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Superintendents Award


"You Make A Difference"

The administration and the school board recognize that the members of the Pottstown School District’s professional and support staff are dedicated individuals who daily make a positive commitment to our school and community.

The Superintendent’s Award is intended to bestow recognition and appreciation on those individuals who go above and beyond the norm in their commitment to our students. The recipients of the award represent the efforts of ALL our fine staff. However, special individual recognition is important.

The Superintendent’s Award will be presented throughout the year based on recommendations received in the Community Relations Office in writing or at (610) 323-6274. All staff can make a recommendation.

MAY 2005

Eileen Schlegel, Crystal Williams, Scott Saylor, Phil McCartin — Parks & Recreation/Ricketts Center

All staff have served admirably under very stressful conditions.  I believe it would  be fitting for the Pottstown School District to recognize their efforts on behalf of the district and community.  Often we are called upon by the district to provide support with programs, events, and various functions in support of the district’s efforts. 


Janet Lawrence — Executive Secretary

Janet is helpful to all who call or visit the office, regardless if it is a personnel issue.  She models a “customer first” attitude and accepts additional responsibility.  She is always ready to do a good job.  


Rita Cohen — Supervisor of  Sp. Ed. , Secondary

Mrs. Cohen has served as a special education supervisor at the middle school and high school levels for over 7 years.  She manages a large staff of both professional and support positions, as well as addressing a large number of out-of-district placements.  Rita’s professionalism and expertise are recognized and appreciated by her department and peers.  Her council and friendship are valued by her supervisor.  Rita Cohen is more than worthy of this recognition.


Mary McMahon — Barth School

Mary’s after school duty is to supervise the third grade hallway.  When the last bus is called (82) and her duty has ended, she always goes outside to help Mr. Boyd supervise these students.  On several different occasions, she has stayed well past her assigned time (past 4:00) to offer her assistance.


Ann Hayer/Judy Friend — Edgewood School

Ann and Judy work as a true team, addressing some of the most challenging behaviors and learning problems.  They remain positive, supportive, and amazingly effective in helping young students negotiate the world of school and progress as “whole children!”


Thomas Daniels — Edgewood School

Every morning, before school, Tom comes in early and helps water, weed, and feed all indoor and courtyard plants.  Edgewood is a more beautiful building because of Tom’s tireless effort. 


Kathy Porter — Edgewood School

Mrs. Porter consistently works to help all students and staff at Edgewood.  Her calmness and caring manner are displayed everyday as she helps students at breakfast and lunch time.  Her concern for all students is evident each day when she takes the extra time to assist any student who needs some special attention or just a kind word or deed.  Everyone at Edgewood truly appreciates Mrs. Porter’s hard work and friendliness.


Diane Nash/Mia DiPaolo — Franklin School

There was a tragic fire that claimed the life of a father of a Franklin student and severely injured a high school student.  Mrs. DiPaolo and Mrs. Nash supported the family at Pottstown Hospital and also transported the mother of the high school student to Lehigh University Hospital at 7:00 p.m. in the evening.  This level is exemplary and going above and beyond to support our children and their families in a time of need.


Robin Anderson — Lincoln School

Robin is a consummate professional.  She goes above and beyond in her planning and preparation through her exhaustive bank of resources/creativity in which all intelligences and learning styles are utilized.  She not only plans and coordinates exciting field trips but also finds ways (sponsorships, etc.) to help defray costs to our students.  She has shared her expertise with several students teachers and has been a great resource and source of support for the array of new teachers at her grade level. 


Terrica Fowler — Middle School

Mrs. Folwer brings a smile and a helping hand to any teacher or student in need everyday.  I have observed her special caring touch on not one occasion, but on a daily basis.  To her students, she is a combination of strict discipline with a caring demeanor.


Kevin Downes — Middle School

Kevin Downes contributes time and energy well beyond the normal school day.  His latest undertaking is the after school program.  There is a huge amount of work behind the scenes - from getting snacks and prizes to rearranging the tutoring class lists when new students show up daily.  Her also takes the time to make phone calls to parents of students who qualify for the program who haven’t yet signed up.  Not only does Kevin do so much for the middle school, but he helps his colleagues as well.  During a rainstorm, he fixed a flat tire after school and he also helped a colleague with a dead car battery.  What a great guy!


Bruce Brungard — Middle School

Bruce has given countless hours of guidance to students in the Science Olympiad and Student of the Month.  These programs would not be a part of PMS if it were not for Mr. Brungard.


