Oley Valley School District

Digital Newsletter - May 2019

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Elementary School News

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Fifth grade vocal ensemble go on a field trip to Fulton Theater. Such fun!

Middle School News

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Sixth Grade Chorus Concert. They sounded wonderful!

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Middle School Envirothon Team Wins First Place!

On Tuesday, May 7th, three teams from the Oley Valley Middle School competed in the Berks County Jr. Envirothon competition held at Nolde Forest State Park. The competition consists of four tests focusing on soils, wildlife, forestry and aquatics. There was also a fun station where students learned about the Nolde Mansion and water use. Out of 35 teams, our teams placed 1st, 14th and 24th. Our first placed team included Lilly Hetrick (grade 8), Bobby Kowalski (grade 7), Tray Fryberger (grade 7) and James Swett (grade 8). They also earned the highest grade of a 97% on the aquatics test. Wyatt Dry (grade 8), Calvin Reinert (grade 8), Nate Guldin (grade 8), Karla Hetrick (grade 8), Hope Burns (grade 7), Ian Fidler (grade 6), Tayla Batchelder (grade 6), and Mason Pollock (grade 6) rounded out the other two teams. The teams are advised by Miss Heather Jagielski (7th grade science) and Mrs. Kacey Rice (middle school and high school agricultural science teacher).

High School News

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Congratulations Olympians! You did an awesome job!


Congratulations to the "Berks Best" of the Oley Valley High School Class of 2019!

For the 19th year, the Berks' Best program is recognizing seniors at Berks County high schools who have demonstrated a passion for certain subject fields.

Reading Eagle Company invites local high schools to nominate up to two seniors in each of 11 categories to vie for a $500 award. No student can be nominated in more than two categories. All nominated students who submit an application are evaluated by a panel of judges that have expertise in the field.

This year there were 318 applications. Judges scored each application based on the nominee's achievement and commitment to the category they entered. Due to ties in scoring, there were 40 finalists named who were invited for an in-person interview with the judges.

Reading Eagle Susan E. Miers Smith, Berks' Best coordinator

Oley Valley High School Berks Best


Rachel Noll – Vocational/Technical Skills


Matthew Hinkle – Business

Christopher Erb – Communications

Melissa Geary – Communications

Sabrina Matteoli – Community Service/Taylor Seitzinger Award

Gabriel Turoscy – Computer Science

Cassidy Kauffman – Foreign Languages

Allison Nawrocki – Mathematics

Jordan Eck – Performing Arts

Jared Mazeika – Performing Arts

Allison Nawrocki – Science/Environment

Alysha Ulrich – Science/Environment

Grace Bertin – Social Studies

Krystal Arroyo – Visual Arts

Mackenzie Sheidy – Visual Arts

Hayden Phillips – Vocational/Technical Skills
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Holocaust Museum, Washington D.C.

Mr. Kallis’s fall and spring semester classes visited Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 24th, for their annual field trip to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Before touring the museum, students had an opportunity to get a closer look at the World War II, Korean, Lincoln, and Vietnam Memorials.

On Thursday, May 23rd, Mr. Kallis invited Mr. Jeff Gernsheimer to speak about his mother’s experiences before, during, and after World War II. Sadly, Mrs. Hilde Gernsheimer passed away on March 27th and this was Mr. Gernsheimer’s first time presenting without her. He recounted a powerful message of survival and sacrifice. His mother was lucky enough to participate in the Kindertransport (Children's Transport) program. This was a series of organized rescue efforts that brought thousands of Jewish children to Great Britain from Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1940.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Mr. Kallis and his students surprised Mr. Gernsheimer with a gift of a framed hand-drawn image of his mother. Ethan Gernerd, a senior, was proud to accept his first artistic commission. Mr. Gernsheimer was sincerely touched and commented on how Ethan was able to capture his mother’s beauty and optimism. Finally, each student offered Mr. Gernsheimer a flower in memory of his mother’s passing and in gratitude for his time in visiting Oley Valley High School.

