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Principal's Message

Patti Ebbert

JSHS Principal


It is with great pleasure and excitement that I write this letter of introduction to you as your new Junior/Senior High School Principal at Panther Valley. I am genuinely humbled to become part of a leadership team that has greeted me with such a warm welcome! In the few meetings that I have attended, the steadfast goal-oriented objectives are being accomplished, which showcases their commitment to the students of Panther Valley.

So, a little bit about myself.  My name is Patti Ebbert. I am a proud 1982 graduate of Panther Valley, and I am proud to be allowed to return to my roots as an educational leader.  I previously was a teacher in the Lehighton Area Elementary Center, where I was the MTSS Coordinator for the past six years.  I was also a 5th and 6th-grade math teacher, Title 1 math teacher, and a gifted teacher for grades 5-8.  

My formal educational experience includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Bloomsburg University, a master’s degree in Educational Development and Strategies from Wilkes University, and an Educational Leadership /Principal Certification from CLIU21.

My vision and beliefs include open communication between our staff, students, parents, school community members, and stakeholders to bring about positive change.  It is essential that staff and students are recognized for their achievements and to encourage that commitment to success, is something I will work hard to achieve in our school.  I will work diligently to assist students and to make those critical connections with everyone and to be committed to developing the whole child.

One of the most important aspects of my work here at Panther Valley will be to build strong relationships with students, teachers, and families. My day will be ever-changing as I greet your child in the hallways, classrooms, at sporting events and activities.  I will ensure that all students are exposed to rigorous curriculum and instruction that is challenging yet engaging.  I will strive to have students challenge themselves and to never give up on their dreams.  My door will always be open for both the students, staff, and parents as we navigate the student’s educational experience. 

My family consists of my husband of 27 years and our three sons.  We live in Lehighton, and so do all 3 of my sons. My husband is a retired police officer after serving for 31 years and now works for the state. Our oldest son Neal works on the turnpike and is a veteran of the USAF.  Our son Geoff currently works in landscaping, and our son Andrew is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh.   I am a diehard Steelers fan, and you can probably find me at games throughout the year. 

I’m looking forward to meeting each of you as we start this new and exciting year together! Please feel free to contact me at 570-645-2171 at ext—3005 with any questions or concerns. 

Follow us on Twitter @PVJSHS or Facebook at Panther Valley JSHS.


Hello Panther Valley Community!

We hope you are all doing well and staying safe!


High School Teacher


Panther Valley Community:

Please watch this video to see a special message from your administration, faculty, and staff!


Attention Parents, Guardians, and Members of the Panther Valley Community:

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during this time.  Panther Valley is now providing enrichment work for students to complete during this time off.  In order to access this work, students will have to use their school-assigned email address and log into their gmail account (this account ends with panthervalley.org--not gmail.com).  Students should find invitations to join individual teacher classrooms in their email account.   There, they will click on google classroom.  If students were NOT invited by their individual teachers to join their classroom, they can enter the code needed to join these classrooms.  In order to do this, students can go to the other google services (which can be found by clicking the nine little square icon on the top right of the page).  They can find google classroom by clicking on the google classroom icon.  The codes for each teacher are listed below.  They can enter these codes and join each classroom.

If any questions or concerns arise, please contact me at gunnelsj@panthervalley.org

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Mr. Gunnels




Attention Parents, Guardians, and Members of the Panther Valley Community:
Because Panther Valley is identified with a A-TSI designation, we are required to share this information with you.  Attached, please find information regarding an opportunity scholarship:
OSTCP Overview.pdf

Joseph Gunnels


Hello Parents/Guardians and Members of the Panther Valley Community,

I am hoping that your 2020 is off to a great start!  I wanted to take this time to bring the following opportunity to your attention: 


Dear Pennsylvania Parents and Community Members:


On behalf of the Secretary of Education, Pedro A. Rivera, I’m pleased to invite you to participate in a Stakeholder Feedback Session to discuss Act 158, which establishes Pennsylvania’s new statewide graduation requirements.


These graduation requirements will be in effect for the graduating class of 2022. This critical stakeholder engagement opportunity allows you to help shape the application of Pennsylvania’s five pathways to graduation.


You are encouraged to join us by registering for one of our convenient virtual sessions. You can view the presentation and participate in comment/question periods simply by logging-on from your computer.


Districts are also encouraged to share this information with their parent groups, as their participation and feedback is important in this process.


Please register in advance using the links below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Thursday, February 6th, 12:00—1:30 PM https://pattaneast.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_l9iJDxOiRZqhHvBwYSC4rQ  

Thursday, February 6th, 5:00—6:30 PM https://pattaneast.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sEPisz6mSa2-Cphgh_Cm6A


Thank you for your interest and support. If you have any questions about this virtual session, please contact my office at RA-EDGRADREQUIREMENT@pa.gov. If you have questions about registration, please contact Sadie Hetrick at shetrick@pattan.net.




Brian Campbell

Director, Bureau of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction

Pennsylvania Department of Education



Joseph Gunnels



Hello Parents/Guardians and Members of the Panther Valley Community,


I wanted to take a moment to bring a few things to your attention:

  • First, conferences will be held on November 13, 2019 and November 14, 2019.


    • On November 13, conferences will take place from12:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m.
    • On November 14, conferences will take place from12:00 p.m.-2:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-7:45 p.m.


