Athletes of the Week for Oct 1st and Oct 8


Dylan Walck and Annie Skirpan are both seniors. Dylan is on the football team and last week against Lakeland he was outstanding on both offense and defense.  He contributed 159 total yards, 6 tackles and 3 assists and he scored 2 touchdowns for the Wildcats.

Annie runs for the Cross Country team and last week they were in Hershey, PA competing against some of Pennsylvania’s best. Annie placed 59th out of 224 top runners with a time of 22:18.

Rebecca Klemovitch, Volleyball

Team 2-0 League (Lackawanna Trail & Blue Ridge)

Semi-finalist in Scranton Showdown

League – 23 Kills, 2 Blocks, 5 Digs

Tourney – 38 Kills, 7 Aces, 4 Blocks, 14 Digs

Cameron Johnson, Soccer

Team 2-0 League (Old Forge & Blue Ridge)

2 goals, 2 assists

Western Wayne Seniors Recognized as WVIA Artists of the Week

Creating surreal art and performing with renowned foreign composers are just two of the accomplishments of the Western Wayne seniors chosen to be one group of WVIA artists of the week for fall 2018.

Both Melody Gershey and Katherine Moore have been named artists of the week. Melody for her visual art work and Kat for her work with performance art.

Melody’s interest in art stemmed from time spent with family members like her grandmother sharing the same talent.

Inspiration for one of Melody’s oil paintings “Autumn Impressionism” came from a piece her grandmother had created.

“I just picked up painting from a young age,” Melody explained.  “I enjoyed seeing my family’s art and found it came naturally to me as well.”

Melody said that five of her pieces will be featured for WVIA in the mediums of oil, acrylic, and colored pencil.

One piece is a reflective self-portrait.

“It’s very surreal.  I’m holding a huge book in a forest,” she described.  “There is also a moon that has elements of the face of a clock.  I included elements of things I enjoy like books, the moon, and the concept of time.”

Melody explained that she has enjoyed developing her art skills in her classes at Western Wayne.  Her art teachers first introduced her to surrealism.

“I enjoy surrealist art because people can interpret it in so many different ways,” Melody said.

She feels honored to have been recognized by WVIA and looks forward to continuing to develop her love of art.  She plans to attend cosmetology school next fall and has plans to start teaching art classes at a studio in Hawley in the near future.

Kat has a great love for visual art just as Melody does.  The girls are in the same art classes for their senior year. Kat explained that she also enjoys painting and other art mediums.

However, the one area Kat excels at even more than visual art is performance art.  She has earned many honors with her music over her four years at Western Wayne and is being recognized by WVIA for performance art.  Some of her honors include qualifying to play with region orchestra for the past two years on obo and playing with music groups in the local community including the ensemble group the Marywood University Wind Symphony.

Through performing with this Marywood group, Kat had the opportunity this past summer to travel to China on a cultural exchange program and play with famed Chinese composers.  She explained how she got to be conducted by the composer of the music for the introduction for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“I learned that music is truly a language for all,” Kat said.  “We were all able to understand what he meant when working with him through how he expressed it.”

Kat enjoys playing a variety of musical instruments including:  flute, piccolo, English horn, and her favorite instrument, the obo.  She also likes singing.

Kat has had numerous meaningful experiences with music throughout her years at Western Wayne.

She named her experience playing in the pit band for Western Wayne’s production of Seussical her 8th grade year as one of her favorite times playing music at school.

“I was given the opportunity to play in the pit by my teacher Mrs. Ort.  Not many 8th graders are asked to play in that particular ensemble,” Kat explained.  “I was just starting to learn obo, and it was like a switch flipped for me and made me want to do music after high school.”

Kat plans to study music education next year and thinks that her experiences as one of the drum majors for the Western Wayne Wildcat Marching Band is helping her prepare for her future career.

“I love being able to go up on the podium and talk to the band and teach them,” Kat said.  “In band, how you act is reflected off everyone else.  I feel supported by the band as whole just as I support them in my leadership role.  I love teaching people.”

