The Penn Post


May 2016

Colonials Celebrate Art

By Lesliann Boucher and Stephanie Castillo

Photo by Stephanie Castillo Kim Davis, art teacher at William Penn, greets people at the Colonial Art Festival May 7. 

The Colonial Art Festival was held on Friday May 6  from 6pm-8pm, and Saturday  May 7 from 10am-2pm. The show was created to celebrate talented students from Kindergarten to12th grade in Colonial School District. 

The celebration of this festival was to represent heart. “Some people see art as a great outlet. It’s a sign of our humanity, that we create the art so it gives us something to do, in that sense of keeping us real, keeping us human,”  Kim Davis, one of the art teachers at William Penn, said.

In order to be featured in the art festival, work was selected by an art teacher in each Colonial school that was considered the “best of the best”. There were more than 1,000 pieces of art that were displayed in the festival, each teacher bringing in at least 80-100 pieces of art.

Winkler shared, “It represents a year’s worth of teaching for each teacher in the district. It is to celebrate all the creative students in the colonial school district. It’s a time to shine.”
Senior Kylie Wierzbicki played the piano during the Art Festival,  on the right hand center of the entrance.  And along with the pieces of art and music there were William Penn Culinary students walking around with a cart full of small fancy sushi dishes, white rice and spicy sushi right on top. It was indeed “a time to shine,” said Winkler.


Colonials Soccer Improves

By Cairo Chambers and Kevin Martinez

On May 9, 2016, William Penn’s girls soccer team played against Middletown High School. Unfortunately the Middletown game was a disappointing loss for Penn’s girls soccer team. Due to the disappointed 0-8 loss against Middletown, their record dropped to 5-9 in the 2016 soccer season.

Penn’s girls soccer team kicked 4 shots on the Middletown goalkeeper named Anna Eastburn and had 2 corner kicks in the game.

Penn’s girls goalkeepers Schuler Stark and Princess Achobang saved twenty one shots together during the disappointing game. The Middletown goalkeeper Anna Eastburn saves 2 shots in the whole game.

Coach Jason Land said, “We will need to stay healthy. We had a lot of injuries this season that the team had to overcome. Defensively we will need to get better as well as movement off the ball. We have some talent coming back that will have to work hard and improve in the off season.”

The team finished the season 6-9 and with a 6-0 victory in the last game of the season May 11 against Christiana High School.  

Racing to Success

By Jaden Reed and Geman Browne

When Roselynn Burke, fifth grade teacher at Carrie Downing, saw the impact the  “Let Me Run” program could have, she knew she it was an opportunity to help the community, to “teach boys integrity and empathy.”

Burke brought the program March 9th for boys to help them learn how to express themselves, reach personal goals, and improve their overall wellness. Carrie Downing’s program is only one of three in the state. The fourth and fifth grade boys met after school on the playground for about an hour twice a week for seven weeks. 

“I think our society and culture as a whole limits boys and their potential. Without even knowing it, we often send them the message to act a certain way and hide their feelings. We do this with comments such as “Be a man”. We also generally don’t hold high expectations. Hence, the phrase “boys will be boys”. I think our society as a whole needs to change that mindset and stop pressuring young boys to constantly prove their masculinity, ” said Burke.

Each of the seven weeks helped the boys prepare for their big race Saturday, April 30th at the Red Clay 5K. Burke stated that she ensured they knew the race isn’t about winning, but rather about meeting personal goals. 

Colonials as Professional Athletes

By Tyler Clemens and Chase Chandler

William Penn High school has not necessarily been known for pumping out professional athletes, but it has produced a few. Brett Oberholtzer is a William Penn alumni and is now on the active roster of the Philadelphia Phillies. He was involved in an offseason trade with the Houston Astros as he was traded to the Phillies along with Vincent Velasquez , Mike Appel , and Thomas Eshelman.

