e Subscribe to the
Mustang Express.

Your e-mail:

June 2014
mustang express

Commencement 2014

Members of the Class of 2014 throw their mortar boards skyward in celebration of their graduation.

Johanna Swoyer
and senior concert choir members perform "For Good" during the Commencement ceremony.

GMIS 5th grade teacher Donna Strobel is the author of "A Fish Tale about Size and Choices" available now on Amazon.com.

Members of the High School Marching Band show off their new uniforms. The band will start wearing the new uniforms in the fall.

Governor Mifflin School Board Member Mr. Jim Ulrich poses with his grandson and members of the U.S. Army Reserve during Brecknock's Patriots Day.

Middle School teacher Donna Zaun holds one of five boxes filled with dried out markers. The markers will be recycled as part of Crayola's ColorCycle project.

High School business teacher Katie Broskey poses with Pat Long, a franchisee for Auntie Anne's Pretzels.

Elizabeth D'Angelo
stands near the memorial markers of her grandparents during a recent class trip to Arlington National Cemetery.

The GMIS Mini-Mustangs get ready to ride in style to Dairy Queen for a celebratory lunch.


The new Middle School outdoor classroom features picnic tables and a shaded space for classes to work.

High School teacher Kim Wiest will spend part of June evaluating and scoring AP Exams in Nashville, TN.


The Students of the Quarter for the third quarter pose with the High School principals, Mrs. Lisa Hess and Mr. John Althouse.

The school year may be over, but it's never too late to leave your mark on Mifflin! Click here to order your engraved brick for the Commemorative Court outside of GMHS. All proceeds benefit the Governor Mifflin Education Foundation.

The music doesn't stop in the summer! Visit www.berkstrings.org
for information on the Summer Strings Institute at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School.













Members of the Governor Mifflin Class of 2014 await their diplomas during the Commencement ceremony on June 14 at Santander Arena.



Congratulations GM Class of 2014!

On Saturday, June 14, 274 students graduated from Governor Mifflin High School in front of family and friends at Santander Arena. The class was one of the smallest in recent years, but made a big impact during the ceremony when Commencement speakers Tyler Hill, Darsol Kerneau Seok and Samjeris Victor took the stage to deliver their speech entitled "Conformity Lessens the Beauty of the World." The top three in the class ended their speech with a surprise rap that brought their fellow graduates to their feet. Click here to watch.

Of the 274 students who received diplomas, 74 percent plan to continue their education at a college, university or trade school.

15 students have plans to enter the military with 5 enlisting in the Air Force, 5 in the Army, 3 in the Marine Corps and 2 in the Navy.

Of the students who plan to continue their education, the top three intended majors or courses of study for the newest Governor Mifflin graduates are:
  • Business administration/management - 11 percent
  • Nursing - 9 percent
  • Criminal justice or psychology - 3 percent
  • 11 percent remain undecided

Back to School Will Be Here Before You Know It

Only 67 days left until the first day of school! The Governor Mifflin School District wishes you a safe and healthy summer. However, we want to remind you that it is important to complete the infosnap online back-to-school process before the first day of school on August 25.

In August, your family will receive a back-to-school letter containing information from your building principal as well as directions and an individual "snap code" that will allow you to log on to our secure, back-to-school website and update your child's information prior to the start of the 2014-2015 school year. By completing this process, you can be assured that your child's school has all of the vital information needed by the time your child arrives on the first day of school, including health information and emergency contacts. Additionally, the infosnap back-to-school process will be the only way to find out your child's teacher or homeroom, busing information and other important updates for the new school year.

If you do not have access to the Internet in your home, public computers are available at the Governor Mifflin Education Center (10 S. Waverly Street, Shillington) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Computers are also available at the Mifflin Community Library. Click here for hours.

If you do not complete the infosnap back-to-school online update, not only will your child's record be incomplete, your family will not be registered for ConnectED calls and messages during the school year. This means you will not be contacted about building or district events, attendance issues or emergency closings or delays.

District Attorney's Office Offers Frank Discussion on Drug Use

As students prepared to head into the summer break, the high school Health and Physical Education Department offered a strong parting message to students. In May, Cpl. Pasquale Leporace of the Berks County Detectives Narcotics Division and District Attorney John Adams spoke to Governor Mifflin High School students about the incredible dangers and increasing use of heroin.

