Wyalusing Area School District

Ram eNews

Fall 2021

Welcome to the next edition of RAM eNews, a product of the Wyalusing Area School District. This publication will be produced quarterly during the school year to keep community stakeholders engaged in our schools.
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Hello and Happy Fall!


We just completed our first marking period and are rapidly approaching the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude and reflection; a time to focus on the positives in our lives and remain hopeful of what is yet to come. I know this can seem difficult at times as we have endured many hardships over the last year, but that has not stopped us from continuing to make an impact on the lives and education of our students.


We have made significant investments in tools and resources to support our students both in and out of the classroom. With the support of federal, state, and local funds provided to assist schools through this pandemic, we have:


  • Hired an additional first grade teacher;
  • Approved an additional certified school nurse position;
  • Approved a Business and Computer Information Technology teacher position to facilitate the new HS Next Generation Learning STEM Library space;
  • Hired an additional Aide to support our growing population of students with special needs;
  • Installed new HVAC equipment in the HS STEM Library space;
  • Constructed a professional space for the School Community Behavioral Health Team;
  • Installed new Thermostats and wiring in high school classroom to manage heating and air flow circulation;
  • Completed 100% installation of electronic key access to the school buildings and interior doors as an added safety measure;
  • And we are evaluating the possibility of updating the HS Cafeteria and Kitchen to be more current with new HVAC equipment, LED lighting, and Ceiling Tiles.


Covid-19 may continue to present challenges throughout this year. But we will persevere and focus on being able to keep our buildings open and safe so that in-person learning remains a priority.


Thank you for your continued support of our students and your children- together we will achieve greatness! Please accept my warmest wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.


Sincerely,


Dr. Jason Bottiglieri

Superintendent of Schools

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School Safety Drill

Keeping our students safe is our top priority. In addition to our own safety measures, we comply with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) School Safety Requirements, which includes a number of drills throughout the year.


Within the first 90 days of school, districts are required to hold an emergency drill. This year's drill will include the steps needed for an evacuation should the district experience a significant event. The drill helps students and staff become more familiar with proper procedures in all situations and is supported by the Pennsylvania State Police and Bradford County Emergency Management Services.


In the coming weeks, we will perform an evacuation drill on our campus and review lockdown procedures. When the evacuation drill begins, parents will be notified and our campus will temporarily be closed to all traffic and visitors. The drill is anticipated to last approximately one hour and students will resume their scheduled activities once the drill has concluded.

IMPORTANT SAFETY REMINDER for PARENTS during EMERGENCIES!

The safety drill is a good time to review your emergency plans with your child. Should the district need to conduct an early dismissal for any type of urgent matter, it is extremely important that your children know your procedures.


The district cannot manage last minute phone calls requesting bus changes or location changes especially during an emergency early dismissal. Students will arrive at their bus stop location and parents must make plans to ensure pick-up and proper supervision during an early dismissal.


While extreme emergencies that require this type of action are rare, it is very important to discuss and rehearse with your child the following items:


  • Who may meet them at the bus stop?
  • How can they get into your home?
  • Where can they go if no one is at home?
  • How can they reach you if they have a concern?
  • How to express a safety concern to the bus driver?

Inclement Weather Updates

The Northern Tier is notoriously known for its variety of weather conditions, especially in the winter months. As the temperature continues to drop, please dress your child accordingly. If schools need to pivot to remote learning or close due to hazardous weather and road conditions, parents will be notified via our school messenger notification system. Weather related updates will also be posted on our District website, Facebook page, and will be shared on local news stations.


Please be sure we have your most current contact information by informing Mrs. Katy Stoddard x3000 of any contact information changes.

Student Early Dismissals Announced

Students will dismiss early on Wednesday, November 24th, for the Thanksgiving holiday and Thursday December 23rd, for the Christmas holiday. Half-day dismissal times are as follows:


Elementary School: 11:45am

High School: 12:00pm


To see the full list of early dismissals for the 2021-2022 school year, please see the calendar on our district website.

School Bus Driver Shortage

The shortage of school bus drivers has grown into a national crisis and is impacting school districts everywhere, including ours. In some states, the shortage is so severe that the National Guard was deployed to drive students to school.


