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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Sealant Saturday – Free Dental Hygiene Sealants & Exams

300 B Lawrence Drive, West Chester, Pa 19380

Sealant Saturday

sponsored by Community Volunteers in Medicine

FREE Dental Hygiene Sealants & Exams

For children age of 6 and up

Saturday, February 3th

8:30 AM – 12:00 ~ Call for appointment

610 836-5990 Ext. 125

Dental sealants are thin, tooth colored coverings painted-on the chewing surfaces of back teeth.

Sealants are placed on permanent molars of children age 6-16 yrs. to prevent cavities.

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CONFIRMED Early Dismissal, Monday, January 8th

This is an important message from the Kennett Consolidated School District. Due to the winter storm predicted for the area this afternoon with sleet and freezing rain, all schools will be dismissing early, Monday, January 8th, following the schedule listed below;

Kennett High School/Kennett Middle School 11:30 AM

Mary D Lang Kindergarten Center 12:00 Noon

Elementary Schools 12:30 PM

 
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and safe travels this afternoon and evening.
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Harlem Wizards to Play at Kennett High School

Come join in a night of family fun as Kennett Consolidated School District teachers play the Harlem Wizards on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. in Kennett High School’s Reynolds Gymnasium. The Wizards are a performance basketball team delivering widely successful fundraiser events for schools and nonprofits, playing in over 400 communities across the US last season alone, while raising over $200 million. They are a unique basketball team that is not primarily focused on winning games, but rather entertaining the crowd with a variety of basketball tricks and alley oops.

What makes a Wizards show “awe-inspiring?” Some say it’s the oohs and aahs created by the thunderous, sky-high slams. For others, it’s the humor and seeing the teachers being good sports and having fun on the court with the Wizards. The comedy, audience participation, and spontaneity delivered as a world-class show all right in the high school gymnasium add up to a night to be experienced and treasured.

Advance tickets are $10 for students and $12 for adults and can be purchased online at HarlemWizards.com. Tickets can also be purchased by emailing requests to khsminithon2018@gmail.com or calling 610-444-6617. Depending on the volume of advance sales, some tickets may be available at the door, $12 for students and $14 for adults. All proceeds benefit Kennett High School’s MiniTHON, a club based on Penn State’s THON that fundraises to support Four Diamonds, an organization dedicated to funding research for childhood cancer and helping afflicted families with the cost of treatment. For more information about MiniTHON and how to donate to the cause, visit www.khsminithon.org.

The Kennett High School MiniTHON committee is hopeful that the whole Kennett community will come together for one great night on February 10. Doors open at 5:00 pm!

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KCSD Students Spread Holiday Cheer

Every year, students, faculty, and staff in the Kennett Consolidated School District come together to give back and spread cheer in the community. The following is a round-up of community service projects held during this year’s holiday season:

Kennett High SchoolStudents standing in front of a truck

Kennett High School kicked off the season with its annual turkey drive, which ran from the beginning of November through November 21. Social studies teacher Mr. Shawn Duffy coordinated with his senior students to collect frozen turkeys and donate them to the Kennett Food Cupboard.

“It’s the students who do the work,” says Mr. Duffy. “The students spread word to fellow classmates by visiting classrooms, pass out promotional flyers, and creating announcements for KTV.”

The students also purchased the turkeys with the donated cash and collected, delivered, and unloaded the turkeys at the Food Cupboard. More than 100 turkeys were donated this year.

Kennett High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club held a coat drive from December 4 through 8. Students and faculty were encouraged to donate a coat throughout the week and on the last day of the drive, all community members were welcomed to either drop off a coat or pick one up. Students assisted with collection and distribution, along with promoting the drive to fellow classmates. One hundred coats in total were collected, and extra coats were donated to La Comunidad Hispana in Kennett Square.

Kennett High School’s Unidad Club raised money and collected clothing, nonperishable food items, and school supplies that were shipped to churches in San Juan, Ponce, and Santa Isabel to aid the crisis in Puerto Rico. The money raised covered the postage for the items.

Kennett Middle School

Kennett Middle School gave back during the holiday season with an Adopt-A-Family drive. Students and staff pitched in to raise money, using peer-to-peer donations, and each grade level hosted an event for the drive.

Seventh grade students kicked things off with a talent show, dubbed Seventh Grade’s Got Talent, which was held on November 6. Students and teachers gave a donation to audition, and audience members gave a donation as the price of admission. The winner was Grace Baliss, who performed a Harry Styles song. The show raised $1,000.

The sixth grade hosted a “glow dance” in the cafeteria on December 1. Students donated to receive admission. Teachers sold refreshments, along with “glow gear” throughout the evening.

The eighth grade held two fundraising events. Right before Thanksgiving, they gave spare change to vote for a teacher to wear a turkey costume the day before break. This year’s “winner” was Ms. Kate McGill, a student teacher from West Chester University.

The second event was a student-versus-staff volleyball game. Students paid one dollar for the chance to be a member of the student team. Six male students and six female students won the chance to play on the student team.

The student council also wrote and donated greeting cards to the Kennett Area Senior Center.Students holding food donations

Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center

The Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center continued its tradition of giving food donations to the Ronald McDonald House. The drive was kicked off with a spirit assembly before Thanksgiving, led by school nurse Ms. Kelly Hostetler, who explained the Ronald McDonald House program to the students.

