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.
 

GMHS students install tape sculpture

Posted on November 7, 2017

Students, staff and visitors were surprised this week with an unexpected as they stepped through a familiar General McLane High School lobby. And that was exactly the purpose of a recent art project by GMHS students.

After studying work of street artist Mark Jenkins, who places dressed tape sculpture bodies in cities across the world, the students in Mrs. Thompson’s Art Introduction class created one of their own. Their final project: A General McLane student trapped in a spider’s web after being wrapped in its cocoon.

The purpose of the exhibit was to explore how an environment can influence the choices artists make when designing art to be placed in a particular space.  The project is meant to have the viewer experience that space in a different way. The class was split into groups that came up with their own idea for the exhibition space. Students then voted on their favorite idea and split into teams to complete the project. Students spent a week using packaging tape, plastic wrap and a subject model and some props to create the completed project.

This is not the first time for this project. Last January, students created their first tape sculpture.

 

What a wonderful job by some creative students!

 
 

JWPMS hosts Veteran’s Day Celebration

Posted on November 6, 2017

James W. Parker Middle School hosted its annual Veteran’s Day Celebration on Friday, November 3.

This annual salute to veterans event brought together close to 100 veterans. All veterans were invited to breakfast and a celebration that included the Posting of Colors, vocal performances and a series of student speakers. In addition, students provided student drawings this year as well.

Edinboro University’s President Dr. H. Fred Walker served as this year’s guest speaker. Dr. Walker served in the U.S. Navy from 1983 to 1992. While in the Navy, he worked as a technician, work center supervisor and program manager and database administrator.

The event has taken placed since 2006 and corresponds to the 8th grades’ social studies curriculum on American History. As part of this curriculum, 8th graders also take a three-day trip to Washington D.C. every spring.

“Throughout American History, our success as a nation has been dependent upon the sacrificial service of generations of men and women in our military. We want students to understand and honor the sacrifices made for us and for our country,” said James W. Parker Middle School principal Jason Buto. “This event gives us an opportunity to interact with and honor the great men and women of our community who have served in our military.”

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

This year’s celebration featured more student leadership and speaking than in previous years. JWPMS students Wes Hakanen, Brandon Dedrick, Jake Lewin, Bianca Fenstermacher, Madison McLaughlin and Avery VanDyke served as student speakers. There were student vocal performances by Serenity Scantling, Taylor Faulkner and Kiersten Marendt. Recitations were done by Olivia Mussett and Trent Fellows.

JWPMS Students Zach Hart, Ryan Passmore and Danny Damore performed the folding of the flags and GMHS Band Director and Veteran Jacob Malec performed the taps. The Erie and Crawford County Veterans Burial Detail performed the Posting of the Colors.

James W. Parker Middle School is named after James W. Parker, who served the United States Army during WWII. He was a Staff Sergeant of the 83rd Infantry division and received two Purple Hearts during his service. General McLane High School, which was built in 1960, is named after Colonel John W. McLane of Erie who served as a Civil War Union Army Officer. The District remains the only school district to be named after a person and not a location.

 
 

Women in Engineering Day

Posted on November 3, 2017

Some of General McLane’s sophomores in the Academy of Medical Arts and Engineering are attending the Women in Engineering Day at Penn State Behrend today!

General McLane’s Academy of Medical Arts and Engineering prepares students for careers in medicine and engineering. Through partnerships with local businesses, hospitals and universities, the curricula features hands-on activities designed to provide students with quality, live-learning experiences.

 
 

Former Teacher Creates New Endowment Fund

Posted on November 3, 2017

If you ever stepped into Jean Smith’s classroom, there was something obvious that stood out – there was no desk.

Instead, she’d pull up a chair and get down to the student’s level. For her, it was all about making her classroom student-focused.

“Getting to their level was so important to me. You learn by doing, that was my philosophy,” said Smith, who was hired as an elementary teacher in 1965.

Smith gave back to General McLane for more than 40 years. Yet, she’s not done giving. Smith recently made a significant donation to the General McLane Foundation to start a new endowment fund that will directly benefit General McLane students.

“I’ve been in the District over four decades and I got to thinking that I wanted to give back to a District that has given me so much,” she said.

Starting this school year, the J.L. Smith Endowment will annually award a grant to elementary teachers in special area subjects, including health, library, music, art and physical education. This will be available to both McKean and Edinboro Elementary teachers.

A committee of current teachers and administrators will decide each year which project should be awarded the money. Edinboro Elementary students created the logo for this fund.

“I choose to use the funds specifically for the specials because it would make the biggest impact since all elementary students take specials,” she said. “The specials within General McLane School District are important because they create well-rounded students.”

Creating well-rounded students was something Smith practiced during her time at General McLane School District. She provided her students with a solid educational foundation through Writing Portfolios, Shakespearean Research Project and the famous mini-society she formed within her classroom throughout the years. From Beanieboro to Gum City to State Champsburgh, Kitty City and even Scooterville, Smith’s most well-known classroom project involved transforming students into entrepreneurs, who would try their hardest to earn Lancer Bucks through their businesses’ products and services.

