In The Q

January 24, 2019 newsletter

QCSD celebrates first mlk day of service

Big picture

'I’m proud of our kids putting in the time to do really important work'

Close to 200 students packed into the Quakertown Community High School cafeteria this morning, listened intently to a dynamic speaker, and then braved the bitter cold in various parts of Bucks County to serve their fellow citizens.

The district’s first Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service - following a year of planning - was a fulfilling moment for those working to make a positive impact and inspire young people to do the same.

“I’m really proud you’re not just using the day to stimulate the economy,” said Rev. Dr. Gregory James Edwards, an MLK scholar and keynote speaker who described himself as a “radical truth teller.” The reverend praised the efforts of teacher Rachel Girman, school psychologist Kevin Kelly and others for their “vision and tireless efforts” in helping to make this day of service happen. Mrs. Girman, advisor to Model UN and Mini-THON, organized several meetings with teachers, administrators and students and was a central figure in the MLK Day of Service accomplishment.

“Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words,” Dr. Edwards said. “That’s why you’re all out here today. … Don’t quote (MLK’s) words and not be devoted to his work.”

Please click here to read the full story.

The event received a great deal of media attention. Here are the stories by Channel 69 news, WHYY and The Intelligencer.

Big picture
Big picture


8th graders making 9th grade class choices

It's an important time for Strayer Middle School 8th graders. Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner spent two days in the school speaking with math students about how to focus on being college and career ready.

"When you walk out of this building in June, you will be officially 9th graders, and the next four years at the high school will fly by fast," he said. "Please make sure you have a plan."

High School Principal David Finnerty, counselor Patti Sabol and several teachers also addressed 8th graders in an assembly. Please click here for the link to that presentation.


Superintendent's blog on phone threat

There's important information in Superintendent Dr. Harner's latest blog concerning Wednesday's phone threat at Strayer Middle School. You can read it by clicking here.


QHS grad - a WWII veteran - shares story

Big picture

Melvin Schissler, 95, flew 25 missions in a B-17 bomber

Melvin Schissler graduated from Quakertown High School in 1941, when its students attended classes in the building that’s now called Quakertown Elementary School.

On Tuesday, Mr. Schissler, 95, visited Quakertown Community High School, to speak with students about his years in the Air Force during World War II. He flew 25 missions over Europe as a ball turret gunner on a B-17 bomber, known as the “Flying Fortress” for its weaponry.

A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set in what is often described as the belly of the B-17. It included two 50- caliber machine guns. The man who inhabited the space would be shorter than average to fit and revolve in the turret.

Students in U.S. History and AP U.S. History classes had several questions for the veteran, both during and after his 45-minute presentation in the Performing Arts Center. “They have to know what we went through at their age,” Mr. Schissler said.

Please click here to read the full story.


Tech school triumphs

Big picture

Megan Jackson named UBCTS student of the month

Baking and Pastry Arts student Megan Jackson has been recognized by the Joint Operating Committee as student of the month for January, 2019, at the Upper Bucks County Technical School.

The JOC is made up of representatives of the Quakertown Community, Palisades and Pennridge school districts and the UBCTS administration. Quakertown Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner is the Superintendent of Record for the UBCTS. “We are very proud of Megan’s many accomplishments,” Dr. Harner said. “She has proven to be an exceptional student, and has shown outstanding leadership skills.”

Megan has done exceptionally well during her four years at UBCTS, earning First honors every year. She is a member of the National Honor Society at QCHS, a member of the National Technical Honor Society at UBCTS, and president of SkillsUSA.

In the photos, Megan is congratulated by Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, and UBCTS Director Jeff Sweda presents Megan her plaque.

Please click here to read the full story.

Big picture

Recognition continues for UBCTS students' after farm show accomplishments

The performance of Upper Bucks County Technical School students at the recently concluded Pennsylvania Farm Show was "the most successful" in 40 years of competing, according to Caitlyn Danka, the school's Animal Technology teacher.

Ms. Danka received roses from the Joint Operating Committee Thursday night, as her students were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments. The JOC is made up of representatives of the Quakertown Community, Palisades and Pennridge school districts and the UBCTS administration.

Seven UBCTS students were honored by the JOC, led by Casey Keeler, a Quakertown junior, who brought home the school's first 1st place Grand Champion ribbon. Her pig, August, competed in the purebred class.

