Manor FFA teams place in the top 20 nationally

   Two teams of Manor FFA members placed in the top 20 nationally during the National FFA Convention & Expo, held Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 in Indianapolis.

   The Manor FFA Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management team of Colt Barley, Alyssa Chalfant, Madeleine Denlinger and Berkee Perry placed 8th in the nation, earning a team gold medal.

   The Nursery Landscape Team of Maddy Kahler, Sarah Bleacher, Janelle Richardson and Morgan Harnish placed 19th in the nation, earning a team silver medal.

   During the competition, Nursery Landscape team members completed a written test on industry principles, had to identify equipment, plants, pests and disorders encountered in the industry, and use a landscape plan to make plant and business decisions.

   They also had to work as a team to build a free-standing wall, fill out a service invoice, plant and stake a tree and demonstrate proper use of a chainsaw, power blower and push mower.

   This was the first time Manor FFA had a Nursery Landscape team in national competition.

   The Dairy Cattle Evaluation and Management Team members had to complete individual tests of knowledge, judge six classes of heifers and cows and act as consultants to help a producer to reduce disease, improve milk quality and provide vaccination schedules and protocols to reduce future diseases.

   The students received coaching help from Manor FFA alumni Aaron and Angie Breneman.

   Also at the national convention, two Manor FFA members – Rose Drumm and Justin High – received their American Degrees, the highest honor in FFA.

   Rose is a 2017 alumna of Penn Manor, and Justin graduated in 2016.

Congratulations to these very talented students!

  • Dairy Cattle Evaluations and Management Team members.
  • Nursery Landscape Team members.
  • American Degree recipients.

Fall play, ‘Almost, Maine’ to be presented Nov. 22 & 23

Penn Manor Productions’ fall play, Almost, Maine, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 22 and 23, in the auditorium at Penn Manor High School.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens and are available for purchase online here or via the order form here.

Almost, Maine, is a town that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States — it’s almost in Canada.

And it almost doesn’t exist because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it’s just … Almost.

On a cold, clear night in the middle of winter, while the Northern Lights hover in the sky, the residents of Almost find themselves falling in and out of love in the strangest ways.

Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. Love is lost, found and confounded. And life for the people of Almost, Maine, will never be the same.

Almost, Maine: It’s love, but not quite.

This charming show stars Rowan Brooks, Lindsey Witmer, True Herbert, Lealani Torres, Alden Kreider, Emily Witmer, Josy Ebersole, Seaerra Barshinger, Colin Rost, Julie Raugh, Jaden Smith, Nathan Thompson, Dylan Marchio, Eibhlin Arvizu, Alaynis Velazquez, Max Ponton, Holly Wagner and Damian Allman.

Understudies are Nathan Thompson and Ashlee Mendez-Gomez.

All seats are reserved, so get your tickets today!

For any questions or special needs, contact the box office at (717) 872-9520, ext. 1958.

HS and middle school students learn about construction, manufacturing careers

   Fifty Penn Manor middle and high school students recently got a first-hand look at careers in manufacturing and construction while participating in two local events outside of school.

   Nine students from Manor Middle School and six from Marticville visited Armstrong Flooring on October 4 as part of Manufacturing Day. They toured Armstrong’s Columbia Avenue facility, learning about design decisions, job requirements and manufacturing processes.

   Seventeen Penn Manor High School ninth-graders also completed a similar tour at Armstrong Flooring on October 24.

  The students learned about the company’s history and its current line of products made with recycled plastics before touring the floor products facility.

   During the tour, students talked with employees about their roles in the manufacturing process, their job duties, travel opportunities and educational backgrounds. At the end of the tour, students created their own floor tile designs.

   Middle school students were chosen to participate based on their interest in math, science and technology, said Amy D’Amico, gifted teacher at Manor Middle School.

    “Students were given an opportunity to see education routes and employment opportunities that they may not have known about had they not participated in Manufacturing Day,” she said. “The experience broadened their scope of knowledge of what is possible for them.”

   On October 16, 19 Manor Middle School eighth-graders participated in “Construction Wars,” a daylong event in which they tried their hands at different jobs and learned about the construction field from industry professionals.

