Sixteen seniors vying for Homecoming King and Queen crowns

Sixteen Penn Manor High School seniors are vying for the title of 2021 Homecoming Queen and – for the first time at Penn Manor – Homecoming King while raising money to support Penn Manor families in need.

Riley Peart, Ella Kratz, Joy Perkins, Avery Groff, Jesselin Lopez, Devyn Mauger, Lily Sugra and Nicole Lapp are the candidates for Homecoming Queen. Erik Hinkle, Connor Brumbaugh, Noe Perez, Charlie Gonzalez, Ethan Adelman, Carter Harnish, Harrison Brown and Zach Erb are vying for the title of Homecoming King.

The King and Queen will be crowned at halftime of Penn Manor’s homecoming football game against Cedar Crest on October 22 at Millersville University’s Biemesderfer Stadium.

During homecoming week, Penn Manor will host Fall Fest from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 21, at Comet Field.

The event will include food trucks, fireworks, cornhole and spike ball tournaments, bounce houses, children’s games, a DJ and stands selling Four Diamonds merchandise.

Admission is free.

On Saturday, October 23, the Homecoming Dance will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on the top level of the high school parking garage.

Tickets can be purchased the week of October 17 during lunch periods or in the school office at $10 per person. Attire will be semi-formal (no jeans).

Members of this year’s homecoming court are raising money and collecting goods and supplies for the Loft Community Partnership, which provides clothing, food and household supplies to Penn Manor families in need. The court members are:

  • Riley Peart, the daughter of Megan and Kevin Peart of Lancaster. Her father will be her escort at homecoming.

Riley is a member of the Student Ambassadors, National Honor Society, MiniTHON, Student Council and Comet Nation. She also plays on the Penn Manor basketball team.

After high school, Riley plans to attend a four-year university and  major in biochemistry and public health.

  • Ella Kratz, the daughter of Phil and Jen Kratz of Millersville. Her father will be her escort.

Ella has been involved in Penn Manor girls’ soccer, Student Council, the National Honor Society and MiniThon.  

After high school, she plans to attend Central Penn College to become a physical therapist assistant.

  • Joy Perkins, the daughter of Mary and Larry Perkins of Lancaster. Her parents will be her homecoming escorts.

Joy is a senior class officer and member of the National Honor Society. She has been involved with Penn Manor Productions, Manor Singers, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Board Game Club and the Spike Ball Club.

After high school, she plans to attend college and major in occupational therapy.

  • Avery Groff, the daughter of Brad and Brenda Groff of Lancaster. Her father will be her escort.

Avery is a member of the Penn Manor swim team, the York YMCA swim team, Comet Nation, the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

After high school, she plans to attend a four-year college and study finance.

  • Jesselin Lopez, the daughter of Jessica Ortiz and Will Lopez of Mountville. Her parents will be her escorts.

Jesselin is a member of the Scrubs Club, the Spike Ball Club and Comet Nation. She plans to attend a four-year college after high school.

  • Devyn Mauger, the daughter of Robert and Rebecca Mauger of Pequea. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Devyn is a member of the girls’ lacrosse team, Lanco Elite Travel Lacrosse, the National Honor Society, MiniTHON and the varsity cheerleading squad. Devyn also is a junior coach for the Penn Manor Junior Comets and a Comet Nation Club student representative.

Devyn plans to attend Juniata College to continue to participate in athletics and major in secondary math education and psychology.

  • Lily Sugra, the daughter of Chris and Jen Sugra of Millersville. Her father will be her escort.

Lily has participated in varsity soccer and basketball, MiniTHON, the National Honor Society, Comet Nation and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

She plans to attend a four-year college or university after high school.

  • Nicole Lapp, the daughter of Robert and Erica Lapp of Lancaster. Her father will be her escort.

Nicole is a Student Ambassador and a member of the track and field and Unified Track and Field teams at Penn Manor.

After high school, she plans to attend Bloomsburg University and major in health sciences and psychology.

  • Erik Hinkle, the son of Nichole and Yon Hinkle of Millersville. His parents will be his escorts.

