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Updated: 1 hour 48 min ago

McKean hosts speakers to promote safety

Mon, 2018-05-21 09:14


McKean Elementary School recently hosted three speakers for our fourth graders to promote safety.

Cor’Rales Dupree, founder of Protect My Brother, spoke to students about overcoming a near-death experience as a result of domestic violence. Dupree is a previous TEDtalk speaker and a current Edinboro University student-athlete,  majoring in communications and participating as a member of the wheelchair basketball team. He shared his experience overcoming challenges and tragedy.

Jack Ogden from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) presented the Safe Kids Erie’s curriculum on gun safety, a program formed between LECOM and the Erie County Department of Health. Since 1991, Safe Kids Erie has worked with local parents and families to raise awareness of injury prevention through educational programs and community initiatives.

General McLane School Resource Office Jose Montes also spoke to the students about gun safety.

The speakers were organized through Lisa Roberts, McKean elementary health and physical education teacher. Safety is one of General McLane’s 10 core values.

Character: Be About It

Tue, 2018-05-15 10:39

McKean and Edinboro Elementary Schools have brought in a new program to its Health and Physical Education curriculum.

Character: Be About It” is a prevention-based program taught by trained law enforcement officers to instill important character traits in children grades K-8​. By instilling these traits, the goal of the program is to improve the overall school environment and the relationship between the community and law enforcement, while reducing drop out and incarceration rates.

Officer Charlie Bayle, who is a parent in the District, taught the program, which was received through a federal grant.

JWPMS students build bluebird habitats

Fri, 2018-05-11 10:51

James W. Parker Middle School students built their own bluebird habitats this week!

Fifth grade students in Mrs. Santos’ classroom built a bluebird nesting box, thanks to the Pennsylvania Wildlife Commission who donated the wood and hardware for 184 habitats.

Wildlife conservation officer Mike Stutts (a parent in the district) did a lesson with the students, helped them to build the habitats and then had a video for the students to watch.

This was part of the fifth grade science curriculum.

GMHS Caring Club wins top award

Thu, 2018-05-10 15:30

This year, the General McLane High School’s Caring Club earned the top prize for promoting the needs of grieving students on Child Grief Awareness Day (CGAD). General McLane was selected among more than 50 schools.

Child Grief Awareness Day was created in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place to help others become more aware of the needs of grieving children. This event is an annual event that takes place every year on the third Thursday in November.

General McLane’s Caring Club began promoting CGAD during the 2013-2014 school year and has continued ever since. In 2016, the GM Caring Club enlisted the help of several community partners. In 2017, along with the community, General McLane faculty joined by sponsoring students who had experienced the loss of an immediate family member.

This year’s community sponsors included: Brian & Carol Johnson (Remax Realty), Campbell’s Pottery, Carol Blount (31 Independent Consultant), Eberle’s Physical Therapy, Erin’s Hair Garage, Frank’s Chocolates of Edinboro, Gohrs on Demand, Hurry Hill Maple Farm, John Wildwood’s Pizzera, Mary Smrekar (Coldwell Banker), McKean Veterinary Hospital, Nick’s Place, Season Inn & Sunview Golf, Salon B in Edinboro, Seelinger Services, Shadeland Pellet Grills, Sundance Retrievers, Utz Quality Foods and Walker Tree Farm.

Faculty sponsors included: Gary Astorino, Megan Chelton, Jen Fratus, Brenda Hertel, Lon Jenkins, Mollie Mumau, Mike Smrekar, Timothy Snair, Kim Stawicki and Kevin Wible.

“We continue to be thankful for the General McLane School District and the community partners for recognizing the importance of Child Grief Awareness Day,” stated Kristie Nosich, the Program Manager of the Erie Caring Place.

The Caring Place has offered support to many grieving GMHS students by running peer support groups. The Highmark Caring Place runs approximately six peer support groups for students and their families, at no cost, throughout the year. For more information about the Caring Place or how to become a community sponsor, please contact Brenda Hertel at The Caring Club is already planning for next year’s Childrens’ Grief Awareness Day which will be celebrated on November 15, 2018.

6th graders utilize makerspace

Tue, 2018-05-08 11:58

James W. Parker Middle School’s 6th grade STEM students are using the new makerspace, which debuted at the Creative Arts Expo.

The challenge for students is to build a pasta bridge to span a 50 centimeter opening and be strong enough to hold the remotely operated vehicle as it drives across.  The makerspace is a collaborative work space that allows the students plenty of space, tools and materials for engineering, making, learning, exploring and sharing.


