Kennett Inspires Creativity with Art and Music Programs

Eighth grade student Eduardo Guadarrama focuses on learning the guitar.

March is a month to celebrate visual art and music in schools with Youth Art Month, sponsored by the Council for Art Education, and Music in our Schools Month, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education.

Ms. Jessica Williams reviews chords with her students.

The importance of arts in our schools has been proven time and time again. According to the advocacy website, students who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than peers who do not; students who study art are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement

 and school attendance. In the District, arts and music thrive through unique and rigorous programs that cannot be found in other area schools. In March, we celebrate the guitar curriculum at Kennett Middle School and the ceramics and fine art programs at Kennett High School.

At Kennett Middle School, eighth-grade students have the opportunity to learn one of the world’s most popular instruments: the guitar. Between the two of them, music teachers Mrs. Patricia Mancuso and Ms. Jessica Williams have eight sections of guitar classes. The middle school has been offering the class since the 2004–05 school year.

Ms. Williams likes to keep the class contemporary by learning well-known songs like Bill Withers’s “Lean on Me,” While picking up a new instrument is difficult for anyone, with hard work, practice, and a few broken strings, the middle-school students learn to love their new skill. “This class is a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot and I didn’t know anything when I started, but now I can switch chords pretty well,” says eighth-grade student Eduardo Guadarrama, whose favorite song to play is Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”

A performance ensemble like chorus and band or the guitar class can be tough, but there are those who see the advantages. Eighth-grade student Melanie Alvarado says, “It’s nice to have new learning experiences for free.”

The guitars were purchased through funds raised by the Kennett Consolidated School District Friends of Music, a parent-driven nonprofit that supports all music programs in the District, along with startup money from the District.

The students’ enthusiasm for the guitar is a snapshot of the role music education plays in their studies. “It’s really exciting to see students be musically creative, even if they don’t think they’re ‘musically inclined,” adds Ms. Williams. “They’re learning that they can be a part of music, too.”

Over at Kennett High School, students are offered exceptional artistic training in both ceramics and classic artistic mediums. in Mr. Thomas Hironimus’s fine-arts classroom, students study media and techniques like graphite, acrylic, and charcoal.

Eleventh grade student Alexandra Cresci with her oil pastel piece.

“My main goal is to prepare students for later in life, either in a higher education setting or to have the skills to pursue art on their own,” said Mr. Hironimus. He described his own art education and the skills gap he had when pursuing an art degree, which inspired him to go into education. His students are passionate and dedicated to their work; they have achieved high marks at the Chester County High School Art Festival in past years, held at the Chester County Art Association. Kennett High School enters 24 pieces of art every year, out of the nearly 500 pieces from around Chester County, and has placed first in several categories over the past eight years. Mr. Hironimus has even seen parents’ art displayed at local galleries. “We’re lucky to have a community that supports the art program at the high school.”

Students have also found success studying art in higher education, like at the Tyler School of Art, Kutztown University, and Millersville University. Next year, twelfth-grade student Maddie Conlin-Day plans to study textile design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, one of the most prestigious art institutions in the country. “Every day in the art room is a great day,” says Maddie. “I learned everything I know about art here.”

Students looking for something a little more “hands-on” can pursue the ceramics course, a yearlong class that is offered all four years (Most schools only offer an elective like this for part of the year.) “It really allows students to dive deep and hone their skills,” says high-school pottery teacher Mrs. Jodi Davidson.

“It’s a huge confidence builder for a student to take a piece of clay and create things they never thought they could,” adds Mrs. Davidson. “I still fall in love with the craft as a teacher and artist watching my students create.”

Students in the ceramics program begin with foundational skills, hand-building sculptures with clay and creating basic ceramics. 

Tenth grade student Ronan Gorman’s Advanced Level 2 hand thrown mugs.

As they move up, they learn to throw pieces on the wheel and make bigger projects, including sculptural pieces. Projects range from utilitarian tools, like mugs and bowls, to artistic projects, like masks inspired by world cultures.

Mrs. Davidson has been an artist since she was young—in high school, she created her own jewelry and clothing. She pursued her love of art at West Chester University, earning a degree in fine arts. After graduation, Mrs. Davidson fell in love with teaching art and eventually went back to school for her master’s in art education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. “Going to school for art is doable, and I love seeing students pursue their passion for art after high school,” added Mrs. Davidson.

Twelfth grade student Katie Schuetz’s First Year Ceramics lattice cup and teapot pieces.

Even for students who do not pursue art in higher education, participating in the ceramics course cultivates a love for art that

gram is undertaking a mosaic project to decorate the hallways of the art classrooms. The students mold and glaze the tiles in the school and help construct the mosaic, which is projected for completion at the end of the school year. embodies why art education is important. “Having a creative outlet is really important for all people,” added Mrs. Davidson.

