Eight seniors vying for title of Penn Manor Homecoming Queen

Eight Penn Manor High School seniors are vying for the title of 2018 Homecoming Queen while raising money to support suicide awareness and prevention programs.

Janae Beiler, Valentina Zamora, Kloe Sanchez, Emma DeBerdine, Tara Kinser, Gabriella Santiago, Rylee Mellott and Gurleen Pal are this year’s candidates. The Homecoming Queen will be announced at halftime of the Oct. 5 Penn Manor home football game against Cedar Crest School.

Gurleen Pal is the daughter of Promala and Dharam Pal of Millersville. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Gurleen is co-editor of the yearbook and participates in Student Council, Serteen, Science National Honor Society, Student Ambassadors and Attollo. After high school, she plans to study pre-med in college.

Rylee Mellot is the daughter of Nancy and Richard Mellott of Conestoga. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Rylee is involved in Student Council and MiniTHON. After graduation, she hopes to study veterinary and biomedical science at Penn State University.

Gabriella Santiago is the daughter of Meggin and Benjamin Santiago of Millersville. Her parents will be her homecoming escorts.

Gabriella participates in cheerleading, competition cheerleading, the Thespian Club, chorus and Varsity Club. After graduation, she plans to attend a four-year college and study pre-law while pursing music.

Tara Kinser is the daughter of Connie and Harry Kinser of Lancaster. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Tara participates in girls’ soccer, FCA, MiniTHON, chorus, Young Humanitarians and is leader of First Priority and participates in Manor Church Youth Group.

She plans to take a “gap year” and serve as a missionary in Haiti.

Emma DeBerdine is the daughter of Debra and Michael DeBerdine of Millersville.  Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Emma is president of Student Council and participates in field hockey, National Honor Society and Varsity Club.

After graduation, she plans to attend the University of Maryland and pursue academics and field hockey.

Kloe Sanchez is the daughter of Heather Sanchez of Lancaster and the late Max Sanchez. Her mother will be her homecoming escort.

Kloe participates in softball and Aevidum. After high school, she plans to study nursing at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.

Valentina Zamora is the daughter of Claudia Salas and Jaime Zamora of Lancaster. Her parents will be her homecoming escorts.

Valentina is a member of the Penn Manor Ambassadors, Young Life, the Multicultural Club and the International Thespian Society and participates in theater.

After high school, she plans to attend Temple University to study communications, digital media, fashion and design.

Janae Beiler is the daughter of Barbie and Elam Beiler of Mountville. Her brother, Austin Beiler, will be her homecoming escort.

Janae participates in honors chorus, Manor Singers, vocal jazz and German Club. She was co-captain of the tennis team and was involved in the yearbook.

After graduation, she plans to attend the OneLife “gap year” program before attending college to major in business.

Best of luck to all members of the court!

The 2018 Homcoming Court.
From left, Emma DeBerdine, Gurleen Pal, Rylee Mellott, Kloe Sanchez, Gabriella Santiago, Tara Kinser, Janae Beiler and Valentina Zamora.



Pink Out effort to fight cancer gets under way

Are you ready to don your pink (or blue) to support the Penn Manor Pink Out?

Pink and blue “Penn Manor Fighting for the Cure” T-shirts have begun arriving as student athletes, staff and community members begin raising funds for cancer care and research efforts.

Fall sports teams are selling T-shirts to support the cause and will raise additional funds at special Pink Out home games. Here’s the schedule:

  • Sept. 24 – girls’ tennis
  • Oct. 1 – field hockey
  • Oct. 2 – boys’ soccer
  • Oct. 9 – girls’ volleyball
  • Oct. 26 – football/cheerleaders/Penn Manor Marching Unit

In addition, field hockey team members will be raising donations through a coin drive, bake sale, memory markers and a special game following the varsity action Oct. 1 at Comet Field.

The girls’ volleyball team will be dedicating time and energy through a community service project in early October in collaboration with Grace Cancer Care in Millersville. And the high school MiniTHON Club is planning to raise awareness of childhood cancer through a “Gold Out” game.  More details will follow.

The Pink Out will culminate with a  dress-down day Oct. 26 at all Penn Manor schools. Staff members can participate by purchasing a Pink Out T-shirt for $10 ($15 for size 2X and larger) to wear on that day or donating $5 through their building secretaries.

Shirts are available for purchase through school offices for students, parents and community members, too. T-shirt orders must be submitted by Thursday, Sept. 20. Click here for an order form or send an email to PMPinkOut@gmail.com or call (717) 872-9540.

