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
Janet Lawrence —
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
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 —
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
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
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 —
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
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
Terrica Fowler — Middle
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
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
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
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
Mike is a wealth of
information, helps with finding and locating information.
Mary Ann Hill — Middle
Maryann has a positive
attitude, has inspirational lesson plans, and loves students.
Darlene Medvetz — Middle
Darlene is honest,
organized, and to the point—very helpful.
Lori Schirk — Middle
Lori is always helpful and
always has a joke to cheer us up.
Kathy Kanaskie — Middle
Kathy helped me with a
student. Without her, I don’t know how we would have made it through the 7-1/2
Ellen Clarke — Middle
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
Mark Ottinger — Middle
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
Chris Okonski — Middle
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
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
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
Danielle Ecker — High
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
Popi Protheroe — High
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
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
Diane Earnshaw — High
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.
R. Bush — Business Administrator
dedication to the students and staff of the
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.
Surman — Crossing Guard
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.
Ellison — Middle School
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.
Coulter — Middle School
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.
Ingram — Middle School
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.
Angelo — Middle School
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.
Leibold — Middle School
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
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
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.
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.
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 -
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
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 -
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 -
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
Bruce Brungard - Middle School Teacher
Bruce spends hours of extra time working with
students for Science Olympics,
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
As a leader of the Special Education Department in
the middle school,
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.
always has a positive outlook and is a great role model for both staff and
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
and has risen to the challenge of sacrificing her time and energy to help
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
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
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
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