Joyce Dowd, a Palisades junior, and Nina Slifer, a Quakertown junior, each finished sixth in the market goat competition. Justin Rosenberger, a Quakertown junior, was seventh.

Sophomore Sierra Kapusta (Pennridge), Kerrin Long (Quakertown) and Caleb Roth (Quakertown) earned the Future Farmers of America Official Jacket, a coveted symbol of the organization, Ms. Danka said.


Strayer student earns 2 ribbons at Pennsylvania farm show

Layla Cotter, a seventh-grader at Strayer Middle School, had outstanding performances at the recently completed Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Competing with the Pronking Pacas of the Bucks County 4-H Club with her alpaca Dragpipe, Layla placed third in Showmanship and seventh in obstacles.

Great job Layla!


Caleb's efforts recognized in U.S. House

See the video: Neidig 2nd grader described as an 'outstanding young citizen'

The shining example of a Neidig Elementary School student, whose inspirational efforts helped to raise more than $1,700 for a homeless shelter, has been recognized on the U.S. House floor by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.

In a 66-second video that can be seen here, Fitzpatrick describes second-grader Caleb Byelich as “an outstanding young citizen” who has made a “substantial impact on the underserved in our community.”

“We applaud Caleb for his remarkable work, and I look forward to seeing his accomplishments in the years to come,” said Fitzpatrick, who thanked Caleb’s parents for “instilling in him the values of service and compassion.”

Please click here for the full story.


Scout project benefits Strayer students

Big picture
As part of their service project, members of Girl Scout Troop 2020 from Quakertown helped package weekend care packages for students in several district schools.

The girls, from left to right, are Emma Hilton, Julia Henry, Hannah Cole and Kelly Kreuz. Way to go ladies!


Nick Levinski receives coveted mini-max award

Quakertown Community High School linebacker Nick Levinski was honored by the Maxwell Football Club during its annual dinner on January 10.

Nick, pictured with Coach George Banas, is one of 63 players in the eastern half of Pennsylvania to receive the 2018 Mini Max High School Award. Nick, who led the Panthers with 127 tackles, made first team Suburban One League American Conference.

A team captain, he also made honorable mention at tight end for the Panthers, who finished 9-4, including a playoff victory.

Players are nominated for the Mini Max by their coaches throughout the 2018 season and evaluated based on a criteria that includes; football performance, academics, and community service.


QCHS cheer building strong foundation

Big picture

Their state competition performance to air on PCN

The Quakertown Community High School cheerleaders recently achieved sixth place in the PIAA Competitive Spirit Championships Small Division competition, the highest finish in QCHS history!

If you'd like to see the event, PCN is scheduled to air it February 1 at 7 p.m. on cable and on the PCN App. Click here for details.

At the January 10 School Board meeting, the team was recognized for its accomplishments. The girls are defending Suburban One League champions for the second consecutive year. The won the District for the first time, qualified for the state competition and for the national competition in Florida.


Big picture


School Board recognizes outstanding athletes

The School Board recognized fall athletes on January 10, and included the baseball team for its tremendous spring season.

The team, which captured its first Suburban One League Championship in more than 10 years, finished 14-4 overall and 12-2 in league play. The Panthers outscored league opponents, 87-29.

Players included Zach Artman, Cody Barbiero, Sean Brennan, Brad Bryan, Justin Butler, Nolan Byrnes, TJ Camacho, Matt Ciarrocchi, Ben Eichron, Mason Hicks, Trevor Hurst, Griffen Kelley, Dennis Pierce, Sam Rice and Adam Ritter.

Also recognized were:

  • Soccer player Haley Pursel, who will be attending Lafayette College in the fall. Haley was an All-League, All Southeastern PA and All State for the Panthers.
  • Golfer Madilyn Siuta, a fifth-place finisher in the SOL Girls Golf Tournament. She finished 14th in the District One Tournament, the highest ever for a QCHS female golfer.
  • Football player Nick Levinski, a Maxwell Award nominee after leading the Panthers with 127 tackles.
  • Football player Michael Terra, who led the team in rushing and touchdowns before he was sidelined by a leg injury. He was an All-League selection on both offense and defense for two consecutive seasons.
  • Football player Ashton Herd, an All-League lineman for three consecutive years, had 67 tackles and five sacks.
  • Football player Nick Frasch, First Team All-League on both offensive and defensive line, had 34 tackles and five sacks.
  • Football player Tyler Merwarth, the only sophomore to make First Team All-League. He led the Panthers in receiving yardage.
  • The Cheerleaders were SOL Champions for the second year in a row, District One Champions for the first time in school history, qualified for the PIAA State Competition in Hershey and qualified for the National Competition in Florida.
Big picture


QCSD holds ELD family literacy night at QE

Quakertown Community School District elementary school families had a wonderful time at Thursday night's English Language Development Family Literacy Night at Quakertown Elementary.

