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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.



Tom DiVecchio Visits Edinboro Elementary

Tue, 2015-04-28 11:32



JET-TV senior meteorologist Tom DiVecchio presented on weather to Edinboro Elementary Second Graders today.

During his presentation, DiVecchio had student volunteers to  demonstrated how radar works. While one student acted as the radar that was searching for the storm, another student acted as the storm moving closer to the radar.

DiVecchio also discussed the difference between detecting rain and detecting snow.

Students also had the opportunity to ask him questions. Some of the questions asked included:

“What is the most severe type of weather?”
“How does lightning occur?”
“What is the difference between a hurricane and a tornado?”
“How do the different tools detect weather?”
“How fast does the wind blow in a tornado?”
“Why do we hear thunder?”

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

GMHS Hosts PYD Summit

Mon, 2015-04-27 09:12


General McLane High School was selected to host a special Positive Youth Development of Erie County Summit for PYD Student Leadership Councils.

The Youth Summit was a student leadership conference for designated schools only that PYD has worked with for positive change in the school environment. The objective of the summit was to share priority problem areas (Pennsylvania Youth Survey) and proposed action plans created by students from the various school leadership councils. This was also a great networking event for all the students to come together and talk about issues and ideas for a more positive school climate.

General McLane was one of only six school districts selected for the summit because of its involvement with PYD and student leadership involvement. Other schools in attendance included: Girard School District, Iroquois School District, Harborcreek School District, Union City School District and Strong Vincent High School.

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McKean students “pie” principal for Autism Awareness

Mon, 2015-04-27 09:04


McKean Elementary School raised a total of $811.82 through their fundraiser, “Collecting Coins for Autism Awareness.”

Throughout the month of April, McKean Elementary Autistic Support and Emotional Support Classes “Collect[ed] Coins for Autism Awareness”, with all money going to the Autism Society of NW PA. The classes that collected the most money gave students the opportunity to “Pie the Principal” during an assembly on Friday.

In Kindergarten, Miss Scott and Mrs. Troyer’s Classes tied for first with $69.68 each. Students selected to “pie” Mr. Getz were Brody Caldwell and Lydia Gindlesperger, McKenna Laughery and Gionna Iaquinta.

Mrs. Grossett’s Class won first grade with $79.56, and Taylor Schwab and Charlie Salvo were selected to Pie Mr. Getz.

Mrs. Campbell’s Class won second grade with $93.98, and Daniel Topel and Wyatt Junkins were selected to Pie Mr. Getz.

Mrs. Sontag’s Class won third grade with $62.93, and Bernie Pattullo and Breanna Englert were selected to Pie Mr. Getz.

Mr. Hutchison’s Class won fourth grade with $62.76, and Reagan Humes and Dillon Mayer were selected to Pie Mr. Getz.

The mission of the Autism Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. The Autism Society of NW PA exists to improve the quality of life across the lifespan of persons on the Autism Spectrum and helps their families in Erie, Crawford, Venango, and Mercer Counties through:

Autism is a complex disorder that affects the way a person’s brain works. It affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism.

Thank you to everyone who donated to the Coin Drive and thank you to Mr. Getz for volunteering to be “pied” for Autism Awareness!

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GMHS Wins Award for Autism Awareness

Wed, 2015-04-22 10:16

Autism Awareness

Congratulations to General McLane High School’s Club Connections for winning “MOST FUNDS RAISED for SCHOOL Team” by the Autism Society – NWPA. Through a series of events, the Club raised more than $1,000 (with the help of McKean Elementary and GMHS Student Council).

The students will be awarded with a plaque at this weekend’s 14th Annual Walk for Autism. Hosted by the NWPA Autism Society, the walk is held at Presque Isle State Park’s Rotary Pavilion on Saturday, April 25th.

