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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!

Class of 2015 Valedictorian & Salutatorian

May 21, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody


John A. Ponnett III
Class of 2015 Valedictorian

Class of 2015 Valedictorian, John A. Ponnett III

John Ponnett III is the son of Stephanie Ponnett and John Ponnett, Jr. both of Middletown. John has been a four-year member of the High School Band Program, participating in the marching, concert, and jazz bands. John has furthered his passion for music as a two-year member of the PMEA District 7 Concert Band, a one-year member of the District 7 Jazz Band, and a four-year member of the Dauphin County High School Concert Band. He served as MAHS Band President during his senior year and earned the John Philip Sousa Band Award for his dedicated service to the program.

John is also active in Middletown Area High School’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, which he helped to found in 2013. Serving as President this year, Ponnett attended the annual State Leadership Conference in Hershey for the second consecutive year. As Treasurer of National Honor Society for the past two years, he has been proud to make the High School shine in Middletown through committed community service.

John also had the privilege of participating in the MAHS senior internship program. John was placed in the Dauphin County Tax Collections Office to work alongside of tax collector Janis Creason. Initially Ms. Creason was a bit hesitant to take on a high school student. But it didn’t take her long to realize she had been assigned a uniquely gifted and high-capacity student. After witnessing John’s capabilities, she assigned him the task of creating a Small Games of Chance primer. Several recent amendments to the Small Games of Chance law had necessitated the need for an at-a-glance primer so staff members and the public could keep track of the new regulations. John did such an excellent job of creating the primer that it is now being utilized by the District Attorney’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office and is posted on their websites for public use.

In the fall, John will be attending Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business as a member of the Schreyer Honors College. He intends to pursue a degree in either Finance or Management.

Joshua Robert AlcockClass of 2015 Salutatorian

Joshua Robert Alcock
Class of 2015 Salutatorian

Class of 2015 Salutatorian, Joshua Robert Alcock

Joshua Alcock is the son of Robert and Paula Alcock of Middletown. Josh has been involved in many activities within and outside of the high school. He is a two-year member of the National Honor Society and the Future Business Leaders of America Club, where he currently serves as Vice President. Josh is also a four-year member of the marching, jazz, concert and county bands, in addition to participating in multiple ensembles. Alcock is actively involved in his youth group at Camp Hill United Methodist.

Josh has been a very active athlete at MAHS. In the fall, he was part of the soccer team for all four years, and a member of the football team for the past two years. In the winter, he was a four year leadoff bowler for the Middletown bowling team where he finished several games with a perfect score of 300. In the spring, he was a member of the baseball team for all four years. Outside of school, Josh has played recreational soccer and baseball as well as playing legion baseball for one year. He also keeps busy by serving as a soccer referee.

In the fall, Josh will be attending Penn State University, University Park, where he plans to major in Finance. Josh hopes to be part of the PSU bowling team, and would also like to be a member of one of the Penn State pep bands.

Bailee Koncar Earns State Award

May 21, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

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Each year, the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association (PSMLA) selects a graduating high school senior who has exhibited excellence in the area of world language. PSMLA members from across the state are eligible to nominate students from their senior class who have excelled in language studies.

Middletown Area High School is pleased to announce that out of all the nominees from the entire state of Pennsylvania, Bailee Koncar was selected as the 2015 recipient and has been named the 2015 Outstanding High School Graduating World Language Student. Bailee will receive a monetary award, a certificate of achievement, and a letter of recognition from PSMLA acknowledging her accomplishments. Bailee will also be granted a one-year membership to PSMLA.

Bailee plans to pursue her passion for world languages by majoring in International Business and Spanish at Penn State University, University Park.

May & June Happenings

May 21, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 May Happs POST BANNMay 1, 2015
Reid Young Author’s Day

May 5, 2015
MAMS Choral Concert, 7:00 p.m.

May 6, 2015
Fink May Day
Reid A.C.E.S. Day
MAMS 5th Grade Orientation Students, 1:00 p.m.
MAMS 5th Grade Orientation Parents, 6:00 p.m.
MAHS Post Secondary Fair

May 7, 2015
Reid Fine Arts Fest
ESL Family Cultural Night, Reid LGI, 4:30 p.m.

May 8, 2015
Reid Plant Day
Kunkel May Day
Fink Reader’s Theater, 7:00 p.m.

May 11, 2015
NJHS Induction Ceremony, 6:00 p.m.

May 12, 2015
MAMS Band Concert, 7:00 p.m.

