National Merit Scholarship Finalists announced


New Hope-Solebury High School seniors Kristina DeGiovanni, Jessica Du, Andrew Kalinovich and Ondrej Maxian all have advanced to Finalist standing in the National Merit Scholarship Program. They will each now be considered for the National Merit Scholarships offered in the spring of 2014.

More than 1.5 million juniors entered the 2014 National Merit Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. These students now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 8,400 Merit Scholarship awards.

Pictured from left are Andrew Kalinovich, Ondrej Maxian, Kristina DeGiovanni, Jessica Du, Guidance Counselors Sarah Reeder and Hebat El-Turky, and Principal Chuck Malone.


Jessica Hoffman wins at Phillips’ Mill Art Show

Jessica Hoffman, a student at New Hope-Solebury High School, was among the award winners for her “Self Portrait” at the Phillips’ Mill Youth Art Show held in January.

Works included oil, acrylic, watercolor, collage, mixed media, graphite, etching and sculpture.  


NH-S’ Second Annual THON a huge success


by Dylan Selbst, NH-S Class of 2014

New Hope-Solebury High School’s Second Annual Dance Marathon, known by students simply as THON, kicked off on Saturday, January 11th. Students and alumni danced for 12 hours and raised over $7,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The event began at 8:00pm and started no differently from a regular school dance. However, at 10:00 all non-participants were sent home and only those on a THON team were allowed to stay.

After only THON participants remained, they enjoyed food donated to them by community members and local businesses. After eating, many games and activities were organized to keep everyone enthusiastic throughout the 12 hours. The activities included a dodge ball tournament, volleyball, Frisbee, basketball, handball, and, of course, dancing. The marathon concluded with the announcement of the winning teams for both “the greatest amount of time on the dance floor” and “the most money raised.”

THON is organized by New Hope-Solebury High School’s student government and is modeled from a similar program run by Penn State. Former New Hope-Solebury High School Student Body President and founder of NHS’ THON, McKenzie Cloutier, visited this year’s THON and was more than pleased with the turnout. McKenzie stated, “It was so rewarding and exciting for me to learn that the student government was hosting THON for a second year. I was so excited and proud of everyone when I heard that THON raised $1,000 more this year. I’m hoping it’s an event that will continue to grow and get better every year.”

THON is indeed growing in both the number of participants and the amount of money raised. With more teams and over $1,000 more raised for the Children’s Hospital, students look forward to an even larger and better THON in years to come.

PHOTO CAP: NH-S students at the THON event. Photo by Drew Giorgi.


NH-S High School’s own Ms. Alexa Gutter is Bucks County Poet Laureate

by Bailey Hendricks (NH-S Class of 2017)

Poet laureate is an honor bestowed upon the poet of a given area who is expected to compose poems for special events and occasions. This person is usually appointed by the government or by a designated arts group.

In the Bucks County area, New Hope-Solebury (NH-S) High School’s very own English teacher, Ms. Alexa Gutter was selected for the fresh and original voice present in her intensely crafted poems.

 “I was surprised and honored to get this type of recognition,” said Ms. Gutter. She has been reading and writing poetry since the very moment she could start – around the age of four. It started just as a form of expression, but as she kept writing it became very rewarding to her to use the language in such a way.

Ms. Gutter found her greatest inspiration and influence in the poets Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda. Neruda was a politically active writer from Chile whose poems she found just beautiful. Oliver wrote about the beauty and simplicity of nature, another topic Ms. Gutter enjoyed as a child and enjoys now as an accomplished poet in her own right.

The award was definitely a good push to get her work out there and to start publishing. “I always thought I would just write when I got older,” said Ms. Gutter.

She was surprised to receive such an honor so early on in her career, but she is eager to take up the challenge. With such great talent Ms. Gutter could have easily pursued a writing career, but to her “it just didn’t seem realistic.”

She loves teaching, and it allows her to continue writing. “Teaching doesn’t feel completely separate from writing,” she said.

