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
“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.
Students who have satisfied all school obligations (including text books, cafeteria balances, etc.) can register for a course on June 27th (8:00 to 11:00) or June 28th (9:00 to 12:00) at WESTERN WAYNE HIGH SCHOOL. A GUIDANCE RECOMMENDATION is required since all summer school students must have an average in the 55-69 range for the subject they need to make up. Any student with a grade under a 55 will not be allowed to register for summer school. Guidance recommendations are located on the Failure Notice sent out by Guidance. The cost will be $150.00 per student/per course. Checks may be made payable to the Western Wayne School District. ALL financial obligations MUST be met!
COURSES WILL BE OFFERED AT WESTERN WAYNE HIGH SCHOOL IN AN ON-LINE FORMAT IN COMPUTER LABS ROOMS 401 & 402.
Classes will be offered from 8:00 – 10:00 and 10:00 – 12:00.
The number of classes/sections will be based on student enrollment and instructor availability.
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.
Congratulations to Ben Burkhardt and Laura Booths, this years LIAA Scholar Athletes. They were honored at a breakfast on May 30, 2018 at Genetti’s in Dickson City. Ben, who is the son of Michael and Carol Burkhardt, participated in Football and Track and Field and will continue to play football while attending SusquehannaUniversity in the Fall. Laura, daughter of Robert and Susan Booths, participated in Volleyball and will continue to play Volleyball while attending Chatham University in the Fall. Ben and Laura are pictured here with Dr. Matthew Barrett, Superintendent and Paul Gregorski, High School Principal. Both received hooded sweatshirts with their school logos indicating that they are scholar athletes. All 24 schools were represented from the Lackawanna League. each nominating a male and a female.
Western Wayne High School Administration has recognized junior Paige Barillo as an outstanding student.
Paige recently completed an excellent senior project this spring in which she held a food collection drive for the St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen in Scranton. She worked with Western Wayne Administration in the high school, middle school, and both elementary schools to gather food in the district.
Paige said she gathered more than a truckload of food and estimated that to be over 1,000 pounds of items. She feels extremely grateful to the Western Wayne Community for giving so generously to her cause.
St. Francis of Assisi staff report that Paige’s donation was the largest food donation ever presented from a local school. Monsignor Joseph P. Kelly, executive director of St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen, personally thanked Paige for her efforts to help those in need.
Paige had volunteered at St. Francis in the past to help serve meals and felt strongly that she wanted her senior project to benefit a group that feels such a strong mission to help others.
“They strive to be of respect, dignity, and compassion when serving their patrons,” Paige explained. “That really stood out to me.”
Paige, a member of Western Wayne’s National Honor Society, plans to continue to volunteer at St. Francis next year.
“I enjoy the experience because I feel like I am helping others,” Paige said. “A little act of kindness can make their day.”
When Paige isn’t doing volunteer work she is highly involved at Western Wayne High School in sports, clubs, and her academic studies.
Paige is an avid athlete who is a part of the cross-country team, indoor track and field club, and outdoor track and field.
She also is a member of Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. This year she placed second in the state for her ecology project.
In addition, Paige finds time to dedicate her efforts to Future Business Leaders of America and the prom committee.
Paige also takes the time to work with others in the local community. She is a member of CAB which is Wayne Memorial Hospital’s Community Health Advisory Board. Paige became involved with this group through her high school guidance counselor. She explained how she gets to give input about events and projects regarding the hospital and the community at large.
Paige is especially excited about her opportunity to work with CAB because she plans to pursue a degree to become a physician assistant after graduating from Western Wayne.
“I love studying the sciences,” Paige said. “Physician assistant is such a growing field and I have so many options on what to do with my degree when I finish.”
High school principal Paul Gregorski is very proud of Paige’s accomplishments.
“Paige is a role model for other students at our district,” Gregorski said. “I hope both her efforts within the district and in the local community inspire other students to challenge themselves to take up similar endeavors.”
Western Wayne High School students took a trip to New York City on June 1, 2018, to NBC and MTV Studios. The students, who have an interest in film, editing, tv/video, were able to tour the sets and control rooms of both studios. At NBC they saw the NBC Nightly News, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Megyn Kelly and Saturday Night Live sets. At MTV, the students were able to view the sets used in many of their shows such as TRL, Floribama Shore and MTV’s The Challenge Reunion. The students were also allowed to be used as stand-ins for sound and visual checks. At both studios they also toured production and control rooms. Special thanks go out to Jackie Amador of NBC and Marcy Dyno of MTV.
Congratulations to the 2018 graduating class of the Junior Leadership Northern Poconos. This group of Western Wayne 11th graders, along with students from Forest City Regional, Wallenpaupack Area and Wayne Highlands, participated throughout the year learning about their community and leadership skills. The group ended with a project entitled “We Have Found Balance” which will be a video that tackles some of the stresses that students face today. Representing Western Wayne High School this year were Emily Christina, R.J. Clemens, Jillian Dudley, Kayli Hineline and Grace Hollister.