UCF District News MAY 2020

UHS Students create face shields for local healthcare workers

The UHS Tech Ed department came together, while at home, to do their part to support healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the guidance of Mr. Mike Berkiehiser, Mr. Steve Ortega and Mr. Neil Linkmeyer, UHS students made protective face shields for local medical professionals to use during this stressful time. This project came to life after Dr. Sanville connected with Dr. Uejima at Nemours/A.I. duPont, who loved the idea and recommended that an open-source design would best meet their needs.

Students in the Tech Ed program at UHS signed up to make 100 shields each - however, some students made more! The materials were packaged into kits for each student and included the open-source design and instructions for them to follow. The response from the students was overwhelming, and for some, the project became a family activity!

In the end,1,800 face shields were donated to Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital For Children. This unique project took thoughtful coordination and execution. The District commends the efforts of the UHS staff and students who made this possible - continuing our theme for the year of Service Above Self...even during these difficult times. #UCFCares

It should also be noted that Unionville High School was named a 2020 STEM School of Excellence by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). ITEEA recognizes outstanding schools for their commitment to providing a robust Integrative STEM education program. Unionville High School was recognized for exemplifying outstanding leadership in the field of STEM education. Congratulations to Mr. Berkiehiser, Mr. Ortega and Mr. Linkmeyer and the UHS students on earning this outstanding distinction!


May 18, 2020

Click here to view the full agenda and all documents. All board meetings are filmed and may be viewed on the District’s YouTube channel.

Before the start of the meeting, School Board President, Mr. Hellrung recognized Ms. Winter Elvin, the student representative on the school board, for her two years of exceptional service. He noted her dedication to her role and how the board valued her voice and her surveying of the student body over the years. He shared that Ms. Elvin served on various committees and that she was confident, thoughtful, honest, and forthright with her remarks and insight. He closed his statement wishing her luck at West Chester University.

Superintendent’s Report

Dr. Sanville welcomed everyone to the virtual UCFSD School Board meeting. He kicked off the meeting by thanking Ms. Elvin for her outstanding years of service as Student on the School Board.

He shared a virtual congratulations to Patton Middle School’s Mr. Jason Palo who was present at the meeting. Mr. Palo was selected as one of The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association’s 2020 Emerging Leader award recipients. He is one of only four teachers in the world to receive the distinction this year. ITEEA is the professional organization for technology, innovation, design, and engineering educators.

He also congratulated Unionville High School on being named a STEM School of Excellence by ITEEA. ITEEA recognizes outstanding schools for their commitment to providing a robust Integrative STEM education program. Unionville High School was recognized for exemplifying outstanding leadership in the field of STEM education. Dr. Sanville recognized Mr. Mike Berkeihiser, also present at the meeting, for his efforts in securing this recognition for the high school.

Dr. Sanville also shared a video of the UHS Class of 2020 yard sign delivery and commended the high school administration's efforts to recognize the Class of 2020 with this delivery.

Student Representative’s Report

Ms. Evanko shared information about the AP testing currently taking place and how tests were changed to online and from 3 hours to 45 minutes. She also shared that applications have been received for next year's Student on the School Board. She continued her report noting that clubs and activities remain active at UHS, the Indian Post is still creating editions (see the May edition here), and Mr. Throne will be releasing a virtual choir performance video with the choir. Lastly, she thanked Ms. Elvin for being a great mentor and taking her under her wing.

Ms. Elvin thanked the School Board and Dr. Sanville for their support over the last two years and for the opportunity and experience. She shared that the senior class is petitioning to have finals revoked. She commented that while this is not a voting item, that the board hear the students out and question the value of the finals. Ms. Elvin shared that the Class of 2020 would like to thank the board for everything and respects their decision.

