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Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

CATS teams up with local cat shelters

Tue, 2019-11-19 13:17

The CATS crew and General McLane Theatre Program are teaming up with Because You Care, Inc. and Orphan Angels Cat Sanctuary and Adoption Center for their upcoming musical! 

Each organization will have volunteers in the lobby before each show and during intermission this week. Attendees can bring their program to either organization to receive $5 off adoption pricing. “Purr-haps” the public can consider donating an item from this list to help!

Show times are November 21, 22, 23 at 7:30 p.m. and the 24th at 2:00 p.m.  E

For tickets or more information, contact 814-273-1033.

SRO presents to MS students

Mon, 2019-11-18 08:56

General McLane School Resource Officer Jose Montes spoke to 5th and 6th grade students last week on a variety of different topics, including  identifying bullying and prevention, internet safety and protecting yourself online, and the dangerous of vaping.  

Boys Basketball Camp a success

Thu, 2019-11-14 08:46

Seventy-five students participated in the General McLane Boys Basketball Skills Camp, which occurred Nov. 12 – 14.

Students in grades 5-12 worked with Coach Schulz, Coach Stauffer, Coach Banks, Coach McCormick, Coach Jahn, Andy Schulz, Roy Stauffer and various GM basketball alumni to improve overall fundamentals, while also emphasizing the importance of teamwork, positive attitude, effort, and work ethic.

This camp was free of charge.

A good time was had by all!

Holiday Arts Fair – Vendor Feature

Tue, 2019-11-12 14:57

The General McLane Foundation’s 13th Annual Holiday Arts Fair is quickly approaching.

This year’s event will be held Saturday, November 16, at General McLane High School and runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Nearly 80 vendors will be in attendance, including a variety of new vendors. This year’s crafts include: glass sculptures, wood working signs and décor, purses, jewelry, puzzles, soup, birdhouses, ceramics, paintings, pottery, and quilted, croched, stitched and sewn items.

In addition to vendors, there will be musical performances by the middle school band and chorus, the high school band and the ensemble of Cats, which takes place November 21-24 at General McLane High School. 

Here are some highlighted vendors of the event:

Sticky Foot Acres

Brenda Stafford’s Sticky Foot Acres offers goat milk soaps and lotions, as well as antique and refurbished farmhouse and country crafts. Her crafts include many decorated antiques and are one-of-a-kid, with no two items the same. 

The goat milk soaps and lotions come from her own baby goats.

“After the babies are weaned, we use the milk in our soaps and lotions to put extra goodness in them,” said 

Stafford, who has been doing this for 10 years now. 

The Niles Before Christmas
Crafter Tom Niles specializes in hand-carved and painted original designs for Halloween and Christmas, featuring Santas, Snowmen, witches, ghosts and Scrooges. Niles has been carving for more than 30 years and has a studio in Oil City. He uses basswood and acrylics to complete his designs. 

During shows, he’s often demonstrating wood carving and interacting with the public. 

Kim Kloecker Art Studio

A General McLane substitute teacher, Kim Kloecker takes inspiration from students and offers a variety of originals and fine art prints of her artwork, framed and unframed.

She is most noted for her work in watercolor, but also works in acrylics, colored pencils/pencil, Pen & Ink, Digital & Photography.  

She also offers Prayer Cloths–Hand-Painted on Vintage Hankies, small wire key sculptures, Hand-Cut Glitter Houses and Holiday Floral Arrangements featuring vintage Christmas ornaments along with Christmas prints inspired by the unknown greeting card artist of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s!

“As a substitute teacher at GM, I am known as ‘Mama K the Art Lady’ who tags whiteboards with murals and cartoon characters,” she said. “Over the past several years I have listened to their advice and what you will see at the show is the fruit of my labor inspired by them.”

Check out her website: and an Etsy Store:  KimKloeckerArtStudio

Tina’s Stitches 

Owner Christina Bucci has a craft show customer for her entire life.

“I truly believe that you can find different and amazing items and gifts made by local artisans,” she said.

A retired teacher, Bucci started participating in craft shows three years ago and sells yoyo quilted crafts, a throwback craft that is unique. She will be bringing wallhangings, table runners, decorated gift bags, girl’s headbands, garlands, and Christmas ornaments.

Custom items can also be ordered, with most items able to be ready by Christmas

Schoolcraft Studios

Schoolcraft Studios offers alcohol ink paintings, ornaments, cards, prints, jewelry, tiles and “art-on-the-go” kits. 

Owner Sarah Schoolcraft found the technique online and said she loved it after giving it a shot. 

What makes these unique is that the medium is very versatile and can be applied to so many surfaces, Schoolcraft said. 