May 13, 2015
Fink Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
Reid’s 500 Men Reading Event

May 13-27, 2015
Spring Wave Keystone Exams Testing Window

May 14, 2015
MAHS Choral Concert, 7:00 p.m.

May 15, 2015
Reid Field Day
Kunkel Field Day (K-2)

May 16, 2015

May 17, 2015
MAHS Band Banquet, 4:00 p.m.

May 18, 2015
School Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

May 19, 2015
Primary Election Day – NO SCHOOL for students – Staff Development
MASD Senators Night

May 21, 2015
Fink Career Day
Reid Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.

May 22, 2015
Reid Career Day
Kunkel Field Day (Gr. 3-5)

May 25, 2015
Memorial Day - NO SCHOOL

May 26, 2015
Fink’s 500 Men Reading Event

May 28, 2015
Kunkel Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
MAHS Honors Night, 7:00 p.m.

May 29, 2015
Fink Field Day

May 31, 2015
MAHS Baccalaureate, 7:00 p.m.

June 1, 2015
Kunkel Career Day

June 2, 2015
MAMS Transfer, 7:00 p.m.

June 3, 2015
MAHS Commencement, 7:30 p.m.

June 4, 2015
Kunkel Awards Assembly (Gr. 3-5)
Sports Physicals, 6-9:00 p.m. at NEW LOCATION: Middletown Area HIGH School

June 5, 2015
Last Day for Students – EARLY DISMISSAL
End of 4th Marking Period

June 8, 2015
Last Day for Staff

June 22, 2015
School Board Meeting, 7:00 p.m.


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

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District Attorney Ed Marsico Addresses Students About the Dangers of Sexting

May 19, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Dauphin County District Attorney, Ed Marsico, spoke to the students at Middletown Area Middle School and Middletown Area High School about the dangers of sexting. Mr. Marsico clearly defined sexting and several other technology based crimes such as cyber-bullying and cyber-harrassment. He gave examples of how once an individual hits “send” on any mobile device or computer, the content can never be erased even if the sender deletes it. The ability for recipients to save, take screenshots, forward messages and post information on social media instantly makes any content a permanent record. Students were warned to think carefully before sending or even taking inappropriate pictures. Even photos that have been deleted from devices can be located by computer experts. Mr. Marsico shared several real-life stories to illustrate the potential ramifications of sending inappropriate messages or photos. Consequences such as being fired from job, imprisonment, loss of reputation, unable to get a job again in the future, and even suicide are all very real outcomes that need to be considered when student think they are taking photos “just for fun.”

Mr. Marsico was an excellent communicator who kept the students engaged in this difficult content. He told several administrators that he was very impressed with the respect of the students at both MAMS and MAHS and commended them on their attention. Middletown Area School District is extremely grateful to has access to professionals who are willing to speak to our students and address these important topics.

Ed Marsico  Dauphin County District Attorney

Ed Marsico
Dauphin County District Attorney

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Signing Day – May 13, 2015

May 17, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

On Wednesday, May 13, 2015, four Middletown Area High School athletes participated in 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.

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Kyle Finsterbush
Soccer at Millersville University

Kyle Finsterbush, son of Edward Finsterbush of Middletown, has committed to play soccer at Millersville University. Kyle played soccer and baseball all four years of high school and was also a member of Link Crew during his senior year. During both his junior and senior years he was selected as a First Team Mid Penn All Star in the sport of soccer. Kyle plans to major in Sports Management at MU.

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Harry Kapenstein
Tennis at PSU Harrisburg

Harry Kapenstein, son of Larry and Mari Anne of Middletown, plans to attend Penn State Harrisburg to play tennis and major in Business Management. Kapenstein played soccer, basketball, and tennis during all four of his years at MAHS and has chosen to continue playing tennis at PSU. During his high school career, Harry has been an honor roll student and was chosen for the 2nd team All Division Soccer. Under the coaching of Ms. Lynn Miller, Kapenstein was a district qualifier in doubles tennis his junior year and qualified for singles in his senior year. He ended his MAHS tennis career by advancing to quarter finals in district doubles.

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Morgan Taylor Light
Cheerleading at Penn State Altoona

Morgan Taylor Light, daughter of Charles Light and Patricia Hart, is headed to Penn State Altoona where she will lead PSU fans to route for the Nittany Lions as a member of the cheerleading squad. During her years at MAHS she has participated in cheerleading, Mini-Thon and chorus. Morgan plans to major in Elementary Education at PSU because of her love for kids.

