UPBeat News- 2018 January-February

Covering the monthly UP Beat News of Upper Perkiomen HS

Greetings from Upper Perkiomen High School!

Thank you for taking a look at our monthly e-newsletter. We hope you will find this snapshot of news to be a useful tool for learning about what's happening in our High School. We will share information about school events, initiatives and happenings, as well as those events being organized by our clubs, teams and classes. If you are interested in promoting your event, or letting us know about a student or staff member whom we should spotlight via UP Beat News, please e-mail dthomas@upsd.org for more information.


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Carpenter's Corner

Wow, I can’t believe we are more than halfway through the school year. We survived Keystone and Final Exams in January and now we are embarking on the course selection process for the 18-19 school year. On February 14, Mr. Vigilante and I visited with 8th grade students to begin the High School orientation and scheduling process. February 21, we hosted an 8th grade parent night to give an overview of the scheduling process, course options, and graduation requirements. Lastly, our high school counselors have begun individual and small group course planning sessions with current 9th, 10th and 11th grade students.

Aside from future planning, the High School has several exciting events coming up that I would like to share. First, we hosted Mini-Thon on Saturday, February 24 and raised more than $13,000 for Penn State University’s Children’s Hospital and The Four Diamonds Foundation. All funds raised from our Mini-Thon will be donated to Four Diamonds to help conquer childhood cancer. Please consider donating to this excellent cause here.

Please visit the UPHS Website for information regarding our Performing Arts Club production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. I highly recommend that you check out the wonderful performance. The production will take place at UPHS on March 8th through 11th.

Lastly, in conjunction with the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce, we will be providing all tenth grade students with tours of local businesses March 13th through 15th. Students will be touring two businesses in the morning of one of the aforementioned dates. This is a mandatory experience to provide our students exposure to possible career paths. Thank you for your cooperation in this joint effort.

If you have any contributions related to the school, please contact me and I may include it in an upcoming newsletter. Feel free to contact me at 215-679-5935 or rcarpenter@upsd.org if you have questions or concerns. You can also follow us @upperperkhs and @UPnewsteam on Twitter.

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UP Spirit on display during Eagles Historic Super Bowl Run!

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Cinderella: Behind the Scenes- By Julia Moran, Class of 2018

This year, from March 7th to 11th, the UPHS Drama Club will be presenting Cinderella. Normally we only focus on what we see on stage in those four short days, but what is perhaps even more impressive is the nearly six months worth of behind the scenes work that must be done in order to put on the show. This includes a whole lot of art, technical, managerial, and organizational work.

Beyond the 35 cast members, there are an additional 15-20 people who are crucial to production. The play itself is directed by Mrs. Austin and Ms. Colby Phillips who are in charge of picking out the play, purchasing any needed materials, watching over the students, and of course, directing the play.

Francesca Glackin ‘18, one of the play’s stage managers, has a very important job herself. According to Glackin, she “builds sets, paints sets, and organizes everything backstage. She also “makes sure where everything goes on stage,” and “tapes everything out on the stage” Talking to Glackin, she was able to give a much more insightful look on what goes on in order to create this masterpiece.

There is also Run Crew, which according to Glackin “is moving everything onstage and keeping everything organized on stage.” This could vary between operating the curtains, little props, bigger props, etc. and it can be rather tricky. “Last year,” Glackin adds, “we had one person do the entire platform.” There are officially two prop masters, who “have the entire table and organize it”

Other members of Stage Crew are in charge of more technological aspects of the play, such as lights and sound. Mr. Matthew Austin is basically the head of Stage Crew, and Glackin says he “helps us run backstage and builds pretty much everything with any students who volunteer to help.”

Of course hair, makeup, and costumes is important for the visual presentation of the play, and take a lot of time and skill. This year the play will also have their own digital photographer, Lindsey Danasko ‘18, which is something that has not been done before.

Outside of the members of drama club, Glackin adds that “we always have people who volunteer to set of the entire lobby since the lobby gets decorated.” There are also “the people who do final house so selling the tickets, handing out booklets, and showing [guests] their seats.” says Glackin.

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Spotlight on Teachers and Staff

The Hidden "Gems" of UPHS by Jenna McQue

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This Hidden Gems segment from last month continues with two magnificent members of our school district community.

Mrs. Regina Lundquist, the Upper Perk High School certified nurse has been working at Upper Perk for almost a year. Lundquist started working here in February of 2017. She has worked as a nurse since 1998 while working as a school nurse for the past 9 years.

Lundquist worked as an elementary school nurse before coming to work at the high school. Lundquist stated that “it was a big change, but much needed.” At first she was intimidated by the change but is very glad that she made this decision.

Lundquist stated that “Upper Perk was been so warm and inviting. [She’s] been blessed.” Her work here is very important to all students and staff in the building. When at work she is constantly juggling two to three things at a time. The hardest part about her job is prioritizing what needs her attention first. Mrs. Michelle Martin, the administrative assistant to the high school principal, stated that “Mrs. Lundquist can often be found in her office long after everyone else has gone making sure that all paperwork is in order and that she is prepared for any student needs.” Lundquist exceeds the expectations held for her and her job.

