The Lancer Life Blog captures the life and pride of a General McLane student behind school doors. This District-wide Blog is a chronicle of news and events, as well as a platform to showcase the achievements and accomplishments of students, faculty and staff within this District. For story ideas, please e-mail Marissa Orbanek at

HOF Class of 2016 to be inducted Friday

Posted on August 31, 2016

2016 HOF

The General McLane High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee will honor the 2016 Hall of Fame class of inductees this Friday night.

This year’s Hall of Fame Class includes Kelsey Conklin-Agresti (’06), Hadley Harrison (’06), Amanda Kean (’06), Lindsey Petri Tomes (’06), Rob Stoner (’06) and Ben Swank (’06).

The 2016 induction ceremony is scheduled for Friday, September 2. A reception will be held at Nick’s Place in Edinboro starting at 5:15 p.m. Refreshments will be served and the new members will be formally inducted into the GM Athletic Hall of Fame. Then at 6:30 p.m. new inductees will travel to Linden Field for the Meadville vs GM Lancers football game starting at 7 p.m. During halftime, the new members, along with current HOF members in attendance, will be honored on the field at the 50-yard line.

Below is a description on each of this year’s inductees:

While being an excellent student and member of the National Honor Society, Kelsey also earned eight varsity letters in the sports of basketball and track. In Basketball, she was named 2nd team all-Erie County League as a sophomore, 2nd team all-region as a junior and 1st team all-region in her senior season. She finished her career having scored 1,002 points. In Track and Field, Kelsey was a 1st team all-ECL selection as a member of the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams in her freshman year. During her sophomore year she was again all-ECL in the same events as well as 2nd team for the 100m dash. That year the 4x400m relay team finished 2nd at the PIAA state meet setting a new school record. As a junior, Kelsey was named all-region and all-District 10 in the two relay events as well as the 100m and long jump where she went on to finish in 8th place at the PIAA State Meet. Kelsey repeated the all-region and District 10 honors as a senior and improved her finish at the state meet in the long jump finishing in 5th place. In addition, the GM Girls Track Team won the District 10 championship in Kelsey’s senior year. Following graduation, Kelsey received a scholarship to attend Edinboro University and play on their women’s basketball team. She was a four-year starter and her career 1,557 points ranks 5th all-time at EUP. She also finished with a career total of 772 rebounds which ranks 6th all-time and Kelsey is one of only two players in Edinboro history to score more than 1,500 points and have over 700 rebounds in a career. Kelsey was also a four year Scholar-Athlete Award winner at EUP and was named ESPN the Magazine District 2 Academic All-American 3rd Team in 2009. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Elementary Education and minor in Psychology and went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Special Education also from EUP. Kelsey is currently a teacher at the Montessori Regional Charter School in Erie where she lives with her husband Jamie and their one month old daughter Cameryn Marie.

Presenter: Parents: Sharon and Brad Conklin

While an honor student in high school, Hadley also found time to earn 12 varsity letter in three sports–Cross Country, Wrestling and Track. In Cross Country, he was part of the Erie County League championship team his Freshman and Sophomore seasons and GM won the District 10 championship in his 9th, 10th and 11th grade years. Hadley was a PIAA state qualifier all four years he competed and was named all-ECL as a sophomore, 2nd team all-region as a junior and 1st team all-region in his senior year. As a wrestler, Hadley was a D10 Champion in his weight class as a Junior and Senior, a NW Region Champion in his Sophomore, Junior and Senior seasons (a school record) and a three-time state qualifier finishing 5th in 2006. Hadley also holds many career school records: 302 takedowns (3rd), 130 wins (3rd) and 60 falls (T6th). His 48 wins in 2006 are the most in GM history. GM wrestling teams were Erie County League champions in his Freshman year, District 10 champs in 2003 and 2006 and took the NW Region championship in Harrison’s sophomore season. As a track athlete, Hadley’s 4x400m relay team excelled finishing 5th and 8th respectively at the PIAA meet his sophomore and junior seasons. He was the D10 champion in the 1600m run in his Senior year and also competed with the 4x800m relay team which won two D10 championships and set new school and district records in 10th and 11th grade. GM Track won two ECL and three D10 titles during Harrison’s career. After graduation, Hadley attended Clarion University on a wrestling scholarship where he earned four letters, was named team captain three years, was a 3-time NCAA qualifier and is in the Clarion record books as having the 7th most wins (108) in school history. He was three time National Collegiate Open Champion, was named Clarion’s most Valuable Wrestler three times and was the Clarion University Male Athlete of the Year in 2008. Harrison was a four time Scholar-Athlete in Division 1 and in the PSAC, he was on the Dean’s list 4 times, was a 3-time Division 1 Academic All-American and finished with an overall 3.8 GPA. Hadley currently lives in Fairfax VA and is employed at the Union Mill Elementary School as a 4th grade teacher. He also is the Centerville High School Wrestling Coach where his teams have won two Virginia 6A state titles and eight of his wrestlers have won individual state titles.