“Each piece is unique by the nature of ink making each piece an original,” she added.

You can find her on social media or visit her website:

OMG Specialties 

OMGSpecialties offer high quality personalized gifts, including picture slates, cutting boards, mugs, coasters, ornaments, mouse pads, tumblers, and magnets with the customers selected personal pictures.

Owners Bill and Sue Fisher started providing this service in June of 2018 and provide customers with the ability to sublimation print personalized pictures from their cell phones or original pictures on the above substrates while at the craft show.

Additional pictures can be found on their Webpage:

JWPMS hosts Veteran’s Day Celebration

Fri, 2019-11-08 12:03

James W. Parker Middle School hosted its annual Veteran’s Day Celebration on Friday.

This annual salute to veterans event brought together close to 100 veterans. All veterans were invited to breakfast and a celebration that included the Posting of Colors, vocal performances and a series of student speakers.

Edinboro University student and retired Army veteran Aaron Douglas served as this year’s keynote speaker. Douglas is a former staff sergeant who served in the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars. 

Student vocalists included Cassidy Swain, McKayla Hargest, Lydia Zehr and Peter Alberti. Justin Burgos recited an essay, and Alanna Puller, Lydia Zehr and Owen McMullen read essays. Ryan Dedrick and Dylan Bolder performed the folding of the flag and the Erie/Crawford Veterans Burial Detail performed the Posting of the Colors. James W. Parker Middle School nurse and veteran Nathan Everhart opened and closed the event. 

The event has taken placed since 2006 and corresponds to the 8th grades’ social studies curriculum on American History. As part of this curriculum, 8th graders also take a three-day trip to Washington D.C. every spring. 

McKean Elementary hosts Veteran’s Day Assembly

Thu, 2019-11-07 08:08

McKean Elementary School hosted an assembly Tuesday, honoring veterans in the community and educating students about the military.

In addition, the assembly culminated a fundraising event for the Semper Fi Fund. Throughout the week, students could place money in the jar for the staff they wanted to see take a pie in the face. The winner was Fourth Grade teacher Mr. Pete. Students and staff raised more than $400 for the Semper Fi Fund.

Speakers for the assembly included Marine Recruiter Sgt. Joshua Morrot, the Color Guard from Edinboro’s ROTC program, Edinboro ROTC student and General McLane graduate Noah Hunter (’16), Navy Sea Cadet student Abbey Wingerter and Kenneth Fisher, LCpl. USMC (Ret.).

There were also various vocal performances by McKean students.

Students were encouraged to invite veterans they knew to the assembly. During his speech, Fisher also introduced students who did not know a veteran to one of the many veterans in attendance.

Hoodie takes place this weekend at JWPMS

Fri, 2019-11-01 10:43

James W. Parker Middle School’s fall play takes place this weekend.

Students will be performing Lindsay Price’s Hoodie, a middle school vignette play that examines self-image and appearance.

The cast list includes Ellah Beachly, Delia Brasington, Ciara Cieloszyk, Emma Czarnecki, Samantha Fellows, Wesley Haskins, Jordan Henderson, Cullen Howard, Noah Kowalczyk, Shawn Litz, William McConnell, Mackenzie Miller, Sarah-Terese Petkac, Cassidy Swain, Jonathan Anthony, Olivia Bertig, Kaitlyn Brozich, Chase Gerlach, McKayla Hargest, James Kehl, Chloe Marsh, Ethan McCarthy, Comarali Miles, Konnor Repine, Malina Santucci, Cloey Senyo, Allisyn Stuck, Melody Waldinger and Adaline Yeager.

This play developed through James W. Parker Middle School’s brand new class, “Intro to Theater”. This course cultivates students’ acting and public speaking skills through theater. The class and play are directed by James W. Parker Middle School music teacher Julia McCollum.

The play is expected to be approximately 45 minutes to an hour and takes place in James W. Parker Middle School’s Large Group Instruction (LGI). There is no fee for this show, however, there will be a donation box, with proceeds going toward the school’s student theater fund.  

Hoodie will take place Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 2 at 12 p.m. in the Large Group Instruction Room (LGI) at James W. Parker Middle School.

McKean GLOW Run a success

Thu, 2019-10-31 08:28

McKean Elementary to hosted its first-ever Glow Run earlier this month, and it was a huge success!

The event, which took place on General McLane High School grounds, was sponsored by McKean Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) as a fundraising event for McKean Elementary School.

There were just over 200 runners/walkers who earned 2,600 glow bracelets. Participants earned a glow bracelet for each lap they complete.

