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JWPMS Student Advances to National Level for PTSA Contest

Wed, 2015-03-11 16:01

Ellen Eisert

James W. Parker Middle School student Ellen Eisert advances to the National level of the PTA Reflections Contest.

“I am so very proud of Ellen and her recognition in advancing to the Reflections national level,” said James W. Parker Middle School art teacher Christina Martin. “She used her creativity to make an award winning film and is the type of student who goes above and beyond in everything she does. She has made all of us, at James W. Parker Middle School, very proud.”

Ellen advances after her film, “If People Looked Nature as a Gift”, placed first at the state level. She is a seventh grader at the Middle School and is the first student in the District to advance to the National level in the filmmaking category. All participants who place first in the state move on to the National level.

Seventh grader Olivia Sutton placed second in the state for middle school visual arts. All state winners are invited to a special Reflections Breakfast Awards Ceremony, which takes place in Erie at the Ambassador on April 19, 2015.

Ellen is one of only four students in Erie who will advance to the National level. Erie County schools are part of Region 1, which had eleven state winners this year. According to Region 1 Reflections Chair Amy Fugate, even though Region 1 is ranked tenth (of 13 Regions) for the number of members, it tied for fifth place in total number of Reflections winners.

Ellen’s five-minute film stresses the importance of nature and how it makes the world a better place.

“Everyone is so caught up in technology and their iPhones that they aren’t paying attention to what they already have,” Ellen said. “I wanted to show them how beautiful nature can be.”

Ellen said she has been making films since third grade, just a year after her dad introduced her to a video making software. Now, she enjoys making and directing movies with her family and friends during her free time. She’s also decided that she wants to be a film director when she grows up.

“This recognition means a lot to me. It makes me very happy and excited to know that my film was selected first across the state,” Ellen said.

The National PTA Reflections program supports student success and serves as a valuable tool for building strong partnerships in your school community. All grades and abilities are invited to participate in this program, which celebrates the arts. Annually, thousands of students will reflect on a common theme and create original works of art in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

There are several levels of competition: local school, council, region, state and nationals. The national entries are currently being judged and winners will be announced by May.

In addition to Ellen and Olivia, regional winners from General McLane School District included Danielle Mitchell and Ellen Eisert for film/middle school, Mara Kallay for Filk/Intermediate. From McKean Elementary, Jane Howard and Charlie Salvo advanced for Literature. The Erie County Reflections winners from General McLane School District included: Danielle Sara Mitchell, Olivia Shay, Katie M. Johnson, Alayna R. Smith, Isabella Shay, Charlotte Brower, Olivia Lynn, Lucas Leasure, Mara Kallay and Ellen Eisert.

Broadway Dinner Almost a Week Away

Wed, 2015-03-11 13:25


The 34th Annual Broadway Dinner takes place next weekend, March 20-22, 2015, at McLane Church. This event is produced by General McLane’s Music Department and showcases the talents of almost 225 students in different Broadway performances.

Tickets to this event have sold out for the Friday and Saturday performances, with limited tickets still available for the Sunday performance. Tickets, which went on sale to parents February 19 and the general public on February 23, are $39 for the Director’s Circle and $34 for Regular Seating.

This year marks the 27th year for director Bruce Yates. This year’s performance features music from the musicals All Shook Up and Tommy, as the opening and closing numbers.

The Broadway Dinner started in 1981 with only a few formers in the high school cafeteria by now-superintendent Richard Scaletta. There have been 115 performances seen by over 32,000 people over the last 33 years.

To learn more about the Broadway Dinner, please visit their website,

Two JWPMS Students Advance to States in Reflections Contest

Fri, 2015-03-06 10:12

From left to right: Ellen Eisert, Charlotte Brower, Mara Kallay, Jane Howard (McKean Elementary), and Olivia Sutton at the Erie County Reflections Celebration held February 25th at McDowell Intermediate High School.


Two James W. Parker Middle School students have advanced to the state level of the National PTA Reflections Contest. Ellen Eisert will advance for her film, “If People Looked Nature as a Gift” and Olivia Sutton will advance for her visual art, “The Spirit of Nature.”

