• Berks native A.S. King (1988) wins Printz Award for YA novel 'Dig' [Spotlight]

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 2/2/2020




    "Dig," the latest novel by Berks County native A.S. King, has been named winner of the American Library Association's 2020 Michael L. Printz Award, given for a young-adult book that exemplifies literary excellence.

    A 1988 Exeter High School graduate, King has been publishing novels for young readers for the past 10 years, establishing herself as a prominent and influential voice in the genre.

    In an email, King said "Dig," which was released last March, is set partially in Reading, though it's a fictional setting mixed with Lititz, where she now lives.

    It's been called "stuningly original" by Kirkus Reviews and "profound" by Publishers Weekly.

    All 12 of King's novels are set in Pennsylvania, including her 2011 Printz Honor winning "Please Ignore Vera Dietz," in which the Reading Pagoda has a speaking part and is a character.

    Her 2012 novel "Ask the Passengers," about a girl who copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by sending her love to the passengers in the airplanes flying overhead, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

    The Printz Award was founded in 2000 to highlight the best and most literary works of excellence written for a young adult audience.

    In her email, King said she never expected to win, but she's very happy about it.

    "It really hasn't sunk in yet," she wrote. "It will, in time. And I'm looking forward to accepting it in Chicago at the American Library Association Annual Conference in June."


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  • 2003 grad Beth Wysolmerski opens new store on Perkiomen Ave.

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 11/18/2019

    Exeter graduate expands design business to local retail storefront

    new store

    Founded in 2011 by Bethany Wysolmerski, the woman-owned and operated business known as Pink Poppy Party Shoppe started as an online store and website. The vision? Help busy moms plan and execute birthday parties.

    As the business grew, the team began to specialize in creating personalized stationery, gifts, and styling for any event or occasion in life. Early in 2019, it was rebranded as Rubi & Lib Design Studio.

    Wysolmerski, a 2003 Exeter graduate, is now expanding her business to include a retail storefront right in her hometown. 

    The new store, located at 3845 Perkiomen Avenue, will feature personalized gifts and entertainment supplies available for purchase. A walk-in studio will also be the home to personalized stationery design consultations.

    “While we have been successful online, we dreamed of connecting locally with our friends in Exeter,” Rachael Powell, social media specialist, said. “We hope to help our local community create beautiful stationery, find the perfect personalized gift, and to help our customers style gorgeous parties and events with the perfect personalized decor.”

    Rubi & Lib Design Studio will host a grand opening celebration on Saturday, November 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m at its new storefront.  

    The celebration will include multiple giveaways and an in-studio discount of 25% off your entire purchase. Light refreshments will also be served.

    Rubi & Lib offers save-the-dates, invitations, wedding and party favors, wedding welcome bags, personalized tableware – napkins, plates, cups, and coasters, thank you cards, cake toppers, and wedding day stationery both for your ceremony and reception. For more information, visit their websitehttps://rubiandlib.com/


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  • Dr. Amanda Gallagher Whetzel - Orthodontist -Class of 2000

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 7/30/2019


    Meet Dr. Gallagher Whetzel

    Dr. Amanda Gallagher Whetzel was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania and attended James Madison University in Virginia where she received degrees in Health Services Administration and Business.  While at James Madison, Dr. Gallagher played women’s varsity field hockey and received Division I Academic-Athlete honors.  She received her Doctor in Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia, PA and graduated at the top of her dental school class with Summa Cum Laude recognition, was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon honorary dental society, and received the Herbert G. Lampson, M.D. Award for the most outstanding senior woman student.

    Dr. Gallagher received her Orthodontics Specialty Certificate and Masters in Oral Biology (MS) from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 2011.  While at Maryland and post-residency, Dr. Gallagher participated as an Orthodontic Specialist on Craniofacial and Cleft Palate teams at Johns Hopkins University Hospital and Kernan Medical Center.  During her residency, Dr. Gallagher conducted original research focused on esthetic bracket and archwire options to achieve high-quality, esthetic orthodontic treatment for patients. 

