In The Q


Big picture

QCSD gets closeup look of PA's political process

Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner led a contingent of students, Board members, a teacher and assistant principal to the state Capitol for Advocacy Day, where variety of organizations gather to lobby lawmakers on behalf of their cause. Quakertown was there in support of education funding.

Harner was the only superintendent who brought students with him on the trip, said Stephen Kimball, an assistant principal at the high school. School Board members Mitch Anderson and Ron Jackson and high school teacher Lincoln Haas were also part of the group.

QCHS video production students Justin Leyden and Ryan Suida toured the Capitol along with the district’s Model UN students Kaylee Qualteria, Morgan Small and Ben Wackerman.

“Public education in Pennsylvania is a $30 billion ticket,” Harner said. “Half of that money comes from the state. Too much money is being peeled off for vouchers and for-profit public schools.

“With all of the contentious issues out there, and the demands on the state and the state demands on school districts, it’s important to have a good relationship with your local legislators. Even if how they voted does not support public education.”

Which is why the Quakertown crew spent time with Sen. Bob Mensch and watched the House Education Committee, which includes Rep. Craig Staats, go through a series of votes.

“The students saw government work the way it should,” said Kimball, a former political science teacher. “There was no screaming. It was actually kind of boring, but it’s working.”

He said it was important for the students to see the legislative process and how committees work “as opposed to just reading about it.”

As the above photo shows, the students got to meet Gov. Tom Wolf. “We weren’t really expecting that to happen,” Ben said. “It was really cool.”

Following the information-packed day, Kimball said he hoped that when the students got home and their parents asked “How was school today?” they didn’t just say, “Oh, you know, the usual.”

“They got to meet the governor of Pennsylvania,” he said. “That’s a pretty big deal.”

Big picture

Navy admiral addresses Strayer students; earns Neamand Award

When she was 13 years old, Linda Wackerman was given a free flight lesson.

As she sat on phone books and cushions that allowed her to view the sky from the cockpit window, the young teen fell in love with being a pilot.

“I decided then and there that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.

Wackerman told that story to Strayer Middle School seventh graders, many of them the same age she was when she chose what she described as a “fun and adventurous profession.”

She is a Navy rear admiral, having spent 32 as a Navy pilot, including the last 18½ years in the reserves. She also flies for American Airlines. “I wouldn’t change a day,” she said. “I would do it all over again.”

Wackerman, who has four children, lives in Quakertown. The Quakertown Community Education Foundation invited her to speak about “Women in Leadership,” as part of its annual speaker's series in honor of a former social studies teacher Anna Neamand. The Neamand Award recognizes the accomplishments of its namesake, who touched the lives of local students for several decades.

Asked by a student how her day was going, she said “I love this. I love being able to talk to the future of our country. You need to understand that and take that responsibility. … We need you to become be a part of our service.”

Big picture

Commitment and dedication of Trumbauersville principal draws notice

Adam Schmucker, principal of Trumbauersville Elementary School, has been named Pennsylvania’s National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

“You exemplify the commitment to excellence that shapes the educational experiences of children in Pennsylvania's elementary schools,” Dr. Beth A. Haldeman, PA Principals Association President and 2018 NDP Selection Committee Chair, wrote to Schmucker in a letter notifying him of the award. “Everyone we spoke to revealed the dedication you have to your school, your students, your staff, and your community. That dedication is one of the many things that set you apart.”

NAESP's NDP program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level principals who ensure that America's children acquire a sound foundation for lifelong learning and achievement.

Schmucker, who has been Trumbauersville’s principal for three years, said, “No principal can or should do anything in isolation. This is a recognition of our entire Trumbauersville school community. It speaks to the overarching support of the district, the foundation established by the teachers, and the work and support of our community members and families.”

QCSD Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, who recommended Schmucker for recognition in the program, called him a “wonderful role model and mentor for other principals,” and described him as a “principal’s principal. … I couldn’t be more proud of this tremendous accomplishment.”

Big picture

Channel 69 meteorologist educates QE students about potential career

About 40 Quakertown Elementary School fourth graders learned this week that if they love math and science, a career in meteorology could be for them.

Clayton Stiver of channel 69 news spoke to the students of Christa Held and Steve Wysocki about why he loves his job, what it took to get it and how he develops the weather forecast.

“I think whenever we connect learning to the real world for students, we win a small victory and perhaps inspire young people who will become involved in wide variety of careers as they reach adulthood,” Wysocki said. “One of the most important lessons our fourth-grade students learned today is to find what you are passionate about and do what it takes to achieve it and, as Clayton Stiver did, you might just turn it into a career you love.”

Stiver told students that a meteorologist is an atmospheric scientist who studies the weather. He asked them if they like math and science. When nearly all hands went up, he said, “That’s good, because you have to take some really hard classes” in those subjects to become a meteorologist.

