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Updated: 2 hours 46 min ago

McKean student wins the January Android Contest

Thu, 2017-02-09 14:00

McKean Elementary second grader Katherine Krukowski was selected as the winner of the January Android Contest through the American Heart Association. Kruwkowski raised $110 online with two online donation, has personalized her webpage with a photo and story, and sent one email last month!

To qualify for the contest, students earned chances from January 1 – 31. Students earned chances for personalizing their fundraising page, sending e-mails and receiving online donations.

Throughout January, there were at least 18,366 students registered online.

James W. Parker Middle School, Edinboro Elementary School and McKean Elementary school all participated in the fundraiser for the American Heart Association. JWPMS raised $1396.16 for our Jump Rope for Heart this year! McKean and Edinboro’s ends tomorrow.

Krukowski’s reaction when she heard the news!

McKean Elementary teacher Lisa Roberts congratulating Krukowski.

McKean Hosts Heart Healthy Recipe Contest

Thu, 2017-02-09 13:38

In honor of #AmericanHeartMonth, McKean Elementary School held a heart healthy recipe contest! Students were invited to write and bring in their favorite health recipes. Students will prepare winning recipes in health class during March’s nutrition lesson. Winners will be officially announced tomorrow’s assembly, but here are three students and their recipes!

Stephanie Miller, 2nd Grade, Recipe: Fruit Salad

Jacob Locke, 3rd grade, Recipe: Black Bean Corn Salsa

Saffron Aulenbacher, 1st Grade, Recipe: Ants on  a Log

SRO eats lunch with elementary students

Mon, 2017-02-06 14:57

General McLane School District’s School Resource Officer visited the elementary schools last week to eat lunch with the students.

Hagerty is one of five Deputy Sheriffs who works full-time as a School Resource Officer through the Erie County Sheriff’s Office. The other districts that participate in this program are Harbor Creek, Northwestern, North East, and Fairview School Districts.

School Resource Officers work toward educating students in the safest possible environment and also insures a first responder to emergencies. The Deputy Sheriff, as a School Resource Officer, is involved in Parent and Student Organizations, attends sporting events at the school, and presents many Law Enforcement Education and Diversion programs, including the Officer Phil Program in the elementary levels throughout the County of Erie.

Outside of the programs, Officer Hagerty builds relationships with students to promote a healthy, safe environment. One way he accomplishes this goal is by occasionally visit the schools to join the students for lunch!

Edinboro Elementary students ski

Mon, 2017-02-06 14:50

When Erie slips past Rochester as  the 2nd snowiest big city in the country, General McLane students capitalize on a learning moment.

This week, they began their lessons on skiing.

Here are some pictures from Friday’s lesson:


Food Services team up with art departments

Thu, 2017-02-02 15:23

General McLane Food Services is teaming up with art programs in the District to create student-inspired decor for the cafeterias.

First up was James W. Parker Middle School. After studying artists who base their artwork on food, middle school art teacher Christina Martin had her sixth grade, first-semester students create a poster size sketch of their favorite foods served in the cafeteria. Students used chalk pastels to create a variety of food, including fajitas, pizza, smoothies and fruit.

The artwork is currently hung in the cafeteria and all of the sketches will remain on display throughout the year. Last week, however, students voted during lunch on their favorite sketches. The winners were Isabella Hinkle and Reese Campbell, and their artwork will remain in the cafeteria beyond the school year.

This is the first time for the contest, however, this will now be part of the yearly curriculum. The goal is to add two new pieces each year to create a collection over the years.

Both McKean and Edinboro Elementary schools will also participate and create artwork for their cafeterias. These will be done and hung this month.

Here are some more of the students’ artwork:

HS Yearbook Wins National Award

Tue, 2017-01-31 13:26

For the eighth year in a row, the staff of GM’s yearbook, The Imperator, has won a national award from the American Scholastic Press Association.

The 2015-2016 General McLane High School yearbook, The Imperator: We Are, has received national recognition with a second place award from the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) annual yearbook competition. The award reflects the staff’s developing talent in the fields of journalism, theme and page design.

“This award is especially meaningful to the staff because it validates all of the hard work that the students complete,” says GMHS Yearbook advisor Diane Bremner. “Additionally, we receive valuable objective feedback so that we can continue to improve our publication.”

