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.
 

Edinboro teacher receives grant

Posted on October 20, 2017

Edinboro Elementary teacher Katie Waddell was named a recipient of Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative’s 2017 Clearly Brighter Teacher Grant.

She was awarded $450 for her hands-on science unit focused on the moon. The students will participate in several learning stations and finish the unit by designing a Moon Buggy. This unit will take place in January.

The Clearly Brighter Teacher Grant Program was designed to help kids by providing their teachers with financial assistance for innovative and effective educational curriculum that is not covered by traditional school financing. Individual teachers can apply for grants up to $250, while teams of teachers (two or more) can apply for grants up to $500. Since 2000, REC has awarded $51,000 in grant funds to teachers and educators throughout Northwestern REC’s service territory.

Applications for the next grant period (fall 2018) will be accepted online beginning May 1, 2018, through Sept. 15, 2018. Visit NorthwesternREC.coop for more information.

 
 

4th Annual Trail of Treats slated for October 28

Posted on October 20, 2017

James W. Parker Middle School students are adding Halloween festivities for children in the General McLane community.

Members of Student Council and 8th grade advisors are hosting the fourth annual Trail of Treats Fundraiser on Saturday, October 28.  Children are invited to gather candy and treats at various stations set up throughout the Middle School between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

This event is for children 12 and under and the cost is $3 per child. An adult must accompany any child throughout this event. Costumes are encouraged, but not required.

All candy is donated from local businesses. Previous events, which have averaged 300 trick or treaters, raised money for the Boro Women’s and Family Services, the Erie County Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ECCDHH) and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern PA.

This year, all proceeds will benefit the AH Club of Edinboro, a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to provide warm clothing to the children in the General McLane School District.

 
 

What happens during a power outage?

Posted on October 20, 2017

 

We had a short power outage yesterday morning at Edinboro Elementary, but we still were hard at work! When the power goes out at EE, teachers and students read with flashlights!

 
 

Alumni Feature: A Roadie from the Boro

Posted on October 19, 2017

This story first ran in the Fall Alumni Newsletter (10/4/17),
which  is e-mailed quarterly to members of the Alumni Association.
To register or update your information, visit our website.

——————————————————-

When Edinboro’s J.L. Jamison graduated from General McLane High School in 1980, his background in music was pretty simple: he never played an instrument, he couldn’t tell you much about music notes and he never took a music class.

He was a fan of Aerosmith, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, but most importantly, he loved Rock and Roll.

Fast-forward 35 years, and he’s running a 48-man band crew for Jimmy Buffett.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” Jamison said. “I went to concerts and everything growing up in Erie, but I never pictured myself doing anything like this.”

Jamison left Edinboro right out of high school to work at a ski resort in Lake Tahoe. While working for the lodge, Jamison started working for a local band, Unicorn.

He started doing lighting and then headed down to Key West to work with a variety of bands, including The Producers, the Bangles and Berlin. It wasn’t long before he got the call.

“When I started touring with bands, we would stay at people’s houses or camp grounds or in one hotel room. The sound guy and I roomed together, and he was the one who got me on the tour with Jimmy,” Jamison said. “When I first got hired, I didn’t know who Jimmy was. But I got a call saying, ‘they want to interview you and no one on our tour has to room together, not even the t-shirt guy.’ That was the coolest thing to me – not sharing a room.”

With that, Jamison said he was sold. He headed down to Hawaii in December of 1984. The following summer, he was called back to join Buffett’s lighting crew. It was there that another opportunity came up.

“[Buffett] and I were always running into each other, and we’re at a bar and he goes, ‘I’m thinking about opening a club in Key West, you should come help us out.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, great idea,’ but I didn’t really think he was serious. Then I got a call, ‘Buffett’s down in Key West and wants to know where you are.’”

Jamison was one of Margaritaville’s first employees when it opened in 1985. When he wasn’t on tour, he would serve as the soundman for the restaurant.

Although he still books the bands for Margaritaville, including Edinboro’s own High Life and Tiger Maple String Band, Jamison’s involvement with Jimmy Buffett has expanded from when he first started as a member of his lighting crew. Now, he serves as everything from a Project Stage Manger to Crew Chief to Entertainment Director and Studio Manager.

“I run the band crew, which is all of the crew that takes care of the musicians. From lighting to sound and video to wardrobe and set, that all goes through me,” Jamison said.

Jamison has toured all over with the band, from Tokyo to Dubai to the West Indies and Caribbean.

“We were just at the Byron Bay Bluesfest, and that was really cool because I know a lot of these bands from here in the States, so it was fun getting together on the other side of the world,” Jamison said.

When he’s not on the road, Jamison also runs Buffett’s studio, Shrimpboat Sound. It was there that they recorded George Strait’s album, Troubadour, which earned a Grammy Award for Best Country Album. An image of the Grammy-award winning album hangs in his cottage in Edinboro, which he frequents quite often to visit his family.

