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Faculty Feature Friday

Fri, 2018-11-09 10:02

Each Friday, we will feature an employee in the District so you can get to know the amazing individuals that work for General McLane School District!

This week, we are featuring McKean Elementary Kindergarten teacher Marie Troyer, who has worked for the District for more than 12 years!

Outside of school, Mrs. Troyer has been a volunteer usher for the Erie Playhouse for 25 years and is also an active volunteer at the Pennsylvania Soldiers and Sailors Home. But by far, her favorite thing to do is volunteer as the head football parent for her son Noah’s team.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

Watching the light bulb go off in my students’ eyes, as they learn new things!

Why do you enjoy being part of the GM family?

Everyone in the building is helpful and supportive.

What is your favorite work-related memory?

The year I was finally able to move down to an open Kindergarten position at Edinboro Elementary School, after waiting 16 years!  My heart has always been with the wee little ones!

Did you know ….

Mrs. Troyer has one of the loudest whistles around!

JWPMS Prepares for Box

Thu, 2018-11-08 11:21

Students at James W. Parker Middle School are almost ready to put on their first ever Fall play!

They will be performing Lindsay Price’s Box, which discusses the social constraints of middle school and how students overcome those problems.

Box will take place November 9th at 7 p.m. and November 10th at 2 p.m. in the Large Group Instruction Room (LGI) at James W. Parker Middle School.

There is a suggested $2 donation at the door.

This play is in addition to James W. Parker Middle School’s spring musical. This year’s musical, Fiddler on the Roof Jr., takes place February 22 – 23, 2019.

JWPMS students use virtual reality to explore careers

Wed, 2018-11-07 13:48

Yesterday, James W. Parker Middle School seventh and eighth grade students visited Penn State University’s main campus, and fifth and sixth graders shadowed a food technologist and visited a YouTube workspace, all without leaving Edinboro!

The Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5’s Career Readiness Facilitator Anne Leonard led the program. The IU’s career and college readiness education program brings career options into classrooms around the area.

After viewing the professions or campus through the viewers, students completed an assignment explaining what they learning, including the size / type of school, the most interesting scene or campus and the career responsibilities and skills.

Google Expeditions, an immersive learning and teaching tool that allows students to experience collections of 360° scenes and 3D objects using virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Google Expeditions uses a Google Cardboard certified viewer and a smartphone.  The IU recycled all of their old employee phones for the new career program.

Future Focus is a class for middle school students to start exploring different careers and colleges beyond high school.

5th and 6th Grade’s Eggcellent Eggventure

Wed, 2018-11-07 13:16

5th and 6th grade students at James W. Parker Middle School enrolled in Family Living class are going on a bit of an EGG-venture for their Child Development unit. They have been studying the decision making process, responsibility, and basic child development as well as safe babysitting practices.

Students were given three choices for final projects, and the overwhelming selection (as usual) is the Egg Babysitter Project. There are about 90 egg babies being carried around JWPMS by their babysitters. Students are responsible for caring for the egg baby and keeping it safe for two full days. Students were able to name the egg baby, decorate it, and create a safe carrier to keep it protected. In addition to carrying the egg babies with them everywhere, they are also journaling about their experiences each day.

These babysitters-in-training are learning very quickly how much attention and planning it takes when you are responsible for the care of someone, or in this case, something.

Candy Grams at JWPMS

Wed, 2018-11-07 11:26

Candy Grams returned to James W. Parker Middle School this week!

Students sold the Candy Grams during lunch. All staff and students in the building had the opportunity to purchase a Candy Gram and have it delivered to anyone within the building at the end of the school day.

This was a fundraiser of the Life Skills classroom. Students learned to advertise for the event, check labels and place the labels on the candy, take orders, handle money, organize the candy and the delivery bags and then distribute the order.

GMHS Student Named Finalist in PSPA Student Journalism Contest

Tue, 2018-11-06 13:43

General McLane High School’s Dana Scharrer was chosen as one of 16 finalists in the Pennsylvania School Press Association’s fifth annual regional Student Journalism Contest.

On October 19, the PSPA held its fifth annual regional SJC’s. 111 total students traveled to Penn State Behrend in order to be judged and evaluated on their journalistic work. Categories range from newspaper, literary magazine, broadcast and yearbook.

