Western Wayne Student Participates in All-State Band Conference

Western Wayne Administration has recognized John Kear as an outstanding student.  John is a senior who has been highly involved in Western Wayne’s music programs all four years of high school.

He served as a drum major for Western Wayne’s Marching Band this fall season and is also first chair clarinet for Western Wayne’s Concert Band.

John recently was awarded the Black and Gold Award at the band’s annual awards ceremony. His fellow band members voted for him to win this award, which goes to the student in the band who not only greatly excels at playing his or her instrument but also is always willing to help others.

John has participated in many music festivals over the years at the district and regional level.  This year John placed first in clarinet at the PMEA District 9 Band Festival.  He then went on to Region Band where he also placed first which earned him a spot at this year’s PMEA All-State Conference playing in the All-State Wind Ensemble. At Region Band, John scored a total of 488 points, beating the student in second place by 50 points.   This was the first year John had the honor of participating in states.

“It was the best ensemble I’ve been a part of,” John said.  “It was fun to experience playing with a group where everyone had the same sense of passion for playing their instruments.”

Participating in the All-State Band Conference wasn’t the only first for John this year.  He also joined the Western Wayne Chorus, where he sings tenor, and had the opportunity to compete in the PMEA District 9 Chorus Festival where he came in 9th place.

John thinks that his successes in band have helped him to develop as a vocal performer.

“Playing an instrument has helped me to develop a good sense of pitch,” John explained.

During his time at Western Wayne when John wasn’t working on his music for band and chorus, he was spending time playing in the pit orchestra for the school’s yearly musicals.  John played with the pit band for three years.  Then for his senior year, John was cast as one of the lead roles in Nice Work If You Can Get It where he played the quirky, over-the-top role of Cookie.

John also had the honor of being named a WVIA artist of the week this past January for all of his accomplishments in performing arts.

In his spare time, John is working on music with the Wayne County Fire & Drum Corp., a group he formed with his fellow musician friends from Western Wayne.  The group has done performances at the GDS Fair in Newfoundland and Community Day at the Evergreen Elementary School in the past and looks forward to doing more performances for the public in the future.

John will attend Marywood University in the fall with a major in music education.

Western Wayne School District Participates in Area P Special Olympics

The excitement that had been building through Western Wayne’s elementary schools, middle school, and high school could be felt by all working with this year’s student participants in the 12th Annual Track and Field Area P Special Olympics that took place on May 9 at Delaware Valley High School stadium.

“It’s the day they look forward to all year,” Elizabeth Bellush-Moore, Western Wayne special education teacher, said. “The event is so special because it is all about them.”

Bellush-Moore described how her middle school students worked to prepare for the Special Olympics event in which they had the opportunity to spend the day in friendly competition with their peers from other local school districts.

“We would practice the different running events so the students would know where to start and stop,” Bellush-Moore explained. “We would also practice for the softball events.”

The special Olympians competed in running events, such as the 50M walk, 100M dash, the 400M dash, and the mile run.  They also competed in high jump, long jump, shot put, and softball throw.

One of Bellush-Moore’s students who greatly enjoyed his experience at Special Olympics was eighth grader Braydon Christian.

He noted winning a gold medal in the 50-meter run event as a highlight.

“I liked playing with my friends,” Braydon said.

Bellush-Moore explained how Braydon had an exceptionally special day because his older brother came to cheer him on as a surprise.

Along with a crowd of spectators made up of teachers, administrations, family, and friends, the student athletes also spent much of the day cheering on their fellow athletes.

Lorna Gilpin, an aide at Western Wayne High School, explained the positive atmosphere at the games.

“All of the kids from our school were cheering on all of the Western Wayne participants,” Gilpin said. “It was so nice to spend the day with the children where they could spend time interacting with peers of their own age from other schools. The whole day was filled with excitement.”

Gilpin is an aide for Western Wayne junior Patrick Gilligan. Patrick agrees with Gilpin that the Special Olympics was a wonderful event.

“It was a fun day,” Patrick, who won a medal for his efforts in shot put, said. “I saw some of the kids I knew from Dyberry Camp.”

Patrick and some other Western Wayne special education students attend Dyberry Day Camp in the summer with other special education students from Honesdale, Wallenpaupack, and Wayne Highlands and have the opportunity to do many activities such as swimming.

Patrick’s classmate fellow junior Marisol Henkel also had a rewarding experience at Special Olympics.

“I liked the 50-meter run,” she said. “It was fun to see my cousin from Evergreen.”

