Foundation expands students’ learning

This page was created by Billtown Banner students at Williamsport Area High School

The “Millionaire Magicians” will take on the Harlem Wizards in the Magic Dome at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Seniors Sam Engel, Careema Armstrong, Jazmyn Massey-Porter and Gabe Rader, along with principal Mike Reed and math teacher Derek Slaughter, will represent the high school. The charity event is sponsored by the Williamsport Area School District Education Foundation.

“We wanted to bring a family-friendly event to the area that would both benefit the foundation and entertain our community’s families and kids,” the foundation’s executive director, Greg Hayes explained.

The Wizards combine basketball and comedy in a show that promises to excite and entertain.

The Education Foundation was started in 2004 in an effort to support innovative learning in classrooms across the district. The foundation raises money each year and donates its proceeds to teachers hoping to offer their students unique learning opportunities.

With the foundation’s support, students at the high school have benefitted from extended learning experiences in math, English, science, art and drama classes. Larry Flint used foundation money to set up coral and fish tanks that are on display throughout the school.

Andrew Paulhamus, who is teaching a dual-enrollment plastics course through Pennsylvania College of Technology, received money to offer students a culminating project building plastic covers for remote-controlled cars.

“We spend the year acclimating students with the pliability of plastic and the limits of molding [plastics],” Paulhamus said. “The students will design the body for a car, fabricate a model in wood, make a thermal molding, cut it out and add the graphics.”

Senior Collin Shableski explained that this one-year course with Paulhamus is the equivalent of two introductory courses at Penn College.

“I will have credit for two courses in my major before I even step foot on the campus,” Shableski said.

Patti Miller used money donated by the foundation to buy clickers for the math and English classes. “This is a great way to engage every student, every day,” Miller said of the new technology.

Drama teacher Marie Fox used foundation funds for Exceptional Theatre performances at the high school. These performances offer regular education students and staff and special needs students and staff the opportunity to collaborate on a dramatic performance. The performances have been “one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire career,” Fox said. “Every single person involved, from students to parents to staff to the audience, speaks fondly of their experience as well.”