During his PowerPoint presentation, Stiver showed students how he predicts the weather with maps and data. “A lot more goes into it than fancy graphics,” he said. On TV, he only gets about two and a half to three minutes on air to explain the forecast, and his graphics have to be informative and understandable.

He typically gets to the offices of Channel 69 in Allentown at 3 a.m. for his 5 a.m. on-air appearance. But, he said, if there’s a significant weather situation, he might have to get to work by 1 a.m. “I have to deal with these crazy hours,” he said. “It’s not a 9 to 5 job. And you have to work holidays.”

Stiver described himself as a “weather nerd” and “weather geek.” He had weather posters on his wall as a kid and continues that practice to this day, which his wife sometimes questions him about. “I’m proud of it because I like what I do,” he said.

He also likes getting out of the office to explain his job to young people. “One of the best things I get to do is visit schools and speak to students,” he said.

Held said the educational aspect of Stiver’s visit is important. In addition, however, “It gets the students thinking about their future,” she said.

Mini-THON: Quakertown students give a great effort for a great cause

Quakertown Community High School students opened their hearts while at the same time hoping to get people to open their wallets to help in the battle against childhood cancer.

Approximately 150 students spent 12 hours April 21 participating in a variety of events as they worked to raise $15,000 for The Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center.

There was the hourly line dance, the limba, karaoke, volleyball and a host of other games taking place in the high school gymnasium. For visitors, in the cyber commons, there was a raffle, coloring, Wii games and Twister.

The school joined more than 90,000 students in what has become a powerful movement to conquer childhood cancer.

Four Diamonds supports more than 80 pediatric oncology research professionals at Penn State College of Medicine who conduct cancer research.

To help a QCHS students raise money online, click on

Big picture

2018 Pennsylvania Technology Student Association State Conference Results

Sixth Grade Center

Community Service Video

10th place: Julia Witte

Construction Challenge

8th place: Madison Mallery, Sabine Muse


1st place: Ethan Tomlinson


2nd place: Rylan Dauter

Mechanical Engineering

1st place: Rylan Dauter, Logan Jeffery, Carter Schwartz, Ethan Tomlinson, Ayden Walsh

Delta Dart

6th place: Rylan Dauter

Materials Process

8th place: Francesca Mory

Off-Road Racing

1st place: Dylan Lystad, Madison Mallery, Gabriel McNutt


3rd place: Evan Hilton, Carter Schwartz, Ethan Tomlinson

Community Service Video

10th place: Julia Witte

Construction Challenge

8th place: Madison Mallery, Sabine Muse


1st place: Ethan Tomlinson,


2nd place: Rylan Dauter

Mechanical Engineering

1st place: Rylan Dauter, Logan Jeffery, Carter Schwartz, Ethan Tomlinson, Ayden Walsh

Delta Dart

6th place: Rylan Dauter

Materials Process

8th place: Francesca Mory

Off-Road Racing

1st place: Dylan Lystad, Madison Mallery, Gabriel McNutt


3rd place: Evan Hilton, Carter Schwartz, Ethan Tomlinson


CAD Foundations

3rd place: Elijah Gruver

8th place: Lucas Schwartz

Community Service Video

5th place: Olivia Hopkins, Madison Jeffery, Emma Harris

Construction Challenge

1st place: Alyssa Klempner, Darby Vail, William Lee William, Cianee Brownl

Digital Photography

5th place: Connor Murray


2nd place: Zach Borzio

3rd place: Austin Rickert

4th place: Kayra DeVries

6th place: Elijah Gruver

Electrical Applications

7th place: Jacob Cresman, Aidan Halteman


1st place: Dylan Moyer

3rd place: Kayla Sicher

10th place: Philip Richwine

Junior Solar Sprint

7th place: William Lee, Cianee Brownl, Jacob Hodge

9th place:Jacob Cresman, Kayra DeVries

Medical Technology

4th place Kelly Kreuz, Olivia Litvinchuk, Claire Russell

Problem Solving

2nd place: Kayla Sicher, Kayra DeVries

Promotional Marketing

6th Place: Austin Rickert

STEM Animation

5th place: Marc Slaymaker, Isaac Snyder, Elijah Gruver, Aidan Halteman

Video Game Design

10th place: Kevin Richwine, Austin Rickert, Darian Sawadski

Delta Dart

5th place: Kayra DeVries

10th place: Zach Borzio

Materials Process

2nd place: Lucas Schwartz

Off-Road Racing

2nd place: William Lee, Dylan Moyer, Jacob Hodge


9th place: Thomas Kozlusky, Philip Richwine, Chris Godshall


5th place: Connor Murray

6th place: Jacob Hodge

7th place: Dylan Moyer

Quakertown Community High School

Architectural Design

8th place: Nate Besch, Matthew Johnson, Delbert Ross

Biotechnology Design

3rd place: Hannah Beil, Nate Besch, Haley Gordon, Elizabeth Hilton, Kara Kreuz, Kathy Tran

Computer-Aided Design - Engineering

2nd place: Nicholas Kreuz

Dragster Design

1st place: Rissell Boehringer

2nd place: Benjamin Ocamb

Future Technology Teacher

10th place: Kathy Tran

Prepared Presentation

2nd place: Leo Bernabei

Structural Design & Engineering

3rd place: Leo Bernabei, Christopher Halteman

Materials Process

5th place: Kara Kreuz

More information can be found here.

