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Cochran retires after 29 years

Mon, 2015-07-06 15:01


There’s definitely something missing this week within General McLane School District.

After 29 years of service to the District, administrative assistant to the special education supervisor and central registrar Jane Cochran retired last week.

“Jane Cochran’s service to the district has been invaluable,” said Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “She has served in so many ways, most recently, by dealing with the state’s insatiable appetite for data. She knows and understands the Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS) better than they do in Harrisburg. Jane will be sorely missed. She has touched us all in so many ways.”

Cochran started as a clerical aide for the District in 1986. She then served as a building secretary at Edinboro Elementary School for 10 years before moving to receptionist / administrative assistant to the curriculum coordinator and, lastly, the District registrar and administrative assistant to the special education supervisor.

Her duties for the District included serving as the district’s data coordinator for PIMS and the district student information system, special education software, Power School and related information demographic software systems and registrar for the district.

The St. Francis College graduate worked in Pittsburgh and Greensburg before coming to General McLane School District. She is a member of the Our Lady of the Lake parish.

Congratulations to Jane on her retirement! She will be missed greatly!

GMHS Choir Concert to Air on WFSE-FM

Wed, 2015-06-10 15:05

General McLane High School’s Spring Choral Concert will be rebroadcast on WFSE-FM as part of a new partnership between the District and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Beginning this Sunday, June 14, the station will air a rebroadcast of General McLane High School’s annual spring chorale concert (from May 28) from 8:30-9:30 a.m. as part of its current programming schedule at 88.9 on the FM dial. The concert will air in the same timeslot every Sunday through August 23. This is part of Edinboro University’s renewed efforts to better serves residents throughout southern Erie County.

“Our community strongly values and supports the District’s music program, so this is a wonderful opportunity to expose residents to our high-quality performances. This particular concert was undoubtedly the finest performance of classic choral repertoire that I have every heard at General McLane, and it’s great to have the opportunity to showcase that over different mediums,” said Superintendent Richard Scaletta.

Adding District events to WFSE programming is part of the “Boro 24/7: Campus and Community Media Partnership” initiative, where Edinboro University’s student-run media organizations (ETV, WFSE and The Spectator weekly student newspaper) work collaboratively to push content to the common web portal, which features a live webstream of WFSE. The initiative has been supported by a grant of nearly $10,000 from the Erie County Gaming and Revenue Authority (ECGRA), and department faculty are pursuing other grant-funding opportunities as well.

Lancers Sprint to Summer: GM Family Fun Run = Success

Tue, 2015-06-09 15:00

The first Annual Lancers Sprint to Summer: GM Family Fun Run was a great success. Hosted by Edinboro Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and McKean Elementary Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), the event hosted approximately 265 runners on May 23, 2015 at General McLane High School and Middle School grounds.

Obstacle stations were placed throughout the run, which was a 5k/1milerun/walk. A dunk tank, which featured Mr. Getz and Mr. White, and additional entertainment was also available. The event coordinated with the help of Robert Kennerknecht and Lisa Celeski.

“This was a healthy and fun alternative to our traditional fundraising efforts of both schools,” said McKean PTA president Tracy Stanley. “Not only was this the first time this was done, it was the first time both schools worked together in their fundraising efforts.”

More than $1900 was raised for the PTO and PTA at the Elementary schools. Both the PTO and PTA are organizations that promote parent participation. Information for next year’s run will be out around January.

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McKean Fourth Graders Create Miniature Putt-Putt Holes

Fri, 2015-06-05 11:12


Fourth grade students at McKean Elementary have put their math skills to use.

Coinciding with one of the fourth grade standards, which is to be able to apply area and perimeter formulas to rectangles, McKean Elementary teachers had students design a 9-hole putt-putt course that includes obstacles.

Students did all of the math work for each hole by calculating the area for the grass and the perimeter of the border. Then, students subtracted the obstacle’s area to calculate the actually grass needed to purchase.

After they complete this work, students choose one hole to enlarge and transform into a their mini-mini- putt-putt hole.

In the end, teachers combined the kid’s works together to make a 23-hole course in the classroom.

They use little air-soft pellets as the golf ball and a cut bendy straw as the putter.

Talk about making math fun!



Fourth Graders Solve Soccer Mystery

Fri, 2015-06-05 11:03



Edinboro Elementary fourth graders received a surprise last Friday.

When they were called to the gym for an Emergency 4th Grade Meeting, they had no idea that they would be become investigators in the Soccer Shoe Sabotage Mystery.

