MASD School Board Announces Potential Vacancy

June 29, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

The Middletown Area School Board of Education announces a potential vacancy on the School Board. If this vacancy is confirmed by August 1, 2015, the School Board will set aside time during the August committee meetings to interview interested candidates. The individual who is appointed to fill the School Board vacancy would serve from August 24, 2015 until School Board reorganization occurs on December 7, 2015.

Eligible School District residents who wish to be considered for this School Board position are asked to submit letters of interest by July 24, 2015. In accordance with the Public School Code, District residents are eligible to serve on the School Board if they have “good moral character,” are at least eighteen (18) years of age, and have resided in the District for at least one year. District employees, federal employees, federally-funded employees, and other elected officials may not serve as School Board Directors.

Letters of interest should be mailed to:
Middletown Area School District
Attn: Dr. Lori Suski, Superintendent of Schools
55 West Water Street
Middletown, PA 17057

Alumnist’s Research Featured in USA TODAY

June 29, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 8.42.55 AMTaylor Barrett, Valedictorian of the Middletown Area High School Class of 2011, pursued her passion for science by attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). While studying at RIT, Taylor participated in a research team which is currently developing a targeted molecular-imaging method for early detection of prostate cancer. The team’s cutting edge research was featured in USA TODAY.

Barrett is a 2015 graduate of RIT. Details about Taylor’s team and their research can be found here.

School’s Out!

June 5, 2015 in Featured - Fink, Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 Summer Break POST BANN

Beginning Monday, June 15, 2015 through Friday, July 31, 2015, all MASD school buildings will be consolidated to Middletown Area Middle School for summer operations. The Middle School will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. with the exception of Friday, July 3, 2015 when all Middletown Area School District buildings will be closed for the holiday.

Building personnel and office phone numbers will remain unchanged. Signage will be posted within the building to direct visitors to the appropriate office within the building. For your convenience, the office locations are listed below.

  • Elementary Offices – Guidance Suite
  • Middle School Offices – Main Office
  • High School Offices – Room 135

Beginning August 3, 2015 all school buildings will reopen to prepare for the start of the school year.

School will resume Monday, August 24, 2015.

Four Raiders Take on the World!

June 4, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

15-16 Study Abroad POST BANNMiddletown Area High School is excited to announce that four students will be studying abroad during the 2015-2016 school year. You can read their personal accounts below as they each explain the journey they have taken that has led them to study across the Atlantic for a year.


Georgie M. Britcher, Oman

Georgie M. Britcher, Oman

In the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year I applied to study abroad for my sophomore year of high school. I applied for three different scholarships: the Speedwell Scholarship to Bosnia, the CBYX program to Germany, and the Kennedy-Lugar YES-Abroad scholarship to a country with a significant Muslim population. In February and March I received noticed that I received the Speedwell Scholarship as well as the CBYX. On April 6 I received noticed that I was one of 65 students nationwide who received the YES-Abroad scholarship to one of 12 Muslim populated countries. I was chosen for Oman.

The process for applying for a fully funded study abroad scholarship, especially three scholarships, was very time and energy consuming. In total, I wrote 14 essays. Four for Speedwell, four for YES-Abroad, and six for CBYX. The process to attain the YES-Abroad scholarship was the most time consuming and hardest to obtain as it the most competitive scholarship, but definitely the most rewarding. The YES-Abroad scholarship is fully funded by the State Department. The scholarship receives around 1,500 applicants nationwide and then selects 110 semi-finalists based on an Internet application to attend an In Person Selection Event (IPSE) in Washington, DC in March for a whole weekend of interviews and getting to know the other applicants. At the IPSE, YES chooses the finalists and their country placements and releases the notifications in April. Not only does the YES-Abroad Scholarship provide each participant with a fully funded scholarship, the scholarship also covers visa costs, an emergency disposable phone, and a monthly stipend for personal costs. The YES-Abroad Scholarship funded by the State Department was made in the aftermath of 9/11 to send students to countries with a high Muslim population so that we young americans can break down stereotypes between the two cultures. Through applying to study abroad I have not only grown closer to the girls here at my school who also applied to study abroad but also with kids across the nation who applied to study abroad with YES and I have made many new friends.