Jamison’s mother was a librarian and reading teacher at Edinboro Elementary School, and his father was a football coach and health and physical education teacher for General McLane High School. His four older sisters Beth, Kathy, Cindy and Jenny also graduated from General McLane.

“My parents are 93 and 90, so I want to spend more time with them. I was gone so much after high school, it’s nice to spend time with them now,” Jamison said. “I also love Edinboro Lake. I grew up on the lake, so it was like my playground. Those are my favorite things about coming back home – family, friends and the lake.”

Jamison and his wife live in Key West with a beagle, Clover, and a cat named Ritto.

He just recently got back to Key West from Europe, his first time home since Hurricane Irma went over the Keys.

“The damage and loss of historic landmarks is pretty hard to explain, but it’s one tough little island chain and seeing the whole community come together, we will bounce back in no time.”

 
 

Learning By Design at JWPMS

Posted on October 19, 2017

James W. Parker Middle School seventh graders recently celebrated their Makerspace work.

Their work was part of a Learning by Design Challenge. This takes places in the middle school art program and challenges students to invent, create and engineer a piece of art from the available recycle materials with minimal guidelines. They can work in groups or individually. After creating the artwork, students reflect on the project explaining why they chose their materials and things they’d do differently next time.

For this specific challenge, students had to create an extension of the body or piece of fashion. Students focused on good craftsmanship throughout the lesson and also discussed choosing and trying different tools/methods in a safe way to achieve the desired outcome. These methods included sewing, painting, cutting, drilling, glueing, printmaking, wire cutting/bending, etc.

A panel of judges judged their work on creativity, craftsmanship and use of material. Celebratory Sculptures were given out for Best Craftsmanship, Best Theme, Best Use of Material, Most Creative, Most Unique, Best in Show, Most Futuristic and Most Attention to Detail.

Learning By Design Lesson fosters 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking and communication. There is a Learning By Design group, which is a sub group of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA). JWPMS teacher Christina Martin is a member of the PAEA.

 
 

Sixth grade math safety engineering

Posted on October 19, 2017

James W. Parker Middle School sixth graders were putting engineering safety procedures to practice!

Students used their math skills to measure and design “KNEX Egg Cars” in order to understand how engineers build and modify designs to improve the safety of a vehicle.  Students utilized their skills in measurement, data collection and geometry to produce a product that is both functional and practical.

When students finished their project within the guidelines, they added an Egg Passenger and spun their vehicle for one of three crash situations: “Regular Crash, “High Speed Crash”, “Pulling a Trailer Crash” and the dreaded “Over Cliff Crash”.  Their goal is to have their egg finish in one piece! Principal Whitford join them as a part of the engineering team for testing day.

The students will take what they have learned from this project and apply it to future STEM-based projects related to design, functionality and safety, all while incorporating the application and coverage of the state mathematics standards.

 
 

GMHS and Great Lakes partner for iPad Storage Solutions

Posted on October 13, 2017

When General McLane School District began planning for its elementary iPad rollout, technology supervisor Jeremy Dylewski searched for the best storage solution on a budget.

The result? A one-of-a-kind drawer that allows each teacher to securely store and charge the iPads, as needed, within an already existing space – and all locally sourced, thanks to Great Lakes Case & Cabinet.

“The customization of the product to best fit our needs, financially and logistically, was the driving force that led to the partnership,” Dylewski said. “We’ve been amazed at their professionalism, quality of the products and customer service. The entire experience has been above and beyond – and we’re supporting a local business, which makes it even better.”

Great Lakes Case & Cabinet (GLCC) is a metal fabricator based out of Edinboro and specializes in the manufacture and integration of indoor and outdoor enclosures for the storage and protection of IT equipment.

Dylewski worked with a GLCC engineer and team to completely customize this product from start to finish. He was involved with the plan throughout the entire process, from the drawing it on the whiteboard until implementation. In addition to complete customization, face-to-face interaction, and keeping tax dollars in the local community, the costs of the project added significant savings to the District. The District saved approximately $600 each drawer compared to the average cost of a mobile charging cart.

The new storage system occupies unused space within the technology cabinets that already exist in the classrooms for technology needs. Forty drawers were created and placed in the elementary homerooms.

Through the latest technology rollout, General McLane School District successfully implemented a 1:1 iPad initiative for students in grades 3 through 12. Students in Kindergarten through second grade each have access to iPads through a classroom set that contains 12 iPads each.

The focus of the 1:1 technology initiative is to meet students where they are and help boost student achievement, engagement and increase students’ creativity, collaboration and critical-thinking skills. Technology is just one of the tools teachers use in the classrooms.