Erik participated in football and lacrosse at Penn Manor. After high school, he plans to attend a four-year college and study business.

  • Connor Brumbaugh, the son of David and Leslie Brumbaugh of Lancaster. His mother will be his escort.

Connor participated in the MiniTHON and lacrosse and was a Comet Boy and Comet Nation club leader. After high school, he plans to attend Albright College and play lacrosse.

  • Noe Perez, the son of Rosa Valdez and Rafael Perez of Lancaster. His escort will be Kayla Benne-Shindle.

At Penn Manor, he participated in the Attollo program and was a member of the basketball team. After high school, Noe plans to major in education at Millersville University.

  • Charlie Gonzalez, the son of Merida Gonzalez of Lancaster. His escort will be Shalaika Gonzelez.

Charlie participated in football and lacrosse at Penn Manor. After graduation, he plans to study criminal justice at Alvernia University.

  • Ethan Adelman, the son of Jared and Lori Adelman of Conestoga. His mother will be his escort.

Ethan participated in football, baseball, recreational basketball and the Football Club at Penn Manor. His post-graduation plans are undecided, although he is interested in becoming an athletic trainer.

  • Carter Harnish, the son of Kyle and Amanda Harnish of Washington Boro. His mother will be his homecoming escort.

Carter played baseball at Penn Manor High School. After graduation, he plans to attend a four-year college.

  • Harrison Brown, the son of Dan and Tina Brown of Millersville. His parents will be his homecoming escorts.

Harrison participated in track and field, wrestling, the MiniTHON and the Comet Nation club.

After high school, he plans to attend a four-year college and study business and sports medicine, with the goal of opening his own gym.

  • Zach Erb, the son of Keith and Michelle Erb of Holtwood. His mother will be his homecoming escort.

He participated in varsity soccer, Young Life, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Comet Nation club.

Zach plans to study business at a four-year college after high school.

Best wishes to all the candidates!

  • Homecoming Court group photo
    The 2021 Penn Manor Homecoming Court

Penn Manor staff contribute $19,000 to PMEF

Penn Manor employees are providing a $19,000 boost to the Penn Manor Education Foundation.

A total of 245 staff members gave one-time donations or signed up for an automatic payroll deduction in support of PMEF, which provides teacher grants, student scholarships and financial assistance to struggling Penn Manor families.

Donations came from every school, the district office and Penn Manor’s maintenance and building and grounds crews. Donors received PMEF cooler bags and gift cards, depending on their level of support, as a thank you.

“Not all education foundations are so fortunate to benefit from this level of staff support,” said PMEF executive director Jan Mindish.

“PMEF is honored that we have the backing of Penn Manor staff. Knowing that many teachers continue spending their own money to support students in their classrooms makes it even more impressive.”

Many thanks to our staff for their support!

Penn Manor receives $3,500 library book grant from Tanger

Many thanks to Tanger Outlets for supporting Penn Manor school libraries and students!

Tanger recently presented a $3,500 check to Penn Manor to pay for new books at school libraries throughout the district. Penn Manor applied for the grant earlier this year to help replenish library books that were misplaced or lost during the pandemic.

Monica Trego, Tanger marketing director, presented the check to Martic Elementary School librarian Lori Paules on September 24.

The grant was through the TangerKIDS Grants program, which provides almost $200,000 in funding for special projects, programs and equipment in schools located in the communities served by Tanger stores.

Thanks again for your support!

53 students inducted into Penn Manor National Honor Society

The Penn Manor chapter of the National Honor Society welcomed 53 new members during an induction ceremony September 22 at Penn Manor High School.

The Penn Manor High School juniors and seniors qualified for induction by maintaining a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.85 and demonstrating the four pillars of the NHS – scholarship, leadership, service and character.

The 2021-2022 inductees include:

Micah Adams, Abby Ames, Annie Bibus, Bria Booth, Allie Burkholder, Emily Castline, Sheridan Charles, Nicole Chen, Ella Coleman, Liv Cox, Jenna DeVinny, Emma Dinges, Natalie Doyle, Colette Evans, Benedict Flinchbaugh, Amber Floyd, Ethan Fox, Stephan Gebhard, Alyssa Guzman, Jenna Haldeman, Aaron Harnish, Jessica Hemmerly, Landon Hertzog, Stacy Hilt, Alyssa Jones, Elijah Julian, Aidan Karlow, Abbie Kelly, Maisie Kemrer.

