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Botterbusch Aims High

April 10, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

William Botterbusch

William Botterbusch, a senior at Middletown Area High School, has been accepted into the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Botterbusch grew up in a military family; his father and grandfather both served their country as members of the army. This family influence increased Will’s interest in the military and developed a passion to serve his country. He grew up watching war movies and was inspired by his dad’s stories of his own army experiences. There was just something about serving in the military that caught his eye. And his heart. Will’s passion, combined with a fascination of airplanes and things that fly, fostered a dream to someday become a military pilot.

Will’s desire to fly grew throughout his high school career. He decided to pursue the daunting task of applying for the Air Force Academy which is a grueling process. One of the application requirements was to receive one of three available congressional nominations. Botterbusch completed interviews with Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr, Senator Pat  Toomey, and Congressman Roscoe G. Bartletta and received the nomination from Congressman Barletta. Will’s leadership experiences at MAHS were instrumental in building a strong resume. Botterbusch was captain of the Raiders’ football and wrestling teams. He also served as a class officer and a student council representative.

In January 2015, Will and his family received the news that he had been accepted into the Air Force Academy. He will head to Colorado Springs at the end of June to begin six weeks of basic training. Will plans to major in mechanical engineering and compete for a coveted pilot slot which would begin in his junior year. Upon graduation from the Air Force Academy, Botterbusch will serve a ten year commitment to the Air Force. Will hopes to be spending those ten years in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

PSSA Testing

March 30, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 PSSA POST BANNThe Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) testing for Middletown Area School District will be administered during the month of April. The following information will assist parents and guardians in partnering with teachers as they work together to provide students with a positive testing experience.

Electronic Devices Statement:
Parents are strongly encouraged to discuss with their children Pennsylvania Department of Education’s statement regarding the consequences of possession of electronic devices during testing: Electronic Device Policy.

Parent Responsibilities:
The following parent tips can help your child have a positive testing experience.

  • Be sure your child gets plenty of sleep during the testing period. Adequate rest provides focus, alertness and clear thinking.
  • Provide breakfast for your child. Starting the day right will boost your child’s energy.
  • Avoid scheduling appointments during testing days.
  • Be prompt for school. Being tardy can interfere with the testing process.
  • Be your child’s cheerleader! Provide positive and uplifting encouragement for your child.
  • Be familiar with the Parent/Guardian Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ sheet.

Subjects Tested:
English Language Arts (ELA): Grades 3-8
Mathematics: Grades 3-8
Science: Grades 4 and 8 only

Testing Schedule:

Fink Elementary
ELA: April 14-17
Math: April 21-23
Science: April 28-29
Kunkel Elementary
ELA: April 14-17
Math: April 20-22
Science: April 28-29
Reid Elementary
ELA: April 14-17
Math: April 20-22
Science: April 28-29
ELA:  April 13-16
Math: April 20-22
Science: April 28-29

MAHS 2014-2015 Choral & Band Achievements

March 19, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 HS Band Honors POST BANN

Christian Nordai, Brett Altland, Joshua Alcock, Nathaniel Gingrich, Aaron McDevitt, John Ponnett
Jessaca Rusnov, Serena Rizk, Fabiola Hernandez, Rachael Rusnov, Kyra Rizk
Shannon Reese, Allyson Marshall, Jenna Abbott, Samantha Altland

PMEA District 7 Chorus
Samantha Altland

Dauphin County High School Band
Jenna Abbott
Joshua Alcock
Brett Altland
Samantha Altland
Megan Burghdorf
Nathaniel Gingrich
Fabiola Hernandez
Aaron McDevitt
Meaghan Nelson
Christian Nordai
John Ponnett
Kyra Rizk
Serena Rizk
Shannon Reese
Jessaca Rusnov
Rachael Rusnov

Lebanon Valley College Honors Band
Alyson Marshall
Meaghan Nelson
Jessaca Rusnov
Rachael Rusnov

PMEA District 7 Band
Fabiola Hernandez
Aaron McDevitt
John Ponnett
Rachael Rusnov

PMEA Region V Band
Fabiola Hernandez
Rachael Rusnov

PMEA District 7 Jazz Band
John Ponnett

MAHS Bowlers Roll Out a Winning Season

March 19, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

MASD 2015 Bowling Small

Back Row: Caleb Orner, Josh Alcock
Middle Row: Coach Bower, Victoria Spangler, Mitch Carson
Front Row: Cole Kautz, Eric Belles
Not pictured: Joshua Orner

Under the coaching of Darryl Bower from ABC East Lanes, the Middletown Area High School Girls’ and Boys’ Bowling Teams burned up the lanes this year with a League Championship and Blue Raider representation at the PA State Championships.