Gilpin explained how Marisol’s cousin attends Western Wayne’s Evergreen Elementary School and was also there at the games as a participant and said it was great when the two interacted at the event.

Like Marisol, senior Shawn Dixon enjoyed the same type of sporting events at the games.

“I liked the running,” he explained.

Shawn’s aide Andrea Covey discussed the atmosphere the students experienced that day.

“The students develop a camaraderie with each other and are very supportive,” Covey said. “It’s not like a competition. It’s just fun.”

All local students who attended the event truly enjoyed their time together.

Students from Western Wayne’s Robert D. Wilson Elementary School, Evergreen Elementary School, Middle School, and High School participated and brought home several gold medals and many silver and bronze.

“One of the most rewarding parts for me as an educator is seeing the success and progress the students make from year to year,” Bellush-Moore said.

All involved look forward to returning to participate next year.



Unified Track and Field Tri Meet – Need Your Help!

On May 24th, Western Wayne will host a Track and Field Tri Meet against Wallenpaupack and Wayne Highlands. This is our Unified Track and Field team.  The meet starts at 4PM and volunteers are needed. If interested, please email Elizabeth Bellush-Moore at ebellush@westernwayne.org.

Spectators are welcome to cheer on the athletes from the stands. Please come out and show that Wildcat PRIDE!

The Special Education Department, along with the district administrators are excited and proud to host this event.  We thank Mrs. La Rosa, Ms. DeNike,  and Kristin Johnson who have been volunteering, for all the efforts and extra time they have provided to our students; and we thank you in advance for all those we know will step up, as we host this event.



Western Wayne to Hold Fashion Show on June 6

Western Wayne Fashion presents their annual Catwalk for Hunger event to be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6 at the Western Wayne High School’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 1970 A Easton Turnpike, Lake Ariel, PA. The event features a fashion show presented by Western Wayne fashion students. Cost is $2 for adults and $1 for students. All proceeds will be donated to the Wayne County Food Pantry.

Robert D. Wilson Student Earns Recognition in National Handwriting Contest

Waymart, Pa. – Universal Publishing recently presented a certificate of excellence in handwriting to Robert D. Wilson student Kenzie Gregory. Kenzie is a student in Miss Judge’s first-grade class. Kenzie achieved an honorable mention among first-grade entries in Universal Publishing’s 2018 National Handwriting Contest. The handwriting contest rewards students for their exceptional handwriting skills and raises awareness about the importance of handwriting instruction. First-, second-, and third-place winners were selected for each grade in grades K-5 and for grades 6-8 combined, as well as for the new teacher division. Honorable mentions were also awarded in both the student and teacher divisions. Winners were selected from thousands of submissions by public, private, and home school students and teachers from across the nation. When asked about the contest, Universal Publishing president Thomas Wasylyk said, “This is a great way to get students involved and promote excellence in handwriting – a skill used by every student, every day, in every subject. Kenzie should be proud of her achievement!” This year, students completed a two-part entry form in either manuscript (grades K-2) or cursive (grades 3-8) that required writing a provided sentence and answering an open-ended question. Teachers were asked to provide samples of both manuscript and cursive writing for their entries. All participants were judged on their letter formation, size, and spacing; word spacing; line quality; and slant. Judges also considered joinings on cursive entries. For a complete list of winners, visit upub.net/contest.

Students test handmade water wheels at engineering competition

With help from her teammates Wednesday, Trinity Foulds hustled to pour liquid onto the blades of the water wheel they built with cardboard, wood and plastic cups.
The four seventh-graders at Western Wayne Middle School scrambled to keep the water coming as their wheel spun. A judge counted the wheel’s rotations as a 30-second timer ticked toward zero in the North Pocono Middle School science lab where they gathered for an engineering competition rooted in local history.

Made possible by a $725 grant from the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Wednesday’s competition saw 15 or so middle school students from four schools districts — North Pocono, Western Wayne, Forest City Regional and Wayne Highlands — test the efficiency of water wheels they spent months making. The water wheel angle harkens back to the early days of Moscow, which borough Councilman Marc Gaughan said was once home to at least five working water mills.

“We wanted a connection to local history,” North Pocono Middle School science teacher Michelle Swarts said of the contest, noting students were given dimensions for either a small-scale or large-scale water wheel and chose their own building materials. “Old Mill Park was recently dedicated in the borough … and so we though: “No one’s ever done water wheels before, let’s do that.’ It incorporates simple machines, which is a concept in our science curriculum.”
The project also involved many elements of science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum, commonly known as STEM; students designed and engineered the waterwheels themselves.
“I mostly enjoyed the building of the water wheel itself and just working with my team,” North Pocono seventh grader Alex Iannone said. “We put a lot of hard work into this.”