Goodkicks Yaple headed onto the field to warm up for the finals of the the Girls’ State Soccer Championship. But she quickly learned that she couldn’t run, someone has sabotaged her new cleats with itching power! Who could have done it? It seems like everyone has a reason….

Students were introduced to the eight suspects, then worked in teams to conduct interviews, analyze clues, and solve the mystery.





GM Students Compete in Erie Regional History Challenge

Wed, 2015-06-03 11:24

2015 9-12


2015 6-8

2015 3-5

Twelve students from General McLane School District were selected as finalists in the Second Annual Erie Regional History Challenge, with three placing in the competition.

The competition was held this week at the Jefferson Educational Society and presented by the society, the Erie Times-News Newspaper in Education and the Erie Maritime Museum.

There were ten finalists in the division. These finalist took more than 900 tests taken to get into the competition and represent the top 3% of the entire competition.

All schools belonging to the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5 or the Erie Diocese Catholic Schools were eligible to compete. Students were questioned on Erie, Pennsylvannia, United States and World History at the appropriate grade level.

Finalists from General McLane School District include:

Grades 3-5
Third Place: Audrey Calvert – Parker Middle School
Charlotte Brower – Parker Middle School
Cole Smith – Parker Middle School
Wesley Hakanen – Parker Middle School
Elijah Kozloff – Parker Middle School
Sky Bowers – Parker Middle School
Abigail Romba – Parker Middle School

Grades 6-8
Second Place: Jonah Chernicky – Parker Middle School
Third Place: Spencer Conaway – Parker Middle School
David Quinn – Parker Middle School
Carter Schoolcraft – Parker Middle School

Grades 9-12
Jaden Standley – General McLane High School

Congratulations all of the students involved in this year’s competition!

For more information, please visit the Jeferson Education Society’s website at JESErie.corg or contact (814) 870-1838.

EE Students Skype with Author

Tue, 2015-06-02 17:33




Today, Edinboro Elementary fourth graders connected with author Phil Bildner through the telecommunications application software product Skype.

Phil Bildner is the author of the New York Times bestselling Sluggers! series, the Texas Bluebonnet Award–winning Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy, its companion The Shot Heard ‘Round the World, and Turkey Bowl illustrated by C.F. Payne; and Twenty-One Elephants, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Bildner Skyped with the students from his home in Brooklyn, NY. The interview lasted forty-five minutes and the author told the students about his life, his books and being a writer. He gave the students advice and also answered their questions.

“It was such a great experience for the students to be able to communicate face to face with an author,” said Michelle Androstic, a Librarian & Gifted Education Teacher.

Mrs. Androstic set up the visit, which was funded by the Edinboro Elementary PTO.

MS Students Design Fish Sculpture for Camp Notre Dame

Thu, 2015-05-28 14:16


James W. Parker Middle School students designed and decorated a fish sculpture for a picnic pavilion at Camp Notre Dame.

Mr. Yonko, the director of Camp Notre Dame, gave the school the fish sculpture (leftover from an art project many years ago). Students worked on the piece of artwork for about 15 minutes during homeroom for the last 2 1/2 months.

According to JWPMS art teacher Christina Martin, students submitted individual designs and then they combined their ideas to create a final design. In trying to decide on a theme for the fish sculpture, they looked at Camp Notre Dame’s website and talked about activities and personal experiences involving camping, fishing, etc. Martin said that the group wanted to relay the message that Camp Notre Dame is a great place to experience many fun outdoor activities.

“Students were very excited to work on this collaborative project that would give back to the community,” Martin said. “This type of art project is a wonderful lesson in collaboration, and problem solving. I am lucky enough to work with very enthusiastic, talented students. We were so thrilled to be able to use our artistic skills to do something for our community.

Students involved include Hope Robbins, Sidney Farbotnik, Emily Moran, Shannon Mercer, Taghan Watkins, McKenna Pease, Rylie Saboski, Sierra Mercer, Megan Mikesell, Grace Jones, Lexus Pianta and Melissa Swanson.

Mr. Yonko picked up the artwork from the students on Tuesday, and it will be displayed in their pavilion.

“Tanks” Comes to Life for Fourth Graders

Wed, 2015-05-27 13:20




For McKean Fourth graders, the computer game “Tanks” has come to life.

After seeing the students enjoy playing a computer game called “Tanks”, McKean fourth grade teachers Scott Hutchison and James Pete decided to connect it with their curriculum, making it hands-on and heavily hitting multiple standards.