Public Comment

Members of the Class of 2020 called in during public comment to offer commentary on the topic of senior finals. Mr. Darshak Gadagkar shared that there is a petition with over 540 signatures asking to cancel senior finals. Ms. Daisy Qiu thanked the school board for their support and shared her appreciation for how school has been handled during the pandemic. She added that she feels the District should remove finals due to overwhelming student stress. Mr. Declan Boyle also added that there should be a reflection paper in place of the senior final. He gave a description of the proposed assignment as being similar to the SHOC letter written by students. Mr. Boyle felt this would be a better solution as well as a meaningful project.

Dr. Sanville responded to the students’ public comment by offering his appreciation for their commentary. He reminded the public that decisions regarding senior finals were made after discussions with teachers, administrators, and students; and he would not want to make a decision without re-engaging those same groups at UHS. Dr. Sanville shared that he would think thoughtfully on the issues brought up as well as the proposal.

Board Comments

Several board members thanked the student callers who offered public comment and commended them for their thoughtful commentary and respectful presentation. The board members also used this time to thank Ms. Elvin for her excellent years of service on the board as the student representative and wished her all the best.

Action Items and Committee Reports

Curriculum and Instruction

In Curriculum and Instruction, the board approved a revised professional development schedule for teachers for the 2020-2021 school year to include additional Act 80 days and time for training over the summer.

Dr. Baratta reviewed additional discussion items from the Curriculum and Instruction Meeting held on May 11, 2020 including a review of the Technology Education program at the elementary and middle school (see the video shared at the meeting). She also introduced two new Spanish textbooks for the high school and shared feedback on the District’s Continuity of Education Plan. The feedback was submitted by members of the Curriculum Council, Wellness Council, and Social-Emotional Learning Committee.


Mr. Day presented three voting items. The board approved the CCIU custodial bids and the replacement of gym wall pads at Hillendale Elementary. Additionally, the board approved the cost share with East Marlborough Township for the Route 82 Crosswalks/Traffic Calming Improvements.


There were two voting items presented by Dr. Akki. The board approved to ratify an amendment to Section 125 Benefit Plan and the Paper and Binder/Laminating Bid Awards for 2020-21.

Lastly, Dr. Akki thanked the administration for pulling together the final proposed budget. She added that the presentation was well done and completed with clarity, providing the board with plenty of time to review and ask questions. The Proposed Final Budget was presented on Monday, May 4, 2020 during the School Board Budget Meeting.


Mr. Murphy proposed several policies for board approval. The board approved policies:

Dr. Sanville updated the board on Board Goals and reviewed the prioritization poll results. He added that administrative liaisons will provide more context on the goals for the board to review.

General updates on Technology, Wellness and Communications were provided during the School Board Work Session on May 11, 2020.


Ms. Talbert reminded the board of information she shared during the work session regarding potential legislation on property tax relief.

CCIU Update

Mr. Hellrung shared that the CCIU board met on April 29 where the main topic was career-readiness programs. He added that they are in a good place establishing good contacts around Chester County and beyond. The CCIU passed their marketplace budget and emphasized that there are no contracts that take place without value and quality. He shared that the CCIU is planning to drop four marketplace programs and add seven new programs next year.

Upcoming Meetings

  • Curriculum & Instruction Meeting - June 9 at 4:30PM
  • School Board Work Session - June 9 at 7PM
  • School Board Meeting - June 15 at 7:30PM

UCF at home

We could not be more proud of the Unionville-Chadds Ford students, parents, staff, teachers, administrators, and community for their dedication to distance learning while at home. And we want to thank our students and families for their resilience and outstanding ability to adapt to these new daily routines. The strength and compassion displayed by our UCF community these last few months is amazing and we could not be more grateful for each and every one of you. #UCFProud


One of the positives of Distance Learning is the quality time we get to spend with our furry friends! Here’s Noah (3rd grader at Pocopson Elementary School) with his trusty pal and fellow classmate Ava, on a Zoom call with their homeroom friends!


We have loved seeing how our students are using their creativity and talents to create at-home masterpieces! Matilda Llosa, talented artist and 8th grader at Patton Middle School, created the artwork below!


