State lawmaker speaks with QCHS students

QCHS AP Government and Political Science students heard from Rep. Craig Staats as part of the Quakertown Community Education Foundation’s speaker's series in honor of former social studies teacher Anna Neamand.
Posted on 03/24/2023
State Rep. Craig Staats on stage in the CPAC.By Gary Weckselblatt

State Rep. Craig Staats, R-145, spoke with Quakertown Community High School students Friday about politics, leadership, and education. Mr. Staats, whose district includes the Quakertown, Palisades and Pennridge school districts, is a member of the House Education Committee and chairman of the Education Subcommittee on Career and Technical Education.

“As a society and as parents we tend to push kids to four-year degrees,” he said. “And those are great but they’re not the only option.” He said the trades and the military are options that should be considered.

The representative was brought to QCHS as part of the Quakertown Community Education Foundation’s (QCEF) speaker's series in honor of the respected social studies teacher Anna Neamand, a 1931 Quakertown graduate. The Anna Neamand Memorial Fund was established by QCEF in honor and recognition of Miss Neamand's 44 years of service as a social studies teacher in Quakertown. Because of Miss Neamand's abiding belief in the importance of social studies in the education of students, the fund provides students with unique opportunities related to contemporary social issues. These opportunities may include speakers from government, universities, the media and other institutions that address issues of importance in the daily lives of citizens. Monetary grants for student graduation projects related to social studies may also be an opportunity.

Retired Quakertown Magisterial Justice C. Robert Roth, a 1965 graduate of Quakertown High School, was a student of Miss Neamand, in her “Problems of Democracy” course. He said she was often the class advisor, a title not often held by women in those days.

“She was a really, really good teacher,” he said. “Always had the respect of the class. There were no discipline problems, and she wasn’t a disciplinarian. She was just well liked.”

The political science classes of Jennifer Miller and Jon Pallone, and Andy Boquist’s AP Government and Politics class sat in on one of two sessions given by the guest speaker in the Quakertown Performing Arts Center. Some students, invited by teachers, also enjoyed a lunch with Mr. Staats in Mr. Boquist’s classroom.

“This is a wonderful event for students to participate in,” said Dr. Michael Zackon, supervisor of secondary programs. “They get to hear from community leaders and question them about important topics of the day. We truly appreciate the Quakertown Community Education Foundation’s generosity in making this happen.”

Mr. Staats, in his ninth year in the state House is a Bucks County native and a 1979 graduate of Central Bucks East. He enlisted in the Navy and has worked in the restaurant and hotel industries. Mr. Staats is also a former Richland Township supervisor. Both of his sons graduated from QCHS, in 2012 and 2014. “They were extremely prepared for higher education when they left, so you’re in good hands,” he said.

In each session, students had the opportunity to ask him several questions, which he described as “very insightful.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].
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