   The students donned hard hats and safety goggles and made toolboxes, step stools and airtight plumbing fixtures, wired light switches and handled several different hand tools – all under the supervision of construction professionals. They also learned about jobs in the trades and career training opportunities available in Lancaster County.

    The program, sponsored by the Keystone Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, attracted about 200 students from Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

   Danielle Rogers, Manor Middle School counselor, said the experience exposed students to high-paying, in-demand careers in the construction trades that don’t require a four-year college degree.

   Many thanks to Armstrong Flooring and the Keystone Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors for providing this valuable learning opportunity for our students.

  • Middle school Armstrong tour

Leilani Torres named 2019 Homecoming Queen

Congratulations to Penn Manor High School’s 2019 Homecoming Queen, Leilani Torres.

Leilani was chosen from among the eight members of the Penn Manor homecoming court at halftime of the Oct. 18 football game against Hempfield High School.

Last year’s queen, Janae Beiler, passed down the crown during a ceremony on the field.

Leilani is the daughter of Betsy and William Torres of Lancaster. Her father was her homecoming escort.

Leilani has participated in Penn Manor theatre productions, vocal jazz, gospel choir, chorus, Manor Singers, Serteen Club and the International Thespian Society.

After high school, she plans to attend Lancaster Bible College and major in early childhood education and music education.

Other members of the 2019 Homecoming Court were Delaney Mercado, Kaitlyn Stauffer, Ella Hart, Miriam Badri, Kailey Stoner, Kayla Mills and Mary Anna Vozzella.

The court raised more than $4,700 in support of the Penn Manor Family Fund.

Homecoming activities included a pep rally, a tailgating event and a Homecoming Dance Saturday in the Penn Manor High School cafeteria.

During the football game, the Penn Manor Alumni Association distributed lunch coolers to alumni.

Best wishes to Leilani and all members of the homecoming court!

Photos courtesy of Alex Detter

  • Fans before the game

Eight seniors vying for 2019 Penn Manor Homecoming Queen

Eight Penn Manor High School seniors are vying for the title of 2019 Homecoming Queen while raising money to support families in need.

Delaney Mercado, Kaitlyn Stauffer, Ella Hart, Miriam Badri, Kailey Stoner, Kayla Mills, Leilani Torres and Mary Anna Vozzella are this year’s candidates. The Homecoming Queen will be announced at halftime of the Oct. 18 Penn Manor homecoming football game against Hempfield.

Members of this year’s homecoming court are raising money for the Penn Manor Family Fund.

Delaney Mercado is the daughter of Lindsey and Manuel Mercado of Lancaster. Her mother will be her homecoming escort.

Delaney is an Attollo Scholar and has participated in Aevidum and Civitas and has volunteered at Horizons at Lancaster Country Day School.

After high school, she plans to attend college and pursue a degree in psychology, with an emphasis on art therapy.

Kaitlyn Stauffer is the daughter of Jodi and Jason Stauffer of Pequea. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Kaitlyn has participated in Student Council, National Honor Society, concert band, orchestra, chorus, marching band, Scrubs Club, MiniTHON, Young Humanitarian League and yearbook. She is a Student Ambassador and a 2020 Class Officer.

After graduation, Kaitlyn plans to attend a university and major in biology, Spanish and dance.

Ella Hart is the daughter of Kelly and Shawn Hart of Willow Street. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Ella has participated in soccer, basketball, track, Aevidum, the Young Humanitarians League, MiniTHON, Student Ambassadors and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

After graduation, she plans to attend a four-year college and enroll in a physician’s assistant program.

Miriam Badri is the daughter of Caroline and Farid Badri of Mountville. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Miriam has participated in basketball, soccer and Aevidum and is active in the Islamic Community Center of Lancaster Youth Group.

She plans to attend a four-year college and study fashion and graphic design.

Kailey Stoner is the daughter of Shandra and Nate Stoner of Millersville.  Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Kailey has participated in volleyball, swimming, National Honor Society, Serteen Club, Scrubs Club, Aevidum and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was manager of the boys’ volleyball team.

After graduation, she plans to major in nursing at Messiah College.

Kayla Mills is the daughter of Christina and Michael Mills of Manor Township. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Kayla has participated in basketball, tennis, the MiniTHON, Student Ambassadors and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

After high school, she plans to attend a four-year college and major in journalism/public relations.

