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Tamaqua’s Blue and White Magazine

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Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


a century.


When we learn about history, we don’t think of a 100 years as a significantly large period of time. However, when you put it into perspective, it really is. Mrs. Elsie Rita recently celebrated her 100th birthday on March 14th, 2014 as well as 40 years of service to TASD. (Read more about Elsie on page 10) Her birthday got us thinking: What would our life be like if we were the age we are now, only 100 years ago? What must have it been like to live through all that Mrs. Rita has lived through?


Statistic help to put into perspective what it would have been like back then. Can you imagine only paying $0.05 per gallon of gas? Well, that’s even if you had a car! Only 4,000 cars were known to be in existence in the United States. Those 4,000 cars driven by only the wealthiest of Americans, such as doctors, whose salary was merely $2,500 per year! Some


states weren’t even a part of the Union 100 years ago. In fact, the US Flag only had 45 stars! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! What about sports? Or Holidays? In this issue of the Blue & White, think about how different the articles would be if we were talking about these topics a 100 years ago. Graphic Design & Photography by Kyle Weaver



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Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


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Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


The Mayor of Tamaqua High Mrs. Setlock’s class teaches students with special

by: Laura Anderson

Why was Neal chosen as Mrs. Setlock’s Student of the Month?

needs just as any other classroom teaches its students; the only

Although the answer is apparent, I wanted to know Mrs. Setlock’s

difference being the adapted agenda. Recently, our very own

reasoning behind it. She responded with a long list of reasons:

Neal Michlovsky, a senior within the program, was nominated

“He’s been here forever. He’s the most responsible, independent

as Student of the Month. To recognize this achievement, the

student. An example setter, he’s helpful and walks the non-verbal

Blue and White magazine interviewed him, during which he was

kids through the halls. He’s truly the Gentle Giant!” Speaking with

vibrant and kind as ever; it’s no wonder he is known as “The Gen-

Neal further, her praise was confirmed. Not only is Neal a won-

tle Giant” and “The Mayor of Tamaqua High.” Throughout the

derful person, he is also a trendsetting student. Neal is responsi-

interview, I learned things about Mrs. Setlock’s class and sweet

ble for creating the class’s tradition of “Fist Pumpin’ Fun Fridays;”

Neal that completely blew my mind.

he was helpful enough to teach me how to properly fist pump

I started off the interview with a few questions for Neal, who was grinning ear to ear with his lovable smile. He greeted me with a high-five, as is his trademark, and sat next to me ready and willing to share his experience with his school. I learned that his favorite classes are math and food prep, the latter class he attends every Tuesday and Thursday. With all his enthusiasm and his emphatic statement of “I like everything,” there seemed to be nothing he disliked; when inquired further about this, he mentioned that of all the things in the world, he disliked writing and cleaning dishes.

(which I’m thankful for because I was quite inept beforehand). Not only the King of Fist Pumpin’, Neal has another special talent that the Tamaqua Student Body has certainly noticed: he remembers everyone’s name. You need only tell him your name once, and he’ll remember it for life. I remember meeting him in 7th grade; his knowledge of each and every student far surpassed mine and still does to this day. Don’t forget to high-five him when you see him, he absolutely loves that! Outside of school, Neal loves to watch TV. Mrs. Setlock asked him what shows came on at what time, and Neal revealed yet another talent: he’s memorized the television schedule! Mrs. Setlock says that in addition to his alias as Mayor,


Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

“he’s a walking TV guide.”

of like a Smart Board on wheels.” It’s touch-activated and hands-

In March, Mrs. Setlock’s class went bowling, which every member looked forward to. Previous projects include the creation of a colorful banner for the annual Special Olympics. “Last year Neal was chosen to run with the torch,” Mrs. Setlock informed me, giving the honorable Mayor a proud smile. At her current position for over 10 years, Mrs. Setlock

on, allowing the students to play music, read books, and learn on programs. The dedicated teacher beamed at this and said with eyes alight: “When they’re happy, I’m happy.” Our school mayor is a senior this year, and when asked what he had to say to his fellow classmates upon graduation, he waved: “Goodbye. I’ll miss you guys!” Neal is a talented, adaptive and creative student, due to his supportive family and caring teachers. The

presides over her class every day with an optimistic outlook.

program is most successful with parent involvement; during the

She makes each and every day bright for her students, and is

Special Olympics, each student receives a ribbon for the events

Neal’s favorite teacher, so it was exciting to include her into the

they play in. Pictures of the Olympics are taken and sent home

interview. When asked why she chose her career, she replied: “My

to loving parents, who are involved in other ways as well. Many

brother was diagnosed as mildly ID. He’s the main reason.” She

of them volunteer to chaperone on field trips with the class, and

went on to explain her teaching methods: “We teach functional

every parent is in communication with Mrs. Setlock daily through

math, money management, functional reading and social studies,

either phone calls, email, or “communication books,” which is

and adapted learning.” The rules in the class are similar to other

a big help in monitoring the student’s progress and individual

classes (stay seated, raise hand, etc.), but there is a little more


down time, and field trips once a month. The year starts off hectic as everyone tries to determine the best system for the students; in a structured environment, scheduling is everything. “Snow days don’t help,” Mrs. Setlock said good-naturedly. Eventually everything in the classroom settles down, and the students are comfortable with their new routine. This is the most difficult thing about the class, and also the most vital. To Mrs. Setlock, the most rewarding thing is “seeing