Alex’s team used scrap wood to build their wheel, which won first place in the large-scale water wheel category. The Wayne Highlands team, who built their wheel using a 3-D printer, won first place in the small-scale category.
And while Wednesday’s event was competitive, it was also collaborative, as students from the four schools participated together in several science-related activities after testing their water wheels. One challenged students to levitate pingpong balls by blowing through drinking straws — a lesson in Bernoulli’s principle.
Wayne Highlands seventh graders Eve Rogers and Gopi Patel said they enjoyed working with kids from the other schools. Wayne Highlands technology and engineering teacher Christopher Piasecki said it was a good life lesson.
“It’s very real world, because they’re not always going to work with this group of students their whole life,” Piasecki said. “They’re going to leave Wayne Highlands Middle School, they’re going to go to college, they’re going to get a job down the road and they’re going to have to work with some new people.”


Western Wayne Places First in Scientific Visualization for TSA States

CAR T- cell therapy, a cancer treatment, with a 90 percent success rate in treating blood cancers was the focus of Western Wayne students’ project for the Scientific Visualization category at the Technology Student Association Pennsylvania State Conference held from April 18 through April 21 at the Seven Springs Resort, Seven Springs, PA. Their 3D presentation of how this new form of immunotherapy works in the human body won first place at the competition.  The students will move on to compete at the national level from June 22 through June 26 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA.

The group consisted of all Western Wayne juniors including:  Vaeda Pontosky, Dahlton Frisbie, Journey Sosa, Maya Black, Rachel Butler, and Robert Carey.

Many of the students on this team had competed in previous TSA events and recalled that many projects in the Scientific Visualization category feature concepts related to space and the universe.

The group from Western Wayne decided they wanted their entry this year to be on a unique topic to the event that can relate to many people.

“We thought that everyone in their families has some kind of connection to cancer and we wanted our project to focus on showing how a very effective treatment can fix this disease,” Rachel Butler, team member, said.

The students explained that CAR T-cell therapy now is a very costly cancer treatment, but that at least two drug companies are currently working to make it more accessible to the public.

Fellow teammate Vaeda Pontosky is excited to educate the public further on this cancer treatment and believes that another reason their project stood out to the judges other than its subject matter was that the group created it with the software Blender. Vaeda explained how the software that is a free download on Mac computers helped the group to create a very realistic representation of how CAR T-cell therapy eradicates cancer cells.

“The software allowed us to create rotating blood cells,” Vaeda explained.  “I watched many YouTube videos on how to use the software so we could create our video.  We worked on the project from October through February.”

All members of the group contributed to the final product.  Dahlton Frisbie was in charge of writing the script used to narrate the video.

“I made sure our script matched all scenes,” Dahlton, who wishes to study law and business after graduation, explained.  “It was especially challenging to be sure that all of the scientific terms were spelled correctly.”

Fellow junior teammate Rob Carey enjoyed the challenge of this project because he feels it will help better prepare him to study engineering in college.

“I think I most benefitted from being able to create 3D imaging for our project,” Rob said.

Rachel also believes the project has helped her to better prepare for a career in graphic design.  She explained how she was in charge of creating the storyboard for the project and how she worked on the project binder among other tasks.

“It was most rewarding to see our final animation come together,” she explained.  “We worked very hard to make the project flow together and to explain the complex process of CAR T-cell therapy in layman’s terms.”

Teammates Maya Black and Journey Sosa also made important contributions to the project.  Maya worked to add all of the individual video clips the group made into one.  Journey helped to work on the project binder and work log.

All members of this first place team are looking forward to attending TSA Nationals.

“It will be exciting to see other people’s projects from across the country,” Rachel said.

Vaeda feels eager to share the group’s project at this level and wants to polish it even more before the competition.

“We would like to make our 3D representation of the therapy destroying the actual cancer cells even better,” she explained.

Vaeda, who was recently awarded a 2018 Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Research Fellowship, said the students on Western Wayne’s TSA team hope all of their efforts this year encourage more Western Wayne students to join the program in years to come.

“TSA teaches you so much about new technology in the world,” Vaeda explained.

“You are sure to find something you are interested in- even design and video editing are a part of TSA,” Rachel added.

To see the final edited copy of these students’ first place winning Scientific Visualization entry and learn more about CAR T-cell therapy visit http://ww3.westernwayne.org/tsa-scientific-visualization-presentation-first-in-the-state/