Leadership Lackawanna – Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Graduation

Two Western Wayne students, Robert Clemens and Allison Mattern graduated Leadership Lackawanna’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program. Featured above is Tori Clemens, Mother (right), Robert Clemens and Laura Teste, Grandmother.

Leadership Lackawanna’s seven-month Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program develops the leadership, interpersonal and managerial skills of high school juniors and provides real-world experiences in the areas of philanthropy, non-profit organizations and community service.  In addition to the skills learned and topics explored, the opportunities and challenges of northeastern Pennsylvania are discussed as participants network with community leaders and other high school students.  Sessions are held one full weekday each month.

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Program accepts applications from sophomores who attend high school in Lackawanna County or in the Lackawanna Trail and Western Wayne school districts.

Each year, a class of approximately 34 students, representing various geographic areas and schools, will be selected to participate. The program runs from October through April. Sessions are held one full weekday each month from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. A graduation ceremony is held in the Spring.

Ultimately, upon completion of the monthly sessions, participants will have the necessary skills to become concerned and committed citizens who participate and invest in our community. High school students of today are the community and business leaders of tomorrow. Tomorrow’s Leaders Today turns aspiring teens into future adult leaders.

Western Wayne Alumni and Former Wrestler Casey Fuller Top Cop

Western  Wayne graduate Casey Fuller, class of 2011 not only graduated from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, but graduated with the “Most Outstanding Cadet of the Year 2018”! 

Casey was an outstanding wrestler while attending Western Wayne.  He was a member of the “Wrestling 100 Win Club” among many other records. After graduation Casey attended Edinboro University, (Division I Wrestling).

From Edinboro University Wrestling Page:

2011-12
Started as a true freshman at 157 lbs., ending the year with a 22-20 record with 3 falls, a technical fall and a major decision … captured third place at the PSAC Championships, going 4-1 … was fourth at the EWL Championships, going 2-2 … was fifth at the UB Open and also fifth at the Michigan State Open (freshman & sophomore division).

2012-13
Posted a 7-12 record with a fall while competing at 157 lbs… went 3-2 at the MSU Open (freshman & sophomore division) and was 2-2 at the UB Invite … five of his losses were to ranked wrestlers.

2013-14
Redshirted … went 16-6 while competing in open tournaments at 165 lbs… had 2 falls, a technical fall, and 3 major decisions … took second place at the CSU Open, going 3-1 … was third at the Storm Open with a 5-1 record, winning twice by fall and once by major decision  … added a third place finish at the Simonson Open , winning four of five matches … also placed in the MSU Open.

2014-15
Finished with a 16-17 record while serving as the starter at 165 lbs… won by technical fall once, and by major decision three times … captured second place at EWL Championships, falling to Rider’s Connor Brennan, 6-4 in sudden victory, in the finals … won a 4-1 decision in tiebreaker over Aaron McKinney of Lock Haven in the semifinals … won his first PSAC title with a 3-2  decision over McKinney in the finals … took home third place at the Clarion Open thanks to a 10-5 decision over teammate Kasey Burnett-Davis in the third place match.

He has a 68-56 career record.

Casey is the son of Mary and Jerry Fuller .  He majored in Criminal Justice with minors in Psychology and Political Science, with a 3.03 GPA.  He  has three brothers (Beau, Morgan, and Cole all wrestled for Western Wayne) and a sister (Sasha).

Western Wayne Middle School Holds Annual Moving-Up Ceremony

The Western Wayne Middle School hosted its annual Moving-Up Ceremony for their eighth grade students headed to high school next year this past Thursday, June 21.

Eighth grade students, their teachers, administrators, and family members all attended the ceremony in the middle school gym along with their fellow 6th and 7th grade classmates and teachers.

All 8th grade students received awards in various categories for excellence or improvement in all academic and unified arts classes.  In addition, students received awards for good citizenship, excellent work habits, and for a variety of high academic achievements such as making the honor roll for 11 quarters in middle school from 6th through 8th grade.

It is also a Western Wayne Middle School tradition for many years that two outstanding students, one male and one female, are recognized for their patriotism and leadership among other qualities.  The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the local American Legion present these awards.

Charlene Edgerton and Eloise Fasshauer presented the Daughters of the American Revolution Award to 8th grader Madison Kammer.

Madison received the good citizenship medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution for being an outstanding student in the 8th grade class who exhibits the qualities of honor and honesty, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism.

George Shaffer presented the American Legion Award to 8th grader Morgan Coccodrilli.

Morgan received this annual award for being an outstanding student in the 8th grade class who exhibits the qualities of honor, scholarship, Americanism, leadership, and courage.

Pictured are Madison and Morgan with their respective awards.