Earlier this month, Kurt Myers, PA Department of Transportation (DOT) deputy secretary for driver and vehicle services, announced that he would be sending letters to everyone who currently holds a commercial driver's license (CDL) in Pennsylvania to encourage them to consider driving a school bus.


While Wyalusing Area School District Transportation Contractors have been able to manage this situation thus far, the driver shortage may affect our transportation capabilities in the future.


Many transportation contractors are recruiting additional drivers. If you or someone you know is interested in obtaining a CDL to drive a school bus, please CLICK HERE. If you are interested in being connected to one of our transportation contractors please call Katy Stoddard at x3000.

Supply Chain Food Shortage

As a result of the pandemic, food manufacturing and distribution organizations are experiencing staffing and labor shortages and seeing a rising cost of materials and transportation. This has caused a significant impact to school food services, resulting in unpredictable adjustments and availability.


CLICK HERE to view our Food Services webpage and see letter below from Nancy Iseminger, Food Service Director.

Emergency Connectivity Funds (ECF)

Connecting students with technology enhances equal opportunities for learning.


The Wyalusing Area School District was recently awarded up to $268,000 in Emergency Connectivity Funds (ECF) to be used for WiFi-Cellular Hotspots and Chromebook devices for students. Earlier this month, the district surveyed families to calculate the anticipated need for these devices. Survey results indicated that WiFi-Cellular Hotspot needs across both buildings K-12 is more than 150; Chromebooks for Elementary students to have at home is approximately 350 (High School students have always been able to take their devices back and forth to home and school).


In the coming weeks, district staff will coordinate a device distribution and will contact parents who requested devices with further details.

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2021 Homecoming

Homecoming was nothing short of a success this year with beautiful weather and activities such as a themed dress spirit week, student carnival held at WVHS, bonfire hosted by the Wyalusing Education Foundation, and the homecoming dance, which was our first dance to be held outdoors under a tent and sparking lights.


Seniors Nolan Oswald and Tiffany Newton were named our 2021 Homecoming King and Queen and our football team beat Montgomery Area School District (19-14).


View the video below for a recap of our homecoming festivities and memories made!

**Photos courtesy of Mr. John Nystrand and WVHS Yearbook**

Wyalusing Homecoming 2021-2022
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Faculty and Staff Receive Mental Health Training

Mental health plays a significant role in a student's ability to develop and thrive. As an effort to better support our school community, teachers and staff participated in a full day of inservice on Monday, October 11th, that was focused on our district’s comprehensive mental health services.


Inservice workshop topics included the Student Assistance Program (SAP), child study process, Community School Based Behavioral Health (CSBBH), and ‘Poverty and the Brain’. The inservice was well received as it helped our employees to observe, recognize, and help address mental health concerns so students can excel in school.

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Community/School Based Behavioral Health Coming to WVHS

In partnership with Friendship House, the Wyalusing Area School District is pleased to welcome a Community/School Based Behavioral Health (CSBBH) Program to the high school. CSBBH is a unique program embedded in the Wyalusing Area School District, Jr./Sr. High School with a multi-disciplinary team, providing therapeutic services to identified students in the school, and to the identified students and their families in their homes and the community.


CSBBH provides services that are based on social emotional and behaviorally informed clinical principles, including behavior management, clinical and crisis intervention, case management, and consultation/training to school staff and others involved in the children’s care. We are fortunate to continue to expand our mental health services to ensure the growing needs of our students and families are addressed.


Friendship House is currently advertising and seeking bachelors and masters level clinicians to meet our need. If you know someone who may be interested in one of this positions please have them contact Joe Dunn at jdunn@friendshiphousepa.org

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'Kindness Squad' Makes a Difference

Students in Ms. Tammy Card's 4th grade class wear many hats, including serving as members of the 'kindness squad'!


Photographed with Dr. Bottiglieri are students Sara Sutton and Eva Cook, who brought their kindness cart to the District Office to spread cheer!


When asked what kind message they would share with everyone in the world, the ladies responded, "be yourself."