The National PTA Reflections program supports student success and serves as a valuable tool for building strong partnerships in your school community. All grades and abilities are invited to participate in this program, which celebrates the arts. Annually, thousands of students will reflect on a common theme and create original works of art in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

Let Your Imagination Fly is the theme for the 2015-2016 school year. This theme by Rachel Sperry of Northwood, North Dakota was selected through the Reflections Theme Search Contest. When asked what inspired her theme, Mercedes said, “Our world, because I care about it and wanted to know other kids’ ideas on how we could make it a better place.”

Regional winners from General McLane School District included Olivia Sutton for visual arts, Danielle Mitchell and Ellen Eisert for film/middle school, Mara Kallay for Filk/Intermediate. From McKean Elementary, Jane Howard and Charlie Salvo advanced for Literature.

The Erie County Reflections winners from General McLane School District included: Danielle Sara Mitchell, Olivia Shay, Katie M. Johnson, Alayna R. Smith, Isabella Shay, Charlotte Brower, Olivia Lynn, Lucas Leasure, Mara Kallay and Ellen Eisert.

Congratulations to our winners and all those who participated in this year’s program!

McKean students support our troops

Fri, 2015-03-06 08:39

Challenge Girls

This month, McKean Elementary Challenge Students are collecting items to include in care packages to military personnel currently deployed overseas. Items include toiletries, stationery supplies, entertainment activities and food items. A complete list of items is attached.

This initiative is part of a service project. All items will be shipped to an organization called Operation Gratitude, which sends over 100,000 care packages to deployed troops each year.

Donation boxes will be outside each classroom through March 27.

Please help our students in this project and support our troops!

JWPMS Students Featured in YAM Show

Mon, 2015-03-02 15:10

YAM Students
Three James W. Parker Middle School students will have their artwork displayed in the K–12 Youth Art Month Exhibit at the Pennsylvania Department of Education building in Harrisburg.

Bradley Weber (5th grade), Charlotte Brower (5th) and Olivia Sutton (7th) were selected by middle school art teacher and PAEA member Christina Martin based on exemplary skill.

“These particular young artists are very creative, dedicated artists,” Martin said. “I enjoy having them is class. They go above and beyond the assignment and are very creative. They truly make teaching art a joy!”

The Exhibition runs March 2 – April 17.

Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art and art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs.

Read Across America Day

Mon, 2015-03-02 14:11



General McLane High School students went to both McKean and Edinboro Elementary School to read to the students in honor of Read Across America Day, an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

Students also talked to the students about their interests, hobby and future plans.

This celebration started in May 1997, when a small reading task force at NEA came up with the idea to create a day in celebration of reading. Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.

For more pictures, please visit


Students use TI‑Nspire technology

Thu, 2015-02-26 11:21


Texas Instruments Incorporated Educational Technology Consultant Mr. Dana Morse presented TI-Nspire Technology to students and faculty on Tuesday.

During Morse’s session, students investigated linear functions in an interactive lesson. Through the TI-Nspire technology, students received the assignments and tried to solve it on their graphing calculators. Their results were shared and projected on the SmartBoard.

This technology is being used all over the state as it is acceptable for Keystone, SAT, AP and ACT exams.




Tom DiVecchio Visits McKean Elementary Fourth Graders

Wed, 2015-02-25 14:30


JET-TV senior meteorologist Tom DiVecchio visited the entire fourth grade at McKean Elementary School on Wednesday. DiVecchio answered the students’ questions during his visit, which coincided with the fourth grade weather unit. Some items he discussed include storms, hail, why Erie gets more snow, the worst storm in Erie history (tornado outbreak of 1985), how wind forms and how he knows where to point on the green screen.

DiVecchio has more than 28 years weather forecasting experience in the Erie and eastern Great Lakes region.



MS Musical Debuts Tonight

Wed, 2015-02-25 08:37


James W. Parker Middle School’s musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr, debuts tonight at the General McLane High School Auditorium.

Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr, based on the zany musical that took Broadway by storm, is the high-spirited musical romp that has all of New York dancing the Charleston.

Filled with fun flappers, dashing leading men and a dragon-lady of a villainess audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr is a perfectly-constructed evening of madcap merriment. Based on the popular movie, the stage version includes a full score of new songs and bright dance numbers.

“This show was one of my favorite shows to listen to growing up,” says Middle School Musical Director Kate Amatuzzo. “The original actress to play Millie, Sutton Foster, has probably been the most inspirational performer for me during my entire life. It’s a great musical to showcase a strong female lead, and we had so many dynamic girls this year that it was almost impossible to not do this show.”