Tuesdays with Morrie 2019 Seminar

During the afternoon of May 22nd , Mrs. Kallis and her English II CP students held their annual Tuesdays with Morrie seminar. Morrie Schwartz, who was a professor of sociology, is the subject of the best-selling book Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Mitch Albom. Morrie’s belief in the value of unity within a community inspired English teacher Mrs. Kallis to create and organize this annual seminar.

This function commenced with a variety of delicious food and tremendous music performances by students. The students then moved into small groups that participated in engaging discourse about the book and the correlation of their lives to the lives of Morrie and Mitch. Morrie’s words capture the value of life and how to live life to its fullest. He emphasized love and devotion to others – two things often missing in society. Morrie advised, “Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” Oley Valley School District expresses this message in their mission statement: “Enter to Learn…Leave to Serve.”

This year’s Tuesdays With Morrie seminar could not have happened without the help of a group of astounding people including teachers, alumni, and upperclassmen. The students expressed gratitude to teachers Mr. Bagenstose, Mr. Kallis, Mr. Kriebel, Mr. Mast, and Mrs. Stump. Alumni Alyssa Kline and Amanda Mazeika and were likewise very helpful. They joined in the event as sophomores and returned to Oley Valley to contribute to the event. Also, numerous upperclassmen joined in to be partnered with faculty members to facilitate the group discussions. To all of those who helped and participated, you are very appreciated. These people exude the devotion to one another that Morrie emphasized.

At intermission, there were more music performances and there was also a raffle held by Mrs. Kallis. Buckets filled with treats were provided as prizes. The buckets symbolized Morrie's belief in accomplishing the items on our bucket lists by living life in the moment. The laughter and joy shared throughout the seminar testify to why Morrie believed so strongly in unity and community.

Unfortunately, Morrie passed away from ALS on November 4, 1995. He was never afraid to be forgotten because he believed that “As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on—in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.” Through this annual seminar, Morrie Schwartz and many of the people we befriend at Oley Valley will never be forgotten.

Article contributed by OVHS sophomore Mireliz Bermudez

FFA Events

87th Annual Oley Valley FFA Parent-Member Banquet

On Thursday, April 4th, 2019, students, parents, administrators, and community members gathered for a night at the Oley Valley Fair Centre to recount all of the chapter’s activities and accomplishments from throughout the past year. Over two-hundred banquet attendees enjoyed a delicious meal catered by Wegman’s, the opportunity to win donated items from local agricultural businesses via a door prize raffle, and a ceremony that recognized the accomplishments of members from annual activities. The accomplishments of the chapter’s members were acknowledged all throughout the ceremony, including those earned at public speaking competitions and CDE (Career Development Events) contests at the county, area, regional, eastern region national, and national levels. Members offered their “thanks” to several community members and local business owners that continuously support the chapter. The ceremony also reflected upon chapter activities, including those from graveyard preservation, National FFA Week, the Welcome Back Picnic, and line dancing events. The Oley Valley FFA chapter would like to extend a huge thank-you to the numerous local businesses that contributed to our banquet’s success through donated door prize items, and to all attendees that helped us celebrate our chapter’s accomplishments. We hope you will join us again next year! Submitted by Alysha Ulrich

Photos courtesy of Danielle Trimbur

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Mr. Deysher, chapter adviser, engages banquet attendees by addressing chapter accomplishments in CDE contests.