Presenter: Coach Ryan Cook

While in high school, Amanda participated in Softball and Swimming and Diving. In softball, Amanda was a four-year starter and four-time letter-winner at shortstop and was named 2nd team all-Erie County League as a Sophomore and 1st team all-region in her Junior and Senior seasons. In Swimming and Diving, Kean was a three-time letter winner. She set the school record as a Junior and went on to be named 1st team all-region and 1st team all-District 10 in her Senior year culminating with a 1st place Gold Medal finish that year at the PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships. Following high school, Amanda earned an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Mercyhurst College where she was a member of the Laker softball team. She went on to Edinboro University to earn a Bachelors Degree, also in Criminal Justice. Amanda is currently employed as an Administrative Specialist/Government Contractor at Windsor Beach Technologies, INC in Fairview and has coached diving at Fairview High School for the past 6 seasons. She and Albert Mancuso reside in Erie with their daughter Rylee.

Presenter: Coach Fred Evanoff

Petri was an excellent student, as she was the class Salutatorian and received many other academic awards and scholarships throughout her career. Athletically, Lindsay was a member of GM’s Track and Cross Country teams where she was an 8-time varsity letter winner. In Cross Country, she was an Erie County League Champion and won the District 10 race in both her Junior and Senior seasons, gaining numerous post season honors over her career. Lindsay was a 3-time PIAA medalist placing 21st as a Freshman, 7th as a Sophomore and 24th as a Senior. The GM girls team won D10 titles in 2004 and 2005. Lindsay also won numerous dual and invitational meets and also gained attention for excellent finishes in several national post-season events. In track, Petri was a District 10 Champion in the 3200m, 1600m and the 4x800m relay. She finished 16th in the 3200m run in her Junior season at the PIAA meet. The GM girls team won the D10 team championship in 2006. Lindsay is the current GM record holder in the 3200m run and the 4x800m relay. Following high school, Lindsay attended The University of Kentucky on an athletic scholarship and was part of the Wildcat Cross Country and Track Teams all four years. Her team finished 2nd at the NCAA SE Regional, qualifying for the national meet. Petri earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science graduating Summa Cum Laude and was awarded numerous additional academic accolades. She went on to Philadelphia University earning a Master of Science Degree and Physician Assistant Board Certification. Lindsay is currently employed as a Hospitalist Physician Assistant in Charlotte NC, where she resides with her husband Jeremy.

Presenter: Coach John Guzik

Stoner was an excellent student in high school attaining the honor roll in each semester. Rob was also a member of the Lancer Football Team where he was a dominating offensive and defensive lineman earning four varsity letters. Stoner was a starter all 4 years and during his freshman year the Lancers were the District 10 champions. As a sophomore, he was named all-Erie County League on defense. In his junior season Rob was named all-ECL again on defense, 2nd team all-region offensive line, 1st team all-region and 1st team all-district as a defensive lineman. As a senior, Stoner was named 1st team all-region on offense, 1st team all-region and all-D10 on defense and was a 1st team Associated Press All-State Offensive Line selection. The 2005 Lancer team was region and District 10 champs and went on to become western final runners-up in the PIAA playoffs. Rob finished his career with 208 tackles on defense and was honored to play in the East-West All-Star game as the starting center. Following high school, Stoner accepted a scholarship to attend Youngstown State University to play football. Following the 2006 season he transferred to Edinboro University and started 47 games at left guard for the Fighting Scots. During his college career Rob attained numerous honors including all-PSAC team in his junior and senior year, AFCA All-America team, AP Little All-America team, NCAA DII All- America team and AFCA All-America team following his final year as a Scot. Rob resides in Erie and is currently employed with Stoner Financial Management as a Financial Planner. Rob and his fiancee, Danielle, are planning a February 2017 wedding.

