News from the Nest

Cardinal Pride in the Upper Dublin School District

January 23, 2023

A Message from Dr. Yanni

January is School Director Recognition Month. At last evening's Legislative meeting, we acknowledged our nine Board members, who volunteer countless hours each year and provide governance to our District.

Please join us in thanking Mr. Jeff Wallack, Mr. Mark Sirota, Dr. Darlene Davis, Ms. Jenna Evans, Ms. Alima Hawthorne, Ms. Jenn Iannitti, Mr. Andy Kessler, Dr. Art Levinowitz, and Ms. Titia Scherpbier for their dedicated service to our students, staff, District, and community.

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Lunar New Year Celebration

We are grateful to the Upper Dublin Chinese Association and the Asian American Students & Families Subcommittee for sponsoring the Lunar New Year Celebration at the Upper Dublin Public Library on Saturday, January 21, 2023. The celebration was extremely well attended! Culture, food, and fun made the event special. Happy New Year!

Harlem Wizards v. UDSD Staff - A Huge Success!

After a multi-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Harlem Wizards and UDSD staff took the court on Saturday night to entertain a crowd of approximately 1,300 attendees! An event like this - as fun as it is - takes tremendous effort to plan! We especially thank the following folks:

  • Planning Committee - UDEF: Michelle Boas, Bryn Dartley, Tina Polin, Marc Schlesinger; UDEA: Doug Sample, Maureen Schmidt
  • UD Staff Athletes
  • Upper Dublin Education Foundation and Upper Dublin Education Association volunteers
  • Our amazing community for supporting the event

SRMS to Welcome New House Principal

We are pleased to introduce Ms. Jennifer Nuskey as our new Sandy Run Middle School House Principal. Jennifer is an instructional and organizational leader who has committed herself to creating, supporting, and sustaining equity- focused systems that support the advancement, achievement, and growth of students. Jennifer comes to Upper Dublin from the School District of Philadelphia. Over the course of her 15 years in education, she has held teaching and administrative positions where she has proven her competency in instructional coaching, equity-centered leadership, building strong teams, district-wide and school-based vision and goal alignment, and family and community engagement. We look forward to Jennifer joining Dr. Ortiz and the entire Sandy Run learning community in March. Welcome to the nest!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service

We thank everyone who made our annual Day of Service great. Students, families, and staff across the District engaged in various service projects. Service to others is incredibly important! As Dr. King said, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace; a soul generated by love."
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Innovative Grant

In partnership with Fluxspace, Upper Dublin School District was recently awarded a Pennsylvania Farm to School Grant. The grant project will allow us to purchase a mobile vertical hydroponic growing system – Flex Farm by Fork Farms – for use with the MCIU Head Start program at Upper Dublin High School. Growing fresh, healthy foods within our school will allow Head Start participants (ages 3-5) to experience our food system, participate in growing food every day, and improve local access to healthy food within our community. Fluxspace will be contributing in-kind installations, professional development, and support throughout the grant process.

Student Athletes - Scholars & Competitors

  • Boys Basketball: The boys basketball team is on a 10 game winning streak and currently sits at 13-4 on the season. Seniors Seaton Kukla & Mason Pensabene have had strong seasons for the boys. Sophomore Ryan Mulroy has also been a key player for the team this year. The boys will recognize their seniors on Tuesday, February 7th. Playoffs for the boys begin on Friday, February 17th.

  • Girls Basketball: The girls are currently 10-5 on the season and in the mix for a District I 6A playoff berth. The team received a boost last week with the return of All League Junior Amy Ngo. Amy was injured last year in the playoffs and has missed the entire season. She came back and scored 15 points in her debut. Freshmen Megan Ngo and Colleen Besachio have also been key factors for the team this year.

  • Bowling: The bowling teams are flying high this season. For the boys Ari Weiner and Sam Goldberg have led the way with constant series scores in the 600s. The girls have been led this year by Lucy Ruppel, who has been producing some of her strongest scores in recent weeks. The teams will wrap up the regular season in the next few weeks and have their league championships on February 15th.

  • Cheer: The cheer squad is continuing to prepare for their competition on February 4th at Lansdale Catholic. In the meantime they are supporting our girls and boys basketball teams on Tuesday and Friday nights! Shout outs for the team go to Angelina Graham, Da'moni Harvey, and Amiya Tapps.

  • Boys Indoor Track: Boys Indoor Track has been led by Seniors Matt Castronuovo and Kyree Butler. Both look to repeat as state qualifiers this upcoming winter season. Elijah Smith has been strong as well in the 800 meter this year. The 4x400 relay also looks to make a strong push towards states and currently has the 5th fastest time in the state.

  • Girls Indoor Track: The girls have attended some quality meets recently at both Penn State and the NYC Armory. Mimi Pastore, Emily Kulak, Lilly Pittakas, Ashley MacNeal, Mason Kullmann, and Ellison Kullmann have all had strong seasons this winter.

  • Boys Swim & Dive: The boys wrapped up their regular season last week. The boys will be competing at Wissahickon for the Liberty Division Championships on Saturday, February 11th. Jack Vitella, Franco Ciccarone, Michael Gewartowski, Toby Herzog, and Spencer Motelson have all been strong in the pool this year for the swimmers.

  • Girls Swim & Dive: The girls have had a tremendous season this year, finishing the year undefeated. One of those wins included winning the Wilson Relays last weekend. The girls will be at Wissahickon on Friday February 10th for Liberty Division Championships. In the pool some of the top swimmers have been Arina Vorobyeva, Vikki Williams, Maya Gondek, and Olivia Auwarter. In diving Jillian Fracht and Madelyn Fagan have been leading the team in diving. The divers compete at Wissahickon on February 8th.

  • Wrestling: The wrestling team recently won the Chichester Duals tournament, which gave Coach Jones his 250th win. Dan Gorman has also reached the 75 win mark for his career. The team has also had strong seasons from Austin Pendleton (20-1), Dan Gorman (20-2), and Jake Evans (19-2). The wrestlers will be at Quakertown on February 15th for the Individual Championships.

Town Hall Focused on Teaching & Learning

The District will host a Teaching & Learning Town Hall on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. The event will take place in the SRMS auditorium starting at 6:00 PM with a brief overview of how the District uses data to improve student outcomes.

There will be time for a question and answer period during the event. Parents/guardians and community members can also send us questions via this link that we will address during the Town Hall. Questions will be accepted until Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 4:00 PM. The meeting will be live-streamed and recorded, and we will publish a questions-and-answers document following the event.

Kindergarten and New Student Registration

Even though we are only at the mid-point of this school year, planning for next year is already well underway. It is officially registration season! Registration information is available on our website. Our District's registrar, Ms. Mora Ruiz, is eager to help anyone who may need assistance in the registration process.

Please keep in mind that students must be at least five (5) years of age before September 15, 2023, in order to be registered for kindergarten. Next year's kindergarten students will be the Class of 2036!

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Pathways of Communication

Directing communication to the appropriate person(s) encourages greater collaboration and streamlines the process of answering questions, alleviating concerns, and ensuring that we are all β€œon the same page.” Please use this document to help identify your first contact (and additional contact points if necessary).

Please note the following points:

  • District social media is for sharing good news and other informational items rather than being used as a means of communication to answer questions or resolve concerns.

  • The purpose of public participation at meetings of the Board is for residents and taxpayers to comment on matters of concern, official action, or deliberation, which are or may be, before the board before taking official action rather than for answering questions.