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Updated: 1 hour 26 min ago

Engineering students earn third place

Tue, 2019-07-02 13:31

General McLane High School students ranked third place in the Design/Build category of a national engineering competition.

The Varsity A team earned this recognition at the Technology Student Association Tests of Engineering Aptitude in Mathematics and Science (TSA TEAMS) Competition, which took place in Harbor, Maryland on June 28 through July 2. 

General McLane students who placed include Vincent Spada, Kaley Berger, Spencer Conaway, Claire Campbell, Nate Price, Aida Shadeck, Ethan Greenleaf and Tyler Massey.

The Design/Build category of the competition was an impromptu project involving that programming and represents a very high level of knowledge application. The design/build task required students to engineer an attachment to the front of a small robot to clear away items and go through a maze.

TEAMS is an engineering aptitude, mathematics and science testing competition designed to help middle school and high school students discover their potential in the engineering field. The National Competition is deemed “the toughest engineering competition in the country.”

General McLane had two teams and 16 students qualify for the national competition based on results from the state level. Only the top teams in the state at each level qualify to compete at the national TEAMS competition.

There are three divisions, Middle School, 9/10 level and 11/12 level.  In each division, they name those who scored in the top 10 in these four categories: Design Build, Digital media, prepared presentation and Best in the Nation (overall score of all three events).

Students competed against teams from prominent areas like Silicon Valley, where their high school campus includes an entire building for STREAM:  Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering and Math.

The 9th / 10th grade students, which took first overall in the state competition, includes Nicholas Tysiachney, Ellison Conaway, Calder Martin, Riley Clever, Wesley Hakanen, Zachary Roland, Elena Halmi and Spencer Green.

The 2019 TEAMS competition topic, “Engineering the Brain,” centered around topics and activities related to Artificial Intelligence.

General McLane High School physics teacher Dave Treusch coaches the junior/senior teams and mathematics instructor Rick Terella coaches the freshman/sophomore teams.

This was General McLane’s fourth year competing at the national level. TEAMS was started by the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS).

Congratulations to all of our student participants!

McKean fourth graders code drones

Mon, 2019-06-10 08:22

This year McKean 4th graders learned to code and fly drones in math class.

Students first learned about drones and the uses for them in our world. Then, the class discussed using drones for delivering food and water to victims of disasters, dropping water to put out forest fires, various uses in the military, or even just to a quicker way to deliver our pizza or online shopping order.

Then, students had the opportunity to program their own drone! Each drone has a launcher and grabber attachment that can be coded to perform specific actions. The student’s mission was to take off, go through a hula hoop, launch 3 “GPS tracking spheres,” and return home.

Students created an input/output table and ran many tests to determine how many seconds to code the drone to get it to go a certain amount of centimeters. They developed this rule for both the x and y axis.

Next, it was time to use Tynker, an app for coding on the iPad, to program the drones to complete this task.

It was a perfect example of organized chaos, says McKean Elementary’s Mr. Hutchison! At the end, he says they all agreed it was a success.

Thanks to Denise Bakich, GM’s recently retired 5th grade teacher, who came to work with the team!

Another big thanks to McKean Elementary PTA, who funded the drones for the school.

GM Community Fun Run returns

Thu, 2019-06-06 12:13

The fifth Annual GM Community Fun Run returned to General McLane High School grounds.

Hosted by both McKean Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and Edinboro Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), this is a fundraising event that brought in 180 runners.

Participants trek throughout GM grounds and get doused with Color (colored, food-grade corn starch) and water along the way. Runners also complete obstacle stations are placed throughout the 5k and 1milerun/walk (two different options). There was also a dunk tank and additional entertainment available.

  • GM Community Fun Run sponsors included:
  • Palma’s Sweet Treats
  • Edinboro Community Church
  • Gerlach’s
  • John’s Wildwood Pizzeria
  • Laughlin Collision
  • Edinboro Health and Wellness
  • Walker Brothers
  • All State
  • Complete Wireless

The sponsors for the after-run snack were:

  • Wegmans
  • Ideal Sound
  • The Scarpitti Family

Thanks to all of this year’s sponsors and participants!

EE hosts Beanie Baby Drive

Wed, 2019-06-05 13:12

Edinboro Elementary School staff and students ran a drive to support our troops and send hem a touch of home!

Through a drive coordinated by Edinboro Elementary School AmeriCorps teachers Eve Bruce and Breanna Sonney, students sent packages reaching more than 300 troops stationed in Iraq, Kuwait, Singapore, South Korea, Qatar, etc. 