Both Melody and Kat are thrilled to be one group of artists named as WVIA artists of the week for the fall of 2018.  Their segment will air on WVIA in November.  For the latest information on WVIA artists of the week, check their website




Left to Right: RJ Clemens, Bryce Urian, Nick McGlone, Dylan Walck, Jake Kunz, Gianna DeBastiani, Samantha Atcavage, Maya Black, Allison Mattern, and Paige Barillo.


Introducing your 2018 King and Queen Jake Kunz, and Gianna DeBastiani.

Western Wayne Fashion Students Develop Creative Projects

Repurposing men’s blazers, designing long skirts, and creating entire themed fashion collections are just some of the tasks that Western Wayne fashion teacher Mrs. Colleen Carmody has her design students working on this year in the high school.

The students recently took a field trip to Joann Fabrics to get materials for some of their upcoming fashion projects.  Carmody explained that one such project involves students re-purposing men’s blazers.

“The students basically recycle the men’s blazers by making them into something more fashionable,” Carmody explained.  “They create women’s jackets out of the blazers that feature brocades, satin, chain belts, and/ or other elements.  They also dart the jackets on the inseam to make them more form fitting.”

Senior fashion student Erin Murphy explained that she thinks the most challenging part of the repurposed blazer project involves using bias tape to make the jacket more size-appropriate for a female.

“It’s challenging to get the bias tape close to the edge of the seam,” Murphy, who wishes to study science in college and enter the medical field afterwards, explained.  “I like that I can make choices in designing the blazer. I chose blue shiny material to add to it.”

Junior fashion student Abby Black also enjoys having the opportunity to make choices in her classes with Carmody.

“I chose a rustic color for my blazer,” Abby said.  “I feel challenged working with the material of the original coat because of its shape and how the liner is flimsy, so I add bias tape to firm it up.  I look forward to seeing the finished product.”

Fellow senior fashion student Shauna McAndrew, as well, feels anxious to see the finished repurposed blazers.  She chose to add material with a floral design to her coat.

“I like this project because we get to add a feminine look to what would generally be a male’s outfit,” Shauna, who wishes to attend beauty school, explained.

Junior Noelle Orehek is learning many sewing and design techniques that she can use to create various fashions through her construction portfolio in Carmody’s class.  She explained how she has learned competency tasks such as how to put in a zipper, how to put in a dart, and how to sew both French and flat-felled seams.

Noelle enjoyed her class’ recent trip to Joann’s because she successfully worked to budget the money she was allotted.

“I was able to budget money on fabrics that I deemed less important and then was able to get a blue floral material that was fancier to use in making my maxi skirt for class,” Noelle explained.  “I want use that skirt in our spring fashion show.”

Noelle’s friend and classmate junior Trina Barcarola agrees that making the long skirts will be one of her favorite projects this year.  She is also working on her basic skills with her construction portfolio and has been most recently practicing her base stitches.

“I can’t wait to see how our skirts turn out,” Trina said.

Surely the skirt project will have a certain quality of sophistication just like senior Victoria Petrosky’s senior collection entitled “Elegance.”

Each year Carmody’s advanced fashion students create a fashion collection to be featured at the annual spring fashion show at the Western Wayne Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

The senior fashion students have already began working on their collections this fall.  Victoria explained that she chose “Elegance” as her theme because she loves fashion that has this quality.

“My pieces look classy and clean,” Victoria, who will study sociology at East Stroudsburg University next year, explained. “I like to see the finished product of my design work and feel satisfied that I created these pieces.”

Victoria hopes to continue fashion design as a hobby and has already started her general education credits at East Stroudsburg University through a dual enrollment program with Western Wayne.

Senior fashion student Isabel Valentin agrees with Victoria that she enjoys seeing her ideas for designs come to life in her finished pieces.

Isabel has titled her senior collection “Inspiring Vintage” or “IV”.

She explained how one of her collection pieces is a modern Kimono design. Some of her other pieces include a vest, fitted pants, and a flowy top.

