In The Q

October 5, 2018 newsletter

Inside the Capitol

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Students shine during visit with top state officials

Seven Quakertown Community High School students traveled to the state Capitol Monday, where they seized the opportunity to speak with Gov. Tom Wolf, Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera and several lawmakers.

They were invited by Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, who was part of a delegation of Bucks County superintendents and Bucks County Intermediate Unit officials in Harrisburg to advocate on behalf of students. Dr. Harner was the only school leader to have students attend the sessions in the state Capitol.

“Our students had a great educational experience today,” Dr. Harner said. “They were well prepared and very professional. I’m so proud of each one of them.”

The students in the photo at the top with Wolf are, from left to right, Amelia Derry, Ryan Lancaster, David Fletcher, Alexandra Brandis, Andrew Labeeb, Joseph Lock and Angelina Becker. They are from Advanced Placement Government class and the Video Production unit.

Besides meeting and interviewing the governor and education secretary, they spoke with state Reps. Marguerite Quinn, Gene DiGirolamo, Helen Tai, Craig Staats, and state Sen. Chuck McIlhinney.

Also in attendance was Adam Schmucker, principal of Trumbauersville Elementary School. He is Pennsylvania’s National Distinguished Principal. Rivera congratulated Schmucker on his statewide honor.

Here's what the students had to say about the experience:

Joseph Lock: "I absolutely loved the Capitol visit. Not only was it informational, but I also was able to work on my skills for TV News. I loved meeting the Governor, and the Secretary of Education. In addition, it was interesting to see what goes on with our politics, and how the state aids the district."

Angelina Becker: "I thought the simple architecture of the building was so fascinating! Everyone was so welcoming and I had a great experience!"

Ryan Lancaster: "Going to the capitol was certainly an experience I won't ever forget. Although I had gone to film to be more behind the scenes, everyone was extremely welcoming to myself and my peers, making us feel equally as important as those who surrounded us. Gov. Tom Wolf had gone out of his way to ask us graduating seniors what we had planned doing after high school and made sure we got a photo with him. Meeting this team of people who make sure our schools run efficiently gave me a whole new perspective on school. After visiting the capitol I have a new appreciation for our wonderful superintendent Dr. Harner as well as our school's staff, for everything they do for us students, without us realizing."

Andrew Labeeb: "I'm thankful that Dr. Harner invited me and two other AP Government students. It showed how dedicated our district is to getting its students out there, and into the 'real world.' I was a little surprised that there were no other students there (from other schools), but then I realized that Dr. Harner pulled some strings to get us into the big house to watch and to see what goes on in the one place that affects the rest of the commonwealth. It was an amazing experience and I'm thankful that it was allotted to me."

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Football team honors truest of heroes

When Ashton Herd woke up Saturday morning, he wasn’t feeling too great. The Quakertown Community High School lineman and his Panthers had lost their first game, a physical contest, 17-14, to Cheltenham, dropping their record to 4-1.

But then Ashton turned on his laptop and clicked on Facebook. He soon remembered that no matter what the scoreboard said, his football team produced a winning effort before the game even began.

On the Quakertown Panther Football page, a message stated: “Thank you for honoring my son last night and thank you to #74 for making my son feel so special!”

“That made my day,” said Ashton, number 74. “I’m happy we could give them a night to remember.”

September 21 was Childhood Cancer Night at Alumni Field, and the stands were filled with black and gold to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. The football team honored five young people either currently battling the dreaded disease or have beaten it into remission.

For the full story, please click here.

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Senate forum in district hears Quakertown’s voice on school safety

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The Quakertown Community School District is quickly becoming the epicenter for discussion on school safety.

Just hours after the district held the initial meeting of its Community School Safety Committee, the state’s Senate Majority Policy Committee visited Quakertown Friday morning to review school safety efforts with students and school, law enforcement and local officials. It was the policy committee’s 10th meeting statewide as lawmakers seek ways to protect students in school.

“These days there is no more important topic than school safety, and we are proud that our representatives chose Quakertown as a place to hold this significant discussion,” Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner said. “With the support of our School Board, Quakertown is continually improving our security to protect our students and staff members. I thank Sen. Bob Mensch for his ardent advocacy on this issue, and for bringing this committee and the important work they are doing into our home. The opportunity for our students to participate in the building of public policy is an invaluable piece of their education.”