This marks the eighth consecutive year that General McLane High School’s publication has received an ASPA award. Imperator placed first in 2014 2013, 2012 and 2009 and placed second in 2015, 2011 and 2010.

Congratulations to the entire yearbook staff on the terrific accomplishment!


GM makes history at PJAS

Mon, 2017-01-30 14:39

For the first time ever, General McLane School District had every presenter earn a first place award at the PA Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) competition held Penn State Behrend this past weekend. Students now have the opportunity to advance to that State Competition.

General McLane High School first place award winners include:  Elizabeth May, Julia Wasielewski, Alayna Willow, Madeline Bruce, Halle Minner, Akayla Lewin, Maddison Schutt and Andrew Yonko.

Wasielewski also earned a perfect score for her fruit fly project and $100; Bruce earned a perfect score and a new professional grade microscope for her microbiology project; and Schutt was awarded $75 for her zoology project.

James W. Parker Middle School first place winners include: Cynthia Honeycutt, Zachary Rolland and Aiden Seeman. Seeman also earned a perfect score and a scientific calculator.

The Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) is a statewide organization of junior and senior high school students designed to stimulate and promote interest in science among its members through the development of research projects and investigations.

Students in 7-12 grades conduct a scientific research project in one of the twelve Scientific Categories of Research identified by PJAS and then orally presented that research to a team of judges. Students who receive a first-place award at the regional competition move on to the state competition.

The 82nd annual PJAS State Competition will occur in May at Penn State University in University Park.

Details on the January 26 Middle School Closing

Fri, 2017-01-27 13:12

Here’s all you need to know about yesterday’s closing at James W. Parker Middle School.

Our electrician Tom McGlynn reported to work in the early morning to learn that the middle school was without power and heat. (Fun Fact: Tom comes to work around 3 a.m. every day!)

Although only the middle school was without heat/power, we issued a delay for the entire District because our transportation system is so interconnected. This allowed time for Penelec to assess the cause of the problem.

So what happened? An underground cable that runs from a telephone pole on Rt. 99 to an underground junction that connects to the main line feeding the middle school, failed from age and needed to be replaced. It happened to be a very unique cable that runs north/south under the high school south driveway – which is why you may have seen Penelec trucks busy at work throughout the entire day yesterday!

An Emergency Alert, as well as a posting on our website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, went out three different times throughout the day to keep our District informed of the delays / closing / re-opening.

Will JWPMS have to make up the day? The District has applied to Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to have the day for JWPMS forgiven since only part of the District was involved. We are waiting to hear back from PDE on our request and will inform everyone as soon as we know.

It took a lot of teamwork and collaboration yesterday to get things back to normal today, so kudos to all who were involved – including, Penelec, McGlynn, and Director of Finance and Operations William Fendya, Director of Food Services Nicole Keller and her staff who unloaded the three coolers at the middle school into a rented refrigerated truck to prevent food from spoiling! We also are grateful to our technology department which had to reset many devices to get our internet back up and running.

Officer Phil comes to Edinboro Elementary

Fri, 2017-01-27 12:17

Edinboro Elementary School students in kindergarten through third grade took a break on Friday to learn ways to “be safe, stay safe and feel safe.” Through magic, games, ventriloquism and a ton of laughter,  the Officer Phil Safety Program taught students about being respectful classmates versus bullies, safety on the go, strangers and internet safety.

Students received a grade specific activity book to take home to work on with their parents or guardians.

This 30-minute live assembly is part of Creative Safety Products. This nationwide organization spurs across 27 states and offers the Officer Phil, Deputy Phil and Firefighter Phil Safety Programs that teach children about stranger danger, the negative effects of bullying, fire safety, internet safety and respect for authority figures. The Erie County Sheriff’s Department sponsored this program, which has been featured throughout the years in numerous GMSD schools as well as Erie County Schools.

For more pictures from the assembly, please visit the General McLane School District Featured Photos Page.

JWPMS to perform Seussical the Musical Jr.

Tue, 2017-01-24 09:23

Opening night for James W. Parker Middle School’s Seussical the Musical Jr. is almost two weeks away.

This musical extravaganza from Tony-winners, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, brings to life your favorite Dr. Seuss characters.