In the final week of the season, the Middletown boys’ bowling team defeated Dauphin County Vo Tech to secure the Harrisburg Area Interscholastic Bowling League (HAIBL) championship. In front of a packed crowd at Red Crown bowling center, the Blue Raiders knocked down 2061 pins to Vo Tech’s 1974 pins. The boys’ team started to take control of the match when Josh Alcock, Caleb Orner, Cole Kautz and Eric Belles all doubled to take a 71 pin lead after 5 frames. Middletown extended the lead to 140 pins when Alcock, Kautz, Belles, Carson and Joshua Orner all rolled strikes in the third and fourth frames of game two.

The Middletown boys’ team ended the regular season with thirty wins and only six losses and claimed the championship title for the second consecutive year. The Raider boys headed to the Eastern Pennsylvania Bowling Championships where Alcock, Kautz and Belles also competed in the singles’ championships.

The girls’ team, Jenna Abbott, Meaghan Nelson, Victoria Spangler, and Iang Tial, finished their season in second place in the HAIBL. Spangler finished with the highest girl’s game (243) and the third highest average in the league which propelled her to join the boys at the Eastern PA Championships.

On March 6-7, the qualifiers headed to Lancaster for the Eastern PA Championships. The boys’ team continued to perform well and placed 16th in the region. In the individual competition, Eric Belles scorched the lanes and finished second place out of 177 boys securing his spot in the PA State Championships on Friday, March 20 in Ephrata.

In addition to the PA State Bowling Championships, PIAA District III holds its own individual championship tournament. Alcock, Belles, Kautz and Spangler qualified for the PIAA District III tournament due to the results of their HIABL performances. Belles was unable to participate in the tournament but Alcock, Kautz and Spangler rolled past their competitors in the qualifiers held in January. Josh Alcock placed first in the boys’ division with a three game total of 706, which included his second career 300 game. Placing second in the boys’ division was Cole Kautz with a score of 662. Victoria Spangler qualified fourth amongst the girls with a total of 556 for her three games which included a high game of 224. All three Raiders advanced to the District III Championships in Reading where they faced bowlers from the Harrisburg, Lancaster-Lebanon and Berks County leagues. Cole Kautz placed 16th, Josh Alcock placed 27th, and Victoria Spangler placed 27th in the girls’ division.

Congratulations to the boys’ and girls’ bowling teams for their successful season!

A Night in Italy – March 6, 2015

March 5, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

The Middletown Area High School Mini-Thon Committee invites you to “A Night in Italy” on March 6, 2015 prior to the MAHS Spring Musical performance of “Damn Yankees.” The Italian dinner will be held from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the MAHS cafeteria. Come support the MAHS Mini-Thon and stay for the musical!

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 3.05.43 PM

Honors Lunch

February 11, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

On Wednesday, February 4, 2015, the Middletown Area High School Staff served a honorary lunch to the Second Quarter Honor Roll students. Students were invited to a hot lunch buffet of chicken, potatoes, carrots, salad and a gooey dessert of hot apple crisp and ice cream. High school teachers and staff members filled plates, waited on students at their tables, served dessert and cleaned tables. The guests of honor received certificates for their achievements. Congratulations to the Second Quarter Honor Roll students!

2015 Wint Honors Lunch COLL

MAHS Welcomes Exchange Students

February 11, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, Middletown Area High School welcomed two foreign exchange students. Rebecca Niccolai and Chalisa Nonthacoupt left their homes thousands of miles away to spend their junior year of high school as Blue Raiders. Middletown Area School District would like to introduce you our two new friends from the other side of the globe.

