Jessica O’Donnell from the Hellertown Lower Saucon Chamber of Commerce addressed the board with upcoming events and requested approval for a new event. O’Donnell discussed a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday June 13 at 6 p.m. for Farmers Insurance Agency owner Brandon Wimbish on Main Street in Hellertown. She reminded everyone of the second annual Music in The Park series which is an event where local bands play live shows at Dimmick Park in Hellertown on weekends from June through August.
In a surprise announcement, Saucon Valley HS Principle Beth Guarriello has submitted her resignation to the district. Guarriello is leaving after a short stint of less than a year effective July 1.
She has been hired as the new principle at Southern Lehigh HS at a salary of $126,000. Prior to her hiring at Saucon Valley, she was the assistant principle at Southern Lehigh for three years. Previously she was an assistant principle at Liberty and a science teacher during her long career.
ArtsQuest held its second annual Southside Arts & Music Festival presented by Capital BLUE April 20 and 21, featuring live music, visual arts and family programming. There were approximately 10 wristband shows per day at multiple locations such as Godfrey Daniels, National Museum of Industrial History, Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts, Banana Factory and Musikfest Café at Steelstacks. The headline performers were 2018 Grammy winners The Infamous Stringdusters, Delta Rae and Dar Williams.
Chesterbrook Academy held its annual ladybug launch April 20 in celebration of Earth Day. On a very bright and cool morning, students headed outside for the event wearing their ladybug hats with antennas.
At 10 a.m. Principal Michele Somishka released a bag of approximately 1,500 ladybugs and the kids enthusiastically swarmed around the bugs, picking them up and holding them in their hands.
As smiling parents and teachers looked on, it was clear the kids were having a good time.
On the cusp of Northampton County ending the Gaming Revenue and Economic Redevelopment Authority, Hellertown Council discussed concerns over an unpaid $1.2 million surplus it has at its disposal.
The authority was established after the opening of the Sands Casino eight years ago. As part of the deal to host the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Northampton County municipalities would receive millions of dollars in grants from slot machine and table game revenues to help finance various municipal needs. That money would be dispersed by the gaming authority.
An array of options were on the table regarding textbooks for the board April 10, and the decision - between hard cover textbooks, digital copy textbooks or a combination of both for the new Advanced Placement Psychology course - became controversial.
The books would be used by approximately 60 students at the high school beginning in the fall.
High School Principle Beth Guarriello took a poll of what students wanted. The poll numbers showed mixed results with 57.3 percent preferring hard copy books and 42.7 percent preferring digital copy books.
Middle school Principal Ken Napaver highlighted Saucon Valley’s first year of involvement with a program called SeaPerch during the school board meeting March 27.
SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program that equips teachers and students with the resources they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in an in-school or out-of-school setting. The program was initially developed by MIT and the U.S. Office of Naval Research.
SeaPerch allows students to learn and develop skills using STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics.)
In an unusual turn of events, Mayor David Heintzelman, who normally sits with borough council during meetings, took to the podium March 19 to ask for approval for one of his business ventures.
Heintzelman is both mayor of Hellertown and supervisor at Heintzelman Funeral Home on Main Street. In addition, he and his brother Robert formed Lehigh Valley Crematory Services.
Hellertown held its annual Easter egg hunt at Morris J. Dimmick Park March 31, with hundreds of kids and their families gathered on a bright and cool morning in anticipation of the big hunt.
The event was open to kids ages 1 through 12. There were five different areas set up for the hunt, based on age ranges. Prior to the hunt, the Easter Bunny made a grand entrance on one of Hellertown’s firetrucks.
On the eve of the March 14 National School Walkout, Mark Morawski, a father of two children in the Saucon Valley School District addressed the school board, during their meeting.
Morawski said he strongly believes the school district should be apolitical and focus on education. Morawski asked the board, “What criteria is the district going to apply to determine what protests they support and allow during school hours?”
The response from Superintendent Dr. Craig Butler was, “We are taking one at a time.”