“It’s been a great way to bring meaning to how different angles actually have different results when used,” said McKean Fourth grade teacher Scott Hutchison. “It also brings in the concept of force and how that variable effects their distance.”

Here’s how they play:
– The launcher has a protractor on the side of it. Each launch, the students have to – record the angle measurement.
– In order to practice using decimals and fractions, each target is worth 2/10 of a point.
– Students record their scores by expressing them as a fraction and a decimal.
– As they earn more points they also have to be adding the fraction and decimals.
– The first player to reach 1 whole point wins.

GMHS Art Show Preview: Meet Hunter Hendricks

Tue, 2015-05-19 11:26


Hunter Hendricks’ artwork is one of those selected for this year’s Art Show, which is scheduled for May 28 from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the High School Grand Lobby. Each week, we will feature one student-artist.

Art isn’t foreign for General McLane High School junior Hunter Hendricks.

As a child, he’d often watch his grandfather sculpt and paint different pieces of artwork. His grandfather not only was an artist, but worked as an art professor for two different colleges.

“It’s been part of my whole life. I grew up watching him do his own artwork and I really enjoyed it and thought it was cool. At one point, I even wanted to be an artist for a living. I tried to mimic his techniques, but of course, I was much younger so the results didn’t turn out too well,” says Hendricks.

Back then, his grandfather’s artwork was displayed all throughout this house. Now, it’s Hendricks’ artwork that will be on display as part of the annual General McLane Art Show this month.

One of his featured pieces, “The Golden Lion Tamarin,” involves recreating a photo using Photoshop. By creating low poly graphic design work, Hendricks used Photoshop to digitally draw the artwork, one triangle at a time. It is a technique that game designers and animators use to represent 3D Graphics.

Hendricks selected one of his favorite animals in order to create something unique with a lot of color. The project took him about two days to complete.

Hendricks has enrolled in a variety of art elects each year, adding Graphic Design and Photography to his course load this year. Outside of school, the junior does some projects using color pencil and acrylic.

Hendricks is a member of both the Wrestling and Track and Field team. Although he doesn’t want to pursue the field of art after high school, he hopes to continue doing art projects and designs.

Be sure to see Hendricks’ design and more at the Annual Art Show this month!

GMHS Educator is Quarterfinalist For The Music Educator Award

Wed, 2015-05-13 08:36


General McLane High School music teacher Bruce Yates has been selected as a quarterfinalist for the 2016 Music Educator Award.

A total of 213 music teachers from 194 cities across 42 states have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award™, presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation. In total, more than 4,500 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

“I appreciate the nomination and I am honored to be considered among the many music educators across the country that were selected. My students inspire me to do my best. I consider it a privilege and a blessing to have to opportunity to work with the many hard working and talented students I have had over the years and to be part of a district and community that supports and realizes the importance of music and the arts,” said Yates, who added that his wife Trisha Yates has been one of the main contributors to the success of the program.

The Music Educator Award recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, this special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception (honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award) during GRAMMY Week 2016.

Yates has been a vocal teacher with the District for 26 years. General McLane High School was the first school in the area to have a Vocal Jazz ensemble. General McLane choir students now compete in regional and state competitions, including the PMEA All-States. In 2006, the GM Vocal Jazz ensemble was selected to perform at the PMEA state conference.

Yates is the director of the high school musical and the Broadway Dinner. The Broadway Dinner showcases the talents of almost 200 students and has become a community treasure. This production typically sells out its 500-plus seats within hours. All four performances of this year’s musical, Phantom of the Opera, were also sold out.

According to Yates, his most memorable achievement has been Phantom of the Opera and the success of Broadway Dinner after doing it for 28 years.

“Bruce Yates has pushed the General McLane vocal music program to new heights,” said Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “He has been able to involve a large number of students from all facets of the student body. Whether performing music of Broadway or choral classics, his students perform at the highest level. He has made the GM vocal music program a premier program.”

Outside of General McLane, Yates has been the music director at St. Jude’s Church for 26 years and is involved with the Erie Playhouse. Yates has also been a guest conductor for several PMEA festivals, as well as guest conductor and clinician for Vocal Jazz Festivals in Pittsburgh and Jamestown NY.

Each year, one recipient will be selected from 10 finalists, and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students’ lives. The winner will be flown to host city of the GRAMMY Awards to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine other finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. The honorariums and grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Foundation’s Education Champions: Converse, Disney Performing Arts, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Journeys.

