In The Q

March 22, 2019 newsletter

High school losing its leader

Dr. Finnerty to become asst. superintendent of Twin Valley School District

Dr. David Finnerty, who helped inspire and lead improvements in college and career readiness during his six years as Principal of Quakertown Community High School, will be leaving the district following the Class of 2019’s June 14 graduation to become Assistant Superintendent of the Twin Valley School District.


The Twin Valley School Board approved Dr. Finnerty’s hire Monday night.


“I am privileged to have been the Principal of the students, teachers and staff in this building and to have gotten to know the wonderful people in this community,” Dr. Finnerty said. “There are memories I will carry with me and cherish forever.”


For the full story, please click here.

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Safety first

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‘What if’ questions drive qcHS safety discussion

What if … you’re a teacher in the hallway and you hear something that sounds like glass breaking.? What do you do?


What if ... you’re a school nurse and you hear students running down a hallway shouting? What do you do?


What if … you’re a cafeteria worker and you hear what could be gunshots, but the sound is similar to the kitchen appliances you hear everyday? What do you do?


These are the types of scenarios given to those who attended an ALICE tabletop exercise on March 14 at Quakertown Community High School. Bucks County Emergency Management officials teamed up with QCSD leaders in drills designed to help high school employees react to an aggressive intruder or active shooter.


Please click here for the full story.

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A project to help others

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3 Jr. Girl Scouts are taking action as part of a service project for a Bronze Award

Three students in three different Quakertown Community School District elementary schools are teaming up for a community service project to earn a Bronze Award, the highest honor for a Junior Girl Scout.


From March 18-29, each district school will have a bin in the area of the main office to collect toiletry items. To read more about the efforts of about the efforts of Megan Gera (Pfaff), Kara Kelly (Trumbauersville) and Riley McGinty (Richland), please click here.

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Congratulations to Cassidy O'Donnell on qualifying for the PMEA All-State Concert Band!

On Twitter, Strayer Middle School Band Director Mr. Santanello said he was "very proud" of his former student. "I knew you had it in you way back in your recorder days of 6th grade. CONGRATS!"

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Steelstacks finalists

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QCHS Jazz Band continues achieving high marks

The Quakertown Community High School Jazz Band was among the top six high school bands competing in the finals of the SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase on March 17.


The band, directed by Frank Parker, finished with a Superior Rating, Best Saxes, Best Trumpets and Andrew Boyer, inset photo, was named Best Soloist. Please click here for a video of the performance.


In addition to Quakertown, other bands included Kutztown, North Penn, Phillipsburg, Upper Moreland and William Tennent. WFMZ-69 News is planning to highlight the finalists during a one-hour television special at 7 p.m. April 13,

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Strayer's Superior Jazz Band

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The Strayer Jazz Band has been hard at work in preparation for the spring season. The Band recently performed at the Penndale Jazz Festival. Directed by Mr. Santanello, the Band scored the highest possible rating of Superior! For a printable version of the photos, please click here.


On March 21, the band had another Superior performance, in addition to the best Rhythm and Trombone sections. In addition, Max (inset photo) was Outstanding Soloist!

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Top artist

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Work of QCHS junior showed off at BCIU event

Each year the Bucks County Intermediate Unit allows each school district to select one piece of of student artwork to be hung in the gallery at the BCIU in Doylestown for one year – right alongside world famous pieces from the Bucks IU’s own collection.


QCSD chose a piece by Josephine Rowley, a junior at Quakertown Community High School, to represent the district.


The Bucks IU Visual Arts Advisory Council oversees the selection process. At the end of the year, a dinner reception for the student artists and their families is held, and each artist receives a certificate and photo of their piece.


"Amazing piece of art!," School Board member Ron Jackson stated on Twitter. "Congratulations to Josephine and our amazing art teachers! Ms. Laurie Stoudt."


Also on Twitter, QCHS Band said: "Congratulations, Josie! One of the most talented and gracious people I know!"

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Look at those smiles ... that's education!

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Mr. Soto recently received a surprise visit from one of his former students. Their smiles tell the story Mr. Soto's Twitter post read: "Happy happy to catch up with my former student and friend, Lauren Kaseman. I wish you the best."

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Mr. Polk's chef's class: enough said

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Quakertown Community School Board

Thursday, March 28th, 7pm

100 Commerce Drive

Quakertown, PA

Two important presentations have been scheduled for this meeting, both involving community committees that have been at work for several months.


The Parent-Community Safety Committee will be delivering its report on recommendations for improved school safety.


Laura Lomax, Vice President of Programs at Pearl S. Buck International, is on the Board's agenda to discuss the District's participation in the "Welcome Workplace" program. She helped develop the District's Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


Please click here for the Board's meeting dates.


For Committee meetings, please click here.

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SGC swimmer qualifies for states and junior olympics

Kara Woods, a student at the Sixth Grade Center, has qualified for the Junior Olympics and the YMCA Swimming State Championships.


On March 10 in York, PA, Kara placed second in the 100 freestyle, fifth in the 200 freestyle, and fifth in the 100 butterfly in the YMCA Central District Swimming Championships. The top 6 finishers in each district qualify for the YMCA Swimming State Championships on March 22-24 at Penn State University.


Kara's times qualified her for the Middle Atlantic Long Course Junior Olympics at Franklin & Marshall College in July. Kara has already qualified for the Middle Atlantic Short Course Junior Olympics in the 1000 freestyle.