Katelyn Crum plays Millie Dillmount, who has just moved to New York City in search of a new life for herself. Millie enters the city during a time when women were entering the workforce and the rules of love and social behavior were changing forever.

According to Amatuzzo, Crum’s voice will knock your socks off. She also adds that there’s a lot of comedy in this show, provided by the great timing of our other leads: Sam Petkac, Julia Esposito, Devyn Bayle, Ryan Hess, Gabe Bayle, Kellen Smith, and Olivia Minner.

Past middle school productions include Oklahoma! and Once Upon a Mattress.

The show runs February 25-26, 2015 with a start time of 7 p.m. in the GMHS Auditorium. Admission is free and seating begins at 6:30 p.m. There will be basket raffles in the lobby, along with merchandise for sale and concessions.

For more information, please visit

Allison Advances to PIAA State Diving Meet

Mon, 2015-02-23 13:43


General McLane senior Mike Allison finished 2nd at the District 10 Diving Championships on Tuesday. Mike broke his own school record of 508.40 with a final score of 549.15 in the 11-dive competition. Although he finished 2nd, Mike’s score did beat the previous overall District 10 record of 546. Mike will advance to the PIAA State Diving meet in March.

Congratulations to Mike!

Three GMHS Students to Compete in Dance Worlds Competition

Thu, 2015-02-19 14:47


Three General McLane High School students will be competing in Disney World this April for the annual United States All Star Federation Cheerleading and Dance Worlds Championship.

Samantha Laughlin (12th grade), Amanda Laughlin (10th grade) and Libby Myers (10th grade) are three of 12 dancers for the Dance Vibe Senior Hip Hop team. The team received their bid to Dance Worlds on Sunday, December 7th in Pittsburgh, PA at Elite Cheerleading -Battle At The Burgh Competition and will not compete against more than 120 USASF/IASF member event producers across the U.S. and in over 40 countries around the world.

This international event brings together more than 9000 cheer and 3500 dance athletes to vie for world champion titles in senior and international club divisions and categories. The first Cheerleading Worlds was held in 2004 and the first Dance Worlds in 2007.

The event, which will be on ESPN2, takes place in Disney World at Epcot on April 24th-28th.

Congratulations to Sami, Amanda and Libby!

GMHS Students Participate in Veteran’s Outreach Program

Tue, 2015-02-17 11:49


Four General McLane High School students distributed food to 67 needy veterans and their families last week through the Produce Express Program.

This event took place outside of the Veteran’s Outreach Center and Luther Memorial Church and is a joint-venture with VFW Post 740 Edinboro-McKean and the Second Harvest Food Bank. The food distributions are conducted every quarter. The next event is scheduled for May.

The students who volunteered include: Kerrigan Burrell (12th), Tyler Cornell (11th), Erika Suprynowicz (12th) and Katie Getson (12th).

“To say that I am proud of these students, and all of the others who have participated in this program in the past, would be an understatement,” said GMHS teacher Brian Woodward. Woodward is also a service officer for VFW Post 740 Edinboro-McKean.

“These students received no bonus points or other incentive to participate. They simply volunteered their time and provided their own transportation to help others in need. In this case, those others were veterans who all served at one time or another to protect the rights and freedoms that so many of us take for granted every day.”

This is third time that GM students have participated in the Produce Express food distribution for needy veterans in Erie County.

Join the Challenge!

Mon, 2015-02-09 14:19

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The Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority is challenging Erie County’s 13 public school district foundations to grow their endowments and is committing up to $200,000 in matching funds for dollars raised through December 31, 2016. The School District Foundation Endowment Challenge officially kicked off last week – and with the opportunity to raise more than $40,000, the General McLane Foundation gladly accepts the Challenge.

Foundations that choose to enroll in The Challenge are eligible for 1:1 matching funds of up to $5 per student. The matching period begins January 1, 2015, and ends December 31, 2016.

Since early 2014, ECGRA representatives have been convening foundation leaders to build their organizational and fundraising capacity. This month, those leaders will launch fundraising campaigns with hopes of earning every matching dollar available to them.

“Local Education Foundations make a huge difference in public school systems because they invest in the future for our students and provide a creative funding stream that supports the empowerment of students,” said General McLane Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “Through this ECGRA’s Challenge, the General McLane Foundation endowment will grow and impact not only the students of today, but the students of tomorrow. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to make an even bigger impact on our students, which has been made possible through ECGRA.”

