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HS Students Show Holiday Spirit

Fri, 2014-12-19 15:47

Holiday Tree

Seniors Logan Gatenby and Jessica Katarski show off their best holiday attires (and creativity) in honor of Holiday Spirit Week at General McLane High School.

Seventh Graders Perform at Edinboro Manor

Fri, 2014-12-19 15:21

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James W. Parker Middle School seventh graders performed for Edinboro Manor residents on Monday. The holiday performance was led by middle school choir director Kate Amatuzzo. The annual JWPMS Choir Concert was held Monday, December 8.

2nd Graders at Edinboro Ride the Polar Express

Thu, 2014-12-18 12:47


There’s nothing like joining in on the magic of Christmas — and Edinboro Elementary students learned that Thursday. Inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book that was later adapted into a feature film, the Polar Express Train ride came to life for Edinboro Elementary second graders.

Students wore their pajamas and enjoyed their trip to the North Pole, complete with hot chocolate and their very own sleigh bells. Students boarded the train, listened to a reading of The Polar Express and danced the “Hot Chocolate” dance after being greeted by their very own conductor.

This journey is part of the second grader’s big Polar Express unit done each year in December. This has been taking place for about 10 years. For more pictures, please visit our Featured Photos Page.



5th Grade Choir Performs at McKean Elementary School

Thu, 2014-12-18 11:05

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James W. Parker Middle School fifth graders performed Christmas songs for McKean Elementary School this morning. The wonderful performance was led by middle school choir director Kate Amatuzzo. The annual JWPMS Choir Concert was held Monday, December 8.

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Alumni’s wedding features a hint of General McLane pride

Wed, 2014-12-17 08:16



General McLane alumni Melissa Hennen (’03) and Adam Uzzo (’01) tied the knot this October and added a little GM-flare. A Lancer Helmet was one of the sweet treats featured in the “Cookie Room”.

“We both love GM. Adam has very fond memories playing football there, and we had many guests who are GM alum, so we thought it was perfect to include something that signified our tie to GM,” Melissa says.

What a neat way to incorporate school pride into their wedding!

A longer feature will be included in the January Alumni Newsletter. Alumni can register for this free Association at,

Santa Visits McKean Elementary Students

Mon, 2014-12-15 10:13


McK Santa

On Friday, Santa brought the holiday spirit a little early to McKean with a visit to McKean Elementary School.  Every student received a picture with Santa, completely free of charge, courtesy of the McKean Elementary PTA. Santa’s visit culminated McKean Elementary’s week-long Annual Holiday Shop for the students. The McKean PTA has been doing the holiday shop and Santa visits for over 15  years. For more pictures, please visit the District’s Featured Photos Page.

McKean PTA is a non-profit organization comprised of parents/guardians of current students, current administrators and teachers, and patrons who wish to support McKean Elementary School. The group’s purpose is to foster a sense of support, pride, and enthusiasm for the school. Through various family and community activities, the PTA promotes positive school and community relationships to enhance the educational environment for our children. Ensuring our children’s future and fostering quality public education today are two of the primary goals of the McKean Elementary PTA.  For more information or a schedule of events, please visit McKean Elementary PTA. 

GMHS Hosts Annual Sr. Citizen Luncheon

Mon, 2014-12-15 09:09


On Friday, General McLane High School hosted their annual Senior Citizen Luncheon.

Hosted by the School District, the Principal’s Cabinet and the GM Band, members from the Edinboro Senior Citizen Group are invited for lunch and a performance by the General McLane High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble.  This event started eight years ago in order to show gratitude to the District’s senior citizens for what they’ve done for our school district as long time taxpayers, as well as to give students the opportunity to interact with those who have gone before them.  There were about 75 people in attendance to this year’s event.





Edinboro Fourth Graders Raise Money to Give Clean Water

Thu, 2014-12-11 12:44



The fourth grade students at Edinboro Elementary created, organized and lead a fundraiser for Edinboro Elementary’s Holiday Fun Night.  They sold water bottles and candy bars, donated by the PTO, to raise money to give the gift of clean water to those in need.

Students worked with Heifer International, a charity organization working to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities. Heifer  installs treadle pumps and teaches about water conservation  in areas where there is little or no clean water.