Over the past four years, the Pink Out has raised nearly $60,000, thanks to the generosity of students, staff and community members. Donations have benefited such organizations as The Children’s Miracle Network, Relay for Life, American Cancer Society, Velvet’s Totes for Hope and Help the Fight.

Let’s see how much we can raise this year!

Thank you for your support.

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Penn Manor schools to conduct security drills in coming weeks

All Penn Manor schools will be conducting security drills in the coming weeks as required under a recent change in state law.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly passed Act 44-2018, which requires that a mandatory security drill be conducted within the first 90 days of each school year. Your child’s principal is notifying parents of the drills. If you have any questions, please contact the principal’s office.

Here is a letter from Penn Manor superintendent Dr. Mike Leichliter regarding the drills:

Safety Drills parent notice



Input sought from students, parents on special education services

The Pennsylvania Department of Education is interested in feedback from students and parents about the special education services provided by Penn Manor.

All parents of students receiving special education services and all students 14 years of age or older receiving special education services are encouraged to fill out an online survey. The feedback will be evaluated as part of a periodic review of Penn Manor’s special education program being conducted by the Bureau of Special Education.

Parents may access the online survey here.

The link for students is here.

Parents and students must complete the survey no later than Sept. 21, 2018, for the results to be included in the special education monitoring review process.

If you do not have a computer, most public libraries have equipment available for public use. You may also request to use a computer at your school or Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 facilities.

The survey is easy to complete and should take 15-20 minutes. An outside agency will tabulate the results and provide the school district with a report of parent and student responses on an overall basis. Names will not be used, and no one is identified.

Below is the formal notification to parents about the survey:

Special education survey letter

Parent feedback sought on Back to School Night changes

Penn Manor School District is seeking feedback from parents on the changes we made to Back to School Night events this year.
We kindly ask that you complete this four-question survey. We intend to use this information to determine the effectiveness of the changes we made to Back to School Night.
Thank you for your participation!

Hundreds attend Kickoff Classic in support of PM teams

Penn Manor kicked off a new season of athletics during Thursday’s Kickoff Classic at Comet Field.

Comets fans were introduced to the 2018 fall sports teams and coaches and enjoyed performances by the Penn Manor cheerleaders. Prior to the introductions, chicken dinners were provided by the athletes as a scholarship fundraiser.

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 Penn Manor’s new athletic director, Jason Mattern. He replaces Jeff Roth, who retired over the summer after 18 years at the helm of Penn Manor athletics.

New coaches this year include Andrea Kramer, junior high cross country head coach; Rachel Suter, JV head field hockey coach; and Lindsay Brenner, JV girls’ soccer head coach.

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

Let’s go Comets!

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Penn Manor students earn National Youth Arts theater awards

Penn Manor students have won four National Youth Arts Awards for their work in theater productions at Penn Manor High School over the past year.

Senior Hailey Fafel won an award for outstanding lead performance in a musical for her role in “Mary Poppins,” which was presented last March.

In addition, Max Minnick, a 2018 graduate, won an award for outstanding supporting performance in a musical for his portrayal of George Banks, and the entire “Mary Poppins” cast was honored with an outstanding ensemble award.

Penn Manor sophomore Brianna Clow won an award for outstanding set design for “And Then There Were None,” presented last fall at the high school. In addition, several students were nominated for awards for their roles in the two productions. The students are:

“Mary Poppins” – Claudia Heitland (Mrs. Corry), Leilani Torres (Bird Woman and Miss Andrew), Kassidy Ponton (Winifred Banks), Garrison Webster (Bert), Brianna Clow (set design) and John Matusek (direction).

“And Then There Were None” – Claudia Heitland (Vera Claythorne), Max Minnick (Phillip Lombard), Caitlin Moser (Emily Brent) and Garrison Webster (Sir Lawrence Wargrave). In addition, the cast was nominated for an ensemble award.

During the Arts Awards competition, more than 600 productions spanning 17 states and the United Kingdom were considered for awards.

The awards ceremony was modeled after the TONYs, with awards and speeches mixed in with winning performances. It was held at Riverdale Theater in New York City August 19.

Congratulations to our talented Penn Manor students and directors!

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A sunny start to a successful first day for Penn Manor schools

Penn Manor welcomed more than 5,000 students back to its schools Thursday on a beautiful, sunny day that marked the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

The students were greeted by familiar faces, along with several new ones, as 24 new professional staff members began their new year at Penn Manor schools.

For the first time in several years, no new or renovated schools opened for the new year, but an $87 million project to renovate and rebuild Penn Manor High School will get under way later in the year.

Superintendent Dr. Mike Leichliter visited schools Thursday and reported smooth sailing on the first day.

“We were glad to have a beautiful day to welcome everyone,” he said. “The students who fill our schools are full of potential, and we are excited to see where they lead us this year.”