Students collected 421 Beanie Babies/stuffed toys, 264 Clif Bars and 154 Letter/cards.

Students selected to help troops as part of a service learning project. Students selected Beanie Babies and stuffed toys because they learned that troops give beanie babies and small stuffed toys to kids in the communities where they are serving.

McKean 2019 Janelle Guriel Spirit Award recipient named

Wed, 2019-06-05 08:47

McKean Elementary fourth grader Avery Fiscus named this year’s recipient of the Janelle Guriel Spirit Award.

Nominees included Fiscus, Andrew Kennedy, Ashley Cummings, Jeffrey Dombrowski , Chase Durlin, Joseph Henry , Kayci Hinkle , Lakin Lutch, 
Samantha Belden, Etta Spires and Emily Grutkowski.

This award recognizes a fourth grade student who demonstrates the spirit of Janelle Guriel, a former General McLane student. Students selected for this award quietly make the best choices that affect them and their peers and leads by example without expectation for reward. This recipient represents the GMSD Core Values, is responsible, respectful, fun to be with and safe, exhibits quiet leadership, has shown perseverance, enjoys writing and exhibits a positive relationship toward the environment.

This is the seventh year for this award. Previous recipients included Jackson Spires (’13), Brooke Simmons (’14), Henry Salvo (’15), Megan Grutkowski (’16), Izabella Behnke (’17) and  Charlie Salvo (’18).

JWPMS students host grand-opening for learning garden

Tue, 2019-06-04 10:16

James W. Parker Middle School students hosted the grand opening for the Learning Garden yesterday.

Students in Mrs. Tuttle’s classroom hosted for their grand prize winning cake, show a 2-minute slide show and then proceeded outside for the grand opening of the Dole and Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden.

The Learning Garden was one of the prizes received after students were named one of the three National Grand Prizes winners for their Super Delicious Strawberry Pineapple Cake recipe in Dole’s “Get Cooking With Fruit Student Recipe Contest“. The Learning Garden provides schools with raised garden beds, soil, seeds, cart & tools, and interpretive signs so students can start their own 80 square foot raised garden.

After receiving the materials for the garden, the students planted the seeds indoor, water and cared for the plants, spread the pea-gravel, built the garden boxes and put them in place, filled the garden boxes with soil, transferred the plants into the boxes and now are maintaining them as they watch them grow!

Students in Mrs. Tuttle’s class used the contest as an opportunity for a cross-curricular activity that included math, reading, community-based instruction, technology and science.  Students researched Dole products, viewed their available products at a grocery store, brainstormed ideas on incorporating Dole products into a recipe, calculated costs of needed ingredients and supplies, invented a recipe, revised the recipe and then wrote, typed and emailed the final recipe.

The recipe they entered was featured in James W. Parker Middle School’s cafeteria for their Thanksgiving holiday meal dessert. Food Service Director Nicole Keller submitted the recipe.

A big thanks to the following individuals who helped to make this a success: David Campbell, Dawn Johnson, Carolyn LaFata, Williams Moats, Laurie Santos, Deb Lathrop, Marge Horne, Eric Lathrop, Nicole Keller, Laura Allwes, Richard Scaletta and Mark Niezelski.

Erie News Now Feature

Parker Pride Winners

Tue, 2019-06-04 09:33

Congratulations to our FINAL Parker Pride winners of the year! For the last selection, JWPMS staff decided to recognize the top 15 students who earned the most Parker Pride tickets throughout the year. These students earned 18-25 tickets.

In total, JWPMS staff gave out nearly 2500 tickets for positive decision making and following their school-wide expectations this year!

James W. Parker Middle School’s Parker PRIDE program is a new program that launched from the school’s PBIS initiatives. Each week, five students will be recognized for exhibiting the positive behavioral expectations set. Students will be selected randomly from those who have earned “tickets” throughout the week. Students selected will choose an incentive from a list of five choices. This is only for grades 5 and 6.

Garden of Edin donates seeds

Mon, 2019-06-03 15:34

On Friday, the Garden of Edin donated seeds to Edinboro Elementary second graders during their annual field trip to Goodell Gardens and Homestead.

Thanks to a grant, the club was able to provide a pack of bean seeds to each student.

Following the presentation of seeds, the students spent the day at Goodell Gardens and Homestead. Students learn about pollination, works, vegetable gardening and germination.

McKean Elementary hosts Hula-Hoop Showcase

Mon, 2019-06-03 15:20

McKean Elementary School second graders celebrated the end of their dance residency program with a showcase for their friends, classmates and family members.