The semifinalists will be announced in September.

Safe Routes To School Initiative

Tue, 2015-05-12 11:04


May is National Bike Month and McKean Elementary students have kicked it off in style.

County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper and officials gathered at McKean Elementary School on Monday to announce the Safe Routes to School Initiative, a plan to help make streets safer for kids to travel on a bike. Research for this initiative will take place throughout the course of this year.

“Safe routes will impact McKean students tremendously,” said McKean Elementary physical education teacher Lisa Celeski. “Many of our kids do not have a safe place to bike at home. The area we live in is lovely, but the country roads make it difficult for young students to ride bikes. If safe routes were in place, our students would be able to ride, practice and as increase physical activity by riding to and from school.”

The Elementary Schools in the District do a five-week unit on bike safety. Students learn about safety, scenarios, road conditions, motor vehicles and hazards, as well as biking etiquette.

In the past, General McLane School District participated in a state grant that allowed the District to do a Safe Route to School study. This study analyzed McKean in order to learn what it would take to get students to walk safely to school.

For more pictures, please visit our Featured Photos Page.

April Driver of the Month: Erica Long

Fri, 2015-05-08 14:45

Erica Long 4-8-15

The April Driver of the Month is Erica Long.

Erica has been driving a bus for General McLane School District since October, 2002. She’s ran a single run for almost five years before switching to a High School/Middle School and Elementary run. For many years, Erica was able to run her own business, while driving for the District. Currently, Erica drives bus and works for Dollar General.

Erica takes great care of her students is greatly appreciated by her students and their families.

Erica is proud that she, her husband and all her children are all General McLane graduates. As will be her grandchildren.

This is part of 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 to Erica!

GMHS Art Show Preview: Meet Emilee Fails

Fri, 2015-05-08 14:32



Portrait by senior Emilee Fails
Emilee Fails’ portrait is one of the selected artworks in this year’s Art Show, which is scheduled for May 28 from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the High School Grand Lobby. Each week, we will feature one student-artist. 

This past fall, senior Emilee Fails rounded up some of her friends for a photo shoot. Little did she know that this photo shoot would lead to one of her favorite pictures yet.

A log rested near the water and Fails saw an opportunity.

“It was a gorgeous the way the colors all blended so I knew I wanted to get a shot. It was an accident how we got there, but I love the way it turned out,” Fails says.

Now, her portrait is one of the selected pieces for the upcoming Art Show.

Fails is an apprentice with Karen Hodas for the current semester. The opportunity to do an apprenticeship is an elective class for high school students. Fails often helps troubleshoot the students in Photoshop and also helps with class critiques in Photo 1 class. She creates displays and has been asked by other teachers to make creative signs for the prom or for other clubs or activities.

Her interest in photography is fairly new, she says. As a tenth grader, she took an elective and her interest stuck.

“I like how it’s so different from drawling and painting, but still considered art. It’s very different from traditional art, but at the same time, you can portray the same things,” says Fails.

Since then, she has worked to learn the way colors work and the rules of photography. This has been a huge help for her own photography business, where she does portraits. For more information on Emilee Fails Photography, please visit her Facebook Page.

Fails will attend Point Park University in Pittsburgh in the Fall, where she will double major in Public Relations/Advertising and Photography.

Be sure to catch Fails’ work in the upcoming GMHS Art Show!


Five GMHS students sign to play collegiate sports

Fri, 2015-05-01 13:31


On Friday, five General McLane students officially signed during the school’s College Signing Day. The event took place in the GM Library at Noon.

Michelle Jahn officially signed to play basketball at Edinboro University, Michaela Redinger officially signed to Golf at Allegheny College, Laura Schaefer officially signed to play Soccer at Penn State Behrend, Mike Allison officially signed to dive for Clarion University and Keller Watkins officially signed to wrestle for Mercyhurst University.

Congratulations to all of our student-athletes who signed today!

Elementary student raises money for Wins for Kids

Fri, 2015-05-01 08:29

Edinboro Elementary student Jacob Haugh didn’t ask for any birthday gifts. Instead, the third grader requested something else — donations.

Haugh raised $2,521 in three weeks for Wins for Kids, a program that raises funds to support the Pittsburgh Pirates Charities and the Center for Prader-Willi Syndrome at the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh.

“I thought I had everything I needed, and I wanted to help out kids who can never go to games,” said Haugh during the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pre-Game Show on Sunday, April 19. The show airs again on Friday, May 1, following the Pirates Postgame show.