The district began its iPad rollout in 2012. James W. Parker Middle School piloted the 1:1 program during the 2013-2014 School Year and General McLane High School expanded the program during the 2015-2016 School Year. General McLane High School students take their iPads home, students in grades 3 through 8 leave theirs in the schools.

 
 

McKean kindergarteners start day with crafts

Posted on October 10, 2017

 

McKean Elementary School students get right to work in the mornings!

Kindergarten students start their tasks upon arriving to school, as part of their morning routines. On Thursday, this meant some arts and crafts!

 
 

EUP lacrosse team visits McKean

Posted on October 5, 2017

Edinboro University’s Women Lacrosse Team visited McKean Elementary School on Tuesday to discuss bullying as part of McKean’s ARRFS program.

Throughout their presentation, they demonstrated examples of bullying among teammates and offered positive alternatives to the same situations.

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.


 
 

Alumni Feature: For the love of running

Posted on October 5, 2017

This story first ran in the Fall Alumni Newsletter (10/4/17),
which  is e-mailed quarterly to members of the Alumni Association.
To register or update your information, visit our website.

——————————————————-

When Morgan Elliott graduated from General McLane High School in 2010, he left as an all-region and all-district performer in cross-country.

Now, he’s breaking out in the trail-running scene as one of the top extreme runners in the United States.

For the second year in a row, Elliott took first place this past August in the Audi Power of Four Trail Run 50K. As a result of this international race, he is the continental ultra sky champion.

A month later, Elliott placed second at Montana’s Run the Rut – 50K.

And then, just a few weeks ago, he set a FKT (fastest known time), for a popular route in Colorado called the Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop.  The four-pass loop is about a 27-mile trail hike/run with around 8000 ft of elevation gain.

This weekend, he will compete again in the Flagstaff 55K. Last year, he took first in this race and became the overall winner of the US Skyrunner Series in the ultra category.

“I definitely want to be running for a while,” Elliott said.  “I don’t care how successful I am on the podium, I really enjoy running, the competiveness and the journey of training. It has been so much fun.”

While at General McLane, Elliott lettered four times in both track and cross-country and once in swimming.

In Cross Country, Elliott won the McDowell Invitational, was the region 5 champion, and qualified and medaled at states. While a senior track member, Elliott was the District 10 champion in the 800 and qualified for states in the 1600. In the 1600 preliminaries at the state meet, he ran 4:23, the second fastest mile in Lancer history.

He continued his running career at Slippery Rock University, thanks to advice from General McLane High School teacher and coach John Guzik.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run in college, but he told me that I may regret it if I don’t do it. He encouraged me to try it out, even if it was just for one season, and I owe him for that, he was a great coach,” Elliott said. “He really motivated me and kept me running when I had no one else to do it.”

It was a good thing he listened. During his senior year, Elliott set a school record for the 1500 meter—3:50.18. This record was just beaten this past spring.

He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2014 with his Bachelor’s of Arts in Park and Recreation Resource Management and minor in Aquatics, although Elliott jokes that he majored in running.  It was there where he realized he was tired of running on the road and enjoyed the technical terrain that came with running in McConnells Mill State Park.

“I love being in the trails when the sun is shining onto the trees and river. The technical terrain is more callous, with more rocks, roots, mud and ruggedness to it than a flat, cross-country course. I really love the grit of it,” Elliott said. “In these races, you have to be completely aware of where you are placing your feet and have to be focused as you change gears running up or down hill.”

Elliott currently lives out of his car and travels to different spots to train for races.

“It’s very simplistic, how little can I get by with. I wake up at trailhead and go run on it – the freedom of it all is very amazing and surreal,” Elliott said.

His races have between 10,000 to 12,000 vertical feet of gain within a span of 31 miles. His favorite races are the ones near rivers and waterfalls, where Elliott said he is able to jump in whenever he wants. Through his running, he serves as an ambassador for inov-8, an all-terrain running brand.

After the races finish for the year, he plans to return to Asheville, North Carolina, where his family has relocated. His goal is to eventually qualify for the U.S. Ultra Distance Running Team and represent the United States overseas.

His experiences at General McLane, however, have made a lasting impression.

“It took a bunch of little steps to get me where I am now. The first step began when I was a member of the 7/8th grade cross-country team and then it continued throughout high school,” Elliott said. “My experiences at General McLane morphed me into the athlete that I am today.”

His favorite memories are ones of his teammates.

“The pride we all had back then, we are all happy to be part of General McLane. My teammates made a big difference in my high school experience, and I loved my teachers and I loved my coach,” Elliott said.

Guzik gave him a mantra that he still does today.

Condition, strong, confident, relaxed, focused, prepared.

That last part – prepare – is what keeps him running.

“That’s why I do it, mostly for the journey of it, the 9-12 weeks that you put into it. The race is one day, one morning. I want to be healthy and out having adventures in the mountains. I don’t want to stop.”

 
 
 
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