Pennridge High instructor earns national award

Posted: October 03, 2002

Helping students find connections between math and everyday activities is Michael White's job. His enthusiasm in leading them to those discoveries has earned the Pennridge High School teacher national recognition.

White is among 18 teachers who will be honored next month with the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement. The teachers were singled out for exemplary teaching and dedication to the advanced placement program. Each will receive $1,000 at a dinner Nov. 22 at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

The College Board selected the teachers for the award, which is sponsored by the Siemens Foundation of New Jersey. The College Board established the advanced placement program, which gives high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses and exams.

White, who teaches four advanced placement calculus courses this year, introduced the Pennridge School District to the College Board's vertical team program for math. The program brings together math teachers in the middle schools and high school about four times a year. During summers, White trains other teachers to use the vertical team approach.

He also is a member of a committee that writes questions for advanced placement exams.

White, who graduated from Pennridge High School in East Rockhill in 1971 and has been a teacher in the district for 26 years, won honorable mention for the award last year.

"When you're in such a select group, you're astonished you're chosen," he said.


Four schools will participate in Project 540, a national initiative to teach the value of civic responsibility and service.

Upper Dublin High School and Upper Moreland High School in Montgomery County and Morrisville Middle-Senior High School and New Hope-Solebury High School in Bucks County have been selected for the project, funded by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The University of Pennsylvania will work with these schools to form small discussion groups to encourage students to talk about issues that concern them and explore ways to contribute to their communities.

Several students from each school will attend seminars at Penn next week on facilitating group discussion.

Stacie Molnar-Main, project coordinator for the 25 participating schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said that Project 540 was named to push students one step - or 180 degrees - beyond a 360-degree turn, which would lead them back to where they started.

Bucks County

Kirsti Kraus, a junior at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, won third place in a national poster contest on statistics. Her poster, "Does Where You Live Affect How You Will Die?" also took third place in the state competition.

Daniel McFarlane, a Neshaminy High junior, won first place in the state competition for his poster titled, "Is Driving Becoming Safer in Pennsylvania?"

McFarlane's and Kraus' posters were sent to the national contest, along with Pennsylvania's honorable mention winners, Tyson Moyer and Charles Castiglione, both juniors at Neshaminy. The students made the posters as an assignment for Diane McCollick's honors math class.

Works of art by four students from the Pennsbury School District were selected for display in the superintendent's office in Fallsington through the school year.

The works include a landscape of historic Fallsington by Graham Kronk, who went to Pennsylvania State University after graduating from Pennsbury High School in June.

The other pieces, which were selected at the Pennsbury Art Fair in the spring, are a pencil drawing by high school student Angelene Padovano; a watercolor that Amanda Hirko painted when she was an eighth grader at Pennwood Middle School; and a watercolor by Kimber Rago when she was a fifth grader at Penn Valley Elementary School.

St. Michael the Archangel School in Levittown will hold a high school information night Monday for seventh and eighth graders and their parents. Representatives from archdiocesan schools will attend the session from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the school, 130 Levittown Parkway. For information, call 215-943-0222.

Montgomery County

Students from the Souderton Area School District will take an active role all next week in the annual celebration of Indian Valley, which includes the Souderton and Lansdale areas.

Students from the Interact Club at Indian Crest Junior High School will run children's games during the opening ceremony Saturday at Franconia Park on Allentown Road. A country-western jamboree is scheduled for 1:30 to 6 p.m.

An arts gala from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Indian Valley Public Library in Telford will include artworks by district students and a performance by the high school show choir. During the day, about 60 high school students will shadow business professionals at work.

Future Business Leaders of America members will volunteer during a business expo from noon to 7 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Indian Valley Country Club in Telford.

Other activities during the week will include a concert by church choirs on Sunday; food tasting on Wednesday; and a corporate volleyball tournament on Oct. 11. For information, call 215-723-9472.

Police, firefighters and rescue workers attended a luncheon in their honor last month at Shady Grove Elementary School in Whitpain. Students in second through fifth grades joined more than 20 honored guests for lunch. Margaret Johnston, a third-grade teacher, and Jim Sando, a fifth-grade teacher, helped coordinate the event.

Christel Huxley and Cheryl Jogan, world language teachers at Abington Junior High School, attended the weeklong Pennsylvania Governor's Institute for world language educators this summer at Marywood University in Scranton. The teachers, who received full scholarships to attend, made lesson plans based on the state's academic standards and explored the use of technology for global learning.

The American Association of Teachers of French has recognized Emily Wagner of Germantown Academy Middle School with one of its four national awards for teaching excellence. Wagner, who has taught at the Fort Washington school since 1980, received $400 as a recipient of the annual Dorothy S. Ludwig Excellence in Teaching French Award. She organizes student exchange trips to France and Canada, presents workshops, and is faculty adviser to the student council, school newspaper, and foreign language club.

The North Montco Technical Career Center will hold an open house from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Visitors can talk with instructors and tour the school, at 1265 Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale. For information, call 215-368-1177.

Contact Valerie Reed at 215-702-7806 or

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