"As we leave for the summer, we want students to have all of the information they can about this dangerous drug," said Amy Hatlee, Governor Mifflin Health and Physical Education Teacher.

While Leporace has presented at several other community forums throughout Berks County, his presentation at Governor Mifflin marked the first time his message was targeted specifically to high school students. Throughout his two, one-hour sessions, Leporace showed students what heroin and other drugs look like, shared statistics on recent deaths, and pointed out the connections within pop culture.

"The drug dealers are targeting people like you," Leporace told students.

“Educating young adults about the dangers of heroin is critical to stopping this epidemic,” explained Adams. “I applaud the Governor Mifflin school district for taking steps to be at the forefront in addressing this problem. We cannot arrest our way out of this problem. We need to have a three prong approach: education and prevention, treatment, and enforcement.”

To watch Cpl. Leporace's entire presentation at Governor Mifflin, please click here.

GMIS Teacher Publishes "Fish Tale"

As the school year comes to a close, Governor Mifflin Intermediate School Teacher Donna Strobel is just getting started on a new adventure. Strobel, who is in her 20th year of teaching in the Governor Mifflin School District, just had her first children’s book published. A Fish Tale About Size and Choices was written by Strobel and illustrated by her cousin Judy Link Cuddehe and is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

The book was inspired by Strobel’s family goldfish, a carnival prize that became a long-time family pet.

“Everyone kept saying the fish would not live more than a few days, but it lived a long time and it kept growing. It became such a staple in our household that we used to take the fish on family vacations,” Strobel recalled.

The story incorporates a message of individuality and sharing one’s gifts with others.

“I really saw it as a message that we all have talents, abilities we can expand upon and opportunities to contribute to someone’s day,” Strobel said.

Strobel describes her path to publishing as a serendipitous journey starting more than seven years ago. Cuddehe, who had worked on other books in the past, approached Strobel about writing a story. Strobel, who regularly journals her ideas, shared the fish story. Last year, Cuddehe began illustrations and the process moved quickly to the published version, which was released in May.

“I hope people enjoy the book and can take something from it,” said Strobel.

HS Band Debuts New Uniforms

The Governor Mifflin High School Marching Band will step out next fall with a brand new groove. The band recently purchased new uniforms to replace the existing ones that were more than a decade old. Audience members got a sneak preview of the new attire during the finale of the Spring Band Concert in May. The crisp maroon and white uniforms feature a bold gold accent stripe on both the coat and shakos. An embroidered "GM" logo adds a polished look to the coats, which top black pants. Look for the band to debut the full look during half-time performances this fall.

Brecknock Students Honor Patriots

Just in time for Memorial Day, Brecknock Elementary students had the opportunity to learn from some local U.S. Army Reservists. As part of "Patriot Day," members of the local U.S. Army Reserve visited the school and spent time explaining the life of a soldier. Students learned about MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat), the importance of camouflage and how soldiers protect themselves during the day and at night. Students also had the opportunity to explore a military vehicle. As a special thank you to the soldiers, music teacher Mr. Brian Beears led students in a performance of patriotic songs before the event came to an end.

MS Teacher Makes Her Mark on the Environment

As a Family and Consumer Science Teacher at Governor Mifflin Middle School, Donna Zaun is constantly searching for creative projects for the classroom. Her latest endeavor engaged the entire district in a colorful recycling effort. Zaun was the driving force behind Governor Mifflin's first year of participation in Crayola ColorCycle.

Throughout the school year, instead of throwing away old, dried out markers, each school building set up a recycling site. Zaun collected all of the markers at the end of the school year. She ended up with enough markers to fill five office paper boxes, which weighed in at 80 pounds! Crayola paid for the shipping of the markers, which will be melted and turned into fuel. Click here to see how it works.

Business Leaders Take on Teaching Role

Several local business leaders traded the boardroom for the classroom in May, sharing their expertise with students in Ms. Katie Broskey's business classes at the high school. The volunteer effort through Junior Achievement of Berks County & Lehigh Valley helped connect those in business with students who aspire to business-related careers. The guest teachers included Sergei Szortyka, CEO of Quaker Maid Meats; Shelanie Cruz, Mortgage Operations Quality Control Analyst for Santander Bank; Beverlee Mitchell, Loss Mitigation Manager and Assistant Vice President for Santander Bank; and Debbie Sadowski, Consumer Loan Service Specialist for Santander Bank. Volunteers visited students over several class periods.