“I like old things,” Isabel, who wishes to study dentistry next year, explained. “In modern style, most pieces are more fitted and flared.  I like my designs to be very flowing and not tight.  I first started designing clothes when I was younger by using a sewing machine to make costumes.  I am really excited to now be creating a senior collection for our spring fashion show.”

Both the students and Carmody look forward to continue developing their many fashion projects, some of which will be featured in Western Wayne’s annual spring fashion show.

Western Wayne Administration Recognizes Senior’s Achievements

Western Wayne Administration has recognized Robert Joseph Clemens as an outstanding student.  RJ is a senior who has been highly involved in Western Wayne’s academic clubs and music programs all four years of high school.

RJ is a member of National Honor Society, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, Technology Student Association, Political Science Club, Scholastic Team, Spanish Club, Envirothon, Band, Drama Club, musical theater, and the Reading Team.

RJ greatly enjoys his science classes at Western Wayne and plans to pursue a science major at either Temple University, Rutgers University or Hofstra University.

He is also involved in a variety of academic clubs including the Reading Team that he has participated in since middle school.  Students in this club get to read a variety of books for a competition against other local schools in the spring.

“I like learning from books I read and applying that information in competition,” RJ explained about his experiences with the Reading Team.

Along with all of RJ’s academic endeavors at Western Wayne he is also highly involved in musical theater and drama.

RJ has been in Western Wayne musicals for five years.  He was a part of the first class of 8th graders that were invited to work on Western Wayne productions his 8th grade year.

As an 8th grader, he played a Wickersham Brother in Seussical.  For all of his high school years, he has played leading roles: including Shrek in Shrek, Albert Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie, and Jimmy Winter in Nice Work if You Can Get It.  He plans to audition for this year’s musical production as well.

RJ has also been the president of Wildcat Curtain Call, Western Wayne’s drama club, for the past two years.  RJ helped to start the initiative to form a year-long drama club at Western Wayne and hopes that students get to enjoy it for years to come.

“I feel honored to have been a part of the first group of students to participate in Wildcat Curtain Call,” he said.  “I have enjoyed planning events and fundraisers along with working with younger students to help them develop as performers.”

RJ has also worked on numerous local theater projects including working as the assistant director of the children’s theater for the Lakeside Players in the summer of 2017.  He had the opportunity through this experience to teach basic acting skills to students, create sound effects for shows, and work on scene changes during the productions.

In college, RJ plans to pursue his passion for theater along with his academic studies.

Western Wayne Welcomes New Staff Members

“The struggles I’m facing/ The chances I’m taking/ Sometimes might knock me down but/ No I’m not breaking/ I may not know it/ But these are the moments that/ I’m going to remember most,” are lyrics from the popular song “The Climb” that resonate with all Western Wayne faculty and staff and are especially meaningful to faculty new to the district for the 2018-19 school year. The song was played during a presentation on Pride in Differentiation on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at the opening day in-service for all district employees.

New teachers attended an additional new teacher induction day on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at the District Office. All 11 new faculty members are eager to assist all students with any struggle or challenge they will face throughout the school year and look forward to making the climb to success at Western Wayne with them on a daily basis.

The new teachers include: MaryBeth Booth, long-term substitute high school Spanish; Hannah Fornes, long-term substitute elementary music; Amanda Gruszewski, special education high school; Jessica Short, ELA and science middle school; Samantha Antosh, long-term substitute high school English; Joyce Covaleski, middle school chorus; Ashley Kromko, first grade; Helene Tscheschlog, high school biology; Steven Rovinsky, emotional support; Tara Morcom, elementary guidance counselor; and Melissa Cottone, elementary behavioral specialist.

The new Western Wayne staff members come from a variety of backgrounds yet all share the same passion for working with Wildcat students.

High School biology teacher Helene Tscheschlog comes to us most recently from East Stroudsburg Area High School North where she taught for the last 11 years. While at North, she earned her master’s degree in 2010 from Wilkes University and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware.

Tscheschlog enjoys teaching biology because of the many new innovations and technologies that enable her and her students to understand more about life.