GMHS Envirothon teams make history

Mon, 2018-05-07 11:18

Four General McLane teams participated in the local Erie County Envirothon Competition and made history when they swept every category with an award for the first time ever.

Team Shrimpnado, consisting of  Tim Fair, Evan Zehr, Andrew Yonko, Glory Linebach and Kendra Trezona, took 1st place overall and had the highest score in the county on both the Aquatics and Wildlife Tests.  Team Shrimpnado earned a trip to the PA Envirothon State Competition on May 22nd and May 23rd.

Team Xenocrates, consisting of Alexis Throop, Spencer Conway, Nick Halmi, Hannah Wyman and Debbie Fiscus, took 2nd place overall and had the highest score in the county on the Forestry Test.

Team Your Local Bird Feeders, consisting of Chloe McMullen, Emma Noyer, Nick Tysiachney, Ben Kalmey and Landon Grafton, took 3rd place overall and had the highest score in the county on the Soil Test.

Team Beavers, consisting of Abby Parker, Akayla Lewin, Lizzie Bennett, Olivia Evankovich and Jessie Johnson, took 4th place overall and had the highest score in the county in the Special Topics Category.

There were seven schools and 18 teams who participated in this competition. Envirothon is an annual environmentally themed academic competition for high school aged students organized by the NCF-Envirothon, a program of the National Conservation Foundation. Students compete in field testing using their knowledge in five topic areas – Soils and Land Use, Aquatic Ecology, Forestry, Wildlife, and Environmental Issues. A current environmental issue is chosen each year as the “hot topic” for the focus of this station as well as the oral presentation component.

Team Shrimpnado at a testing station…Kendra Trezona, Glory Linebach, Tim Fair, Andrew Yonko, Evan Zehr

Team Xenocrates at a testing station…Nick Halmi, Spencer Conway, Hannah Wyman, Alexis Throop, and Debbie Fiscus

The Envirothon Crew on the bus afterwards, showing off their awards: pure maple syrup, magnifying lens, and other various awards

GM hosts public discussion with anxiety expert

Tue, 2018-04-24 15:36

Last week, General McLane School District hosted an free, public event for all interested to hear from anxiety expert Kimberly Morrow.

Morrow is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker dedicated to helping people who suffer with anxiety, teaching professionals how to successfully treat anxiety disorders and guiding people to a more fulfilling, balanced lives. She received a Master’s in Psychology from Memphis State University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the chair of the Alies Muskin Clinical Leadership and Development Program for the Anxiety and Depression Association of America ( ) and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation of Northwestern Pennsylvania ( ).

In February, Morrow presented an in-service training to General McLane staff during a planned two-hour delay. everyone who attended noted how they came away with very specific “how-tos.” Morrow’s presentation on empowering students with anxiety-related-issues was a result of an increase in mental health problems among students.

Below is a video of the presentation and attached are the Presentation Handouts. 


GMHS students attend the Youngstown English Festival

Tue, 2018-04-24 09:31

Several General McLane High School students attended the Youngstown English Festival, a unique annual program reaching out to approximately 3,000 junior and senior high school students from counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania who are interested in promoting and cultivating reading and writing.

Students in attendance included Debra Fiscus, Lily Zheng, Olivia Shay, Isabella Shay, Danielle Mitchell, Hannah Maloney, Maddy Bruce, Akayla Lewin, Hannah Wyman and Koralyn McClune.

Three award-winning, best-seller young adult authors “wowed” our students with wonderful storytelling finesse in this inspiring, engaging event.

There were also several workshops, contests and activities for students to participate in that incorporated the literature they had to read.

Bruce took second place in the Journalism Workshop and contest. She won a $75.00 prize, a book and a t-shirt. McClune took 2nd place in the Writing Games Contest, earning a $40 cash prize, a book, and a t-shirt. Mitchell earned 2nd place in Limericks and Debra Fiscus earned an honorable mention in Impromptu Writing.

Congratulations to our students!

Students take home Norway Spruce seedlings

Mon, 2018-04-23 15:10

Thanks to the Heather Garden Club of Edinboro, James W. Parker Middle School fifth graders were able to take home a Norway Spruce seedling of their own!

The Heather Club of Edinboro provides the students with the seedlings as well as directions on how to plant it. This is an annual donation from the gardening club, which aligns with the fifth graders’ plant study unit.

Happy Earth Day!