Aside from family, the program has several other assistants who Mrs. Setlock “couldn’t do without (their) help”: Mrs. Harleman, Mrs. Galassow, Mrs. Baldassano, and Mrs. Miller. Special thanks go out to these teachers as well as Mrs. Setlock, (for teaching these students who make the school a brighter place.) In truth, the time I spent in the classroom were some of my most cherished moments. Spend even a minute with Mrs. Setlock’s lovely students, and the smile on your face will be permanent.

the development from Day 1 to Day 180,” which I imagine must

Every part of the student body is welcomed and appreciated

be extraordinary with teachers like ours. Her favorite thing to do

at Tamaqua Area High, where, as Mrs. Setlock said before my

with the students is to let them learn on her “Tap It,” which is “kind

departure, “we’re a little family.”

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


A Poultry Tale

by: Hannah Betz

Anyone who’s taken ninth-grade Language Arts has read ‘Romeo and Juilet’. Many of us have “performed” The Diary of Anne Frank, too. Not many people, however, can recall a play where such lines as “bogacoder”, “bragh”, and “crauw” are commonplace. This year’s Drama Club performance, however, will include these odd lines and many more in Honk! Telling the timeless tale of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ (with some surprising twists), it promises to bring everyone, both performers and audience members alike, an extraordinary experience. I was able to talk to some of the cast members and talk about their experiences, what they think of the play, and more.

Director: Mrs. Adriane Drum Assisant Director: Miss Erika Cassell Vocal Director: Ms. Kristine Betz Costume & Make up Director:

Ms. Laura Makuta

Sound Design: Mr. Greg Semanco Marketing Director: Mrs. Jillian Tuckett

Starring: Jacob Beers as Ugly, Aimee Hull as Ida, & Jacob Gursky as cat

Scan this QR code to view the online playbill for THS’s Production of HONK!


Sarah Jones, who plays the role of Maureen, says that her favorite scene is Look At Him, a hilarious-yet-heartbreaking musical number. Alec Roseland, playing the role of duckling Downy, cited Queenie and Lowbutt’s scene as his favorite. Jake Gursky, who plays the Cat, agreed. Queenie herself, played by Abby Billig, demurred; she says that her favorite is Jake’s song, Play With Your Food. Everybody has their favorite memories, too. For Alec? “I really appreciate all the inside jokes I’ve accumulated,” he says. Sarah likes “being able to call Jake [Beers] ugly!” (for a bit of context: Jake is playing the lead character, Ugly). So what can people expect from Honk!? According to Abby, you’ll hear and see “lots of good music and a fun time for everybody”. Jake says you can expect to have “a quacking good time!” Alec says, “You’ll definitely have a fun experience.” This year’s show is unique; the Drama Club is combining high school and middle school for the very first time this year. Everyone’s been logging a good deal of work for the performances (on March 21st and March 22nd)- practices have been running for two to three hours four or five days every week since early January! All this work is not for nothing, though. We know it will pay off when we’re ready to perform our poultry tale for the audience!

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

S ' Y L UG S T H G U O TH Olivia When Behr, did you join drama Hannah club; were you inspired by Betz, Abby anyone? I joined drama club in the Billig, Andrew 6th grade and have been apart of it ever since.Sarah Delpais, Who inspires you the most? Jones, Cody McGeeI never was really inspired by any one person han, butand Jeff in particular, I always knewStahler, that I loved to make people laugh and smile, and especially entertain them. Anderson, Josh Laura What has been your favorite performance to beBeth a part Gordon, Sophia Gursky, of? Kistler, Daniel Lee, Roseland, Hmm, that’s a really tough question. That’sAlec like asking a mother with four kids to pick her favorite. Honestly if I would have to choose one, I Micaiah Franklin, would probably sayShupp, Honk! was my Melanie favorite. The music was great, the cast and crew were incredible to work with, and the message was very touching andBriana can relate toMorrison, the modern day almost Zachperfectly. Deem What do you hope the audience takesGardiner, away from Honk!?Kasey Geren, Emily Barrett, Amy I hope that everybody who went to see Honk takes away from it that being yourself is the Hull, Oliva Lattanzi, TaliathinkLewis, Caryn bestAlicen thing you can do. Don’t worry about what other people or what other people say, just be you, nobody can ever judge you for being yourself. We were all created perfectly in our Kennedy Ritchie, Faith Roberts, Mitchell ownMatz, ways. What’s next in your career? Sabol, ZoeactingSnyder, Kayla Zamudio, Stef Gensure, Whats next for me?! I’d love to say either BroadwayPrantow, or Hollywood, but I’ll need to work really hard to get there. Amber Linkhorst, Nicole Juliette Reinhart, and For now maybe I’ll perform in a few minor productions and do some vocal performances, but throughout college I will definitely be going to many auditions and hopefully letting my dream become a reality. One of my favorite Diedra Ressler Olivia Behr, quotes is, “A dream is just a personal goal that one setsHannah for themself”. Betz, Abby Billig, Andrewthoughts/thanks/shout-outs? Delpais, Sarah Jones, Cody McGeehan, and Jeff Stahler, Remaining Lastly, I’d like to Anderson, say thank you to all of my amazing family who supports me in Gursky, absolutely everything Also, a special thanks to Laura Josh Gordon, Sophia BethI do.Kistler, Danall of my friends who have been supporting me in my performing career since the good ol’e days in 6th grade. Thanks as well to Mrs. Drum all of theAlec cast and crew who helped Micaiah put on Honk! Each of you truly Melanie touched a part of my heart, being Briana able to perform ielandLee, Roseland, Shupp, Franklin, along side of you all and watch us progress not only as individuals, but also as a whole really leaves me feeling that next year will be another great performance! Finally, I owe everything to God. Without him I wouldn’t have my incredible Morrison, Zach DeemEmily Barrett, Amy Gardiner, loving family, or any of the great gifts he’s given me. I couldn’t have asked for a better way for my highKasey school acting career to come to an end. I love you all, you guys are the best! Geren, Alicen Hull, Oliva Lattanzi, Talia Lewis, Caryn Matz