Kristen O’Dell — Middle School

I feel that Kristen O’Dell has gone above and beyond her commitment to our students and staff.  Mrs. O’Dell is an excellent teacher.  Her classroom, as well as her students’ work, exemplifies pride, artistic beauty, and knowledge of all subjects.  She enjoys teaching and caring for animals.  She conducts a food drive each year for pets and her students learn a lot about pets from stories in their readers.  Mrs. O’Dell takes an extension to the reading of pets by writing stories about pets and the food drive she conducts for pets in shelters. 

Mrs. O’Dell doesn’t stop there, going above and beyond her classroom teaching.   The Philadelphia Phillies sponsored a writing contest for the entire area.  The title of the contest was “Be a Phanatic About Reading.”  Mrs. O’Dell was one of the few teachers who entered from our district and her class won the contest.  Her students won this contest because she made it enjoyable for the students to read and write.  The entire Middle School profited from this assignment by having an assembly with the Philly Phanatic coming to our school.  The Mercury was here and all in all, it was positive publicity for our school.  Mrs. O’Dell also volunteered to instruct underprivileged children to learn how to play golf.  The program was sponsored by Police Athletic League.  Kirsten taught the students golf skills, putting, driving, the rules of the game, and etiquette for one week in August.  Kristen is also the Social Director for the Pottstown Federation of Teachers.  Her lively, friendly personality makes her an outstanding educator, leader, team player, and friend.  With this being said, I feel that Kristen O’Dell does make a difference and deserves the Superintendent’s Award for going above and beyond the normal commitments to our students and staff!


Mike Freed — Middle School

Mike is a wealth of information, helps with finding and locating information.


Mary Ann Hill — Middle School

Maryann has a positive attitude, has inspirational lesson plans, and loves students.


Darlene Medvetz — Middle School

Darlene is honest, organized, and to the point—very helpful.


Lori Schirk — Middle School

Lori is always helpful and always has a joke to cheer us up.


Kathy Kanaskie — Middle School

Kathy helped me with a student.  Without her, I don’t know how we would have made it through the 7-1/2 week cycle.


Ellen Clarke — Middle School

Ellen always provides a warm and caring environment in the Guidance Office.  She is always willing to go the extra mile for a student or staff members.  Ellen helps our new students feel welcomed and safe.  Her tender heart and gentle way help us “feel better” every day!


Mark Ottinger — Middle School

Mark is like a big  brother  (notice I didn’t say father) to most of the sixth grade teachers.  He is always available to offer advice and guidance to his students, as well.  Mark has made his home phone number available to parents and they do not hesitate to phone him.  Even his students have been known to phone him for help on an assignment.  It is difficult to imagine this school without him.

Mr. Ottinger organizes and leads our annual Spelling Bee.  He has been doing this for years and each Bee is competitive, entertaining, and rewarding for the participants, student body, and staff.  He recently became the content leader in mathematics and serves as a mentor.


Chris Okonski — Middle School

Chris Okonski or Mr. O is a favorite among the students at the Pottstown Middle School because of his outgoing personality and vast knowledge of computer technology.  There is often a waiting list to finish things in his room 9th period.  He is also very helpful to the faculty by assisting teachers with computer problems and helping them use technology in the classroom. 

Mr. Okonski always has time to lend a hand to the faculty and students.

Chris supports the building with creative audio-visual activities.  The AV Department has never functioned with such enthusiasm.  The entire staff and student body have enjoyed the new blood in the AV Department.  Chris also finds time to participate in the after school tutoring program and is a mentor for this year’s Science Olympiad team.


Levert Hughes — Middle School

Levert Hughes is such an important part of our Middle School staff.  He deals with a very diverse group in his room every day that are usually all behavior problems.  He devotes time outside the school day to our students as well, for example: detention, football, basketball.  The Middle School thanks him for his dedication!


Karen Kemmerer — High School

Karen is probably one of the hardest workers I know.  She does a lot of work on her own time, especially in the summer with scheduling.  She appreciates me as a valuable resource and lets me know it.  I know if I need something, she can either get  it or knows who can.


Danielle Ecker — High School

Danielle has made my transition to gifted teacher as smooth as possible.  She has given up countless extra hours to help me understand the job.  She has also volunteered to chaperone on our field trips:  rock climbing, laser tag, University of Virginia, etc.


Popi Protheroe — High School

Popi is an excellent role model for commitment and dedication to her students at PHS.  Even through the tragic events of losing her home to a fire, Popi puts her game face on everyday here at PHS.  She’s a great teacher and colleague.


