Every school across the nation will have stories about the day in March when pandemic life shut down their regular routines for the rest of the year. For Avonworth, this was a very noticable change, but there a number of other ones too that are important parts of the story of 2019-2020. Here are a few of them…

                   1. School Spirit Surges

Vanessa Biagiarelli, Junior: “I think another unexpected change in the 2019 school year was definitely our school spirit. That was attributed to the new cheerleading coach Mrs. Livesay, the band, the fan section leader, Lauren Pflueger, and the students themselves! Mrs. Livesay pushed for more pep rallies to encourage school spirit as well as over the top accessories, games, and routines.



The 19-20 Cheer squad during the Welcome Back Pep-Rally the first Friday of the school year. This replaced the traditional Welcome Back Assembly normally held in the auditorium.

Football team members #58 Adam McKinney (with a young Goetz on his shoulder) , Jordan Rapp, #4 Jax Miller, #7 Theo Newhouse, #31 Grant Jenkins, and Jake Horrigan excitedly await joining the rally to meet their Homecoming Court partners
Flag bearers have onlooker’s attentions
Cheerleader captain Claire Chao joins the marching band for a violin solo during From Now.
Photo by Peter Bauer


The band kept half time entertaining with their amazing half time performances that never cease to amaze the community. They’ve broken barriers this year including a rap solo for some diverse music choices!

The band performed their 2019 set “The Greatest Hamilton” during the Homecoming Pep Rally


Lauren Pflueger also came up with awesome themes for all of the games as well as kept everyone up to date on Avonworth’s success.

Excitement about Homecoming Court builds with Lauren Phlueger (left) and Kat Geotz (right) both on the Queen court.


Vanessa Biagiarelli, pictured on the right, was a core part of the Cheer team in 19-20 and also behind the Adopt A Senior program at the end of the year.


None of this could have happened without the football team’s accomplishments as well which took us all the way to Hershey. 2019 was a year to remember with school spirit thanks to special individuals!”

                         2. Day 0 returns as the Football Team plays for a State Championship on December 6th

Johnny Cieslak, Junior: “I think one of the biggest changes (your mileage may vary) to being at AHS was the success of the football team. I think that sounds kind of cliche but it was really exhilarating to see the football team win game after game in the playoffs, and then make it to Hershey.

Photos by Will Lucas

“I’m not usually a huge football person (because I’m not an athletic child) but it really engaged me with our Avonworth football. I saw it as very significant because I’m just some nerd kid and it’s not often that I, being some nerd kid, was excited about sports.”

Johnny Cieslak, pictured above, wearing plaid during a School Spirit day in 19-20. Mr. Tuffiash is pictured behind him, also wearing plaid while holding The Avonews Pub Lab rock. 

                    3. Bells in our schools: 12 bells,four months
Here’s the rundown on the bell sounds for 19-20…there was a security upgrade as a part of a grant, so a new speaker system was installed. Along with the new system came the a new bell tone, not well received (#2 on the list below).  Technology Department head Brandan Gary informed the principal that any sound could be used to replace it, as long as it was a certain file type. That began a rotating series of sounds…

1. The return of “Normal bell” after no bell in 2018-2019
2. The initial new bell – Amber Alert/ airplane/ flatline Bell/hearing test
3.Clash of clans

4. AHS School Fight song
5. Turkey “Gobbles”
6. Chimes
7. Elf – 2 buddy quotes
“Best cup of coffee!”
“Santa I know him!”
8. Grinch – “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” song
9. Chimes (2.0)
10. Star Wars – Star Wars Fanfare opening
11. Bowling – for WPIAL playoffs Boys match
12. Ferris Bueller’s day off soundtrack – beginning from “Oh Yeah” by Yello

           4. Therapy Dogs for midterm stress relief
It wasn’t the first time therapy dogs were on campus, but do students really expect them as a yearly tradition? No matter, they were here and they were loved. 

Photo from Catherine Penrod

                      5. Start of Social Justice Club and Film Club
For both Social Justice Club and Film Club, I think it is quite sad how it was their first year getting started, and they got cut real short due to COVID-19. I also know that many events and plans for them had been canceled due to the quick end to the in person school year. However, both had been very successful forming, so on the brightside I am sure they will be just as successful next year as they hoped to be this year. – Avonews writer Niomi Ellis

              6. October Power Outage Keeps Kids In The School All Day

During the month of October, you had some students demanding to be sent home during a power surge that cut power to the school. Now we are all out of school due to Covid-19 and you have some hoping to come back. The power outage did cause a change in plans for how the school would run for the day, but being out of school for a month made a larger impact on class structure than any of us could have thought of. I can’t wait to get back to school because truthfully I don’t think anything will be weirder than this school year and I hope nothing ever comes close. -Avonews writer Peter Bauer

Photos of the day below, including a screen shot of the outage on Duq. Light’s website, emergency holding rooms with low power, a small student protest in the middle of Halloween Hallways, and the transformer behind the baseball field as it was repaired. 

Another of many stories – piano jams in the lobby…



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