Senior refurbishes RDW Garden as Senior Project

Landon Firmstone has taken refurbishing the RDW garden on as his senior project. The refurbishing team also includes the RDW second grade and Autistic Support under the direction of Karen Firmstone and Cara RomanskiSome of the pictures include the children eating their school grown lettuce.

Western Wayne Middle School Holds Annual Student vs. Faculty Basketball Game

To finish yet another successful school year, the Western Wayne Middle School hosted its annual student vs. faculty basketball game.

All students in grades 6 through 12 attended the fun-filled event during the afternoon of Monday, June 18.  Eighth grade students played in the game against some of their favorite middle school faculty, including Middle School Principal Kristen Donohue.

Middle School Assistant Principal Elizabeth Watson served as announcer and D.J. for the game and guidance counselor Matthew Fitzsimmons worked as referee.

Fitzsimmons, who always enjoys participating in the event, felt especially excited because his son eighth-grader Ashton Fitzsimmons played on the student team this year.

“I just love being on the same court with my sons.  Whether I am playing, coaching, or refereeing,” Fitzsimmons, who serves as the Western Wayne Junior High Boys Basketball Coach, said. “I have coached my son for many years now and it is just so nice to see how he has progressed and what the future holds for him in his athletics.”

Eighth grader Kathy Shepherd played with Ashton on the student team.  Kathy played on the Western Wayne Middle School Basketball Team this year as a member of Team A.

She really enjoyed playing the game with her classmates especially the students she does not usually play with.

“I tried my best to tell them to think positively and do what they need to do on the court,” Kathy explained about working with the other students.

Kathy, who has already begun practicing for the Western Wayne High School Basketball Team, really thought she benefited from the challenge of playing against her teachers.

“It was fun but difficult because of the height difference,” Kathy explained.  “I took on the challenge by playing like I always do by looking for openings to take a shot.”

One teacher Kathy was able to to play against this year was middle school chorus teacher Sarah Calabro.

Calabro, who played basketball at the Valley View School District from third through tenth grades, loves participating in the game each year.

“My favorite part of playing this game with the students is that so many kids and teachers are able to participate,” Calabro said.  “You see a different side of the students on the court.”

An eighth grade team member who felt especially glad to show another side of himself when playing was Gavin Murphy.  Gavin does not play on the school’s basketball team, so he really felt that he benefited from warming up with his fellow eighth grade students who showed him some new skills like proper technique for lay-ups and jump shots.

“I liked running back and forth on the court and playing as a team with the eighth grade the best,” Gavin said.

Fitzsimmons and all faculty and administrators involved were glad students like Gavin enjoyed the game so much.

“The games are always fun and the students bring a lot of energy,” Fitzsimmons, who played basketball as a high school student at Forest City Regional under legendary coach, Julius Prezelski, explained.  “I have to say that this was the closest game that I can ever remember.  Also, I love the school spirit that comes out at these games.”

Western Wayne High School Students Explore Varden Conservation Area

On June 12, 2018, Western Wayne High School General Science Students visited the Varden Conservation Area and participated in ecology activities presented by Lacawac Sanctuary.  Students participated in three different activities, which involved the topics of macroinvertebrates in a pond environment, invasive species, and soil health in a forest environment.

Lacawac Sanctuary instructors included Jamie Reeger, Environmental Educational Manager, who presented the soil health studies and how they tied into the water table.   Gene Shultz, PiER Program Coordinator and Environmental Educator, explained water quality health through identification of macroinvertebrates found at the pond.  Sarah Corcoran, Environmental Educator, explained invasive species remediation in the environment through role playing activities.

The field trip was preceded by a classroom presentation on water quality and the environment.  Students participated in activities that modeled ground water and surface water and how they fit into a concept of a water shed.  These activities lead to discussions at Varden which incorporated the concept of a water table and common water resources shared by all.

Funding for the Varden classroom education as well the field trip was provided through an Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) grant from the nonprofit Western Wayne Education Foundation. Christine McClure, President, 1970C Easton Turnpike, Western Wayne School District, Lake Ariel, PA 18436

Accompanying the students were instructors Dr. Mark Nebzydoski and Mrs. Maria Phillips. For more information on

Varden Conservation area

http://www.vardenconservationarea.com/

https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofVCA/

http://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/VardenConservationArea/Pages/default.aspx

Lacawac Sanctuary

https://www.lacawac.org/

https://www.facebook.com/Lacawac/

Western Wayne Freshman Wins American Legion Patriotism Essay Contest

“To be a patriot is to do what is best for your community and ultimately your country. There is no specific way to do this. Your service can be as simple as volunteering at a local non-profit organization or as valiant as joining the military. The possibilities are endless and the results are resounding. One simple act may even inspire another person and set into action a chain of events that will greatly develop into more and more until there are results on a massive scale. Being a Patriot means being a part of that motion that unifies people and gets jobs done.”