Isabelle Kligge, Jackson Knaub, Emma Landis, Madeline Lavelle, Miranda Martin, Nathan Mintzer, Madeline Mitchell, Blessing Mmugambi, GG Moenga, Natalie Myer, Joshua Oatman, Olivia Parshley, Maximillian Ponton, Kaitlyn Pontz, Catherine Rabatin, Wyatt Rohrer, Kaitlyn Roth, Grace Seiger, Ben Shaffer, Sydney Shepos, Erin Shipley, Lauren Stoner, Spencer Stuart and Reagan Webster.

They join the 42 returning members of the Penn Manor NHS.

Officers this year are Audrey Patterson, president; Jasmine Sanders, secretary; Avery Groff, treasurer; and Emily Riggs, historian. Advisors are Jane Myers and Catherine Tejada.

Congratulations to these students for earning this distinguished recognition!

  • New members of the Penn Manor chapter of the National Honor Society.
  • National Honor Society officers

PA mask order is fully in effect on September 22

Please read the important update below from Penn Manor superintendent Dr. Mike Leichliter regarding the PA Department of Health order requiring face coverings at all schools in Pennsylvania.

As you are aware, effective September 7, 2021, the Acting PA Secretary of Health issued an order for all school entities to require that all students wear face coverings while indoors at school. 

At its September 7, 2021, meeting, the Penn Manor Board of School Directors extended the deadline for the submission of medical documentation in support of a mask exception for students until September 21, 2021. That grace period expires at the end of today, September 21, 2021.

Beginning Wednesday, September 22, if a student arrives at school and does not have a mask or face shield, a mask or face shield will be provided for them. If they refuse to wear the face covering, they will be asked to wait in the office or other designated location while a parent is notified to pick them up. 

As a reminder, a plastic face shield that covers the nose and mouth, extends below the chin, to the ears, and leaves no exposed gap between the forehead and the shield’s headpiece is an acceptable alternative to a mask. 

All families who have filed a request for an exception from the mask order will be notified by the end of the day on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, of the status of their request. New exception requests may be filed here.

Collectively, we appreciate your support in having your child follow this order and not put our staff members in the middle of any disagreement that you may have with the order. Please be reminded of the alternative educational offerings for students whose parents do not want their children to comply with the order:
 

  • Full-time, graded online instructional option through Penn Manor Virtual School (Monday—Friday).
  • Homeschooling. This option requires the student to withdraw from Penn Manor School District, and the parent to assume the responsibility for the child’s education following the PA Homeschool Regulations. 

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Michael G. Leichliter, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Please use temporary numbers as we resolve phone issues

Penn Manor is experiencing technical problems with our phone system. Until this issue is resolved, please use these temporary numbers when calling from outside the school district:

  • District Office — 717-876-6577
  • High School — 717-876-6635
  • All other schools/buildings — 717-876-6627

We will notify the public when the phone system has been restored. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

Information on September 20 school board meeting procedures

Please read the following information provided by the Penn Manor Board of School Directors regarding procedures to be followed at the school board meeting on Monday, September 20.

September 16, 2021

The Penn Manor Board of School Directors will meet on Monday, September 20, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Penn Manor High School. If you are interested in speaking during the public comment section of the meeting, the school board requests that you pre-register here so that an appropriate amount of time can be allocated for public comments. 

We expect members of the public to be respectful in their comments to the school board. Personal attacks, inflammatory comments and disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. No drinks, food or bags will be allowed inside the auditorium. In addition, face coverings are required for all people attending the meeting. If attendees refuse to wear a face covering, the school board has the authority to adjourn the meeting. 

Penn Manor School District is obligated to comply with the provisions of the face coverings order issued by the Acting Secretary of Health, including during school board meetings, unless or until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an injunction regarding the implementation and enforcement of the order.