Outstanding Young Woman (OYW):

Madelynn Muench and Tiffany Newton represented WVHS at the Bradford-Sullivan Outstanding Young Woman Program. The program was hosted by current Outstanding Young Woman and WVHS graduate, Catherine Brown. The OYW Program annually recognizes well-rounded high school senior women and gives contestants the opportunity to compete for various scholarships.


We could not be more proud of Madelynn and Tiffany for all of their accomplishments and wish them nothing but success as they complete their senior year!


CLICK HERE to view all finalists and learn more about the Bradford-Sullivan OYW Program. Applications for next year's program will be available in April 2022.


**Photos courtesy of OYW Program**

WVHS Mural Unveiled

Two years ago, the Art Department welcomed mural artist, Mr. Jon Laidacker, to WVHS and students throughout the high school collaborated on a mural that was planned to be installed on an exterior wall outside of the art room. After all of the panels were painted, Mr. Laidacker took them back to Philadelphia to finish and he was set to install them in May 2020.


The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic significantly delayed the process, but Mr. Laidacker was finally able to return and install the mural on October 21st, with an unveiling ceremony taking place on October 24th. This piece of art is now permanently visible in our community and reminds us of the many opportunities for our students to connect their history, talents, and passions.


This project would not have been possible without the support of Mr. Jon Laidacker, Mrs. Shauna Case, the Wyalusing Area Education Foundation, Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, Northern Tier Partners in the Arts, Bradford County Regional Arts Council, Wyalusing Valley Museum, and B & K Equipment.

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WCC Junior Leadership Program

This summer, approximately 24 students entering 5th or 6th grade participated in the WCC Junior Leadership Group Program. This was the first year the program was held for elementary students, where they engaged in games and activities that strengthened their skills in teamwork, leadership, communication, and public speaking.


The program is a branch-off of the WCC Youth Leadership Program; a program for students going into 11th grade. Both programs are currently run by Carol Goodman, President of the Wyalusing Community Corp.


Thank you to Carol Goodman, Kelly White, the WCC, and everyone who gave their time to create this wonderful opportunity for our students!


Learn more about the Junior Leadership Program HERE.


**Photos provided by the Junior Leadership Program**

WVHS Hosts College Fair

On Wednesday, October 20th, representatives from 17 Colleges and Universities and three military branches (Air Force, National Guard, and Army) were available to Wyalusing Valley High School students in grades eight through twelve. Approximately 500 students were in attendance and engaged in conversation with their classmates and professionals about future opportunities and programs.


Thank you to Ms. Karen Long, Mrs. Alicia Kirkpatrick, and Mr. Brock Edwards, for helping to coordinate this event and to all of the representatives who shared their time with our students.


Whether students choose to further their education, join a branch of the military, or join the workforce, Wyalusing aims to provide rigor and support for students to be successful.

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GOLF: Our Varsity Golf program took a huge step forward during its second season back in existence this fall. The team finished with a 37-17 record and finished 7th in District IV. We also had three golfers make the cut for the second day of the District IV Individual Golf Championships. Those three golfers were Nick Salsman, Brady Fuhrey, and Grayden Cobb.


SOCCER: Our Girls Varsity Soccer program has continued to improve in Gary Haley's second season at the helm. The girls have qualified for the District IV playoffs and currently have a 13-4 record as of 10/20. Playoffs start the week of 10/25.


FOOTBALL: The Fall 2021 season marks the first for our new football coach, Henry Laborante. The football team started the season strong with an opening win over Montrose. The highlight of our season came during a 19-14 homecoming win vs. Montgomery. The team, although plagued with some injuries and Covid difficulties, had a successful and hard fought year. The team hopes to win this Friday against Towanda to earn a spot in the District IV playoffs.


VOLLEYBALL: Our Girls Varsity Volleyball program is having another winning campaign with an 11-5 record as of 10/20. We have clinched another District IV playoff berth, which will take place starting the week of 11/1.


