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Veterans Day Celebration Program @ JWPMS

Fri, 2016-11-11 10:15


James W. Parker Middle School held their annual salute to veterans last Friday morning. All veterans were invited to breakfast and then invited to a celebration that included the Posting of Colors, performances by the 8th Grade Chorus and a series of student speakers.

Mr. Nathan Everhart, a veteran and school nurse, gave the opening and closing marks for the ceremony.

Mr. Kevin Fromknecht served as this year’s guest speaker. Fromknecht is a General McLane graduate from the class of 1996. He enlisted into the PA Army National Guard in 1998.  His first duty assignment was D Co. 1-110th Infantry, 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized).  In 2002, he commissioned through Indiana University of PA ROTC as a Second Lieutenant and branched Aviation.  He was then assigned to HHC 1-104th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) in Johnstown, PA.  Shortly thereafter, he attended flight school (Initial Entry Rotary Wing) at Fort Rucker, Alabama where he was trained and qualified in the TH-67 Bell Creek helicopter, the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter and in his advanced aircraft the AH-64 Apache helicopter. After graduating from flight school in 2004, he served deployments in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has earned the Bronze Star Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Combat Action Badge, Air Medal, 5 Army Commendation Medals and Army Senior Aviator Badge.

When Mr. Fromknecht is not on drill status, he serves as the Human Resources Assistant here at Edinboro University’s ROTC Department.

JWPMS students Nick Tysiachney, Clay Kintz and Emma Phillips presented their essays on the nation they believe in.

The eighth grade singers also performed the Natioanl Anthem, “We Honor You” and “Let Freedom Ring”. Caden Etzel, Aidan Regan, Cliff Morehouse and Wyatt Hall folded the flags and GMHS Band Director and Veteran Jacob Malec performed the taps.

This is an annual event for the Midde School. This year, they hosted about 100 veterans.

Thank you to our Veterans and have a Happy Veterans Day! For more pictures, please visit our Featured Photos Page. 





GMHS seniors win JFLF Welding Awards

Fri, 2016-11-11 10:00


General McLane High School seniors Cody Brace and Nico Garde have been selected by the James F. Lincoln Foundation Arc Welding Foundation as winners of the 2016 Welding Awards Competition.

Brace earned a Regional Silver Award for his project Car Jack Stands, which included a pair of adjustable jack stands for his car. Garde earned a Regional Bronze award for Tank Forge, a coal fired forge to smith forge steel.

These projects were designed and built in General McLane High School’s metal productions class.

“These students worked very hard to design, fabricate, and then put into writing a well thought out set of plans. The projects were unique and created because the students had a need for something,” said Nick Basko, General McLane High School Technology Education Teacher, who oversees the metal productions class. “Instead of going to the store and buying the item, they gathered materials and built one of their own.”

According to Brace, he developed the idea based on his experience working on cars. He said the adjustable jack stands allow for more versatility. Since creating the car jacks, Brace said he has used them a handful of times.

Garde also created his Tank Forge based on his experience. According to Garde, the wanted to create a forge that would heat up more quickly than the ones he uses at school.

Metal Productions is one of 16 Technology Education classes offered at General McLane High School. This nine-week course is an advanced study of metal material, design, equipment and manufacturing processes. Students examine the processes of manufacturing facilities and the advances that maintain manufacturing efficiency and then create custom metal projects through various manufacturing processes.

FLF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), tax-exempt charitable organization dedicated to advancing the field of arc welding through education. Each year, the JFLF’s Welding Awards Program rewards excellence and inspires advancement in the field.

To submit a project to the award program, students create a detailed step-by-step written procedure that includes drawings, bill of materials, cut lists, and safety. These projects will be placed into project book sold and distributed by the foundation.

Students compete among students in their region. Brace and Garde competed with students from 17 different states, including: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington D.C.

Congratulations to Cody and Nico!

GMHS Students Advance to State Journalism Competition

Wed, 2016-11-09 08:38

Juniors Hannah Wyman, McKenah Bryson and Sabrina McCain placed first in the Student Journalism Competition held this month at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pa.

The competition was part of a day-long event where students engage in journalism seminars held by Penn State Behrend faculty and compete in “Write-Off” competitions held in a variety of disciplines.

Wyman placed for News Writing, Bryson for Feature Writing and McCain for Editorial Cartoon.

All three will advance to the State competition held at University Park in the Spring, and will compete again against the winners from the other six regional competitions held at satelline Penn State campuses.

Congratulations to the winners!