A lawsuit has been filed seeking to block the face coverings order. However, the Commonwealth Court has postponed a hearing on the lawsuit until after September 23, 2021. 

As of now, the order remains in effect.

The school board agenda will be posted on the Penn Manor website by Friday, September 17, 2021, at 4 pm.

Sincerely,

The Penn Manor Board of School Directors
Carlton Rintz, President
Dr. Joseph Fullerton, Vice President
Dr. Richard Frerichs
Donna Wert
Christopher Straub
David Paitsel
Nickole Nafziger
Dell Jackson
Mitchell Sweigart

Important update on PA Dept. of Health face coverings order

Please read this important update from Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter regarding the face coverings order issued by the PA Department of Health for all schools and the process for seeking an exception.

Effective September 7, 2021, the Acting PA Secretary of Health issued an order for all school entities requiring that all students wear a face covering while indoors at school. On Friday, September 10, 2021, the Acting Deputy Secretary of the PA Department of Education sent Pennsylvania school superintendents additional guidance stating that the order is not a mask-optional policy. PDE states: “Any school entity simply permitting a parent’s sign-off without evidence that the student has a medical or mental health condition or disability that precludes the wearing of a face covering is not in compliance with the order. Under the order, school entities must require all individuals, two years of age and older, to wear face coverings unless the individual has a medical or mental health condition or disability that precludes the wearing of a face covering.” 

Penn Manor school building administrators are responding to requests for exceptions to the face covering order that have been submitted by parents/guardians. Supporting evidence of a medical or mental health condition or disability, such as medical documentation or a supporting letter from the student’s treating physician, must be provided in order for an exception request to be considered. According to PA Department of Education guidance, parent notes without evidence of a medical or mental health condition or disability are not sufficient. Please note also that the “Heritage Family Health” form is not sufficient evidence of a student’s medical condition or disability. 

To accommodate our families, the school district has updated its Mask Exception Request process for parents/guardians who are submitting a new request for an exception. We will accept the information on the updated Exception Request Form with the understanding that parents/guardians may need to participate in additional discussions with district personnel and that the school district may need additional documentation from the student’s medical provider. 

Evidence supporting a medical exception must be submitted by the end of the day on September 21, 2021. After that date, all students are required to wear a face covering inside Penn Manor schools unless a medical exception has been granted. When evidence of a medical or mental health condition is received, the district will schedule a meeting to review eligibility for accommodations through the 504 process or the IEP revision process.

The Penn Manor Board of School Directors and school personnel sincerely appreciate your understanding as we work together to balance the needs of all families while implementing the Department of Health order. We appreciate your continued support as Penn Manor School District works to meet the needs of all of our students.

Sincerely,

Michael G. Leichliter, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Penn Manor school board update on face covering order

Penn Manor School District is providing an update on the required implementation of the Acting Secretary of Health’s face covering order, which took effect Tuesday, September 7, 2021. After meeting with legal counsel and listening to public comment, the school board approved the following action at its September 7 meeting:

The district will extend until September 21, 2021, the need for a physician’s note to provide a mask exception for students or staff, without consequences, and has directed the administration to seek legal counsel regarding the requirements for a medical exception.

Penn Manor will continue to require that all students and staff wear a face covering while in school, as directed in the order. This applies to all students unless a parent/guardian has submitted a written request for an exception.

The school board action does not impact the federal requirement that masks be worn by all students on school buses.

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in this matter. The district will provide more guidance as it receives further clarification. Please reach out to your child’s building principal if you have any questions regarding the mask order and/or the exception process. 

Face covering mandate takes effect Tuesday, Sept. 7, at all schools

On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, the Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued an order that requires the wearing of face coverings at schools starting on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.

The order is issued pursuant to authority granted to the Department of Health under the Disease Prevention and Control Law, 35 P.S. Section 521.5, and requires that all teachers, students, staff and visitors wear a face covering indoors at school. Furthermore, the order states that it does not impact the obligation of schools to comply with CDC requirements concerning masking on school buses.