Students told fixing the racial divide is their destiny

Quakertown and Cheltenham students shared their thoughts and lunch in the Cheltenham School District administration building during a two-hour event, initiated by the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

The two schools were chosen because of an October 6 incident following a football game at Alumni Field, when Strayer Middle School students shouted abusive epithets at Cheltenham's cheerleaders.

Shapiro said what happened after the Cheltenham-Quakertown football game has been seen as a “dark moment. I view it as a moment of opportunity.”

Quakertown Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner agreed. “Having the courage to have a conversation about our differences is probably the most important thing this nation has to do today. This is vitally important to me.”

Christian Holman, an elite singer at QCHS, said that students in choir are taught that “if you make a loud mistake, keep going. We need more conversations in classrooms. Teachers teach, but there aren’t enough conversations. Kids need to be talking to each other, and being honest with each other.”

Juan Soto, a Quakertown World Language teacher and adviser to the QCHS Spirit Club, commended “the maturity shown by our young people.” Soto said the conversation “opens the door so we can start talking about what we need to empower teachers to have these conversations in our classrooms. This is huge.”

QCHS students at the event included Mikayla Burns, Dalton Glova, Christian Holman, Diana Kahindo, Maddie Logenbach, Amy Ngüyun, Suzie Njunge, Zach Somers, and Amanda Tascarella.

Big picture

Richland, Pfaff tops in Math 24 tourney

With the nickname “Calculator,” it should come as no surprise that Sean Egan, a fifth grader at Pfaff Elementary School, captured the individual championship in the 4th Annual QCSD Math 24 Tournament.

“It was nerve racking, but I had a lot of fun,” Sean said after the competition, which included four grueling rounds that lasted nearly 90 minutes.

His Pfaff teammates, fifth grader Taylor Kletzing and fourth grader Shawn Zhu, finished second and third, respectively. Taylor and Shawn tied in the final round, a first in Quakertown Community School District Tournament history. Taylor gained second on her cumulative score,

Leah Schwalm of Richland, a fifth grader, took fourth. Her points helped boost Richland to the team title. Pfaff finished second and Tohickon Valley third.

“It was a very intense 90 minutes of computational competitiveness,” said Greg Lesher, the district’s STEM supervisor and tournament facilitator. “I'm always impressed by the focus and speed in which many of our students were operating under. I don't know about the other adults, but I was nervous for them.”

Math 24 is a game that helps students sharpen basic math skills such as computation, problem solving, number sense, critical thinking, and pattern sensing, Lesher said. Students practice during their recess period and at home to strengthen their abilities.

Several QCSD students qualified for the countywide competition on May 12, at Churchville Elementary School in Southampton. They include:

Ben Arkans, Ayden Formica, Matt Hudson and Madison Zepp of Neidig; Nathan Bezilia, Sean Egan, Taylor Kletzing and Shawn Zhu of Pfaff; Autumn Kovacs, Macayla Ladzenski and Evelyn Moyer of Quakertown; Madison Boyd and Leah Schwalm of Richland; Jonathan Babb, Tyler Cole, Max Drews and Owen Reinford of Tohickon Valley; and Matthew Burger and Brendan Forman of Trumbauersville.

QCHS hosts college fair

Sixty-five colleges and branches of the military set up shop in the Quakertown Community High School gymnasium on April 24 for the Fourth Annual College Fair. Students had the opportunity to speak with representatives from the various institutions and take home brochures. Lots of work put in by counselors to help make it a successful educational experience for students.

Big picture

Sixth Grade Center, Strayer students preparing for spring musical

Students from the Sixth Grade Center and Strayer Middle School are rehearsing for their spring musical, The Addams Family Young@Part.

Performances are scheduled to take place at Strayer on Thursday and Friday, May 17-18 at 7 p.m. On Saturday, May 19, shows will begin at 2 and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $5, and will be sold at the door.




Music and Lyrics by ANDREW LIPPA

Based on Characters Created by Charles Addams

is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worlwide, 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. (866)3788-9758

Big picture

Bike Safety Rodeo

Saturday, May 12th, 9am

Quakertown Memorial Pool

Children ages 6-12 may participate in the Bike Safety Rodeo, presented by the Quakertown and Richland police departments. There is no cost for the event, and refreshments will be provided.
Big picture

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.