Getting to Know JWPMS’ Anna Elliott

Fri, 2016-11-04 13:44


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

This week, we are featuring James W. Parker Middle School’s Anna Elliott, who has worked with the District for 22 years. She currently teaches students in grades 5-8 in the Club Room, the Center for Learning and Behavior. She has served in a variety of roles within the District, including a sixth grade social studies teacher, a learning support teacher and a fifth grade social studies and English teacher. Prior to working at General McLane, Mrs. Elliott worked various aide positions for the IU 5 and taught at Gannondale.

What is your favorite thing about your job?
Helping both the students and families overcome academic and behavioral difficulties.

Why do you enjoy being part of the GM family?
Because it truly is a FAMILY. Everyone works together and looks out for each other, from the principals down to the students! 

What is your favorite work-related memory?
Winning the Souper Bowl contest and donating the winnings to the Hearts to Hands sewing group.

Did you know ….
Mrs. Elliott’s father and husband call her Lucy from Charlie Brown (she said she wonders why!)

JWPMS adds pre-made salads to the menu

Thu, 2016-11-03 14:32


James W. Parker Middle School now serves five daily pre-made salads a day – and they have been a huge success!

So far, the Middle School sells an average of 30 each day and since adding these to the menu this year, lunch participation has increased 10 percent. Starting in January, these will make their way to the high school.

These new salads include: Taco Salad, Cobb Salad, Mandarin Chicken Salad, Chef Salad, Tuna Salad and the Salad of the Month. The most popular salads are the Mandarin Chicken Salad and Taco Salad.

Salads are made daily in the mornings. The price is currently $2.50, but due to anticipated vendor price increases on January 1, 2017, the price of pre-made salads will increase to $3 as of January 2nd.

Below are pictures of the process to create the Mandarin Chicken Salad!

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GM student attends medical forum

Wed, 2016-11-02 16:04


Most high school students do not get the opportunity to become a “doctor for a day” and face the complexities of diagnosing and treating a patient.

But General McLane High School senior Elizabeth May did just that when she worked in a team of four to diagnose a patient actor with Congestive Heart Failure.

May was one of the students who attended the Envision National Youth Leadership Forum in Advanced Medicine & Health Care this summer. This 10-day program was held at Johns Hopkins University and exposes high school students to real-world medical career experiences and professional opportunities in the expanding fields of medicine and health care.

“No single day was the same. Each day was something different that provided us with the experience of being in medical school for a week,” May said. “Everything we did was challenging, but it gave us the opportunity to learn real-life situations without being scared that you were going to fail.”

In addition to the standardized patient encounter, May also had the opportunity to take part in a public awareness campaign. These are designed to help students understand the importance of disease prevention awareness by receiving firsthand experience in containing a public health threat.

Through this opportunity, May worked in a team to develop a campaign for skin cancer. According to May, they conducted research and created “Sun Dun,” an ingestible product that would serve as an alternative to sun screen.

“We did a ton of research and learned that the chemicals in sun screen are really terrible,” May said. “So we created something that was not so far from reality that it could be created into something that could actually be possible.”

At the end, they presented this campaign to more than seventy people.

Students also toured the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center, the University of Maryland and John Hopkins University. NYLF Advanced Medicine participates also met real medical students

“It was an amazing experience to be there and see what medical students are living through and to understand their reality,” said May. “It was fantastic to be surrounded by people who love what I love and enjoy what I enjoy. Everything we were exposed to was fascinating to us because we were eager to learn from it.”

May is currently undecided about her post-high school plans, however, she hopes to eventually become a doctor. She currently is the president of the National Honor Society and a member of the PJAS, Battle of the Books and Evironthon teams. She also has a third degree black belt in taekwondo.






Halloween Door Decorating

Wed, 2016-11-02 15:38


Mr. Basko’s winning door!


General McLane High School added an extra Halloween treat this year!

During each advisory, students decorated their teacher’s door to generate Halloween spirit (pun intended). The top five doors were included on the ballot and students voted through Schoology on Monday for their favorite.

Mr. Basko’s door won and his advisory will have a pizza party!

Each teacher has an “advisory” period, where they mentor a group of students on a career.

This event was sponsored by the Principal’s Cabinet. General McLane High School’s Principal’s Cabinet is a group of students who help create a positive environment among students within the District. This group is an active member of the Positive Youth Development initiative.

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Halloween Parades @ Elementary Schools

Tue, 2016-11-01 16:18


Both McKean and Edinboro Elementary Schools hosted their Halloween Parades and festivals yesterday. Students participated in a march wearing their costumes and then classrooms held parties filled with games and food.

A good time was had by all!

For more pictures, check out our Featured Photos Page.






“Bid for the Bands” slated for November 5

Mon, 2016-10-31 09:29


The General McLane Band Booster’s Annual “Bid for the Bands” fundraiser takes place Saturday, November 5 at the St Francis Usher’s Club.