As a public school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Penn Manor School District is required by law to comply with this order.

Penn Manor will use the same procedure followed during the 2020-2021 school year in considering face covering medical exception requests from parents/guardians. Parents/guardians will need to provide documentation from a medical provider by completing a Face Covering Order Exception Request Form from their child’s school and submitting it to the building principal.

The Penn Manor Board of School Directors will meet on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Penn Manor High School. At the beginning of all school board meetings, there is a public comment period. If you are interested in speaking during that time, the school board respectfully requests that you pre-register here so that an appropriate amount of time can be allocated for public comments. The school board will be accepting comments regarding the face coverings order during the meeting; however, the school board is not scheduled to take a vote on the order.

The school district is obligated to comply with the provisions of the face coverings order, including during school board meetings, unless or until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an injunction against the Acting Secretary of Health regarding the implementation and enforcement of the order.

The school board agenda will be posted to the school district website by the end of the day on Friday, September 3, and will be available here.

The timing of the face coverings order is unfortunate and disappointing, coming as it does with the 2021-2022 school year already under way. It creates a new challenge for Penn Manor community members, students and our school employees. That being said, it will not deter Penn Manor from making this school year the best that it can be, and we will continue to adjust as needed in order to provide an outstanding educational program for our students.

For more details about the face coverings order and Penn Manor’s Health and Safety Plan, please click on these links:

Early dismissal for all students Wednesday, September 1

Due to the impending storms with the potential for flooding, Penn Manor School District will be dismissing Wednesday, September 1, at 12:20 p.m. for secondary students and 1:30 p.m. for elementary students. There is no afternoon kindergarten September 1. All evening activities, including Back to School Night, are canceled.

Penn Manor students, staff kick off 2021-2022 year

Penn Manor kicked off the 2021-2022 school year on Monday, August 30, with new faces in leadership roles at several schools and new spaces for students and staff to explore at the high school.

A new humanities wing with about 50 English, social studies, foreign language, art and special education classrooms and studios has opened at Penn Manor High School, along with a new media center and offices.

The construction project has entered its third phase, which will include a new auxiliary gym and health facilities that are expected to be completed in summer 2022. All site work should be wrapped up by December 2022.

At Conestoga Elementary, a new principal — Scott Keddie — greeted students as they entered school on the first day, and two assistant principals — Mike Fowler at the high school and Jerrell Birch at Manor Middle School — got to work in their new positions.

Students at all 10 Penn Manor schools returned to classrooms for full, in-person instruction one year after starting the school year with a blend of in-school and online classes.

Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter reported a smooth start as more than 5,000 students arrived for the new academic year.

“The first day of school is a time to reconnect with our students and celebrate the start of a new year,” he said. “We are excited to see all of our students and look forward to the year.”

Many thanks to our families, students and staff for a successful start to the new year!

  • Conestoga Elementary students leave buses
    A student gets a helping hand at Conestoga Elementary

Important updates for the start of 2021-2022 school year

Please read the following letter from Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter regarding procedures at our schools for the new year.

Dear Penn Manor Families,

We have a few updates to share with you as we approach the 2021-2022 school year, which begins on Monday, August 30, 2021. 

PA Department of Education Health & Safety Plan: In preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, the Penn Manor Board of School Directors approved a Health & Safety Plan during its board meeting on July 12, 2021. Penn Manor’s  PA Department of Education (PDE) Health & Safety Plan is posted on the district website here. Key components of the plan include the following:

