September 17th, 2014
For Immediate Release
September 17, 2014
Media Contact: Gloria Pfeiffer,
Gloria@obs.org or (215) 290-6405
NEW MEMBER ELECTED TO BOARD OF TRUSTEES AT OVERBROOK SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND (OSB)
Philadelphia, PA: Gerald Kitzhoffer, Director of Overbrook School for the Blind, today announced the appointment of a new member to the school’s Board of Trustees.
Ms. Emmeline Hunter Vander Zwagg (“Emmy”) has had multifaceted experiences in the not-for-profit sector including finance, arts administration, editing, small business management, and capital campaign fundraising for educational, visual arts and religious institutions. Her most recent positions have been with The Baldwin School and have included serving as Director of Research, Director of Leadership Development, and Major Gifts Officer. Previously she served as Director of Development for Main Line Arts Center and held management positions with several literary organizations and a commercial banking institution.
She is a graduate of The Baldwin School and Mount Holyoke College and hold a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Columbia University. Her term on the Overbrook School for the Blind Board of Trustees will be for three years to May of 2017.
About Overbrook School for the Blind: Overbrook School for the Blind offers a variety of programs for children of different ages and abilities. Since 1832, Overbrook has been developing and delivering education that enhances the options available for persons with visual impairment and other challenges so that they have the greatest opportunity to experience active and fulfilling lives. In addition to a full academic program, Overbrook students receive special training and participate in different activities that are important to the development of children with blindness or visual impairment. This includes orientation and mobility, daily living skills, assistive technology, music, art and a full sports program.
For more information about Overbrook School for the Blind, visit www.obs.org or call (215) 877-0313.
September 2nd, 2014
Summer at Overbrook has always been a time for doing maintenance to keep our campus looking sharp and this year is no exception. Some of our current projects are reconstructing the main entrance to the rotunda, installing a new roof and gutters in the west cloister and putting a new coat of stucco on the campus walls.
Photos can be viewed here in a slideshow:
Photo descriptions below.
1. A recently installed copper gutter shines brightly.
2. A decorative element has been repainted. It appears to be the head of a fish or a serpent.
3. A roofer steps from in between recently replaced rafters on to plywood roof decking.
4. Two roofers remove the lower four rows of roofing tiles to prepare for the installation of new roofing material and copper gutters.
5. Scaffolding is on the upper section of one of the building corners. The small mini-cupola has been moved off site and is currently being restored.
6. A ladder rests against parking lot wall that has received its first coat of stucco.
7. One corner of the building is covered in steel mesh to prepare for the coating of stucco.
8. Pieces of copper have been soldered together and they cover a portion of the roof behind decorative elements (known as a “cricket”)
9. A corner of the building with gutters installed.
10. Two roofers on scaffolding in discussion as they look up at the roof.
June 12th, 2014
Overbrook School for the Blind is a very special place to work. So special, that once you are here, you often stay for quite a long time. It is the magic of the students and the staff that make our school a dynamic, responsive, happy place of employment. Each year we bid farewell to wonderful staff who have dedicated much of their career to serving the students at our school.
This year we are saying goodbye to three incredible people who have made our school shine brighter for many, many years. Yesterday we honored Catherine Schneck, Dennis Brookshire, and Regina Montanaro with a lovely farewell breakfast. We wish them peace, happiness, and a fun retirement. We will miss Catherine’s voice over the PA, Dennis’s photographs, and Regina’s assistance in the IEP office. Best wishes to our amazing retirees. Thank you for all of your dedicated years of service.
See photographs of the breakfast honoring the 2014 retirees.
June 6th, 2014
Mach 1 is a box turtle and a long time resident of the west cloister of campus who may be seen out in the open upon occasion. He/she was here when Ms. Jackie Brennan, Director of Education and Professional Development, first arrived 35 years ago. According to Ms. Brennan, Mach 1 was named by a former science teacher. Ah, irony!
See two photos of Mach 1 (descriptions below):
1 In this photo, Mach 1 is in the grass and his/her head is partially inside his/her shell. Mach 1 is brown with some yellow markings and has a shiny shell.
2 A close-up photo allows one to see fine details, such as his/her eyes, nostrils and textured shell.
June 4th, 2014
Every year Overbrook School for the Blind hosts a fun day for the staff and the students. This year’s weather was glorious for the outdoor activities. It is a special day filled with laughs, cheers, cotton candy, and good times. We are grateful to everyone who helps make this day such a success: instructional staff, administrators, volunteers, the Philly Phanatic, PNC Bank, and of course the kids.
Click here for some photos of Fun Day (photo descriptions below):
1 A student in Middle School holds the bars of the “JAIL HOUSE”. She has a big smile on her face and is wearing a black and white striped jail uniform.