Many thanks to our Penn Manor staff, students, families and community members for making the first day such a success.

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Wellness is focus of Opening Day for 400 Penn Manor staff

More than 400 district staff members participated in Opening Day activities at Penn Manor High School on Monday, in advance of the start of the new school year on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Attendees enjoyed a hot breakfast before superintendent Dr. Mike Leichliter and school board president Ken Long talked about the important role they play in supporting and inspiring students. In his talk, Leichliter cited the example of Mr. Rogers, who always made children feel comfortable, even when discussing difficult topics.

John Baker, safety and security officer for Lancaster Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, addressed the group on school safety strategies. And after lunch, staff members participated in workshops and activities with a focus on wellness.

Activities included Zumba, mindfulness training, healthy cooking strategies, juggling, CPR training and personalized workouts.  Participants also could get health screenings and advice on nutrition, healthy food choices, finances, health insurance and other topics in the high school library.

Thank you to all the staff members who attended, and best wishes on a successful 2018-2019!

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Penn Manor begins 2018-2019 school year August 23

Thursday, Aug. 23, is the first day of school for all students in Penn Manor School District for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Penn Manor professional staff will begin their year with Opening Day activities at Penn Manor High School on Monday, Aug. 20.

All students will have an early dismissal on Thursday, Aug. 30. School will not be in session Friday, Aug. 31, and Monday, Sept. 3, for the Labor Day holiday.

Back to School Nights will be held at:
Penn Manor HS — 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 20
Manor and Marticville MS — 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 21
Martic ES — 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 28
Eshleman, Pequea, Central Manor, Letort and Hambright ES — 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 29
Conestoga ES — 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29.

Check the school’s website for additional details.

We look forward to a safe and successful start to the new year!


Five Penn Manor students earn national FFA recognition

Four recent Penn Manor graduates and one returning senior have earned national recognition from the FFA for completing projects in vegetable, dairy and crop production, ag sales and animal systems.

Kenny Barley, Jonathon Eshbach, Clara Hess and Damian Kreider, all 2018 graduates of Penn Manor High School, earned medals for proficiency, and Penn Manor senior Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman earned a medal in animal systems from the national FFA.

All are members of Manor FFA, the local chapter of the organization.

Kenny earned a National Silver Medal in proficiency in the category Ag Sales Entrepreneurship for his experience in owning and running a business, Walnut Hollow Mulch.

Jonathon earned a National Bronze Medal in proficiency in Special Crop Production for his experience growing and processing tobacco as a fourth-generation farmer.

Damian earned a National Bronze Medal in proficiency in Vegetable Production for his experience owning and operating a tomato sales business.

Clara earned a National Bronze Medal in proficiency in Dairy Production for her experience caring for calves on her family’s dairy farm.

Arilyn earned a National Bronze Medal in the Animal Systems Division for her research on the nutritional impact of raw food blends versus commercial feeds in small animals.

The national awards went to the top students from schools across the country, based on recent judging at the National FFA headquarters in Indianapolis.

The awards “truly recognize the students’ growth and mastery,” said Diane Glock-Cornman, a Penn Manor agricultural education teacher. “I am really proud of this crew.”

Congratulations to all these students, and best wishes on your future endeavors!

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Penn Manor hires 24 professional staff for 2018-2019

Penn Manor welcomed 17 new teachers for the 2017-2018 school year during New Teacher Orientation Day, held Aug. 7 and 8, at Manor Middle School.

In all, 20 teachers and four other professional staff members have been hired for the coming year. Some of the teachers previously served in long-term substitute or other positions at Penn Manor schools, but most of them are completely new to the school district. The new hires, pending school board approval, include:

Hambright Elementary
Melissa Mealy, assistant principal; Taylor Miller, learning support; Sarah Santos-Jagroo, grade 1; Jenna Ioannidis, academic support.

Central Manor Elementary
Matthew Kersic and Karlie Feaster, grade 6.

Penn Manor HS
Angelika Koerner, French and German; Chloe Hartung, earth science; Kyle Lainhoff, special education/School to Work; Caleb Smith, art; and Christine Donahue, school psychologist.

Marticville Middle School
Ken Webster, dean of students; Rachel Oler and Danielle Croft, reading; Brittany Patterson, social studies; and Courtney Bussard, math.

Martic Elementary
Jeb Thompson, grade 4; Glenn Wolfe, grade 4; Amanda Davis, grade 1.

Courtney Wagner, learning/life skills support, grades 4-6.

Maria Anderson, art

Ashley Zook, school nurse.

Jason Mattern is the district’s new athletic director, replacing Jeff Roth. Allison Mattern is the district’s new English curriculum supervisor.