Niccolai.Rebecca PHOTO

Rebecca Niccolai

In the town of La Spezia, Northern Italy, Rebecca Niccolai lives with her two younger sisters, mother and stepfather. But Rebecca’s dream is to someday live in the United States. So to prepare for that desired future, Rebecca decided to spend a year in the States as a Foreign Exchange Student in hopes of improving her English. Italian students begin learning English at age six so Rebecca had a great foundation. But her transition to an English speaking country wasn’t without its challenges.

In the summer of 2014, Steve and Jody Koncar, and their daughter Bailee, a MAHS Senior, welcomed Rebecca into their home. Rebecca entered Middletown Area High School as a junior and started her first day of school totally overwhelmed and lonely. “I was miserable at the start of school because I couldn’t understand anything. Everything was so different,” she said. The idea of moving from room to room was completely foreign to her. In Italy, students stay in one classroom and the teachers do the rotating. “I was so confused trying to find my way around!” Rebecca said. Lockers, eating lunch at school, sports and the long school day were also new to her. Back home, school days are from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and students are home in time for lunch. They also attend school on Saturdays and have about three hours of homework per day. The Italian school system is also a year longer than the American system which means students don’t graduated until they are 19 years old.

The American testing style was another adjustment for Rebecca. “In Italy every two weeks we meet one on one with a teacher and spend an hour discussing what we’ve learned. Here we have to write out all our answers for our tests. I’m not used to that.” Rebecca also had to adjust to the letter grading scale since she is accustomed to receiving a 1 through 10 as her grade.

But now that the difficult transition is five months behind her, Rebecca has settled in very successfully. “I love it here! I love being in a different school, I love my new friends, I love my host family, I love my sister, Bailee! It is so much better than I ever expected.” Having only movies to form her impression of the American lifestyle, specifically the party atmosphere, Rebecca was relieved to discover that what she saw on the big screen wasn’t reality. “America isn’t at all like that. I love it here so much.” But of course, there are things that are left behind which are sorely missed. “In my town, we have these beautiful outdoor areas that people gather just to hang out and be with their friends. I really miss that. There’s nothing like that here.”

During her time in the states, Rebecca has had the opportunity to visit some of the major cities along the East Coast such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. She hopes to get to see Boston, Washington D.C. and Niagra Falls before she returns home. Rebecca aspires to attend college to major in international business and she would like to learn Russian and Chinese.

Chalisa "Fon" Nonthacoupt

Chalisa “Fon” Nonthacoupt

Sixteen year old Chalisa Nonthacoupt lives in Thailand with her parents, older sister and five dogs. Chalisa was born during a rain storm so her parents call her “Fon” which is the word rain in her language. When Fon was accepted as a foreign exchange student she was first assigned to Japan. But when her location was changed to the United States, her parents were overjoyed. The English language is very important in Thailand, so opportunities to improve her English would equip Fon to find a better career in her home country. Fon had not had any formal training in English so she entered the States with very little English experience.

As expected, the language barrier was Fon’s biggest challenge. She predicted that she would cry on her first day of school. And she did. “I didn’t understand anything and I couldn’t talk or answer anyone.” All of that has drastically changed and Fon is now capable of having conversations with her friends and teachers. “Ms. Layne has really helped me and my friends help me with my homework when I don’t understand. I am more comfortable now.”

This is Fon’s first visit to the United States. Apart from the language, Fon says her culture is very similar to what she has experienced in the States so far. The most unusual thing she has seen in our country is the grocery carts with attached wheelchairs which she’s seen in action at Walmart. Of course, food is always a huge difference for cross-cultural students and Fon is no exception. She greatly misses her father’s cooking.

Fon says it hasn’t been too difficult to adjust to the American style of education. The greatest difference is that she’s accustomed to moving between buildings for different subjects similar to our American college campuses. Fon is a junior at MAHS but since Thailand won’t give her credit for her year of study in America, she will have to repeat 11th grade when she returns home. Fon decided to take advantage of the entire American high school experience by jumping in and participating in extra-curricular activities. Fon joined chorus, keyboarding class, Pride Club and the bowling team. Her Raider friends describe her as helpful and very kind to others. It was evident that they highly respect her as they talked about how well she gets along with others and how sensitive she is to people’s feelings. Fon and her new Middletown friends are proof that genuine friendships can break through any barriers…including language.