Students played a major role in the event. Quakertown Community High School students Nina Shiller and Casey Nguyen responded to lawmakers’ questions, as did Pottsgrove High students Brenna Mayberry and Joshua Ross. QCHS students Alexa Cass, Amelia Derry and Alex Hallowell videotaped the forum.

For the full story, please click here.

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Quakertown students share positive thoughts on free enterprise

Seven Quakertown Community High School students took part in the recent Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW) breakfast meeting, sponsored by the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, at the Spinnerstown Hotel.

The students, all included in the above photo are, from left to right, Ethan Korpics, Emelia Graham, Jacob Lewis, Samuel Barndt, Daniel Carroll, Michelle Meyers and Nicole Chambers. Adults in the photo, from left to right, are School Board member Ron Jackson, Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, Business Education Teacher Kurt Handel and Chris Betz, publisher of the Upper Bucks Free Press.

All students took part in a PFEW summer camp. In 10 years of recruiting students for the camp, Handel said the experiences they have shared with him have been very positive. “Many students say the camp was a positive life-changing experience for them,” Handel said. One student, Nicole Chambers, told Handel before attending the camp that she was not interested in becoming a business major. She has since changed her mind, and will major in business in college.

Quakertown student Samuel Barndt was selected to share his experience with all in attendance at the breakfast. He spoke about how the experience helped him cement his dream of becoming a lawyer. Sam said he spent two lunches speaking to different attorneys about what it takes to become one. “On top of learning the ins and out of running a business he was also able to get advice on his future career goals,” Handel said.

PFEW is a one-of-a-kind summer program that offers in-coming high school juniors and seniors a unique and challenging opportunity to see what it is like to run their own business. Participants create an "imaginary" management team where they learn first-hand about the Free Enterprise System.


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Academy students join Bucks Youth Workforce Program at BCCC

Several 12th grade students from The Academy at Quakertown have joined the Bucks Youth Workforce Program, where they will prepare for future success in college and employment.

The In-School Youth Program is funded by the Bucks County Workforce Development Board and is offered at Bucks County Community College. This program assists eligible 12th graders with the transition from high school to higher education or the workforce. Participants in the program learn employability skills and receive hands-on training. There are opportunities for earning industry credentials and if the participant enrolls at Bucks County Community College after high school graduation they have the potential to receive a free college credit.

“These kids make me proud everyday,” Jaime Maddon, assistant principal at the Quakertown Community School District’s newest school, said in a Twitter post of the group in the photo. “Growing and learning together, preparing for life after high school. I can’t wait to see the amazing things you do!”


District art educator in demand at university symposiums

Amy Migliore, an art educator in the Quakertown Community School District, will be giving presentations at two upcoming university art conferences.

On October 12-13 at McGill University in Montreal, Ms. Migliore is among a panel of educators for the symposium “Art as an Agent of Social Change,” which offers artists, researchers and educators the opportunity to explore the impact, possibilities and influence of the arts in educational research. Her topic is “Children’s book course as creative animation.”

Ms. Migliore has also been invited to speak at the 80th Annual Kutztown University Art Education Conference, dedicated to timely topics that fuel best practices in art education through hands-on workshop sessions and speakers. It takes place on November 16.

“As an Alumna of Kutztown University, I am thrilled to have been asked to speak at their annual fall conference for a second year in a row,” Ms. Migliore said.

A PhD student for Pennsylvania State University in Art Education, Ms. Migliore’s doctoral colleague and dissertation committee member proposed that they present a panel for the McGill Symposium about the interdisciplinary work they did together at Penn State. “McGill University is often referred to as the Harvard of Canada, so the opportunity to present there is quite an honor,” said Ms. Migliore, who is leading the group in a creative visual activity she designed to promote empathy.

Ms. Migliore has taught in the district for 18 years. She received her Bachelor’s in Fine Art and a masters certificate in Art Education from Kutztown, and a Master’s in Educational Technology from Wilkes University. For the past six years she has been working on a doctorate in Art Education from Penn State, with a minor in Curriculum and Instruction. She has also served as the chair of Design Interests for the Pennsylvania Art Education Association for six years and has had the opportunity to present at state, national and international conferences with other leaders in her field. She has also worked as an independent freelance consultant for Crayola education at various times over the past five years.


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Major effort underway for Mini-thon

While the Quakertown Community High School major Mini-THON event is scheduled for April 5, students are hard at work throughout the year raising money for Four Diamonds at Penn State Children's Hospital in the battle against pediatric cancer.