Students also raced against McKean Elementary principal Michael Getz, who ended up running / walking 19 laps.  Some students and adults now hold bragging rights that they beat Mr. Getz, an avid runner.

Each May, McKean PTA teams up with Edinboro Elementary PTO to host a Community Fun Run. This past summer, theLittle Lancers Cross Country team was created and, between the two elementary schools, there are 70 runners K-4.  

McKean Elementary School has both a Winter Run Club and the Spring Recess Laps program that started as part of McKean Elementary’s 2013 grant from the ING Run for Something Better School Awards Program. Health and Physical Education teacher Lisa Roberts started the program to help students increase their physical activity.

It’s safe to say that the run will be back next year, so keep your eyes open for a future date!

Edinboro student creates cultural exhibit

Mon, 2019-10-28 15:09

An Edinboro Elementary second grader created a cultural exhibit for a lesson on continents.

Students in Mrs. Waddell’s classroom were invited to share pictures of their travels around the world.

Emma Haugh’s uncle travels for work and shared with her amazing items from many different countries. As a result, Emma put together a cultural exhibit to share with all the students in the school. The exhibit were displayed in the library.

MS students create Pumpkin Biographies

Mon, 2019-10-28 15:03

There are pumpkin scientists everywhere at James W. Parker Middle School!

Students in Mrs. Brooks and Miss Shee’s classrooms have been reading aloud the novel, The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm.  Then, the fifth graders turned their favorite scientists into pumpkin biography projects!

The Fourteenth Goldfish is a fictional text that involves many connections to science and famous scientists.  

Students connected this unit with their current nonfiction unit by choosing and researching one scientist mentioned in the novel.

Students practiced chronological text structure and wrote a short biography about their scientist.  At home, the students were asked to create the head of their scientist using a pumpkin. On Friday, students shared their pumpkins and the information they learned with one another.  

The Wigmaster behind Cats

Fri, 2019-10-25 14:08

There are a handful of individuals behind the scenes adding their personal touches to General McLane High School musicals. This year’s upcoming musical, Cats, is no exception.

One of those individuals is General McLane alum and wig mistress Maggie Lasher (’13), who is in charge of creating, styling, fitting and maintaining the 30 custom wigs and hairpieces needed for the performance.

Lasher, who is a stylist at the SALON by InStyle inside JCPenney in Erie, started doing wigs four years ago for General McLane musicals and Broadway Dinners. She sits down with musical co-director Trisha Yates every year to research and develop their visions for the upcoming year’s wigs.

“As a General Mclane alum and someone who was involved in both the broadway dinner and musical while in high school, I wanted to get involved again and the Yates’s gave me the opportunity to do that!”

This year, we asked Lasher some questions about her work.

 What is the biggest challenge with this specific musical?

The biggest challenge is going to be making sure the wigs are extremely secure because dancing is super intense in this show.

What is your favorite part of the process? 

My favorite part of the process is watching the characters come to life. General McLane is full of talent, and we are all so lucky to have the Yates family to showcase those talents and to bring the highest quality of shows to life each year.

What’s been your favorite overall design to date?

My favorite wig to date was the Ursula wig I designed for Melina Walter (2017 performance). It took me about five hours total, and I still love it!

Tickets for Cats go on sale Monday, Oct. 28. 

The cast includes Julia Esposito (Grizabella), Kellen Smith (Munkustrap), Ryan Hess (Rum Tum Tugger), Abby Johnson (Jennyanydots), Jayda Plonski, Allison Walsh and Maddie Wager (The Andrew Sisters), Isaac Smith (Gus), Clara Enterline (Jellylorum), Aidan Regan (Skimbleshanks), Jack Mennow (Macavity/Admetus), Alyvia Carmosino (Victoria), Cassidy Comer (Bombalurina), Olivia Minner (Demeter), Gabe Bayle (Mungojerrie), Katelyn Crum (Rumpleteazer), Michael Corsale (Mistoffelees), Anna Chernicky (Jemima),Caleb Minner (Bustopher Jones), Lexi Langer (Coricopat),  Katelynn Langer (Tantomile),  Makaela Persons (Cassandra), RJ Benedict (Alonzo), Myles Bruce (Pouncival), Chandler Villanueva (Bill Bailey), Grace Honeycutt (Etcetera), Sophia Lehman (Electra), Faith Morrow (Exotica), Meredith Moore (Sillabub) and Emma Cannata, Aiden Dougan, Jade Graves, Alison Jones, Paige Vannoy  and JC Williams (CATS Chorus).

Tickets are $8 for students, $10 for general admissions and $15 for a limited number of “The Heavyside Layer”, which are the first 8 rows of the center section (about 120 seats per night).   