Students in Ms. Broskey's Business Management classes also had the opportunity to hear from Pat Long, a franchisee for Auntie Anne's Pretzels. Long helped students understand what was required to buy into a franchise and how to manage the business.

"I can honestly say, these were some of the best presentations my class has ever seen," said Broskey.

Student Makes Family Connection During Field Trip

The eighth grade class trip to Washington D.C. provided a plethora of history lessons for students, but for Elizabeth D'Angelo, the trip became personal. During a scheduled visit to Arlington National Cemetery, D'Angelo had her first opportunity to visit the final resting place of her grandparents. Her grandfather was a captain in the U.S. Army during World War II. Her grandmother served as a corporal. Both were interred at the Arlington National Cemetery. For D'Angelo, the experience of visiting this sacred site and sharing such a personal experience with her classmates was one she will never forget.

MS Opens Outdoor Classroom

After a long winter, students at the Middle School had the opportunity to enjoy the sunny days of spring in a whole new way. The Middle School outdoor classroom received a much-needed make over allowing teachers to take their lessons outdoors during the last quarter of the school year.

Under the leadership of teachers Mr. Erik Bresnahan and Mrs. Angela Burkey and with the help of the Middle School student council and Worms Hardscaping and Landscaping, the outdoor space was cleaned of debris and refurbished.

High School Teacher Selected to Help With International AP Scoring

Mrs. Kim Wiest will be spending part of the summer break grading tests. Wiest, an AP Chemistry teacher at Governor Mifflin High School, was selected to participate in the College Board's AP Reading in Chemistry. Wiest will join teachers and college faculty members from around the world in Nashville, TN to read and score the essay portions of this year's AP Exams.

Wiest was selected from applicants worldwide. She joins fellow Governor Mifflin High School teacher Mr. Richard Yenser as one of the test readers. According to the College Board, throughout the month of June, more than 12,500 AP Readers will evaluate more than 4.2 million AP Exams.

GMEF Names 2014 Grant Recipients

The Governor Mifflin Education Foundation awarded two grants for 2014 totaling $10,061. This year's recipients were Mrs. Debra Cech and Mrs. Kristen Gerhard for their proposal "Leap into Literacy - Preschool Literacy Nights" and Mr. Christopher Groff for his proposal "Mimeo Teach."

"Leap into Literacy - Preschool Literacy Nights" will expand the district's pre-K outreach by providing additional events for children who will be entering kindergarten and their families. The events will feature tips for parents to help improve reading skills, activities for children and giveaways. Groff's Mimeo Teach proposal will expand smart board technology in the special education classrooms at the Middle School.

Each year, the Governor Mifflin Education Foundation helps to fund innovation in the classroom. Teachers submit grant proposals, which are reviewed by a board of district administrators before being approved by the Governor Mifflin Board of School Directors and the Governor Mifflin Education Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Governor Mifflin Education Foundation is dedicated to seeking individual and corporate bequests, which can be awarded to support projects and teaching deemed by the Board of Trustees to advance excellence in education and to be of mutual benefit to the school district and the local community.

Students of the Quarter Recognized at the High School

The end of the fourth quarter marked the recognition of the high school Students of the Quarter, honored for their achievements in academics, citizenship and overall attitude. Those nominated by faculty and recognized for the final quarter were:

Tyler Hill and Jessica Chernich


Jan Johnson and Carla Santarelli

Miles Nessuno and Olivia Dennis


Jonathan Schmehl and Abigail McKay



Board Seeks to Fill Empty Seat

The Governor Mifflin Board of School Directors has begun the process of filling a seat left vacant by Elaine Fiant. Mrs. Fiant submitted her resignation prior to the voting meeting on June 16. She was serving a four-year term that was scheduled to end in 2015.

The Board has 30 days to fill the position and is currently accepting applications from anyone who is interested in serving on the Board. Applications should be submitted no later than July 1, 2014 and should be sent to:

The Governor Mifflin Education Center
Attn: Mrs. Sharon Patton
10 S. Waverly Street
Shillington, PA 19607

On July 7, the Board will interview candidates during a public meeting at the Education Center at 7:00 p.m.


Have a great summer!

GOVERNOR MIFFLIN school district

copyright © 2014 GMSD. All rights reserved.