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Jeyliane Rivera
Basketball at York College

Jeyliane Rivera, daughter of Arlene Quinones and Luis Roman, will head to York College to play basketball in the fall. Jey loves sports and plans to major in Sports Management so she can spend her life in the field of sports. During her years at MAHS, Jey has participated in basketball, track and Mini-thon. As a junior, Jey was selected as a First Team Mid Penn All Star and was a member of the Mid Penn Capital Division Championship team. As a senior, she was chosen as a member of the Honorable Mention All Star Team.

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MAHS Hosts First STEM Summit in Central PA

May 6, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

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STEM Video BANNOn Thursday, April 30, 2015, Middletown Area High School hosted the first ever STEM Summit in Central PA. The entire ninth grade class participated in this daylong event exploring Career Pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Educators have discovered that students develop an interest in science and math in middle school but their excitement dwindles as they enter high school. The goal of the STEM Summit is to inspire students to pursue an academic STEM focus in the remainder of their high school courses to help prepare them for STEM careers in the future.  In addition, by participating in hands-on, high-energy activities students realize that careers in math and science can be cool and a whole lot of fun! After the Summit, Guidance Counselors have a foundation to work with students on appropriate school course work.

Junior Achievement of South Central PA created the STEM Summit three years ago and has been offering it to freshman classes in schools in their region. As a member of the Central PA Junior Achievement, Mrs. Michele Myers, MAHS Career Coordinator, expressed interest in piloting the program for the Central PA region. Educators from surrounding school districts, who currently don’t have the STEM Summit available to their schools, came to observe the MAHS freshman in action.

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What is the STEM Summit?

The STEM Summit is a day long program held at a high school which consists of nine thirty minute sessions. There are three sets of experiments, three sets of competitions, and three sets of career panel presentations. Students participate in activities such as math problem solving, chemistry experiments, electrical assembly, physics experiments, and engineering. The fast pace and constant motion help create an atmosphere of excitement and energy. The program involves up to thirty business volunteers who work with the students during the day. Each volunteer has a specific STEM career and is able to share their background with the students as the day proceeds.

How did students describe their experience?

Blake: “What I enjoyed the most was rotating around and experiencing all the variety of careers there were to choose from. My favorite event was the Chemistry labs. I didn’t know I’d be interested in that before today and I really liked it.  We had a good time and got to learn new things because there was a variety of things to do.”

Ryan: “My favorite part of the day was Physics because of all the things we got to do like putting a stick through a balloon and the activity with the smoke in the trash can. When I had the cup on my head I couldn’t see the force coming at me but I could feel it. It was cool.”

Veronica: “I liked the Chemistry part because of all the experiments. We made foam insulation and watched elephant toothpaste explode. We made gooey worms and played with sand that wouldn’t get wet. I’ve never done anything like this before and it was interesting to me. I didn’t know I had an interest in Chemistry and today made me what to do more experiments.”

Thank you, Junior Achievement!

Middletown Area School District would like to thank the South Central PA Junior Achievement Chapter for assisting the Central PA Chapter in pulling off this pilot event for our region. We are also grateful for the many professionals in the STEM community who volunteered to make the day possible.

Students Serve at Local Food Bank

April 29, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Several Middletown Area High School Special Education students serve their community weekly by volunteering at the Central PA Food Bank. As seen in the photos below, students work together to bag, weigh, seal, label, and box up bags of pretzels. Other students routinely assemble boxes so that the boxes are ready to be filled with food items for distribution to families in need. As new tasks arise, the high schoolers are trained to assist with the production. The service opportunity develops skills such as social interaction with other volunteers, following directions, respecting authority, and provides the satisfaction of being useful and productive while serving others. And it doesn’t hurt that the students have a blast hanging out together and get to snack on a few pretzels now and then!

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2015 MAHS Mini-THON Raises $21,295.49

April 22, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 MiniThon 4Middletown Area High School’s 4th annual Mini-THON celebrated its year long fundraising efforts on Friday, April 17, 2015 with a six hour, no sitting, dance marathon and collected a record-breaking $21,295.49. Throughout the year, the Mini-THON Committee organized many fundraisers and activities such as: “For The Kids 5K and Fun Run,” a “Night in Italy” spaghetti dinner, and the “Mr. Middletown Man Pageant,” along with many other canning and fundraising efforts to help raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund which aids children and families battling pediatric cancer at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The collaboration from the committee, students, faculty, administration, and community helped to fundraise and spread awareness of the Four Diamonds Fund. Great job to everyone involved!

2015 Mini Thon 3

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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!

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