Currently, the ceramics program is undertaking a mosaic project to decorate the hallways of the art classrooms. The students mold and glaze the tiles in the school and help construct the mosaic, which is projected for completion at the end of the school year.

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April Parent Conference Schedule Changes

Our Kindergarten Center and Elementary School parent conferences that have been postponed will be rescheduled to Tuesday, April 24, Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26 and will operate on half-day schedules on these dates as follows:

  • Kindergarten Center- 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
  • Elementary Schools– 8:45 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Our Middle School parent conferences will be held on Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26 and will operate on half-day schedules on these dates that begin at 7:40 A.M. and end at 11:30 A.M.

You will receive specific information from your home school in regard to your child’s scheduled parent conference soon after next week’s scheduled Spring Break has concluded.

Please note that all other school days will operate on the regular full day schedule as follows:

  • Kindergarten Center- 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
  • Elementary Schools- 8:45 A.M. – 3:35 P.M.
  • Middle School – 7:40 A.M. – 2:35 P.M.

Nuestras conferencias de padres de la Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center y las escuelas primarias (Bancroft, Greenwood, y New Garden) que han sido pospuestos se reprogramarán para el martes, el 24 de abril, el miércoles, el 25 de abril, y jueves, el 26 de abril y operarán en horarios de medio día en estas fechas de la siguiente manera:

  • Kindergarten Center- 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 PM.
  • Escuelas primarias- 8:45 a.m. – 12:30 PM.

Nuestras conferencias para padres de la Kennett Middle School se llevarán a cabo el miércoles, el 25 de abril, y el jueves, el 26 de abril y operarán en horarios de medio día en estas fechas. Vamos a empezar los días escolares a las 7:40 A.M. y vamos a terminar a las 11:30 a.m.

Usted va a recibir información específica de su escuela con respecto a la conferencia programada para padres de su hijo unos días después de las vacaciones de la primavera la próxima semana.

Tenga en cuenta que todos los demás días escolares operarán en el horario regular de día completo de la siguiente manera:

  • Kindergarten Center- 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 PM.
  • Escuelas primarias- 8:45 a.m. – 3:35 p.m.
  • Escuela Secundaria – 7:40 a.m. – 2:35 p.m.
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Three High School Musicians Selected for Regional Festivals

Bass clarinetist Victoria Gonzalez

Three incredibly talented Kennett High School musicians have been selected to Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Region VI Festivals. These students advanced to Regions based on their auditions at the District level in January. Region VI includes schools in Chester, Delaware, Bucks, and Montgomery counties, as well as the city of Philadelphia.

Victoria Gonzalez (bass clarinet) will be a part of the Region Band Festival, February 22 through 24 at Valley Forge Military Academy.

Participating in the Region Chorus, March 1 through 3 at Central Bucks South High School, will be Abbie Duckworth (alto) and Mirella Petrillo (alto).

Students were required to demonstrate excellence in major and chromatic scales, as well as solo performance, or choral selections, in order to earn the right to participate at Region Festivals. Hopefully, the next step for these students will be the State Festivals. They will audition again at Regions to secure a spot there.

“Region VI is the largest and most competitive region in the state. Congratulations to our students who are representing themselves and Kennett so well,” said Ms. Katie Soukup, Kennett High School Choral Director

“We have sent students to PMEA Regions for the last eight years. Kennett’s high standards of musicianship have ensured that accomplishment,” added Mr. Anton Romano, Director of Bands at Kennett.

Alto singers Abbie Duckworth (L) and Mirella Petrillo (R)

Both Region Band and Region Chorus Festivals culminate in concerts that are open to the public.

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Kennett High School Presents Fiddler on the Roof

Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. Rich in historical and ethnic detail, Fiddler on the Roof‘s universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, touching audiences worldwide with its humor, warmth and honesty.

Logo designed by KHS sophomore Ian Gaadt.

Show dates: March 15 at 7:30 pm, March 16 at 7:30 pm, and March 17 at 2:00 and 7:30 pm

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Kennett High School Celebrates Third Mini-THON

A dedicated and enthusiastic group of over two hundred KHS students will remain on their feet from 8 p.m. Friday, February 23, to 6 a.m. on Saturday morning for Mini-THON, an event to raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund to benefit pediatric cancer research and families whose children are battling the disease. Through a variety of events, raffles, generous corporate contributions, donations, and the Wizards basketball game, students have already raised thousands of dollars in pursuit of this year’s goal.