General McLane High School’s Dana Scharrer was chosen as a finalist in the Editorial Writing category.

Dana will join the other finalists on March 27, 2019 at Penn State’s University Park campus for the state finals.

GM sophomore & Addams Family’s Fester to shave for a cause

Tue, 2018-11-06 10:58

A General McLane High School sophomore is making the most of his role in an upcoming musical.

Kellen Smith, who plays Uncle Fester in the General McLane High School’s upcoming musical, The Addams Family, will shave his head during a school-wide assembly on Monday, November 12, 2018.

Smith’s shaving will accomplish two purposes: he will be getting into character for his role in the play, but more importantly, he will help raise money for Linked By Pink.

General McLane High School’s Vocal Music Program is hosting a raffle in advance of the assembly, which takes place in the General McLane High School gymnasium at 2:45 p.m.

Raffle tickets cost $3 each or three can be purchased for $5. The first-place winner of the raffle will receive two Addams Family tickets, an Addams Family t-shirt and serve as the role of Assistant Barber during the assembly. The second-place raffle winner will win two Addams Family tickets and the third place will win two Addams Family t-shirts.

To purchase a raffle ticket, contact General McLane High School at 814-273-1033.

All proceeds will benefit Linked by Pink.   Linked By Pink is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit organization consisting of Erie area survivors diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45. The organization provides emotional and financial support for young women diagnosed with breast cancer within a 45 mile radius of Erie, Pennsylvania.

Tickets to The Addams Family, which has been selected as this year’s high school musical, went on sale last week. The musical takes the stage at General McLane High School from November 15-18, 2018.

Outside of Smith, the cast includes Ryan Hess (Gomez), Cassidy Comer (Morticia), Madi Wager (Wednesday), Carter Willis (Pugsley), Jayda Plonski (Grandma), Derek Rafeew (Lurch), Logan Miller (Mal), Taylor Thomas (Alice) and Samuel Petkac (Lucas).

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

The tickets are available to purchase online by visiting 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. The show does have some mature themes (PG) and may not be appropriate for younger audiences.

This musical is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by TRW.

JWPMS Veterans Day Celebration

Mon, 2018-11-05 13:25

Students at James W. Parker Middle School welcomed local veterans last Friday morning to show appreciation for their service.

This annual salute to veterans event brings together close to 100 veterans each year. All veterans were invited to breakfast and a celebration that included the Posting of the Colors, a performance by the 8th grade band and a series of student speakers. 

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.

Students Shane Dexter and Mallory Grucza introduced the presenters. Kyle Cousins, Eric Conn, and Mitchell Bradford recited “In Flanders Field” and Abby Walker, Katelynne Langer and Genna Preston recited “We Shall Keep The Faith”. Tobeigh Ingram performed “America the Beautiful” and Alie Jones performed “God Bless America”. 8th graders Chloe Kiser, Sadiyah Dexter and Jade Graves read essays they had prepared. Finally Brady Haskins and J.C. Williams closed out the presentation with the Folding of the Flag.

James W. Parker Middle School is named after James W. Parker, who served the United States Army during WWII. He was a Staff Sergeant of the 83rd Infantry division and received two Purple Hearts during his service. General McLane High School, which was built in 1960, is named after Colonel John W. McLane of Erie who served as a Civil War Union Army Officer. The District remains the only school district to be named after a person and not a location.

SRO educates students on bullying

Mon, 2018-11-05 10:06

School Resource Officer José Montes presented to James W. Parker Middle School students on Monday to talk to students about bullying.

Officer Montes will be in middle school health classrooms this week to cover variety of issues, including cover bullying, internet safety, laws and preventative measures.

Montes has served as full-time as a School Resource Officer in General McLane School District through the Erie County Sheriff’s Office since 2017. He works toward educating students in the safest possible environment and also ensures a first responder to emergencies.

To learn more about school safety initiatives in the District, visit our website.

Visit from a Magician

Mon, 2018-11-05 09:32

The Life Skills and Autistic Support classes at GMHS had the pleasure of welcoming their final special guest speaker on Thursday. This week’s famous Lancer guest was the magical Ryan Hess.

Ryan Hess is a Junior at GMHS who has been practicing magic for the last four years. He was inspired to do magic by the app Vine and he teaches himself tricks via YouTube videos.