     After residency, Dr. Gallagher worked as a private practice orthodontist in the suburbs of Boston, MA and then Frederick, MD.  In 2013, Dr. Gallagher purchased an existing two-office private orthodontic practice from a local retiring orthodontist.  The practice has grown significantly since that time and Dr. Gallagher relocated both offices to new, state-of-the-art facilities to provide the best patient experience possible.  These current office locations opened in Nottingham in 2016 and in Abingdon in 2017.  Dr. Gallagher focuses on patients and community in her practice and enjoys being able to design and create beautiful smiles while supporting and building confidence in her patients along the way.

    amanda gallagher orthodontics in baltimore

    Dr. Gallagher is committed to excellence in education and technology in the profession, and regularly participates in dental and orthodontic study clubs on both the local and national levels. She is an active member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), Maryland State Society of Orthodontists (MSSO), and the Mid-Atlantic Society of Orthodontists (MASO), where she has served as Officer of Government Affairs.  She is also active in the following dental organizations: the ADA, MSDA, Baltimore County Dental Society, and Harford Cecil Dental Society, where she has served as Vice-President.  Dr. Gallagher is an Invisalign Platinum Provider, has published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, and has been recognized as a Top Orthodontist for the last five years in a row by Baltimore Magazine’s annual dentist peer survey.

     Dr. Gallagher’s interests are in craniofacial growth and development, as well as in the treatment of children and adults with craniofacial abnormalities.  Her previous experience as an orthodontist in a pediatric dental setting has shaped her style of treatment for all patients in a kind, caring, and compassionate way.   Dr. Gallagher is committed to technological excellence and esthetic advancements in the specialty of orthodontics, and is experienced in self-ligating brackets, Invisalign, INBRACE (lingual braces), temporary anchorage devices (TAD’s/Mini-screws), laser gingival procedures, and multi-disciplinary orthodontic treatment needs.

    Dr. Gallagher runs the practice with her husband Ben, and they live in Fallston with their three young sons.  In her spare time, Dr. Gallagher enjoys traveling, interior design, fashion and spending time with family and friends.


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  • Alex & Amanda (Scott) 2001 Gingold open donut shop in Pottstown

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 1/8/2019


    After successfully launching as a mobile business, Donut NV, Alex and Amanda Gingold, 2001 graduates, opens a brick-and-mortar location. 

    Donut NV recently put down roots on South Hanover Street in Pottstown in a retail space included in the Hanover Square townhome development.

    "It was one of those opportunities that found us," said co-owner Alex Gingold. "The highlight of the brick-and-mortar store is getting to know the community."

    Royersford residents Alex and Amanda (Scott) Gingold set up the brick-and-mortar doughnut shop after launching a successful food truck business focused on selling doughnuts in July 2015.

    "It was so successful we had to add another trailer the following month," said Alex Gingold, a Lehigh County native who graduated from Penn State Berks with a degree in small business and entrepreneurship in 2012. "We travel the Tri-state area."

    Putting down roots

    Alex and his wife, Amanda, who graduated from Exeter High School in 2001 and also attended Penn State Berks, put down roots in the doughnut business in 2014 with a kiosk at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets, called Cinnamini Donuts.

    The mini doughnuts are made in front of the customers and are only about a third the size of a regular doughnut, hopefully bringing less guilt to the table.

    Alex said, "It was something different. Cupcakes were kind of played out."

    Donuts were a runaway success for the Gingolds, according to Alex, and the demand grew for catering weddings, private parties and corporate events.

    "We both came from corporate America," he said. "We weren't happy with our schedules and we wanted to work together and spend more time together."

    The kiosk at the Premium Outlets solidified a relationship with the outlet's owner, Simon Premium Outlets, who eventually permitted the Gingolds' food trucks access to their outlets along the East Coast.

    "The kiosk was good, but you were tied to a seven day a week schedule," Alex said. "The food trucks allowed us to follow the market.The food trucks are still a full-time business for us."

    And the market research told the Gingolds that the name Cinnamini Donuts denoted only cinnamon doughnuts to consumers, causing the brand to relaunch as Donut NV in 2018.

    Franchise opportunities for mobile doughnut shops in protected mobile territories are offered through Donut NV with a proprietary mobile unit that converts from a kiosk to a trailer, an endeavor which took a year to develop and is made at a company in Salt Lake City.

    "The unit can be pulled with almost any vehicle," Alex said.

