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

GM Hosts Driver Back-to-School Kick-Off Meeting

Posted on August 16, 2017

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 2017-2018 School Year.

The District currently has 52 drivers, 34 of whom are full-time drivers.

“The country is experiencing a shortage of qualified school bus drivers — in many areas the shortage is severe,” Ekstrom said. ” We are not experiencing that problem here at GM thanks to the foresight of the school board, superintendent and business manager. We have experienced, loyal, drivers who are committed to the safety of our kids.”

Bus information will be mailed to parents and students on August 18.


Retirees have 180+ combined years in District

Posted on July 29, 2017

General McLane’s “Class of 2017” retirees have 182.6 years of combined experience serving our community’s youth.

Retiring at the end of this school year were:

• Martha Benoit
• Miriam Dilmore
• Robert Ellwood
• Michael Kozuchowsky
• Stephen Macfarlane
• Donald McGahen
• Mary Weismiller

About the retirees:

Martha Benoit has served a 35-year teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. She taught fifth grade math and science for 28 years before transferring into a sixth grade position with an emphasis on social studies. Before being hired full-time in 1983, Mrs. Benoit served as a long-term substitute teacher within the District.

Miriam Dilmore finished her 28-year career as a second grade elementary teacher at Edinboro Elementary School. Mrs. Dilmore was first hired as a fourth-grade teacher at McKean Elementary School and then taught third grade at both Edinboro and McKean Elementary Schools. Prior to coming to General McLane School District, Mrs. Dilmore worked as a teacher in New Hampshire, where she was one of the nominees for the 1992 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year.

Robert Ellwood has served as on of the first faces our students see each day, working eight years in the District as a bus driver. Prior to coming to General McLane, Mr. Ellwood performed a variety of maintenance and carpentry work for the Department of Corrections, Edinboro University and V.A. Hospital.

Michael Kozuchowsky spent his entire career teaching Technology Education at General McLane High School. He came here 37 years ago and quickly served our students as the high school Photography Club advisor. Mr. Kozuchowsky also served the District as a temporary painter and maintenance worker and taught courses for the Area Vocational Technical School Adult Program for a number of years.

Stephen Macfarlane has served as a James W. Parker Middle School teacher within the District for 25 years. He taught seventh and sixth grade science, as well as sixth grade history when he was initially hired in 1992. He became a full-time sixth grade teacher, with an emphasis on science, in 2005. Through his teaching, he brought in a Biotechnological initiative to our students, exposing them opportunities to learn DNA fingerprinting, DNA extraction and electrophoresis technologies.

Donald McGahen has served as a longtime custodian for our district, working here nearly 40 years. As a custodian at James W. Parker Middle School since 1980, McGahen has been a vital part of the Parker family – from dying his hair purple for Relay for Life to volunteering his time in the Gillette Memorial Garden, which was created in 1998 in memory of John Gillette.

Mary Weismiller started working in the District 16 years ago. She began in the High School cafeteria and then worked as a clerical aide, office secretary and most recently, an Administrative Assistant at James W. Parker Middle School. Her work as Administrative Assistant in recent years has been a key to the successful day-to-day operation of the middle school.

Thank you to all of this year’s retirees and congratulations on your retirements!


Donate to the GM Foundation on Erie Gives Day

Posted on July 18, 2017


The General McLane Foundation will once again be participating in Erie Gives Day.

During the sixth annual Erie Gives Day on August 8 only, the Erie Community Foundation will match a percentage of donations received online. When individuals donate $25 or more to the General McLane Foundation at, a prorated match will be added to the donation.

The online only event runs from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

More than 7,000 donors gave a total of $3,451,087 to a variety of charities last year. The General McLane Foundation specifically raised its largest donation on Erie Gives Day 2016 with $3,603.81, pushing its total raised on Erie Gives Day to over $11,000.

The General McLane Foundation was founded in 2005 as an organization exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. Each year, the Foundation hosts the Holiday Arts Fair and the Golf Outing – two major fundraising events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors.

For more information on Erie Gives Day, please visit To learn more about the General McLane Foundation, visit


Edinboro and McKean Elementary schools participate in Supply Drive

Posted on July 17, 2017

Both Edinboro and McKean Elementary Schools will be participating in United Way’s Kickoff for Student Success Countywide School Supply Drive.

On August 15, companies and individuals are invited to drop off new school supplies to Edinboro Elementary School and/or McKean Elementary School to ensure elementary students enter this school year ready to learn! Each school will keep whatever is collected at the drop off location and be able to use them at their discretion.

Top needed school supplies include: baby wipes, binders, book bags, calculators, clorox wipes, colored pencils, crayons, erasers, Expo markers, 2-pocket folders, glue sticks, highlighters, markers, paper, pencil cases, pencils, rulers, sanitizer, scissors, tissues, and ziploc bags.

Supplies can be dropped off at each of the schools between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.

This is part of United Way of Erie County’s county-wide initiative to help children whose families can’t afford school supplies. The initiative complements last year’s Summer Slide Book Drive, which collects and provides books to keep kids reading and learning when schools aren’t in session.