Megan DeLena — High School

Megan has, for the past three years, organized the winter athletic concession stand through an outreach program that has included all of our co-curricular organizations giving them a vehicle for additional fundraising opportunities.  This past year she has helped organize additional methods of fundraising through half-time and promotional activities.


Diane Earnshaw — High School

Upon entering the new school year, I was put into pre-algebra as well as algebra classes.  I was terrified because math wasn’t my forte.  How could I best serve the students?  I went into those classes with a low expectancy but because of Mrs. Earnshaw’s skills, communicating, knowledge, patience, and willingness, I now find these maths to be very stimulating, challenging, and my level of expectancy has risen to a new height.  Ms. Earnshaw is a very caring, patient, and willing individual.  Her classroom mannerisms are over and beyond.  My learning has now enabled me to interact with the students.  The students challenge me, not realizing they are learning and enjoying it both at the same time.  Kudos to Ms. Earnshaw for the guidance and help she continually gives both to myself as well as the students.




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James R. Bush — Business Administrator 

Jim’s dedication to the students and staff of the Pottstown School District is obvious. His dependability, professionalism, and devotion are without question the very qualities that make him an indispensable member of our team. He has successfully transitioned from the use of overhead projectors to working with video projection, using Microsoft PowerPoint software. His enthusiasm and willingness to adapt to new technologies while presenting extremely complex concepts throughout the budget process is admirable.

Karen Surman — Crossing Guard 

Because Karen exercised prudent judgment, a potentially dangerous situation was averted. At the opening of school, a first grade youngster was inadvertently listed as a walking student instead of a bus student. Mrs. Surman observed the youngster walking home, knowing that they would have to cross Route 100. She alertly addressed the situation by bringing the youngster back to the school and ensuring that the child was escorted home.

Elaine Ellison — Middle School 

Miss Ellison readily volunteered to be a part of “Community for Learning Project” and took steps to learn and produced education centers in her classroom. She volunteered to lead and help orient our staff in techniques and procedures.

Patrick Coulter — Middle School 

Patrick is a child centered educator who oversees the Star Reading Assessment and Accelerated Reading programs. He assisted in the organization of the sixth grade intramural program and is a member of the Crisis Response Team. He frequently volunteers to chaperone night activities and has helped sponsor and participate in a number of organizational fundraisers. He also serves as a teaching mentor.

Alejandra Ingram — Middle School 

Alex has a demonstrated dedication and commitment to supporting the students in the middle school. Because of her constant tutoring, monitoring, and caring, her students are able to achieve their educational goals. She has a wonderful rapport with students and staff and spreads her sense of humor and positive enthusiastic manner to all that she comes into contact with.

Ginger Angelo — Middle School 

Ginger is our community relations liaison and is responsible for providing middle school newsworthy information to the public. She helps get the good news out concerning the achievements of our students, staff, and organizations. She also serves in our “League of Teachers.” She is a positive part of our staff.

Kelly Leibold — Middle School 

Kelly took it upon herself to volunteer to be supervisor of the middle school yearbook project. She did not hesitate to lend her efforts to this non-paid position. Kelly filled the vacuum and organized students and staff to produce a quality edition of our yearbook. Much of the work for this project is done after school hours.


MAY 2004

Beth Yoder - Barth Elementary Art Teacher

Beth makes herself available to provide support to all members of the Barth community.  She is a willing volunteer and participant in all of the initiatives taking place at Barth.  Her expertise in many areas and willingness to help are limitless.   

Kelli Wolfel - Barth Elementary Lead Teacher Fifth Grade

Kelli is a valued member of the "Barth Family" as "lead teacher."  She makes herself available to support staff, students, and parents.  Kelli is an open-minded, creative problem solver whose enthusiasm and passion as an educator are evident every day.  

Orlando Taylor - Rupert Elementary Principal

Mr. Taylor has been principal of Rupert for two years and the staff would like to show its appreciation for his commitment and dedication to our school and community.  Orlando was instrumental in obtaining grant money to initiate a Balanced Literacy Program at Rupert.  His honesty, integrity, and optimism are evident every day.  Under his leadership, Rupert is a place where both teachers and students can realize their full potential.  

Patty Murray - Edgewood Elementary Secretary

On a daily basis, Mrs. Murray handles attendance, lunch count, and tardiness in the building.  She fields calls and answers questions from parents.  She secures supplies for teachers and handles any problem they may have.  She treats the children with respect and dignity and always does it with a smile.   

