In The Q

January 11, 2019 newsletter

103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show

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Animal Technology students show their worth

Casey Keeler can’t remember a year she didn’t attend the Pennsylvania Farm Show with her parents. But on Sunday, the Upper Bucks County Technical School junior from Quakertown got to show an animal at the the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event for the first time.

And the result was a first-place ribbon for Casey and her pig, August. “I was nervous at first,” she said. “He likes to run up to the fence. Once I got him away from it, we were fine and I felt better. He’s my puppy dog. I love him so much.”

UBCTS teacher Caitlyn Danka’s Animal Technology team brought 16 students to the fair from Quakertown Community, Palisades and Pennridge high schools. The 103rd farm show, which runs from January 5-12 and has nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits, was first held in 1917.

Please click here to read the full story.

First-place ribbon for Strayer's Jayson Halteman and his 'Blue Wildebeest'

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Strayer Middle School 8th grader Jayson Halteman showed off his custom built tractor --"The Blue Wildebeest"-- at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Wednesday in the Antique Tractor division.

And the result was a first-place ribbon for the hard-working student!

Jayson has been working on converting a 1986 Agway lawn tractor to a custom built Monster Mud Mower since last summer. He has restored and repainted the frame and body, overhauled the engine by himself (including new electrical stator, carb rebuild and fuel pump rebuild), rewired the electrical system by installing a push button starter, custom LED light bar and a 2500-pound winch. He fabricated and welded (by himself) a custom hood (off a Cub Cadet), complete exhaust, front grille, bumper and winch mount. He built a custom lift kit and added 26-inch monster rear tires as well as customized the transmission and throttle linkage to accommodate the lift.

This is the second custom tractor he has built. The first, in 2016, is a red hot rod Cub Cadet named "The Bull" that goes close to 20 mph.

"This is amazing, and I am so proud of Jayson," Strayer Principal Dr. Jenn Bubser said.

Jayson is planning to attend Upper Bucks County Technical School next year for Diesel Technology.


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Tremendous leadership shown by Neidig student

At Neidig Elementary School, inspiring greatness is part of the school's mission. Second grader Caleb Byelich is a shining example of what can be done when that mission is accomplished.

Caleb, who was inspired to help others, worked to raise $50 to buy food for the Quakertown Food Pantry. After that donation, he wondered how he could help more people. With the assistance of his parents, he learned about homelessness. He also worked with his teacher, Mrs. Rivera, during the class goal-setting process. His initial goal was to raise $100 for

Advocates for the Homeless of Upper Bucks, which operates the Code Blue Shelter in Quakertown Borough.

Caleb came up with the idea to sell hot chocolate and baked goods to raise money. He made signs and flyers for the event, and the idea started to spread. Like all good leaders, Caleb asked his friends for their help, too. Many people were inspired by Caleb's idea, and it became a community event. Friends played musical instruments, many people donated items to sell, and it became an awesome project.

Caleb's brothers Jaiden of the Sixth Grade Center and Cameron of the high school helped out along with other neighborhood children by providing live music. Caleb’s friend, Ben Gregory, also a second-grader at Neidig, made baked goods and helped at the stand and friend Justin Miller, a 9-year-old home-school student, also assisted.

Caleb far exceeded his goal as he and his family presented a $1,715 donation to the shelter.

"We are so proud of Caleb and his supportive family for raising more than $1,700 for a homeless shelter," Neidig Principal Scott Godshalk said. "He is inspiring greatness at Neidig and in our community!"


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Sophomores Emily Kelso, Riya Sembhi earn HOBY leadership scholarships

Quakertown Community High School sophomores Emily Kelso and Riya Sembhi have been nominated for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) scholarship.

The award comes with an invitation to attend a weekend leadership seminar at Albright College in Reading from June 14-16.

The students were selected by QCHS counselors based upon their written essays. Prompts asked for an example of when they the showed leadership skills, or an example of when they didn’t and how they would respond differently today.

“Both are excellent students and leaders in the classroom,” said Erica Henry, a counselor who described the essays as “insightful.” She said the seminars offer “a great chance for them to grow both here in school and in the greater community.

At Albright, “they’ll get to experience college life and meet other student leaders while taking part in workshops,” Ms. Henry said.

Please click here to read the full story


Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee

Monday, Jan. 14th, 6:30-8pm

District Services Center, 100 Commerce Drive, Quakertown

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.


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Qualified QCHS seniors can apply for metalwork program

This post includes important information for parents and guardians of Quakertown Community High School seniors. Those with juniors should be attentive as well, as this could be of interest to them next year.

For the second year in a row, Bucks County Community College is opening its Metalwork Training Program to qualified high school seniors in QCHS. Any QCHS senior who is unsure what they’ll be doing after graduating in June should consider this exciting opportunity. The 12-week program boasts a 90-percent job placement rate with starting salaries of $15 to $17 per hour.

Afternoon classes, which begin on February 25, will be held at the Upper Bucks County Technical School. Students who qualify will have their schedules adjusted to attend the free program. Transportation is provided by QCSD.

Information sessions at BCCC’s Upper Bucks Campus, 1 Hillendale Road, Perkasie, are scheduled for 1 p.m. January 15 and 22.

Please click here for additional information.