“I tried to capture moments that stuck out as meaningful or beautiful,” Ms. Gutter said of the series of ten poems she selected to enter the competition. 

One memory was of the birth of her nephew, while the other was the time a man jumped in front of the train she was traveling on.

“I like my poems to be sad, funny, beautiful, and true all at once. That is my goal,” said Ms. Gutter.

Her many students at NH-S High School are very proud of her. Ms. Gutter “is a fun, creative, and inspirational teacher.” said freshman Katie Steele.

Said ninth grader, Nicole Martin, “She pushes us to think deeply and expand our thought process. She’s always creative in how she goes about teaching us new things. It is truly a rare experience to have someone with such high honors as a teacher, but all of us here at NH-S are very fortunate to have this experience.”

During Ms. Gutter’s first official reading at Bucks County Community College’s Orangery Room on November 17th, she told young and aspiring poets to “read as much good poetry as you can. That is where you learn by seeing other’s skills.”

From everyone at NH-S High School, congratulations Ms. Gutter!

PHOTO CAP: Ms. Alexa Gutter. Photo by Drew Giorgi.


New Hope-Solebury Enjoys History Making Homecoming

by Chloe Lemunyan, New Hope-Solebury Class of 2014

This year’s homecoming was unlike any of the other homecoming celebrations in New Hope’s history. It was an event-packed day that included Pajama Day, the girls’ volleyball game against archrival Christopher Dock Mennonite High School, and the most thrilling school board meeting in recent memory, where the community filled the theater seats and helped lift the ban on the stadium lights.

During the rest of the week, the level of spirit remained high. Crazy socks, wacky clothes, sweaters, cardigans, sombreros and school spirit attire were worn all week. It could have been considered one of the biggest nights in New Hope history.

The girls’ volleyball team came very close to beating Christopher Dock. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors all came together to root for their volleyball team. The game was 2-2 until the fifth game, which went past 15, with Dock winning 17-15.

During the game, what seemed like the entire community was sitting in the auditorium helping to stop the ban on the stadium lights. Voice after voice, including persuasive speeches by Connor Smith and Anna Vidakovic, both from the class of 2015, made it clear that the New Hope community wanted to keep the lights on for night games. By the end of the meeting, board members voted to keep the lights on for next season.

Unfortunately the football game was cancelled due to weather but girls’ soccer, tennis, field hockey, boys’ soccer, and cross country still competed. Boy’s soccer senior night was rainy, but the boys trumped through and ended up winning 3-0 against Lower Moreland. The cross-country team beat Bristol, Calvary Christian, and Delaware County Christian on their senior night.

The pep rally on Friday wrapped up the in-school festivities.

On Saturday, all the clubs and sports teams at the school walked through downtown New Hope in the annual homecoming parade. It was very close competition, but the seniors and freshmen ended up winning the float decorating competition. The dance on Saturday night wrapped up homecoming 2K13.

The gym was flooded with people who took part in the fiesta-themed dance. The dance was deejayed by freshman Jacob McCloskey, and with an hour left the homecoming court was announced: Tabitha Liucci and DJ Jacob were crowned the Lord and Lady of homecoming; Jacquie Whitney and Tobi Oliveira were crowned Duke and Duchess; Avery Jones and Olivia Knable were declared Prince and Princess; and Joseph Dwight and Kyle Chapin were crowned King and Queen this year.

It was a great night and an even better week. Everyone in the community got involved and hopefully everyone can continue this level of enthusiasm for the rest of the year.

Although the size of this school may be small, the amount of passion and school pride that runs through its hallways is astonishing. 


New Hope is told to ‘Get out! Get up! Go get it!’

by Nick Damarodis, New Hope-Solebury High School, Class of 2015

Students felt energized when motivational speaker, Laymon Hicks, came to visit New Hope-Solebury High School and Middle School on September 13th. An exciting presentation was made to help students become inspired and follow their dreams and passions. His continual motto of the day was “Get out! Get up! Go get it!” and tell all the people who are close to you in life that you love them.