  • Report cards will be mailed home on Monday, November 4, 2019 and should arrive prior to conferences. If parents are interested in attending conferences, they may come to the school to meet with their student’s teachers during one of the listed times above.
  • JROTC and our Band will be participating in a Veteran's Day Parade on Sunday, November 10, 2019
  • A Veteran's Day assembly will take place on Monday, November 11, 2019, which is being planned by our JROTC cadets.
  • The annual JROTC Ball will take place on Saturday, November 16, 2019.
  • Finally, a huge congratulations is in order for the Panther Valley Jr./Sr. High School Girls' Volleyball Team, who just won the District 11 Title! Now, I encourage the Panther Valley Community in joining me to wish them the best of luck as they represent our school at States!


Volleyball Photo

(Photo contributed by Ms. Lisa Trubilla)

“You can’t hide that Panther Pride!”




Mr. Joseph Gunnels

Panther Valley Jr./Sr. High School Principal

September 13, 2019
Attention Parents, Guardians, and Members of the Panther Valley Community:


Students from Penn State University Hershey Medical Center in conjunction with our school’s Student Assistance Program (SAP) team will be conducting a school study at Panther Valley Jr./Sr. High School.  This survey is a screener focused on identifying students who are at risk for adolescent depression.  Students who are identified as being at risk will be provided with resources and supports. 

Below are forms that provide additional information regarding this study and allow parents and guardians to become familiar with the objective of this study. 

If you do NOT wish for your child to participate within this study, please print the opt out form (which is also below in English and Spanish versions), sign it, and submit it to the high school office by Thursday, September 26, 2019.


If you have any questions regarding this study, please contact the high school office.




Mr. Gunnels  
PCORI FAQ doc.docx
PCORI_Opt-out with PHQ9 (Spanish) (1).docx
Clean_PCORI Opt-Out Letter (English) v.2.docx


September 4, 2019

Attention all students, parents and/or guardians, and members of the Panther Valley Community:

We’re off to a great start of the 2019-2020 school year here at Panther Valley Jr./Sr. High School!  Now, in our second week back in school, we are getting back in the swing of things and are preparing for a couple of important dates that are quickly approaching!

First, our Meet the Teachers event will be held at the Jr./Sr. High School on September 12, 2019 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.  Parents will not only be able to meet the teachers of the Jr./Sr. High School, but they will also have the opportunity to see their child’s/children’s classrooms.  We hope to see everyone at this event!

Second, Panther Valley’s Homecoming game will take place on October 4, 2019 at the Panther Valley Stadium. 

In other news, September is Perfect Attendance Month! Encourage your child to attend school every day in September and they will be entered into a drawing to win prizes!  They will also be recognized for their punctuality and attendance by receiving a certificate acknowledging their exemplary attendance!  Additionally, this initiative will be continued throughout the school year, but it can only be successful with YOUR help!  By placing emphasis upon the importance of good attendance at home, you can help your child develop good attendance practices.  Good attendance practices will not only benefit student grades, but will also establish good attendance habits that students will carry with them for life post-graduation (college, the military, trade school, work, etc.).  These practices are beneficial to implement early, as they will become habits later in life.

Additionally, there are some valuable resources available to you online that detail ways to support your students in their academic endeavors as they continue through the 2019-2020 school year.  Some of these resources can be found below:

General Support for Students:















Chronic absenteeism is one of the early signs that your child may be at risk of failing academically. Research studies show that missing 10% or more of school makes it harder for children to become literate by the end of their third-grade year. Not being able to read can make it harder for them to succeed in their classes, lead to suspensions and put them at risk of dropping out” (Lynch, 2019).

To read Matthew Lynch’s full article on ways to improve your child’s school attendance, click the link below:



One of the most important things your child can do to achieve academic success is also one of the most basic: going to school every day. In fact, research has shown that your child's attendance record may be the biggest factor influencing her academic success” (https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/school-attendance-key-success).

For student benefits of practicing good school attendance, please visit the website below:


I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the parents and community members who came to our school to paint and update the building.  We appreciate your support in updating our school and promoting the Panther Pride in our school community!  Your efforts are greatly admired and appreciated!

We hope to see all of you at Meet the Teachers on September 12th



Mr. Joseph Gunnels

Jr./Sr. High School Principal

“You can’t hide that Panther Pride!”

Panther Logo

                                                            August 1, 2019

Parents/Guardians, students, and other members of the Panther Valley Community:

It’s August again—we all know what that means—Back to School Month!  As the summer break is drawing to a close, I hope that each of you are having a restful and enjoyable summer vacation!   There are a few important dates that I want to bring to your attention at this time:

First, school resumes for students on August 26, 2019.  

Fall Sports begin on August 12, 2019, with the exception of football, which starts on August 5, 2019.

Band Camp begins on August 5, 2019 and runs from 9:00 a.m.-2 p.m.

Additionally, as students are preparing for the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year, I would like to pass along some beneficial resources for parents and students to refer to:

Tips to Motivating Teens to Read More Book/More Frequently: 


Some Suggestions for Summer Reading:



As the summer vacation is drawing to a close, the hot summer weather continues.  Please remember to stay hydrated and limit your time in the sun. 

“Dehydration can cause a variety of symptoms including headaches, fatigue, lack of focus, dizziness, and in some severe cases, fainting” (Ahmad, 2017).

To read Sidrah Ahmad’s Full Article on the importance of staying hydrated, visit:


Due to the hot weather at the beginning of the school year (first 6 weeks), students will be permitted to wear shorts that are a school appropriate length.  Please refer and adhere to the dress code in the student handbook for information on what is permitted. 

We’re looking forward to beginning the 2019-2020 school year at Panther Valley!

Enjoy the rest of your summer break!



Mr. Gunnels

Building Principal 

Panther Valley Junior-Senior High