Stephanie Blanchard - Middle School Special Education Teacher

Stephanie is very committed to her own students often going to their homes to assist them.  She also co-chairs the Student Council which entails a substantial amount of time including meetings, dances, and the school store.  On many occasions, she goes over and beyond the call of duty.  She has provided personal assistance to many students well beyond the school day.  Our students are fortunate to have such a caring, compassionate educator.  

Karen Brown - Edgewood Elementary Teacher

Karen organizes Edgewood ’s Reading Olympics teams.  She makes sure that books are purchased for the teams and organizes after school reading discussions so that the teams are prepared.  She makes sure that a snack is provided for students, and adults are organized to discuss the books with the students.  Because of her dedication, our students have been able to excel in the Reading Olympics Program.  

Pam Kaas - Lincoln Elementary Fifth Grade Learning Support

Pam always does more than what is required.  She helps to carry out accommodations on a daily basis and serves as a liaison for the special education room and the mainstream room.  She takes numerous materials home so that there is a smooth transition for her students.  She will also add to the regular education classroom lessons.  She is more of a teaching partner than an assistant.

Joel Alutius - High School Social Studies

Joel has continually raised the bar of expectations in his class over the past several years.  He has taken a leadership role in the development of our Graduation Project Committee.  The graduation project is a major component of our students’ high school career and Joel has been instrumental in helping all of the staff facilitate the process.  He oversees the massive coordination effort of each student’s graduation project.  

Bruce Brungard - Middle School Teacher

Bruce spends hours of extra time working with students for Science Olympics, Learning Center , and Optimist Club Student of the Month Awards.  His efforts have helped our students develop self-esteem and pride in our schools.  

Sandy Zuchero - Middle School Special Education Teacher

As a leader of the Special Education Department in the middle school, Sandy goes above and beyond the call of duty providing support to specialized teachers, classroom assistants, and regular education teachers.  She has been instrumental in giving the eighth grade students cultural experiences by planning trips for them.  Sandy always has a positive outlook and is a great role model for both staff and students.   

Eileen Undorfer - High School Math

In an effort to maintain the high expectations and rigors of Trigonometry and Honors Trigonometry, Eileen has given her planning time and combined classes with Mr. Troutman’s class.  She is a second year teacher at Pottstown and has risen to the challenge of sacrificing her time and energy to help our students.  

Robin Laysears-Smith - High School Director of Career & Tech. Ed.

On a daily basis, Robin completes many tasks which are necessary for the smooth running of the Career Technology Department.  She always does it with a smile on her face and a wonderful attitude.  She brings laughter and fun to teachers and students alike.  

Bryan Rendina - High School Math

Mr. Rendina is always available to students for math help or to assist them with their personal problems.  Every day he arrives to his room early and leaves late.  He is available at all times to assist students.  Recently, he has made himself available to Trigonometry students for additional help while their regular teacher is out for medical reasons.   

Stephanie Vigliotta - Pupil Services

Stephanie goes the extra mile in every one of her responsibilities — in-depth evaluations, collaboration with teachers and team members, assisting co-workers, and providing leadership.  It is obvious that she really cares about her students and she is an advocate and role model for our profession.  

Sandy Heidel - Middle School

Mrs. Heidel is extremely helpful with the I.U. students.  She reiterates directions in a simplified manner for the students to easily understand.  Her kindness towards these children reflects daily in their eagerness to learn and pleasure to please.  

Randy Blackwell - High School Proctor

Randy is conscious of the importance of his job as a proctor and hall monitor.  He serves as a role model for students and staff.  His dedication to the students of PHS is obvious.  He enjoys his daily interactions with students and supports them by attending many after school events.  

Laura Lee Kunka - Barth Elementary Reading Specialist

Laura Lee is an inspiration to the entire staff.  She organizes the yearly Read Across America activities and on a day-to-day basis makes a difference in the lives of our students and staff.  

Amy Downes - Barth Elementary Special Education Teacher

Mrs. Downes is very dedicated to her students.  She deals with many behavioral issues throughout the day but continues to maintain a positive attitude.  She is always able to direct students’ behaviors in a positive way through a smile on her face and a kind word.  

Frank Dorkoskie - Barth Elementary Custodian

Frank goes above and beyond on a daily basis to keep the building immaculate.  He takes particular pride in the floors and he is always available to support students and staff throughout the day.