GMHS students participate in Behrend’s Model UN Conference

Thu, 2018-04-19 11:56

Three General McLane High School students participated in Penn State Behrend’s first-ever Model United Nations Convention this past weekend.

Zachariah Lofgren, David Quinn, and Kendra Trezona represented Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and China, respectively, in discussing the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

Model UN, or Model United Nations, is an extra-curricular activity in which students typically roleplay delegates to the United Nations, simulate UN committees and debate current issues. Model UN was developed in the 1950s as a way to give students hands-on learning in international relations, diplomacy, and the United Nations.

Mental Health Awareness Week at GMHS

Thu, 2018-04-19 09:52

The General McLane High School Principal’s Cabinet is hosting its own Mental Health Awareness Week. Throughout this week, there are different daily themes to help students become aware of strategies to address the issues they are facing.

On Monday, Dr. David Tobin, Dr. Rebecca Willow and Ms. Exquisite Riddle spoke to General McLane High School students about anxiety and mental health issues. Dr. Tobin and Dr. Willow are faculty in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Gannon University, and Ms. Riddle is a graduate student in the program. All high school students were invited to attend.  There were more than 50 in attendance.

On Friday, students are hosting a Blue Ribbon Assembly to recognize the kind, positive and impactful people within our schools.

On Thursday, the theme is self-care and students created the video below for the video announcements.


McKean participates in Autism Awareness

Wed, 2018-04-18 09:20
McKean Elementary students are honoring Autism Awareness Month by learning more about autism. Students were invited to the gym on Monday to participate in 8-10 sensory stations designed by McKean’s local Girl Scout troop #36367. Participants donated $1 dollar and the money raised will be donated to the Autism Society of Northwestern PA. This Friday, McKean will be hosting an assembly this Friday to celebrate the end of our Penny Wars fundraiser with a Hungry Hippos teacher edition. All money raised will also go toward the Autism Society. April is National Autism Awareness Month,  a national effort to increase autism awareness and inclusion.

GM students tour Plastek Group

Tue, 2018-04-17 11:50

Last week, General McLane students in the Manufacturing Academy toured The Plastek Group.

Plastek is one of the six local manufacturing companies participating in GMHS Manufacturing Academy. Other companies include Plastikos, General Partitions Manufacturing Corporation, PHB, Inc.,  Greenleaf Corporation, Reddog Industries, Inc.

The GMHS Manufacturing Academy’s goal is preparing the next-generation workforce for a career in the manufacturing industry through seminars and on-site training.

Students started shadowing experiences this month with Plastikos, Inc., a world-class custom injection molding company that specializes in small precision parts, with business in the medical industry. Plastikos has taken the lead on General McLane’s Academy and has consistently been recognized at the top of the plastics industry winning various awards in recently years including Plastics News North American Processor of the Year in 2010 and Plastics News Sustained Excellence in 2016.

The shadowing experiences will give students time in tooling, manufacturing and quality departments within the company. Some of the positions they will be shadowing include: tool maker, change over technician, tooling engineer, material handler, process technician, process engineer, quality inspector, lead inspector and quality engineer.

Students will gain experience in three areas of the industry: manufacturing, tooling and quality in order to provide General McLane students the opportunity to learn technical knowledge directly from employees and be prepared before they graduate from high school for a rewarding long-term career.

HS students place at EUP Journalism Day

Thu, 2018-04-12 08:43

Two General McLane High School students placed in Edinboro University’s Journalism Day last week.

Senior Akayla Lewin placed fifth in the Sports Writing Category for her article, “Unified Track Team Takes on State Meet”.

Sophomore Patrick Angelo placed second in the Print Feature Writing Category for his article, “To Cheat or Not to Cheat”. He also won $50.

The students also attended a workshop led by Kate Giammarise, a reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Jaime Warburton, an Assistant Professor at Ithaca College, on “Becoming a Better Writer. They also listened to Keynote Speakers D.X. Ferris and Jason Pettigrew, music journalists from the “Alternative Press,” give the key note addresses.

Congratulations to our students!

GM grad to perform in Erie Playhouse & Erie Philharmonic’s Candide

Tue, 2018-04-10 11:20

A General McLane graduate is taking the stage at the Warner Theatre this Saturday for a special one-night only event in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday.

Devon Lavinia Yates (’06) will be playing Cunegonde alongside her mother (Trisha Yates) and her best friend (Michael Valentine). Devon resides in NYC and has been seen performing professionally all over the world on cruise ships for the past few years, reaching over 100 countries. She was more recently seen in Mamma Mia! on Royal Caribbean. Some of her other notable credits include: Cats (Grizabella), The Wild Party (Queenie), The Phantom of the Opera (Carlotta Guidicelli), Evita (Eva Peron), and Parade (Lucille), to name a few.