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition



Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


Nutrition & Wellness Fashion & Appearl Family & Parenting Food Production & Services ...with Miss Makuta

Miss Makuta’s Marvelous Electives!

Students are required to take electives as they pick out classes for the upcoming school’s years schedule. Many of them find Ms. Makuta’s electives very appealing. Who wouldn’t want to cook up something scrumptious in her Food Production and Services class? Or take care of a life-like baby in Family and Parenting? That’s not all she has in store. There is also Nutrition and Wellness, as well as Fashion and Apparel. No doubt what you choose, there is something fun and hands-on in her electives. This allows for students to interact and learn many different skills they would not learn in regular classes. We interviewed Ms. Makuta to get a closer look at how she enjoys teaching these electives. -What’s your favorite elective to teach? “I love to teach Nutrition and Wellness.”

by: Jazmin Mena

-If you could teach another elective, what would it be? “Nutrition and Wellness for the athletes.” Here’s what some students have to say when asked what their favorite class memory was and what they have learned.

“I get to cook with my best friend because Miss Makuta’s lets us pick our lab partners. I learned that I have been holding a knife wrong when cutting foods.” - Alli Pedersen “The jeopardy game was really funny, especially laughing at Ms. Makuta’s techno skills. I’ve learned that nutrition isn’t only about the food you eat, it’s an example that you can control your life through your choices” -Catherine Minehan

-Have there been any special moments in class that you “ My favorite moment would have been when Sarah would have never been able to forget? “Yes, one time a student do the chicken dance in class and I learned to make a wrote on a sticky note on a test that he loved my class and scarf. It was great!” - Madison Davis that I was a really good teacher.” -What is the strategy you use to make sure students understand all material and do their best on tests? “ I use a lot of hands on activities. This usually makes it easier for students to learn the material. I also mold to a student’s needs. If they are auditory learners or visual learners, then their tests will be a bit different. I want all students to do well in my class and if that requires some changes, then I will do everything I can to help them succeed.”

From my experience, her electives are the classes I look forward to all day. Her classroom atmosphere is always easy going and relaxed. I also enjoy how she teaches because she somehow she always manages to make some kind of funny joke. Yes, Ms. Makuta describes herself as “ridiculously” funny. After choosing one of her electives, you will want to come back and choose another of her fun-filled classes.

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition



Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


How many people do you know that are 100 years old and still hold two daily jobs? Truly, how many people do you know that are 100 years old in general? Mrs. Elsie Rita celebrated her 100th birthday on March 13th, 2014 during a surprise birthday party that was held for her in the THS cafeteria. Each lunch period students sang to Elsie and signed a life size card for her expressing their love and appreciation for all her hard work to Tamaqua Area School District. Along with celebrating her 100th birthday, Elsie was also celebrating 40 years of service to the district. She started at Rush Elementary school, where she served as a lunch monitor when most of our current high school teachers were in elementary school! So what’s the secret? How do you live to be 100 years old and stay as spunky and active as Elsie? Elsie shared three tips throughout the day that she believes full-heartedly are the reason she is still here today: truthfulness, home-cooked meals, and a “little bit of prayer.” Elsie couldn’t express enough how much truthfulness played a role in her life. She acknowledges the pain that some truths may cause when told, but says that you must always tell the truth, “no matter how much it hurts. It’s only the right thing to do.” Elsie couldn’t stress enough how truthfullness builds strong, healthy relationships with friends and family and will keep you going no matter what. In addition to truthfulness, Elsie only eats home cooked