    Selling and training

    Along with franchise opportunities came the need for training, which started the Gingolds on the journey ending with their shop in Pottstown which will double as a training facility.

    The 1,000-square-foot store has 20 seats for customers and joins the development leasing office and a yoga studio in retails spaces.

    onut NV doughnuts are made from a proprietary recipe and created in custom doughnut-making machines made in Hungary, stamped with the Donut NV logo, and available to be sold to franchisees.

    "They're cake doughnuts, not yeast doughnuts," Alex said. "They're light and fluffy."

    The doughnuts are reminiscent of funnel cake, he says, and can be topped with a choice of sugars including Oreo, Fruity Pebbles, cinnamon and French toast, and dipped in sauce such as vanilla, Hershey's chocolate and Nutella.

    Alex said his wife is a big cooking advocate and baker and he enjoys eating sweets.

    "It's a good mix," he said.

    Also available at Donut NV are fresh squeezed orange juice and lemonade, fresh brewed ice tea, hot coffee and a special iced coffee called NVous, a blend with condensed milk and sugar.

    A grab-and-go case is onsite for a quick meal and Nelson's ice cream, previously made in Royersford, is on the menu in cups, cones, and milkshakes, along with bagels from the New York Bagelry in West Lawn.

    "We always said if we had a store, we'd have the best bagels," Alex said.

    Traffic to the new shop has been busy with early morning commuters, students, networking groups, travelers, and residents, and corporate and catering orders have been coming in with delivery available within a 25-mile radius through EZ Cater, according to the owners.

    "We went back to our roots and what we enjoyed," Alex said. "You can really change someone's attitude by giving someone something delicious. We have so many people saying thank you for picking Pottstown."

    If you go

    Phone: 484-624-5514

    Email: bookings@donutnv.com

    Website: www.donutnv.com.

    Facebook: Donut NV

    Location: 194 S. Hanover St., Pottstown

    Hours: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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  • Jon Keller (2006) Named Alvernia volleyball coach

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 1/4/2019

    Exeter grad named Alvernia men's volleyball coach


    Jon Keller has been named head men's volleyball coach at Alvernia University after serving as an assistant for the program's first two seasons.

    He replaces Deb Schlosser.

    Keller was the Berks player of the year as a senior at Exeter in 2006, went on to be a four-year starter at Division I Rutgers-Newark University and played professionally in England in 2011.

    He coached in the Daniel Boone boys program and the Red Rose Volleyball Club from 2012-16. He is a current member of Team LVC of the National Volleyball Association.

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  • Matt Hathaway Class of 2000- Teacher's In The Park Founder

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 10/5/2018


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  • Leocadia Lellig, class of 2018, will defer college to spend nine months with Disney On Ice.

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 9/6/2018


    Leocadia Lellig of Exeter Township has passed on her freshman year at Penn State to join the Disney on Ice tour as a performer. About three weeks of intensive rehearsing is next.

    AT AGE 4, Leocadia Lellig was a bored younger sibling watching her big brother learn to skate.

    Christian, now 20, never really took to the ice.

    But Cadia, as she’s known to her family, convinced her mom to get her lessons, too. She wowed the Learn-to-Skate coaches at the Body Zone Sports and Wellness Complex in Spring Township, and they quickly referred her to private lessons.

    Now 18, Lellig will be making dreams come true this fall as part of the Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment show, performing alongside the likes of Ariel the Little Mermaid, “Toy Story’s” Buzz and Woody and “Frozen’s” Elsa and Anna.

    An ensemble cast member, she has a nine-month contract that carries her through a new season, which starts Sept. 27.

    “I always thought Disney on Ice was so cool,” said Lellig, who graduated from Exeter High School in June. “The level of skating is pretty professional. I’ve been really focused on making sure all my jumps are up to par and trying to get my double axles consistent.”

    Most days this summer, she spent about 45 minutes at Body Zone’s gym working on strength and cardio training, followed by 90 minutes of skating practice on the rink downstairs.

    By Lellig’s side has been Andrei Lavrentiev, her coach for almost all of her childhood.

    He was there as she struggled with her first scratch spin at age 6— “That was a big episode, especially for my poor mom,” Lellig remembered — and when she traveled to Brazil to promote figure skating prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics.