Throughout the month, General McLane High School had a series of events. During this month’s Study Session, GMHS Autistic Support teacher Nicole McFadden spoke to the School Board about Club Connections and other happenings in the AS classes. The High School hosted a “Light it Up Blue Day”, where all the faculty and students wore blue to support Autism Awareness. The front school lobby was decorated with blue lights and puzzle pieces which had facts about autism on them. High school students visited McKean Elementary’s Health classes to speak to the elementary students about autism and how they can be a friend to someone with autism. The GMHS Autistic Support students had a bake sale, and the high school also hosted a “Hat Day” for faculty and students.

McKean Elementary also helped. Throughout the month of April, McKean Elementary participated in a coin drive. The class from each grade that raises the most money gets to “Pie the Principal” on Friday.

Congratulations to all involved!

Elementary Students ‘Skype’ with Marine

Wed, 2015-04-22 09:25


McKean Elementary students had an opportunity for a one of kind lesson on attentive listening.

Mrs. Weber’s second grade class connected with Corporal Daniel Davis of the United States Marine Corp, who is stationed in Japan, through the telecommunications application software product Skype.

Students gathered information to ask questions and then listened to his responses. To prepare, students worked in partners to develop questions and then engaged in a class discussion to analyze how those questions could be expanded upon to prompt more than a one word response from Corporal Davis. Some of the questions the students asked included, “Why did you choose the military as a job?” “How many badges do you have? What are they for?” “Where have you been stationed” “What was your promotion like?”

Students also shared some of their own personal experiences. One student even shared his grandfather’s pins and metals with Corporal Davis. McKean Elementary’s Challenge students were also invited to share their Support the Troops fundraiser.

The interview lasted an half hour. At the very end of the interview, prior to saying goodbye to Corporal Davis, the students stood and said the Pledge of Allegiance. During this, Corporal Davis stood, and the students were fascinated to see how quickly and how straight he stood. Following the Skype interview, the students gathered to discuss and share what was learned. Students were then given a writing assignment to summarize their thoughts about information learned.

This project was coordinated through the help of Edinboro University field student Kylee Bennett.

“This lesson was a success as the students were each able to explain what they had learned throughout the lesson,” Bennett said. “Through an exciting opportunity for the students to interact with a marine, the lesson objectives of building speaking, listening and writing skills were met, and in some cases, met and surpassed.”
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GMHS Students Spread Autism Awareness at Elementary School

Mon, 2015-04-20 09:56

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General McLane High School students went to McKean Elementary School last week to talk to students about Autism Awareness.

Students about how to be a good friend, accept others and help students diagnosed with autism. Elementary students also had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in healthy discussions.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, an opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year.

Kindergarten class creates animal sculptures made from recycled materials

Fri, 2015-04-17 14:37

Mrs. Rupert’s Kindergarten class recycled materials (paper towel rolls, yarn scraps, cereal boxes, etc.) to make animal art! The students show off their animal sculptures in a short “Green Tip” video for WICU in honor of Earth Day/Month. Their video is here:

Mrs. Johnson is their art teacher at McKean Elementary School.

Great job students!

McKean students collect items for military personnel

Thu, 2015-04-16 15:54


From left to right: Riley Munger, Avanel Munger, Abigail Greenleaf, and Erin Mennow.

Last month, McKean Elementary Challenge Students collected items to include in care packages for military personnel currently deployed overseas. The students successfully collected more than 1,300 items, enough to fill six boxes.

This initiative was 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.

Thank you very much to all those who donated!

PSSA Pump-Up

Wed, 2015-04-15 15:28


PSSA testing started this week for the District, and McKean Elementary third and fourth graders aren’t alone!

Classes from other grades in the school are sponsoring a third or fourth grade class with a note of encouragement and a little treat each morning of the PSSAs in what is known as, “PSSA Pump-Ups”. Today, Mrs. Polaski’s Kindergarten class wrote a big “Pump-Up” poem for Mr. Hutchison’s fourth grade class. Each kindergartener passed out a decorated treat bag for the 4th graders.

“The entire school was eager to participate,” said fourth grade elementary teacher Scott Hutchison. “The kid’s faces light up to see that other kids in the school are supporting them as they tackle their monster task. They also love to see their former teachers come in and jump-start their morning.”

This is the second year McKean Elementary School has done this.

Good luck to all of our students taking the PSSAs this week!