meals: “No one has time now a days to make homecooked, well-made meals. Make time.” Elsie belives that perservatives and unnecessary ingredients in processed foods lead to health problems. In addition to eating healthy, Elsie also instructs a senior citizens fitness class every morning at St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital. Finally, prayer is what Elsie belives got her to her 100th birthday. She strongly belives that believing in a religion, or something similar, strengthens your belief and makes you a more well-rounded person. Ms. Rita has three children, Joseph A. Rita of Nevada; Rita Repinec of Tamaqua; and Pat Rita of New Hampshire. All of Rita’s children are now in their 70s or 80s. She also has eight grandchildren, who also have children now. According to Elsie, she has “many, many great-grandchildren.” The Blue & White would like to congratulate and thank Elsie Rita for all her hard work and dedication to our school. You are a bright light when the world is dull and we can’t thank you enough for all your humorus comments and uplifiting movitation. Ms. Rita has no plans on retiring. In fact, “The way I feel now, I want to be 200. I’m not going to quit.” We have no doubt that she will cetainly live up to her dreams.

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


Snow-bunnies or Beach-bums— How do you feel about all these snow days? by: Arie Serniak From the start of Christmas break to January 28th, there was only, get this...FOUR regular days. With so many delays and closings in the months of January and February, how are students and teachers handling the schedules? Is it really necessary to have delays and no school so frequently? Tamaqua Blue & White Magazine Club grabs a shovel and digs in to find these answers, because all these cancellations are “snow” joke! According to Mr. McCabe, as of February 13th, Tamaqua High has run out of snow days. -Every holiday has been used as a snow make-up day to keep our summer vacation as long as possible. Although the delays and snow days take away from academics, the safety of the students and staff is the #1 priority. The year now reaches until June 1st, rather than May 30th. This also means that finals will be pushed back. However, The Times News stated that although the year is lengthened, senior graduation remains on May 30th. Did you know, that compared to surrounding districts, Tamaqua’s last day is the closest to the original date? Be thankful! Superintendant Mrs. Makuta posted a letter on the district website about all the cancellations, which states that the temperature, precipitation, building conditions, parking lot conditions, and weather predictions are all major factors in deciding if a delay or snow day is necessary. Mrs. Makuta also advises parents to keep an eye on their new drivers: “Discourage teenagers from driving in bad conditions and offer them alternatives if weather conditions worsen” All in all, the safety of students is always accounted for!


Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

Punxsutawney Phil called it! Six more weeks of winter! Let’s see what fellow students and teachers have to say:

Q: When it is a snow day, how do you like to spend it?

A: “I like that I get to sleep in later” - Timothy Lehman

A: “The delays were awesome...I got to catch up on my beauty sleep!” - Beth Kistler

Q: As a teacher, is it stressful having to rework lesson plans to fit the new schedule? Or do you enjoy a snow day just as much as a student?

A: “This is the first year I love snow days because I get to see my daughter! It’s just another day off I get to spend with her.” -Senora Hascin

Q: Even when there is a delay, walking to school can be brutal in the do you feel about walking in single digits?

A: “I don’t like walking to school in snow, and I feel they should have a bus in town.” -Brea Anna Sacco

Q: How do you feel about all these snow days? Keep them coming, or are you tired of the snow?

A: “I LOVE snow days!” -Taylor Fritz

A: “It affected the way my sports schedule is and got messed up! But some days those extra hours of sleep helped, especially when I had a paper or extra homework to do! But the downside is now that we won’t be able to go outside for baseball for awhile, so I feel like some of the days were not needed but only a few days we should have been off!” -Zeke Wassell

Q: As a senior, do these snow days make it feel like graduation will never arrive?

A: “To me, it feels like graduation will never arrive with missing time off for Easter. But in the end, I know we need the days off because the weather is just too bad for people to drive in.” -Emily Ward

A: “I still enjoy the days off, it’s good to have a couple days to relax without all the pressure.” -Dakota McGeehan

A: “The days off make it feel like we won’t be graduating until July! Don’t get me wrong, the first couple snow days were great, but after the next few it felt as if we would never graduate.” -Miranda Amey

While the snow days only make senioritis worse, underclassmen are enjoying all the days off. In the end, whether wishing for a blizzard or dreaming of a suntan, one thing is for sure...there’s nothing we can do but build a snowman, grab a cup of cocoa, and make the most of a snow day!

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


Do You Really Know Your Raider Marching Band? by: Mrs. Bittner The Tamaqua Raider Marching Band is more than just a bunch of kids making noise and running around on a football field; we’re a family, and all 165 of us stick together, no matter what. For many of us, band is our sanctuary. Whenever we have a bad day, we know that we have band to look forward to, where a goofy kid will make a silly comment that will bring smiles to our faces. We never stop laughing in the Raider Marching Band, and Mr. Beltz makes sure of it. Of course, we have goals that we want to accomplish and tasks we need to complete, but all the while, we’re making unforgettable memories with our 165-member family. The band allows all of its members to feel the greatest sense of pride that they are a part of something that is so widely-loved.

This band was built upon pride, tradition, and discipline, and every single person on the field with us plays a crucial part in making marching band such a fantastic performing group. But the question is... Do you really know your Raider Marching Band?