Western Wayne freshman Nickolas Curtis defined patriotism this way in his winning essay about what patriotism means to him.  Nickolas was recognized on June 13 by the American Legion for his Patriot essay submission.  Mr. Tim French and Mrs. Jennifer Buckman presented the award to Nickolas at the Western Wayne High School in his Honors American Cultures class taught by Mr. Tim McClure.

Nickolas’s essay was chosen from five counties and about 25 schools.  The essay prompt was “What Does Being a Patriot Mean to Me?”

Everyone in the Western Wayne community is proud of Nickolas’ accomplishments, especially his history teacher.

“Nickolas shows great potential in his studies and actions,” McClure said.  “It was wonderful to witness the amount of support shown to Nickolas by his fellow classmates during and after he received the award in class.”

Nickolas explained that he never expected to win the contest when writing the essay.

“I feel really accomplished now,” he said.  “When writing the essay, I thought about my community and how that connected to patriotism on the national level.  I believe that everyone has the ability to do something great with their lives and through helping others we show our patriotism.”

Nickolas felt truly honored to be recognized for his writing and hopes that his classmates and community members will continue to show patriotism in their daily lives.

“No matter who you are, no matter where you are, you can always do something to better your community,” Nickolas explained.

In his essay, Nickolas explained allegiance to one’s county by comparing it to a fire that he hopes will lead others to show their patriotism.

“Everyone has some patriot inside of them. Everyone has a spark of inspiration within them that can ignite a magnificent blaze of innovation. It is those who light the fire that are the patriots. They do not look over at the person next to them to see what they are doing to light their fire and think that there is only one way to light it. They look at and think that there must be a better way. They aren’t afraid of trying that new way.  But most of all they have the confidence to light their fire and show others their development and are not afraid to step down when someone finds an even better way. Those who choose to use that spark whether it is to light a candle or a hearth to lead the way for others are the true patriots.”

The following is the Award Winning Essay –

What Does Being a Patriot Mean to Me?

By Nickolas Curtis

To be a patriot is to do what is best for your community and ultimately your country. There is no specific way to do this. Your service can be as simple as volunteering at a local non-profit organization or as valiant as joining the military. The possibilities are endless and the results are resounding. One simple act may even inspire another person and set into action a chain of events that will greatly develop into more and more until there are results on a massive scale. Being a Patriot means being a part of that motion that unifies people and gets jobs done.

While it seems like it takes a specific and prominent individual to be a part of or even start these movements, but it can be actually anyone. Perhaps the most important part about patriotism is that anyone can be a patriot regardless of prestige or wealth. Furthermore, being a patriot does not involve blindly following the ideals of patriotism set forth by a wealthy or important figure. This can actually hinder the process of refining a country into a nation with residents that think for themselves. This can be seen through a textbook patriot who usually appears as a person who goes out of their way to do everything right according to some higher power, they perform stereotypical rituals, and they do not question authority no matter what. These qualities ironically do not help their country, but discourage the improvement of it. Thoughtlessly performing these actions leads to a paradox of unoriginal ideas and a lack of diversity. New ideas are formed by people thinking differently. They cannot think differently when they are bound by the principles of someone else.

Not only does this establish that a patriot thinks freely, it also establishes that a patriot is not afraid to modify their country for the better of the people, rather, they are ready for changes that will progress their country. When people are not afraid of change, innovative concepts are introduced and inevitably these concepts will make their way to the top to someone who can integrate and enforce them while not forcing people to think the same way as them. These patriots are willing to go the extra mile to bring their visions to life to make their enhanced country. They will remake the entire system from the ground up if it means a better life for the people.

However, being a patriot is not limited to revamping a nation. No task is too small for a patriot. If all you can do is pick up trash on the side of a road or work at a soup kitchen, then that is enough devotion to be admired. If every person did these deeds, no matter how insignificant they may seem, they are making their nation better one small step at a time. That one task can be as simple as welcoming a neighbor, but it will make a difference. That act sets a standard for others to follow.

Everyone has some patriot inside of them. Everyone has a spark of inspiration within them that can ignite a magnificent blaze of innovation. It is those who light the fire that are the patriots. They do not look over at the person next to them to see what they are doing to light their fire and think that there is only one way to light it. They look at and think that there must be a better way. They aren’t afraid of trying that new way. But most of all they have the confidence to light their fire and show others their development and are not afraid to step down when someone finds an even better way. Those who choose to use that spark whether it is to light a candle or a hearth to lead the way for others are the true patriots.

Wayne County Schools Participate in Special Olympics Interscholastic Unified Sports Program

Pictured are Western Wayne participants at the unified track meet held at Western Wayne on May 24.  From left, kneeling: Cynthia A. LaRosa, director of special education; Sabrina Swoyer, Coral Swoyer, Victoria Kroll, Jared Loveland, Jamie Newman, Amy Newman, and Elizabeth Bellush-Moore, special education teacher.  From left, standing:  Kristin Johnson, Schuyler Chumard, Shawn Dixon, Caleb Burns, Michael Phillips, Sinaea Buford, and Jennifer DeNike, assistant director of special education.

