Dr. Gale named Penn Manor assistant superintendent

Congratulations to Dr. Phil Gale, who was appointed Penn Manor’s assistant superintendent for secondary education at the Nov. 6 school board meeting.

Currently principal of Penn Manor High School, Gale will take over as assistant superintendent July 1, 2019, upon the retirement of Cheryl Shaffer.

Principal of the high school since 2009, Gale previously served as dean of students, assistant principal and associate principal at the school.

Before joining the Penn Manor staff in 2000, he was a social studies and science teacher at schools in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Gale received his doctorate in educational leadership from Immaculata University in 2012, his master’s in education leadership from Millersville University in 2001 and his bachelor’s degree in social studies from Elizabethtown College in 1993.

“Dr. Gale is a dynamic leader with a proven track record of results during his tenure at Penn Manor High School,” said Dr. Mike Leichliter, Penn Manor superintendent.

“His leadership and commitment to raising expectations and standards for all students will be a welcome addition to our district-level leadership team,” he said.

Penn Manor will begin a search for a new high school principal later this school year.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Gale to his new position.

Dr. Phil Gale
Dr. Phil Gale


Manor FFA members earn gold at National Convention

A group of Manor FFA members earned a gold medal in Poultry Evaluation at the National FFA Convention and Expo, held Oct. 24-27 in Indianapolis.

The team of Sarah Bleacher, Renee Eshbach, Morgan Harnish and Megan Reen – all Penn Manor High School sophomores – placed 11th in the nation to earn the gold. Sarah and Renee each earned gold individual medals, and Morgan and Megan earned silver.

By earning gold, the team qualified for an all-expenses-paid trip to the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta in February.

Competitors had to take a test on poultry management, evaluate hens, broilers, eggs and carcasses and complete a team activity in which they evaluated fertility, egg weight and hatchery management and presented their findings to a panel of judges.

Also at the convention, the Manor FFA chapter earned a three-star rating – the highest possible – based on an application that outlined the plans, goals, and achievements of nine activities carried out by the chapter.

In addition, Manor FFA members Samantha Garrett and Shelby Martin received their American FFA Degrees, the highest degree achievable in the national FFA organization. Both are members of the Penn Manor Class of 2016.

Congratulations to the award recipients!

poultry evaluation team members
Members of the Manor FFA Poultry Evaluation team, from left, are Renee Eshbach, Morgan Harnish, Sarah Bleacher and Megan Reen.


Penn Manor presents ‘Noises Off’ Nov. 16-17

Penn Manor Productions will present the farce Noises Off Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17, in the auditorium at Penn Manor High School.

A play within a play, Noises Off follows a group of actors as they rehearse a flop called Nothing’s On amid slamming doors, offstage intrigue and flying sardines – of all things!

The play is especially challenging because it involves Americans portraying British characters onstage. And the entire stage rotates, from onstage to backstage, requiring actors to switch from voiced lines to pantomime.

The cast includes Alex Anderson, Leilani Torres, True Herbert, Brynne Davidson, Garrison Webster, Hailey Fafel, Colin Rost, Seaerra Barshinger, Damian Allman and understudies Josy Ebersole and Dylan Marchio. Carole Shellenberger is director, Melissa Mintzer is assistant director, and Mark Dennis is technical director.

Noises Off will be presented at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. All seats are reserved and can be purchased online here.

For more information, call the box office at 717-872-9520 xt. 1958.

Don’t miss what the critics have called “the funniest farce ever written”!

'Noises Off' cast
From left, sitting, Josy Ebersole, Leilani Torres, True Herbert, Brynne Davidson, Hailey Fafel, Dylan Marchio; standing, Seaerra Barshinger, Alex Anderson, Colin Rost, Garrison Webster and Damian Allman.





Seven Penn Manor students named to District, County Chorus    

Seven Penn Manor High School students have qualified to participate in the Lancaster-Lebanon County Chorus Festival, and three have earned a spot in the PMEA District 7 Chorus Festival.

Diane Imboden (soprano 2), True Herbert (bass 1) and Leilani Torres (alto 2), were named to District 7 Chorus after auditioning before judges Saturday.

They were among the more than 700 students from schools spanning eight counties competing for spots.

They will perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators District 7 Chorus Festival Feb. 7-9 at Cedar Cliff High School.

The three students also qualified for the Lancaster-Lebanon County Chorus Festival, along with fellow Penn Manor students Jane Beiler (alto 1), Jordan Stum (bass 2), Adelyn Beans (soprano 1) and Briana Shyver (soprano 2).

The seven students were selected following auditions before a panel of judges who evaluated students from throughout Lancaster and Lebanon counties.