Did you know that we compete against other bands in adjudications? Did you know that we got a Gold rating at the Blue Mountain Tournament of Bands Competition? Did you know that we are the biggest band in Northeastern Pennsylvania? Did you know that our band director, Mark Beltz, was in the Raider Marching Band, when he was in high school? Did you know that all of the band front advisors (majorette, flag twirling, and cheerleading) were members of the Raider Marching Band, as well? Did you know that the band has their very own formal every winter? Did you know that you don’t have to play an instrument to be part of the band? 14

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

Did you know that if you are a majorette, flag twirler or cheerleader in high school, you are a member of the marching band and perform with us in the field show? Did you know that you don’t have to know how to twirl a flag or baton in order to be a majorette or flag twirler? Did you know that the band goes to Walt Disney World every five years? Did you know that we march in a parade down Main St. U.S.A. In Magic Kingdom? Did you know that the younger kids in elementary school are just as important to us as the kids in middle and high school? Yes, we know we are the biggest band in the area, but without the numerous, younger kids joining when they hit sixth or seventh grade, we would be nothing that we are now. They are the future of the Raider Band, and they are just as important as the members on the field right now. We are known as “The Pride of Tamaqua”, and we have a duty, as an organization that has been around for a very long time, to keep earning the respect that so many individuals regard us with. We plan to carry out this duty, year after year, and have immeasurable amounts of fun in the process.

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


Madison Davis & Alli Tamaqua Lady Raiders Basketball by:Pederson This past season was a rough one for the Lady Raider’s basketball team. They struggled to bring home a win, with their 5 junior starters. Unfortunately for the girls, their record consisted of 1 Varsity win and 20 losses. The team did bring in a win against Panther Valley to end the season. As for the Junior Varsity team, they ended the season with 3 wins and only 16 losses. Looking to the future, the team will not be losing any seniors this year, so they will be preparing to return next season strong and ready to take on the post season. The coaches and the girls plan on preparing for their next season’s goal by working hard at open gyms in the very near future.

The Lady Raiders members include. . .

Varsity Girls: Alexis Baddick, Bailey Hartung, Brianna Wittig, Paige Demetriades, and Vanessa Solt,

. JV Girls: Abby Machay, Alexa Hromyak, Hollie Paceley, Kaelyn Boran, Kayla Holland, Maddie Davis, Sam Shamon sky, and Stephanie Mickey

Dual Roster: Alli Pedersen, Bella Ligenza, and Kenzie McVicker

Coaches: Joe Berezwick, Tom Scheitrum, Kyle Berezwick, and Amy Zehner

Managers: Mady Coccio and Courtney Hoffman

Some season flash backs. . .

Freshman Kayla Holland told the news paper reporter “It’s Kayla Holland, like the country.” This title stuck with Kayla through the season, giving all the girls a little laugh. There is one thing ALL basketball girls have in common . . .basketball knees! Bruises and court burns are sure to make an appearance on many of the teams’ knees as the season progresses. Many of the girls wear knees pads to help prevent the dreadful bruises.

Our “candy lady”, Joan Nowak, gets the luxury of following the Lady Raiders to every game. We are all very appreciative to Joan for keeping the books and announcing for us at home games. We also all know her as the “candy lady” because she supplies the team with candy at the score table to satisfy that pregame or post game sweets cravings.

Pregame in the locker room Coach Joe found coins lying on the floor in the locker. The change had fallen out of Emily’s pockets and he just picked it up and kept it. This reoccurrence became a joke with the girls. They would place coins on the floor for Coach to find. But who was up to it? The genius behind this suspicious activity was all Emily Pratka.

Some words from the girls…

Kaelyn Boran, who was our point guard for JV says, “I’m very satisfied with the way my team played, we worked


Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

together and became a family. It felt pretty awesome when we brought home that first win! In off season I’ll definitely be working long and hard on catching, shooting and dribbling with my left hand of course! Driving the lane too! My favorite memories are the team room, the bus rides, and when Kayla told the picture guy her name was Kayla Holland, like the country!”


Emily Pratka also had some things to say about her junior basketball season on varsity this year; “I wasn’t necessarily happy with our season, but I wouldn’t trade this one for the world! You may wonder why I would say this. I say this because any team can stay strong together when they’re winning, but we also stayed together through the losses. We stayed a team the whole season. It felt great when we won, and it was also nice having a small student section to cheer us on! Hopefully we can get that for a lot of our games next year because winning was good for us. During our off season we will be practicing together and hopefully getting some people to put in their own time and practice at home and what not. My favorite memory would probably have to be Vanessa’s birthday! I brought her in gifts and we even got the win on her birthday! It was awesome to celebrate a teammate and a friend, I love every single member of our team! You all are the best!” Vanessa Solt, one of the starting five varsity girl says; “We had a tough season this year, but we stuck together as a team and worked really hard to improve. Finally, at the end of the season, we pulled off a win. It felt great to finally have a win to show for all of our hard work. We are all looking forward to working hard in the off season to prepare for next year. My favorite memory from this season was definitely all of the times we hid money in the locker room for coach to find! Even though this season was tough, I couldn’t have asked for better teammates to spend it with!”