  • Mask Wearing: At this time, the wearing of masks/face coverings in our schools will be at the discretion of students, families, staff and visitors. As a result of an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face coverings are expected to be worn on all forms of public transportation, including school buses.
  • Vaccinations: The PA Department of Health (PA DoH) is not requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for students or staff to attend school. 
  • Cleaning & Disinfecting: The district will follow pandemic procedures for cleaning and sanitizing spaces, surfaces and other areas each night. 
  • Physical Distancing: Physical distancing of three feet will be implemented to the greatest extent practicable inside our schools.
  • Contact Tracing/Quarantining/Isolation: The district requests that all families/individuals prescreen for symptoms prior to entering school each day. Students with symptoms will be sent to the school nurse for assessment. Principals and nurses will be in contact with the PA Department of Health (PA DoH) as necessary regarding reporting and/or monitoring of COVID cases involving Penn Manor students or staff. Upon notification of a positive case, the district will follow the directives provided by the PA DoH regarding contact tracing, isolation and quarantines. All quarantine directives will be issued to affected individuals directly by the PA DoH. Students or staff who are exposed to a COVID-positive individual will not need to be quarantined if they have been fully vaccinated (with proof of vaccination) and are symptom free (as per PA DoH guidelines).
  • Public Reporting of COVID-19 Cases/Quarantines/Closures: The district will not be sending daily emails regarding new COVID-19 cases in school buildings. Because there currently is no guidance from the PA Department of Education regarding mandatory building closures, the district will consult with local and state health officials on an as-needed basis to determine whether to switch schools to a full virtual format and to report information to the public. 
  • Free breakfasts and lunches: We are pleased to announce that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allowing schools to offer free breakfasts and lunches to all students in grades K-12 through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Families should complete the 2021-2022 Free/Reduced Lunch application as there are additional benefits (such as reduced internet costs) for those who qualify.
  • School menus: Penn Manor School District’s food distributor is currently experiencing labor and product shortages. As a result, some food products we use may be unavailable, so published menus may not match what is being served in our cafeterias in the coming weeks. Please bear with us during these challenges, and know that we will do our best to get the products we need so our meals are nutritious and our menus are accurate.  

We look forward to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s principal. Thank you for your continued support as we safely open our schools.

Sincerely,

Michael G. Leichliter, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Hundreds turn out to support fall athletics, band at 2021 Kickoff Classic

Hundreds of Penn Manor fans braved the heat and turned out to cheer on members of the fall sports teams, marching unit and cheer squad during the 2021 Kickoff Classic, held August 25 at Comet Field.

Prior to the event, food trucks from Au-Sam’s Trolley Stop, Dough Heads Stuffed Waffles and El Toro Barbacoa sold food to attendees. A portion of sale proceeds were donated to the Penn Manor Coaches Association Scholarship Fund.

The Penn Manor Marching Unit and cheerleaders warmed up the crowd before the introduction of athletic team coaches and members. Penn Manor varsity fall sports include field hockey, football, girls’ and boys’ cross country, girls’ volleyball, girls’ and boys’ soccer, coed golf, girls’ tennis and cheerleading.

The Kickoff Classic marked the debut of one new coach — Rachel Suter (field hockey) — and the return of another — Janna Ames (cheerleading).

The event also featured the singing of the Penn Manor Alma Mater by the talented Elizabeth Lebo, this year’s marching unit drum major.

Online schedules and updates for all sports teams are available here on the Penn Manor Athletics website.

Many thanks to the fans who came out to support our student athletes. Let’s go Comets!

  • Kickoff Classic activities

Opening Day activities mark start of year for Penn Manor staff

Penn Manor welcomed back more than 500 staff members for Opening Day activities at the high school on Monday, August 23, formally marking the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

The first day of school for students is Monday, August 30.

Teachers and staff enjoyed breakfast in the high school lobby before assembling in the new auditorium for Opening Day addresses by superintendent Mike Leichliter and school board president Herk Rintz.

The district also honored its outstanding teachers and employee for 2020-2021.

Richard Bodde, Eshleman sixth-grader teacher, was honored as Outstanding Elementary Educator. Kimberly Braun, head nurse at Penn Manor High School, was the Outstanding Secondary Educator; and Mary Jacoby, Letort Elementary secretary, was named Outstanding Employee.

Following a break, teachers and administrators participated in Ed Camp discussions on a wide range of topics, including behavior management, blended learning, career and job skills preparation, creative writing strategies and project-based learning.

Thanks to all the staff members who attended Opening Day, either in person or via livestream, and best wishes on a successful 2021-2022 school year!

 

  • Staff members enjoy breakfast on Opening Day.
    Staff members enjoy breakfast on Opening Day.