CHEERLEADING: The Varsity Football Cheerleaders continue to do amazing things. Besides cheering and dancing, our Ram Fans will see the cheerleaders doing impressive stunts! Coming off of a Covid-ridden 2020 season, where the cheerleaders were unfortunately restricted from stunting as normal, they came back this year with a bang and are determined to show Ram Nation all that they can do!


CROSS COUNTRY: Our Boys Varsity Cross Country team won another NTL Small School Division title!! Our girls had another strong regular season, finishing 2nd in the NTL Small School Division. The District IV Cross Country Championships were held 10/28 at Bloomsburg University where our Girls Team won the title and our Boys Team came in 2nd place! Both teams qualify for states!


Stay up-to-date with all sports by following Wyalusing Rams Sports.

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Mrs. Heather McMicken, 2nd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Heather McMicken has been a resident of Susquehanna and Bradford Counties for most of her life. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Keystone College and then attended Mansfield University for Elementary Education. After student teaching at Wyalusing Elementary School, she became a substitute for the district. Mrs. McMicken took some time off to raise her family and returned to Wyalusing as a daily and long-term substitute. She is now employed on a full-time basis as a 2nd grade teacher.


Mrs. McMicken is married to her husband, Jared, who had a wonderful experience with sports and academics at Wyalusing. It was his influence for their decision to have their own children experience their educational years as Wyalusing Rams. They have a son Cade (16) and daughter Camryn (14). Mrs. McMicken enjoys watching her children play football, wrestling, and volleyball. She feels grateful to be in a district where fellow teachers are always willing to jump in to help one another .

Ms. Megan Pajalich, Title 1 Teacher

Ms. Megan Pajalich is a graduate of Mansfield University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and is pursuing her Reading Specialist certification. She was a substitute teacher before beginning her full-time teaching career with Head Start, where she taught for the last two years. Currently, Ms. Pajalich serves as a Title 1 reading teacher at Wyalusing Elementary and is loving every minute of it!


In her spare time, Ms. Pajalich loves to spend time with family and friends and play with her puppy, Caliber. She also enjoys hiking, riding on her side-by-side, and making crafts with her cricut machine. Mrs. Pajalich is so excited to be a part of such a wonderful school and community!

Ms. McKenzie Haight, Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. McKenzie Haight grew up in the small town of Warren Center, PA and is a 2018 graduate of Northeast Bradford School District. She attended Alfred University where she received her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Psychology. Ms. Haight is looking forward to her career at the Wyalusing Area School District!

Erika Wiles, Elementary Special Education Teacher

Mrs. Wiles grew up in Sullivan County, PA and graduated from Sullivan County High School. After graduation, she attended Keystone College where she earned a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Special Education with a minor in Psychology. Prior to joining Wyalusing Valley Elementary School, Mrs. Wiles worked for BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 for several years as a classroom aide and early intervention teacher for 3-5 year old students.


Mrs. Wiles is excited to teach at Wyalusing because of the high levels of community and family involvement in the district, along with the welcoming atmosphere created by other teachers and administration. Her hobbies include kayaking, camping, and spending time with family. She lives in Overton with her husband (Logan), her 4 month old daughter (Harper), and their two dogs (Pip and Holly). Mrs. Wiles enjoys being a part of the Ram Family as a Special Education teacher.

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Daniel Frankenfield, Class of 2012

Sports/Activities while attending Wyalusing:

I participated on the football team as a running back and outside linebacker; I also was on the wrestling team and track team.


What you did after graduation:

After I graduated, I moved to Williamsport and enrolled at Pennsylvania College of Technology (PCT). I majored in Applied Business Management and minored in Baking and Pastry Arts, with the aspiration of becoming a pastry chef. While at PCT, I also was an athlete for the wrestling program.


When I completed my degree, I got a job, and for the last 4 years I have been the pastry chef for a local restaurant in downtown Williamsport, called ‘The James’. Alongside my fiance, I also own ‘Rise and Shine Nutrition’, a shake and tea bar in downtown Williamsport.


Most memorable moments at Wyalusing:

A memory I'll never forget at Wyalusing is just walking up and down the halls and greeting all the teachers with smiles and laughter. It kept me in a good mood going to each class period.


