Thursday, March 19, 2020

High School Musical Shout Out

Today, March 19, 2020, more than 60 Owen J. Roberts High School students may have felt the pre-performance jitters of opening night for the spring musical, Disney High School Musical on Stage. We are proud of the work the students and production staff put in to preparing for performances and hope to see them live in the future! Take a moment to browse through the photo album at

The Musical page may be found at:

Monday, March 9, 2020

FREE Community Swim Night

Start off your spring break with a splash at the OJR Middle School pool!  On Tuesday, April 7th from 5:00-7:00pm, we welcome you and your family to come enjoy a few hours of swimming and playing. Sponsored by OJR Community Aquatics and OJR Fit-for-Life!

Please pre-register for the event at 

Thursday, March 5, 2020

School Board Members Help Students with Book Tasting

Mr. John Diehl and Mrs. Jennifer Munson donned their aprons and chef coats to participate with East Vincent Elementary School students in a "Book Tasting". The book tasting activity gives students an opportunity to sample a variety of books. Students were tasked with finding a mirror book and a window book plus a book they just liked for "dessert". 

A mirror is a story that reflects your own culture and helps you build your identity. A window is a resource that offers you a view into someone else's experience.

The book tasting idea was the brainchild of Mrs. Stephanie Laubenstein, who believes that every child should be able to see themselves in a story. With the help of Mrs. Danielle Rapp, the teachers used the Read Across America theme of "Developing a Nation of Diverse Readers" to create an experience for each student to sample a variety of texts. Older students 

Read more in the 3/3/2020 Pottsown Mercury article

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

End the Word!

Spread the Word to End the R Word occurred today on Wed, March 4th!  This is a national awareness day throughout our country that instills the importance of equality for all different abilities. It is a day to step back and look at the language that we use in our conversations and to spread the word that hurtful words are not okay.  The word “retarded” was banned in any official documentation by President Obama in October 2010.

Students, staff, and supporters across the nation come together on this day to bring kindness to others with an intellectual disability by standing up for their rights as active members of our society.  We hope that you can join us on this special day that is dear to our hearts to support our OJRSD students with special needs by taking the pledge and speaking up for those who may not have a voice.  If you hear something derogatory, stop and say something.  If you see someone who is shamed just because of their disability, say something.  It all starts with small steps by paying it forward to those in need and just being aware.

Spread the Word website and Take the Pledge:

Future Goals Teacher All-Star Jen Armstrong

Congratulations to Mrs. Jen Armstrong, who today was surprised by Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the NHL for winning a national NHL contest to be awarded Most Valuable Teacher for the month of February!

The NHL recognizes teachers as "one of the most important influences in a child’s life. Hard-working, dedicated teachers not only educate students, they help instill values, build character and shape future generations of smart, responsible citizens."


Josh DiMarino Qualifies for PMEA All-State Chorus

Owen J. Roberts High School is pleased to announce that Josh DiMarino has qualified for the PMEA All-State Chorus Festival which will be held in the Poconos from April 22nd through 25th, 2020.  This is a terrific honor for Josh and for the entire Owen J. Roberts community. Congratulations to Josh!

Involved Board as Distinguished Guest Readers

Mr. Karel Minor, School Board President, reads favorite excerpts from "Alice in Wonderland" to East Coventry Elementary third graders.

School board members have been appearing in our schools this week to celebrate Read Across America and to enjoy a good book with children.

Mrs. Melissa Booth loves to share stories of her travels and read to children. She was at East Coventry Elementary on March 3.

Mr. Paul Friel read to students at North Coventry Elementary on Monday, March 2. Mrs. Friel was also a guest reader that day. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Nonfiction Author Explains Writing/Publishing Process

In honor of Read Across America, the PTA at East Coventry Elementary School sponsored an author visit from nonfiction writer, Annette Whipple, on March 2, 2020.

Having written books such as "Dig into Dirt" and Insects make WHAT?!"' her message to students was that "facts are fun". She helped students understand that book ideas often stem from real life and curiosity. She spoke a lot about revisions and how much time it may take to produce a book--even years! Students participated in an activity that helped them understand the book publishing process and how a book reaches a final audience.

Ms. Whipple ended the program by telling students, "Your words are powerful! How you say them is important."

Monday, March 2, 2020

New Model UN Club

Owen J. Roberts High School fielded its first Model UN team this year, participating in the Philadelphia Model UN Conference February 27 to March 1 at the Wyndham Hotel in the historic district of Philadelphia. Mr. Marc Leiberson is the team's advisor. Participants include:
Dan Miller
Grayson Kurth
Madeline Friel
Ava Lasmanis
Kiersten Longworth
Aidan Silli
Brennon Grabowic
Damien Horn

Model UN is a simulation of UN organizations such as the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, UNICEF, and others. Its participants take the roles of ambassadors from various countries and debate current issues. Model UN was developed in the 1950s as a way to give students hands-on learning in international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations. Over 400,000 students around the world participate in Model UN each year.