Dual Enrollment and Internships Prepare Seniors for Next Step

February 11, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Dual Enrollment

Middletown Area High School partners with seven area post-secondary institutions to provide students the opportunity to gain high school and college credit. In the spring of 2015, five seniors have chosen to participate in Dual Enrollment and are taking college courses at Penn State Harrisburg.


Back Row: Kaitlyn Kellogg, World History II; Josh Alcock, Introductory Sociology; Morgan Light, Introductory Psychology. Front Row: Lauren Eppley, World History II; Christina Brinton, World History II. Not Pictured: Mason Guckavan, Introductory Psychology.

Senior Interns

The senior internship program is designed to provide qualified seniors an opportunity to explore the various careers within their chosen pathway. Students attend school for four or more periods then spend the remainder of their day at their mentoring site. Students obtain mentor site placements which enable them to acquire meaningful career related experiences in an atmosphere conducive to learning. Internships are real-world experiences which are tailored to meet the needs of the students and the mentor site placements.


Spring 2015 Senior Interns
Matt Anthony
Will Botterbusch
Michaila Brady
Alexa Bright
Christina Brinton
Karlee Deibler
Mikala Dworchak
Lauren Eppley
Jordan Flowers
*Zac Gates
*Alexyz Hall
Jordan Handley
Alexis Hile
Kim Hoover
Jessica Horesky
Dagen Hughes
*Madison Lewis
Mackenzie Lombardi
Zach Myers
Nate Ocker
John Ponnett
Meg Schopf
Scott Shaffer
Savanna Sutch
Julia Trout
Ariannah Williams
*Not pictured
Mentor Sites
Big 33 Scholarship Foundation
Brescia Orthopedics, Inc.
Dauphin County Treasurer’s Office
Discovery Kids Daycare
Drayer Physical Therapy Institute
Elizabethtown College, Department of Science
Harrisburg Heat
Hershey Medical Center, Department of Pharmacology
Joint State Government Commission
Kunkel Elementary School
MASD – Communications Department
MASD – Finance Department
MASD – Technology Department
Middletown Area High School
Middletown Area Middle School
Pinnacle Health Systems
Reid Elementary School

Signing Day – February 4, 2015

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

On Wednesday, February 4, 2015, three Middletown Area High School athletes participated in National Signing Day. Coaches, Administrators, parents and family members gathered to support the athletes as they publicly announced their commitments to play a sport at the college of their choice. Congratulations to the following Blue Raiders and their families.

Jordan Flowers with Coach Shuleski

Sydney Alexanderwith Coach Huber

Sydney Alexander with Coach Huber

Brent Newton with Coach Myers

Jordan Flowers, son of Ed and Deb Flowers of Middletown, is committing to play baseball at York College of Pennsylvania. Flowers has been involved in baseball and football all four years of his high school career, lettering in three of the four years. Mr. Flowers was named as a Mid Penn Honorable Mention and was selected for the Keystone State Baseball Games. Flowers has also been a member of PRIDE Club and National Honors Society as well as being on the Distinguished Honor Roll. Jordan plans to major in nursing because of his interest in medicine and love for helping others. Sydney Alexander, daughter of Penny Alexander of Middletown, participated in chorus, band and volleyball for all four years of her high school career. During her senior year, Sydney was named a Mid Penn All Star for Volleyball. Miss Alexander was also a member of the Link Crew and the National Honor Society and was named to the Distinguished Honor Roll throughout her high school career. Sydney is committing to play volleyball at Elizabethtown College. She plans to major in Biology because of her interest in Science and her passion for helping others. Brent Newton, son of Bob Newton of Middletown and Beth Newton of Pittsburgh, is committing to play football at Millersville University. Newton has been a part of the gifted program all four years of his high school career, as well as a member of the TV Production class and the basketball and baseball teams. Mr. Newton was a member of the football team all four years and earned an All-Conference Offensive Linemen Award. Brent was unanimously voted captain of the football team his senior year. Newton plans to major in Early Elementary Education because he enjoys teaching children. Brent would someday like to coach in high school.

Spr 15 Signing COLL

Hockey Players Selected for All Star Team

January 16, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody


Two Middletown Area High School athletes were selected by the Central Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League for the 2015 All Star Team. The hockey players play for Middletown Ice Hockey and were chosen out of eighty-six sophomores, juniors and seniors from the Central Pennsylvania Area which consists of schools from Dauphin, Cumberland, Perry, York, Lebanon and Lancaster counties.