Three GMHS Students Perform in Disney World

Wed, 2014-12-10 04:00


Three General McLane High School students traded in the turkey this year for a trip performing in Disney World. As members of the French Creek Community Theater’s Disney Show Choir, Ryan Sibbald, Cody Gould and Melissa Barbour performed in a 30-minute show in Downtown Disney over Thanksgiving Weekend.

“How many people can say they were able to sing and perform in Disney World? Not many. It was an awesome experience,” said Sibbald, a senior at General McLane. Sibbald started taking singing lessons less than two years ago and heard about the group over the summer. After playing Angel Dumott Schunard in their production Rent, which was his first musical, Sibbald was asked to perform with them in Disney.

This is the fourth time that this local theater ensemble has been invited to perform as a show choir at Disney World in Orlando. The 46-member troupe, ranging from 6- to 18-year-olds, performed memorable songs from Disney movies (Circle of Life, Oh the thinks you can think, etc.), as well as songs such as Hair, Somebody to Love, Aquarius, and other classics.

Outside of performing, the students also participated in workshops where they learned from Disney’s professional singers and dancers themselves.

“We were able to see where they record songs and we were able to learn how they sing and act,” Sibbald said. “They told us what path they took to get there – some didn’t even go to college. They told us that if we love it, do it. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s singing and dancing in Disney World.”

According to Sibbald, they were also able to see what the audition process was like and what they do to get callbacks.

“It was my favorite part of the trip,” he said. “They said they would audition for 300-400 different things and get maybe two callbacks. Their advice: be friendly, be yourself, be confident and know your music.”

FRENCH CREEK COMMUNITY THEATRE is a family-oriented, nonprofit organization based in Meadville that provides opportunities in a creative and positive environment that is inclusive of all members of the community, creating an inter-generational theatrical experience in Northwest Pennsylvania. FCCT offers on-stage opportunities as well as “behind the scenes” experiences in: set & scenery design, costuming, sound & lighting, stage crew, advertising & marketing and many other areas of theater production.

December 2014 Driver of the Month, Eric Lathrop

Tue, 2014-12-09 12:33

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General McLane’s Driver of the Month for December, 2014 is Eric Lathrop.

Eric has been with the District for 31 years. He not only drives both the High School/Middle School run, but he also drives the Edinboro Elementary run. Besides driving the bus every day, Eric is also our jack of all trades at the Service Center by working as a mechanic’s helper and a maintenance assistant, as well as maintaining the snow on the sidewalks at the service center. Eric also serves as our District Driver Trainer and trains new and current drivers to drive the school bus.

On top of all this, Eric is the Service Center’s own practical joker which keeps everyone on their toes. Eric is very dedicated to the students on his bus and is always there to assist in any way that is needed at the Service Center.

This is the second Driver of the Month for General McLane’s Transportation Department’s Driver of the Month series. The Transportation Department started this series to show appreciation for our drivers and what they do.

Congratulations Eric on a job well done!

2014 Local Reflections Program Winners

Mon, 2014-12-08 13:55

This year’s James W. Parker Middle School PTSA Reflections Program had 19 entries. All 1st – 5th place entries will advance to the Regional Level of competition.

Congratulations to all students who participated in the 2014 REFLECTIONS Program!

Award winners in each category (on the local level) are listed here:

Katie Johnson – 1st Place
Danielle Mitchell – 2nd Place
Alayna Smith – 3rd Place
Olivia Shay – 4th Place
Isabella Shay – 5th Place

Olivia Sutton – 1st Place
Charlotte Brower – 2nd & 3rd Place
Isabella Shay – 4th Place
Lucas Leasure – 5th Place

Danielle Mitchell – 1st Place

Danielle Mitchell – 1st Place
Ellen Eisert – 2nd Place
Mara Kallay – 3rd Place

HONORABLE MENTION in the VISUAL ARTS category went to Charolette Brower, Madyson Reinwald and Olivia Shay.
HONORABLE MENTION in the PHOTO category went to Lucas Leasure.

Speaker teaches about Africa based on personal experiences

Mon, 2014-12-08 13:48


Seventh graders had the opportunity to learn all about Africa’s terrain, unique physical features and climate from a speaker who has seen it first-hand.

