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Senior Atara Saunders to Keynote UPG’s “Why Choose Cheltenham” Open House

Atara Saunders CHS senior Atara Saunders, who has been a student in district since kindergarten, will kick off the United Parents Group’s inaugural “Why Choose Cheltenham” Open House on Monday, March 23.  

“Cheltenham is an amazing district and I want to support it in any way possible,” said Saunders, who volunteered to speak after learning of the event at a student council meeting. “I’m happy to use my voice to do so.”

Saunders cites founding two CHS clubs, Junior Classical League and Jewish Student Union, as her formative experiences in the district. The Classical League plans an annual field trip and hosts a party in honor of Saturnalia, the Roman solstice holiday. Jewish Student Union hosts biweekly activities related to Jewish culture.  These experiences, as well as her participation in other clubs, taught Saunders about community organizing.

Cheltenham has “so many different opportunities, and it’s so easy to take advantage of them,” she said. “We have the best teachers around. They are fabulous, truly inspiring.” Saunders acknowledged it was hard to choose specific teachers who exemplified what makes CSD’s teachers special because “there are so many great ones.” Saunders mentioned CHS AP U.S. History teacher Jonathan Manser “taught U.S. History in a fun, entertaining way. His teaching style helped his lessons stick with us. He is a funny person and he brought that into the classroom.”

The “Why Choose Cheltenham” Open House is Monday, March 23, at Cedarbrook Middle School (300 Longfellow Rd., Wyncote, PA 19095).  Doors open at 6:30 and the event begins at 7 p.m. Attractions will include performances and demonstrations by various schools in theater, music, language, science, life skills, and athletics; the premiere of UPG’s documentary “Why Choose Cheltenham: Alumni Voices” featuring young alumni reflecting on their CSD experiences; short presentations about the academics and other opportunities available at Elkins Park School, Cedarbrook Middle School and Cheltenham High School; and informational tables hosted by school, parent and community groups.

A parent volunteer organization, UPG is organizing the open house to showcase the district’s breadth and depth of academic, athletic and extracurricular offerings; diverse yet cohesive community; and focus on access and equity. Students and staff from Cheltenham School District’s seven schools and district administrators all are participating. The event is open to the public. For more information, visit