Soaring to Skyview

A newsletter for 4th Grade Families

Welcome to Skyview

Welcome to the Skyview learning community! Our current situation certainly poses challenges as we plan to welcome the rising 5th grade class, however please know that we are working to provide information and opportunities for students to help with their transition to Skyview.

Here are highlights of what to expect during this transition process:

  • This newsletter is an introductory overview of information. Subsequent newsletters will continue to provide information to families and students.
  • The Skyview website has a section, "4th to 5th Grade Transition Information" - all information communicated will also be housed on this page for reference.
  • Mrs. Beth VanBuren, who will be your child's counselor at Skyview, will be engaging with current 4th graders using a flipgrid activity beginning on May 29.
  • Mrs. Gorla and Mrs. VanBuren will be sharing a series of videos to introduce the incoming class to Skyview.
  • Mrs. Gorla will send a recorded presentation to families with information that was typically shared on our Parent/Guardian Information night.
  • Tentative summer planning includes the "Scavenger Hunt" Open House and guided tours.

We recognize that this transition may be especially emotional for our students and are working on plans for students to be able recognize the end of their K-4 elementary years while celebrating coming together as a district 5th grade class. If you have any ideas to share with regard to this, please email Mrs. Gorla at

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Getting to Know the Administrators and Counselors of Skyview

Mrs. Melissa Gorla, Principal

Mrs. Melissa Gorla is the principal of Skyview Upper Elementary. Mrs. Gorla is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and Villanova University. She started her career in education as a middle school German teacher in the Perkiomen Valley School District where she also served as an Assistant Principal. Mrs. Gorla is the former principal of Audubon Elementary School.

Mrs. Gorla lives in Collegeville with her husband and three sons, Joe, Chris, and Vincent. When not at school she can be found cheering at her sons’ sporting events. By far, the favorite part of Mrs. Gorla’s day is interacting with the students and staff at Skyview. Whether it is stopping into a class or greeting students in the morning, she can often be found in the halls of Skyview.

Ms. Emily Otero, Dean of Students

Ms. Emily Otero is a graduate of West Chester University, Villanova University and Cabrini College. She started her teaching career at Eagleville Elementary in the fall of 2000 as a first grade teacher. After 14 years in the elementary school, she took advantage of an opportunity to teach math at Skyview Upper Elementary. Now as Dean of Students, Ms. Otero can be found working with all Skyview students outside of the academic classroom. The most important part of her day is working with students and developing their character to become positive role models for their community. When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her kids, Sonja and Lucas. Ms. Otero lives in Methacton School District and loves seeing her families and students while out and about.

Dr. Danielle Fowlston, Supervisor of Special Education

Dr. Danielle Fowlston is the Supervisor of Special Education for grades 5 through 8. Dr. Fowlston is a graduate of Temple University, Wilkes University, and completed her doctorate from Immaculata University. She began her career in education as a special education teacher at Methacton High School and after 6 years in the classroom, she became the Special Education Supervisor at Skyview Upper Elementary School and Arcola Intermediate School. Throughout the day, Dr. Fowlston can often be found stopping in to classrooms or working with students. The best part of her job is seeing the growth the students make and figuring out how she can best support the students to help them succeed.

When not at Skyview, Dr. Fowlston enjoys planning her next vacation and travelling with her husband. She also enjoys spending time with their dog Daisy and also enjoys spending time at the gym or on the golf course, if the weather is nice.​

Mrs. Beth VanBuren, 5th Grade School Counselor

Mrs. VanBuren is the school counselor for incoming 5th graders for the 2020 – 2021 school year. Mrs. VanBuren is originally from Chester County, and is a graduate of both Syracuse University and Northeastern University. She started her career as a middle school special education teacher. Mrs. VanBuren has served as a school counselor in the Methacton School District since 2002 at both Woodland Elementary School and Arcola Intermediate School prior to the opening of Skyview Upper Elementary School in 2010.

Mrs. VanBuren lives locally with her husband, two daughters, Madeline and Alyssa, and dog. She enjoys time with her family, being outdoors, and dining out. Mrs. VanBuren incorporates cross country running, biking, and yoga into her health and wellness routine.

Mrs. VanBuren thoroughly enjoys being a member of the Skyview Community, and coming to such a great school each and every day.

Mrs. Perly Hadrick, 6th Grade School Counselor

Mrs. Perly Hadrick is the school counselor for incoming 6th graders for the 2020 – 2021 school year. She grew up in Philadelphia, but currently resides in Norristown, PA. Mrs. Hadrick attended West Chester University for her undergraduate degree and Eastern University for her Masters in School Counseling. She worked in the School District of Philadelphia and in Norristown School District through different roles. Mrs. Hadrick also worked for Central Montgomery Mental Health agency serving as a Bilingual Family Therapist. Mrs. Hadrick is fully bilingual – speaking both English and Spanish. Her professional mission is to help our youth help themselves in achieving their very best! Mrs. Hadrick truly loves working at Skyview and serving such amazing students and families!

Outside of her professional life, Mrs. Hadrick enjoys spending time with her family. She is married and has a son – Ernesto. Her husband Tre Hadrick is also an educator, serving as a school counselor in a middle school. Mrs. Hadrick is also a self-proclaimed foodie. She enjoys trying new restaurants and cooking vegetarian foods.

Tentative Summer Plans - Skyview

These plans are tentative and dependent upon any current restrictions/recommendations.

Skyview's annual "Scavenger hunt" Open House is tentatively scheduled for August 20.

This event is not a "meet the teacher" night nor orientation; in fact, Skyview teachers are not present at this event. All Skyview teams will do "orientation" type activities on the first day of school. This event allows for families to locate assigned homerooms and independently tour the building.

Additional summer Skyview plans...

Dependent upon current regulations, we will offer guided tours of Skyview throughout the summer. Information regarding dates/times and sign up for these will be communicated in the future.

Student Placement at Skyview

Please know that we work diligently to program for all of our students so that they may grow and succeed. We work to evenly distribute students from each elementary school among the teams so that students will have a "familiar face" in their homeroom. All of our teachers recognize that a big part of the start of 5th grade is students getting to know each other and making new friends. Each of our teams and teachers plan activities geared towards students getting to know each other.

If you feel that you need to share information about your child that you believe would be important for us to know prior to the start of the school year, this may be emailed to either Beth VanBuren ( or Melissa Gorla ( We respectfully request that families do not include requests for specific teachers.

Common Developmental Characteristics of Students Ages 9 - 11


· Competitive but cooperative

· Need adults to be patient and explain clearly

· Enjoy adult recognition

· Need time to talk with peers

· Like to challenge rules, argue and test limits

· Sensitive

· Need adult lightheartedness, humor and encouragement to lighten their mood and ease anxiety


· Work hard and pay attention to detail, but may jump quickly between interests

· Take pride in their work

· Likes rules and logic

· Begin to challenge adult explanations

· Like “adult tasks” such as researching, interviewing, analyzing—though may outwardly fuss while secretly enjoying the work