During the gathering, parents learned about initiatives and opportunities across the department and across the district. Students enjoyed playing with their friends, siblings and classmates. And everyone enjoyed terrific food.


kindergarten registration info night

Big picture

Sign up now for your March appointment

Kindergarten Registration for the 2019-2020 school year will be held on:

Monday, March 4, 11:30 am-7 pm

Tuesday, March 5, 8:30 am-4 pm

Wednesday, March 6, 8:30 am-4 pm

Thursday, March 7, 11:30 am-7 pm

*Note: There will be an academic assessment given during the Registration Appointments on March 4-7. Please plan to bring your child with you to the Registration Appointment.

For more information and to schedule an appointment for a March registration date, visit our website here.



Students not registered by this date will not be guaranteed a spot in their neighborhood school for the 2019-2020 Kindergarten year.

*To be eligible for Kindergarten, a child must be 5 years of age on or before August 31, 2019*


This is the week for Mary Poppins Jr.!

Big picture

Mary Poppins Jr., the Strayer Players Music Theater Academy's winter musical, takes place January 24-26 at 7 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on the 26th. Snow dates are January 31, February 1-2 at the same times.

The show includes 84 students from the Sixth Grade Center and Strayer Middle School, as well as several high school helpers, dozens of students making props, and many parent volunteers. Karen Quinn is the Director, Marcia Vanderslice the assistant Director, and Andy Emery the lighting designer.

The graphic displayed at left has been running on the digital billboard at Routes 309 and 313 since Monday. If you're stopped at the intersection, check it out, but please drive safely!


Always something good cooking in Chef Polk's class

Big picture
Amazing teacher Chris Polk invited Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner to breakfast recently and he and his terrific high school students whipped up a fine meal. No better food on the planet!


Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 6:30-8pm

100 Commerce Drive

Quakertown, PA

The Quakertown Community School District's Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee is in the process of analyzing our district’s mission and vision statements, discussing our community’s changing demographics, learning about how we can make our infrastructure even more equitable for every student, and starting work on our strategic plan.

At each meeting, members of the public have been involved. More community members are welcome to join us. Please consider doing so. Thank you.


Big picture


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture


Big picture


Youth baseball league for those with special needs

Baseball For Special People, a program for individuals with special needs, is seeking coaches.

Coaches must be at least 14 years old. Student coaches need a letter of recommendation from an adult. Adult coaches must have a background check similar to those of school employees. The league is also looking for players from the age of 5 to 99. Games are played on the Little League fields in Quakertown on Sunday afternoons, starting at 3:30 p.m.

For addition information, contact league president Paul Gerhart Jr., at 267-992-4973.


Presentations on vaping for parents, guardians

Two important presentations were recently given at Quakertown Community High School that Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner wanted to make parents and guardians aware of.

One involves drug abuse and vaping; the other is about the Pennsylvania Youth Survey.

David Fialko of the Council Of Southeast Pennsylvania, a highly sought after speaker, spoke about drug abuse and vaping. His presentation can be found here.

Carolyn Staffieri, a QCSD Pupil Services Administrative Intern, presented on PAYS data. Her presentation can be found here.


Custodians needed: Here's how to apply

The Quakertown Community School District is in need of custodians. SSC Services, which services the district, is seeking full and part time permanent and seasonal custodian positions.

Candidates may contact Laird Ihle, director of SSC, at 610-392-1059 or via email at


Big picture

School Bus drivers needed

The Levy School Bus Company is seeking drivers.

The position has flexible hours, a positive environment and is conveniently located in the Quakertown area.

Levy offers a competitive wage package, 401(k) benefits with company matched funds, bonus incentives, training and development, career opportunities, extra hours available evenings and weekends (optional), and community involvement.

This is a perfect job for people who love children, stay-at-home parents, college students looking for education experience, former teachers and anyone in need of extra income.

If you’re interested in becoming a school bus driver or want to hear more, please call Len at 215-536-4567 x121 or email

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.