William Penn also has been the starting place for former major league player Cliff Brumbaugh. Brumbaugh played in 21 games in 2001 for both the Texas Rangers and the Colorado Rockies. In his 21 games, Brumbaugh hit .217 with one home run and four RBI’s. In the following months, Brumbaugh was sent back down to the minor leagues and eventually he signed with the Chicago White Sox but was never called back up. Brumbaugh would go onto play in the Korean baseball league and Mexican league.


William Penn alumni Jim Sherman graduated from here with the class of ’78. He is also the head coach of the University of Delaware baseball team and played on the professional level for two years. He was invited to spring training camp two years in a row for the Houston Astros playing as high as the AAA level in their organization. He also was a dominate player in college where he won all-conference honors all four years. He hit 46 home runs in his four seasons at UD and that is very impressive for that level and the amount of games they play. He still ranks second all time in RBI’s at Delaware. After leaving his career as a player of the Houston Astros, he took the reigns of the Wilmington University wildcats baseball team and took them to six district 19 championships, and the NAIA World series. Now he is the head coach of the University of Delaware Blue Hens and currently is the all time win leader with a 245-205 record as a head coach.

William Penn has produced a few pro athletes andmany successful people. These three athletes are just an example of the caliber of students, athletes, and professionals that come out of William Penn High School. 


Colonials Do Their Piece to Spread Awareness

By Kimberly Cushwa 

William Penn seniors Gary DiCiasare, Michael Needles, and Alexis Parker decided to run a t-shirt campaign to help inform the students of WPHS of the ever-prevalent affects of autism. This campaign is being run as to fulfill their Senior Legacy Project, a project required by all Penn seniors in order to graduate.

Autism, a mental condition characterized by a difficulty communicating and forming relationships with others, is widely known – but not many understand the deep-set effects it has on those diagnosed with this condition along with their families. Autism is stigmatized as a child’s disease, a relation that may be caused by television advertisements that cover autism awareness. This is a stigma that DiCiasare, Needles, and Parker are trying to disprove

DiCiasare decided upon this topic for his legacy project because he “wanted to help people on the spectrum especially with me living through it since I was two and a half. At two and a half years old I was diagnosed on the spectrum so a great way to for my legacy is to help those like me on the spectrum.” The spectrum which he is referring to is the scale of functionality which doctors use when diagnosing someone with autism.

Needles followed up DiCiasare’s statement by saying that he was motivated because he cared about his friend. “We want to help as many know about this as possible and so instead of doing this alone the three of us decided to do it together.”

Current statistics from the Society for Autism state that every 1 in 45 Americans is diagnosed with some level or form of autism and that none of these cases have been proven to develop from a vaccine given during childhood. Many Neurodiversity advocates speak on the need to not cure autism or change a person with this disorder, but for society to grow and learn how to both accept their differences and the unique intellect that an autistic mind has to offer.

Those students interested in joining this campaign may purchase a tee shirt for only 10 dollars from either one of the three students involved or Mr. Jenkins in room N209 until they are sold out.

College-Bound Seniors Celebrate

By Aleaha Cubbage

Photo courtesy of Ameena DiPersio William Penn seniors accepted into college sign a banner to celebrate the accomplishment in the lobby. 

On April 27, William Penn put together a celebration for all of the seniors that got accepted into colleges, trade schools, and the military.

Ameena DiPersio, a senior at William Penn said, “This celebration was meant to remind me of all the work I’ve done to get this far. in I feel that the celebration was a good way to get the seniors to get hype for going to their colleges.”

Photo by Aleaha Cubbage Counselor Rachel Handy created and displayed banners representing the colleges that accepted William Penn seniors. 

Rachel Handy, one of the counselors at William Penn was in charge of putting together the College Bound Celebration. Handy said, “According to the responses, about 230 of our Seniors were accepted to colleges, trade schools and the military. That doesn’t include, of course, those who didn’t fill out the survey. Counselors hope that these college-bound students continue making smart educational decisions that will continue serving them well in their future endeavors.”


The high school experience for the class of 2016 is slowly coming to an end. The ultimate celebration for these college-bound seniors will be graduation on June 9th at 6:00 p.m at the Bob Carpenter Center.


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