Receiving the notification that I will be spending my sophomore year abroad in the beautiful country of Oman was one of the best news. Four other girls and I will spend our year in Oman in the city of Muscat. Muscat is on the coast line of Oman and is the capital of Oman. The country of Oman is located in the Middle East on the Arabian Peninsula bordering Yemen and Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Sea. The official language is Arabic and the official religion is Islam. We will each get an individual host family and will attend a different private IB school where the primary languages of teaching will be English and Arabic. After school, I will go to the AmidEast Center, the program administrating me to Oman, and have extra Arabic lessons and a history class on Women in Islam and the history of Islam. I look forward to being an American Ambassador and to break down stereotypes between the U.S. and Middle Eastern cultures and to live with a Muslim host family and learn about the culture, the religion, the language, and how to be global citizen and a youth Ambassador from America.


Kelly R. Moyer, Denmark

Kelly R. Moyer, Denmark

I first heard about America Field Service (AFS) from Bailee Koncar when I met her during our high school volleyball season this past fall. She had just returned from Spain at the time, and we soon became friends. She would mention stories about her year abroad, and I became very intrigued with it. So when I heard that a spokesperson from AFS would be holding a meeting the following week, I obviously went. While I was there, I got to hear about Bailee’s journey as well as Natalie Souder’s, another MAHS student who studied abroad (France), and Rebecca Niccolai, who is a current exchange student at MAHS from Italy. I liked what I heard, especially the Speedwell Scholarship. The Speedwell Scholarship is only for students living in the Central Pennsylvania region (19 counties), and it grants thirty $15,000 tuitions to students every year. One condition that scares most students away from this specific scholarship is that you MUST select a NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING nation as your destination. Obviously, this did not scare me away.

When I began my application, I had to select a host country, fill out several papers and write four, one-page essays: why did I want to study abroad, what leadership skills I possessed, how would I cope while abroad, and why I would be a great ambassador for AFS. I chose the country of Denmark and turned my application in along with my four essays at the beginning of January. In mid-March, I received a call from an AFS Volunteer saying that I won a Speedwell Scholarship!! Yay!

Since receiving this news, I have applied for my visa and received my passport and have been placed with a host family. I will be living with Jesper and Anne and their son Valdemar in the port-town of Holbæk, which is located on the North Eastern Region of Zealand. One thing that I am extremely excited about is the fact that I will be about an hour away from the Capitol, Copenhagen!

I will be enrolled at Stenhus Gymnasium og HF as a junior. I do not know what classes I will be taking yet, but I assume that they will be similar to what I would have taken if I was at Middletown Area High School: Physics, History, Mathematics, English, Danish, Gym and Spanish. I plan on trying many new sports, and my host family has also found me a club team for volleyball!


Erin N. Templeton, Norway

Erin N. Templeton, Norway

Before the fall of 2014, I had never really considered the idea of studying abroad in high school. It was always something that I would do in college or when I was older, but after listening to the presentation at our school for AFS (American Field Service), how could I say no? Then, when I was informed of the Speedwell Scholarship which provides the full tuition to study abroad for thirty students in the Central Pennsylvania region, my thought changed from, “Why should I go?” to “Why should I stay?” I’ve been excited since the beginning and it is only growing as I get closer and closer to departure.

This August, I will be leaving to study abroad in the country of Norway for an entire year with AFS. I do not have a host family or location just yet, but AFS has been great at teaching me a lot about patience! I will be speaking the Norwegian language in my home and at school while I am abroad, and I have begun to teach it to myself through the Internet and Duolingo. My goal while abroad and when I return is to improve the cultural awareness of my family and friends and to encourage others to study abroad as well. Takk for å lytte! (Thank you for listening!)