Senior, Nick Maneval, son of Bryan and Peggy Maneval of Middletown, was chosen to play on the West team. This is Maneval’s second year being chosen to the CPIHL All Star Team. Maneval led his team in goals with 21 goals and 9 assists and had a game average of 1.88 points.

Sophomore, Noah Zimmerman, son of Jeff and Dawn Zimmerman of Middletown, was chosen to play on the East team. Zimmerman is one of only eleven sophomores chosen to this year’s All Star Team. Zimmerman leads his team in points with 15 goals and 15 assists and a game average of 2.14 points.

Both Zimmerman and Maneval led their team in total points with 30 each. They will face off against each other in the East vs. West All Star game at Klick Lewis Arena on Monday, February 23, 2015  at 7:00 p.m.

Souper Saturday – January 31, 2015

January 15, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

trumpet silohetteThe Middletown Area High School Jazz Band will host Souper Saturday on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. Join the Jazz Band in the MAHS Cafeteria the night before the big game for a night of good food and great music. Tickets are available from any band member. 

Raider Athletes Achieve Honors

January 12, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Middletown Area High School athletes continue to represent Middletown Area School District with Raider Pride! Kyle Finsterbush, Karlee Deibler and Brianna Bennett-Stouffer have excelled in their sport and achieved the following accomplishments.

Deibler.Karlee PHOTO Karlee Deibler, Senior
Field Hockey

Karlee Deibler has been selected for the second team of the 2014 Penn Live Field Hockey All Star Team. All Stars are chosen based on their play throughout the Fall 2014 season, their career stats, and nominations from area coaches. For more details about the Field Hockey All Star Teams, click here for the complete Penn Live article.

Finsterbush.Kyle PHOTO Kyle Finsterbush, Senior

Kyle (Bubba) Finsterbush was selected for the second team of the 2014 Penn Live Soccer All Star Team. From the pool of varsity soccer players from 77 area high schools, 15 players are chosen for the first team and 15 for the second team. For more details about the Soccer All Star Teams, click here for the complete Penn Live article.

Bennett.Brianna PHOTO Brianna Bennett-Stouffer, Senior
Track & Field

In December 2014, the Middletown Area High School Winter Track Team participated in the Franklin & Marshall Indoor Invitational. Brianna took first place in shot put.

What’s Happening in January

December 23, 2014 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody


January 19
No School (Martin Luther King Day)
3rd Make-up Day

January 26
School Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

January 31
Souper Saturday, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
MAHS Jazz Band Dance

Future Business Leaders Represent

December 15, 2014 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Eleven MAHS Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) students competed at the Region 15 Leadership Conference on Friday, December 12, 2014. A total of 282 students from twelve schools competed to qualify to represent Region 15 at the FBLA State Leadership Conference to be held in April 2015.

The following five MAHS students advanced to compete at the FBLA State Leadership Conference.

Eric Belles & John Ponnett: Sports & Entertainment Management (team event)
Charity Cooper: Agribusiness
Kyra Rizk: Business Procedures
Camryn Shank: Word Processing

Congratulations to all the MAHS students who participated in the Region 15 Leadership Conference and best of luck to Eric, John, Charity, Kyra and Camryn at States!

FBLA 2014

What’s Happening in December

December 1, 2014 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody


December 3 – December 17
Keystone Exams Testing Window

December 4
Elementary Band Informance, 7:00 p.m.
ALL Elementary Bands @ Reid
School Board Organization Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

December 9
MAMS Holiday Concert, 7:00 p.m.

December 11
Elementary Choral Night, 7:00 p.m.
ALL Elementary Choirs @ MAMS

December 16
Reid Holiday Program
9:30 a.m. for K-2 Parents 
1:30 p.m. for Gr. 3-5 Parents

December 17
MAHS Band Choral Concert, 7:00 p.m.

December 18
Fink Holiday Program, 2:00 p.m.

December 22
School Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

December 23
Kunkel Holiday Program
9:30 a.m. for K-2 Parents 
2:00 p.m. for Gr. 3-5 Parents

December 24, 2014 – January 2, 2015
Winter Recess