Leilani Torres is the daughter of Betsy and William Torres of Lancaster. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Leilani has participated in Penn Manor theatre productions, vocal jazz, gospel choir, chorus, Manor Singers, Serteen Club and the International Thespian Society.

After high school, she plans to attend Lancaster Bible College and major in early childhood education and music education.

Mary Anna Vozzella is the daughter of Jen and John Vozzella of Lancaster. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Mary Anna has participated in field hockey, lacrosse, swimming, National Honor Society, MiniTHON and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

After graduation, she intends to study sports medicine at the University of Delaware.

Congratulations, and best of luck to all members of the court!

From left, Delaney Mercado, Kaitlyn Stauffer, Ella Hart, Miriam Badri, Kailey Stoner, Kayla Mills, Leilani Torres and Mary Anna Vozzella.

Forty-eight students inducted into PMHS National Honor Society

The Penn Manor chapter of the National Honor Society welcomed 48 new members during an induction ceremony Oct. 2 in the high school cafeteria.

To qualify for NHS, the Penn Manor High School juniors and seniors had to maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.85 and demonstrate strong leadership, service and character traits.

The 2019-2020 inductees include:

Emelly Batista, Sebastian Bookmiller, Jillian Burkholder, Hope Campbell, Sophia Collier, Morgan Cooper, Eden Crisman, Claire DeVinney, Whitney Eichelberger, Andrew Glenn, Connor Grimecy, Marlee Groft, Madelyn Harnish, Eleanor Helm, Thomas Hockenberry, Madyson Hodges, Audrey Jachimowicz, Jacob Johnson, Paul Karpouzis, Tebelechi Ketema, Aidan Lewis, Taylor LoCurto, Austin Lookenbill, Carli May, Anna Mayers.

Kimberly Miller, Arden Morgan, Chantal Morales, Lily Nalevanko, Olivia Nicastro, Brianna Nissley, Jordan Photis, Curtis Rabatin, Megan Reen, Delaney Reitnauer, Madison Sangrey, Zachary Schaeffer, Jordan Schucker, John Shipley, Abby Stoner, Hannah Stork, Lily Szafran, Graham Thomas, Evelyn Weaver, Amanda Wolf, Evan Wright, Lauren Zink and Bradan Zuzu.

They join the 41 returning members of the Penn Manor NHS.

Congratulations for earning this distinguished recognition!

Photos courtesy of LifeTouch

  • Candle-lighting ceremony
    Candle-lighting ceremony

Fifteen PMHS students qualify for County Chorus

   Fifteen Penn Manor High School students have qualified to participate in the Lancaster-Lebanon Music Educators Association County Chorus Festival in January.

   The students auditioned Sept. 28 at ELCO High School before a panel of judges along with other students from public and private schools throughout Lancaster and Lebanon Counties.

   All 15 Penn Manor students who auditioned qualified, and one student, Jordan Stum, placed fourth overall as a bass 2!

   In addition to Stum, the qualifying students are Adelyn Beans (soprano 1); Briana Shyver, Joy Perkins and Shayna Welch (soprano 2); Sheridan Kinser, Grace Fafel, Catherine Lane and Andrea Kirkley (alto 1); Leilani Torres and Naisha Lamour (alto 2); Nathan Thompson (tenor 2); and Alex Detter, Ryan Hahn and True Herbert (bass 1).

   Congratulations to these talented students, who will perform at the County Chorus Festival January 11 at Solanco High School.

PMHS student writes chapter in open-source technology book

   Not many high school students can boast that they’re published authors, but Penn Manor’s Max Bushong can make that claim at the ripe old age of 15.

    Bushong, a sophomore at Penn Manor High School, wrote a chapter in the new book The Open Organization Guide for Educators about his experience as a Help Desk apprentice for the high school’s 1-to-1 laptop program.

    The 241-page book was published in September by Red Hat, the world’s largest open-source software support company, to showcase open technology initiatives in education.

    Penn Manor’s 1-to-1 program, offered in grades four through 12, runs on Linux, a free open-source software program that has saved Penn Manor about $1 million in software licensing fees over the past 10 years. Linux also enables students and teachers to tweak the software to meet their unique needs.