Kennett High School Mini-THON logo

Modeled after Penn State’s Dance Marathon (THON), Kennett High School’s Mini-THON features ten hours packed with fun activities, music, and food. Participants this year will be treated to a luau theme.

Faculty advisors for the event are Lisa Teixeira, KHS librarian and Humanitarian Club moderator, and Shawn Duffy, social studies teacher and Humanitarian Club assistant moderator. Student organizers are led by senior event co-chairs Erin Duffy and Anna Wilson, along with junior chair Jayna Bruno, and committee chairs M.J. Patterson, Allie Taylor, Tyler Bowdoin, Abby Davidson, Ashton Albert, Will Michael, and Ryley Harris and returning alumnus Michael Bellino.

“I am so proud of the KHS Mini-THON team, particularly my co-chair, Shawn Duffy, and this year’s student leaders, Erin Duffy, Anna Wilson, and Jayna Bruno. They are the most dedicated and selfless individuals and have clearly identified a future-forward vision for our Mini-THON. Our group seeks to not only raise money for Four Diamonds but to provide the community, in and out of school, with a framework for unity, inclusiveness, and fun,” said Ms. Teixeira.

New Garden Elementary student Grayson Savery and his mother, Mrs. Jaclyn Savery, speaking at the Kennett High School Mini-THON rally on January 26.

Again this year, a community open house will kick off the evening’s schedule. For a recommended donation of $5 per family, members of the Kennett community are invited to Reynolds Gymnasium from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, February 23, for a sneak peek at the Mini-THON event. Faculty and student organizers are excited to welcome everyone to share in the fun and support a very worthy cause.

Event co-chair Erin Duffy said, “Mini-THONs empower high school students to organize their communities in the fight against childhood cancer – a difficult and daunting task. However, passionate members of the Kennett community have shouldered our cause with us, and they have been my examples of the ideals of leadership, citizenship, and service.”

Co-chair Anna Wilson added, “Every step of the way, we have one thought in our minds — the children. Throughout this process of planning, organizing, and fundraising for our Mini-THON, we have done all that we can to improve the lives of children battling cancer, especially those fighting cancer within our own Kennett community. We are forever grateful for the support we have received.”

If you cannot attend the Mini-THON community open house but would still like to make a donation, please visit the KHS Mini-THON website at or call the school at 610-444-6617 for more information.

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2017-2018 Calendar Revision

As a result of schools being closed because of inclement weather on January 4, 5, and 17, and February 7, 2018, the last student day for the 2017-2018 school year will now be a half day on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. Graduation will remain as scheduled on Friday, June 8, 2018.

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Spotlight on Kennett High School’s Shawn Duffy

Albert Einstein said, “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” This encapsulates the teaching philosophy of Mr. Shawn Duffy, social studies teacher at Kennett High School.

Mr. Duffy received his teaching degree from West Chester University, where he studied secondary education and social studies with a concentration in history. He teaches several classes, including an eleventh year American Studies class focusing on the 20th century, a twelfth year honors economics class, an Advanced Placement macroeconomics class for twelfth grade students, and a large seminar-style course for eleventh and twelfth grade students co-taught with English teacher Ms. Christine Wilson, focusing on the historical perspective and literature of the 1960s.

Mr. Duffy has taught in the District for his entire teaching career, beginning with his collegiate field work. He even did his student teaching at Kennett High School.

“It was all by design,” said Mr. Duffy. “I always knew that I wanted to teach at Kennett High School. I saw the people who worked here and the students and I knew this was where I wanted to be.” He has had many great mentors and said that made “all the difference” for him as a new teacher.

While Mr. Duffy enjoys many aspects of his position, his students come first. “Before anything else, my position requires me to teach my students the skills and content they may need for success in any future endeavor they choose to pursue,” says Mr. Duffy. “We have the best kids. I look forward to and feel lucky getting to spend time with them every day.”

Mr. Duffy’s admiration also extends to the Kennett High School faculty he works with every day. “The truth is that I enjoy getting a chance to work with so many people who are not only excellent teachers but good people, too. I learn a lot of how to be a better teacher from seeing what they do.”

Along with teaching, Mr. Duffy assists library media specialist Mrs. Lisa Teixeira in advising the Humanitarian Club. This club runs several charitable drives throughout the year, along with leading the Mini THON event held at Kennett High School. He also serves as the adviser for the Finance Club, which began last year for students who are interested in personal and institutional investing opportunities. He also took learning beyond the classroom and treated his students to a visit to the New York Stock Exchange.

Mr. Duffy has lived in Kennett Square for almost 25 years with his wife and two daughters, who also attended school in the District. His oldest daughter, Bridget, graduated from Kennett High School in 2016 and is currently attending Boston University; his youngest daughter, Erin, is currently a senior.

