Wyomissing Area Comes Together for a Cause

Wyomissing Area Comes Together for a Cause

 For the sixth year, Wyomissing Area Junior Senior High School hosted its Mini-THON in March. Based on the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, more commonly known as THON, the Wyomissing Area Mini-THON has raised more than $200,000 since it began for Four Diamonds Fund, which fights against pediatric cancer.

Led by senior Lucy Curran and juniors Fanny Ortiz, Mia Huber, and August Smychynsky, the Mini-THON Club worked actively all school year with the PTA and other community groups to raise money. Their efforts all led up to the 12-hour overnight Mini-THON event.

This year’s superhero-themed Mini-THON kicked off at 7 pm with a carnival that was open to the public, with games run by school clubs. At 9 pm the public left and the 355 senior high school students who had raised money spent the night dancing into the wee hours.

Math teacher Ms. Hilary Haubrich, the event’s advisor, and Mrs. Jennifer Mangold,Supervisor of Assessments and Instructional Interventionscould not have been happier.

“2018 Mini-THON this year was a superhero spectacular,” Mrs. Mangold commented.“After rescheduling the event due to a windstorm, Mini-THON didn’t miss a beat!With a record number of student participants, Mini-THON raised almost $50,000. I am always so amazed by our wonderful students and their willingness to give back to their community. It’s a proud day to be a Spartan!”

Academic Team Advances to State Competition

Now in its 26th year, the Pennsylvania State Academic Competition provides an opportunity for students to compete in a "college-bowl" format, answering a variety of challenging questions from several categories including literature, math, science, American and world history, geography, fine arts, and current events. The competition will be held at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building in Harrisburg on April 27. For the third year in a row, after a successful season, Wyomissing Area Junior Senior High School will be representing Berks County as the county champions.

Wyomissing Area JSHS's 16-member Academic Challenge Team of juniors and seniors meets weekly from October to April to practice. The members with the highest scores in November form the traveling team.

Each competition consists of four or five rounds of questions. Most of the rounds are oral, but a few rounds are written. Two different formats are used. One format consists of five rounds (four rounds of oral toss-up questions and a fifth round of written questions). The other format consists of four oral rounds of toss-up/bonus questions. A buzzer system is used to determine which team answers first.

According to co-advisor and Advanced Placement literature and research teacher Ms. Joelle Ostrich, this year’s team is very enthusiastic. “As the team became more successful, the students have shown more interest. Everyone is anxious to compete in Harrisburg,” she says.

Co-captains and seniors, Sam Botterbusch and Matthew Driben, are second-year team members.

“With four returning seniors, we have a cohesive group,” Matthew says. “We all like the appeal of trivia and celebrating academics.”

Sam adds, “There is a rush when your team is the first to hit the buzzer AND you get the answer correct.”

The Wyomissing Area School District wishes the team all the best in their quest for the state championship.

Ozobot: Pocket-Sized Learning



To the casual observer, the Ozobot doesn’t look like much. If you only go by size, it isn’t too impressive—just one inch by one inch. However, students immediately want to engage with this small, smart robot that makes sounds, flashes lights, moves, and can sense and react to its environment.

“The Ozobot is quite a clever little robot. It reads color-coded lines that are made up of a series of three to four blocks, four centimeters in length,” explains Mrs. Shana Matz, math and technology specialist at West Reading Elementary Center.

In a recent activity, fifth-grade students created a story that their Ozobot would tell as it followed the lines. For example, one student coded a wavy line so that had the Ozobot tell an underwater adventure story, while another student coded a line in the shape of a baseball diamond so that the Ozobot told a game-day story. The students then filmed their Ozobots and created 30-second movies using iMovie.

Thank you to WAEF for supporting this educational technology!

WAEF Funds Hydration at Wyomissing Hills Elementary Center

Thanks to the Wyomissing Area Education Foundation (WAEF), students and teachers at Wyomissing Hills Elementary Center will no longer have to struggle to fill their water bottles from fountains the old-fashioned way.

Mrs. Becky Burton, executive director, explains that after WAEF received a grant application from Wyomissing Hills Elementary Center for a filtered water bottle filling station, the WAEF board decided to donate two filling stations due to the size of the school. As an unexpected bonus, the Wyomissing Area Education Foundation donated water bottles to everyone at the school.

“We wanted to ensure that the filter, cooled water was accessible to everyone,” says Mrs. Burton. “It was wonderful to see teachers’ and students’ faces when we delivered the water bottles to their rooms. They were thrilled.”

WAEF has also funded stations for Wyomissing Area Junior Senior High School and at the field house.


March Madness: Tournament of Books

For Wyomissing Area Junior Senior High School librarians Mr. Brian Ackerman and Mrs. Laurie Balatgek and library aide Mrs. Ellen Weaver, March can only mean one thing — March Madness with a literary twist.

This was the fourth year for the Tournament of Books, a takeoff on the March Madness we all know so well. To prepare, the library staff chooses a theme for the bracket; this year, it was a book series. As Mrs. Balatgek explains, they choose lesser-known series to introduce students to new books. They also consider book circulation, genre, and age appropriateness when choosing series to feature in the bracket.

Once this year’s bracket was complete, it was posted in a prominent place by the circulation desk, and students were encouraged to fill it out with their predictions for winners.

Each week, students and teachers voted once for their favorite book in that round, with the winning books moving on to the next round. Voting could be done electronically, via the library homepage, or by paper ballot.

The student whose bracket came closest to the final result (based on weekly voting) received the grand prize. For the last three years, that student has been Matthew Driben, now a senior. He was stopped short of a four-year sweep by senior Sophia Reck, who was the only one to have a perfect bracket. The book series that won was Percy Jackson and the Olympians which was represented byThe Lightning Thief.

High School Drama Club Presents The Addams Family

The Wyomissing Area High School Drama Club will be presenting the musical comedyTheAddams Familyat the JSHS Auditorium on April 27, at 7:00 pm and April 28, at 1:30 pm & 7:00 pm. Tickets ordered online in advance are $12 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens. All tickets available at the door will cost $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Support the arts at Wyomissing!

Order Your Tickets Today:



Using Wyomissing Hills Elementary Center’s new Breakout EDU boxes, fourth-grade students brainstormed to code Dash robots to push through “snow.”

With Breakout EDU boxes, students work together to solve computer and coding problems to solve a series of challenging puzzles to open the locked box.


STEAM Design Challenge

Five 4th grade students and four 5th grade students participated in the STEM Design Challenge at the Berks County Intermediate Unit. In teams, the students worked together to build a new product for the home that would be more efficient and eco-friendly. The unWRECables, K'nex Technology and K'nextGeneration teams were successful in building their designs using their blueprints and presenting their creations to a panel of judges.


Reading Olympics

Four teams of 4th and 5th-grade students (42 total) are participating in this year's Berks County Elementary Reading Olympics competition.The students have been meeting throughout the year in preparation for the county-wide competition on May 2. The Wyomissing Area School District would like to thank CBL Custom Apparel for designing and donating the team's shirts.



Upcoming Events


  • April 26, 6:30-8 pm WREC - 6thGrade Wax Museum
  • April 26, 1:30-2:15 pm and 6:30-8 pm WREC -STEAM Innovation Center
  • April 27, 7:30 pm JSHS - The Addams Family
  • April 28, 1:30 & 7:30 pm JSHS - The Addams Family