Thursday, February 14, 2019

Longwood Scholarships Awarded

Rylie Hannis (L) and Abbie Fili (R) at Today's Horticulture Symposium at Longwood Gardens
Owen J. Roberts High School Horticulture students Abbie Fili and Rylie Hannis were awarded  scholarships from Longwood Gardens to attend the “Today’sHorticulture” Symposium at Longwood Gardens on February 1st with their teacher, Ms. Peg McGinnis. The daylong symposium was hosted by the Professional Gardener Alumni Association of Longwood Gardens and included many expert speakers from around the country lending expertise and insight into a diverse spectrum of horticulture topics. Junior Rylie Hannis was "humbled to be scholar-shipped to attend the event" saying, "[the speakers] inspired me to not only keep working hard because the opportunities are endless, but to also never stop loving the field of horticulture." Ms. McGinnis informed that it is atypical for a Junior to receive one of the prestigious scholarships.

j    Senior Abigail Fili, who will attend Penn State to study architecture next year, found confirmation for her interest in the field of horticulture at the symposium. She plans to incorporate her love for the environment and horticulture into her work as an architect student. She was fascinated by Kate Kennen's presentation on phytoremediation as a viable option for site environmental benefits. "I had never heard of phytoremediation and am now very interested," she said.

Monday, February 11, 2019

PMEA Region 6 Choir News

Ms. Sheila McIntyre reports that as a result of successful re-audition on February 7, the following Owen J. Roberts High School students were selected to represent OJR in the PMEA Region 6 Choir festival.  The top 10 of 20 advance in each vocal part.  

Isabella Moes, 5th Place, Alto 1
Michael Maher, 8th Place, Tenor 2
Robin Mailum, 9th Place, Tenor 2
Katarina Bobo, 9th Place, Alto 1

Special congratulations to Michael Maher who who was selected to sing a solo in a piece written and directed by Dr. Ryan Kelly, called "The Music Before Me."  It is a beautiful Celtic Men's piece and Michael performs it beautifully. 

Wildcat Crew Club at Main Line Slide

The OJR Wildcat Crew Club competed last weekend against members of 21 area high school, college and club teams in the Main Line Slide, an indoor rowing competition held at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore. Wildcat rowers recorded 12 top 10 finishes in Mens and Womens Coxswain, Freshman, Junior and Under-23 races. Special congratulations to medalists Rachel Nemeth (1st place Womens High School Freshman), Emily Braun (2nd place Womens Junior Coxswain) and Xander Lilly (3rd place Mens Junior Coxswain). The Crew Club will be competing next at the Center City Slam on February 10 at Drexel University and at the C.R.A.S.H. B Sprints Indoor Rowing Championship in Boston on February 17.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Chief Speaks to Students about Public Sector Careers

Owen J. Roberts Chief of Security and Safety, Mr. Brandon Daniels, recently spoke to Mr. Mark DeFusco's Crime and Justice class at the High School. Chief Daniels spoke first hand about his experiences and various jobs. He has served over 24 years in law enforcement, including positions in uniformed patrol, investigations and undercover intelligence. 

Mr. Daniels shared a bit about his extensive training in a number of specialized areas relating to management and law enforcement. He brings to the district 15 years of supervisory and command level experience with additional specialized training in large-scale event planning and disaster and emergency response management. He worked as part of the Hurricane Sandy Relief, Eagles Super Bowl detail, 2015 Papal Visit, 2000 Republican Convention, 2016 Democratic Convention and numerous other details. He is a 2015 Graduate of the FBI National Academy (260th Session).

In addition, Chief Daniels shared a varied list of career paths that one might take if interested in the public sector including law enforcement, public safety, civil service, public service rescue, and protection of private property.