Laymon was raised by his grandparents with no main father figure in his life. Hicks told students that after his grandparents divorced, his own life situation started to deteriorate more than it already had been. He ended up around a group of friends who were making poor decisions, and started to follow along to fit in with everyone.

It became such a problem that he eventually was kicked out of the National Honor Society after cheating on a test.

For a time, as Laymon explained to the students, he felt like he did not have any opportunities or options left for him to succeed. After spending some time feeling guilty about all that he had done, he decided that his time to change was the present.

He went back to working hard at school and earning good grades. By the time Laymon ended high school, he had a 4.0 GPA and was accepted to Florida State University. Laymon was proud of himself, but he wanted even more. He went on to run for and become the Class President at FSU, and attained a master’s degree. 

Laymon wanted all of the students to know that they should always be working to earn more, and be more than they ever thought they could be. Of course there will be ups and downs along the way, but Laymon thinks everyone should let themselves know that “failure is not fatal” and they can try and try again to eventually succeed.

Along with feeling good about yourself, Laymon also told everyone to let their family members know they are loved. Some of the stories he had were quite depressing, including when siblings were at the same speaking engagements together and would not say, “I love you” to each other. Laymon forced them to say it.

At New Hope-Solebury High School, one of the students went up to the front stage to call his dad and let him know that he is loved. Everyone was also asked to text one person from their cell phones to tell that person that they love them.

It was an interactive event, and everyone was asked to cheer, clap, and text together.

The environment was positive and uplifting, and at the same time exciting. Students are definitely ready to chase their dreams after Laymon Hicks’ presentation.


New Hope Auto Show celebrates Henry Ford

by June Portnoy

Two days of sunny skies and ideal temperatures drew approximately 10,000 visitors to the 56th Annual New Hope Automobile Show held this August 10th and 11th at New Hope-Solebury High School. This has become Bucks County’s oldest antique vehicle show, where classic vehicles compete for prizes.

As you entered the show this year, you couldn’t help but notice the lined up Fords, like a1909 Ford Model T Touring Car, a 1930 Ford Model A and a 1966 Ford Mustang, just to name a few. The reason for all the Fords was that this year the show chose to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford. His contribution to the automobile industry has only been surpassed by his contributions to manufacturing in general.

The feature marque in this year’s show was the iconic 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner, the show’s poster car this year. The Skyliner is striking in its black and sun-gold paint and factory continental kit.

In addition to Fords, the show offered a diverse selection of foreign and domestic cars from a large variety of manufacturers.

“We had so many people wanting to display their vehicles this year that we had to close registration a week prior to the event, with close to 500 cars over the course of the weekend,” said Kara Lang, a member of the car show’s planning committee.

According to Kara, the French Connection, a French Car Club, brought a nice selection of French manufactured cars this year.  Some of these automobiles were made by Citroen, Renault and Peugeot.

Another noteworthy car on display was a 1903 Stanley Steamer, a steam powered automobile.

Berg provided a new exhibit this year, ideal for children that included a racetrack with a few dozen pedal cars for them to drive.

“This was a very well-received activity for the kids,” said Kara.

This show has been such a long-standing tradition in the community in which many people have been exhibiting their vehicles for several decades. Jim and Nadine Staats from New Hope have been displaying their cars since the inception of the show. This year they brought five cars to display, and drove their 1903 Curved Dash Oldsmobile down Victory Lane with their eight-month-old grandson, now a third-generation attendee to the show.

The New Hope Car Show is sponsored by the New Hope-Solebury Community Association to raise scholarship money. This past year, the Association awarded scholarships to 12 deserving 2013 New Hope-Solebury High School graduates, now each on their way to college.

For over 50 years, the New Hope-Solebury Community Association has provided these scholarships, as well as financial assistance to other community groups thanks to the money generated from the annual New Hope-SoleburyAuto Show.

