at the national level is always going to be an amazing experience, but the people are also a big part of this as well. There is nothing better than to sing in a famous venue in front of a caring audience.”
The District is so proud of the students for representing UCFSD in the ACDA All National Honor Choir.
STEM Night with DuPont
STEM Night with DuPont was a huge success! Thank you to the team from DuPont for coming out to connect with our community to offer this exciting night of STEM-related fun! A special thanks to keynote speaker Dr. Alexa A. Dembek, Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer at DuPont, and our panel of DuPont engineers and scientists!
STEM Night was filled with interactive breakout sessions including The DuPont Experience, Drone Challenges, VEX Robotics Challenges, Coding Activities, 3D Printing, Laser Engraving, UCF FTC Robotics Club, TCHS Information, Manufacturing and Automation Demo, Crime Scene Investigation, and Sphero Activities.
Thank you to the UHS engineering department and student volunteers for putting together such an amazing program. It was a great opportunity for students of all ages to explore STEM and have some fun!
Presidential History Expert Shares Knowledge With UHS AP Government Students
Presidential history expert and member of the UCFSD community presented to UHS students in Ms. Brigance AP Government classes on Feb. 17 in advance of Presidents Day.
Walter Eckman is the author of the book, “Meet the Presidents.” A Chester County native, he has spent years researching the personal lives of U.S. presidents and traveled thousands of miles to visit presidential libraries, birthplaces, homesteads, and gravesites.
During his visit to the AP Government Classes, Walter described that his interest in presidential history began when his grandfather took him to a Harry S. Truman campaign rally. He continued to share stories highlighting the connections that exist between different U.S. Presidents.
Students also had the opportunity to ask Walter questions. Some of the questions included:
“Who in your opinion is the most effective president?”
Answer: George Washington
“Who is your favorite modern era president?”
Answer: Ronald Reagan
“Who would you say is the worst president [of all time]?”
Answer: Andrew Johnson
“What is your favorite presidential fact?”
Answer: Franklin D. Roosevelt holds a record for being elected for four presidential terms
“What would you say is the most important quality to have as a president?”
This was a great opportunity for the UHS students from Ms. Brigance AP Government classes to hear stories about U.S. presidents from a knowledgeable member of the UCFSD community.
UHS Students Named National Merit Finalists
Congratulations to the Cast & Crew of Mary Poppins Jr.!
UHS Art Students Reach For the Stars!
As part of a new initiative, Unionville High School Students in Ms. Noelle Porco's art class have the opportunity to gain experience working with “clients.” Unionville Elementary School’s librarian Ms. Rita Langdon is one of those clients.
UES alumni Amala Seshachar, Sophie Rissmiller, and Kylie Brown were paired with Ms. Langdon, UES Librarian, for a much desired mural in the UE library. The girls were able to complete this project with the help of Mr. Whitesel, Director of Facilities, and the wonderful facilities department at UES.
Ms. Langdon said the students “came to view the space and listen to my vision, and then submitted thumbnail sketches for my input. Then they diligently, responsibly, and with artists' eyes, created this amazing mural. In addition to the beautiful mural Sophie, Amala, and Kylie have contributed to our school which just draws you into the stars, they have also inspired UE students who deem themselves artists, and have stated that they too want to come back to UE as high school students and contribute to the art filled atmosphere which is UE.”
This was a great opportunity for the high school art students to gain semi-professional experience. Be sure to check out the mural at Unionville Elementary School if you have the chance!
Twelve Mathletes from Patton Middle School participated in the 2023 Chester County MATHCOUNTS Chapter Competition at Downingtown on February 4. They had six students place in the top 10 individual rankings:
1st Andrew Fan
4th Winston Cai
5th Max Ye
6th Brandon Hsu
7th Ethan Wang
8th Ayaan Mohapatra
Patton also won the 1st place team of the competition. Andrew, Winston, Max, and Brandon will represent the Patton MATHCOUNTS team advancing to PA State Competition that will take place March 17 & 18 in Harrisburg, PA. Congratulations to all of the team members including Olivia Zhang, Kaitlyn Ding, Alicia Chou, Kevin Gu, Ethan Wang and Aarnav Joginapally.
Longwood STEAM Challenge
Two Patton 6th grade teams are now finalists for the Longwood STEAM Challenge! Congrats to Team Wild Harvest (Sahana Baraniak, Lucy Smith and Jillian Cooper) and Team Melon Co. (Liv Thomas, Claire Hoban and Ellie McDonald) They are 2 of the 10 finalists from all schools in the county!
Turning Tasty Treats Into Art
Ms. Mapa's first grade class is working on their Wayne Thiebaud inspired cupcake artwork in Mrs. Hage’s Art class at Pocopson Elementary School.
The whole school is learning about Wayne Thiebaud. A pioneer of the pop culture art movement, Wayne Thiebaud is renowned for his works in pop art realism. He was an American painter especially known for his colorful works depicting commonplace objects—pies, cakes, ice cream cones, pastries, and sweet treats. Last year the Brandywine River Museum had a Wayne Thiebaud exhibit which many of our students got to see.
These lessons are a blast and students are able to make so many connections with the artist!
FMFCU Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award
Mandy Mount, a fourth grade teacher at Unionville Elementary School, has been awarded the Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award. On February 17, Unionville Elementary surprised her with a small celebration during their afternoon assembly. Congratulations Mrs. Mount!
The FMFCU Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award celebrates twenty stand-out teachers in our area every year. Recipients of the award are granted $1,000 to use for the classroom as well as a physical keepsake. Unionville Elementary will also receive a $1,000 grant! Award winners are honored at the annual FMFCU Foundation celebration in April.
Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library!
The 3rd graders at Hillendale Elementary School celebrated their Read-A-Thon on February 24.