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


Girl’s Swim Team

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” That quote seemed to be the motto for the Lady Raider’s swim team who ended the season with a 10-1 record and 5-0 record in the Schuylkill league. They’re titleholders. They’re athletes. They’re family. Whatever you want to call them, the girls are champions. This winter season proved to be a very successful one, in numerous ways. It was packed with broken records and new achievements for the seniors all the way down to the freshman.

Success The girls’ swim team concluded their season with a victory against Schuylkill Haven to clinch the league title once again. After beating Pottsville, Blue Mountain, Schuylkill Haven, Mahanoy, and Mount Carmel, the Raiders were able to look back at their season, breathe a sigh of relief, and say “We did it.” It may seem as if success comes naturally to these athletes, considering they have earned the title three out of the last four years. However, spectators may not realize the immense amount of time and effort that is put forth to achieve those victories. Freshman Rebecca Kanaskie praises the team’s work ethic. “I think that our team works terribly hard during the season. Swimming really is a difficult sport to do, and you have to be incredibly dedicated and driven to do it.” She went on to state her belief that the team is an “immensely focused and diligent group that brings out the best in each other.” Many members of the team were rewarded for all of their hard work by earning medals at the Schuylkill League meet at Pottsville High School and by qualifying for districts.

Senior Spotlight Sadly, all good things have to come to an end, and that proves to be the case for the Lady Raiders. At the end of the season, they will be saying goodbye to six seniors who have greatly contributed to the team’s overall success. However it is safe to say that these seniors have definitely left their mark. A recent meet at Pottsville proved to be very special for one of the senior captains. Winning the 200 yard freestyle race, Miranda Amey entered the Tamaqua’s elite group of 1,000 point swimmers. Fellow senior Joann Butkus had previously set Tamaqua high school records in freestyle and butterfly. However she proved that she was strong in almost every stroke by breaking the 100 yard breastroke record at Mahanoy High School. 18

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

It is obvious that the seniors will miss their teammates just as much as the team will miss them next year. Senior Carly Trovinger, who snatched a few first place medals at the end-of-season league meet, shared that she “will miss being with the team everyday and cheering them on at meets.” Butkus added to that stating that she has “tons of amazing memories” and is thankful for the opportunities she had and for the people she was able to share them with.

Family Saying the girl’s swim team is like a family sounds like a major cliché, but anyone on the team will tell you that if one thing is clear, it is that they really are like a family. It is difficult not to develop tight bonds with other swimmers considering they practice with each other every single day for about 3 ½ months. One senior captain Joann Butkus agrees that this year’s team was different and unique from other years. “This year, the team is so incredibly close, and the inter-team friendships are what have made this year the best year of swimming for me by far.” Additionally she said, “I truly love everyone on the team, and it will break my heart to say goodbye at the end of the season.” Trovinger responded similarly, saying, “They’re an awesome group of people, and we are all really close. It will definitely be weird next year to not see them all the time.”

Moving Forward The postseason holds a lot of opportunities for the girls to succeed. The district meet, which takes place at the end of February/early March, is a chance for the team to compete against the best swimmers from local schools. Many of the Lady Raiders were able to qualify to swim at districts and are excited to see how it will turn out. Butkus shared some of her personal goals for the postseason which include winning district gold and advancing on to state competition. Even though the girl’s team will be losing a great deal of talent next year, many still have a positive outlook on future seasons. Kanaskie shared some of her goals moving forward through high school. “I think our team has tons of potential,” she said. “I’m excited to see just how much our team can grow in skill and as a family.” Young swimmers will have big shoes to fill, but it seems as though many upperclassmen have confidence in the upcoming athletes. Trovinger provided one last piece of advice that helped her get through the seasons and she hopes will help the underclassmen. “No matter how hard practices will be, don’t give up. Work hard because it is really worth it, and it will only help you at the end of the day.”

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


y a D s ’ e n i t n e l a V I. Celebration/ Origin

by: Brooke DeHart

February 14th is that wonderful, luxurious time of the year when girls get dolled up in a cute outfit or dress, curl their hair, put on their best makeup, paint their nails, and dig out a pair of heels or nice flats for their beloved boyfriend who they will adore the whole night for giving them chocolate, teddy bears, flowers (roses preferably – take notes.), and most of all, extra love and adoration. We all admire this holiday for all the affection shared, fancy dinners made, and nights out to see a romantic movie, but why do we celebrate this universal holiday? Where did it come from? The story is not short and sweet, but it is interesting: Around 270 A.D., there was an emperor, Claudius, who forbid the marriage of soldiers because he believed it made them more attached to their families, therefore, becoming weak for battle. A bishop, Saint Valentine, secretly married the soldiers in love. The emperor found out what he was doing and threw him in jail, he met a friend, fell in love with his daughter, and right before his execution, wrote to her saying “From Your Valentine.” Years later, when a new emperor took the throne and changed the marriage laws, there was a festival in honor of Saint Valentine on the 14th of February, celebrating romance and love.