Jasmine M. Rivera, Spain

Jasmine M. Rivera, Spain

I won a scholarship to study abroad in Spain through the Speedwell Foundation. The Speedwell Foundation is paying the full tuition of about $15,000. Unlike Erin, Kelly, and Georgie, when I first applied for the scholarship, I was rejected and was made an alternate. I then had to write letters to the foundation and explain my intentions for studying in Spain. Now that I have received a scholarship and have been accepted by AFS Spain, I am waiting to receive my host family. I will be leaving at the end of August and will be back in the U.S next June. I am looking forward to this experience and am very excited! All of my teachers, specifically Mr. Kyser, my counselors, and the returnees I have met have helped me so much! I hope studying abroad will become a regular thing at our high school.

Class of 2015 Commencement

June 4, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Grad 2015 POST BANN

Free Summer Lunch Program

June 4, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

No need to register or sign up!
Just show up and join your friends for a nutritious lunch!

Middletown Area School District is participating in the Summer Food Service Program which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Free lunches will be provided rain or shine, Monday through Friday, to all children ages 18 and under. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program are the same for all students regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Middletown Area Middle School Cafeteria
June 9 - July 31, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fink Elementary School
Held at War Memorial Field concession stand
June 9 – August 8, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Wesley United Methodist Church
64 Ann Street, Middletown
June 9 – August 7, 2015
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.


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Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA-related activity should immediately contact: USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th & Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20250-9410, (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Flipped Classrooms

June 3, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

IMG_1264[1]Mrs. Katherine Martin and Miss Nicole Petrovich, LAR teachers at MAMS, have FLIPPED OUT! And their seventh graders are loving it!

Traditionally, educators use their instructional class time to teach students new concepts and then assign homework to practice and apply the new skills at home. But when MAMS principal, Mr. Kevin Cook, encouraged his teachers to consider a new teaching model, Mrs. Martin and Miss Petrovich decided to take a stab at it. In a Flipped Classroom, the elements of lecture and homework are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, and in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions to practice and implement the concept. This concept is more student-center and teacher-guided providing the opportunity for each student to learn and advance at their own developmental pace.

Miss Petrovich explains how she and Mrs. Martin implemented the Flipped Classroom model for an LAR lesson:

Flipped Classroom - 13 of 15“Mrs. Martin created videos for the students to watch on concepts such as different kinds of figurative language. In each video, the concept was defined, examples were provided, and then students were challenged to create or find their own examples.  The video was sent to students to view either during study hall or at home and they were told they could watch the video as many times as they liked. When the students came into class the next day, they were given a 5 question pretest based on the info from the video.  After the pretest was scored, any student getting 4 or 5 of the questions correct were placed into Group 1 and were given several higher order thinking activities to chose from because they had a pretty good grasp of the concept. Students scoring 2 or 3 correct were placed into Group 2 and were given middle level activities to complete. And finally, students getting 1 or 0 questions correct were placed in Group 3. Under teacher supervision, these students watched the video and were given review type activities to better help them understand the concept.

“After all group activities were completed, students were placed with a student in a different group (different than their original group) where they shared their best activity. During that time, Mrs. Martin and I got to see each students’ activity and grade them.  Finally, students were given a post test to complete. We were looking for either a 1 point improvement OR maintaining their original score (if they scored a 5/5). The Flipped Classroom model was a great way for us to cater to ALL levels of learners in our classroom! The students really enjoyed it! Even Mrs. Martin and I enjoyed putting the activities together! All around, it was a great experience and we are planning on incorporating this idea of a Flipped Classroom whenever we can.”