    Max’s chapter focuses on working alongside Penn Manor’s technology staff to repair, update and service student laptops as part of a Help Desk apprenticeship course implemented to support the 1-to-1 program.

    “The fact that my peers, teachers, and IT staff communicate and interact with me as if I worked for Penn Manor makes me feel like a valued and respected member of the school district,” he writes. “The feeling of achievement when I fix a laptop or solve a computing problem is immense. An ‘A’ on a history paper can never compare.”

    Charlie Reisinger, the district’s technology director, also wrote a chapter detailing how the 1-to-1 program has “amplified student curiosity and learning freedom” at Penn Manor.

    Reisinger was contacted by Red Hat to contribute a chapter, but he also wanted a student voice in the book, so he approached Max last spring about writing a chapter. He jumped at the opportunity.

   “My draft chapter was sent into the editor, my piece got selected and we went from there,” Max said. His chapter went through five drafts – with help from his English teacher Courtney Harting, Penn Manor technology staff members and Red Hat editors – before it was ready to be published.

    “I learned that it definitely takes a lot of time and effort to get everything down just right,” Max said. “I look back from the original document to this one, and it changed so much. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.”

    When the book came out, Max said, “it hit me that, wow, now I’m an author. Just to see your name in print, it’s a really cool experience at such a young age.”

    Max’s chapter is the only one written by a high school student, Reisinger said.

    “Max offers an authentic, insightful, and honest view into the day-to-day world of the Student Help Desk,” he said. “He is a terrific technologist and writes with an authority and perspective well beyond his age.”

    “Without question, he has a bright future.”

      Congratulations to Max and Charlie!

Max Bushong

Letort Elementary named a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School

   Penn Manor School District’s Letort Elementary has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2019 – one of just 362 schools in America to receive the honor.

   The Blue Ribbon awards were announced Thursday, Sept. 26, by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

   Letort, with 312 students in kindergarten through grade six, was honored as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School. It is one of only 18 schools in Pennsylvania to be nominated for the award by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

   “Letort is extremely honored to receive recognition as a National Blue Ribbon school,” said Carly McPherson, principal. “This award confirms what every student and staff member already knows — that Letort is a very special school where the education of our students is our top priority.”    

   Letort was honored for “whole school improvement” because reading and math test scores for all students have consistently exceeded state improvement levels in those subjects over the past two to four years.

   McPherson said Letort utilizes data decision-making and team meetings to identify each student’s strengths and areas in need of improvement. Teachers engage in small-group instruction to provide enrichment or remediation to ensure the academic success of each child, she said. 

    Letort is believed to be only the fourth school in Lancaster County to receive the national award, which affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. The award was established in 1982.

   “The faculty and administration of Penn Manor have been engaged in ongoing efforts to ensure that the education our schools provide to all children is world class,” said Mike Leichliter, Penn Manor superintendent.

   “Letort’s recognition as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School and their work to help all students achieve to their full capabilities is representative of the education across all Penn Manor schools.”  

     DeVos announced the 2019 recipients in a video message to school officials Thursday.

    “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives” DeVos said. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”

    On November 14 and 15, Blue Ribbon recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to Letort students, staff and teachers for this tremendous honor!

Penn Manor staff members contribute nearly $20,000 to PM Ed Foundation

Penn Manor employees this year contributed nearly $20,000 to the Education Foundation during the recent payroll contribution fund drive — the second increase in a row.

More than 200 staff members contributed a total of $19,780 to help fund Penn Manor Education Foundation scholarships, Venture grants and Strong & Healthy Families program.

PMEF expects to award nearly $170,000 to students, teachers and families through these programs in 2019-2020.

Employees who donated $40 or more received a PMEF cell phone/tablet holder, and donors of $80 or more received $10 gift cards graciously supplied by Copper Hill Restaurant.

Donors who gave $100 or more were entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card. The winner was Candy Steiner, a sixth-grade teacher at Martic Elementary School.

Congratulations to Candy, and thanks to all who helped support our nonprofit Education Foundation!

All PM 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 will be notifying parents of the drills. If you have any questions, please contact the principal’s office.

Students, parents attend ‘Careers in Construction’ event at HS

More than 40 students and parents learned about career opportunities in the construction field during a “Careers in Construction Exploration Event,” held at Penn Manor High School on Sept. 14.