Cathy Collins - Barth Elementary Title I Assistant

Cathy is a very positive, child-centered member of the Barth community.  She accepts each and every assignment or scheduled disruption that comes her way with a smile and the determination to get the job done at the highest possible level.  When called upon to be a substitute teacher on any given day, she does a great job with all grade levels.

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MARCH 2004

Caroline Haley- Administrative Building 

SuperMarch049.jpg (44203 bytes) Caroline has worked as a volunteer (not part of Golden Sage) in the Business Office for approximately two years. She has increased her volunteer efforts from two days a week to three. When there is a holiday the day she would normally work, she changes her schedule so that she can come in to work in the office. Although she normally works nine hours a week, she always stays longer if job she is doing is not done. In the last two years, she has volunteered over 500 hours. When she started, she had never used a computer. She is now very proficient with the computer and looks forward to learning additional work in the Business Office.

Valerie Reifsneider- Technology Department

SuperMarch0410.jpg (42867 bytes) Valerie was nominated by members of High School staff in recognition of her prompt and efficient response to their technology concerns. Recently, she installed the Basic Math Series on a network of 30 computers in three different locations. During the same visit, she installed additional software in the PLATO Lab that is utilized by students as part of a mini grant. Her positive and pleasant personality is a reflection on the entire school district.

Karen Kozak- Food Service 

SuperMarch048.jpg (34450 bytes) Karen was nominated by the Business Office to commend and recognize her efforts in accepting new duties regarding the financial the financial processing of the Food Service Department. Recently, the computer systems were networked and Karen had access to do the Fund Accounting entries for Mr. Heller. Karen always very conscientious and works with the Business Office to ensure that everything is done properly is done properly. She did an excellent job in the implementation of the new procedures. She has demonstrated her dedication and commitment to excellent. 

Stephen Allen- Middle School

SuperMarch041.jpg (32575 bytes) Mr. Allen took initiative to lead the Middle School Crisis Response Team. Through his leadership and experience, the team benefited from the practice sessions which were initiated. He has an eye for detail which has dramatically improved the team's effectiveness. The team successfully executed their duties during a real "Code Red" situation.

Louise Daniels- Middle School

SuperMarch044.jpg (33713 bytes) Mrs. Daniels has volunteered her time to help help organize the middle school awards and promotion programs. Both productions were successful due to her efforts and leadership. She plays an important role in success of the middle school.

Sylvia Landis- Middle School

SuperMarch043.jpg (34592 bytes) For the past five years, Mrs. Landis has volunteered her personal time to sponsor the middle school yearbook. She is responsible for organizing the pages, photographs, and distribution of the books. She never fails to meet a deadline and has provided our students and staff with memorable moments of their middle school experience. 

Vanessa Barnaik- Middle School

SuperMarch042.jpg (33852 bytes) Vanessa consistently volunteers her personal time for additional middle school activities. She has taken part in the I'MPACT Team, Climate Committee, and finds time to sponsor Student Council. She consistently spends time after school with students providing extra help. Her positive and enthusiastic manner is infectious to staff and students alike.

Dennis Laub- Middle School 

SuperMarch045.jpg (33382 bytes) Mr. Laub is always outside of the classroom setting encourage and provide assistance for his students. He willingly shares his expertise and experience with the younger members of the professional staff. He is an asset to the morale of the building with a positive attitude and upbeat personality. With over over 30 years of experience in the district, he is stabilizing factor for the younger members of the staff and always offers realistic solutions to problems. 

Debbie Gratzinger- Barth Elementary School

SuperMarch046.jpg (53833 bytes) Debbie has volunteered her time during the school day to take responsibility for managing the Barth computer lab. She troubleshoots problems, enters students into the computers, and provides backup data and assistance to the Barth and Lincoln teachers. Her assistance has helped to make the Fast ForWord Program a success.

Sharon Butler- Barth Elementary School

SuperMarch047.jpg (54130 bytes)Sharon recognized that Mrs. Fanelli was in need of an electric stove to utilize with her fourth grade EMR children as part of life skills component on cooking. Sharon and her husband purchased and donated a new four burner electric stove and oven to the Barth School.

June 2003

Mr. Keith Grant, High School Business Department

SuperAwardJune03_1.jpg (500737 bytes)Never a day goes by that Keith does not go out of his way to challenge his students to try something new. He spends countless hours trying to come up with the latest in innovative and creative problems. He is frequently seen in his classroom after school providing assistance to those students who are behind or having problems. Many students who do not have Mr. Grant as a teacher have come to him for assistance in trying to resolve computer problems. He never turns anyone away and always encourages students to come to him for help. As a member of the Advisor/Advisee program, he frequently schedules extra after school sessions to guide a student in the scheduling process, career pathway choices, or other issues that the students may want to talk about. 