The Read-A-Thon theme was based on the book “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” The book is about an eccentric game maker who opens an amazing library. He invites 12 kids to be the first to experience the library. The twist is they have to escape the library using clues and riddles in order to win the grand prize. The author, Chris Grabenstein did a kick off video for the kids at Hillendale to get them excited to read the book. The morning of the Read-A-Thon, he did a live virtual author visit with the whole 3rd grade. In the virtual visit, he read the final chapter, told the kids about his life as author, and did a question and answer session with them.
During the event, the kids arrived and walked the red carpet into a real life version of “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” The kids engaged in five different game themed activity rooms that all had connections to the book. Some examples of the activities were jeopardy and a library escape room. They ended the night with a birthday celebration for Mr. Lemoncello, just as the characters did at the end of the book.
The event was a success with the help of parent volunteers, staff, & local business donations. They even had some older siblings, who had missed their 3rd grade read-a-thons (due to covid) help out on the night of the event!
CFES Career Cafe
Chadds Ford Elementary fifth graders were treated to a special visit from students in the TCHS programs as part of the Career Cafe experience. Students rotated through stations learning about the veterinary, culinary, woodworking, automotive and early childhood learning programs at TCHS. Each station was led by students from each of the programs and offered a hands-on experience for students to learn and have some fun!
Robotics Teams Update
On March 4, out of 126 active teams in the state, the top 36 competed at the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) State Championship. Four UCFSD FTC teams competed and had a strong showing.
The competition consists of two components: the robot matches and the presentations/judging. All four teams competed well in the robot matches, with UCFSD's Green Lemons finishing the qualification matches ranked 2nd overall. The top four ranked teams from the qualification rounds each choose two other teams to be part of their "alliance", with the four alliances competing in a final-four-style bracket where each matchup is a "best of three matches" to determine the winning alliance. The Green Lemons selected UCFSD's Silver Wolves as well as the Raiderbots of Coatesville Area high school as their alliance partners, and together they decisively won the state semi-finals two matches to zero, before falling two matches to one in the high-scoring and closely contested finals.
There are only seven judged awards given at the state championship. UCFSD's Flaming Phoenix won the Design Award, awarded to teams for a robot design that is both functional and aesthetic, for their strong use of custom-designed 3D-printed parts with their signature black and red color scheme. Silver Wolves won the Think Award, given to the team whose engineering portfolio documentation best reflects the journey the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. UCFSD's Two-Eyed Illuminati placed 2nd for the Connect Award, which highlights teams who connect with the STEM industry community, and placed 3rd for the prestigious Inspire Award, the top overall award which is given to teams who perform well in all areas of judging and are an inspiration to other teams.
While this concludes this year's FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics season for our UCFSD Robotics teams, keep an eye out for information sessions in May to learn how UCFSD students of all ages, elementary school through high school, can learn about and participate in fun and exciting robotics programs from Lego Robotics (FIRST Lego League) for grades 2 through 8 to FIRST Tech Challenge robotics for grades 7 through 12.
UHS PTO Used Book Sale Recap
The Unionville High School PTO hosted their Used Book Sale on February 25th and February 26th. This year broke the record for the most amount of money raised. The money will go towards programming to enhance the curriculum at UHS.
The Book Sale Committee would like to thank everyone who came together to make this Used Book Sale happen, especially Angel Brown for leading the crew! Volunteers consisted of UHS students from NHS, NAHS, Tri-M, lunch and learn, the football team and coaches as well as students from Patton. There were also many adult volunteers who helped during the 6 weeks of preparation with sorting, boxing and organizing. The committee especially wants to recognize the custodial crew for going above and beyond their job duties to help them out!
Everyone loved the book sale and they are hoping to bring it back next year if they have leadership roles filled! Interested in having the book sale in Feb, 2024? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Harlem Wizards Visit UCF
Thank you to everyone who came out to support the UCF Education Foundation at the Harlem Wizards event! The event raised close to $20,000 which will go toward funding grants to support our teachers with innovative programs at all six of our schools.
A special shout-out to our staff team, the UCF All-Stars, for taking on the Wizards and bringing so much fun and excitement to the event! We hope everyone enjoyed the show.
Thank you to all of the volunteers and the Patton Cheer Team for their support at the event!
Erin Mattson Named New Head Coach of UNC Field Hockey
Erin Matson ‘18, dubbed the “Michael Jordan” of field hockey, has been selected as the new Head Coach for the UNC Field Hockey program.
At a very young age, Matson became a field hockey prodigy. After showing off her natural skills on her first field hockey team, she joined the club team for WC Eagles. This program is a known producer of high level field hockey talent in the United States. Within this club, Erin Matson was able to further her skills exponentially and at just 13 years old she made the U.S. indoor field hockey team. On this team, Matson started playing internationally with and against women who had 10+ years of experience on her. She was named to the U.S. National Team at 16 years old and is only one of two players that young to represent the United States.
Erin Matson entered her collegiate career as the most decorated player in team history. Player highlights from her time in the Division I UNC Field Hockey program include:
Four NCAA Championships
Five ACC Championships
3x Honda Sport Award for Field Hockey (second player ever to win 3x)
Named one of the Top 10 Female Athletes in conference history by ACC Network
5x ACC Offensive Player of the Year (only athlete in any sport to win this award 5x)
Matson retired her jersey after graduating in December 2022. She was hired as the new UNC Field Hockey Head Coach shortly after in January 2023. At 22 years old, she is the youngest head coach in Division I athletics history. Despite her young age, Matson’s extensive field hockey experience and knowledge of the UNC brand made her the top candidate for Head Coach. Congratulations Erin!
Unionville-Chadds Ford School District Communications