The tickets will be available to purchase on October 28 online or by calling the General McLane High School office at 814-273-1033 ext. 1900. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Coates recognized in 2020 National Merit® Scholarship Program

Fri, 2019-10-25 11:17

General McLane High School senior Elizabeth Coates has been named a Commended Student in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2020 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

Congratulations to Elizabeth!

McKean Elementary students visit Erie Playhouse

Tue, 2019-10-22 10:45

McKean Elementary School third graders saw James W. Parker Middle School fifth grader Avery Fiscus in action.

Fiscus plays in the Erie Playhouse’s The Wiz Jr, which runs through October 20. (For tickets or more information, visit Erie Playhouse’s website.)

Students saw the performance last week during a field trip.

McKean hosts ARRFS assembly

Tue, 2019-10-22 08:28

Last week, McKean Elementary hosted an ARRFS assembly on bullying, respect and saying no to drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Guests from General McLane High School and Edinboro University’s lacrosse team assisted with the program, in addition to McKean’s own ARRFS.

ARRFS stands for acts of respect, responsibility, fun and safe to be with. Each month, the team of students reinforced a monthly theme of respect for other students. This program is part of the anti-bullying program at McKean Elementary School.

JWPMS student debuts in Erie Playhouse

Mon, 2019-10-14 15:29

James W. Parker Middle School fifth grader Avery Fiscus made her Youtheatre Debut this past weekend in Erie Playhouse’s The Wiz Jr.

The Wiz Jr. runs through October 20.

For tickets or more information, visit Erie Playhouse’s website.

Congrats Avery!

General McLane hosts tailgate for alumni

Mon, 2019-10-14 14:50

For the seventh year in a row, General McLane hosted a free tailgate before the Homecoming game on Friday, October 11, 2019 for General McLane alumni. 

The event started at 6 p.m. inside Linden Field, before the football game, and included hotdogs, chips and water. There was also a photobooth for alumni and families. 

Following, the Lancers defeated Franklin 35-17 and added a Region 7 football win.

The tailgate was provided through the Lancers’ free Alumni Association. This association is part of the General McLane Foundation and provides alumni with four quarterly newsletters and invites to Foundation events. In addition, the Foundation provides funds to alumni reunions. 

The General McLane Foundation was founded in June 2005 as an organization designed exclusively for charitable educational purposes that would benefit the students of the General McLane School District. The Foundation is organized to provide funds through public support for three primary purposes: student scholarships; innovative educational programs including staff development, development projects and educational research; and Capital improvements of athletic facilities for the improvement of sports and physical education programs.

To date, there are more than 20 scholarships provided through the Foundation for General McLane students and give innovative educational programs. 

GM alumna designs activewear skirt

Fri, 2019-10-04 13:42

It was the outdoor activities that pushed Melinda (Kashey) Stefko and her husband to move to Colorado after graduating college.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Stefko’s love for the outdoor activities provided her with an opportunity to her latest adventure – designing a skirt for Skirt Sports, an innovative women’s athletic apparel brand.

“I like to wear shorter length skirts when I run and hike, similar to running shorts, but I felt self-conscious wearing them out and about to the grocery store or out to eat after a run because they don’t provide much coverage,” said Stefko, a 1995 graduate from General McLane. “There aren’t always places to change at trail heads, and I didn’t want to have to change after a run before going out.  That sparked my inner challenge to find a way to fix this problem. There are hiking pants that have zip off legs, turning them into shorts. Why couldn’t we have a skirt that does something like that?”

This past August, Stefko’s brainchild, “the Flirty Converty”, was released for sales. This zip-away tiered ruffled skirt is multi-functional, giving women two options in one skirt – a layer for more coverage and giving women the ability to zip off the bottom layer for freedom during workouts.  The skirt also has two pockets, a continuous drawcord and music ports on both sides. 

“I didn’t want my skirt to be boxy like the zip-off pants, I wanted the skirt to still look cute. The Flirty Converty marries these concepts:  it is cute, flattering, and converts from a longer skirt that is appropriate to wear out to dinner to a shorter skirt you can hike or run in without needing to change,” she said.

Stefko designed this through SkirtSport’s Sewing Room, a project where the company solicits apparel ideas from its customers, who submit designs for products they wished they could buy. Designs are then voted on and narrowed down to customers’ favorites. 

“I was so excited, and even more excited for it to become a reality,” Stefko said. “Since it came out in August, there has been an overwhelming positive response to the design. I can’t believe there wasn’t something like this out there sooner.”

A plant administrator for Noosa Yoghurt, Stefko enjoys mountain biking, hiking, running, yoga and downhill and back country skiing in her free time. She came across Skirt Sports’ products when she was trying to find something to wear with pockets for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, a two-day fundraising walk.

