Two Pottsgrove Icons Honored

And other stuff from the Pottsgrove School Board meeting on Feb. 25, 2014

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  1. Kelly came from "painting the stage" for the upcoming production of "Sherlock Holmes" and joked that he didn't even have a tie on.

    School Board President Justin Valentine joked that "well, it's your stage now Mr. Kelly, you can paint it any color you want."
  2. Gary DeRenzo, Pottsgrove's director of athletics and student activities brought the idea to Superintendent Shellie Feola.

    He told the board that he's "a numbers guy," and observed that as an employee since 1987, who has staged a production at the high school every year, Kelly had "touched 4,000 lives."

    Between the 25 students per class, with 150 per day, he had taught 4,000 student in the classroom, plus those he taught on stage.
  3. Some of you may remember the story The Mercury's Caroline Sweeney wrote about Kelly in December, his battle with ALS and the money the Pottsgrove community raised on his behalf. The link is below.
  4. Pennypacker started to have an inkling of what was going on as friends and supporters started filing in just before the meeting got started. He looked at them, puzzled, and said "what the hell are you doing here?"
  5. DeRenzo said Pennypacker started at Pottsgrove on Sept. 5, 1989 and his Falcons have won nine PAC-10 championships, more wins than any other coach in the league.

    Also a physical education teacher, DeRenzo also gave Pennypacker the numbers treatment, saying he taught physical education to 50 percent of the student body, numbering roughly 7,500 students since he began.

    Add the football teams and you have to add 1,200 student athletes and, when you add the people in the stands, the number grows to "80,000 to 90,000 individuals Coach Pennypacker has either taught, coached or entertained. He's done Pottsgrove proud," he said.
  6. Pennypacker was obviously moved by the gesture and, as he posed for this photo, was also moved to say quietly to DeRenzo "I'm going to kill you."

    DeRenzo just smiled and said simply, "I know."

    Then some folks got up to offer praise for both men.

    Click the link in the Tweet below to see a video of William Shirk, who coached Upper Perkomen's football team against Pennypacker, and former School Board President B. Scott Fulmer talk about both honorees.
  7. My apologies to Dr. Shirk. In filling the video info out on the fly, I got his first name wrong. It's William (Bill, not Bob).
  8. Both Fulmer and Pottsgrove High School Principal Bill Ziegler thanked Pennypacker for teaching Pottsgrove's young men "integrity and honor."

    Ziegler also told Kelly with a broad smile that "without you I wouldn't be here. You were my senior project adviser in 1989 and you let a few things slide that I wouldn't let you slide now."
  9. There were 37 bids by eight syndicates and the winning bid was won by Roosevelt & Cross.
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