During the pre-game show, Haugh met Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and even had the opportunity to sit in his chair. For the game, Haugh got to sit in a suite, which was also offered to other kids with autism.

All monies that are raised through Wins for Kids are split evenly between Pirates Charities and the Center for Prader-Willi Syndrome at the Children’s Institute. Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a rare, complex genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body and the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh is the only hospital-based site in the world treating children and adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Hurdle’s 11-year old daughter Maddie has Prader-Willi Syndrome. Since the 2011 season, generous fans have helped raise more than $225,000 to improve the lives of children and adults in the Pittsburgh community.

Haugh isn’t done his fundraising efforts, either. His goal is to get $3000 by the end of the Pirates’ season! Donations can be are online.  In order to count towards Jacob’s goal, please make your donation “In Honor of Jacob.”

GMHS Students Participate in Model United Nations Convention

Thu, 2015-04-30 13:11


Model UN

Eight General McLane High School students participated in Annual High School Model UN competition at Mercyhurst University on April 25. Junior Emily Hughes was one of four students to earn a scholarship. Representing Palestine, Hughes earned a Superior Rating along with a $2500 scholarship.

During the conference, delegates debate such issues as peacekeeping operations, terrorism, cyber terrorism, energy security, and nuclear non-proliferation. This competition is student-led and facilitates members’ organizational and leadership skills. It also allows for mentoring opportunities between MIOT members and local high school students.

General McLane participants included Tyler Cornell, Zachary Gray, Emily Hughes, Adam Hushon, Hannah Maloney, Jesse Nathanson, Kaylee Rea and Lily Zheng.

This competition started in 2011. Two $15,000 Scholarships are awarded annually to the top delegates and two $2,500 Scholarships (which can be added to a merit-based award at Mercyhurst) are awarded annually to second place delegates.

Congratulations to Emily and all of the students for their participation!

Fun After PSSA Testing

Thu, 2015-04-30 11:29


Both McKean and Edinboro Elementary Schools are having some fun after the PSSA tests.

McKean Fourth graders created a video, showcasing their “Test Taker Face”.

Edinboro Elementary PTO sponsored Spirit Days. Wednesday was PJ Day, Thursday was Crazy Hat Day and Friday is GM spiritwear day. On Thursday evening, the PTO also hosted an Ice Cream Social at 6 p.m., with a magic show at 6:45 p.m.



Penny Drive at Edinboro Elementary School

Thu, 2015-04-30 11:19



Edinboro Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is hosting a Penny Drive Wednesday through Friday this week.

This drive is a fundraiser for the PTO, which is a non-profit organization comprised of parents and guardians of students, current administration and teachers, and is open to any patron who wishes to support Edinboro Elementary School. Its goal is to provide a positive relationship between parents and teachers; keep abreast of trends in education; provide assistance to teachers as desired by the school; provide financial support to the school and its student body; and assist in providing programs to support school curriculums. Some annual events include Curriculum Night, Santa Shop Fall Fest, Holiday Fun Night & Book Fair, Science Expo and Ice Cream Social.

The grade that brings in the most spare change will earn an extended recess!


Elementary Students Learn Water Safety

Tue, 2015-04-28 13:21


As the weather warms up, McKean Elementary fourth graders are learning about water safety basics.

Through partnerships with Edinboro University, Fairview Fire and Rescue and Presque Isle State Park Cost Guard, students are engaged in water safety lessons in order to become more aware and confident when in and around the water.

“The program helps are students prepare for water emergencies since they learn the skills that enable them to perform rescues, be prepared and aware of water related emergencies and perform these skills no matter what their swimming abilities are,” said McKean Health and Physical Education teacher Lisa Celeski. “Between Presque Isle, Edinboro Lake and the many ponds and pools that our students encounter, learning water safety becomes vital for our students so they can have a greater appreciation and enjoyment of water activities.”

The lessons start in Edinboro University’s pool, where fourth graders learn all about swimming, rescues and boating. Some specific examples that students learn include how to reach and throw assists, how to float and stay warm in cold water.

In May, students will travel to Walnut Creek Access Area to have a safety lesson with the Fish and Game Commission, in conjunction with Fairview Fire and Rescue. In the afternoon, the students will travel to Presque Isle State Park Coast Guard station to experience a lesson with the officers on water safety.

Edinboro Elementary fourth graders did water safety lessons in March.