Participants got to handle construction tools and safety equipment and learned about the specific trades involved in the Penn Manor High School construction project.

They also watched a presentation on virtual design and technology in construction, and learned about construction job requirements and salaries, and apprenticeship programs available to students interested in the field.

Kapil Adihikar, a Penn Manor sophomore who recently completed a construction trades pre-apprenticeship program, talked to the group about his experience.

The event, sponsored by Warfel Construction, attracted mainly students from Penn Manor but was open to any students. Students from as far away as Chambersburg and Coatesville attended.

Many thanks to Warfel for exposing students to career options in the construction field!

  • Students and parents who participated in the "Careers in Construction" event.

Manor teachers attend Energy Education conference

Two Manor Middle School science teachers are bringing lessons about energy into their classrooms after attending the 2019 Energy Conference for Educators, sponsored by the National Energy Education Development Project, over the summer.

Jennifer Ennis and Connie Jackson attended the conference in Galveston, Texas, from July 7 to 11, along with educators from as far away as Singapore, Dubai and Alaska.

Topics included renewable and nonrenewable energy resources, their development, use and impact; transportation fuels and their impact on the economy and environment; generation and transmission of electricity; the science of energy, its forms and transformations; and efficient use of energy for conservation and waste reduction.

The teachers were able to attend thanks to the generosity of Rhoads Energy Corp., a Lancaster-based HVAC and energy provider that contributed $2,500 to cover conference and travel fees. 

“It was an honor to provide this opportunity for Mrs. Ennis and Mrs. Jackson,” said Mike DeBerdine, Rhoads Energy CEO. “We appreciate their enthusiasm to learn more about the world of energy and the desire to enhance the learning experience across the Penn Manor School District.”  

Jackson said the conference gave her several ideas for lessons to incorporate into her seventh-grade life science classes this year. 

“For example, we had to design, build and test an energy-efficient home at the conference. I am going to utilize the same techniques and have students design, build and test a model of an organism’s ability to maintain a stable internal condition – temperature,” she said.

“The conference focused on the core elements of what science is – matter or energy. The whole universe can be broken down into these two basic categories.”

Ennis, who teaches eighth grade, said collaborating with teachers from around the world at the conference “was priceless.” After returning, she shared information and materials from the conference with teachers at Marticville Middle School so teachers and students there also can benefit.

As part of the conference, Ennis and Jackson received a Science of Energy Kit that will allow students to conduct hands-on explorations of different forms of energy and how they are transformed.

Many thanks to Rhoads Energy for making this valuable experience possible for our teachers!

From left, Connie Jackson and Jennifer Ennis
Connie Jackson, left, and Jennifer Ennis.

Rintz, Long honored for service to Penn Manor school board

Congratulations to school directors Carlton “Herk” Rintz and Ken Long for their combined 28 years of service to the Penn Manor school board!

At the Sept. 3 school board meeting, Rintz was honored for 16 years of service, and Long was honored for his 12 years of service to the all-volunteer board of school directors.

Karen Devine, of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, presented them with certificates of appreciation “for their long-term contributions of energy, talents and values to the guidance of youth and public education.”

Since 1983, the PSBA has been recognizing school board members who earn “honor roll” status for serving for eight years or more.

The honor roll “is a way of saying thank you to those individuals who exemplify leadership and statesmanship, giving unselfishly of their time and talents for the future of our public schools,” according to the PSBA.

Many thanks, gentlemen, for your countless hours of service to the students and staff of Penn Manor!

From left, Ken Long, Karen Devine and Herk Rintz.
From left, Ken Long, Karen Devine and Herk Rintz.

Hundreds turn out to cheer on Penn Manor teams at Kickoff Classic

Under sunny skies, hundreds of Penn Manor fans were introduced to the fall sports teams during a spirited Kickoff Classic Aug. 30 at Comet Field.

Comets fans cheered the 2019 teams and coaches and enjoyed performances by the Penn Manor Marching Unit and 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, Steve Kramer, a familiar face to Comet fans — formerly known as “Trainer Steve,” Penn Manor’s longtime athletic trainer.

Also new this year is Keith Renner, head coach of the girls’ soccer team.

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

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

  • Cheerleaders performing
    The cheerleaders entertain the crowd.