To all new staff members, welcome to the Penn Manor family, and best wishes for the 2018-2019 school year!

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Volleyball team named to Academic Honor Roll 2 years straight

For the second year in a row, the Penn Manor girls’ volleyball team has been named to the Academic All-American Honor Roll by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

The 2017 team qualified by earning a cumulative grade-point average of 4.11, which ranks among the top 25 of girls’ high school teams in the United States.

“I’m really proud of our girls for winning this recognition two years in a row,” said head coach Tim Joyce. “This accolade is a great testament to their attitude, character and efforts.”

Eight of 13 Penn Manor varsity players earned a GPA of 4.0 or higher – seniors Emily Cummings, Ava Dunford-Groves, Tiana Ferko, Sydney Leichliter and Mikiah Sangrey, juniors Nicole Krahulik and Erica Shaub and freshman Jordan Schucker.

“Led by a strong group of seniors, the team members always put their studies first,” Joyce said. “Our athletes often were seen before matches or in between games at tournaments with textbooks out, working diligently on course work.”

Congratulations, ladies, on this terrific accomplishment!

Penn Manor girls' volleyball team
The 2017 girls’ volleyball team


Manor FFA members earn state honors

Manor FFA students placed in the top 10 in several categories at the Pennsylvania FFA Convention, held June 12-14 at Penn State University, with several students earning the right to compete regionally and nationally.

The Penn Manor High School students competed in career development and leadership development events to demonstrate their skills in several areas. Here are the results:

Poultry Evaluation – The team placed first and will compete in the National FFA Convention and Expo in October.

Team members were Sarah Bleacher (3rd place gold award), Morgan Harnish (4th place gold), Renee Eshbach (5th place gold) and Jolene Fields (9th place silver). Individuals who competed were Megan Reen (1st place gold), Berklee Perry (8th place silver), Brianna McMichael (11th place silver), and Jordan Arms (14th place bronze).

Dairy Cattle Management and Evaluation – The team placed second and will compete at the Big E Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts in September.  Team members were Austin Kolb (6th place gold), Alyssa Chalfant (8th place gold), Madeleine Denlinger (12th place silver), and Laurel Barley (43rd place).

National Chapter Award – Manor FFA placed 10th (gold) and will move on to national competition.

Employment Skills – Emily Aukamp, 5th place silver.

Horse Evaluation —The team placed sixth. Team members were Amanda Baker (14th place silver), Hannah Ile (33rd place), Darby Conrad (39th place), and Rebecca Roland (47th place).

Floriculture – Melodie Garrett, 11th place bronze.

Veterinary Science – Angela Frola (14th place silver) and Brenna McDevitt (16th place silver).

Scrapbook – The chapter scrapbook placed 14th and earned a silver medal.

Proficiency Awards – The following students received their state proficiency:  Kenny Barley (ag sales entrepreneurship), Jonathon Eshbach (specialty crop production), Clara Hess (dairy placement) and Damian Kreider (vegetable production).

State Officer Nominating Committee – Rebecca High served as a member of the committee to select state FFA officers.

State officer candidates – Kenny Barley and Samantha Garrett spent two days in the state officer selection process.

Congratulations to these students for representing Penn Manor so well!

Poultry evaluation team
Poultry Evaluation team members, from left, Berklee Perry, Jordan Arms, Sarah Bleacher, Renee Eshbach, Megan Reen, Jolene Fields, Morgan Harnish and Brianna McMichael.



PMHS teacher Mealy publishes fifth book

 Congratulations to Penn Manor history teacher Dr. Todd Mealy on the publication of his fifth book, “Glenn Killinger, All American: Penn State’s World War I Era Sports Hero.”

    The book tells the story of Killinger, who grew up in Harrisburg and was a standout athlete in football, basketball and baseball at Penn State. He went on to serve in the military during World War I and later was a college coach and athletics director.

    Mealy uses Killinger’s story to examine how American culture during the “Great War” focused on heroism, masculinity and athletics to create national icons promoted by the military and the media.

    The book covers the implementation of college sports at military installations across the country in 1918 and the creation of the Student Army Training Corps, which made athletics a requirement for college students. After the war, businessmen capitalized on using the media to manufacture heroes in the form of celebrities to sell products.

    Mealy said the book should appeal to readers with an interest in sports, military history and American culture.

    “Glenn Killinger” is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg.

    Mealy’s other books include “This is the Rat Speaking”; “Legendary Locals of Harrisburg”; “Aliened American,” a biography of William Howard Day; and “Biography of an Antislavery City,” about anti-slavery advocates, Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad in Harrisburg.