QCHS students receive college-level experience

Dr. Richard K. Matthews of Lehigh University spoke with QCHS AP Government and Political Science students as part of the Quakertown Community Education Foundation’s speaker's series in honor of a former social studies teacher Anna Neamand.
Posted on 05/17/2022
Dr. Richard K. Matthews of Lehigh University, wearing a white shirt, spoke with students as part of the Anna Neamand speaker series.By Gary Weckselblatt

When they attend college, Quakertown Community High School students should not be “intimidated” by other students and “learn to trust yourself.”

The confidence-boosting words were recently given to AP Government and Political Science students by Dr. Richard K. Matthews, National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished University Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University. Dr. Matthews was brought to QCHS as part of the Quakertown Community Education Foundation’s (QCEF) speaker's series in honor of a former social studies teacher Anna Neamand.

During a luncheon with a dozen seniors, in between presentations to students in the Quakertown Performing Arts Center, Dr. Matthews said in comparison to prep school students “You are prepared to be successful in any institution of higher learning and, in my experience, more well-rounded with the necessary qualities to be successful.”

In the Q-PAC, Dr. Matthews reviewed the Federalist Papers, what they meant, and their value and relevance to current events.

“It was awesome,” Samantha Poulter said. “To have this college experience and hear what he had to say gave me a comfort level and some cool insight for when I graduate.”

Lucas Schwartz agreed. “I can see what college classes will be like. We have AP classes, which essentially are college-level classes, but having a college professor who teaches college students day in and day out was interesting.”

In addition to Lucas and Samantha, students invited to lunch with Dr. Matthews included Nicholas Fletcher, Thomas Kozlusky, Will Robinson, Eliza Menser, Sam Edinger, Emma Wentzel, Brooklyn Spear, Delaney Peckham, Elijah Gruver, and Dylan Aponte.

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 the Quakertown Community School District. 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.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to carry on what Anna Neamand wanted for students, an opportunity to hear a wide variety of different perspectives,” said AP Government teacher Andrew Boquist.

Dr. Matthews received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, a master’s degree from the University of Delaware, and a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Muhlenberg College. He has served at Lehigh since 1986 and has been chair on numerous occasions. He is the co-author of The Philosophic Roots of Modern Ideology and the author of If Men Were Angels: James Madison and the Heartless Empire of Reason and The Radical Politics of Thomas Jefferson: A Revisionist View. He is currently working on a book project on Alexander Hamilton.

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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