The matching contributions will be key for growing the General McLane Foundation and will have a dramatic and direct impact on General McLane students. These funds will be dispersed among student scholarships, innovative educational programs and capital improvements of student facilities. Through the Grant Challenge, the General McLane Foundation hopes to spread awareness of the Foundation and spur new ideas for Foundation Projects to which these funds can also be distributed.

Erie County’s public schools serve more than 40,000 students in 13 districts: Corry Area, Erie City, Fairview, Fort LeBoeuf, General McLane, Girard, Harborcreek, Iroquois, Millcreek, North East, Northwestern, Union City, and Wattsburg. While superintendents and staff are highly supportive of growing their respective endowments, all 13 foundations are their own nonprofit, autonomous, community-supported entities.

The General McLane Foundation was founded in 2005 as an organization exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. The foundation’s sole responsibility is to raise and distribute monies for the district to afford initiatives not covered by local, state, and federal funding. Some of the projects that the General McLane Foundation has recently funded include more than $235,000 for the installation of the artificial turf at Linden Field, more than $120,000 in student scholarships, $79,000 toward royalties and costumes for The Phantom of the Opera, the Elementary Balanced Literacy initiative and hands-on science programs, and a variety of middle school projects, including an online reading program, an autobiography project, the Lego NEXT Robotics curriculum and an Apple TV.

ECGRA’s Challenge comes alongside the foundations’ efforts with the goals of strengthening public schools and their adjoining neighborhoods, fostering development in Erie’s future workforce, and abating poverty.

“This Challenge is truly a partnership for success of our public school students and our regional economy,” said ECGRA Executive Director Perry Wood. “There is a direct correlation between an educated workforce, economic growth, and social change.”

Foundations participating in the Challenge will raise funds for a variety of district needs, including innovative curriculum, college scholarships, teacher professional development, arts education, STEM programs, and technology improvements. For more information or to donate today, please visit our Foundation Page.

GM Wrestling Heads to States

Wed, 2015-02-04 12:06


After a school-wide send-off, the General McLane Wrestling Team heads to Hershey, PA to face Council Rock South in the State Duals!

The PIAA Class AAA Dual Meet Tournament will continue Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Giant Center in Hershey. General McLane makes its first state appearance since 2006 and faces District One runner-up Council Rock South on Thursday at 8 p.m.

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McKean Elementary Teacher Wins Golden Apple Award

Wed, 2015-02-04 10:01


McKean Elementary kindergarten teacher Laura Scott was awarded the Golden Apple Award last week.

The GOLDEN APPLE AWARD program is a tradition at JET-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania. JET-TV, in partnership with Edinboro University, honors local educators who have made a positive impact upon the youth of our community. Students submit written nominations explaining why they are nominating a teacher. Each week during the school year, JET-TV visits an area school to announce the winner.

Miss Scott has been with the District for 23 years and was nominated for this award by her student, Nick Wiest.

Be sure to watch Action News 24 at 6 p.m. tonight to see this special feature. The story airs again on Thursday mornings on Action News 24 between 5:30 and 7:00 a.m.

Congratulations Miss Scott!

Cross-Grade Level Writing Activity at McKean Elementary

Tue, 2015-02-03 10:21

McKean Elementary kindergarten and second graders engaged in a cross-grade level writing activity on Monday. Miss Scott’s kindergarten class and Mrs. Kirkpatrick’s second grade class has a short lesson reviewing transitions words and spelling in a variety of activities. One of those activities included effectively using the iPads to enrich learning through technology.

Cross-grade level collaboration is used at both Edinboro and McKean Elementary Schools in order to build relationships among different ages and foster deeper learning and instruction.

After Mrs. Kirkpatrick’s class left, Miss Scott’s class engaged in different writing activities. They used the Smart Board to review rhyming words and then engaged in a writing sample, specifically using the transition words “first, next and last”.

For more pictures, please visit our “Featured Photos Section” of the website! (In honor of the 100th Day of School, some kindergarten and first grade students dressed up as 100-year-olds — so enjoy the attire!)







Happy 100th Day of School!

Mon, 2015-02-02 15:51







Two GM Students Earn Regional Band Recognition

Wed, 2015-01-28 08:59

Two General McLane students have advanced to the Regional Level for Concert Band.  Junior Caleb Will and senior David Taylor have been selected to perform in this year’s Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) Region II Concert Band Festival.