The Philadelphia Model UN website states: Model UN provides students with a platform to not only discuss a variety of global issues but also come together to create innovative solutions to grave problems that might not get adequate media attention in our Western society. PhilMUN 2020 will push its students to dive deep into topics, ranging from the Protection of Economic Rights of Rural Women to Drafting the Asia Pacific Security Treaty, to diplomatically address the varying facets of such intricate issues while considering the key actors involved. Our directors have worked tremendously hard in the last year to create noteworthy committees that center around issues that will create new, engaging discussions amongst delegates to help foster students’ growth in their public speaking, research and debate skills. 
The theme of PhilMUN 2020 is Equitable Globalization. As nations across the globe continue to advance in international cooperation and collaboration, globalization primarily serves as a platform for the interdependence of the world’s economies. But, as we see globalization grow exponentially in certain regions we need to take a minute to assess the progress that has been made and that is being made. Are the benefits of globalization equitable for all people? What is the role of members of the international community, both states and bodies like the United Nations, in ensuring that globalization does minimal social damage?

Unlike other conferences, PhilMUN also uses a regional focus that is instrumental for committees in analyzing the theme of the conference. This year we will take a look into the Asia-Pacific region to further understand Equitable Globalization as we examine development and global disparities. From the sub-regions of East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Russia Far East, this region incorporates a diverse range of nations with different economic capacities, cultures and landscapes. The unparalleled growth of nations like China, Japan, and India pose a threat not only to people within these countries but also other countries within the region. What does this disparity in growth mean for countries? How does this progress affect people specifically?" 

Crew Club Prepares for Season

The OJR Wildcat Crew Club is busy preparing for the upcoming spring rowing season. Club members have participated in two indoor rowing competitions in February. Eleven rowers competed in the Main Line Slide at Lower Merion High School on February 2. Joey Shea, Chase Wiedl and Kurt Sayers turned in top 10 finishes in the Boys Freshman, Lightweight and Open races respectively.  Sophomore Emily Braun took the gold medal in the Girls Coxswain race. At the Center City Slam, a regional competition held at Drexel University last weekend, Maddi Braun earned a top 10 finish in the Girls Open division while Kurt Sayers won the gold medal in the Boys Novice division against 72 other rowers. The team is looking forward to getting back on the water in late February.  

The OJR Wildcat Crew Club is a non-PIAA Interscholastic Sports Team that is sponsored and funded by a school-affiliated parent organization. Students and parents interested in learning more about club activities and the sport of rowing should email Melissa Vallino at

Senior Samuel Turley Selected for Jazz Band of America

Join us in congratulating Samuel Turley. In a recent Music for All press release, the District was informed: 

"Samuel Turley, class of 2020 bass trombone player Owen J. Roberts High School, has been selected from applicants across America as a member of the Jazz Band of America, a national honor ensemble. Turley is the son of Abigail and Shawn Turley of East Coventry. He is a member of the Owen J. Roberts band and jazz band under the direction of Todd Mengel, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra under the direction of Louis Scaglione, and Bravo Brass under the direction of Paul Bryan.

Music for All’s Jazz Band of America is recognized as one of the finest scholastic ensembles in America. They will rehearse and perform in concert as part of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha, March 11-14 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The 2020 Jazz Band of America is under the direction of Dr. Ron McCurdy, professor of music in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, and will feature guest artist Rex Richardson, Yamaha Performing Artist, on trumpet, and Vandoren Emerging Artists winner Santosh Sharma on Saxophone.

Turley is one of 19 members selected from 13 states to be part of the 2020 Jazz Band of America. The band will perform in concert Friday, March 13, 8:00 p.m., at Clowes Memorial Hall, located on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. The concert will also feature the Honor Orchestra of America, a national honors orchestra, conducted by Larry J. Livingston.

Members were selected by recorded audition, evaluated by leading music educators. “To be selected from among their peers for membership in this national ensemble is a great achievement and honor,” says James P. Stephens, Jr., Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources for Music for All. “The 2020 Jazz Band of America members are ambassadors of America’s music programs, as well as their states, schools, and communities.”

The Music for All National Festival will bring over 3,000 of America’s most outstanding scholastic musicians to Indianapolis. The Festival includes the National Concert Band Festival, the Sandy Feldstein National Percussion Festival, the Chamber Music National Festival, the Orchestra America National Festival, and the National Choir Festival, all taking place simultaneously in seven major venues throughout Indianapolis. In addition to the many performance and audience opportunities, students at the Music for All National Festival participate in master classes taught by world-class musicians and music educators, as well as a student leadership session and social events. In addition to the Honor Band of America, the Festival includes two other national honor ensembles, the Honor Orchestra of America and the Jazz Band of America. The Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha is an annual program of Music for All and is in its 29th year. Music for All is one of the nation’s largest and most influential organizations in support of active music making and is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Festival ensemble concert and ticket information is available at"