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 marissaorbanek@generalmclane.org.
 

Behind the Scenes: General McLane High School’s Calculus Class

Posted on December 15, 2017

 
 

JWPMS has special Canadian-inspired lunch

Posted on December 14, 2017

In honor of the school’s cross-curricular research project, James W. Parker Middle School’s cafeteria hosted a special Canadian-themed menu today featuring Poutine, a Canadian dish originating from the province of Quebec.

James W. Parker Middle School’s 6th grade teachers have been partnering  up for a cross-curricular research project. Students are discovering Canadian regions through various classes, including social studies, language arts, library and music. From geographical songs to Canadian customs and traditions to learning its food and culture, students are learning all things related to Canada. Students will share what they learn in January.

This quarter-long project involves careful planning by the teachers to make this instructional approach successful and ensures students have a true understanding of the themes they are taught in Social Studies.

 
 

GMHS Christmas Store returns

Posted on December 13, 2017

General McLane prides itself on its caring community — and it’s not hard to see why.  The annual Christmas Store for students in need at General McLane High School re-opened on Monday.

High school nurse Laurie Swanson started the store more than 15 years ago in an effort to help students in need provide gifts to their family during the holidays. Generous community members and district employees donate brand-new items that fill the nurse’s office, and students are then able to pick out gifts for those on their lists.

The store started with just two tables. Now, Mrs. Swanson’s office is lined with brand-new items that include anything from clothing to children games to home decor and hobby items.

Students, identified through administrators and staff, are able to come in throughout the day and select items for family and friends.

 
 

Luke Lofgren joins GMSD Board of Education

Posted on December 8, 2017

General McLane School District welcomed Luke Lofgren to the General McLane School District Board of Education this week.

Luke is a homebased associate for Acxiom Corporation, which is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s been with Acxiom for 17 years and has served in release readiness, performance testing, and capacity/performance engineering analysis roles. Currently, he serves as an Expert Infrastructure Architect focused on monitoring for Acxiom’s Information Technology (IT) Automation group.

Luke holds 18 industry certifications and has a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems from John Brown University. He has presented at technology conferences nine times and has been published in the International Computer Measurement Group conference proceedings and most recently presented at Zenoss GalaxZ16 & GalaxZ17 in Austin, Texas.

Luke and his wife Michele (GMHS class of ’94) have five children: Danielle, Alexander, Zachariah, Nathaniel and Bethany. According to Luke, his goal is to provide the best education possible for all students.

Lofgren represents Region 1 (McKean Borough and McKean Township) and replaces Dr. Peter Dobrzynski.  Dobrzynski served six years on the Board.

Lofgren joins Board members James Bucksbee, Carrie Crow (Board President), Amy Eisert (Board Vice President), Shari Gould, Linda King, Brad Pattulo, Andy Schulz and Timothy Wise.

 
 

JWPMS associate principal earns distinguished honor

Posted on December 7, 2017

James W. Parker Middle School Associate Principal Justin Whitford was recently honored with the Principal Leadership Academy (PLA) Distinguished Scholar Award.

Whitford is one of nine scholars named by the West Virginia Center for Professional Development (WVCPD) based off his participation in Principals Leadership Academy held by the West Virginia Center for Professional Development and West Virginia Department of Education. Distinguished Scholars are school administrators who finished at the top of their class, submitted high-caliber research projects and illustrated exemplary participation during the Academy.

“I am very humbled to be one of the few to receive this incredible award,” Whitford said.

Whitford was appointed as the associate principal of James W. Parker Middle School this past July. Prior to coming to General McLane, he served two years as an elementary principal in Braxton County School District in West Virginia. As a new principal, Whitford joined about 150 new principals across the state in the Principal Leadership Academy. The Academy requires principals to complete a focus project based on a need within their school. Whitford’s project analyzed school wide assessment data, identified intervention strategies and developed well-functioning Professional Learning Communities. As a result, his school saw significant improvements in terms of instruction, achievement and culture.

PLA brings new principals together three times each year. Working in teams, the new school leaders attend sessions that focus on school management, finance, effective evaluation strategies and avenues to enhance student learning and achievement in addition to many others. The goal is to help them to build and sustain a foundation of strong professional practices. Each team is led by two veteran principals who serve as PLA team leaders, and mentor the new principals during the school year and beyond.

Congratulations to Mr. Whitford on this distinguished honor!

 

 
 

GMHS participates in Child Grief Awareness Day

Posted on December 6, 2017

Hundreds of General McLane students stood in unity on Children’s Grief Awareness Day, a day to remember and support those who have lost a close family member.

Children’s Grief Awareness Day was created in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place, a Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families that offers a safe place for grieving children and families to come together. The Caring Place offers these services at no charge to grieving families from throughout the community to make sure these children receive the support they need.

Throughout the week, General McLane students participated in a variety of activities to show unity and support. Members of the high school Caring Club ran a bake sale and a basket raffle to raise money for The Caring Place, provided students with an opportunity to write the names of loved ones for a memory wall and decorated the building with blue butterflies, the symbol most associated with this day.