Shortly after her first purchase, Stefko fell in love with the company and its mission and said she became an ambassador for the program.  

“In the world today where there are so many people knocking each other down, and jealousy tearing apart relationships, I found beauty in this company and appreciated their all-inclusive nature,” she said. “I was going through my own health setbacks that had caused me to not be active like I had been. […] Skirt Sports happened to me at the perfect time.” 

Stefko said she was inspired through the women she connected with through social media and gained a much more positive, mental state. 

Stefko graduated from Westminster College with her Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a minor in Biology and Peace studies.

She currently resides in Fr. Collins with her husband, Steve. 

Use this link tp purchase a skirt : (Use Discount Code: SSA777Mel)

GMHS extract DNA

Thu, 2019-10-03 14:57

General McLane High School students in the school’s Academy of Medical Arts and Engineering gained hands-on experience in genetics and DNA on Tuesday.

Students extracted DNA from fruits and vegetables as part of Edinboro University’s STEM Day, an annual event held by the Math and Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Technology, Geosciences, and Psychology Departments.

STEM Day is held on Tuesdays during Edinboro’s Fall semester for anyone interested in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering or Math. Students hear from professionals in the STEM fields on research and informative subject matter ranging from genetics to detecting deception.

General McLane testifies at Special Education Funding Commission hearing

Thu, 2019-10-03 11:32

General McLane School District’s superintendent and board president presented joint testimony to the Special Education Funding Commission on Tuesday, providing the state with General McLane’s perspective on the state’s special education funding formula.

The Special Education Funding Commission is co-chaired by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh), House Education Committee Chairman Curtis Sonney (R-Erie) and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera. The commission is tasked with reviewing and updating the state’s special education funding formula under a 2013 law passed by the Legislature. 

Mr. Scaletta and School Board president Carrie Crow shared some of the following information:

  • General McLane School District spends approximately 3 million dollars more in special education costs than the subsidy provided by the state
  • For example, General McLane saw an increase in spending for special education of $425,408 during 2018-2019. The basic eduction formula state subsidy for 2018-2019 was $107,000.
  • Since the 2008-2009 school year, General McLane’s students with special needs has increased by 19%, with our students with autism doubling in population and the percentage of students with emotional disturbances increasing by 28%.

The Special Education Funding Commission held its second public hearing at the Northwest Tri-County Unit #5.

Act 16 of 2019, which became law in June, directed the commission to review and update the state’s special education funding formula under a 2013 law passed by the Legislature. The commission will issue a report to the General Assembly by the end of November making recommendations on how the state can distribute special education funding more fairly and effectively.  

Some other facts regarding public education and special education costs:

  • Public schools spent more than $4.7 billion to provide mandatory special education and early intervention programs and services to children and students with disabilities in 2017-18. That’s 73% more than 10 years prior.
  • In 2007-08 state and federal special education funding were 41% of what public schools reported spending on special education. By 2017-18 however, that percentage had shrunk to 28.5%.
  • Between 2007-08 and 2017-18:
    • State special education funding increased 11.5% 
    • Federal special education funding increased 71.8%
    • Local share of special education funding increased 109.4%
    • Special education expenses increased 72.8%.
    • More kids than ever before need special education programs and services. In the 2007-08 school year, 271,000, or 15% of students were identified for special education. By the 2017-18 school year, 291,000, or 16.9% of students were identified for special education. This is while overall public school enrollments were down more than 80,000 students, or 4.5%.

JWPMS art teacher writes for national art publication

Mon, 2019-09-30 09:13

James W. Parker Middle School’s Christina Martin can add “published writer” to her resume.

The art teacher recently had an article published in SchoolArts, a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts.

Martin’s article focuses on Emoji Shields, a project implemented a few years ago. Using recycled materials and connecting students to something they use each day, Martin had students create their own Emoji design.

“Given the culture of texting and social media, this lesson seemed to be a perfect fit for middle school students,” Martin said.

This is the second article Martin has published. 

Martin serves as a board member for the Pennsylvania Art Education Association and has had her fair share of accomplishments outside of the classroom. Martin’s 11-foot talk steel sculpture, made with perforated sheet metal, was featured in 2018 in the fourth annual sculpture exhibit at John D. Wittersheim Sculpture Park in Adrian, Michigan.

The Ohio State University graduate, who earned her teaching certification at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, is also one of six local artists/educators chosen to lead and create a public mural celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave U.S. women the right to vote. The mural will be unveiled in downtown Erie in August 2020, the 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment ratification.

Martin has been an employee in the District for seven years.

You can read here article here