Last week, Mike Podwika, of Wyoming, PA, visited  the 7th grade Social Studies classes to educate them on the continent. Podwika, who is a grandfather to middle school students Devin and Gabe Bayle, has visited various locations in Africa through safari excursions. Podwika, who has made five visits to Africa since 2002, brought in numerous animal hides, teeth, tusks, a crocodile, and stories when he came to speak with the students.

The students just finished their unit on Africa.







General McLane High School Selected As GRAMMY Signature School Semi-Finalist

Thu, 2014-12-04 15:17


The GRAMMY Foundation announced last week that General McLane High School has been selected as a semi-finalist for the GRAMMY Signature School Award. General McLane High School is one of 120 schools nationwide to receive this honor and is the only school in Northwestern Pennsylvania to be recognized.

“We are pleased to have our music program recognized among the best in the nation,” said General McLane Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “Our instructors do an incredible job of developing the talent within our students. Our community fully supports our arts program and is proud of its success. The arts have, and will always be, an important part of the McLane Advantage.”

Created in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year. By earning this honor, General McLane High School joins some of the top music programs in the country, including performing arts schools.

General McLane School District offers students one of the most competitive arts programs in Erie, PA by making the arts a priority within the District. Fifty (50) percent of GMHS students elect to take music classes; forty-four (44) percent of GMHS students participate in music performing ensembles. The school offers nine performing instrumental ensembles and six performing vocal ensembles, as well as extensive music theater program. These contributions helped General McLane High School in receiving this Grammy recognition.
The General McLane Marching Band started with 25 students and has grown into the largest marching band in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The GM Marching Band has placed first on eight occasions in the Open Class at the Lakeshore Marching Band Association Championship. GM’s Jazz Program has achieved numerous accolades and performs at various jazz festivals in the tri-state area.

General McLane’s vocal program is also highly successful. GM’s Broadway Dinner is highly popular within the community, selling out within hours, and General McLane students compete in regional and state competitions, including the PMEA All-States. All four performances of this year’s Phantom of the Opera were sold out.

The GRAMMY Signature Schools program is made possible in part by the generous support of Converse, the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Hot Topic Foundation, Journeys, and RBC Capital Markets.

“Our GRAMMY Signature Schools program provides an ideal platform to raise awareness of public high schools across the country that are providing excellent music education programs for their students,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation. “It is also a much-needed resource for the schools that — in the face of serious economic challenges — are still able to provide a rigorous musical curriculum for their students. The GRAMMY Foundation is committed to arts education and believes in the long-lasting interdisciplinary benefits it provides for young people.”

In mid-March 2015, the GRAMMY Foundation will announce the finalists for the GRAMMY Signature Schools program. These schools will receive a custom award and a monetary grant ranging from $1,000 up to $10,000 to benefit their music program.

The Giving Tree Returns to McKean Elementary School

Tue, 2014-12-02 10:56

As the District returns from Thanksgiving Break, the Holiday Giving Tree is making its return to McKean Elementary.

“It is hard to believe that we are already surrounded by the cold and snow. Unfortunately, we have kids in our community without hats, gloves, and scarves,” said McKean Elementary teacher Kristen Ewings. “As the holiday season approaches, what better way to teach our students the art of giving than by helping others.”

The 3rd Annual “Holiday Giving Tree” at McKean Elementary School is hosted by the Autistic and Emotional Support Classrooms and helps keep kids warm during the Winter Season. Starting December 2nd until December 19th, parents, students, teachers and community members are invited to donate new hats, gloves and scarves. All items will be placed on McKean’s Holiday Giving Tree in the cafeteria, and then donated to a local, non-profit organization.

PNC Donates $2000 to GM Foundation

Tue, 2014-11-25 15:40

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PNC Bank has donated $2000 to the General McLane Foundation. PNC Bank’s Vice President of Healthcare and Public Finance Colleen Shaffer presented the check to General McLane Superintendent Richard Scaletta on Tuesday.

The Foundation was selected by PNC Bank from a list of schools through their participation in the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program.

The funds go directly to the EITC program, which is used for literacy, science and electronic classroom development.

As state funding to Pennsylvnaia schools decreases, students needs continue to grow. In order to help the District continue to provide quality education with decreasing funds, a group of community members founded the General McLane Foundation as an organization designed exclusively for charitable educational purposes that would benefit the students of the General McLane School District.

Each year, the Foundation hosts the Holiday Arts Fair and the Golf Outing – two major fundraising events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors. Over the past thirty years, $429,800 has been donated in memory or honor of students, teachers and staff of General McLane School District.