Teachers at MAMS who are flipping their classrooms are discovering several benefits to this unique teaching model:

  • Students have more interest in completing their homework because videos are brief and easy to watch.
  • Students can view the video as often as they want until they grasp the concept.
  • During the classroom application sessions, teachers are free to circulate amongst students to give hands-on help and individual attention.
  • Parents are also able to view the videos and so they are better equipped to assist their child at understanding the content.
  • Students are more invested in the activities because they are given the freedom to chose from a wide variety of projects and select those that match their areas of interest and even their career pathway.
  • Video lessons become permanent resources which can be viewed at any time.
  • Student engagement increases because the videos are interesting and classroom activities are hands-on.
  • Individual developmental needs of students are met as higher level students are challenged with more difficult projects and lower level students receive individual attention.

When Middle Schoolers were asked what they liked about Flipped Classrooms they responded:
“The homework videos are short and easy to watch.”
“I can rewind the video if I don’t understand something.”
“I get to work in groups.”
“We work at your own speed and have freedom to choose our activities. It’s not boring.”

Looks like flipping out can actually be a great thing in some situations!

Flipped COLL

MASD Partners with Area Colleges

June 3, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Zimm Student Teacher COLL VERT2When Middletown Area School District became aware of a new student teaching training method which was resulting in higher-quality, school-based clinical experiences for Pennsylvania student teachers, the District investigated the possibility of partnering with area post-secondary institutions who were implementing the new model known as Project Excellence.

In the traditional student teaching model, a college education student would begin their semester of student teaching with a lot of observation time and assisting the teacher with tasks as needed. As each week progressed the student teacher would take on more teaching responsibility and eventually build up to teaching a full week of instructional time. But Project Excellence implemented a co-teaching model which has the student teacher, or teacher candidate as they are now called, actively engaging in instruction right from the start. Basically, the new format has both the teacher candidate and the co-operating classroom teacher doing CO-everything: co-plan, co-teach, co-assess, and co-reflect on their instruction time.

Dawn Zimmerman, first grade teacher at Reid Elementary, had the opportunity to participate in Project Excellence along with her Penn State Harrisburg teacher candidate, Kelsey Hayes. Zimmerman and Hayes participated in Project Excellence training, completed professional development modules at Penn State University, and submitted required coursework and statewide evaluations in order to be a part of the program.

As Mrs. Zimmerman and Ms. Hayes co-planned their lessons they could choose from seven different co-teaching models depending on the lesson and the needs of their students:

  • One teach, One observe
  • One teach, One assist
  • Station teaching
  • Parallel teaching
  • Supplemental teaching
  • Alternative (differentiated)
  • Team teaching

Mrs. Zimmerman spoke highly of the new teacher training model. She believed that it benefitted everyone involved: the classroom teacher, the teacher candidate and even the students. “Both the co-operating teacher and the teacher candidate must possess strong communication and collaboration skills. They must be willing to share the classroom, their students, and leadership of the classroom. As a co-operating teacher, I viewed Kelsey as an equal partner in the classroom. We managed and made decisions relative to the students and classroom together. Data shows that students in classrooms that used the co-teaching model had statistically significant gains in math and reading versus students who were not taught with co-teaching models.  We believe that the little to no loss of instructional time, the ability to work in smaller groups, the ability to meet students individual needs and answer questions quicker, the increased individualized attention, and the different perspectives provided by two individual teachers lent itself to a positive climate for our students.”

Zimmerman and Hayes weren’t the only MASD participants in Project Excellence. Reid Elementary, Kunkel Elementary and Middletown Area Middle School also had teacher candidates from PSU as well as Messiah College who completed their student teaching semester using the Project Excellence model.

Raiders Represent @ Science Olympiad

June 2, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Science Olympiad 2015

Mason Garza, Aiden Sessa, Jordyn Dupes, Tim Nevil, Robert Southard, Gabe Wisniewski, Noah Yeich, Aaron McDevitt, Aayushi Patel, Anna Buffington, Ben Hursh, Marcus Williams, Angelina Torres, Alexis Habbershon, Chastity Davis


Congratulations to the following students who placed in this year’s competition!