“It is always fun to bring cartoons to life. With Shrek last year, we had a blast exploring what it means to embody an animated creature, and we’re reviewing that again with Seussical,” said James W. Parker Middle School teacher and play director Kate Amatuzzo. “The kids have to go above and beyond anything they’ve done to bring these famous characters to life. They also get a chance to be silly and embrace who they are, which is the exact message of the show: don’t be afraid to be who you are, no matter how big or small you may be.”

Shows are February 9th and 10th at 7 p.m. and February 11th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 per adult, $3 per student, and $15 for a family (2 adult tickets and 2 or more students).

Students cast for roles include: The Cat in the Hat (Taylor Dowlen), Horton the Elephant (Kellen Smith), Jojo (Lydia Zehr), Gertrude McFuzz (Abby Johnson), Mayzie La Bird (Sophia Lehmann), the Sour Kangaroo (Hannah Wolfe), Mr. Mayor (Isaac Smith) and Mrs. Mayor (Sami Bennett).

Tickets can be purchased online at There will also be basket raffles and a 50/50.

McKean Run Club has meet at EUP

Mon, 2017-01-23 13:34

McKean Elementary’s Run Club did a wonderful job at their meet on Saturday. More than 100 individuals represented McKean at Edinboro University’s Dome, where they had their culminating event for the after-school program.

Congrats to all involved!

Erie Philharmonic Guest Soloist Comes to GM

Fri, 2017-01-20 14:03

Soyeon Kate Lee came to General McLane High School Friday morning. Lee will be performing Bartók’s evocative and nature-inspired Piano Concerto No. 3 as a guest soloist for the Erie Philharmonic on Saturday night.

Lee is a Korean-American pianist who was the winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition. She also works as an Assistant Professor of Piano at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. She has performed as soloist with numerous orchestras, including The Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra.

After performing a few pieces, Lee answered questions from General McLane students and advised them that the biggest key to her success has been commitment. Other questions and answers included:

When did you start playing?: Lee started taking piano lessons at just four years old. However, her success didn’t start then. In fact, her piano instructor told her mother that she wasn’t good enough and shouldn’t continue.

What’s your favorite type of music?: Classical

Who inspired you?: A teacher from Pittsburgh, who she stays in contact with weekly.

When was your first performance?: When she was 12 years old, she won a contest and performed with the Westmoreland Symphony

“Be diligent and work hard,” she told them. “If you do that, then the results don’t matter.”

The Erie Philharmonic Concert will play the music of Bartók, Smetana and Sibelius. The concert begins at 8 p.m. at the Warner Theatre.


McKean students run at EUP on Saturday

Fri, 2017-01-20 13:15

McKean Elementary’s Run Club has been preparing for its final run this Saturday.

While increasing overall fitness through flexibility, strength and endurance, students have been practicing for their culminating run at Edinboro University Dome on January 21. Students in first and second grade race at 1 p.m. and third and fourth grade race at 1:30 p.m.

Elementary teacher Lisa Roberts runs this program, with the help of parents, Edinboro University athletes and their Health and Physical Education students. Students in grades k-4 participate in each winter session on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school. Edinboro University athletes and coaches help with this program by speaking with the students and helping them train.

The McKean Elementary Run Club and the Spring Recess Laps program started as part of McKean Elementary’s 2013 grant from the ING Run for Something Better School Awards Program. Roberts started the program to help students increase their physical activity.

January Board Appreciation Month

Thu, 2017-01-19 15:18

January is Board Appreciation Month, and we honor the contributions of our school board members.

Too often we neglect to recognize the commitment and hard work of these men and women who serve as advocates for our schools. The staff and students of our district are asking all members of the community to take a moment and tell a school board member: “Thanks for caring about our children.”

Years of Service to the GMSD

Timothy Wise – 33

James Bucksbee – 31

Peter Dobrzynski – 6

Carrie Crow – 5

Amy Eisert – 5

Shari Gould – 2.75

Andy Schulz – 1

Brad Pattullo – .5

Linda King – .5

To read more about Board Members and their roles, please check out this week’s Lancer Letter.

Six advance to Region Choir

Tue, 2017-01-17 11:58

Congratulations to Delaney Gatenby, Geneva O’Bannon, Henry O’Neill, Samuel Petkac, Melina Walter and Isaac Petkac! All six participated in PMEA District Choir this past weekend AND qualified to move on to Region Choir!