Mrs. Mary Cutillo, High School Science Department

Mrs. Cutillo is a dedicated teacher and role model beyond the classroom. She has given many yearsSuperAwardJune03_2.jpg (490455 bytes) of service as the sponsor for our Academic Challenge Team. The Academic Challenge program helps our students appreciate the value of education. She has volunteered her time to create, organize, and present the annual elementary science programs. Elementary students are encouraged to develop their interest and show enthusiasm for the world of science. As part of the program, she has mentored high school students to serve as assistants and presenters at the elementary schools.  

Mrs. Sally House, High School Music Department

SuperAwardJune03_3.jpg (487507 bytes)Mrs. House has provided many years of dedicated service to our students and the school district. Her attention to detail and her ability to motivate and encourage students to strive for excellence is evident in the many student programs which she presents. She willingly volunteers many extra hours of service to provide musical programs for community groups. Her tireless efforts as music director of our All-District Musicals are recognized by everyone who comes in contact with her .

Mrs. Cynthia Hussmann, Middle School Classroom Assistant

Mrs. Cynthia Hussmann has been a loyal and dedicated employee for 24 years. She is the type of person whoSuperAwardJune03_4.jpg (512960 bytes) willingly steps in to offer her assistance without thought of recognition or reward. This past year , she volunteered to organize a sales committee for the school yearbook. Through her excellent organizational and sales skills, the middle school sold a record number of yearbooks.

Mrs. Diane Halpine, Middle School Language Arts Department

SuperAwardJune03_5.jpg (506418 bytes)Mrs. Halpine takes a personal approach to her students. She continually shows compassion and thoughtfulness in her day-to-day duties. She initiated a "good news" letter to the parents of her students. Through her efforts, parents have an opportunity to hear positive remarks about their children's progress in school. Diane's efforts have helped to encourage parental involvement at Pottstown Middle School.

Mrs. Lisa Rossi, Middle School Art Department

Mrs. Rossi has brought a new level of enthusiasm and interest to the middle school art program. She activelySuperAwardJune03_6.jpg (535534 bytes) engages her students in the creative process. This year through her coordinated efforts, the middle school presented its first art show. The hallways and ceilings of the middle school building were beautified by the various art forms and creative efforts of her students. Mrs. Rossi used art projects as a means of connecting the academic classroom material to artistic projects.

May 2003

Steve Sobolesky and Paul Woodley sponsored the middle school project "American Pride."  The program provided our students with an opportunity to show support for the men and women of our military.  Over 300 student letters were written and 20 boxes of supplies were collected and sent to our troops in Iraq.  Our students learned a valuable lesson through this worthy project. 

Larry Friend takes great pride in maintaining the high school building.  He recognizes the value of a well-kept facility.  On February 18, after a 24 inch snowfall, Larry took it upon himself to provide transportation for the high school custodians and Mrs. Dixon, the school secretary.  Through his efforts, he made sure that everyone was able to have a safe way to work, which resulted in the high school building being able to be cleared for the opening of school.

Debbie Kraft is a dedicated employee who quietly goes about her daily chores at the middle school.  She diligently works to keep the building in pristine condition.  She can always be found giving assistance to students and staff whenever called upon.

Margaret Williams has supported both students and staff through many trials and tribulations.  Her efforts in coordinating the services of the guidance department, sometimes under extreme pressure, are evidence of her strong character, compassion, and professional expertise.


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April 2003

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Major Paul Fitz-Patrick and. Sgt. Don MacNeil-Junior Air Force ROTC

The Air Force Junior ROTC Program is in its eighth year at Pottstown High School and presently enrolls over 90 cadets. Your leadership is responsible for continued high enrollment in a program that significantly contributes to the positive climate at Pottstown High School. You consistently support the JROTC Mission which is to educate and train high school students in citizenship, promote community service, instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline, while at the same time providing instruction in air and space fundamentals. Our young people have benefited from your strong promotion of the Air Force Concept of Core Values-"Integrity First," "Service Before Self," and "Excellence In All We Do."

Outside of the classroom, cadets participate in numerous community service projects and extracurricular activities and field trips. You have coordinated and supervised students to provide numerous school and community service projects. Through your efforts, our students have had the opportunity to meet role models and speakers who have made a significant impact on their lives. You consistently give freely of your personal time to supervise after school activities. Our students' participation this year in the Summer Leadership School, held at Ft. Dix/Mcguire Air Force Base, provided them with once in a lifetime opportunities.