II. Symbols Roses: Favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love Cupid: God of desire, affection, and love Valentine’s Heart: A popular heart–shaped North African plant that was wildly loved and traded Doves: symbol for loyalty because they stay together for their whole lives

III. Statistics There are over $345 million chocolate sales on the week of Valentine’s 1 billion cards are exchanged, with teachers getting the most Canadians, on average, spend $92.00, and American’s spend $102.00

IV. Polls What is your dream Valentine’s Day date? My dream Valentine’s Day date is to have a moonlit dinner on the beach in Jamaica after a Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan concert. Kayla Wickersham Skydiving and then go to the beach and ride on horseback Mackenzie Heisler To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I hope Troy Aickman picks me up by seven for an organic dinner then takes me dancing all night (Snacks will be Dr. Pepper plus salt and vinegar chips). Mrs. Skuba 20

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

Elementary Fashion Show to Celebrate 100 Days Written by: Lexi Bauder, Clowie McKeever, Zachary Groner, and Emily Lawson

On Friday, January 31, 2014, the first grade classes at West Penn Elementary had their first ever fashion show to celebrate the 100th Day of school. This fashion show was held on the 100th day of school. The first graders made t-shirts that they designed with 100 items. They filled their t-shirts with all the things they love! The first grade students received their t-shirts from Mrs. Schlecht and Mrs. Monk a couple of weeks before the hundredth day. When they finished their designs, the 5th grade students from Mrs. Bittner and Mr. Gombar’s class met with the little tikes to discuss their shirts. One fifth grader was paired with a first grader to allow the young children to describe their t-shirts and why they chose the designs they did. This meeting gave the older students an opportunity to put together all of the information into a short descriptive writing for the actual fashion show. As the parents came into the gym, they found a red carpet as a runway, star lights to brighten the stage area, and fifth graders waiting patiently. Mrs. Schlecht opened the ceremony with a heart-felt welcome and the show began. As each first grader strutted their stuff down the runway for all the parents to see, their fifth grade partner made them shine even more through their descriptive writing about their shirt. What a fabulous way to celebrate 100 days of school!

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


Read Across America By: Alexis Buchala, Emily Kohlmeir, and Rebecca Rodgers On Monday, March 3rd, we celebrated Read Across America Day in honor of Dr. Seuss. The members of the Junior National Honor Society came to our classrooms and read some of their favorite books.


For our second grade project, the students also read “The Cat in the Hat” to us. After they were done reading it, we talked about what we would do if the characters from the story came to our house. Then, we returned to our seats and wrote a story called “If Thing One and Thing Two came to our house….” Finally, we made a craft to go with our story. Our teachers painted our hands red and blue. Our handprints were used to make either Thing One or Thing Two. We attached the craft to our story and shared it with our classmates. We had lots of fun doing our project for Read Across America Day.

10 Read Books at TES 1. Judy Moody Goes to College

6. Judy Moody: Around the world in 8.5 days

2. Amazing Snakes!

7. Oh, the places you’ll go!

3. Can You See What I See?

8. Shark Life.

4. Double Fudge

9. The Titanic

5. Judy Moody

10. The Bermuda Triangle


Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

Homework Club Homework club is where kids get help on homework. It isn’t just Mrs. Bittner and the kids we have helpers their names are Kaitlyn, Hannah, Emily. Homework club after school is from 3:20 to 4:30. The parents pick you up after homework club. Homework club is on every Monday unless we are off topic or it’s cancelled. If you are done homework, you work on AR or Study Island.

Written By: Terra Steigerwalt and Logan Kromer


The way you get into homework club is by filling out a permission slip. If you don’t, you are not permitted to stay. The other people in homework club say it is very fun. I got four people’s opinions. One of the kids is Forrest. He says that he likes homework club because his friends are there. He likes to do homework during that time. The second person is Dax Weller. He says he likes homework club because he gets more homework done to play X-Box at home. He likes to do math homework during that time. The final two people are Kiara and Katie. Kiara and Katie like homework club to get done homework.

Tamaqua Elementary School Students Sing at a Penguins Game

The fifth grade students who participate in chorus at the elementary level were given an opportunity to sing at a Willkes Barre/ Scranton Penguins Hockey game on February 1, 2014. Approximately 40 students attended the game and sang the National Anthem prior to the game starting. The students prepared for this great event over the course of a few weeks practicing with Mrs. Yachera, the chorus director. As Mrs. Yachera conducted, the students sang their hearts out on the ice for the fans and players of the Pens. This event is becoming an annual trip for the 5th grade chorus, as they attended last year, too. This year’s students say that fourth graders should be very excited to do this next year because they had a blast!