This fun event includes a night of music, food, silent auctions, live auctions, balloon prizes and 50/50’s.

Individual tickets are $25 and a couple (with one bid number) is $40. Donations for auction items are also being accepted.

All proceeds will benefit all instrumental programs in the high school, marching band, symphonic winds, concert band, and jazz band.

Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. For ticket information or to donated to the event, contact Pauline Boyd at (814) 323-1943 or

JWPMS Recognizes Red Ribbon Week

Fri, 2016-10-28 15:29

Parker stars

James W. Parker Middle School participated in Red Ribbon Week this week through the end of Monday.

Red Ribbon Week, which was started in 1985, is aimed at teaching kids all about drug abuse and the importance of being drug free.

JWPMS kicked off a series of themed-days to remind students to be drug-free.

The events include:

Tuesday — October 25th — Red Out (please wear red)
Wednesday — October 26th — Dress Your Best
Thursday — October 27th — Crazy Sock Day
Friday — October 28th — Be a part of the team (School Spirit)
Monday — October 31st — Say “BOO” to Drugs (Halloween Costumes)

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the United States. If you’d like to learn more about what you can do with your kids at home, please visit this website.

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Crazy Socks

WJET-TV meteorologists Tom Atkins and Tom DiVecchio visit JWPMS

Fri, 2016-10-28 15:17


WJET-TV meteorologists Tom Atkins and Tom DiVecchio visited James W. Parker Middle School on Wednesday to speak to fifth grade students about the importance of scientists, especially meteorologists.

Atkins and DiVecchio shared some information about what they do at the TV station and some other important weather facts.

JWPMS teacher Laurie Santos is the Edinboro weather watcher for the station and orchestrated the event. This is the second year in a row that the duo has visited JWPMS.





PTSA hosts Halloween student fun night

Fri, 2016-10-28 14:50



James W. Parker Middle School’s PTSA hosted its first Student Fun Night of the year. The night featured basketball, Minute-to-Win-it, a variety of games and dancing to music from a DJ. Food and beverages were also available.

There was also a costume contest with a costume contest from each grade. Each winner won a $5 gift card to Walmart from the PTSA.

Fifth grader Senecca Servidio won for her leopard costume, sixth grader Cole Kuffer won for his costume of a snack machine, seventh grader Ellen Cunningham won for her costume as Instagram and eighth grader Maddison Knapp won for her costume of a voodoo doll.

This event is hosted by the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), a volunteer association where parents, educators, students and other citizens can be active in their schools and communities.

Service Center raises money for Breast Cancer

Fri, 2016-10-28 14:22


The General McLane Service Center hosted a series of events this month to raise $631.20 toward the cure for Breast Cancer.

They hosted a “PINK DAY” and encouraged all to wear pink for a $1 fee. Transportation Coordinator Nancy Ekstrom matched the donation up to $50.

They also hosted a “HOT DOG!” event where they served hot dogs, beverages and dessert. They also hosted a “PINK PASTA” day, where they served Penne with pink sauce, bread and a beverage. Tickets were $5 for each.

In addition to these events, they also sold pink ribbons to honor and/or support loved ones who may be battling, who have won and those we’ve lost.

McKean hosts first ARRFS assembly

Fri, 2016-10-28 14:16



Last week, McKean Elementary hosted its first ARRFS assembly on RESPECT. Guests from GMHS, the EUP track and field and the EUP women’s basketball assisted with the program, in addition to McKean’s own ARRFS.

ARFS stands for acts of respect, responsibility, fun and safe to be with. Each month, the team of students reinforced a monthly theme of respect for other students. This program is part of the new anti-bullying program at McKean Elementary School.

Senior shares experience at Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences

Tue, 2016-10-25 06:10


General McLane High School senior Joel Linebach attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences (PGSS), a highly competitive five-week, in-residence summer enrichment program at Carnegie Mellon University. He was one of 60 students chosen from over 500 applicants.

“For students who love to learn and love the sciences, this is an outlet to pursue that passion,” Linebach said.

PGSS is known for its intense program in which the students take lecture courses in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science. Some of Linebach’s courses included Biotechnology of HIV and AIDS, Computer Science, Discrete Mathematics, Organic Chemistry and programming. While in programming, Linebach said he learned how to program Tetris and Tic-Tac-Toe.

In addition, students participate in their choice of one laboratory course in either biology, chemistry, physics, or computer science and engage in team research projects in one of the above five major discipline areas. Linebach was part of a research project in Chemistry and dealt with super conductors and x-ray diffraction.

“What was really nice was that it was set up like you’re in college,” Linebach said. “One of the things that the Governor’s School really offers students it the opportunity to excel where high school can’t.”