Caring Club president Amelia Swenski with the help of classmates Allie Shade, Emma Hunter, Phoebe Will, McKenah Bryson, Hannah McDermott, Jenna Brock, Anna Shreve, Haley Carter and Kendra Trezona, created a display of butterflies in the main lobby windows. Amelia created the memory wall, which included a paper tree with the words “we continue to grow and they continue to watch over us” placed next to it, specifically to be in memory of all of the lost parents and siblings of high school students and staff. Also, Mrs. Brenda Hertel, with the help of Mr. Jeremy Reed, Officer Jose Montes, Enrique Cornejo and Brayden Shaw, decorated the cafeteria windows with about 700 blue butterflies. The space served as an additional memory wall for the students.

Around twenty students and staff who have lost a sibling or parent gathered in the morning. They had a small ceremony where they to wrote the names of their passed loved ones on paper leaves to be hung on the tree. Students wore blue to show awareness of grieving children.

The Caring Club consists of 15 students who wish to make a positive impact at General McLane. Each month, they host events to create a caring atmosphere.

General McLane High School and Parker Middle School began offering grief support group meetings in September of 2014 as part of a regional program sponsored by the Highmark Caring Place, which has offered grief support for children at its Erie facility since opening in 2001. Students and counselors meet every Thursday for about an hour.

 
 

Kids to Kids finishes at EE

Posted on December 6, 2017


General McLane High School students in the Kids to Kids program finished its first lesson at Edinboro Elementary School last week, educating first and third graders on living a healthy lifestyle.

The high school students put on a puppet show to teach elementary students the dangers of drugs and alcohol. This is part of the Kids to Kids program, where high school junior and seniors are given extensive training and are taught how to explain refusal skills to the younger students. After training is complete, students in this course will travel to the elementary and middle schools to implement the training. The program will travel to McKean Elementary School before returning to both elementary schools for its second lesson. The program will then head to James W. Parker Middle School.

The Kids to Kids program began at General McLane High School in 1996 due to the death of Stan Scarlett, a GM alumni. Originally, the program only included grades 4 and 5. However, it now educates approximately 1,200 students in first, third, fifth, sixth and seventh grades. The program originally was adapted with the Mercer County Behavioral Health, which has since retired this program. In 2001 character education lessons were added to the Kids to Kids program. Kids to Kids teaches children and young teens valuable life lessons they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

 
 

GM students recognized in Reflections Contest

Posted on December 4, 2017

Numerous General McLane students were honored for their achievement in the 2017-18 National PTA Reflections arts in education program.

The award honors imagination, creativity and interpretation of the theme “Within Reach.” Students from the school level now move onto the County Level.

McKean students recognized included: Aiden Jack, Caden Roth, Parker Howard, Courtney Goodwill, Madelyn Robertson, Etta Spires, Annie Howard, Madline Marazza,  Chase Durlin,   Landrey Sweet,  Korryn Kinder,  Abbie Gula and Holly Goodwill.

James W. Parker Middle School winners include: Chloe Kiser, Angelia Dobmeier, Kiley Leasure, Regan Luebbert, Lyric Shaw, Keira Schoolcraft,  Gurneet Kaur, Miranda Kline and McKayla Hargest.

The National PTA Reflections program encourages students of all ages and abilities to explore and be involved in the arts. Through the program, National PTA, McKean Elementary PTA, James W. Parker Middle School PTSA and PTAs across the country urge students in preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice— dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts — reflecting on a specific theme. There also is a special artist division option for students with disabilities to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in the program. Students are recognized each year for their artistic ingenuity to bring the theme to life in a way that is personal and meaningful.

Congratulations to all of our students for their hard work and commitment to the arts!

 
 

9th graders tour ECTS

Posted on November 30, 2017

General McLane High School 9th graders recently toured the Erie County Technical School to learn more about its programming.

The Erie County Technical School is the career and technical education department for more than 10 school districts in Erie County, Pennsylvania. It offers more than 20 career-training programs to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.

 
 

GM students join Erie Philharmonic for holiday concert

Posted on November 29, 2017

General McLane High School students will join the Erie Philharmonic for their annual holiday concert, “Come Home for the Holidays”

Local tenor Daniel Cabanillas will star as vocal soloist alongside the Erie Philharmonic Chorus and General McLane Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

The show takes place December 2 and is conducted by Daniel Meyer. Show times are 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The Erie Philharmonic Chorus, now in its 65th season, is performing its first concert under new choir director Thomas Brooks. As a conductor and clinician, Mr. Brooks has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

General McLane’s Vocal Jazz group joins the Philharmonic for the first time. The group boasts approximately 20 students and is designed for highly motivated vocalists from all high school grade levels that are looking for a more intensive, high-paced performing ensemble. This group has never participated in a concert with the Philharmonic, although they performed at the Warner Theatre with The Dave Stevens Band and guest artist Helen Welch in 2008.

Tickets are still available for the matinee and evening performances. To purchase tickets, please visit Eriephil.org/holidays or call 814-455-1375.

 
 
 
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