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Mrs. Rice, chapter adviser, receives a small token of the chapter's appreciation for her dedication to the program

State Secretary of Agriculture Russell Reading’s Royal Visit to the Oley Valley High School’s Agriculture Department

On Friday, April 12, 2019, the Oley Valley FFA Chapter welcomed state Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, two state officers, news reporters, and several other guests into its doors to explore all that the agricultural program has to offer, the first of such visits for the history of the chapter. Superintendent Dr. Shank, district administrators, principal Mr. Becker, members of the Ag advisory board, chapter advisors Mr. Deysher and Mrs. Rice, chapter officers, and over twenty FFA members all helped to welcome Redding into Oley Valley High School. As part of the tour, Redding was introduced to the hydroponics and aquaponics units, greenhouse, raised garden beds, food science lab, micro lab, and agriculture tanks located all throughout the ag wing. FFA members were dispersed throughout the ag wing with explanations of the curriculum and technologies that are learned both inside and outside of the classroom. These included calculations of land slope, tilapia harvesting, Christmas wreath making, maple syrup and apple cider production, food dehydration, DNA replication, genetic modification tests on corn, gel electrophoresis, water quality testing, and artificial insemination in cows. The tour concluded with a showing of this year’s Year in Review video. Before leaving, all guests were gifted with succulents from the greenhouse, school pins, engraved glasses, pasteurized apple cider, and dehydrated beef jerky, made in the lab of course, as tokens of the chapter’s appreciation for their visit.

Redding was extremely impressed with the district’s ag program, so much so that he could not distinguish any areas of the program that were in need of improvement. We are very thankful to have had the opportunity to show off everything that our ag program has to offer to Mr. Redding, and also for his dedication to Pennsylvania agriculture. Thank you, Russell Redding, and please visit us again soon!

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Russell Redding, FFA members, administrators, and guests gather for a memorable group photo.

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Mrs. Speece received the Honorary Keystone Degree at the FFA State Convention for her years of service helping at various Eastern Region FFA events. Attached is a picture of her receiving the award at the Bryce Jordan Center Thursday evening during the 2nd general session of the FFA State Convention. She was very honored and excited to receive the award.

Oley Valley Community Education Foundation

OVCEF seeks nominations for Distinguished Oley Valley Alumni and Distinguished Service to the Oley Valley School District Awards

The Oley Valley Community Education Foundation (OVCEF) is seeking nominations for the 2019 Oley Valley Distinguished Alumni Award and for the Distinguished Service to the Oley Valley School District Award.

One or more awards are presented each October to alumni for outstanding achievement in their professions, humanitarian efforts, volunteerism, or service in their communities, or a single exceptional achievement. One or more awards may also be presented to individuals who have provided unselfish service to the Oley Valley School District.

Award nomination forms are available at the Oley Valley High School Office, 17 Jefferson Street, Oley; the OVCEF website www.OleyValleyCEF.org; and the OVSD website www.oleyvalleysd.org. The deadline for receipt of nominations is June 30, 2019.

Athletics Newletter

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Boys 4x800 BCIAA Championship Relay Team
Josh Daniels, Parker Sarge, Mason Shirey, Vince Ferrizzi

School Board Reports

Elementary School Board Report

1.) The Trout in the Classroom program concluded this month with the release of 19 trout into Furnace Creek. Between the elementary and high school programs, seventy-seven trout found a new home at Furnace Creek. Thank you to Mrs. Tulone and her fifth grade classes for their efforts in raising the trout.

2.) The elementary school recognized food service employees on Monday, May 6th with cards and posters as part of Lunch Hero Day.

3.) Teacher Appreciation Day was celebrated on Tuesday, May 7th. Staff received a catered lunch sponsored by the PTO.

4.) Volunteers who participated in the Ready Set Read program received an ice cream social with the students they tutored over the course of the school year. Thank you to each of the volunteers who make the program a success at OVES.

5.) On Friday, May 10th, students in grades K-2 listened to author Theresa Cocci read a book on kindness and had the opportunity to complete activities on kindness. Thank you to Mrs. Shegina for organizing this event.

6.) Elementary students will be participating in Olympic Days and Game Days during the last two weeks of May.

7.) The PTO Walk-A-Thon will take place Thursday, May 16th. Students will walk laps to raise money for the PTO through family and friend sponsorships and will complete fun activities during this event.