When he’s not teaching, Mr. Duffy enjoys spending times with his family, following local sports teams, and reading. “A perfect day would be spend lying on the beach reading from dawn to dusk.”

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The Everyday Heroes of Kennett Consolidated School District

Pennsylvania’s public schools educate nearly 2 million students, and 4,100 of them are in Kennett Consolidated School District. Each of those students has an individual story and is taking a different path into adulthood. The roads to success are as varied as the students, but our children are not traveling this path alone. Parents, teachers, administrators, school-bus drivers, and cafeteria aides all play a vital role in the success of students.

In January, we pause to salute another group of individuals who spend countless hours each month voluntarily leading our schools and making difficult decisions. They are the School Board Directors, who lay the foundation for a strong education system in our area.

These elected officials spend countless hours assessing budgets, approving curriculum and textbook choices, reviewing hiring decisions, adopting policy, and evaluating the academic and operational results of the District. These dedicated volunteers live in our community. They are our neighbors, friends, and community leaders, and they are working for the benefit of our children.

“As the new president of the Kennett Consolidated School District’s Board of School Directors, it is an honor and privilege to represent an amazing school district. The dedication and commitment to education by all members of the school district is outstanding and extraordinary,” says School Board president Joseph Meola. “Our goal is to provide exceptional education to the students of our community with fiscal responsibility. We have wonderful families who support the educational needs and requirements of our students.”

As we continue to celebrate the success stories in our schools, let’s not forget our elected School Board Directors, who play a significant role in creating the environment where those successes can happen. During this month of recognition, we ask you to show your appreciation for their time, effort, and dedication to the advancement of public education. Thank them for advocating on behalf of our collective interests and making the difficult decisions. Most importantly, thank them for being everyday heroes and making our students’ success their priority.

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A Spotlight On Ms. Samantha Budelman

It is said that the art of teaching is assisting discovery, and so much discovery happens in the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center. Ms. Samantha Budelman, a kindergarten teacher there for six years, is more than happy to assist.

Ms. Budelman graduated from West Chester University with a degree in elementary education and is currently pursuing her master’s degree there to become a reading specialist. Ms. Budelman completed her student teaching in the District as well, working with Miss Wendy Clendening, a third-grade teacher at Bancroft Elementary School.

Along with instructing students in the classroom, Ms. Budelman has several other roles: “I attended SIOP [Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol] trainings and helped train other teachers. I’ve worked with teachers on creating meaningful work stations and incorporating strategies like Word Sorts into everyday lessons, along with creating and sharing several SmartBoard lessons to use with our various curriculums. I’m also a member of the Spirit Committee, where I help organize monthly spirit assemblies, order spirit wear, and assist with community-building activities.”

Teaching kindergarten comes with many challenges because it’s many students’ first time being away from their parents. “Kindergarten is the foundation for the rest of each student’s school career, and I try to provide students with tools and skills to cope with their feelings about starting school,” says Ms. Budelman. “When they leave my classroom, my goal is for them to feel confident for the rest of their school career.”

Along with challenges, there are also many rewards. Ms. Budelman recalls a moment when she was student teaching at Bancroft Elementary School and was mentoring a student who struggled with reading. “We worked to build his confidence with different activities and technologies. In my last week of student teaching, this student came to me and said, ‘Miss Budelman, I can read this book all by myself!’ When this student read with confidence and expression, tears came to my eyes. This moment made me realize that we, as teachers, have the ability to change lives.”

Ms. Budelman loves everything about working in the Kennett Consolidated School District, from the students, her colleagues, and the parents to the school community. “Kennett has provided me with wonderful opportunities to grow professionally and has become my home. I feel so honored to teach in such a wonderful district.”

Ms. Budelman is originally from Freehold, New Jersey, where her family lives, and she enjoys visiting them and spending time on the beach in the summer. She also has a dog, Jasmine, that she enjoys taking on long walks. She also hopes to return to coaching cheerleading once she completes graduate school.

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Sábado de Selladores – Gratis Sellamientos Dental y Examen

300 B Lawrence Drive, West Chester, PA 19380

Sábado, 3 de Feb

rero del 2018

8:30 AM– 12:00 Llámenos para hacer una cita al

610 836-5990 Ext. 131 / 125

Los selladores dentales son un cubrimiento delgado del color de los dientes que cubre la superficie para masticar en las muelas permanentes para protegerlas de caries. Los sellamientos se colocan en entre la edad de 6 a 16 años, para prevenir caries.

Los selladores se recomienda ser aplicados en los molares y

premolares permanentes a temprana edad para evitar las caries.

Sealants should be placed on permanent molars and premolars teeth early to prevent cavities.

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