Parker Pride Winners

Mon, 2018-11-05 09:17

Congratulations to last week’s Parker PRIDE winners:

Ellie Baughman (6th) Stella Bridger (6th) Clay Kimmy (5th) Morgan Harnett (5th) Anna Topel (5th)

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.

For more information on the PBIS program, check out this story from the summer.

GMHS students attend Women in Engineering Day

Fri, 2018-11-02 14:20

General McLane High School students attended Penn State Behrend’s Women in Engineering (WIE) on Friday.

The day was filled with hands-on and interactive activities/workshops that feature different careers in engineering. Some of the activities that students did today involved creating play dough, engineered batteries from pennies, participated in an egg drop to simulate engineering air bags and modeled industrial engineering by working in a assembly line.

WIE is an outreach program for 10th and 11th grade girls held every year in November. Its goal is to introduce girls to what an engineer does, what kinds of engineering careers are available, and explain how engineers help the world in general.

For more information, visit their website.

JWPMS students have fun with baking

Fri, 2018-11-02 13:55

James W. Parker Middle School students learned this week that Halloween doesn’t need to be only about the sugar rush from candy.

Instead, students in Mrs. Glasl’s 8th Grade Foods Class made “Day of the Dead” sugar skull fruit pizzas. Students created a nutritious treat loaded with fruit and a cream cheese frosting

This lesson engaged students while helping them to complete their knife skills training, as they were required to cut the fruit using proper technique and safety procedures.  Since students also made the cookie base from scratch, they were also focused on proper measuring techniques for different types of ingredients.

Faculty Feature Friday

Fri, 2018-11-02 13:52

Each Friday, we will feature an employee in the District so you can get to know the amazing individuals that work for General McLane School District!

This week, we are featuring General McLane High School Life Skills Teacher Laura Oathout, who has worked for the District for more than three years.

Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Oathout volunteers for the Erie Adaptive Sailing Experience and Gliding Stars skating program, both recreational opportunities for people with disabilities. She also coaches track here at GM!

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I love watching my students learn new skills and grow, both in the classroom and as young adults.

Why do you enjoy being part of the GM family?

I love the tight knit community that GM offers both students and faculty.

What is your favorite work-related memory?

At new teacher in-service, we were served pizza for lunch.  I of course was dipping my pizza in ranch and also using a fork to eat it … a plastic fork … which I pressed too hard on (probabaly because I was nervous) and it broke, causing my hand to land in the ranch, which flew EVERYWHERE, including right on to the person next to me. I was super embarrassed, but he just laughed it off and helped me clean it up. More than three years later now, and we’re married!

Did you know ….

Mrs. Oathout also certified to teach elementary school and 7-12 English.


The Wrong Time

Fri, 2018-11-02 13:15

It’s the wrong time to be a Cleveland coach.

That’s how General McLane students started off their new podcast this week.

Jack Mennow, Eli Buto, Nate Jones and Bill Jukes are the creators of “The Wrong Time” podcast. The podcast records every Tuesday and Friday covers everything in the world of sports with a big focus on the NFL. The name “The Wrong Time” isn’t just the name of the show, but also a clever segue into the day’s top story. Each podcast starts by announcing that today is the wrong time to be (player, team, coach).

The idea spurred through Mrs. Zona’s Cyber Cafe class, which started last year to give students the ability to pursue coursework outside of General McLane High School offerings. During the first week, students plan courses based on their interest.

For the students, their idea was simple – they wanted to do a podcast.

Though it’s only been in existence for about a month and a half, the show has already hosted two guests, Canada’s National Basketball League player and former Edinboro University  basketball star Jaymon Mason and comedian Joe Praino. Some future guests on the horizon are Erie Times-News sports writer, Tom Reisenweber and University of Hawaii quarterback, Brett Kulka.

The podcast already has six episodes, and it averages about 100 downloads per show.

“It gives students the opportunity to pursue something that they’re interested in,” said Zona, who has served as a Career Planning teacher at General McLane High School since 2013. “It allows them to take something they’re passionate about and expand on it. It’s not just sports –  it’s marketing, production, and it’s even teaching them organization.”

Each member of “The Wrong Time” hopes to continue the show even after the class is over.

You can find “The Wrong Time Podcast” on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and youtube.