For example, he said that at General McLane High School, he could take Organic Chemistry or Special Relativity as independent study. But at the Governor’s School, he had access to the labs and high-tech equipment that is only available on a college campus.

“This gives that experience to high school kids who love to learn and delve into this type of stuff, while also seeing them flourish.”

The students also have the opportunity to take elective courses, participate in several field trips and hear from distinguished guest lecture series. Some of this year’s speakers included a Nuclear Engineer, a Geologist, a Rocket Scientist, NASA Scientist and computer scientist.

The program is free for students selected to participate. Previously, the state funded the program but funding was cut in 2009. Now, program alumni and supporters have joined together to form “Save PGSS.”

Linebach is a member of the National Honor Society, Study Council, Marching Band, Cross County and Track teams and Evironthon teams. He is also the Drum Major for the band, serves as the JETS team captain and is a dance assistant at Miss Lucy’s Dancing School. He plans to focus in Bio-Chemistry after high school.

Linebach presented his experience to the General McLane School District Board of Directors at their October Monthly Meeting.

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Senior completes Eagle Scout Project

Mon, 2016-10-24 05:00


General McLane Senior Tony Damore recently completed his Eagle Scout Project.

Damore performed extensive repairs, beautification and the construction of a new shed at Golden Cemetery in McKean. He worked along with Lee Steadman, VFW Post 740 and many other community volunteers.

According to Damore, has been working on this project since his junior year and it took a few months to create the 10×10 shed. The biggest challenge for him was making time to do the project.

Damore has be in Cub Scouts since first grade and is very excited to complete his project.

The senior is enrolled in the Erie County Technical School for welding. He plans to enter the welding industry upon graduation.

Congratulations to Tony on a wonderful project and accomplishment!

Getting to Know the Service Center’s Nancy Ekstrom

Thu, 2016-10-20 16:57


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

This week, we are featuring the Service Center’s Nancy Ekstrom, who has worked as Transportation Services Manager in the District for just over a year. Prior to serving in our District, Ms. Ekstrom was the Assistant Location Manager for First Student in Millcreek.  Ms. Ekstrom has also volunteered for many different events and for organizations over the years.

What is your favorite thing about your job?
Overcoming the unexpected challenges — be it the weather, driver shortages or the concerns and expectations of parents. At the end of the day, knowing that all the kids have been delivered safely is one of my favorite things.

Why do you enjoy being part of the GM family?
The people in this community are fantastic, from coworkers and staff to the children and parents we service.

What is your favorite work-related memory?
The “belated 30th birthday” cake from the drivers I received when I turned 55 this year! 

Did you know ….
Outside of working in transportation, Ms. Ekstrom worked as a bank supervisor and stay-at-home mom!

4th Annual Zombie Run Slated for Saturday

Thu, 2016-10-20 10:53

Zombie Run copy

General McLane High School’s Wellness Club will be hosting their fourth annual Zombie Run this weekend

The race will be two miles through GM’s cross country course and takes place on October 22. The run starts at 10 a.m. and registration and free zombie makeup begins at 9 a.m.

Cost for this run is $2 for GM students. Registration forms are available online or at the High School and Middle School.

Pajama Day raised over $500 for JDRF

Tue, 2016-10-18 13:04


On Friday, James W. Parker Middle School’s 8th grade advisors hosted a Pajama Day to raise money for Juvenile diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Students donated a $1 to wear pajamas and teachers donated $5 to wear jeans to school. They raised $566.30.

This idea was developed through the MS PTSA. They will present the check to Mrs. Diane Sickles the NWPA JDRF branch director during a PTSA meeting on November 1.




Getting to Know McKean’s Jackie Wismer

Fri, 2016-10-14 14:09


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

This week, we are featuring McKean Elementary School’s Jackie Wismer, who has worked in the District for nine years. Prior to serving a fourth grade elementary teacher, Ms. Wismer worked as a GM Literacy Coach.

Before teaching in General McLane School District, Ms. Wismer taught in Wattsburg Area School District, Tennessee and Florida.

What is your favorite thing about your job?
Trying new things, the challenge of figuring out what makes my students tick and working with two amazing teaching partners … there’s never a dull moment!

Why do you enjoy being part of the GM family?
I love the feeling of being part of a community!

What is your favorite work-related memory?
Last year our 4th graders surprised us with a Teacher Appreciation Party – and it included a Teacher Gymnastics area!

Did you know ….
Ms. Wismer’s passion for teaching didn’t come about through an inspiring teacher or positive school experiences. Instead, school was a struggle and challenge for Ms. Wismer.

“These experiences have caused me to do everything I can to be attuned to each student and make sure school is a positive experience for them,” Wismer said.