Every May we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week but this was the first year we had to celebrate while all being at home. Students and families throughout the District sent in pictures and videos showing their appreciation and love for our amazing UCFSD teachers. As you can tell by the length of this video, there were A LOT of students who wanted to show their appreciation!


UHS students shined this year at the 2020 Delaware Valley Science Fair. The DVSF was held virtually this year in order to still provide the opportunity for students to win scholarships and awards. Congratulations to the following students for their accomplishments:

  • Evan Wang, 12th grade, First Place in Chemistry (Project: Investigating the Effects of Cross-linkers in Flow- Assisted Assembly of Nanocellulose Materials via Rheo- optical Techniques)
  • Chirag Choudhary, 10th grade, Honorable Mention in Medicine & Health (Project: The Effect of Chloramphenicol Resistance Conferred by Tn2424 and MarR11 Genes Escherichia coli Resistance to T4 Bacteriophage)
  • Addison Liu (UHS) and Richard Li (Conestoga HS) First Place in DVSF Team Projects (Project: Leveraging Polymer Immiscibility in Additive Manufacturing: Sequestration of Graphene Nanoplatelets within a Phase-Separated PLA/iPP Polymer Matrix for Optimized Mechanical and Thermal Performance)

• • • • •

Congratulations to the following students for placing within the Top 10 in their respective events at the 2019/2020 FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) State Leadership Conference which was held virtually this year. >View Full Story Here

Erik Chou • Website Design • 1st Place in PA
Zachary Gaza, Sean Matson, & John Blazakis • Global Business • 9th Place in PA
Roy Anderson, Thomas Kucharczuk, Joseph Canino • Entrepreneurship • 10th Place in PA


• taking the celebration on the road •

Earlier this month, Unionville High School administrators and staff teamed up with the UCF Transportation Department to deliver yard signs to the Class of 2020 seniors! Check out the video below to see how the surprise delivery went!


A huge shoutout to the members of UHS U-THON for having another excellent year! Four Diamonds shared on Twitter that UHS U-THON was the top fundraising event on Giving Day FTK! The grand total raised this year was: $66,780.29!

Thank you to the students for all of your hard work and for everyone throughout the UCF Community who supported UHS U-THON! Your contributions go a long way in helping to support the children and families fighting the hardest battle of their lives.

See the grand reveal video here!


The UHS Chorale worked with composer Will Todd, from England, to create the following virtual concert. Each student sent in a recording of the song which Chorale Director Mr. Jason Throne carefully edited together, along with Will Todd's accompaniment to create this amazing performance. Enjoy!

Unionville High School with Will Todd accompanying at the piano present: Remembrance by Will Todd

best high schools in PENNSYLVANIA


The U.S. News & World Report named Unionville High School a 2020 Best High School. UHS was ranked as the #6 Best High School in Pennsylvania! To view ranking factors and National and Philadelphia-Metro Area rankings, click here.

highest-scoring school districts in Pennsylvania


The Pittsburgh Business Times named Unionville-Chadds Ford School District as the high-scoring school district in Pennsylvania. This is the seventh straight year that UCFSD has finished in the top spot. This annual list ranks the highest-scoring school districts in Pennsylvania based on three years of state standardized test scores. View the full article here.



The Unionville Chadds-Ford School District is pleased to announce that Amy Simonds from Pocopson Elementary has been selected as the District’s recipient of the Citadel Heart of Learning Award! Parents, students, and colleagues were able to nominate teachers earlier in the school year, and Ms. Simonds received several nominations, leading to her rise to the top as Unionville-Chadds Ford’s recipient this year. One of the nominations submitted for Ms. Simonds stated, “She truly goes "above and beyond the call of duty" with her students.

Dr. Beaver shared, “I always enjoy talking with first graders in Mrs. Simonds' classroom. They can explain in great detail what they are learning and why they are learning it. They are exceedingly interested in explaining their thinking and their work. They can tell me what big event is in store for the week and what they'll be doing that afternoon. It's easy to see the pride they take in their classroom and even easier to tell that they respect and love their teacher!” Read the full story here.