November 2002

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James Corum — Career Developer

Mr. Corum’s efforts are instrumental in assisting our students to make the transition from school to career.  Through his personal efforts, many of our young people have gained valuable workplace experience.  He has spent countless hours developing a community tennis association.  Through his efforts, sponsorships and partnerships have been developed which have provided the opportunity for many of our students to experience recreational tennis. 

Karen Shaner— Payroll and Grants Coordinator

Karen was instrumental in developing a partnership with the Levitz Corporation.  Through her time and effort, the district was able to secure many pieces of office furniture.  Serving as a representative of the school district, Karen’s efforts provided much needed resources for many of our staff, and, at the same time, the district was able to realize a considerable savings from this project. 

Vicki Mutter—Middle School Instructional Aide

 Everyday, Vicki offers her time and talents to students and teachers across all grade levels.  Her involvement in the district includes many volunteer hours as a PTA parent, cafeteria monitor, and homework center resource person.  Vicki can also be found at many athletic events encouraging our students and coaches.  She goes out of her way to support the children of our middle school.

Mary Palladino — Sixth Grade Teacher

Through Mrs. Palladino’s initiative, she has established a tutor program for middle school second opportunity students.  Throughout the first marking period, during after school hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, she provides the guidance and assistance for students to be able to achieve success.       She truly works at making a difference in children’s lives.

Gemma Patten — Lincoln Elementary School Nurse

Gemma is continuously coordinating and organizing classroom presentations for students.  These presentations include seminars on bike safety, playground safety, physical fitness, and hospital awareness.  Gemma also works with the Pottstown Memorial Medical Center and the Montgomery County Health Department to vary the offerings every year and find programs that coincide with the curriculum.  Gemma has also made the faculty and staff at Lincoln a priority by offering a healthy challenge each year.  This challenge annually motivates the faculty and lifts the moral of our building.  In addition to these extra undertakings, Gemma also performs her daily routine with love and care for each student.  She goes out of her way to meet individual needs with compassion.  Lincoln Elementary School would not be the same without her.

Michael Yonas --- Maintenance Mechanic

For over 30 years, Mike has provided the district with the needed services to help maintain the physical appearance of our facilities.  During the high school renovations, Mike went the extra step by treating his painting assignment of the interior of the senior high like it was his own home.  His preparation and execution of skill resulted in  a beautiful school for our students and staff.  He works tirelessly in his job and always has a positive and supportive personality.


October 2002


Denise Elliott - Middle School Hall and Cafeteria Supervisor (for the last six years); Middle School Classroom Assistant (presently)

Mrs. Elliott’s supervision was a major contributing factor to the success of the middle school lunchroom.  She communicated well with all children and was kind and loving to them, while at the same time setting a high standard of expectations for student behavior.  Much of her success with students is based on her constant role modeling of positive attitude and actions.  She set the same standard of behavior and expectations in her role as middle school greeter.  Each person who entered the building was met by a friendly and warm personality.

Sharon Holloway - Middle School Special Education Teacher

In addition to Mrs. Holloway’s teaching duties, she serves as department chair of special education for the middle school.  She always goes above and beyond the call of duty and is constantly helping staff to problem solve issues related to student behavior, legal issues, or teacher support.  On a daily basis, she gives freely of her time to both students and staff.  Additionally, she has taken on the responsibilities of mentor teacher and sponsor of Junior National Honor Society.

Rita Cohen - Supervisor of Special Education/Secondary

Mrs. Cohen is a true child advocate.  She is constantly working to represent the child while at the same time maintaining the best interest of the Pottstown School District.  Mrs. Cohen has established her ability to work well with students, staff, parents, and administrators.  Her ongoing efforts are responsible for making a positive impact on the future lives of many of our students.  She has also taken on additional responsibilities of serving as chairperson of our Character, Culture, and Diversity Committee.


May 2002 Recipients

Marge Grim - Middle School Nurse

Marge goes above and beyond her call of duty in her care and love for the middle school students and staff. When you’re hurting, either inside or out, she is always there to lend an ear and give a hug. No matter how busy, or the time of the day, Mrs. Grim is there for all of us.

