Penndale Middle School: A turning point in my education

I remember I spent the night before my first day of middle school wide awake for what felt like hours. After finally falling asleep, I woke up ridiculously early to make sure I was prepared, dressed, and early for the bus. Because I felt so at home in my elementary school, I was pretty nervous about transitioning to a new environment, where I would have to learn everything from scratch. What I didn’t know then was that this new environment, Penndale Middle School, would be the home of the discovery of my passion for education. Throughout this post, I’m going to discuss how the size and diversity, opportunities, and staff at Penndale helped develop my passion.

Size and Diversity

Amongst the three middle schools in the district, Penndale was the largest. While the size and number of students was a bit intimidating at first, I quickly realized the benefits of attending a large public school. Not a day went by that I didn’t meet someone new, whether it was a student, teacher, or staff member.

With such a large student and staff population, the diversity in my school was incredible. Throughout my three years at Penndale, I was able to interact with and learn from students who came from different backgrounds, spoke different languages, had different interests, etc. Penndale made me realize that being different is what cultivates an enriching learning environment.


Throughout middle school, I was involved with various sports, clubs, and organizations. I ran and eventually managed Girls’ Track and Field, was a member of the National Junior Honor Society and the Harassment and Bullying Intervention Taskforce team, served as a student liaison for the district’s Educational Foundation, and volunteered for various events.

Having the chance to take advantage of the countless opportunities at Penndale, I realized that some of the richest, most influential learning experiences occur outside of the classroom in an uncontrolled environment. With that said, I’ll always appreciate the fact that Penndale allowed their students to involve themselves with extracurricular activities to explore their interests and expand their knowledge.


I decided to save the best for last. While size and diversity and opportunities undoubtedly played a major role, the staff at Penndale is who truly allowed me to realize the impact that education can have in a student’s life. Each teacher that I was fortunate enough to have and staff member that I interacted or worked with, made me want to come to school. It was the staff’s passion that made me excited to learn and challenge myself.

I think that when students feel supported by and connect with the staff in their school, their feelings about the environment of school improve. If I had to characterize the Penndale staff in five words, I would describe them as inspiring, passionate, supportive, encouraging, and considerate. Because Penndale is home to too many wonderful staff members, I don’t want to name anyone specifically and accidently leave someone out. I just want my readers to know that the Penndale staff cultivated a positive learning environment that I will forever be grateful for.

Thank you, Penndale Middle School!

How York Avenue paved the way for my passion

Over the course of thirteen years, I had the privilege of being a student in the North Penn School District (NPSD). Throughout my educational career at NPSD, I discovered my passion for education. If it weren’t for the excellent academics, plethora of opportunities, and highly qualified, supportive, encouraging staff members in the district, I’m not sure where or how I would have discovered my passion. Although I’ve always tried my best to show appreciation towards the district and those who have helped me, I know I can do better.

By dissecting the origins and development of my passion, I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to acknowledging who contributed to the discovery and development of my passion in each post. I decided to make a little spoiler alert by outlining the general anticipated blog post schedule:

  • Week One: York Avenue Elementary School
  • Week Two: Penndale Middle School
  • Week Three: NPHS Classes, Clubs, and other opportunities
  • Week Four: NPHS Staff
  • Week Five: NPSD organizations

With that said, it’s time to talk about York Avenue. As an elementary school student, I definitely was not thinking about my passion, because I probably didn’t even understand the true meaning behind the word at that point. However, while I was unaware of the possibilities for the future, I think my experience there allowed my passion for education to develop positively.

Looking back, I value the fact that the school was so small (I think my sixth-grade class had about 60 students), because York Avenue always felt like home to me. I went to school with and grew up with the same group of kids that lived in my neighborhood, so I often thought of my peers as family. I think this type of environment that I felt from York Avenue is crucial in any elementary school, because it sets the tone for how students will view school in the future.

In addition to the atmosphere and environment of York Avenue, I want to take the time to acknowledge the teachers I had and staff members that I built a relationship with. If it weren’t for the caring, dedicated teachers that I had, like Mrs. Roach, who put on the annual third grade play, or Mrs. McGuire, who helped me develop my writing skills, I don’t think that I would have enjoyed class so much. I’ll always value the relationships I made with the staff, too, like the custodian Mr. Wayne and the secretaries Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Brennan.

As a student in college, I appreciate the nature of my educational experience at York Avenue on a much deeper level. The teachers and staff members didn’t simply come to work; they came to educate and inspire young minds through interesting lessons, projects, and discussions. I strongly believe that my positive experience at York Avenue led me in the right path to discover my passion. As I pursue my goal to become an educator, I will always remember these experiences and never forget how influential a teacher, staff member, or learning setting can be. Thank you, York Avenue Elementary School!