2024 Penn Musical, “The Music Man”

Penn’s school musical this year is “The Music Man.”

You won’t want to miss Penn’s talented student performers as they act out the play that follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize – this, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef!

This year’s musical also includes the talents of a few P-H-M elementary and middle school students:

  • Mary Cortes, 5th grade, Prairie Vista Elementary School
  • Maxwell MacMillan, 5th grade, Mary Frank Elementary School
  • Anniston Steele, 7th grade, Grissom Middle School
  • Ezra Carrico, Katherine Hawkins, Benjamin Robertson and Noah Rohde, all in 8th grade, Schmucker Middle School

Click here to see the playbill.

   

This isn’t the first year Penn’s musicals have included students from younger grades. In 2016, younger students also participated in “Mary Poppins.” But this is the first year in recent memory to have this many!

Visit bit.ly/PennMusicMan to purchase tickets.

 

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Meadow’s Edge Receives Grants

The P-H-M Education Foundation has wrapped up the grant announcements for the 2023-2024 school year; and it’s been a big year with tons of recipients. Meadow’s Edge was the recipient of two EZ Grants for a total of $329.97.

  • $84.97 to purchase poetry books by Dr. Tim Rasinski that will help build student fluency and vocabulary skills
  • $245 to purchase visual artworks for classrooms

This cycle the Foundation Grants Committee awarded $42,819.63 in funding to 15 EZ grants and 20 traditional grants. Click here for the full list of funded grants.

PHMEF has moved to one grant cycle per school year, now moved to the Fall, to allow teachers and schools time to put their grant dollars to good use right away.

Executive Director Jennifer Turnblom traveled across the district to surprise various grant recipients with the good news of their funding amount. Grants awarded this year cover a wide array of innovative programs and activities from $10,000 to Grissom Middle School to purchase keyboards for the music room to fishing poles for Penn’s Fishing Club.

Click here to see the photo gallery on the District’s website of the check deliveries or click to follow PHMEF’s Facebook page.

“Back to School” Boys Basketball League

Boys in grades 2nd to 8th are invited to participate in “Back to School” Basketball League at Penn High School.

2nd – 6th grade League

DATES: September 24th; Oct. 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd 29th

LOCATION:

  • 2nd-4th, Penn Fitness Center
  • 5th-6th, Main Arena/West Balcony/Aux Gym Time

TIMES:

  • 2nd-4th, Sundays, Noon – 4:00 p.m.
  • 5th-6th, Sundays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

COST: $99

Click here to register online.

7th & 8th grade League

DATES: September 10th, 17th, 24th; Oct. 1st, 8th

LOCATION: Penn High School

TIMES: Sundays, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

COST: $79

Click here to register online.

Questions? Please contact the League Director Coach Smith if you have any questions at jsmith5@phm.k12.in.us

2023-2024 District Activities Calendar

The 2023-2024 District Activities Calendar was mailed to the homes of P-H-M families the last week of July.

The calendar provides key dates for testing, recess breaks, and school specific events (for the schools that provided the information).

You can click here to view a PDF copy of the calendar. You can also view a one-page of the 2023-2024 school calendar that shows the school year at a glance.

The P-H-M District online (Google) calendar is the most up-to-date. You can add this district and any school calendar to your own personal Google calendar.

Each of our 15 schools also maintains an online calendar that is updated frequently with the school’s scheduled activities and event details. You’ll need to visit your school’s website to add that calendar to your personal Google calendar. 

Young Authors’ Conference 2023

Save the date for the P-H-M’s Young Authors’ Conference:

Saturday, March 4

8:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Schmucker Middle School

P-H-M Elementary students, grades K-5

FREE!

Space is limited. Online Registration opens Monday, Jan. 30 & closes Friday, Feb. 17.

 

The Young Authors’ Conference is for P-H-M students in grades K-5. The event, sponsored by the P-H-M Education Foundation, provides an opportunity for students and their parents to meet and learn from a well-known children’s authors. Click here to view the photo gallery of the 2022 event.