    Having passed her senior free skate, Lellig could have continued to compete at the highest levels of the U.S. Figure Skating Association. But she said she prefers to put on her best performance rather than simply outdo other skaters.

    That’s one reason Lavrentiev encouraged Lellig to send in an audition tape last year.

    “You have to like to perform, and you have to have artistic skills,” said Lavrentiev, who spent six years with Disney on Ice before an injury led him to coaching. “When you’re competing, you might do it once a month. In Disney on Ice, you have to perform every day — and you have to be happy and smile no matter what.”

    Lellig was one of three women to audition in person for Disney last year in Newark, N.J., between two shows with current cast members. Now that she’s been named to the cast, she’s gearing up for an intense three-week rehearsal period during which she will have to learn complicated sequences, get fitted for costumes and keep up her skating endurance.

    An Olympic freestyle skate runs about 4 minutes. A Disney performance can last up to two hours, and on some days, the cast squeezes in three shows.

    Performers travel from city to city on buses, sharing hotel rooms and making meals on the fly. Lellig said she recently discovered she’ll be accompanied by Rachel Wegfahrt, a Lehigh Valley skater who spent the last four years at a Minnesota boarding school known for its skating program.

    Lellig’s lifestyle will be a departure from what she envisioned happening this fall. Recognized by the Reading Eagle as a Berks’ Best 2018 visual arts nominee, Lellig was accepted to Penn State University, attended orientation and set up her fall class schedule.

    In high school, she enjoyed art classes, earning accolades at the Berks County Intermediate Unit’s Secondary Art exhibit and a GoggleWorks art show; kept herself flexible by performing with the Berks Ballet Theatre since age 3; and performed in Exeter’s theater program in shows ranging from “Bye Bye Birdie” to “Shrek the Musical.”

    When she found out she made the cut at Disney, she deferred her Penn State admission and started buying hot pots and other dorm-like accommodations for her life as an on-the-road skater.

    She also stopped her job as a Learn-to-Skate instructor to focus on improving her own skills.

    Once her tour starts, Lellig won’t have much access to the ice outside of her call times, Lavrentiev said.

    On a recent Thursday afternoon, Lellig showed off her smooth style, marked by tight layback spins, breathtakingly fast spirals and graceful waltz jumps.

    When Lavrentiev cued up Michael Jackson on the rink’s audio system, she tried to string together a few of the moves that got her into Disney’s good graces. Though the exact choreography escapes her, Lellig smiled easily as she mimicked Jackson’s iconic moonwalk and a lean made famous in the “Smooth Criminal” video.

    In just a few weeks, the music will be bubblier, the costumes bulkier and the fresh choreography drilled in to her.

    “I’ll need to know all the numbers, to be able to do the footwork, the turning, the edge work,” Lellig said. “I think it will be fun. I’ve always loved to spin, and I like to do tricks.”

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  • Matt Seifert- Class of 2011 Trying out for 2020 Olympic Volleyball team

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 7/29/2018

    Pro volleyball experience enlightening for Seifert

     Matt seifert

     Matt Seifert, on trying out for 2020 Olympic team: “If that's something I'm lucky enough to be in position for, it's definitely something I'm going to take. But it's not make-or-break for me.”

    WHEN MATT SEIFERT landed in Athens, Greece, last August, it was his maiden voyage outside of the United States, except for a vacation in Mexico.

    His stay in Greece was for a much longer haul, so he spent his first several weeks getting accustomed to the culture and acclimated to his new home away from home: Piraeus, a port city of about 165,000, located seven miles southwest of Athens.

    And there was a lot to take in, soak up and figure out.

    Seifert, a 2011 Exeter grad and a four-year player and three-year captain for Penn State, traveled to Greece to play professional volleyball for Ethnikos Piraeus.

    He returned home in May “humbled” by the experience and thankful for the one piece of advice that helped him make the most of it.

    He was having brunch and a couple of American basketball players, who lived in the same building, happened to be at the table, one of whom had been playing overseas for six or seven years.

    “We were talking about being in a completely new environment, about being homesick,” said Seifert, 25. “And he said that until you completely invest yourself in the area you’re in, you’re not going to make it. If you’re constantly telling yourself, ‘I’m not home; I’m not used to this; I’m out of my comfort zone; I can’t do this,’ you’re not going to make.”