Steve Trievel - Custodian Rupert Elementary School

Mr. Trievel completes the typical custodial responsibilities thoroughly and efficiently. However, it is the non-custodial tasks that make him an integral and essential part of the Rupert staff. On a daily basis, when an extra hand is needed in the kitchen or on the playground, he is there. If a student needs extra positive attention, he gives it. If something breaks, if there is a computer glitch, or if a piece of equipment fails, Mr. Trievel is quick to step forward to assist. When a safety patrol advisor was needed, he offered his services to lead this information group. When the staff needed a captain for the Rupert’s Relay for Life Team, he volunteered. During Rupert’s Olympic study, he was quick to design a torch, help set up a bulletin board, lead our torchbearers around each day, and put together a video. Over and over again, he helps out, takes charge, assists and supports in any way he can. He never says, "That’s not in my job description." He is a dedicated, positive person who is committed to making Rupert the best it can be.

Sandy Frey - Copy Center

Sandy provides an invaluable service to the Pottstown School District and the Parks and Recreation Department. She often goes above and beyond her normal duties to ensure that we have what we need in a timely and efficient manner. She never complains and always has a smile. We appreciate her efforts and without her we simply could not function.

Colleen Blute - Barth Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher

Colleen is a dedicated and positive person and is committed to helping prepare the youth of our community. She designed a "Welcome Booklet" for kindergarten students and parents. The handbook introduces the basic concepts and theories behind our kindergarten program and answers often asked questions. She provides suggestions for how parents and schools can work together. She continually emphasizes the importance of communications and cooperation.

Mike Fiorillo - Custodian Edgewood Elementary School

Mr. Fiorillo deserves special recognition for his dedication to keeping the staff and the children at Edgewood housed in a clean and germ free environment. Mr. Fiorillo comes in before his assigned duty time in disinfect railings, doorknobs, and windows. He delivers teachers’ copy center materials, lamination, and heavy boxes. Mr. Fiorillo is also active in maintaining an incident free lunch period. He has a positive rapport with the children at Edgewood as is evidenced by the cards and pictures hanging in his office. Whenever and however needed, Mr. Fiorillo always extends a helping hand.

Evelyn Dudonis - Senior High Spanish Teacher

Evelyn is dedicated to PHS in and out of school. Language is a very difficult subject to teach, but Evelyn is diligent in trying to impart her knowledge of Spanish to her students. She can always be counted on as a chaperone, mentor, and friend to students.

Robert Fine - Custodian Lincoln Elementary School

Day in and day out, Mr. Fine goes above and beyond the call of duty to make Lincoln Elementary School a warm and friendly place. Recently, my class visited their pen pals at Lincoln Elementary School. Not only were they excited to spend the afternoon with their friends, but they were just as excited to eat lunch in the school’s cafeteria. On Fridays, the Lincoln children are given the opportunity to purchase an ice cream. Since we were not aware of this, and the children did not have money with them, Mr. Fine was kind enough to pay for ice cream for each of my 22 children and any Lincoln child who did not have money that day. Mr. Fine went above and beyond his normal duties as school custodian. He is both a kind and generous individual who is deserving of being recognized for his actions. Many of my children commented how nice he was and how he helped to make their visit an enjoyable one.

Andrea Skokowski - Secretary Lincoln Elementary School

Andrea keeps thousands of details in her head. She has knowledge of a vast variety of things that help keep the school running smoothly. She is caring, competent, capable, and conscientious. Andrea cares deeply about Lincoln Elementary School. She is on top of everything, including student absences, children who move, and families who need help. Andrea provides the roots of our moral support. She works hard to make sure all our students are attending school. Andrea is involved in the school community. She has made connections for some parents who needed to find after school care for their children.


Initial Recipients

Mr. James Tsakonas - Middles School Health Teacher and Senior High Wrestling Coach

James, middle school health and physical education teacher and head coach of the senior high wrestling team, in recognition of his 300th career coaching victory. Mr. Tsakonas becomes one of only ten coaches in southeast Pennsylvania to have received this award in the past 60 years.

Mrs. Lorraine Donnelly- Middle School Guidance Counselor

In recognition of her continued efforts to serve as a liaison for the Latino community and the Pottstown School District.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles and Suzanne Saponsky - Science Teachers

Mr. Saponsky is presently a science teacher at the middle school and Mrs. Saponsky is a retired member of the middle school science department, in recognition of obtaining an $11,000 grant from the Cabot Corporation to assist in the continued development of the middle school science courtyard.


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230 Beech St, Pottstown, PA 19464-0779
Phone: 610-323-8200  -  Fax: 610-326-6540

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