“There's only one me and a thousand students” Lundquist explained when asked what part of her job she would change. She would benefit greatly from a secretary to handle paperwork that needs to be dealt with on a daily basis while she would handle taking care of the medical emergencies. Lundquist has many responsibilities including distributing cough drops, band-aids, and medication to the students who need it through the day.

Lundquist is very happy with her job and is glad that she gets to work with the students and staff to make the school a better, safer, and healthier place. Lundquist does so much for so many students and we are glad to call her a Hidden Gem.

Mrs. Kathleen Stattel is our second Hidden gem for this month and is the Librarian at Upper Perkiomen High School. She has been working at Upper Perk for 10 years. She previously worked at North Penn School District which is much larger that Upper Perk.

Stattel enjoys her job at Upper Perk and is glad that at this smaller school she is able to easily get to know the students and staff. “In a bigger school it's harder to get to know each and every student,” Stattel explains, “By the time the students graduate I know at least 95% of them.” Stattel takes time out of her busy schedule to truly know all of the students that she deals with.

In the time span of a week Stattel might deal with 20 classes and other miscellaneous students. Not only does Stattel help students with finding books and doing research but she is also in charge of many Virtual High School students, study hall students, and community service students. Mr. Michael Swartley, who works with Mrs. Stattel often showed us that, “she cares about students and makes sincere efforts on making the Library and the school work.” Through the day Stattel makes sure to prioritize the things that matter most. For example, whenever a student or staff member needs help with something, that gets done first. Stattel make sure to always put her students first and then her other responsibilities. Mrs Monica Griffith stated “The library has a warmer, more welcoming atmosphere” with Stattel running the library.

Stattel tries to get students and staff to use the resources that are available through the library. She hopes that more teachers would use the resources available, and for those who are unsure of how to use the resources she also hopes that they ask for help.

“I wish there was more time in the school schedule for use of the library both during the day and after school” Stattel explains when asked what she would like to change about her job. Stattel wishes for students to be able to come do research and look and check out books that they would like to at whatever time they want. With the way that the schedule is set up there is currently very limited time for theses festivities.

Stattel also makes time for the two clubs that she advises every week. Reading Olympics and Writers Club take place in the library where Stattel guides the meetings and helps the students to achieve what they need to. Stattel’s favorite part about her job is the ability to help others and were glad that Upper Perk is used as a platform for her love. We are very thankful for all of the hard work that Stattel does both in her workforce and in helping students beyond school work.

UPHS Students in the Spotlight

UP Students Know their Grammy's by Magdaline Camaratta

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Students at Upper Perkiomen High School show their awareness of some of the best music in the world after taking a small count of those who have listened to the nominees for the Best Album of the Year. 7 out of 13 students listened to at least on of the artists in the last 24 hours. Bruno Mars crushed the hopes of hip-hop fans all over the nation on Sunday night at the Grammy’s after winning category of Best Album of the Year. Mars’ album, “24k Magic”, was up against “4:44” by Jay-Z, “Awaken, My Love!” by Childish Gambino, “DAMN.” by Kendrick Lamar, and “Melodrama” by Lorde, making it one of the fews times in all of the years of the Grammy’s that a white male was not apart of the nominations.

Many believe the reason as to why none of the hip-hop albums won is because the Grammy’s are behind on recognition of the genre, according to entertainment writer Lisa Resper, “the best rap album category wasn't even created until 1995,” despite being popular in America’s culture today. There is said to have been an audible reaction of shock when Bruno Mars won, taking many by surprise of who ended up being the winner. Angered fans vocalized their opinions on twitter, Alex Young stated, “Kendrick put out three of the greatest albums of our lifetime, and three times now he has lost the Grammy for Best Album. First to Daft Punk, then to Taylor Swift, and now to Bruno Mars.” Another person declared, “They keep sleeping on Kendrick Lamar for Album of the Year. No disrespect to Bruno Mars but DAMN should've won. #GRAMMYs”. Many others also agreed that Kendrick Lamar should have won the category due to the fact he has been involved in numerous critically acclaimed projects. After interviewing a student for their own personal take on the situation, Rebecca Wojcik stated, “In my opinion, Bruno Mars deserved the award because of his album receiving so much attention and for him being a great performer.”

Lamar even received celebrity endorsement when Macklemore won Best Rap Album in 2014, stating, “"He deserved best rap album. I'm honored and completely blown away to win anything much less 4 Grammys. But in that category, he should have won [in my opinion]." Lamar has yet to win a Grammy at all, always being nominated but falling short of winning.


About the Upper Perkiomen Network

We are the Upper Perkiomen Network (UPN)! Students in Mr. Thomas' classes produce the UPTV daily news, The Indian Nation and Tribe Pride Shows as well as films in the UP Film Program. The UPbeat Newsletter & High School Website are also part of the Multimedia Storytelling taught in our classes.