8.) The Fifth Grade Moving Up Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 31st at 9 a.m.

Middle School Board Report

· The PSSA assessments wrapped up during the first week of May. We ended with a Middle School Silent Lunch competition. I was surprisingly good…and competitive!

· The Middle School class trips were run this month. On May 1, the 6th grade visited the iMax theatre at the Reading Museum, then caught the first half of a Fightin’ Phils game. Last Friday, the 8th grade students participated in Coaster Quest at Dorney Park. And just today, the 7th graders visited the Elmwood Zoo in Norristown, which included zip-lining.

· 8th grade students are performing their poems in the annual Poetry Slam held throughout the day today and tomorrow. There some moving and powerful pieces written and performed by our students.

· Our fourth annual Lip Sync Battle is being held this Friday afternoon on May 17. This has become a fun, post-PSSA tradition at OVMS.

· Also this Friday, at 7pm, is the Middle School PTSO Courtyard Dance. This year’s theme is carnival. Music and a dunk tank will be lots of fun for students. Any school board members who are interested in volunteering for the dunk tank Friday evening, please see Mr. Marks after the meeting. He can get you a time slot!

· Algebra I Keystones will be held at the MS on Tuesday, May 21.

· The OVMS Sports Recognition assembly and Field Day is Thursday, May 23.

· The Middle School will once again host the district-wide STEAM Expo on Thursday, May 30 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

High School Board Report

Middle School transition Day took place during the afternoon on April 25th. It was great to welcome some 8th graders to our HS and assist them in the big transition from MS to HS.

BCTC celebrated their 50th anniversary on Saturday April 27th. BCTC also honored our students of the quarter on April 30th.

College day took place for staff and students on May 1st.

We honored our senior sport student-athletes on May 13th for their numerous accomplishments at OVHS.

The senior class trip took place on May 3rd. Seniors enjoyed the fun day! Thanks to everyone who planned and participated.

Our 2019 Prom took place on May 4th @ Stokesay Castle. A great time was had by all!

HS Music Spring Concerts are ongoing. The music department and students did a terrific job.

Keystone Testing & SmartFutures testing sessions started on May 14th.

Upcoming Events:

Academic Awards- 5/20/19

BCTC Graduation- 5/28/19

Senior Awards- 5/29/19

Stem Expo- 5/30/19

Baccalaureate- 6/4/19


Important Upcoming Events

6/5/19 – Early Dismissal for all schools: MS @ 10:35 AM, HS @ 10:50 AM, ES @ 11:50 AM – No Lunch Served

6/5/19 – Graduation 7:00 AM – HS Gym Indoor Ceremony

6/6/19 – Teacher In-Service Day (8:00 AM to 11:30 AM)

6/12/19 – School Board Combined Committee Meeting 7:00 PM

6/16/19 – Father’s Day

6/19/19 – School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

7/17/19 – School Board Meeting 7:00 PM

Weeks of 6/10 thru 8/5/19– All School Buildings will be closed on Fridays. (except for July 4th week)

1st Day of School for 2019/2020 is August 21, 2019


Oley Valley School District Board of Directors

David R. Pollock Jr., President

Stephen S. Burns, Vice-President

Carl J. Kubitz, Jr., Treasurer

Eric Clemmer, Member

Robert A. Heckman, Member

Darrell L. Markley, Ed.D., Member

Ralph Richard, Member

Stuart Salen, Member

Dawn Zackon, Member

John M. Stott, Esquire, Board Solicitor

Maria H. Jones, Board Secretary, non-member

Oley Valley School District

The Oley Valley School District is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator who fully and actively supports equal access for all people regardless of Race, Color, Religion, Gender, Age, National Origin, Veteran Status, Disability, Genetic Information or Testing, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity or Expression and prohibits Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or practice in the investigation of any complaint, or otherwise oppose discrimination. Compliance issues/questions should be directed to the Office of the Superintendent.