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Strayer's Messa di Voce chorus selected to perform in state capitol

Messa di Voce (MDV), Strayer Middle School's exceptional chorus, has been selected to perform in the state Capitol building on March 5 as part of the Music in Our Schools Month celebration.

The event is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Education. MDV, under the direction of Cynthia Teprovich, is currently preparing for its one-hour presentation that will take place on the main staircase of the rotunda at noon.

State officials are well aware of the district's outstanding music program. In December, the high school Varsity Singers, at the request of the governor's office, provided the entertainment for the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.


kindergarten registration info night

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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*


Strayer Career Talk features biomedical engineering major

Alyssa Clymer is not far removed from her time as a secondary student. Perhaps that's one reason why the 2014 Quakertown Community High School grad was able to connect so well with Strayer Middle School students during her recent Career Talk.

A biomedical engineering major at Rochester Institute of Technology, Alyssa not only spoke with those who signed up for the assembly but spent January 3rd in the classroom of her mom, eighth grade science teacher Mrs. Clymer.

The questions she received in the classroom by young teenage students were similar to those asked after her 30-minute presentation.

  • How do you pick a college roommate?
  • What is it like to stay at college?
  • What were your favorite classes in high school?

Alyssa is beginning her final semester in RIT's five-year program. It has included paid summer internships and two co-op semesters in product development for companies including Bausch + Lomb, the world's largest suppliers of contact lenses, lens care products, pharmaceuticals, and other eye surgery products, and Zimmer Biomet, a medical device company.

She explained to students what it was like for her to work in those companies, and encouraged students to find areas they're passionate about. "It’s incredibly important that we get the next round of people," she said. "Biomedical engineering is growing super rapidly."


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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.

Quakertown comes together with help for the holiday

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With funds from the generous Quakertown community, the Quakertown Community School District was able to make the holiday season better for approximately 500 students. “The community always comes together in some way if there’s a need,” said Kirsten Cochran, a QCSD social worker. “Over the years, it’s made a huge difference in people’s lives.”

She said school employees and several organizations, including Quakertown Cares, St. Luke’s Hospital Giving Tree, Quakertown Community Outreach, Quakertown Outreach Cares and many other businesses, clubs and organizations, reached out to help district students and their families. The help includes gift cards, adopt a family and donations to the Shop With A Cop program.

Vickie Landis and Shelby Miller of the Keller Williams Realty Vickie Landis Team adopted 23 Trumbauersville Elementary School families. The Landis team was able to give 23 students five gifts each. While students asked for items like Barbie Dolls, Polly Pocket and dress up clothes, parents humbly requested winter boots and clothing.

“Quakertown and the kids in this community are extremely important to me,” said Miller, who has two students in the district. “We’re blessed that so many people jumped on board. People came together to support those that need it.”

In the above photo, merrily pictured from left with holiday gifts, are Trumbauersville Principal Adam Schmucker, Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, Vickie Landis, Shelby Miller, Trumbauersville counselor Laura Gordon and district social worker Kirsten Cochran.


Richland's lunch leaders!

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Pictured above are some of the many Richland Elementary School students who received leader tickets to recognize their outstanding leadership.

Students in all grades are eligible on a daily basis to receive a ticket from any staff member. The school makes sure to send a note home to parents so they can read about the leadership their student displays, and each leader places a ticket on the hallway board when recognized.

When there are 10 tickets in a row, those students receive a mystery prize. This month it was a "Win-Win" bracelet and lunch with Principal Zuerblis at a leader lunch table located on the stage in the lunch room. Great job everyone!


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Simulators give Teens educational look at distracted driving dangers

The four distracted driving simulators stationed in Quakertown Community High School on January 4, just outside the Quakertown Performing Arts Center, showed students willing to try them how their life can change in a matter of seconds.

The simulators, brought to the high school thanks to the efforts of School Resource Officer Bob Lee, were provided by the Lehigh Valley Health Network. The simulators, consisting of a screen, steering wheel and foot pedals, generated various distractions for the young drivers, including moving cats, dogs and pedestrians.

“Today is about awareness and education,” Officer Lee said. “In some cases the student will injure themselves or someone. In some cases they may kill themselves or someone. It shows them how quickly you can damage your life.” William McQuilken, a program coordinator with the Lehigh Valley Health Network, echoed that sentiment. “We’d rather show them the consequences of texting and driving on a simulator instead of a real-life situation where they might kill themselves or someone else and end up in prison,” he said.

Please click here for additional information.


Neidig recognizes its top leaders

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Prior to winter break, Neidig Elementary School celebrated its top leaders. In the photo above are, from left, Ricky, Aidan, Sarah, Martha, Ben, Rebeca, and Caleb.

And in the photo at right, congratulations to Mrs. Becchina, Neidig's Teacher Leader of the Month!


Football honors for frasch

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Congratulations to Nick Frasch, a Panthers' senior defensive lineman, for being named to the All-Southeastern PA Football Team by The Inquirer and Daily News.


Rotary recognizes its top QCHS students

Congratulations to Mikayla Fuentes and Hannah LaBonge of Quakertown Community High School.

The Rotary Club recognized Mikayla as student of the month of November and Hannah as student of the month for December.


Student, faculty hoops challenge

For some fun just before the winter break, the Quakertown Community High School faculty took on the students in a fun-filled basketball game. Despite a furious comeback by the students, the faculty hung on for a 25-24 triumph. Enjoy the photos!


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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


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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

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.