2019-2020 Educator of the Year


Congratulations to Mandi Quinn on being named the 2019-2020 Educator of the Year by the students of Unionville High School. To celebrate this well-deserved honor, a surprise parade of over 50 cars was organized by Jack Regenye to drive by and celebrate with Mrs. Quinn with signs and music and social-distance approved greetings! And it was covered by 6ABC news! (See the clip below!) Thank you to The Indian Post for your support for this annual honor!

Mrs. Quinn is a Health and PE teacher at Unionville High School and also serves as Club Advisor to Habitat For Humanity, Paddle Tennis, Pawsabilities, and the UHS 5K Running Club. As a Wellness Ambassador she has hosted Yoga Mondays with Mrs. Quinn every Monday and has provided multiple yoga sessions in the Wellness Activity Series! Thank you Mrs. Quinn for all you do to keep the minds and bodies of UCFSD well!

ITEEA Emerging Leader: JASON PALO

Mr. Jason Palo from Patton Middle School has been selected as one of International Technology and Engineering Educators Association's 2020 Emerging Leader award recipients. Mr. Palo is one of only four teachers in the world recognized with the distinction this year.

The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) is the professional organization for technology, innovation, design, and engineering educators. The Emerging Leader honor is a coveted mark of distinction in technology and engineering education. It recognizes technology, innovation, design, and engineering educators who have demonstrated a high level of competence and professional activity in the field of technology and engineering education.

Mr. Palo was scheduled to receive the award at the ITEEA conference in Baltimore this past March, but due to COVID-19, the conference could not take place. At the May School Board Meeting, the District recognized Mr. Palo for his outstanding achievement. He thanked the School Board and Administrators for their support in building the multi-award-winning Technology and Engineering Program that Patton has today.

Join us in congratulating Mr. Palo for his outstanding achievement!


(Left) International Technology & Engineering Educators Association Program of Excellence (Right) Technology Engineering Education Association of Pennsylvania's Program of Excellence
"Our contributions helped us to win the National Green Ribbon School award on the Senate floor." - Mr. Palo
"[We won] Best in Show at the Unionville Community Fair for our Kinderchair project." - Mr. Palo
"First in school history to have both our current PA Senator Tom Killion and PA Representative Steven Barr acknowledge the great works of our Technology & Engineering program in person." - Mr. Palo
"We have raised over 10,000 dollars through grant writing to equip our program with the latest technologies to help our students to excel." - Mr. Palo
The end of the year is a busy time for everyone, full of important events and (virtual) activities. See below for some important reminders.

JUNE 1 • 3:00 PM • Patton Fall Sports Meetings (For incoming 7th & 8th grade athletes)

JUNE 2 • In-Service Day for Teachers & Staff - No School for Students

JUNE 3 • 1:30 - 2:30 PM • School Social Work Department’s LAST Parent/Guardian Group Discussion (RSVP to bziegler@ucfsd.net(See more information about this event here.)

JUNE 3 • 3:00 PM • Athletics Leadership Series: Practice & Compete in a Way that Reflects Our Core Values (For all Patton and UHS athletes; contact your coach for Zoom information)

JUNE 3 • 5:00 PM • Continuity of Education Surveys CLOSE (Surveys were sent on Tuesday, May 26 to all Elementary, Middle and High School parents and UCFSD teachers.)

JUNE 8 • Class of 2020 - Car Parade

JUNE 9 • 5:00 PM • Fall Sport Night (For all Patton & UHS athletes and parents/guardians)

JUNE 10 • Last Day of School for Students!

JUNE 11 • Clerical Day

Make sure you don't miss any updates from the District this summer by following us on social!


"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose... Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest." -Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!


The District is recognizing each and every member of the UHS Class of 2020 in our Senior Shout-Outs on Facebook and Instagram! Also, keep an eye out for the Class of 2020 Decision Day Video - coming soon!






HAVE a wonderful end to the school year! SUmmer is Right around the corner!