    Message received.

    Seifert focused on where he was, not where he’d come from. He learned “a little bit of the language and how things worked.” He allowed himself to appreciate the people of Greece, his teammates especially, and took advantage of their welcoming hospitality.

    “They made it really easy for a guy like me,” he said. “Getting acclimated definitely took awhile, and it was really hard, but a lot of fun.”

    And well worth the effort.

    “I still think I would’ve come to that realization (about going all-in), just a lot later maybe,” Seifert said. “But just having (that basketball player) there, saying that simple sentence helped.”

    In addition to adjusting to the culture, he also had to adjust on the court, a process made easier because language wasn’t much of a barrier. He was the only American on the team, but his teammates and coaches spoke, at the very least, “very vanilla English.”

    As for the game itself, it was faster, the style of play was different and the level of competition was more advanced than he was used to, but wanting to challenge himself was one of the main reasons he made the trip.

    And those challenges were heightened, because last year, for the first time in 28 years, Ethnikos Piraeus moved up to the first division — A1 Tier — and finished seventh out of 11 teams.

    “From where we started, and to make the playoffs, it was huge,” said Seifert, a 6-10 middle blocker. “That very rarely happens, for a team like my team, a small-budget team, making the playoffs. That was big news and rightfully so.”

    Big news for Seifert was being named the league’s most valuable player for Week 17.

    “That was a reaffirmation to me that if I just do my job, do what’s expected of me, then I can be successful and so can my team,” he said. “It wasn’t exactly like a light bulb going off, but it was a reminder to myself: Keep my head down and work, do what I’m expected to do, do it well and I’ll succeed, and my team will succeed.”

    The next stop on Seifert’s world volleyball tour will be Buhl, Germany, located about 100 miles south of Frankfurt, where he’ll play for Volleyball Bisons Buhl.

    The Buhl coach contacted Seifert while he was still in Greece; the contract was signed three weeks later; and he leaves in four days.

    The league is more competitive; the city is “calmed down and quieter” than Athens, which suits him just fine; and the learning curve for his second trip overseas is minimal compared to the first.

    “It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” Seifert said. Better team, better league; definitely a steppingstone for me to where I want to get.”

    If all goes well, Seifert plans to come back next summer and try out for the U.S. National Team, hoping to get a roster spot for a tournament in the summer of 2019.

    “If that happens, great,” he said. “If not, I can say I (tried), and we’ll see what can happen the following season.”

    Which happens to be an Olympic year. Of course, he’d love the chance to get a Tokyo stamp on his passport.

    “If the opportunity (to try out) presents itself, if that’s something I’m lucky enough to be in a position for, it’s definitely something I’m going to take,” Seifert said. “But it’s not make-or-break for me.”

    It’s not that he’s not driven and dedicated. Hardly. But there’s a sense of perspective involved here: He realizes how fortunate he’s been to get this far.

    Seifert was supposed to go to Greece for the summer of 2016, but wrist surgery canceled his trip and put a question mark on his future. There were no guarantees he’d get a second chance to make a first impression.

    “I was hopeful,” he said. “But, honestly, you have to be really, really lucky or be in the right place at the right time.

    “I didn’t know if it would happen again, but to be able to do it in an awesome league, in a beautiful place like Greece and then coming home and having another opportunity to do it somewhere else (next year), that’s something I don’t take for granted.”

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  • Doug Resh - Class of '98 40 under 40 Award Winner

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 7/19/2018
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  • Nick Hilton(class of 2007) wins Disney marathon

    Posted by Exeter Alumni on 1/7/2018

    Disney World Marathon 2018 Results: Nick Hilton 1st American to Win Since 2004


    Nearly 22,000 participants head out at the start of the Walt Disney World Marathon in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009. This year's race marked the 16th year of the event. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Nicholas Hilton didn't need a magic carpet Sunday, as he won the 25th Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Florida, with a time of two hours, 17 minutes and 52 seconds.

    Matt Trezza of Fox 35 Orlando shared video of the victor crossing the finish line and noted Hilton was the first American to win the race since 2004:

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