This year students and their parents will meet and work with former Notre Dame Leprechaun mascot turned children’s author Mike Brown. Brown’s first book Little Netta’s Gift is the touching story of a “Little Netta’s” compassion to share the gifts of Christmas with other children. Brown is the founder and CEO of SOULSTIR, a social enterprise with a mission of enriching lives by creating “soul-stirring experiences that inspire empowerment and action.” Under SOULSTIR Books, the publishing division of the company, Brown co-authored his second book with Cara Krenn The Leprechaun’s Game Day at Notre Dame. The delightful story describes the family, fun-filled experiences of a Notre Dame home football game told through the eyes of Notre Dame’s first Black student to play the mascot, Brown himself. 

Participants and parents will also enjoy an interactive experience with local illustrator Corey Mann.   As part of the morning activities, students will share their own writing piece in small group sessions with students from other P-H-M elementary schools. (Note:  Students should bring a piece of their writing with them that morning.)  While students are meeting with their peers, parents will join Dr. Michelle Fish, as she explores promoting writing through children’s literature. 

This year, thanks to P-H-M Superintendent Dr. Jerry Thacker and other generous #GivingTuesday donors this year’s Young Authors’ Conference is FREE OF CHARGE to all attendees!

Please note, one parent only must accompany the student attendees. However, keep in mind that students and parents will separate for a portion of the day. This experience is for your young author and parent. However, we’ve found the attendance of younger siblings is not encouraged.

ONLINE REGISTRATION: Registration will open January 30, 2023. Click here to access the form.

CONFIRMATION: Participating students will receive additional information prior to the conference through their home school at the beginning of March.

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, please contact Candace Cussen at ccussen@phm.k12.in.us.

New Short Circuits Sphero program partners 3rd graders & Penn Robotics students

What would make more than 200 elementary students and dozens of Penn High School students show up at school on a Saturday? It would have to be something pretty cool, and there’s no doubt that P-H-M’s new  “Short Circuits” Sphero is cool! Click here to see the full photo gallery on the P-H-M District website.

Teams of third graders from all 11 P-H-M elementary schools and their Penn Robotics Team 135 coaches/mentors were excited to show off what they had learned about coding, programming, and robotics to their parents, grandparents and family members. 

The idea for Short Circuits came about from a discussion between longtime, now retired, Penn Robotics Team 135 Coach Jim Langfeldt and P-H-M Education Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Turnblom.

Jim Langfeldt
Jim Langfeldt at Penn Robotics Camp, June 2022

Current Team 135 Teacher Coach Kyle Marsh worked with Michael Niemier — a Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at Notre Dame — under the umbrella of his National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) grant, which funded Mr. Marsh’s summer work to write the Short Circuits coding program. Co-developer and former P-H-M teacher Jim Langfeldt has also participated in Niemier’s RET program.

During the 4-week after school practices, the Penn students have coached and mentored 3rd grade teams at all 11 elementary schools; one or two teachers at each elementary school are also involved helping to oversee the students.

During Saturday’s celebration, the 3rd grade students will demonstrate for their parents and family members what they’ve learned, including programming the Sphero robots to maneuver through the Penn Robotics student built obstacle course.

Short Circuits is sponsored by P-H-M Education Foundation. Former longtime PHM Board Member Gary Fox, and his wife Tamera, generously committed to a $20,000 donation over four years to sponsor the program. $30,000 was raised at the PHMEF 25th Anniversary Gala to pay for Sphero kits for all the elementary schools. 

Sphero Celebration
Supt. Dr. Jerry Thacker, PHM School Board Pres. Chris Riley, PHMEF Exec. Dir. Jennifer Turnblom, Fmr. School Board Pres. Gary Fox, & his wife Tamera Fox

Robotics Tournament a Family Event, March 14 & 15

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 14 & Sunday, March 15 for the FIRST Robotics St. Joseph District Event. Penn High School is once again hosting more than 40 high school FRC robotics teams from Indiana and Michigan who will battle it out for the title. Join more than 5,000 students, coaches, mentors, parents and fans during this one-of-a-kind two-day FREE event!

Saturday, March 14 

10 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Next Gen (K-8): 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

 

Sunday, March 15 

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Click to watch the video below to check out all the upcoming excitement, then come out to cheer on Penn Robotics Team 135!

Make sure to also bring your young Robotics fans to “Next Gen,” an area for students ages K-8, who can get hands-on engaging fun with some of Team 135’s other robots. Next Gen will be open Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This event is also FREE ADMISSION!