They will perform at the Feb. 2 Lancaster-Lebanon Music Educators County Chorus Festival at Donegal High School.

Congratulations to these talented students!

From left, Janae Beiler, Leilani Torres, Jordan Stum, True Herbert, Adelyn Beans, Diane Imboden and Briana Shyver.

High school renovation/construction project to get under way

Excavation is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 29 on a key component of the renovation and reconstruction of Penn Manor High School.

Workers will begin erecting a temporary structure behind the current math/science wing to provide space for classrooms while the existing high school is under construction.

The temporary building initially will house agricultural education classrooms, which will be relocated next year. In the future, the structure will house an auxiliary gym.

Construction on the temporary building will be confined to the area outside the East Gym and the parking lots behind the high school. Bus and car traffic will be rerouted around the area.

Please watch for signs directing motorists to follow new traffic patterns.

The temporary classroom building should be ready for occupancy in the spring.

This is the first leg of the renovation/construction project, which is expected to cost about $87 million and take three years for completion. The full project goes out to bid next month.

Work will include upgrades to the school’s HVAC, plumbing, electrical, fire suppression, technology and security systems, along with replacement of major sections of the school.

Proposed new classroom spaces include an art suite, a three-story humanities classroom section, a two-story science, technology, engineering and math wing, and new agricultural classrooms, labs and a greenhouse. A new athletic wing also is planned, along with a 900-seat auditorium and band, chorus, orchestra and ensemble rooms.

The project is projected to cost $87 million, with the option of an alternate proposal that adds district offices. With that option included, along with construction management fees, the total project cost is estimated at $91 million.

Work is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2022.

We appreciate the cooperation of the Penn Manor community as we undertake this exciting and ambitious project!

Hambright teacher honors grandmother through book donations

When Lorien Gilbert’s beloved grandmother died September 6, she wanted to honor the woman who had helped raise her and instill in her a lifelong love of reading.

Mary McReynolds, a children’s librarian in Lithonia, Ga., “wanted all children to see themselves in books, regardless of their race, gender, orientation, religion or ability,” said Gilbert, a third-grade teacher at Hambright Elementary School.

On the morning after her grandmother died, Gilbert went to the Hambright library “to be close to some of her favorite books,” including The Napping House, Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? and Anne of Green Gables.

Librarian Tara Etzweiler suggested Gilbert purchase a book in memory of her grandmother, and Gilbert seized the opportunity.

“Tara had a list of books on her wish list, and the more I purchased, the more I found that I knew children would want to read,” she recalled.

Gilbert purchased graphic novels, picture books, nonfiction, poetry and fantasy titles.  “It was easy to find incredible stories featuring diverse characters,” she said.

So far, she has donated nearly 50 titles to the school’s collection.

All the books will include a bookplate describing “Miss Mary” McReynolds that includes this phrase: “Remember that you are important, and you have a voice, and we are glad you are here.”

Gilbert’s memories of her grandmother revolve around books, which were everywhere in her home.

“If you sat on the sofa, you were sure to be poked by the corner of a picture book.  She kept a paperback mystery above the stove so she could read while she cooked.  There were books in every closet, every cabinet, under every bed,” Gilbert said. “She always wanted to know what we were reading, even when we grandkids were all grown up.”

To Gilbert, the book donations are “a small way to honor my grandmother, and to remember her inclusive love.”

“I’ve heard it said that when a person dies, so does a library. It’s beautiful that her library is going to live on,” she said.

The books will benefit Hambright students for years to come, said Melissa Mealy, the school’s assistant principal.

“There are some great titles that I know kids are already excited to get their hands on,” she said. “Creating a culture of readers starts with a passion for literature like that of Ms. Gilbert and her grandmother.”

“This is such a wonderful way for Ms. Gilbert to honor her grandmother.”

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Wert honored for 20 years of service to Penn Manor school board

Congratulations to Donna Wert for being named to the Honor Roll of School Board Service for her 20 years serving on Penn Manor school board.

Karen Devine, of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, presented Wert with a certificate of appreciation at Monday night’s school board meeting.

Wert, a retired teacher who joined the all-volunteer board of school directors in 1998, said it has been “ultra fulfilling” to serve on the board.

Since 1983, the PSBA has been recognizing school board members who have served 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.

Thanks, Donna!


Penn Manor HS students participate in MFG Day activities

Nearly 80 Penn Manor High School students participated in field trips to manufacturing businesses Oct. 4 as part of Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) activities.

MFG Day is a national event designed to spread the word to the next generation about the benefits of careers in manufacturing.

The Penn Manor students, mainly freshmen enrolled in applied engineering and agricultural education courses, visited High Steel Industries and Ultra Hurley Electronics.

