PENNSBURY >> For the 21st year, the Pennsbury Partners Program honored a non-profit and a business Partner of the Year.

Ordinarily, the Partners Program hosts a festive, spring celebration to pay tribute to its Partners of the Year, with more than 150 community partners, local elected officials, and staff members gathered at a reception in the cafetorium at William Penn Middle School. This year that was not possible due to the COVID-19 school closure.

When it became clear that the district would not be able to host such an event on a delayed basis in the fall, the decision was made to honor the winners with small, in-person award presentations at their places of business.

The recipients of the outstanding partnership awards for the 2019-20 school year include Waste Management – Fairless Complex, Business Partner of the Year, and The Salvation Army – Levittown Corps, Non-Profit Partner of the Year.

The Waste Management award presentation was made by Pennsbury Superintendent, Dr. William Gretzula, and Ann Langtry, Supervisor of Communication Strategies, who oversees the Partners Program with assistant, Dena Seiple. Accepting the award on behalf of Waste Management were Bob Jones, Senior District Manager, Judy Archibald, Director of Public Affairs (newly-retired), and Kristy Loteckie, Community Relations Specialist.

“Waste Management was the very first Pennsbury Partner when the program began 25 years ago,” said Ms. Langtry. “Today, they are valued more than ever as an active Partner.” Examples of the ways that Waste Management has worked in partnership with the School District over the years include: Free trash and recycling services worth $110,000per year; donations to the Pennsbury Partners Program of nearly $12,000 to date; donations to the Pennsbury Education Foundation of nearly $2.2 million to date; student scholarships (five per year) of $60,000 to date; and environmental grants supporting teaching and learning, $80,000 to date.

“In addition to this extraordinary support for our District, our students, and for innovative faculty initiatives, Waste Management is now working with us in the early stages of developing a comprehensive recycling effort that will encompass all of our buildings,” added Langtry. “We hope to share more information about this as it unfolds.”

The Salvation Army – Levittown Corps presentation was made by School Director Gary Sanderson, Superintendent Dr. William Gretzula, and Ms. Langtry. Accepting the award were The Salvation Army – Levittown Corps Commanding Officer Captain David Kelly and Development Director Adela Davis.

“The Salvation Army – Levittown Corps offers extensive opportunities for our students to give back to the community as well as develop leadership and organizational skills,” said Langtry.

Students at every grade level and their families are invited to participate in the Red Kettle campaign at multiple locations throughout the area. At the high school level, there is a great deal of support demonstrated each holiday season by students, families, faculty, and staff for the Salvation Army stockings and Little Angel gift initiatives.

The Pennsbury High School Air Force JROTC unit has also stepped up as a group to support the organization, in addition to the Salt and Light Club.

The recognition is mutual. At its annual appreciation brunch held in early 2019, The Salvation Army – Levittown Corps recognized the Pennsbury School District for its exemplary community service and participation in the organization’s programs.

“Teachers, students, and parents have come alongside The Salvation Army to provide much-needed support for the disadvantaged in Bucks County,” the group shared in its press release. “Afton, Edgewood, Eleanor Roosevelt, Fallsington, Makefield, Manor, Penn Valley, Oxford Valley, and Quarry Hill elementary schools, as well as Pennsbury High School and the Bucks County Technical High School have participated in bell-ringing during Red Kettle season. Charles Boehm, William Penn, and Pennwood middle schools have hosted toy drives.”

Funds raised during each of the Red Kettle seasons helps to provide food for hundreds of local families, distribute toys to over 1,000 children, and share items of clothing with those in need in Bucks County.

To raise funds in support of the Pennsbury Partners Mini-Grant Program for District faculty, partners are invited to donate funds each year at tiered levels of sponsorship.

The 2020 Platinum Sponsors included Waste Management, ShopRite of Yardley, KidsCare of Pennsbury and D’Huy Engineering, Inc.

Gold sponsors were the Pennsbury Education Association and Rudolph Clarke, LLC. Silver sponsors included McCaffrey’s Supermarkets and Wells Fargo Bank.

And Bronze sponsors were Fraytak, Veisz, Hopkins and Duthie, P.C., VFW Post 6393, Penn Community Bank, and Levittown-Fairless Hills Rotary.

River Signs LLC provided the etched glass awards for both 2020 Partners of the Year.

“We are extremely grateful for all of our generous donors this year,” said Langtry.

Over the last two decades, the Pennsbury Partners Program has grown to be a highly successful, collaborative effort involving over 1,000 partners in the Pennsbury community. For more information about the program, visit www.pennsburysd.org > Departments > Pennsbury Partners Program.

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