Here are their placements:

Delaney Gatenby | Alto 1–10th chair
Geneva O’Bannon | Soprano 2- 8th Chair
Henry O’Neill | Bass 2–7th chair
Samuel Petkac | Tenor 1–4th chair
Melina Walter | Alto 2– 4th chair
Isaac Petkac | Tenor 2–1st chair

Good luck at Regionals, which will be held in Freeport, PA on Feb. 23-25!

McKean Kicks off Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart Campaign

Fri, 2017-01-13 15:54

McKean Elementary School kicked off their Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart Campaign. Through the first week of February, there will be many fun heart healthy activities for the students to learn the importance of the heart, how it works and how to take care of it.

Students are encouraged to raise money through the first week of February. The goal is to raise $5000 in fundraising for the American Heart Association. The class who raises the most money will receive a physical activity and “healthy” pizza party along with a special treat from the American Heart Association.

Any questions please contact Mrs. Roberts at: or 273-1033×4020.

Foreign exchange students leave lasting impact

Tue, 2017-01-10 14:19

When General McLane alumna Judy Gnagi Lawrence (’62) was in high school, she became close friends with a foreign exchange student, Oemar Mustafa.

The two stayed connected by writing letters after he returned to his home country of Indonesia.

The correspondence ended, however, a couple years later when Mustafa was killed crossing a busy street in Jakarta.

Although Mustafa was gone, he continued to have an impact on Lawrence. It was his influence that fueled her interest in Idonenesia, a place she finally had a chance to visit in January of 2015.

“Never, ever did I imagine that more than 50 years later, I’d be visiting his native Indonesia. That’s the power and reach of a General McLane High School (and Edinboro University) education, literally taking me halfway around the world,” said Lawrence, who spoke about her trip to the Erie Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) at the Jefferson Educational Society.

In one of Lawrence’s last letters from him, Mustafa expressed his desire to come back to the states and teach her how to swim.

“Since Indonesia is a series of islands, for him, swimming was a natural thing. So, he was always going to come back and teach me how to swim,” she said. “Well, when I visited Indonesia, I went swimming) after having learned to swim at the YMCA).”

Mustafa was the first foreign exchange student at General McLane High School. After it formed in 1960, the District approved its first exchange student through American Field Service in 1961.

When the foreign exchange program in the District first formed, one way that the District elicited financial support for its foreign exchange students was through student shares. Arranged by General McLane Student Council, General McLane students could be part of the experience by purchasing a share.

“I don’t imagine they raised that much money, but it also allowed for students to be part of it. We had a vested interest in our foreign exchange students,” Lawrence said.

In return, students received a certificate that declared “dividends will be paid, to the holder, in the form of rich satisfaction and friendship in welcoming and sharing our school and community with the student from abroad.”

“The last sentence was so true, that clearly happened,” Lawrence said. “The added bonus was the life long experience that it afforded. That’s not written here. But who could know that in 1962, we would have these experiences that can be traced back to our early exposure to foreign exchange students.”

The following year, the High School hosted Eva Mohlenbrock from Sweden. After a year-long process of applying for a scholarship with the American Field Service, Mohlenbrock finally received her acceptance letter.

“When it said that I was to live with a family in McKean, Pennsylvania, I tried to find it on my map-in vain,” said Mohlenbrock. “I was envious at first of some of the other exchange students who were going to California and other exciting places I had heard about, but when I compared my experience with those who had stayed in big cities and gone to equally big schools, I realized I had drawn the winning ticket!”

For General McLane students, this experience was equally as rewarding.

“There was no internet, no cellphones, no way to really get in touch with the rest of the world except newspapers and the half hour of world news on the t.v., but it was just as important at that time to broaden our horizons. Eva really helped to do that for us,” said Joan Kappelt Zalonis (’62).

Mohlenbrock lives in three different places throughout the year, but reunited with classmates just four years ago during the General McLane 50th Reunion, thanks to the research done by Maia (formerly Joan) Chisholm (‘62) on Eva’s whereabouts.

“When I have told my children and grandchildren about my year in the US, about school dances, games, drive-in movies, going to McDonald’s for hamburgers and milkshakes, they say it sounds just like A High School Musical,” Mohlenbrock said. “And so, when I received a phone call a couple of years ago and was asked if I wanted to come to the 50th anniversary, I immediately said yes.”

The passed time didn’t make a difference.

