Spring 2021

Published by William Penn Charter School in the interest of our faculty and staff.


Congratulations and special thanks to the many PC colleagues who shared their expertise by teaching TLC workshops and/or mentoring this year: Maria Adamson, Sarah Aguilar-Francis, Sharon Ahram, Marianna Allen, Jenny Baer, Bhelly Bagbonon, Alice Bateman, Naveena Bembry, Kevin Berkoff, Sarah Black, Eileen Bossone, David Brightbill, Karen Campbell, Anne Coleman, Gillian Diffenderfer, Ben Dziedzic, Sonia Duprez, Jaqueline Eastridge, Jane Evans, Megan Evans, Wilson Felter, TJ Ferrick, Jim Fiorile, Liz Flemming, Brad Ford, Lindsay Franklin, Monica Freely, Eric Furda, Arianna Goodman, Aly Goodner, Doug Gorham, Julian Guindon, Jackie Hamilton, Brian Hecker, Lucia Herrmann, Judith Hill, Elizabeth Hitschler, Janel Horton, Jeff Humble, Liz Jones, Shahidah Kalam Id-Din, Whitney Kerner, Tim Lynch, Eva Kay Noone, Nora Landon, Michael LoStracco, Josh Oberfield, Marianne Master, Kevin Medansky, Luciany Melo da Silva, Beth Menzie, Vicki Miles, Sara Moses, Michael Moulton, Cory Moy, Pat Noonan, MaryKate O'Brien, Linda O’Malley, Lee Payton, Lisa Reedich, Dan Stahl,  Tom Rickards, Christy Schwartz, Tamara Southerling, Dave Tidey, Shelby Tucker, Lisa Turner, Doug Uhlmann, LaTasha Vassor, Josie Wallmuth, Melanie Wills and Nina Wojtowicz. 

Do you have kudos to give, or news and notes? Submit them any time throughout the year for inclusion in the next P.C.P.D.! Have you read a great book or study recently? P.C.P.D. is looking for columnists! Consider offering a one-time or recurring column in P.C.P.D. so your colleagues can learn from your experience.

News & Notes

Michael Roche had the pleasure to direct and edit the music video "Getting Old Sucks" for the band Bowling for Soup (Grammy-nominated, singers of the Phineas and Ferb theme song). His daughter also made all the puppets. Michael also had a small, uncredited part in the show "Mare Of Easttown." Keep an eye out for him in episode 7!

Maria Adamson completed an internship with the National Archives at Philadelphia as part of her graduate work for the M.Ed. in Secondary Education program at Temple University. She developed several lesson plans that were published on the National Archives DocsTeach site, as well as an essay for the National Archives education blog. Here is the link to a page with links to the lesson plans and the blog. 

Julia Judson-Rea, Shawna Hanley and Emma Rowan presented a session at the Northeast Annual Giving Conference titled "Shake Up Your Giving Day: Keeping Ideas Fresh and Donors Engaged" in which they talked about how they have generated exciting new ideas each of the six years PC has celebrated Great Day. 

Kevin Medansky is about a month away from finishing his master's in Études Théâtrales (Theater Studies) at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (New Sorbonne University). Once he finishes his thesis in mid-June, he will defend it with two professors from the department. Bonne chance!

Lucia Herrmann's story "Bookmarked" was selected for The Head & The Hand Press and Toho Publishing's forthcoming Hindsight Is 2020: An Anthology. The story centers on searching for a piece of Cuba's nearly eradicated literary history through the verdant and peacock-laden streets of Miami. Publication is expected for September 2021.


Faculty and Staff

Please join us in recognizing the commitment of the faculty recipients of the 2021 Faculty Service Awards! 

5 YEARS OF SERVICE (or, the Wood Anniversary)
Sharon Ahram, Ray Bailey, Jennifer Gomez, Aly Goodner, David Nichols, Jessica Rawlings, Michael Rosanova, Joey Sankey, Holly Silberman 
and Blanca Womack

10 YEARS OF SERVICE (the Tin Anniversary)
David Bass, T.J. Ferrick, Brooke Giles, Shahidah Kalam Id-Din, Corey Kilbaine, George Maugle, Timothy McDevitt, Philip Stevens 
and Kellyn Zeuner

15 YEARS OF SERVICE (the Crystal Anniversary)
Antonio Calvo, Jennifer Cubbin, Joel Eckel, Susan Goodman, Judith Hill, Margaret Lea, Teodora Nedialkova, Steven Wade 
and April Witherspoon