Times Herald: Cody Systems donates security software to OJR

Cody Systems donates security software to OJR

Public security software system will help district track incidents

SOUTH COVENTRY >> Security is top of mind for school districts all across the country. In the Owen J. Roberts School District, an alumnus recently came forward to donate a valuable software system that is designed to better track incidents at district schools and quickly find information on suspicious individuals.
At a recent meeting, the school board accepted a donation of public security software from CODY Systems, of Pottstown. CODY is a software and data management company that specializes in public safety, law enforcement and other public sector systems.
It was donated by company coowner David Heffner, who graduated from OJR in 1996. The company was founded by his parents, David and Frances Heffner, in 1979.
Heffner, who now co-owns the company with his mother, said the district provided him with “an incredible foundation and excellent memories.”
“I and my mother could not be prouder to donate this system,” Heffner told the board. “I hope it will be an incredible enhancement to the safety and security of OJR students.”
The software that was donated by CODY is a record management system that will help district police track and report criminal offenses, student tips and other incidents. In addition, the district will have access to a COBRA data-sharing system that provides access to police records from all Chester County police departments.
“It will allow OJR police officers to search not only their district, but the area around it, as well,” Heffner said of the COBRA system.
Heffner offered to donate the system after being contacted by the district’s Chief of Security & Safety Brandon Daniels.
Daniels, who joined Owen J. Roberts in October, said he has been engaged in an ongoing review of all equipment in the district’s police department. He quickly determined that the existing reporting system was usable but antiquated and needed to be replaced.
However, he soon found out that newer systems had price tags that far exceeded his budget.
“I came across CODY,” Daniels said. “I knew most of the departments in the county were using their system. I reached out to find out if there was a less expensive version of their software.”
He discovered that there wasn’t a scaled-down, cheaper version available. But that’s when Heffner told him he was a graduate of the district.
“He said he was interested in giving back, and he offered the donation,” Daniels said.
Heffner agreed to donate not only the system, but the first year of maintenance. Thereafter, the district will pay an annual maintenance fee. The donation is valued at more than $20,000.
Both the record management system and the COBRA system are a valuable addition to the district’s security department. For Daniels, COBRA, which links all police departments in the county, is a particularly beneficial tool.
“If we have an incident that we handle, or another department handles an incident, we can share that information,” he said.
For example, if a suspicious person is found walking on the high school campus, Daniels can check the system to find out if another police department in the area has reported a similar incident.
“Without that we would have no way of knowing,” Daniels said. “It can really provide important information to improve the safety and security of our schools.”
Superintendent Susan Lloyd thanked Heffner for the generous donation. She said the system will be a boon to the district police force, which consists of two full-time and one part-time officer.
“We think of police officers as only dealing with the students, but the public uses our facilities heavily,” Lloyd observed.
In addition to being grateful for the donation, Lloyd also noted that “it’s always great to see our graduates being successful.”
According to information provided by the company, software and data management systems from CODY Systems serve close to 500 agencies nationwide, “covering 20 states and ranging in size from rural police departments to state and federal agencies.”

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Offer Feedback about District Safety/Security

Dear Parents, Guardians and Community,

As you know, the Owen J. Roberts School District is currently undergoing a comprehensive feasibility study.  As part of the safety and security aspect of the study, Vulnerability Solutions Group, LLC will be conducting risk and vulnerability assessments of all OJR school buildings and campuses throughout the district.

Vulnerability Solutions Group, LLC is seeking feedback/input from parents, employees, and community members about the safety and security of our school district. This input will be incorporated into assessment reports that will be presented to district administration and the school board. I encourage everyone who would like to express specific concerns about the safety of our schools or to offer suggestions for making our schools safer to email their comments to no later than February 19 at 11:59 p.m. Your comments and suggestions will go directly to Vulnerability Solutions Group and the identity of those submitting comments and suggestions will not be shared with the district. When responding, please include the name of the school building(s) for which your remarks are regarding. 

Any questions about the risk and vulnerability assessment or the feedback/input the company seeks can be directed to Brian Krause, Chief Security Officer of VSG, at

Thank you in advance for your consideration in providing valuable commentary as we continue to work to keep our students safe throughout the entire Owen J. Roberts School District.

Dr. Susan T. Lloyd
Superintendent of Schools