“Our students need to experience everything,” she said. “One of my favorite things about teaching was when the window would open for a student and they’d experience those daily lessons.”

Smith taught fourth grade for two years at McKean Elementary School and third grade for 42 years at Edinboro Elementary School. She retired at the end of the 2007-2008 school year and received the Lancer Legacy Award for Distinguished Service to the General McLane School District in 2011.

Her pride for General McLane hasn’t diminished.

“I am very proud to have taught in the District. They were always so good at keeping up with the latest trends and engaging students,” said Smith, who hopes to help teachers stay current through this fund.

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 events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors.

 
 

PTSA hosts Halloween student fun night

Posted on November 2, 2017

James W. Parker Middle School’s PTSA hosted its Halloween Fun Night. More than 150 students attended this year’s event, which featured a bouncy house / obstacle course and 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 prize from the PTSA.

The 5/6th grade costume contest winners were Will Olson as Jack Skellington, Kasey Ramey as a Rubik’s cube, Alana Puller as an Autumn princess and Scout Adamski as a pineapple.

The 7/8th grade winners were Abby Walker as a social Butterfly, Myles Bruce as a goul, Billy Sechrist as a Dr. Pepper salesman and Jake Lewin as a dinosaur.

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.

 
 

What’s the band experience like at GM?

Posted on November 2, 2017

 
 

McKean ARRFS video

Posted on November 2, 2017

Check out this week’s McKean Elementary ARRFS Announcements!

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

The AARFS Announcements congratulate students for showing Acts of Responsibility, being Respectful, Fun to be with, and being Safe. The students also like to broadcast other students who have completed their Basic Math Facts.

Videos are completed by Friday of every week. Teachers can use iPads to display the videos on the SmartBoards.

The videos use the new technology at the Elementary School. As part of the 2017-2018 Strategic Plan to upgrade the district’s technology in grades K-8, General McLane rolled out a 1:1 iPads initiative to give every student in grades 3 and 4 an iPad.

With the latest deployment of iPads, the District has a 1:1  initiative for every student in grades three through twelve. For grades K-2, each classroom has a cart of iPads.

 
 

Haugh named Outstanding Youth Philanthropist of the Year

Posted on November 2, 2017

James W. Parker Middle School student Jacob Haugh was named Outstanding Youth Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western PA Chapter. He will be honored at National Philanthropy Day in Pittsburgh on November 15, 2017.

The Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy of the Year honors a young person or group of young people who have demonstrated exceptional generosity in support of a charitable cause or causes, demonstrated exceptional initiative and leadership in recruiting, coordinating and motivating volunteers to raise funds for a charitable cause or causes and encouraged other youth to make charitable gifts and volunteer their personal time to philanthropic causes.

The sixth grader is closing in on $25,000 that he has raised over three seasons to benefit Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare, complex genetic disorder. The disease affects an estimated 1 in 10,000 to 30,000 people, including the daughter of Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. Haugh’s initiatives have made him one of the largest individual donors to the program and were featured in a Root Sports Pittsburgh documentary-like-story.

“Every time that I have personally congratulated and thanked him for his amazing work, Jacob shrugs and says, ‘I’m just trying to help others.’ Every community should be so lucky to have a young man like Jacob working on their behalf to make a difference,” said the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh Development Director Emily Peters in her nomination of Jacob for this award. “I can’t think of a more deserving person to receive Western Pennsylvania Association of Fundraising Professionals’ 2017 National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award.”

Despite his significant efforts so far, Haugh still continues to raise money. This week is the last week for Haugh’s “Wins for Kids Wiffle Ball World Series”, pitting James W. Parker Middle School fifth and sixth grade homerooms against each other to raise funds. The winning homeroom will earn a Wiffle Ball game between teachers. Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle sent a video specifically thanking James W. Parker Middle School for their efforts. Haugh’s homeroom represents all of sixth grade.

The fundraising is channeled through Wins for Kids, which supports Pittsburgh Pirates Charities and the Center for Prader-Willi Syndrome at the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh. The Pirates are Jacob Haugh’s favorite team.

Congratulations to Jacob on this amazing honor!

 
 

GMHS hosts a Kindness Challenge

Posted on November 2, 2017

The Caring Club is promoting a caring atmosphere at General McLane High School through various monthly activities. In October, the Caring Club held a “Kindness Challenge” in partnership with UTZ. Caring Club members passed out Jumbo Snack Packs of chips with a kindness challenge attached to each bag. Students received a bag as they entered the school and were asked to complete their challenge throughout the day.

The Caring Club holds activities throughout the year to promote a positive atmosphere at General McLane. The main event that they participate in is National Child Grief Awareness Day in November.

 
 

McKean Elementary Haunted House

Posted on October 31, 2017

Lunch at McKean Elementary School was a little bit spookier today.

The McKean lunch staff created a special haunted cafeteria experience for McKean students. The kids walked into the decorated cafeteria with such an excitement as staff gave them a Halloween greeting! Staff even passed out candy to each kid in line.

Happy Halloween!

 
 
 
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