If you don’t have the opportunity to buy and donate school supplies, you can sponsor one or more Erie County students with a $20 per child donation. United Way of Erie County will purchase the backpack and appropriate supplies for you. Please indicate which elementary school student you would like to sponsor in the note section.


Whitford appointed as Associate Principal

Posted on June 19, 2017

General McLane School District has selected Justin Whitford to serve as Associate Principal at James W. Parker Middle School, effective July 1.

“I am ecstatic to join the General McLane family and community as the new Associate Principal of Parker Middle School,” Whitford said.

A Lake City native, Whitford served two years as an elementary principal in Braxton County School District in West Virginia. He taught high school social studies for four years and served as the Department Chairperson, while also serving on a variety of professional committees with the West Virginia Department of Education, including the Commission for Professional Teaching Standards and Professional Practices Panel.

Whitford, who received his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Principal Certification from Edinboro University, plans to reside in the Edinboro area with his wife, Mary Beth.

The vacancy comes after John Hansen was appointed as superintendent of Northwestern School District, effective July 1. Formerly Associate Principal at James W. Parker Middle School, Jason Buto was appointed to JWPMS Principal. Buto will also remain serving as the District Curriculum Director.


4th graders perform tale tale classics

Posted on June 6, 2017

Edinboro Elementary fourth graders performed their end-of-the-year plays yesterday, reenacting a variety of classic tall tales.

Students worked collaboratively to share their stories of tall tale heroes, including: John Henry, Johnny Appleseed, Febold Feboldson, Stormalong, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, Annie Christmas and Paul Bunyan.

For more photos, visit our Featured Photos Page.


Erie WWII vet speaks to HS students

Posted on June 6, 2017

General McLane High School students had the opportunity to hear about WWII, its battles and its strategies outside of the facts and numbers that they read in textbooks. An Erie WWII veteran spoke with General McLane High School students yesterday in the auditorium.

Pvt. Joseph Morettini was part of the 82nd Airborne and fought in Normandy, Battle of Ardenne Forest, Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Central Europe. He was shot twice during his two-year campaign. Morettini, who is 92 years old and is one of two surviving members left from the 507th, was recently honored during the 100th anniversary commemoration of U.S. 82nd Airborne.

High school students in Mr. Stauffer’s U.S. History II class, as well as Mr. Vath, Mr. Treusch, Mr. Woodward, Mr. Wible, and Mr. Hager classes attended the event. The event was coordinated through Mr. John Malone and Mr. Stauffer.


Seniors walk to celebrate achievements

Posted on June 5, 2017

On Friday, the General McLane High School Class of 2017 took part in the second annual Senior Walk in both Elementary schools, James W. Parker Middle School and the high school.

Students, teachers and staff cheered on the seniors for their hard work as they paraded through the halls. The seniors also joined McKean fourth graders during their fourth grade celebration!

This event took place on the seniors last day and was intended to created a culminating connection between students at all levels of the district.


HS students Spread the Word to End the Word

Posted on June 2, 2017


Almost 400 attend Lancer Legacy Banquet

Posted on May 30, 2017

Almost 400 guests attended the 9th Annual Lancer Legacy Banquet last week.

The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Emily McCracken Shears (‘97). Shears is the Hospital Epidemiologist and Director of the Infection Prevention, Quality Improvement and Regulatory & Accreditation services departments at UPMC Hamot in Erie. She earned her Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota and her Bachelor of Science in Biology. Before UPMC, Shears worked for the Department of Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Immunology at Children’s Hospital of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health in the division of Acute Disease Investigation and Control. She is also a volunteer for ServeErie.

The Lancer Legacy Award for Distinguished Service to the General McLane School District was presented to Dan Berlin, and the Lancer Legacy Award for Distinguished Service to the General McLane Athletics was presented to Jay Macho.

Berlin taught at General McLane School District from 1969 until 2003. He taught high school math and served as an advisor to Student Council and math team Competitions. He also established and advised the National Honor Society. Berlin is involved with his church, serving as a deacon, church/youth group leader and member of the church choir. He is the president of Pro Rege Christian School Board and is an elected auditor of Rockdale Township. He and his wife Kathryn reside in Cambridge Springs and have 12 grandchildren.

Macho was employed as a middle school Language Arts teacher within the General McLane School District from 1974 through 2011. He coached middle school football, basketball and cross country. He also coached high school football and track and field. During Macho’s first year as head track and field coach, Macho led the girls track team to the PIAA State Championship, which was the school’s first state championship. Macho currently volunteers with the Erie Philharmonic and officiates track meets at Olmsted Falls HS.  He and his wife Diana reside in Edinboro.

Following the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni and Lancer Legacy Awards, the Annual Academic Awards Ceremony for students took place. More than 350 high school students were recognized for achieving Honor Roll at least three terms during the 2016-2017 School Year. Students who received an Academic Letter were also recognized.

The General McLane High School Academic Letter Program is designed to award excellence in academic performance by its students. Implemented in the 1990s and proposed by students, students may accumulate points on a yearly basis for Principal’s Honor Roll,  Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Academic Challenge Team, School Sponsored Competitions and Non-Athletic Activities. To earn this award, freshmen must accumulate 8.0 points and all other students 10.5 points during the defined year.

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