An International Visit

Fri, 2018-11-02 10:41

The Life Skills and Autistic Support classes at GMHS had the pleasure of welcoming another special guest speaker this Thursday. This week’s famous Lancer guest was International Student Kimberly Prizmic.

Kimberly is an International Student from Australia who came to General McLane last year. She spoke to students about some of the similarities and differences between Australia and the United States.

Since hosting its first exchange student in 1961, the District continues to host a handful each year. The addition of foreign exchange students to the General McLane High School student body offers many benefits to its participating students, the students of General McLane, its teachers and community.  

GMSD’s Brian Farmer presents to MS students

Fri, 2018-11-02 10:34

Yesterday, James W. Parker Middle School students had a familiar guest visitor in the classroom.

General McLane’s own Brian Farmer, who works in maintenance for the District, also operates his own silkscreening business, Farmers Vinyl Graphics. He presented to middle school art students on screen printing over his lunch break and donated a multi-color screen printing station to the District.

JWPMS added professional screen printing to the middle school art curriculum three years ago. Students learn how to use stencils and different color combinations to create their work, as well as how to prep the screen, care for the equipment and clean up production. This lesson focuses on creativity and exposes students to a real-life creative job opportunity, while developing artistic ideas and work processes and learning from trial and error.

This project is possible thanks to a grant from the General McLane Foundation. As a 2017 William E. and Mary S. Smith Middle School Innovative Education Program Grant recipient, JWPMS art teacher Christina Martin acquired professional equipment for creation, printing, and clean up.

Now, the JWPMS has two machines — thanks to Farmer!

Halloween in the District

Fri, 2018-11-02 10:05

Yesterday, students and staff across the District showcased their Halloween outfits and participated in various holiday-themed activities and parades.

For more pictures, visit our Featured Photos Page.

JWPMS holds PBIS Incentive Assembly

Thu, 2018-11-01 10:24

Yesterday, James W. Parker Middle School celebrated positive behavior from students during the first quarter.

Fifth and sixth grade students celebrated their positive behavior by watching a movie and then participated in different activities and games throughout the afternoon, along with a dance. Awards were given to the funniest, scariest and most creative costumes, as well as teacher choice.

“All students participated because staff and teachers wanted to celebrate and recognize all of the great things they had done in the first nine weeks of school,” said James W. Parker Middle School Associate Principal Justin Whitford. “That culminating event ultimately allows the students to look forward to something and helps to strengthen the positive school culture we are seeking to build this year.”

Students who earned Parker Pride tickets throughout the quarter earned an extra opportunity to celebrate their individuals efforts to meet the behavioral expectations throughout the quarter. Randomly drawn students from those who had earned Parker Pride tickets earned the VIP Experience, which included first selection of their seats and popcorn, a drink and candy for the movie.

There were 821 tickets received among students this quarter for demonstrating Parker Pride and making positive choices — 433 from 6th grade and 388 from 5th grade.

The Incentive Assembly was a result of the middle school’s new Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), which is a program based on a national model to promote positive behavior growth. This fall, the program was implemented for all fifth and sixth grade students.

This new model focuses on shifting students’ mindsets with recognition, rewards and celebrations. Students receive awards based on modeling Parker Pride behavior expectations, a chart of uniform expectations for five different areas. The model allows students to earn Parker Pride tickets, with incentives to be more randomly dispersed through the school year.

Service Center dedicates month to Breast Cancer Awareness

Thu, 2018-11-01 09:07

The General McLane School District Service Center dedicated the month of October to raising awareness and funds for Breast Cancer. Throughout the month, they hosted various events to support the cause, including a lunch and sundae serving.

For the last event, Transportation Manager Nancy Ekstrom, Support Services Supervisor Dave Campbell and mechanics Gordon Pietrowski and Ron Weidner volunteered to take a “pie in the face” for the cause! Individuals could purchase a ticket circling the name of the recipient of their choice. Campbell received the most “votes”.

Driver Vickie Wheeler was the lucky one to get to pie Campbell, thanks to a lucky drawing. But, Campbell added a twist and offered to double the money raised if he could return the favor, which Wheeler volunteered to do! On Wednesday, the Service Center held their sticky event.

In total, the Service Center raised $450 dollars. The money will be donated to local efforts to fight cancer.