At High Steel, students learned about such job opportunities as machine operator, production supervisor and maintenance supervisor. They also learned which skills—such as problem solving, critical thinking, math, writing, organization and communication —are critical to job success.

The group then toured the plant and saw how steel is processed, from its arrival on site via truck to packaging and shipping.

MFG Day provided students with an opportunity to network and experience industry before they take the next step, such as beginning an apprenticeship or looking for a job in a particular industry.

The field trips were designed to help students as they consider what career paths to pursue, said Jason D’Amico, assistant principal at Penn Manor High School.

“We value our relationship with local business and industry and appreciate the opportunity for our students to explore careers close to home,” he said.

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Janae Beiler named Homecoming Queen for 2018

Congratulations to Janae Beiler, who was crowned the 2018 Penn Manor High School Homecoming Queen.

Janae was chosen from among the eight members of the Penn Manor homecoming court at halftime of the Oct. 5 football game against Cedar Crest High School.

Last year’s queen, Sierra Echavarria, was on hand to pass down the crown during a ceremony on the field.

Janae is the daughter of Barbie and Elam Beiler of Mountville. She was escorted Friday night by her brother, Austin Beiler.

She 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, Janae plans to attend the OneLife “gap year” program before attending college to major in business.

Other members of the court were Valentina Zamora, Kloe Sanchez, Emma DeBerdine, Tara Kinser, Gabriella Santiago, Rylee Mellott and Gurleen Pal.

The court raised money in support of suicide prevention and awareness efforts.

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

In addition, the Penn Manor Alumni Association distributed flashlights and pom-poms to the many alumni in the crowd.

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

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Four Manor FFA members earn Big E honors

Four Manor FFA members have earned awards at the Eastern States Exposition, held Sept. 15 in Springfield, Mass.

The dairy judging team of Austin Kolb, Alyssa Chalfant, Laurel Barley and Madeleine Denlinger placed third overall.

In addition, Austin placed first and Alyssa placed sixth in the individual dairy judging competition. Austin also was honored as the highest-placing individual for the Brown Swiss Breed.

The students all attend Penn Manor High School.

The dairy judging competition consisted of a 40-question general knowledge test and 10 questions on a Dairy Herd Improvement Association paper.

Participants then had to judge four classes of calves, one class of yearlings and one class of cows. The teams also had to evaluate different scenarios in which a farmer housed his animals, present to a judge the pros and cons of each and discuss potential problems and how they could be corrected.

The Exposition, known as the Big E, brings together FFA members from across the eastern United States.

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54 PMHS students join National Honor Society

The Penn Manor chapter of the National Honor Society welcomed 54 new members during an induction ceremony Sept. 19 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 2018-2019 inductees include:

Kyle Ament, Grace Bibus, Janae Beiler, Tomas Bonnici, Victoria Brody, Ryan Buchwalder, William Burke, Ian Carper, Lucas Charles, Liban Chibssa, Rachel Collison, Ryan Dang, Angela Frola, Justine Fry, Aaron Gale, Jolie Haertter, Bassam Hattar, Jackson Heiney, Tim Hermansen, Shannon Hertzog.

Jadyn Hess, Dylan Jacyszn, Malcom Jones, Matt Julian, Devon Keene, Brady Lehman, Isaac Leshok, Daniel Mader, Neel Pariket Mahapatra, Stephen Marquette, Alexandra Martino, Connor Mayers, Catherine McMahan, Izabella Miller, Sonja Mowery, Gavin Neuman, Kaden Peart, Emma-Li Peters.

Bethany Pettis, Audrey Ritchie, Juan Lucas Gustavo Rizo-Patron, Dominic Roma, Ashley Sanchez, Ashley Seiger, Briana Shyver, Fikir Simegn, Hannah Smith, Madison Stallings, Kaitlyn Stauffer, Kailey Stoner, Jordan Stum, Austin Thomas, Aliya Trussell and Mary Anna Vozzella.

Congratulations for earning this distinguished recognition!

Photos courtesy of LifeTouch

National Honor Society inductees


Businesses donate school supplies to four Penn Manor schools

Thanks to the efforts of two local businesses, students at four Penn Manor schools are getting the supplies they need to help them excel in school.

Roberts Automotive in Mountville and Customs Classics in Willow Street collected school supplies from staff members and customers and donated them Thursday to Central Manor, Pequea, Conestoga and Eshleman elementary schools.

Hundreds of markers, pencils, notebooks, crayons, rulers, glue sticks, backpacks and tissues were collected in an effort that began five years ago and has grown from one school in the first year to four this year.

Thanks to all who participated for your generosity!

School supply supply donations
Representatives of Roberts Automotive and Custom Classics pose with principals and students outside of Central Manor Elementary.



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