PNC Bank has donated to the Foundation in the past. PNC Bank has developed a series of projects to invest within local communities. PNC Bank was ranked as the 6th largest bank-held wealth manager by Barron’s and the 6th largest ultra-affluent provider by Family Wealth Alliance in 2011. In 2012, the Bank was awarded “Great WorkPlace Award for highly engaged employees committed to customer service” by Gallup.

To learn more about the General McLane Foundation, visit

GMHS Raises $600 on NCGAD 2014

Tue, 2014-11-25 13:46

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General McLane High School raised $600 on National Child Grief Awareness Day through a series of events hosted at the High School.

The money will be donated to the Caring Place. All monetary donations collected that day will be matched by Highmark. Student Council and NHS Advisory were also able to raise a ton of school supplies, including tissues, crayons, markers, glue, paper, stickers, colored pencils and tape.

Activities were a joint effort from multiple clubs student organizations. The combined group of organizations is called the “Caring Team”.

National Child Grief Awareness Day was November 20, 2014. Children’s Grief Awareness Day was begun by the Highmark Caring Place, which serves grieving children, teens and their families, in 2008 as a way to bring children who have had a loved one die – and their grief – out of the shadows. Children’s Grief Awareness Day is observed every year the third Thursday of November.


2014-2015 Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest Winners

Fri, 2014-11-21 15:02


James W. Parker Middle School had 12 winners from the VFW Post 740 (Edinboro/McKean) Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest. Each of the following will receive a $400 cash monetary award and advance to the district competition: Nathaniel J. Price, Hannah E. Diley, Mary E. Vincent, Ethan H. Greenleaf, Ryan D. Kulka, Hunter M. Andrzejewski, Leah A. Dubynskiy, Anna P. Damore, Patience J. Makusi, Alayna R. Smith, Aida R. Shadeck and Kaley R. Berger.

Each year more than 100,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner from each state competes to win one of 46 national awards totaling $46,000. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March.

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

In addition, General McLane also had a winner for the 2014-2015 Voice of Democracy Essay Contest (Grades 9-12), Mary C. Cousins. She will receive a $600 cash award and advance to the district competition.

This contest is open each year to nearly 40,000 high school students from across the country, who can win a share of the $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives awarded through the VFW’s Voice of Democracy audio-essay competition. The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000-$16,000, and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

The First Thanksgiving

Fri, 2014-11-21 11:57




Mrs. Kupczyk’s kindergarten class at Edinboro Elementary School put on a play about the First Thanksgiving.

Great job students on a great performance!

Academy Brings in Speakers from LECOM and LORD

Wed, 2014-11-19 15:00



LECOM’s Assistant Dean for Clinical Education Dr. Regan Shabloski and Lord Corporation’s Manager of Aerospace Technical Support Paul Snyder were today’s guest speakers for students in the General McLane High School’s Academy of Medical Arts and Engineering Program. Dr. Shabloski spoke to students about career opportunities specifically involved with thoracic trauma, and Snyder spoke to students about opportunities and careers in in aerospace engineering.

General McLane’s Academy of Medical Arts and Engineering was created to prepare students for careers in medicine and engineering. Through partnerships with local businesses, hospitals and universities, the curricula will be enriched with hands-on activities designed to provide students with quality, live-learning experiences.

The Academy of Medical Arts and Engineering initiated a planning phase in 2011-2012 as a result of a district strategic planning goal to enhance STEM education.

Academy activities include monthly guest speakers and problem-solving activities, field trips to partner facilities and universities, job shadows in the junior and senior years, and an extended forty-hour volunteer experience between junior and senior year.

November Driver of the Month: Russell Cornwell

Wed, 2014-11-19 12:52

Russell Cornwel

General McLane School District’s November Driver of the Month is Russell Cornwell.

Russell has been a driver for the district since August, 2009.  Besides driving a bus, Russell has also worked in maintenance and as a “Go Guy,” which requires him to be ready at a moment’s notice to jump in a bus and take a route. He always goes above and beyond for his students to make sure they safely arrive at their destination.  

This is the first Driver of the Month for General McLane’s Transportation Department’s Driver of the Month series. The Transportation Department started this series to show appreciation for our drivers and what they do. 

Congratulations Russell on a great job!