2 A student in the Elementary Program holds the bars of the “JAIL HOUSE”. He has his hat on backwards and is wearing a black and white striped jail uniform.
3 A student in High School has her hands through the bars of the “JAIL HOUSE” as she is counting a stack of Fun Day $1 bills.
4 The Philly Phanatic is posing with a woman wearing sunglasses and a huge smile on her face.
5 The Philly Phanatic is posing with two boys in the Early Childhood Program as the Executive Director of Overbrook watches them. One of the boys is holding a toy wooden whistle in his hand.
6 While playing a water game, a High School student stands with his eyes closed as a water balloon has just burst above his head and is about to drench him.
June 4th, 2014
Beginning with the pledge of allegiance led by Early Childhood students, this year’s awards assembly lived up to the high standards set by the best of previous assemblies.
Moving at a brisk pace, the more than three-hour event went by in seemingly less time and was filled with laughter, smiles, and pride in genuine accomplishment in all areas, including sports, music, academics, orientation and mobility, work experience, and independent living. Students were additionally singled out for personal improvement, sustained excellence, perfect attendance, and more.
There are pictures of education staff, coaches, and Mr. Kitzhoffer presenting awards, congratulating students, and enjoying the interactions. All programs attended and were recognized, starting with the youngest students (Early Childhood), who were dismissed after their portion of the program, and extending to the older students, first the graduates, then the individual programs.
Special Senior recognition included The Wilhelmina Schwaiger Scholarship Award, The Blind Veterans Association of Pennsylvania William A. Hughes Award, The Loyal Daughter Emma N. Elliott Senior Award, and The Sergeant Brooks E. Gray Memorial Award.
See a slide show of the students and the staff enjoying the celebrations.
May 28th, 2014
Late spring on campus continues to be beautiful. Many different types of flowers take their turns to bloom. While the time to enjoy them is brief, these photos should help to make the memories last.
View the following photographs:
Photo 1 is of a single large flower which is mostly white but with yellow towards the center.
Photo 2 is of a small plant with jagged leaves. It has small flowers with red petals and yellow centers. A few drops of rain may be seen on the flower petals.
Photo 3 is of two yellow marigolds. A few unopened buds are nearby.
Photo 4 is of two red roses in full bloom.
Photo 5 is of a single, very beautiful flower. It has petals which radiate from the center and are a mixture of dark purple, light purple, yellow and white stripes.
May 23rd, 2014
At the school assembly, which followed the annual sports luncheon on Tuesday, May 20th, we celebrated all of our student athletes and their coaches. The coaches put in many extra hours working with the students, bringing them along as athletes and adults; teaching them to be the best that they can be. The athletes consistently rose to the their sports’ challenges, displaying their prowess, talent, grit, determination, and sportsmanship.
The Sports Awards celebration was the time to shine, fist bump, high five, and more for students and staff. While there was much fun and a sense of pride on stage, there was an equal amount of joy and cheering in the audience.
See the photographs here.
May 22nd, 2014
Student musicians and music staff from The Governor Morehead School for the Blind, Maryland School for the Blind, New York Institute for Special Education, Perkins School, and St. Joseph’s School for the Blind joined OSB musicians and music staff on our campus for the 11th Eastern Schools for the Blind Music Festival, on Saturday evening, May 17th.
The student musicians proved their talent and displayed their professionalism throughout the evening,as they performed a wide ranging program that included Philadelphia Freedom, Fa Una Canzone, and I Heard it Through the Grapevine.
It was a festive evening that incorporated student art work at intermission and dancing after the concert.
See the following photos of the event:
five wide views of the stage taken from different angles . . . the stage is filled with student singers and music directors . . . four in color and one in black & white
two pictures of an engaged and energetic American Sign Language Interpreter
three pictures taken in the Rotunda during intermission . . . people are purchasing souvenirs, enjoying the art display, and socializing over cold beverages and snacks
Nine close-up and mid-range photos of students performing in the orchestra, in bell choir, and as soloists.
May 20th, 2014
This year’s spring Friends’ Reception, which was hosted in the Executive Director’s house, was well attended by supporters of the school, members of OSB’s Board of Trustees, staff, former staff, alumni, and representatives of other schools for the blind, who were on campus for the Music Fest.
The reception, as well as the music performance that followed in our Auditorium, was marked by camaraderie, a sense of accomplishment, and an understanding that there is always more to do on behalf of all our students.
View these four pictures:
1) an alumnus facing the camera
2) the Board President and Executive Director flanked by two staff members
3) an alumnus with his family
4) a former staff member with her husband