2015 Science Olymp POST BANN

2015 Transfer

June 2, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

The eighth grade class of Middletown Area Middle School was officially transferred from Middletown Area Middle School to Middletown Area High School at the 2015 Transfer ceremony held on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. Administrators and guests presented awards to deserving students as listed below.

 Top Ten Academic Students of the 8th Grade Class

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Lynnsey Woodley, Jade Senior, Jocilyn Koser, Aayushi Patel, Alexandria Kennedy,
Kaitlyn Knaub, Mason Garza, Alexis Fischer, Hayli Akakpo-Martin, Aiden Sessa


American Legion Auxiliary Award presented by Ms. Patricia A. Boyer
Aayushi Patel
American Legion Award presented by Mr. Paul A. Carnes
Timothy Nevil
Dr. Russell E. Eppinger Awards presented by Mr. Christopher M. Sattele
Hannah Wilsbach & Aiden Sessa


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FREE Part-day Preschool Program

June 1, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

The Capital Area Head Start Early Care and Education Program is now enrolling children ages 3 to 5 for the 2015-2016 school year. The Head Start preschool program is held at Fink Elementary. For information, call 717-541-1795.

Howk & Ortiz Place at Film Festival

May 28, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody


Michael Howk & Gerry Ortiz

Two students at MAHS submitted video projects to the 2015 Cumberland Valley Film Festival. As part of Mrs. Justine Shippling’s Multimedia Designs II class, sophomore Michael Howk produced a documentary about bullying and junior Gerry Ortiz produced a commercial marketing his father’s restaurant. Both students received word that their films had been selected as one of the best in their categories and their work had been nominated for the finals! On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, the Film Festival was held at the Performing Arts Center at Cumberland Valley High School. At the Festival, both students learned that they had placed second in their categories! Michael and Gerry were called forward for recognition and a portion of their films were displayed for the audience.

Congratulations to Michael Howk, Gerry Ortiz and Mrs. Shippling for representing MASD with Raider Pride!

500 Men Reading Event

May 26, 2015 in Featured - Fink, Featured - Kunkel, Featured - Reid, Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

500 men readers PHOTOS


May 26, 2015 in Featured - Fink, Featured - Kunkel, Featured - Reid, Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody


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May 26, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Rocks COLL
A pile of rocks? Sounds kind of boring, doesn’t it? Well you obviously haven’t met Mr. Loring Thomas.

When Sara Starliper told her science teacher, Mr. Vaughn, that her grandfather had a rock collection, he had no idea Mr. Thomas also had a wealth of knowledge about rocks. Mr. Thomas was invited to share his collection along with his expertise to the seventh grade students at MAMS. Mr. Thomas spread out a wide variety of historical and valuable artifacts and described to students how rocks are formed and are also used in every day life. In fact, it is estimated that each of us will use around 3 million pounds of rock in our lifetime for every day uses such as described in the list below. Mr. Thomas talked about rocks that grow and rocks that used to be other things like plant life or even dinosaur poop! He showed students rocks that were formed from volcanic eruptions and crystals that were formed by gas bubbles left behind in lava. The seventh graders left science class with a whole new understanding of what’s behind a pile of rocks.

  • Pencil lead
  • Baby powder, foot powder, body powder and makeup powder
  • Slate is used for roofing tiles, floor and patio tiles and at one time, school blackboards.
  • Fluorescent rocks glow in the dark.
  • Meteorites are rocks that fall from space.
  • Fossils: trees, bones, and even fossilized dinosaur poop!
  • Quartz crystals
  • Precious stones: amethyst, diamonds, emeralds
  • Gold, silver, copper
  • Granite
  • Garnet is ground up and used to make sandpaper or other abrasives.
  • Marble
  • Sand is ground up rock that is used to mix with concrete to build sidewalks, building foundations, fountains.
  • Zinc is used in galvanizing metals to resist rust. And also as a health supplement and cold medicines.
  • Iron, cast iron frying pans, steel rails for railroads
  • Sulfur, used for matches, fireworks, gunpowder
  • Aluminum