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

JWPMS Wins Red Ribbon Contest

Posted on October 29, 2012

Last week, James W. Parker MS competed in a regional Red Ribbon photo contest. The winner of this contest was based on the the total percentage of students that were wearing red that day, creativity of the photo and the photo itself. Sunday night ten regional school entries were revealed along with the winner — and, we won!

This picture will be placed on a billboard — details to come soon!

Red Ribbon Week is a week celebrating being drug free.


JWPMS Students Sail the Brig Niagara

Posted on October 17, 2012

A group of 40 sixth, seventh and eighth graders from James W. Parker Middle School sailed on the Brig Niagara on last week.  This was part of the Perry 200 Commemoration, a program of more than 30 events over 18 months designed to commemorate the contributions of Erie to Commodore Perry and the contributions of Commodore Perry to Erie. Giving our students opportunities like this is what makes General Mclane School District one of the best places to live in Erie, PA.


The GM Academy of Arts & Engineering Kicks Off the Lecture Series

Posted on October 17, 2012

Frank Tursi, D.O., Director of Medical Education at Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie spoke to about 60 General McLane HS Students today as part of the GM Academy of Arts & Engineering’s Medical Program. Tursi, who is the 100th President of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association(POMA), gave the students a variety of information on a career in medicine — from the history of Osteopathic medicine to what courses to take in college to advice on seeking a career in the medical field.

Tursi gave students the opportunity to ask him any questions during and after the assembly Wednesday.

The next event is another Career Awareness Activity, only this one is on Careers in Engineering as part of the GM Academy of Arts & Engineering’s Engineering Program. Mechanical Engineer Ken Taylor, from CMI, and Dr. Melanie Hatch (dean of Gannon’s College of Engineering and Business) will speak November 14 from 10:45 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. to Academy students, as well as any students interested in an engineering career.

The Academy of Arts & Engineering demonstrates excellence in education and helps make General McLane High School one of the top schools with strong academics in Erie, PA.


JWPMS Artists at Work …

Posted on October 12, 2012

The art program at JWPMS has been busy, busy, busy!

The fifth grade just finished learning about the parts of a landscape and are now displaying their results! This week, they just completed casting their faces in plaster. In sixth grade, students are working on clay banks after studying Pygg clay and the clay banks made in Jalisco, Mexico.

Seventh grade students just developed gargoyles and learned about their functions and locations.

Coming soon — eighth graders are learning about pen and ink and watercolor techniques for scientific illustration!

For more pictures, check out our album on our District Facebook Page!



McKean Elementary Implements Action-Based Learning

Posted on October 11, 2012

McKean Elementary has implemented a new academic approach that seems to be an increasing trend among educational institutions – action-based learning.

McKean Elementary’s S.K.I.L.L Center (Skills Key to Igniting Lancer Learning) launched its new academic approach Monday, September 24. It focuses on recent brain research that links movement and physical activity to increased academic performance.

“Learning style research has shown for years that movement is a preferred style of learning,” said General McLane Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “This program meets these students where they are to improve their learning.”

Instructional support teacher Shannon Wingerter teaches the course, which she learned and took from a program at Fairview School District.

“They are learning as they are doing physical activities that are fun. They are learning how to read as they spin on a scooter. They’re learning how to read when they are bouncing a ball in the air and catching it,” she said. “Whatever the activity is, when students use both sides of the brain at same time, it’s proven that students retain the information better.”

According to Wingerter, the students’ responses have been terrific.

“The kids absolutely love it. Every time I go into a classroom, I hear, ‘Can I come today?’ Winger said. “Then, whenever I ask who wants to come back at the end of each session, every one of them, especially the younger ones, want to come back.”


Investigating Derivatives

Posted on October 10, 2012

General McLane High School’s AP Calculus class learns how to apply technology to their work. The class uses Wolfram Alpha, a computational knowledge engine, throughout the course. Today, the class used three simple math rules and their Mac Laptops as they investigated derivatives on Wolfram Alpha.


And the 2012 Homecoming King and Queen are ….

Posted on October 8, 2012

After the Lancers defeated East Friday night, student council members introduced the 2012 Homecoming Court. There were five boys and five girls nominated for Homecoming King and Queen: Ryland Luciano, Aidan Graham, Quinn Thompson, Zachary Kulesza and Clay Skelton; and Brittney Hunt, Katilin Clark, Kharly Stauber, Heather Hafner and Lindsey Jahn.

Deane Twitchell and Ashley Mennow announced the 2012 Homecoming Court. And the winner is …

Lindsey Jahn is named the 2012 Homecoming Queen!

And your 2012 Homecoming Final Four: (from left-right) Homecoming Princess Kharly Stauber, Homecoming King Ryland Luciano, Homecoming Queen Lindsey Jahn and Homecoming Prince Aidan Graham. Congrats!!


JWPMS Students Pay It Forward

Posted on October 5, 2012

Students at James W. Parker Middle School have made the personal decision to inspire change in the world through their acts of kindness.

Fifth grader Lindsey Cain has been making and selling glass jewelry in order to use the profits to buy toys for the play room at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. So far, she has been able to buy a dollhouse and a tool set. Her jewelry (some of which is featured below) is on display on her Facebook page, “Naturel Sparklzzz” and can be order via phone or email.

Four other JWPMS students make up part of the group they call “The Colored Zebras.” Patience Makusi, Malyna  Zboyovski, Emily Smith and Makayla Jay — with the help of two other girls — have been making duct tape bracelets and selling them to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Colored Zebras were recently filmed on the “Good Kids” Program with WJET. The girls plan to sell their bracelets at the Edinboro Elementary Holiday Fun Night & Book Fair on December 5.

Kudus to all these students & keep up the good work!


Conceptual Learning

Posted on October 3, 2012

Sixth graders at James W. Parker Middle School are putting the standard math formulas to real-life examples. During a STEM lab Friday, students learned how to make simple motor improvements by measuring three different size wheels by revolutions and recording that data in a responder that records proficiency levels, estimating the distance the car would travel with that size wheel and then testing those estimates. Instead of giving the students a rectangle and asking for the height, instructor Chris Triola is implementing conceptual learning by applying the math formulas to real world examples. The results?

“The kids responded well to the lab, they seemed to grasp the concept of circle in a more applicative fashion.  They did an awesome job of data collection,” Triola said.

Tomorrow, the students begin testing the basic strength of the designed car. Friday, the students will test the car’s ability to climb. The class goal is to create a motor that will run an entire amusement park.


McKean Elementary Goes for the Gold (Golden Rule)

Posted on October 1, 2012

McKean Elementary hosted an assembly for their ARRFS positive behavior program Friday.  ARRFS, (acts of respect, responsibility, fun and safe to be with) is a major focus at McKean Elementary.

4x Olympic Wrestling Medalist Bruce Baumgartner attended the assembly. High School Football Players Quinn Thompson and Zach Leicht also attended. The theme was Go for the Gold (Golden Rule).

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