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


Determined For Success Character Trait of the Month – Determination


At West Penn Elementary School, February is the month of determination. Each month, the school does something different. Teachers carefully watch the students and if the teachers sees the student doing the monthly trait, then write their name down with what was done to prove that. Then, at the middle of the month, Mr. Behr and Mr. Fasnacht pull the names of the students out a box. If their names are chosen, the student gets a special reward. Here are the super students’ names and what they did to show that they are determined. First, is Josh Gerhart. Every morning he comes in being well prepared to have a great school day. He works very hard on his school work and tests to achieve success in his classroom. He is a hard working fourth grader! Next are Bradyn Brothers and Samantha Plasha from first grade, and they were determined and rocked the star testing! The last two are Haley Hamm in fifth grade and Mason Moyer in fourth grade. Haley was determined to become the best she can be, so she has been working hard and asking questions to help her understand things better. She is still working hard and asking questions to make her ability even better. Last, but not least, is Mason. He continuously is trying his hardest during class and to be successful. He will ask questions, if he doesn’t understand concepts. He puts a lot of effort into his school work which is why he does so well. Great job Mason, Samantha, Bradyn, Josh, and Haley for being so determined in February and all the time! Written By: Brynn Miller and Kiara Moser-MacDonald

Student of the Month – December / January West Penn Elementary’s Student of the Month Program honors students that show great character and go above and beyond in school. The student of the month is chosen by a teacher based on how a student acts and qualities such as exemplary character, leadership, and citizenship. It is not based on academic grades. The student chosen must be diligent or show care in their work, are good role models to other students, and show good effort in their subject areas. They also need to behave inside and outside of the classroom, be well mannered, and respectful to classmates and teachers. The West Pen Elementary Students of the Month for the month of October are Erica I. from Mrs. Bittner’s fifth grade


Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

class, Brady M. from Mr. Gombar’s fifth grade class, Lea C. from Mrs. Monk’s first grade class, and Matthew G from Mrs. Schlect’s first grade class. The students chosen for this honor for the month of November are Lacy Gruver from Mrs. Boyle’s second grade classroom, Tucker Thomas from Mrs. Gustus’s second grade classroom, and last, but certainly not least, Kayla Nunemacher from Mrs. Kinder’s and Mrs. Bittner’s fifth grade class.

We congratulate these students for working hard and having excellent behavior. Each student will be part of a special ice cream party hosted by Mr. Fasnacht, Tamaqua Elementary Schools Assistant Principal. They also are recognized at a Tamaqua Area School Board meeting where they receive a certificate and have their teacher read a letter about their accomplishments.


Brady M. stated, “It was awesome! And when you got picked, you finally feel like you did something good!” His enthusiasm and excitement for being recognized was very apparent.

Written By: Reese Szabo, Luke Verta, Mia Alicandri, and Johanna Wolbach

Student of the Month – February The Tamaqua Area School District decided to honor students this year by doing a Student of the Month program. The students for West Penn Elementary in February are Eileen Lusch, Sara Kulp, and Thodore Ross. They earned this great honor because they were determined, diligent students, they complete all of their assignments on time, and showed strong effort in school. They also showed excellent behavior. The students were well mannered and respectful to teachers and classmates. The students of the month show excellent citizenship in their willingness to help their classmates and have good leadership. Lastly, they time and time again show good attitude and great responsibility. Congratulations to all of the Students of the Month for February. Written by: Haley Hamm, Alexus Warne, Forrest Zellner, & Jamie Fedele

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


Furry Friends of West Penn In Miss Neverosky’s, Miss Stanek’s, Miss Peel’s and Mrs. Bittner’s classrooms, there are some furry little friends. They are chinchillas who like to run around and love to sleep during the day! You have to be careful, though, because if they get wet their hair will fall out, and it can hurt their skin. They are also very fragile, but we love having them in our classrooms.


Some Facts About Chinchillas · They always need wooden toys to chew on because their teeth are always growing. They chew on things to shorten their teeth to be able to eat and stay healthy. · Chinchillas are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are most active at night. That is why we don’t get to see them running around during school often. · You can give them regular Cheerios for a special treat. · Chinchillas like to climb all over things. We have a large pen to put them in and run around. However, they like to climb up the sides and almost excape. · They take dust baths to keep them clean. Since they cannot get wet, the chinchillas take a dust bath to keep them clean.

Each of the chinchillas at West Penn have very special names. In Miss Neverosky’s class, the grey chinchilla is named Desperaux after the mouse in the story The Tales of Desperaux. Miss Stanek’s brown furry friend’s name is Dumbledore from the movie Harry Potter. Miss Peel’s white mosaic, white and gray, pet’s name is Snoopy, and we all know where that name comes from. Mrs. Bittner has an albino chinchilla, or a chinchilla that has white fur and pink eyes, is named Sebastian from the move The Little Mermaid, and a gray chinchilla named Abu from the movie Alladin. I guess you can say that they have some pretty cool and crazy names, but they certainly bring a lot of enjoyment to the students in each of these classrooms. Written By: Letisha Snyder, Angel Shiner


Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition

Elementary By: Tiffany Wetherell Tamaqua Elementary

Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine: Issue 3, Volume 3 : Third Quarter Edition


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Tamaqua Blue and White Magazine - Issue 3, Volume 3  

Published by the students of Tamaqua Area School District.

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