“Fifty years had passed, but we recognized each other immediately and started talking as if no time had passed,” Zalonis said. “When I was 17 years old, I thought, ‘Wow, in fifty years, I will be such a different person with different interests.’ Then, you look back and realize you are the same person just with different experiences.”

Through the reunion, Mohlenbrock was able to revisit General McLane.

“It was a very emotional moment to be guided through the school by the principal. General McLane has of course grown and developed so much over the years, but walking down the hall to our old home room still felt very much familiar,” she said. “I also had the opportunity to re-visit Edinboro and McKean and drive up to the old farmhouse where I stayed. Again, it can’t be said often enough: to be part of a small community, where everyone seemed to know each other, and where so many people went out of their way to make me feel at home, has made a tremendous impact on my life, and formed the picture of the US that I have tried to spread at home.”

It was during this reunion that Mohlenbrock invited her classmates to come visit her. Some of her classmates took advantage of this invite.

Lawrence and her husband Floyd visited her in France that fall, and Zalonis and Chisholm visited Mohlenbrock and her husband in Provence, France last September. This past summer, Zalonis made another visit, this time to her home in Gothenberg (Goteborg), Sweden.

“Who would have thought that more than 50 years later, we would be together south of France with our husbands, having lunch at a nice restaurant and just reconnecting and talking about current times? It was beyond anything I could have imagined happening,” Lawrence said.

Since hosting its first exchange student in 1961, the District continues to host a handful each year. For the 2016-17 school year, General McLane High School is currently hosting seven students from France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Finland.

The addition of foreign exchange students to the General McLane High School student body offers many benefits to its participating students, the students of General McLane, its teachers and community.

“We were told by the American Field Service to act as student ambassadors for our respective countries,” Mohlenbrock said. “I don’t know if I managed to explain/correct some aspects/misconceptions of Swedish life, traditions, and politics, but as my senior project I chose to write about the Swedish welfare system, and called it ‘It ain’t necessarily so.’”

During these experiences, participants often build close friendships with not only their host families, but also classmates from the hosting schools. General McLane’s alumni experiences are no different.

“These experiences you had during high school, they simmer in the background of your brain, sometimes for many years, but they can really influence your future and friendships and choices,” said Zalonis. “Partly because of Eva, I really wanted to travel. She was the first person I had gotten to know from another country. Immediately after college, the first thing I decided to do was start traveling.”

Zalonis wasn’t the only one inspired from her experience.

“My experiences knowing Oemar and Eva planted an early seed to discovering the world through travel and reading on my own,” said Lawrence, whose first trip was during the mid- 80s and has since explored many different countries and cultures.

“Our exchange program ignited my interest in other countries’ customs and people,” Lawrence added. “These students expanded our vision of the world. I learned tolerance, understanding and appreciation of people who are different, and yet similar.”

JWPMS adds new PE technology to improve student fitness

Fri, 2017-01-06 09:57

James W. Parker Middle School is engaging students through interactive technology to improve students’ cardiovascular fitness.

Through the IHT Spirit System, students now have the opportunity to manage their individual health and fitness. The technology includes heart monitor watches, docking stations, PC’s to run the IHT Spirit system software and the software itself. The watches are intended to motivate students by instantly sending them an email with their heart rates throughout the period ensuring that they challenge themselves and hit specific heart zones.

The first step? Inspiring students through an artistic new room – thanks to a joint project between the health and physical education department and the art department.

A former storage room, the health and physical education department’s new Exercise Technology Room connects the middle school physical education curriculum with the IHT technology.

Seventh-grade art students participated in the collaboration by creating wall murals for a one-of-a-kind activity-themed design in their new room. The theme for the room is movement.

Although many students were involved with the project, there was a main group of students who dedicated their time and came in during homeroom to make this project a reality. Those students include Lyric Shaw, Regan Luebbert, Bella Dorman, Sydney Farbotnik, Hannah Haddix, Zelie Maloney and Emily Moran, Kaitlyn Dubynskiy.

What a wonderful job by all involved!

Kindergarten students make gifts for classmates

Fri, 2017-01-06 09:55

Edinboro Elementary’s Kindergarteners made gifts for their classmates.

Each students drew a name of their classmate. After creating gifts for their parents (the snowflakes), students then created jewelry specifically for them.

This was part of Mrs. Kupczyk’s Kindness Tree. Each day throughout the week before holiday break, the students engaged in a random act of kindness.