Presenter: Coach Jim Wells

Swank was a 10-time varsity letter winner in the sports of Football, Basketball and Track and Field. In football, Ben was named 1st team all-ECL defensive back and 2nd team quarterback as a sophomore, 1st team all-region and 1st team all-D10 defensive back as a junior and in his senior season 1st team all-region as quarterback and 2nd team all-D10 defensive back. The Lancer teams were the ECL champions his Junior year and in his Senior season they were the region and D10 champs and AAA PIAA State semi-finalists. In basketball, Swank was selected as ECL honorable mention as a Sophomore, all-region 1st team as a Junior and region 2nd team as a Senior. GM won three league/region championships, two D10 championships and were PIAA AAA semi-finalists during his Senior year. He finished his career with 1,071 points, and the Lancers combined record in football and basketball was an amazing 135 wins and 26 losses during Swank’s career. In track, Ben was named 2nd team all-ECL for long jump as a Sophomore and was a member of the 1st team all-ECL 4x100m relay team. During his Junior and Senior seasons he was named 1st team all-region in the long jump and was a member of the 4x100m relay team which set the school record. Following high school Swank was recruited by the US Naval Academy and played one semester of football for Navy Prep. After transferring to Edinboro University, Ben played four years of football and one of basketball for the Fighting Scots. He was named an Academic All-America and was elected a team captain while starting at safety for EUP. After earning his degree, Swank went on to coach as an assistant at Florida Southern College for two years. The team’s overall record was 62-8 during that time and they were the NCAA Division II Champions in 2015. Ben resides in New Franken, Wisconsin where he is entering his 2nd year as the assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The team was the Horizon League champion in 2016 and appeared in the Division I NCAA Tournament.

Presenter: Coach Jim Wells


McKean students win a day with teachers

Posted on August 26, 2016


What would it be like to spend a day with your teachers outside of the classroom?

On Thursday, six former McKean Elementary students got to experience that firsthand.

In June, McKean fourth graders won the opportunity to spend a day with their teachers through an auction. On Thursday, the students enjoyed lunch and a movie with Mr. Hutchison, Mr. Pete and Ms. Wismer.

The top students’ winning bids were $1,500 in Hutch/Pete/Wiz Bucks (classroom currency for McKean’s Fourth Grade). Winners included then-fourth graders were Chase Gerlach, Beau Robie, Caden Brumagin and Megan Grutkowski. Each winning student could also bring a friend for the day. The teachers treated the students to lunch Ocean Buffet in Edinboro and then a movie at The Movies at Meadville. This marked the first year for the event.

Students earn Hutch/Pete/Wiz Bucks throughout the year for positive behavior. They also earn bucks for completing classroom jobs. Students can cash in their bucks for a variety of things, including an extra recess, wearing a hat for a day, a class picnic, etc. At the end of every pay period, students can also outbid kids for a variety of prizes, which is where the students won the chance to spend the day with their teachers.


Fairview & General McLane hold joint in-service day

Posted on August 26, 2016

On Thursday, General McLane and Fairview team up for professional development. High school and middle school teachers and administrators gathered at Fairview Middle School for a day-long event, which kicked off with keynote speaker Lori Roe, who is technologist instructional specialist for Cape Henlopen School District. Then, teachers attended a variety of sessions throughout the day.

Sessions included Digital Storytelling with iStopMotion and/or iMovie, creating interactive activities to engage learners through Schoology, iBooks Author, Apple Classroom, STEM Activities, Using Apps that Promote Higher Order Thinking, Schoology and Notability 101, Tools to Create Career Readiness, Creating Alternative Classroom Assessments w/iPad and Gamification in the Classroom. The day ended with departmental meetings.


Seven new teachers enter the District

Posted on August 25, 2016


From left to right – (back row) Branden Williams, Luke Jahn, Katherine Lomazzo, Dawn McKechnie, Joleen Jeffery
(Front row) Natalee Bufalini, Casey Shee

General McLane welcomes seven new teachers this year! All of the teachers officially completed their New Teacher Induction this week.