 

Imagine an individual sporting event where it is encouraged to help your fellow teammates and teammates from opposing schools.  This unique, friendly atmosphere was the norm at the unified track meet held at Western Wayne High School on Thursday, May 24, in which both regular education and special education students participated together.  The Western Wayne students played against and with students from Honesdale and Wallenpaupack.

This was part of three tri-meets held in May involving these three Wayne County schools.  Honesdale and Wallenpaupack hosted the other events.  The unified track meets are part of a program called Special Olympics Interscholastic Unified Sports (IUS).  This is a fully-inclusive co-ed high school sports program which successfully brings together students with and without disabilities.  The students train together, compete as equal teammates, and through this experience, become friends.  IUS teams are regarded like every other interscholastic sports team at the high school level.

The IUS program was presented at a Local Education Agency meeting and Special Olympics was looking to pilot the program at Wayne County schools this year.  Special Olympics graciously provides funding for this very important program for local students.

The Western Wayne Unified Track Team is composed of the following students: Coral Swoyer, Sinaea Buford, Schuyler Chumard, Shawn Dixon, Caleb Burns, Michael Phillips, Victoria Kroll, Sabrina Swoyer, Amy Newman, Jamie Newman, and Jared Loveland.  The team is coached by Cynthia A. LaRosa, director of special education;

 

Jennifer DeNike, assistant director of special education; and Elizabeth Bellush-Moore, special education teacher.

All participants in the unified track meets participated in the following track events: 100 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, 4×100 and 4×400 relays.  They also competed in the following field events: shot put, running long jump, and mini-javelin.

For many members of the unified track team, this is their first after-school activity and sport.  One such student is Western Wayne freshman Jared Loveland.

“It feels so great to be a part of a team,” Jared said.  “I like cooperating with everyone and hanging out with them.”

Jared’s favorite part was throwing the javelin at the meet.

“My team gave me a lot of support,” Jared said.

Jared also said he greatly enjoyed the social aspect of the event.

“I love talking to new people,” Jared, who aspires to be an X-ray technician, said.

Jared’s teammate senior Schuyler Chumard also liked the atmosphere at the meet.

“I like seeing friends from other schools,” Schuyler explained.

Schuyler’s favorite event was a relay race he did with his Western Wayne teammates.

“I like to close the relay,” Schuyler, who runs the last leg, explained.  “It’s easy to get to the finish line.”

Western Wayne sophomore Sabrina Swoyer said she most enjoyed helping other students like Schuyler cross the finish line or achieve a different goal at the event.

“This experience has helped me realize that I may want to become a special education teacher in the future,” Sabrina explained.  “I realize just how much patience I have.  I understand that the special education students go through a lot of challenges, but if they have a friend, like me, to help them then they won’t feel as challenged in a situation like the track meet and can feel more like everyone else.”

Fellow sophomore Jack McAllister, who assisted at the Western Wayne meet, also greatly enjoyed making all of the students feel welcome and good about themselves.

“I love watching the students achieve something and then seeing their smiles afterwards,” Jack explained.

Jack, who has an older  brother who  has autism, said he has always enjoyed working with other special education students at Western Wayne and hopes to continue doing so in the future.

Jack is in agreement with all Western Wayne administrators, teachers, and students who participated in the unified track events this year.

“We hope to continue the program next year,” Bellush-Moore said.

All Western Wayne participants in unified track were honored at a recent board meeting in the Western Wayne District Office and feel very excited to continue working together in the future.

 

Western Wayne freshman Jared Loveland throws the javelin at a recent unified track meet.

Western Wayne senior Schuyler Chumard races to the finish line.

Western Wayne sophomore siblings Sabrina and Coral Swoyer participate at the unified track meet recently hosted by Western Wayne.

 

 

Evergreen Bus Safety for next year’s Kindergarten

Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hemmler volunteered their time and came with their BIG bus to teach the children about bus safety for next year when they are in Kindergarten!  Here are some of the important safety tips the students learned:

 

  • PAY ATTENTION when you are getting on and off a bus.
  • Stop, Look, and Listen – Never start walking to get on the bus until all cars have stopped.
  • Always walk around the yellow bar on the bus so the driver can see you.
  • NEVER pick something up if you drop it when you are getting on or off the bus.  Tell an adult.
  • Hold the rail and watch your step as you get on and off the bus.
  • NEVER walk around the back of a bus.  The driver cannot see you.
  • SIT in your assigned seat every day.
  • Talk quietly.  No yelling.
  • No eating on the bus.

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