The students learned basic dance concepts and many hula-hoop moves and tricks through artist Jennifer Dennehy, who was welcomed to McKean in March as part of the Erie Arts & Culture‘s Artist-in-residency program.

Prior to the showcase, each student made and decorated their very own hula hoop and made art on a tapestry with special hula hoops that splattered paint.

The Artist Residency Program is a collaboration between Erie Arts & Culture and General McLane, one that provides a professional artist(s) where the artist (s) works with a small group of learners over a period of time. General McLane’s residency was provided through an Erie Arts & Culture grant.

Through Dennehy’s time she provided second graders with an opportunity to learn dance basics, hoop dancing, a dance routine and hoop art. The focus of program was on self-esteem, expression and staying healthy through a variety of mediums.

Erie Arts & Culture is a local organization whose role is to promote, support, and develop arts and culture at the regional level; ensuring broad opportunities for residents and tourists throughout communities in Erie, Crawford, Venango, Warren, Mercer, and Lawrence counties to engage with the sector educationally, socially, and economically.

Next year, the school looks to host its second artist-in-residency program to help with the McKean Nature Trail.

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GMSD Waldameer Summer Picnic

Mon, 2019-06-03 10:06

A James W. Parker Middle School parent, Bobbielyn Dibble-Norris, is coordinating a district-wide celebration at Waldameer on June 28.

Tickets will be on sale Tuesday and Wednesday morning at the middle school and after school, from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. and then from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Tickets are $21 and cash only. The tickets are actually valid through June or after August 19th until Labor day, so they do not need to be used on June 28.

Ms. Dibble will also be selling tickets for a hot dog and chip meal for $5 each. Waldameer has reserved a pavilion that can be used as a meeting place the day of the picnic. 

For more information, please e-mail Ms. Dibble at

Haugh receives JWPMS Children’s Peace Prize

Sat, 2019-06-01 14:02

James W. Parker Middle School Jacob Haugh received the first-ever JWPMS Peace Prize Award.

Students in Ms. Shee’s class have been learning about the International Children’s Peace Prize and the young people who are doing incredible things to make a difference in their community.

As a class, students designed their own JWPMS Children’s Peace Prize. The students collaborated to decide on the criteria needed to be eligible for the award. Then, each student wrote an essay nominating a young person of their choice. The students shared their essays with each other, and then voted on the young person they thought fit the criteria best.

The students presented the award to seventh grader Jacob Haugh on Friday.

Throughout the last four years, Haugh has raised more than $35,000 for Wins for Kids, which supports Pittsburgh Pirates Charities and the Center for Prader-Willi Syndrome at the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh. 

Haugh’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed as he was recognized as Pittsburgh’s 2017 National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Youth Award Winner. Haugh’s initiatives have made him one of the largest individual donors to the program and were featured in a Root Sports Pittsburgh documentary-like-story. This year, Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle sent his second video specifically thanking James W. Parker Middle School for their efforts.

Congratulations to Jacob and what a wonderful presentation by the students!

GMHS hosts Military Commitment Recognition

Fri, 2019-05-31 08:21

General McLane High School hosted its third annual Military Commitment Recognition to honor the seniors of the Class of 2019 who have committed to serve our country.

Students included: Jonah Chernicky (Army ), Benjamin Rea (Army), Hunter Andrzejewski (Marines), Jessica Flak (Marines), Bryn Knutstad (Marines), Joseph Mercurio (Marines), Zackery Hamme (Navy) and Stokely Ralph (Navy).

“We are honored to recognize our 2019 Lancers who have pledged their commitment to our country,” said General McLane High School Associate Principal Pamela Mackowski. “We commend them for their brave service and extend our appreciation to them and their families.”

The event took place at 10 a.m. in the General McLane High School Auditorium on Wednesday, May 29.

General McLane was the first in the region to introduce an event honoring it students who pursue careers in the military.

Congratulations to our students — and thank you!

Senior Give Back Day Video

Thu, 2019-05-30 10:55

Check out the recap from the Senior Give Back Day!

Again, a big thank you to the following donors who helped students meet their goals:

  • Utz
  • J’s Mainstreet
  • Scotland Yards
  • Mary Morosky
  • Steve & Tracy Halmi
  • Wellman’s Trucking
  • Lowe’s
  • Weiss-Early Construction
  • Karen Hodas
  • Tim and Kris Thomas
  • Katie Thompson
  • Megan Green
  • Kathy Kehl
  • Allison Marendt

For more information, be sure to check out our recent blog post.