Students will be selling t-shirts for the October 19 home football game against Hatboro-Horsham. The next Mini-THON meeting is during both prides on Monday, October 8.

Mini-THON advisor Rachel Girman has been posting information on Twitter. Follow @qchs_thon-2019 and @racheltgirman.


UBCTS student of the month

Congratulations to Quakertown's Josh Langenberg. The Upper Bucks County Technical School student has been named Student of the Month for September.


Interested in the new Diversity Steering Committee? Join us Oct. 22

In its commitment to sustaining a welcoming school district while identifying and managing issues of discrimination, QCSD is in the process of forming a Diversity Steering Committee.

Those individuals will meet regularly to develop specific action plans related to diversity and inclusion. The committee will be made up of volunteers from the administration, teachers, non-instructional staff, parents, students and community members. It will focus on school climate, classroom management and parental engagement. Pearl S. Buck International will provide the framework and help with the committee’s goals and vision statement.

“We’ll be looking for people from a variety of backgrounds for this committee,” said Laura Lomax, PSBI’s vice president of programs.

Alyssa Davis, PSBI's educational facilitator, said "One feature of our work with your diversity committee will be their ability to access and customize publications to help them build a strategic plan, an online library of resources, and more. Our goals are to provide your committee with guided support and customizable materials and to empower them to be catalysts for change."

The next meeting is Monday, October 22, at 6:30 p.m. in the District Services Center, 100 Commerce Blvd.

For additional information, contact Davis at or Dr. Lisa Hoffman, assistant superintendent, at


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Administrators trained on LGBT issues

Quakertown Community School District administrators are being trained on diversity issues. Recently, Liz Bradbury, director of the Training Institute for the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, spent an afternoon in the District Services Center working with principals, nurses and counselors.

Bradbury has been a full-time advocate for the LGBT community since 1994 and an organizer since 1979. The district received a state grant to pay for the training.


Library program to focus on bullying

On Wednesday, Oct. 10 from 7 to 8 p.m., the Quakertown Library is holding a program for parents about bullying. Lois Dodson from Penn Foundation is the presenter. She will discuss the role parents play in preventing, identifying, and dealing with bullying behavior.

She will cover:

  • What is bullying
  • What isn’t bullying
  • How bullying has changed over the years (social media aspect)
  • Strategies for helping kids cope
  • Resources such as the school and police

The program includes a question-and-answer session. The library is located at 401 W Mill St., Quakertown. If you have questions, call 215-536-3306.


Tech School's adult evening courses schedule

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Statewide video competition for Middle and High School students

Parents of Middle and High School students, here's information about a video contest from state Sen. Bob Mensch. The Second Annual “Talk to Your State Senator” Statewide Video Competition is now accepting applications from Middle and High School students.

According to state Sen. Bob Mensch, several laws related to improving school safety have recently been enacted and several more are being proposed but we want to hear the voice of your students! "As legislators, we often turn to experts to advise us and provide background on various policy issues when we are creating new laws," Mensch said. "Students in Pennsylvania schools are in a unique situation and face the pressures of being a teen in the 21st Century. You are an expert. Therefore, we want students to share their thoughts and advise us and share their ideas with us to help keep them safe!"

The contest is open to Pennsylvania students in grades 6-12 and will be judged in two categories:

Middle school, grades 6 – 8, and High School, grades 9 – 12. The prizes are: 1st place - $2500, 2nd Place $1500, 3rd place $1000, for each level.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association is providing $10,000 in prize money. Money will be awarded through the TAP 529 Account program in the PA Department of Treasury and will be deposited into an account in the winner(s) name.

For more information on the contest, visit


1998 High School Reunion

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For information of the Class of '98 20th union, please click here.


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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


VFW seeks students for audio/essay contests

Last year, two Quakertown Community High School students scored highly on the Veterans of Foreign Wars audio/essay contest.

Leo Bernabei finished fourth in the state and earned a $2,500 college scholarship. And Samantha Norton initially tied Leo for the best essay at the Post level, according to Paul Gerhart, commander of the John Rivers Memorial VFW Post 11322.

The VFW essays promote patriotism, and award $30,000 in college scholarships to high school students and $5,000 to middle school students. For high schoolers, the 2018-19 theme is: Why My Vote Matters. For middle schoolers, the title is: Why I Honor the American Flag.

For more information on the project, please click here or contact Post Commander Paul Gerhart Jr., 267-992-4973.

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.