Katherine Lomazzo will be a third grade teacher at McKean Elementary School. She previously worked as a teacher for Rochester City Summer Learning Association LEAP program and a 1:1 Aide for S.T.R.I.V.E Program. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Lomazzo has taught English-language learners and served as a Spanish tutor. Outside of classroom teaching, Lomazzo has served as a Special Olympics coach, a modified girls basketball coach, a member of the Council for exceptional Children and has participated in numerous professional development. Lomazzo graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo, where she also earned her Master’s in Reading and Literacy and served as a Graduate Assistant.

Dawn McKechnie will be a Kindergarten teacher at McKean Elementary School. McKechnie previously taught over five years in Virginia as a Kindergarten teacher and served as a long-term substitute last year at Fairview Elementary School. While at Fairfax County, she served as a Kindergarten representative on the Positive Support Committee and assumed the role as Kindergarten Team Leader. McKechnie graduated from Edinboro University and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction.

Joleen Jeffery will be a part-time music teacher at McKean Elementary School. She previously worked at Erie School District as a K-8 Music teacher. Jeffery has served as a guest drummer and clinician for the Young People’s Chorus of Erie and is active in the arts as a member, former board member and current soprano section leader of the Erie Philharmonic Chorus. She also sings for the Erie Playhouse and with the Cleveland Orchestra in the Blossom Festival Chorus every summer. Jeffery has volunteered for a service project in Jamaica. Jeffery graduated Cum Laude from Edinboro University.

Luke Jahn will be a Health and Physical Education teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. Before coming to General McLane, he worked as a Health and Physical Education teacher for Erie School District. He has also coached middle school basketball at General McLane. Jahn graduated Summa Cum Laude from Edinboro University and earned the Departmental Senior Award, which is awarded to the Department’s most outstanding senior. Jahn was also a member of numerous student and professional organizations while at Edinboro and worked in a variety of capacities for the University.

Natalee Bufalini will be a Health and Physical Education teacher at General McLane High School. Bufalini served in this position for the last half of the 2015-2016 School year. She has previously taught Kindergarten as well as third through sixth grade at Aliquippa Elementary School as a part-time Health and Physical Education teacher. She was also employed by the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit as a Swim and Health teacher at New Horizon School, a public special education school. Bufalini has also taught and instructed swimmers for the last the three years. Bufalini graduated Summa Cum Laude from Slippery Rock University, where she was involved in a variety of student and professional organizations. She also has her Master’s in Performance Enhancement specialist from California University of PA.

Branden Williams will be an Emotional Support teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. Williams worked as a long-term substitute and personal care aide in the District during the 2014-2015 School Year. He is also an assistant football coach for the Lancers. Outside of General McLane, Williams worked a mental health worker for the Erie Achievement Center. Williams graduated Magna Cum Laude from Edinboro University, where he was the first two-time Capital One Academic All-American in Edinboro’s Football history. He was also a member of the Council of Exceptional Children.

Casey Shee will be a Learning Support Teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. Shee is quite familiar with the District, as she has held a two-year long-term substitute position in third grade at Edinboro Elementary. Shee volunteered in Nicaragua as a teacher at a five-week summer sump and as part of a mission team at Mission to the World. Shee has also worked with Camp Invention at Edinboro Elementary School. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Edinboro University and has a Master’s in Reading.

Welcome to all of our new teachers!


Kindergarten and New Student Orientation took place this week

Posted on August 25, 2016


Both Edinboro Elementary School and McKean Elementary School hosted their Kindergarten Orientation this week.

During orientation, parents and their kindergarteners meet their teachers and building staff and tour the schools. Students also get a trial run of the lunch process and learn how to ride the bus in a trip around town.

For the first time ever, General McLane also hosted a New Student Orientation for new students entering the District in grades 1 through 12. Students tour their schools and meet teachers / staff in the building.

The High School’s orientation for freshman and new students takes place on Friday.


Volunteer Day @ McKean Elementary School

Posted on August 23, 2016

Volunteer Day panoramic

On Saturday, volunteers from SPX, McKean Borough Supervisors Brian Cooper and Tim Weaver, Bill Bell and several other McKean Community volunteers and McKean teachers constructed a little more than half of the Fitness and Nature Trail at McKean Elementary School.