This year’s festival is hosted by Keith Gilson at Fort LeBoeuf High School and will include approximately 160 of the most talented senior high band students from the school districts in Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, McKean, Potter, Warren, Armstrong, Clarion, Forest, Indiana, Jefferson and Venango Counties. While attending the festival, students have the opportunity to audition for a chance to attend the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All State Concert Band or Wind Ensemble.

The festival is Saturday, February 14 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for students.

Congratulations to Caleb and David!


Invent Now Adds Second Summer Program at GM

Wed, 2015-01-28 08:42

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It’s time again for students to grab their thinking hats and get ready for a week of creativity, innovation, real-world problem solving and the spirit of invention. The best part? General McLane School District is now offering a second program, aside from the returning, nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program.

In addition to Camp Invention for students in grades 1-6 at Edinboro Elementary School, Invention Project is coming to James W. Parker Middle School for students in grades 6-8. Fifth and sixth graders can do both programs.

Both programs are offered by Invent Now and sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This weeklong summer program is an opportunity for both elementary and middle school students to reinvent themselves in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Campers will work in teams as they rotate between four fun thematic modules.

“This program is a perfect way to grow the imaginations of our students while doing hands-on, fun, and relevant learning,” said Todd Sturgess, a James W. Parker Middle School teacher and Director of Invention Project. “I’m hoping the students walk away from the program experience with the desire to continue exploring science and technology and using the skills they learned, not just in the classroom, but in their everyday lives.”

The elementary camp, which has returned to Edinboro Elementary for a second year, runs 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from June 15 through June 19, 2015. Within this year’s Illuminate program, students will have the opportunity to explore marine science through an underwater archaeological challenge, invent a video game, engage in challenges based on design thinking, extending the boundaries and participating in brainstorming and idea selection sessions, design a freestyle racing kart that will withstand water and navigate an obstacle course, and learn from the National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees. Each module brings new challenges to build upon what was learned the previous day.

The middle school camp runs 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from June 8-12, 2015. Current fifth graders are eligible to attend. Invention Project is a new program that is challenges 6th, 7th and 8th graders through simulated experiences. Students will have the opportunity to design and prototype smart gear, engage as a leader, developer or business owner, build and battle mini-bots, create marketing and advertising concepts and learn what it is like to kick start a business and simulate a product launch. This program costs $275.

For both programs, Camp Invention alumni save $35 if registered by Monday, February 16. New participants save $25 if registered by Friday, March 20. If returning participants miss the first deadline, this discount is available.

To register or for more information, visit or or call 800.968.4332.

GM’s Abby Wright Advances in Rock Band Competition

Tue, 2015-01-27 13:38


Performing, recording, and competing — General McLane junior Abby Wright is quickly learning the ropes of the music industry.

A member of Jack’s Mom, a band from the Rock School at World of Music in Erie, Wright competed in the Tri-C High School Rock Off at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past weekend.

She did more than compete — she excelled. Jack’s Mom placed in the top three in the competition and is now moving on to the finals, which will return to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, February 7, 2015. The band will compete against 14 other bands.

“I’m really excited, the whole experience has been awesome,” said Wright.

Only 72 bands were selected to play a 15-minute set during the six Rock Off semifinal rounds at The Rock Hall. During each of the semifinal rounds, three bands were selected by a panel of judges to move on to “The Final Exam.”

Wright plays the electric guitar for the group. She has been playing for almost seven years. Ryan Krysiak, a local rock musician, is the manager/owner and teacher at the Rock School at World of Music.

As a student at General McLane, Wright is involved in the Marching Band, Jazz Band and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. She has earned a spot in both the PMEA District Band and Jazz Band Festivals.

According to Wright, music is important to her because it’s something she enjoys that also connects her to new people.

“Music is a way to bring people together in ways people never expect, it’s a way to connect without having to talk,” Wright said. “Music is a different language.

Jack’s Mom is one of three bands from the Rock School at World of Music in Erie who competed in the contest. M4, another Erie band, also earned a trip to the finals.

The 19th Annual Tri-C® High School Rock Off, which is an annual battle of the High School bands and solo performers, is presented by Live Nation, Scene Magazine, Fox 8 and 96.5 KISS FM.

For a recap of the event, please check out the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s article. Jack’s Mom is also on YouTube.