McKean students visit post-office

Tue, 2019-05-28 13:24

McKean Elementary students visited the Post-Office last week. Students mailed persuasive letters home and watched them fall through the slot.

Sandy, the postmaster, talked all about the history of the post office, the various ways mail gets to people (boat, mule, planes, hovercraft), how it’s sorted and old stories about animals being mailed.

GMHS students place at States

Fri, 2019-05-24 14:51

General McLane High School students Glory Linebach, Tim Fair, Kendra Trezona, Evan Zehr and Andrew Yonko placed 13th out of 67 teams at the PA State Envirothon Competition at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown.

They also earned 6th place in the state for the Aquatics Test and 8th place in the state on the Wildlife Test.

Envirothon is taught by GMHS teacher Karen Yonko.


Fifteen students commit to play collegiate athletics

Fri, 2019-05-24 08:26

(Photos courtesy of the General McLane High School Lancer Ledger)

General McLane High School hosted a Student-Athlete Signing Day on Wednesday in the GMHS Auditorium. Fifteen students committed to play athletics at the collegiate level, the largest group ever to commit to play collegiately at General Mclane.

Students included:

Anna Alberti – XC/Track & Field – Mercyhurst University

Erik Andrzejewski – XC/Track & Field – Edinboro University

Logan Donahue – Basketball – Geneva College

Luke Edmonds – Swimming – Edinboro University

Derek Fay – Baseball – Slippery Rock University

Debbie Fiscus – Track & Field/Equestrian – Alfred University

Tyler Herberg – Football – Edinboro University

Brett Horn – Football – Allegheny College

Logan McFadden – Soccer – Gannon University

Kendyl McKissock – Basketball – Mansfield University

Seth Myers – Basketball – PSU-Behrend

Nate Price – XC/Track & Field – Brown University

Nick Renick – Football – Gannon University

Sierra Seneta – Basketball – Point Park University

Brennon Songer – Soccer – Gannon University

4th graders prepare for middle school

Fri, 2019-05-24 08:15

Yesterday, McKean Elementary School and Edinboro Elementary School fourth graders started their preparations to become a James W. Parker Middle School student next year. During the annual fourth grade visitation day, students spent the day at the middle school meeting students from the other elementary school and learning about James W. Parker Middle School, its teachers and its expectations.

The fourth graders were split into groups and rotated through five stations taught by the fifth grade teachers. Stations included building introductions, procedural aspects, team building activities, school tours and a puzzle activity. A few of the eighth grade advisors assisted with the tours.

While the fourth graders rotated through the stations, the fifth graders met in the LGI with the fourth grade teachers and completed a few activities. One of the activities included leaving an inspirational message on a rock and writing letters to the fourth graders about becoming a fifth graders. The letters and rocks were given to the fourth graders at the end of the day. The students combined for lunch and recess. Last night, the parents of fourth graders attended 4th grade Parent Night. Parents received tours of the school by the 5th grade teachers and a presentation from Mr. Whitford and Mrs. Swanseger in the LGI. Previously, Mr. Whitford and Mrs. Swanseger also visited fourth graders at the elementary schools. This process is intended to ease the transition of the students from the elementary schools to the middle school.

Nearly 200 attend Lancer Legacy Banquet

Thu, 2019-05-23 13:33

Nearly 200 guests attended the 11th Annual Lancer Legacy Banquet last night.

The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Judy Lawrence (’62) and Paul Riccomini (’88).

Lawrence worked in fundraising and giving for four different universities. Prior to retiring, she served as the Vice President of Major Gifts and Planning for United Way of Erie County. Outside of her work experience, Lawrence has given back through various community outreach, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Erie Insight (now Erie Ambassadors), Leadership Erie, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the Nonprofit Partnership. She was the American Association of University Women’s 2015 Woman of the Year and was one of the Dynamic Dozen Women Making History Award recipients from the Mercy Center of Women in 2009.

Riccomini works at Penn State University as the Associate Professor of Education (Special Education) and Coordinator of Online Programs. Prior to joining Penn State, Riccomini worked as a mathematics teacher in Erie City School District and Wake County School district in North Carolina. He earned his doctorate in special education from The Pennsylvania State University and his master’s degree in education and Bachelor of Arts in mathematics at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He has coauthored three math intervention programs targeting fractions, integers, and algebraic equations.  Additionally, he is a co-author of the bestselling Response to Intervention in Math (Corwin, 2010) and Developing Number Sense through the Common Core (Corwin, 2013).