“It’s exciting to see how scientists take things to the next level and how we are continuously expanding the reaches of the human brain,” Tscheschlog said. “I am excited to work with such great minds and good spirits at Western Wayne! There is a sense of pride that students exude throughout the school that is contagious.”

Fellow new high school faculty member Samantha Antosh, long-term substitute for high school English, also is very excited to share in the pride with her students this year.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Western Wayne community because everyone is so friendly and everything is about helping the students grow and learn,” Antosh explained. “I look forward to seeing what my students will accomplish this year.”

Antosh comes to Western Wayne most recently from a long-term substitute position at Valley View last school year in 7th grade English. She graduated from Marywood University in 2016 and has also been a substitute teacher at North Pocono School District and the Howard Gardner School. She is thrilled to bring her passion for teaching English to Western Wayne.

“My favorite part of teaching English is seeing the students connect with the texts that we read and seeing them overcome struggles in their writing,” she said.

Another new full-time employee is Jessica Short who teaches multiple subjects in the middle school. Short is no stranger to the district. She has been at Western Wayne since the 2016-17 school year when she did a long-term substitute position as a 7th grade language arts teacher. The following school year she did a long term position in 6th grade language arts. Now, for the present school year, Short has been hired full time to teach 6th grade science, 7th grade ELA, and 8th grade ELA.

Prior to working at Western Wayne, Short did long-term substituting at Mountain View in 7th and 2nd grades for two half year positions. Short holds certificates in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle School Math, Middle School ELA, and Pre-K through 12 ELA. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Wilkes University.

Short is excited to teach ELA full-time at Western Wayne. “I have always loved reading. Being able to share that love with my students every day is more amazing than words can describe,” Short explained. “I love seeing the light bulbs in their minds turn on when they make a connection.”

Coworker MaryBeth Booth, a long-term substitute for Spanish in the high school, also enjoys helping her students to make connections to her content area.

“I most enjoy empowering students with the ability to connect to other cultures through language,” Booth explained.

Booth previously worked at Wallenpaupack Area High School for 12 years and has also taught at Marywood University along with having studied in Ecuador and Spain on various occasions.

“I have spent several weeks working in orphanages in Venezuela and Colombia,” Booth said. “I have also travelled to Costa Rica and Mexico. I enjoy experiencing other cultures.”

Booth’s students feel eager to learn from an educator with such vast experiences similar to fellow Western Wayne Middle School music teacher Joyce Covaleski.

Covaleski explains that teaching is her “third and most beloved career choice” having worked previously as a Music Therapist and Registered Nurse.

Previously, Covaleski worked at LaSalle Academy in Jessup PA where she taught General Music PreK-8, 8th Grade Religion, and three choirs, and two bands.

“When I started at LaSalle, there was one combined choir for grades 3-8 in a school of over 500 students,” Covaleski explained. “I started the traditional band program from the ground up, finding the best rental agreement for our parents, and teaching students everything they needed to know to play and care for their instruments.”

Among many other accomplishments, Covaleski started a rock band group for advanced students at LaSalle that would even at times accompany students in their general music concerts. Covaleski also broke the choir up into different groups for different purposes. Her show choir group was called the Choir of St. Cecilia of LaSalle Academy and performed all over Lackawanna County.

“Last year, my choir performed twice at the Cathedral for Mass, which was a great honor,” she explained. “Also, I was selected to be the conductor for the Combined Choir for the Diocese’s 150th Anniversary Mass for the Holy Cross School System, a tremendous honor and highlight of my career.”

Covaleski feels very excited to share her vast experience in music education with the Western Wayne community.

“I am very excited about the new opportunities I will find at Western Wayne. I am excited to help our Middle School students build confidence and find their voices,” Covaleski said. “I am excited to show our Wildcat Pride by taking our choral groups out into the community for various performance opportunities. I am very excited to be part of a music program with a reputation for excellence, and I hope to contribute to that excellence.”

Elementary new hire Ashley Kromko, first grade teacher, can’t wait to spend the year contributing to the environment of Western Wayne excellence at the elementary level.