This will run on the perimeter of the school and include activity stations for students and community members. This project started when the employees of SPX Flow Tech Copes-Vulcan donated $280 from a luncheon hosted around Earth Day. This project will not only benefit General McLane students, but the entire community as well. Once completed, teachers have planned interactive lessons in conjunction with the course to make it not only an active lesson but a cross-curricular one.


New Driver Training takes place at GM

Posted on August 22, 2016


As the start of a new school year rolls in, the yellow buses will be making their way back on the road. If you’ve drove by General McLane’s Service Center this summer, you may have noticed some cones set up on the pavement.

So what’s going on – new driver training, of course!

In order to obtain a Class B Commercial Driver License (CDL) with a School Bus (S) endorsement and Passenger (P) endorsement, all of which is required for school buses, drivers must go through 14 hours of in-class training and at least six hours of behind-the-wheel training. After receiving the training, individuals must pass four computer tests and a driving test.

Each year, General McLane hosts this training for anywhere from eight to ten new drivers. Taught by General McLane certified bus instructor Eric Lathrop, new drivers learn a long list of things, including: inspecting the vehicle before, during, and after a trip, spotting and handling hazards and other emergency situations, performing rudimental vehicle maneuvers safely, navigating challenging road environments, safely unloading and loading passengers and children into the vehicle and school bus and operating safety devices. Drivers may also participate in observations during the school year.

Lathrop became a certified training instructor so that he can provide this training at General McLane about ten years ago. During those ten years, Lathrop has seen a ton of changes due to new regulations. Some of those changes include ones to the requirements for physicals and changes to coding and restrictions. The state has also added training that focuses on bullying and bus security.

Here is some training that happened just last week:


GM holds driver Back-to-School Kick-Off Meeting

Posted on August 18, 2016


General McLane drivers had their back-to-school kick-off meeting today. Led by Transportation Director Nancy Ekstrom, drivers reviewed bus safety and procedures and received their routes to start the 2016-2017 School Year.

Bus information will be mailed to parents and students on August 19.



Board appoints two new members

Posted on July 18, 2016

Board Appointees
The General McLane School Board of Directors appointed two new board members at the June Regular Monthly Board Meeting.

Brad Pattullo will fill the open seat for Region 3, left vacant by Dr. Kahan Sablo and Linda King will fill the open seat for At Large, left vacant by Dr. Annette Rilling.

Pattullo is a professor of animation at Edinboro University. He has designed and animated stop motion puppets for MTV’s “Celebrity Deathmatch”, UPN’s “Gary and Mike” and WB’s “Phantom Investigators.” His artwork has been featured in many exhibitions and festivals around the United States and Canada. He graduated with his Bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and Master’s from Savannah College of Art and Design. Pattullo and his wife Jamie have three children.

King is the Vice president of Communications and Energy Solutions for Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative Association. She previously served as the President of the Lakettes & Lakers Gymnastics Boosters Club, is a member of the Edinboro Methodist Church and has volunteered for the Meadville Chamber of Commerce and Meadville Area Make a Difference Day. King graduated with her Bachelor’s from Edinboro University and her Master’s from Gannon University. King and her husband Roy have three children.

Both appointees may run for election in 2017 to extend their terms.

Congratulations to both candidates!


Construction underway for Stormwater Best Management Practices Demonstration Project on GMSD campus

Posted on July 15, 2016



The General McLane campuses will be getting an addition this summer – and both the students and community will benefit. Construction has started for a Stormwater Best Management Practices Demonstration Project, which will provide students and community members with a new opportunity to explore environmental solutions for stormwater management.

Thanks to a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s Growing Greener program, Edinboro Lake Watershed Association (ELWA) will be placing three Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) on General McLane’s campus, within the Edinboro Lake Watershed.

These BMPs will include a rain garden, an infiltration trench and a vegetated swale. The rain garden will be placed behind the Therese T. Walter Education Center, the infiltration trench will be placed along the James W. Parker Middle School parking lot and the swale will be placed along General McLane Drive.

The completed BMPs will be highly visible and accessible to students and visitors to the campus. Additionally, there will be signs posted through the park with scan codes for smartphones and iPad. These codes will link these devices to web-based information, which may include both audio and video materials.

The completed BMPs will serve as a demonstration project and educational resource for residents of the Edinboro Lake watershed and the northwestern Pennsylvania region. The project is expected to be completed by this fall.

For more information, please see our press release.

September 2016
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