For more information about this annual event, visit


New Hope-Solebury Community Association presents 56th Annual New Hope Automobile Show

The New Hope-Solebury Community Association will present the 56th Annual New Hope Automobile Show on Saturday, August 10th and Sunday, August 11th, at New Hope-Solebury High School.

The grounds are open from 9:00am-4:00pm and tickets are sold at the gate: $5 for the general public, $3 for seniors, and free for military and children under 12-years-old. Service members and their immediate families attend free. Convenient, on-site parking is available for $5 a day. For more information or to register a vehicle visit or call 215.862.5665.

This year, the Auto Show will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford. The collectible auto show poster features a 1958 Ford Skyliner with the unique fold-down top as photographed by Michael Furman.

Steve Williams, the show’s marketing coordinator commented, “We’re excited to have this wonderful example of the Ford ‘hard-top convertible’ Skyliner owned by Richard and Leslee Tabas. In 1958, a Ford Fairlane could have this retractable top option added for an additional $350, making it a Skyliner.  Seat belts were also an option for $9.  It’s a memorable treat to have this beautiful car on view each day of the show.”

Not only does the New Hope Auto Show feature the finest in classic and antique vehicles, but it also gives out awards for first, second and third place in more than 50 categories. All vehicles entered must be judge ready.

At the end of each day, a parade of champions takes place with all of the winners of each category. New for the show are four new competition divisions: The French Connection includes Citroen, Peugeot, Renault and Facel Vega – all years up to 1985.

Also added is Volkswagen, all years up to 1985 for Karmann Ghia, Beetled, Bus and of course The Thing. The third division is Lotus, again all years up to 1985. And finally, the show will add Datsun/Nissan for Z cars only, 1971 to 1985.

The New Hope Automobile Show continues the tradition of providing educational scholarships for students at New Hope-Solebury High School and several civic groups in the region including local sports clubs (baseball, soccer, football), emergency squads and firehouses. For 2012, the show donated several thousand dollars in scholarships as part of the New Hope-Solebury Community Association.

The New Hope Automobile Show, sponsored by the New Hope-Solebury Community Association, is one of the oldest and most celebrated auto shows in the country. The show features many of the finest antique and classic automobiles and motorcycles from across the eastern United States.

The event (with different cars on exhibit each day) has been staged in historic New Hope for over 50 years.


Foundations Community Partnership in Education Award

On May 22nd, New Hope-Solebury High School senior, Angelina House, was presented with the Foundations Community Partnership in Education award by director, Ron Bernstein.

Foundations Community Partnership is a philanthropic grant-making foundation supporting the behavioral health and human service needs of children and young adults in Bucks County. The organization awards scholarships to one senior in each Bucks County public high school who demonstrates academic excellence and a commitment to human services in Bucks County for children, youth and families.

Pictured from left are Principal Christina Lang, Angelina House, and Ron Bernstein.


McKenzie Cloutier among youth volunteer award winners

McKenzie Cloutier, a senior at New Hope-Solebury High School, was among a dozen Bucks County youth who were honored last month for their exceptional work in alcohol, tobacco and other drug use prevention in their schools and communities. The awards were presented at the Lead On! Youth Leadership Conference on Wednesday, May 29th, at Bucks County Community College in Newtown.

As a member of Key Club, McKenzie volunteers for many activities such as making meals for the homeless. At her church, she volunteers with the youth group service, soup kitchen cleaning and Senior Citizen game nights.

McKenzie is a scholar athlete and a math tutor of T.A.K.L.E. (Teens and Kids Leading by Example). She is always willing to lend a helping hand, and takes pride in the accomplishments of her school and her community. Everyone who knows McKenzie is inspired and reminded of the value of good choices.

This year, she organized the first annual “thon” dance event to raise awareness and funding for children with cancer. This event was a tremendous success with over $6,000 dollars raised.

For information about the Lead On! Youth Leadership Conference, call 215-345-6644 or visit

PHOTO CAP: McKenzie Cloutier (left) with Diane Rosati, acting director, Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.