The Lancer Legacy Award for Distinguished Service to the General McLane School District was awarded to Janice Bennett. Bennett worked as both a secondary health and Physical Education teacher and a High School Guidance Counselor at General McLane. Before retiring in 2005, Bennett was instrumental in developing the Student Support Program, which was the first of its kind in the area.

The Lancer Legacy Award for Distinguished Service to the General McLane Athletics was awarded to Kay Pericak. Pericak served the General McLane School District as a mathematics teacher for 38 years, serving at McKean High School prior to McKean and Edinboro joining to form General McLane High School. She formed and served as the head varsity coach for the girls volleyball team in 1974, and took the Lancers to the State Championships in 1976. She also served as an assistant track and field coach and was part of the 1978 coaching staff of the team that earned a state championship.

Following the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni and Lancer Legacy Awards, the Annual Academic Awards Ceremony for students took place. High school students were recognized for achieving Honor Roll at least three terms during the 2018-2019 School Year or for earning an Academic Letter.

The General McLane High School Academic Letter Program is designed to award excellence in academic performance by its students. Implemented in the 1990s and proposed by students, students may accumulate points on a yearly basis for Principal’s Honor Roll, Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Academic Challenge Team, School Sponsored Competitions and Non-Athletic Activities. To earn this award, freshmen must accumulate 8.0 points and all other students 10.5 points during the defined year.

Parker PRIDE Winners

Tue, 2019-05-21 09:12

Congratulations to last week’s Parker PRIDE winners:

Izzie Behnke
Cameron Ashbaugh
Ben Kuhn-Syed
Alex Wardrop
Hayden Chong

James W. Parker Middle School’s Parker PRIDE program is a new program that launched from the school’s PBIS initiatives. Each week, five students will be recognized for exhibiting the positive behavioral expectations set. Students will be selected randomly from those who have earned “tickets” throughout the week. Students selected will choose an incentive from a list of five choices. This is only for grades 5 and 6.

GMHS students organize Senior Give Back Day

Tue, 2019-05-21 09:02

As members of the Class of 2019 near the end of their time at General McLane High School, they found a special way to go out with a “bloom”.

General McLane High School’s Principal’s Cabinet organized a “Senior Give Back Day” on Friday. Approximately 90 seniors volunteered to mulch, plant flowers and clean up to improve the image of General McLane High School’s campus. 

“We have been so fortunate to attend General McLane High School for the last four years that we want to give back,” said Olivia Green, a Principal’s Cabinet member and one of the event’s organizer.

Students secured donations to help defray the costs of the needed materials. A big thank you to the following donors who helped students meet their goals:

  • Utz
  • J’s Mainstreet
  • Scotland Yards
  • Mary Morosky
  • Steve & Tracy Halmi
  • Wellman’s Trucking
  • Lowe’s
  • Weiss-Early Construction
  • Karen Hodas
  • Tim and Kris Thomas
  • Katie Thompson
  • Megan Green
  • Kathy Kehl
  • Allison Marendt
  • Meghan Chelton
  • GMHS Staff (Jeans Day)
  • Deiss & Halmi Engineering

Some of the work completed by students included:

  • Adding a chalkboard and seating to the amphitheater
  • The Experience Academy created educational signs describing tree types. The signs were replaced with new ones and the posts were cemented.
  • Students moved almost 60 yards of mulch for the rainwater retention area.
  • The Education Center flower beds were weeded, mulched, and new flowers were added.
  • A brand new flower bed was added to the front of the building and the planting on the south end was expanded and mulched. The seniors painted stones for each planting.
  • Students removed sod from the front and Education Center sides of the building and put down a layer of mulch along the entire perimeter

According to Green, the organization hopes to expand the day in future years and invite the whole school to contribute giving back to both the towns of Edinboro and McKean.

General McLane High School’s Principal’s Cabinet is a group of students who help create a positive environment among students within the District. This group is an active member of the Positive Youth Development initiative. In fact, General McLane High School was the first school-based group to adopt the promotion of the 40 assets. The Cabinet has put on a variety of assemblies since it launched in 2007, including their annual “You Make a Difference” event.

Members of the Principal’s Cabinet include: Seth Myers, Eli Buto, Abraham Kozloff , Carlos Mamani, Spencer Conaway, Tyler Herberg, Olivia Green, Kaley Berger, Debbie Fiscus, Elizabeth Barringer, Taylor Thomas and Kendra Trezona.

See the Erie News Now Coverage