“I am so excited to be a part of the Western Wayne Community!” Kromko said. “I am a graduate of Western Wayne, so it’s very exciting and fun to teach and give back to the community that helped shape me into becoming an educator. I also have worked with wonderful colleagues throughout the years, which has made the district feel more like a second home.”

Kromko had yearly long-term substitute positions at Western Wayne in the past for grades 4, 2,1, and physical education. She is thrilled to now be a permanent member of the Wildcat community doing what she loves.

“My favorite part about teaching elementary students is how excited and eager they are to learn,” Kromko explained. “Nothing can beat starting your day with hugs or smiles at your door, for students who are happy to see you and be in school.”

Elementary co-worker Hannah Fornes, long-term substitute in elementary music, also is eager to share her talents with young Wildcat music students.

This is Fornes first teaching position after having recently graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in music education.

“My favorite part about teaching music is getting to share my passion for music with students and seeing them enjoy learning the concepts I teach them in class,” Fornes explained. “I am most excited about working in the Western Wayne community because growing up not too far from here, I always knew Western Wayne had a very solid background in supporting the arts in education and I am proud to now be a part of that legacy.”

Fellow educator Steven Rovinsky, emotional support teacher, feels just as passionate about his career as Fornes.

Rovinsky earned a degree in speech language pathology from Penn State University and a master’s in special education K-8 with elementary education certification K-4 from Marywood University.

“Over the past several years I have worked in a variety of educational environments at all grade levels,” Rovinsky explained. “I quickly developed a passion for helping students with severe emotional needs and behavioral problems succeed within the context of their classrooms. Special education in terms of a field is exciting from my perspective as I get to work closely and directly have an impact on that student’s growth. It is an honor to work at the Western Wayne School District and provide services for students in the community.”

Amanda Gruszewski, high school special education teacher, also feels honored to provide her services to students in the Western Wayne community.

Gruszewski graduated from Wilkes University with a degree in criminology and from Marywood University with a master’s in education. She worked in education for three years before her position at Western Wayne and feels like this will be her best year in the field yet.

“Everyone here is very welcoming, including the students, which makes each day a wonderful day to be here,” Gruszewski said.

Part of new hire Tara Morcom’s job is making sure her elementary students feel welcome on a daily basis through her position as an elementary guidance counselor.

Morcom received her B.S. in psychology with a counseling concentration from East Stroudsburg University in 2015. During her time at ESU, she interned with East Stroudsburg Area High School South’s Guidance Department. She also graduated from The University of Scranton in 2017 with her M.S. in school counseling.

During graduate school, she interned at Mid Valley Elementary Center and spent time working as a TSS for NHS in Carbondale. Immediately prior to gaining employment at Western Wayne, she worked as an elementary/ middle school counselor at East Stroudsburg Area School District.

“My favorite part about being an elementary counselor is seeing the smiles on students’ faces and witnessing their success. It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to positively impact a student’s life and play a role in his/ her life,” Morcom explained. “When you, as a counselor, see your students’ grow, apply skills you have worked with them to develop, and overcome obstacles, the feeling is indescribable.”

Coworker Melissa Cottone, elementary behavioral specialist, also loves helping students to gain the confidence they need to achieve successes in their lives.

Cottone has worked previously as a mental health professional and behavior analyst. She has worked with many children/ adolescents and their families in a variety of settings from working with families in their homes to intensive clinical settings to private practice. All of these experience has led her to the Western Wayne community.

“Working with students with special needs has been my passion,” Cottone explained. “Helping students grow behaviorally and emotionally is a very rewarding experience. I think what excites me most about being part of the Western Wayne community is that I get to work with a fantastic group of professionals. As individuals we can come up with good ideas, but those ideas can become great when working as a team.”

All of Western Wayne’s new hires look forward to continuing their team work throughout this school year as they work toward the common goal of helping each unique Western Wayne student thrive in the Wildcat community and beyond.

Financial Aid Night – October 12th @6:00

Seniors & Parents…

Are you nervous about paying for college???  Come to Financial Aid Night on Friday, October 12th at 6:00 PM to get some information and ease your minds!