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Richland's Read Across America:

A festival of fun

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Richland Principal Mrs. Zuerblis went all in for the school's Read Across America.


She thanked Mrs. Distefano, Mrs. Foley, all student and staff reading leaders, and parent and community volunteers for making the third annual reading festival the school's best yet!

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Feasting on Discovery Kitchen

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Chartwells Discovery Kitchen and Mr. Kevin Bodo, Assistant Director and Executive Chef, recently returned to Richland and students loved the fare. Samples included mashed sweet potatoes and sweet potato cornbread. Students and staff waited patiently in line to sample the tasty treats!

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Celebrating You, Celebrating Me

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Peace Center's lessons on inclusion continue for all QCSD fourth graders

Fourth-grade students completed several weeks of the Celebrating You, Celebrating Me program delivered by our Peace Center guests. At last week's Parent Teacher Organization meeting, Ms. Kate Whitman, Peace Center Assistant Director, shared highlights of the program and what parents can do to enhance learning. Fourth-grade leaders shared about their experience, too.

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Strayer student stars in Alpaca competition

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Layla Cotter, showing off beauty, earns 3 ribbons

Layla Cotter, a student at Strayer Middle School, competed with her 4H club, Pronking Pacas, in the Pennsylvania Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association competition March 8-10. The event, which promotes the advancement and investment potential of the North American alpaca, was held at the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall, PA.


Layla went up against multiple youth in her intermediate age group and was scored on public relations, showmanship and obstacles. Her hard work and determination brought home a third-place and two sixth-place ribbons. Terrific work by Layla and Beauty!

Baseball, softball set for 2019

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Please click here for the softball schedule.


For a Suburban One League Sports preview, please click here.

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Please click here for the baseball schedule.


For a Suburban One League Sports preview, please click here.


And The Morning Call included the Panthers in its preview.

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QYC wrestlers score big at states

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Collin Gaj of the Sixth Grade Center takes title

Collin Gaj led a contingent of Quakertown Youth Wrestling Club teammates to the Pennsylvania Youth Wrestling Championships, where the Sixth Grade Center student captured a state crown.


Bradley Dimiglio (Trumbauersville Elementary) and Mackenzie Gappa (Richland Elementary) each finished second in the state tournament.


Cadence Jozefowski (Pfaff Elementary), inset photo, won the Middle Atlantic Girls Folkstyle championship.


Also competing at states for QYC were Logan Pfistner (Pfaff Elementary) and Cole Borizo (Trumbauersville).


In the above photo are, left to right, Collin, Mackenzie, Logan, Cole and Bradley. Below, Collin stands in the top spot on the podium.

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GSA wants students to avoid tobacco, Juuls

The high school's Gay Straight Alliance created a poster to support an effort by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The organization organized a day of youth activism titled "Pennsylvania Kids Will Kick Butts – and Juul – on March 20."


The poster states "Pledge to #BeTheFirst" and adds "Let's make history together, and help create the first tobacco-free generation.


While cigarette smoking among high school students nationwide has fallen to 8.1 percent, e-cigarette use among high schoolers rose by an alarming 78 percent in 2018 alone – to 20.8 percent of the student population. In 2018, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. U.S. public health leaders have called youth e-cigarette use an “epidemic” that is addicting a new generation of kids.


The main cause of the youth e-cigarette epidemic is Juul, which looks like a computer flash drive, is small and easy to hide, delivers a powerful dose of nicotine, and comes in kid-friendly flavors like mango, fruit and mint. According to the manufacturer, each Juul “pod” (cartridge) delivers as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes.


In Pennsylvania, 11.3 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes, while 8.7 percent smoke cigarettes. Tobacco use claims 22,000 lives in Pennsylvania and costs the state $6.4 billion in health care bills each year.

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Click, Clack, Moo

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QE second graders ready for showtime

Please click here to view the photo pages of a recent rehearsal.

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Summer camps: Sign Up Now!

The Quakertown Community School District is once again excited to offer a variety of Summer Camps for our learners. Our teachers have designed camp experiences to expand students’ knowledge and skills over the summer. Students will participate in small classes where the emphasis is on exploring, thinking, and risk-taking. The summer camp sessions reinforce a culture for learning for students at all grade levels. Camps will be run Monday - Thursday during the weeks of July 8-11, July 15-18, and July 22-25. These sessions will run from 9 a.m.-noon and will take place at Quakertown Community High School.


  • Registration began on Monday, March 11, and is scheduled to run through April 6.

  • The brochure for these camps can be found here.


Additionally, our Instrumental Music Teachers will once again be providing a Summer Instrumental Music Academy. These camps engage students in small group lessons over seven weeks throughout the summer months. Upon registration, students will be organized by instrument and assigned to specific times.



For all information, including registration fees, locations and times, please visit www.qcsd.org/sc.

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Pre-K Counts information

Pre-K Counts is a free preschool program open to children ages 3 and 4 (by September 1, 2019) who meet the income eligibility guidelines. There are three local locations for this program: Pfaff Elementary, Richland Elementary, and LifeSpan's child care center.


Please click here for more information.

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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.

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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.

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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 lihle-ssc@qcsd.org.

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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 len@levybus.com.

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 qcsd.org website by clicking here.