The goal for this year was 500 cans, but the school’s administrative assistant, Mrs. Jane Henry, said they always exceed their goal.

“The Ronald McDonald House always appreciates the donation, and it’s great that it’s children helping children,” says Mrs. Henry. “We want to show that we care deeply about helping the community.”

Bancroft Elementary School

Bancroft Elementary School students began their season of giving with a food drive held from the beginning of October through the beginning of November. The collected food was donated to the Kennett Food Cupboard. The food drive culminated in the school’s annual Walk for Hunger, where all students and staff walk outside.Students holding donations of pajamas

Bancroft Elementary School also held its fifth annual Pajama Drive. Students are asked to donate new pajamas, ranging in size from newborn to adult. The school has a goal of collecting 200 pairs of pajamas, which it usually surpasses. Mrs. Sara Simasek’s life-skills students assist with counting and sorting the pajamas.

The spirit of gratitude and giving was strong in the school, with one student saying, “You don’t have to worry about yourself all of the time. Instead you can help people who don’t have the things that we have.”

The drive concluded with a school-wide assembly where the donations were displayed so the students could see their result of their hard work.

New Garden Elementary School

New Garden Elementary School began its season of giving with a food drive that ran through the month of November. Students wrote their own announcements and read them every morning over the public address system to encourage their classmates to donate.

“We wanted the students to feel involved in the process,” says Principal Susan McArdle. New Garden Elementary school partnered with Kennett High School’s Humanitarian Club for this drive and the food was donated to the Kennett Food Cupboard.

Students also participated in a new tradition – a tree lighting at Toughkenamon. The fourth and fifth grade chorus caroled during the inaugural tree lighting on the evening of December 1.

“It’s a really great way to connect with the community,” says music teacher Mr. Ryan Battin.

The school also hosted a Giving Tree, where donated hats, mittens, and gloves were placed on a tree in a lobby; any student who needed an item could take it from the tree. There was also a jacket donation where parents could pick up a winter coat for their student during parent-teacher conferences.

New Garden Elementary School didn’t stop there. The school also hosted a Toys for Tots donation box throughout December.

Greenwood Elementary School

Greenwood Elementary School gave in many ways this year, including a toy drive benefiting Kennett Square Toys for Tots and a food drive benefiting the Chester County Food Bank.

To help get everyone in the spirit, parents helped decorate collection boxes with each homeroom. These collection boxes were placed in the hallway so students could see them, and a decorated display was placed in the school’s main lobby.

Ms. Lauren Leighton, community outreach chair of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), led the organizing efforts. “There’s always a huge response and the kids get very excited,” she comments.

The drive ran through December 15. The students celebrated reaching their donation goal with a pajama day at school and a screening of The Polar Express.

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KHS Ceramics Sale Supports Program

Nearly fifty pieces, including beautiful wheel-thrown mugs, bowls, and vases as well as hand-built holiday pieces like Christmas trees and plates, will be available for purchase at this year’s Ceramics Sale at Kennett High School. All works were crafted by students in teacher Ms. Jodi Davidson’s ceramics classes, levels I through III. ceramic pieces

Eight years ago, Ms. Davidson and her students developed this creative way to add to their annual budget, with all proceeds from the sale helping to support the purchase of materials like clay and glaze for future projects.

Ms. Davidson noted, “The items available for sale are of the same hand-crafted quality you’d find at an expensive gallery, but we sell them for a fraction of the cost. The students have created some amazing work, and the money goes directly back into our program.” Last year’s sale raised approximately $500.

The sale will be held in the school’s lobby on December 19, 2017, and will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Prices range from $5 to $35.

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A Spotlight on Mrs. Lisa Shoemaker

It’s said that the best teachers teach from the heart, a sentiment that captures the impact of Mrs. Lisa Shoemaker, a fourth-grade teacher at New Garden Elementary School. She has taught fourth grade for five years and began her career in the District as a first-grade teacher.

Mrs. Shoemaker has her undergraduate degree in elementary education from West Chester University, where she enjoyed working with kids . While pursuing her master’s degree in reading, writing, and literacy from the University of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Shoemaker was also teaching first grade full time in the Philadelphia School District, putting all of the theory she learned into practice.

When it comes to her work at New Garden, Mrs. Shoemaker performs many roles: “I’m a mom, I’m a nurse, I’m a guidance counselor, and a teacher. I always strive to get to know all my students and make time to talk to them,” she says. “I find they always work better when there is genuine understanding.”

Teaching comes with challenges, including the changing social dynamics of children. “A lot of social struggles begin in fourth grade, and I try to give them the tools to fix it themselves,” she says.

Mrs. Shoemaker also finds rewards in her work. She strives to make her students feel important and create a safe space for them every day. “My students are like my family.” She also enjoys mentoring student teachers. “There are a lot of little moments, where I see them implementing my practices, watching them learn, and learning from them as well.”

Mrs. Shoemaker loves teaching at New Garden and hopes to stay for the rest of her career. “You feel like family. My colleagues would do anything for each other. It’s a good community.”

Mrs. Shoemaker lives in Kennett Township and has two children at Kennett Consolidated High School, Sam, who is in ninth grade, and Isabel, in twelfth grade. She likes walking her dog, reading, taking care of her plants, and spending time with her children.

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