20 YEARS OF SERVICE (the fine China Anniversary)
Alice Bateman, Perry Bonner-Fennal, James Fiorile, Patrick McDonough, Anabelle Montero-Hricz, Diona Nicolucci 
and Lee Payton

25 YEARS OF SERVICE (the Silver Anniversary)
Hal Davidow and Joseph Fitzmartin

35 YEARS OF SERVICE (the Coral Anniversary)
Charlie Kaesshaefer, Kathy MacMurray, and Phil Palkon

AND, with a whopping 45 YEARS OF SERVICE (the Sapphire Anniversary)

Steve Bonnie!


What We're Reading

Richard DeSalvo recommends this short story by Charles Yu, published by the New York Times as a part of its Decameron Project.

Christy Cook-Schwartz recommends this article on the monumental undertaking that is the Covid-19 vaccination manufacturing process.

Alyson Goodner and Sharon Ahram recommend that you check out this helpful guide for applications to the Lehr Fund for Public Purpose Programming.

Judith Hill and Pat Bender have developed a list of Summer Pleasure Reading Recommendations

Many of us recommend "Sophomore Year 2020," an in-depth examination of the pandemic's effect on social and emotional well-being, written as a sort of case study on the students and teacher of a single high school course.

eSchool News has published its guide to great podcasts for kids, families, and teachers as we head into the summer.

We may be well on our way to summer now, but The Atlantic is already thinking ahead to snow days next year.

Education Next recommends you learn more about The 1619 Project, which has been making national headlines, in this article: "The 1619 Project" Enters American Classrooms.

And finally, the New York Times recommends that you read this article which asks, Does It Hurt Children to Measure Pandemic Learning Loss?


Eco Corner

by Tom Rickards

Well, it’s been a year! I wanted to thank all of you for your work this year. Especially those who worked with students around minimizing waste, getting outside into nature, and generally encouraging environmentalism in our community and beyond. From the origin of this zoonotic virus, to the impact of Covid-19 for marginalized communities, there are many environmental connections and themes of justice to be explored as we move through this pandemic. Here are a few announcements as we close out the 2020-21 school year and look forward to next year!

  • Special thanks to our divisional environmental coordinators! Orit Netter and Brooke Giles in Lower School, Jennifer Chernak in Middle, and Kevin Berkoff in Upper School. I could not have gotten through this year without your help! 
  • Our E-Waste Drive was record-breaking! We collected and recycled 2,141 lbs. of electronic waste! Thanks to all who helped out.
  • Nature Outings and Stewardship: I did not log the hours that students went outside this year and organized clean-ups and stewardship, but this again was a silver lining during this challenging school year. Please scroll through our Instagram Penn Charter Green to see just a fraction of the images and events that I tried to capture and repost this year.
  • Plans for next year? I know many of us are ready for a break (me too)! After catching our breath, please let us know if you would like to be more involved in our environmental and outdoor programming next year. I post events throughout the school year (and into the summer) at PC Green Events. There is also a weekly list serv called “PC Eco Weekly News” that I send out each Sunday, so let me know if you would like to be added. I am also happy to hear suggestions and feedback from our collective efforts in environmental sustainability, so please be in touch at

In partnership,

Tom Rickards


Teaching & Learning Center News and Notes

by Ruth Aichenbaum 

Through this _____________ (fill in your own adjective!) year,  I am so thankful to all of you who attended and led TLC sessions! It has been joyful to spend time in community together, to support each other, and to learn from and with one another. I look forward to a more ordinary year in the fall when we can enjoy each other’s company in-person! I also realize that there are a number of you who won’t be returning to Penn Charter next school year. Please know that you have an open invitation to connect through the TLC.

I send my best wishes to you for a joyful, relaxing and rejuvenating summer. Below are some resources from this year’s  TLC sessions that you can peruse at your leisure if the mood strikes you. Feel free to be in touch anytime if you have daydreams for TLC programming. There’s nothing I enjoy more than growing new ideas for how our Teaching & Learning Center can better serve you and our community! 

Sending all of my thanks and best wishes for a wonderful summer!


Resources from Past Workshops
Resources especially for Lower School, but inspirational for all!

Understanding Students ... Our School...Ourselves...and the World

DEI Work
The Arts
Student Led TLC sessions

Student Environmental Certificate Program Slide Presentations

Hope to see you at the TLC!