Based on a story by Voltaire, a young, naive Candide embarks on a worldwide journey after the loss of his fiancée. He and his companions are challenged by dueling sultans, countless con-artists, and endless optimism in hopes of a better future. With highlights such as “Glitter and Be Gay” and “Make Our Garden Grow”, Candide allows audiences to believe that the “Best of All Possible Worlds” is achievable for everyone.

The Erie Philharmonic and Erie Playhouse collaborative event starts at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $25.

For more information, visit

Escape Room makes its way into classroom

Thu, 2018-04-05 15:19

A James W. Parker Middle School teacher has seized on the popularity of escape rooms — an exciting new form of live action entertainment that forces groups to work together to earn their way out of a locked room.

Sixth grade teacher science teacher Todd Sturgess created the escape classroom to engage more students to their science curriculum.

“It’s been a great way to assess the students knowledge about genetics and heredity, all while using teamwork and problem solving skills,” Sturgess said.

Students are presented with a series of clues to find the combination of a locked toolbox. Once inside the box, they find two things: a roadblock that they can use to slow down other groups and another series of challenges to unlock a second padlock.

Once that second padlock, is opened it’s a race to find the combination of the key chest that will allow the students to find the “master” key to the classroom (symbolic only).

Clues are based on the genes of some lab rats that the “Mad Scientist” was creating in the lab and requires use of vocabulary and knowledge retention from their unit. The final step required students to use all of the information from previous clues to solve one final large puzzle.

So far, it’s been a huge success — the students loved it!

Northwestern REC presents to students on electric safety

Wed, 2018-04-04 13:47

Northwestern REC presented to Edinboro Elementary School second graders on electric safety.

Presenter Amy Fuller reviewed with students safety procedures when dealing with electrical wires from utility poles. Students learned a variety of precautions, including steps to take when flying a kite and climbing a tree, as well as what to do when utility lines are down.

Northwestern REC was organized by local farmers and other rural folks in 1935 and became the first electric distribution cooperative in Pennsylvania. First energized on May 19, 1937, Northwestern REC now serves 20,000 members in Crawford, Erie, Venango, Mercer and Warren Counties.

General McLane students participate in March for Our Lives

Tue, 2018-03-27 11:56

Seniors Maddy Bruce, Hannah Wyman and Akayla Lewin led a group of 52 students from eight area schools to Washington, D.C., to participate in the March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington DC on March 24.  Fifteen General McLane students were part of the 800,000 marching down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Prior to the march in DC, General McLane students raised money and held an event in honor of the victims of  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  The General McLane Key Club raised over $350 selling donuts, of which all proceeds will be sent to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Edinboro students celebrate Ag Literacy Week

Mon, 2018-03-26 11:43

On Friday, Edinboro Elementary second graders celebrated Ag Literacy Week!

Jen Coolidge and Gwen Anderson from AgChoice, the the leading source for farm loans, financing and agricultural credit in Pennsylvania, visited the classrooms to tell agriculture’s story to today’s elementary school children.

PA Ag Literacy Week connects volunteers from the agricultural community to local classrooms to increase student knowledge about agriculture. It is an opportunity for PA agriculturalists (farmers, industry representatives, FFA teachers and students, and others supportive of agriculture) to be the face of agriculture in kindergarten-2nd grade classrooms across the commonwealth. PA Ag Literacy Week, which was March 19-23, 2018, was hosted by the PA Farm Bureau’s Friends of Agriculture Foundation.

Coolidge and Anderson read the 2018 Ag Literacy Week book, Tyler Makes Pancakes, and completed a Ag-Bingo with the class.  Tyler Makes Pancakes was also donated to each classroom library.

Creative Arts Expo doubles attendance

Fri, 2018-03-23 14:14

More than 550 people attended this year’s annual Creative Arts Expo, more than doubling last year’s event.

The Creative Arts Expo took place on Tuesday at James W. Parker Middle School. The event included student performances, artwork displays, a cookie competition, collaborative class projects, the STEAM K’Nex Amusement Park, hands-on & interactive art stations, physical fitness challenges, Inventionland displays and the grand opening of JWPMS’ Makerspace, with opportunity to complete a steam-based project with child.

Students sold out of their 350 “JWPMS Creativity” wristbands within the first hour.