Most memorable teachers:

One of the most memorable teachers I had while attending school was John Slusark. Next time you see him, yell "Bam-bizzle!" I also can't go without mentioning my head football coach, the late Jim Huffman. He was such a nice guy and cared about his players.


Advice for current students:

For all the current students, I would like to tell you this: Hold onto your dreams and wishes for your career, life goals, etc. They may not happen as soon as you want to, but they are achievable. They also may change and that is normal. Surround yourselves with quality people and community. This can open opportunities to network, reach your goals, make you feel safe, and make you feel as though you are a part of something greater than yourselves.


***Photo includes Daniel Frankenfield with his fiance, Hannah***

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Esther Potts, Retired High School Principal's Secretary

Esther Potts came to Wyalusing from Northeast Bradford School District in the fall of 2001. She started in the Title I Department under the direction of Donna Cole and then Keri Pickett, where she worked for 11 years. One of Esther’s favorite memories during that time was when she and Marcia Gary dressed up as ‘Thing 1’ and ‘Thing 2’ during Dr. Seuss Week to read to the students.


Then in 2012, Esther transferred to the high school and became the assistant principal’s secretary, where she supported Mr. Roberts until 2016, and then became Mr. Otis’ secretary.


Esther shared, “My relationships with my co-workers made the decision to retire extremely difficult. Each year, when I came to work on my birthday, I always found decorations from floor to ceiling. One time, there was even a skeleton sitting in my chair (which should have been my que to retire then)! I started first grade at the Wyalusing Elementary School in town, graduated from the Wyalusing High School and now retired from the Wyalusing School District. My retirement plans are to spend more time with my husband, my mom and my family. I look forward to starting each day with my own job description.”

Katrina McMahon, Retiring 5th Grade Teacher

Katrina McMahon is a 1981 graduate of Sullivan County High School, and a native of Dushore. She worked at her parent’s gas station during her high school years, changing tires, pumping gas, and making deliveries. After graduation, she attended Bloomsburg University, graduating with a degree in Early Childhood Education in 1986. Katrina earned certification in Elementary Education (K-8) in 1988. She and her husband, Joe, have lived in New Albany for their entire marriage, raising their two sons. In 2020, they moved into their new home in New Albany.


Katrina held long and short term substitute positions at Wyalusing, Sullivan County, and Saint Agnes. She also taught preschool at the Barclay Friends School. Katrina feels fortunate to have been a stay at home mom for many years. For two years, she served as the Arts in Education Coordinator for the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, before being hired permanently by WASD. She started mid-year of the 1998-99 school year, and worked as the Instructional Support Teacher for the former New Albany, Camptown and Laceyville Elementary Schools. She then moved to teaching fourth grade at Camptown Elementary for four years. After this, Katrina took the fifth grade teaching position at New Albany Elementary, until the consolidation of schools. Since her former home bordered the elementary school, she states, “I could see my house from my classroom, students got a kick out of looking out the window and letting me know my dogs were out or my husband was home.”


At WVES, Katrina taught Math, Reading, and Science to fifth grade students, until the present school year. With official retirement, in January 2022, she will return to the elementary school as a volunteer and substitute teacher a few days a week.


“I feel gratitude to all the people and children I have worked with over the years and being given the opportunity to do a job I absolutely love!”

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SUBSCRIBE to The Wyalusing Area School District Calendar!

Stay up-to-date with all of the Wyalusing Area School District scheduled holidays and events by subscribing to our calendar! Visit https://www.wyalusingrams.com/events and select your preferred calendar option from the drop-down menu.
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The mission of the Wyalusing Area Education Foundation (WAEF) is to provide additional funding and support to the Wyalusing Area School District to enrich, maintain, and expand innovative educational improvement. The tremendous support of the WAEF and community has helped to enhance learning experiences and make a positive impact in the lives of our students and faculty members.


You can help make a difference:


2022 Wyalusing Area Education Foundation Spring Fling

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022

Time: 6:00pm

Location: Black Walnut American Legion Bingo Hall


Shop AmazonSmile

Consider making your Amazon purchases through smile.amazon.com, where you can select the WAEF as your charitable organization. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases.