Coding Camp a big hit with elementary students

Nearly 200 elementary students got to try out their computer coding skills this summer during Penn Manor’s first Coding Camp, offered free to all students.

Camp sessions ran from June 17 to July 11 at Eshleman and Pequea elementary schools.

Working individually and in groups, students in grades 1 through 6 explored the Scratch visual programming language and created theme-based projects, including interactive stories, games and animations.

“I begged my mom to sign me up for the camp because I really enjoy coding,” said camp participant Jolie Singletary, who will be a sixth-grader at Eshleman in the fall. “If I could, I would do coding every day!”

Penn Manor technology training specialists Judy Keller and Shelby Foster led the sessions, with assistance from other district technology staff members — and a couple of students: Ryan Landis, an Eshleman sixth-grader, and Logan Brown, a fourth-grader at Martic Elementary.

“It’s really fun to work with the class,” Ryan said. “I think learning coding is a good skill because people use coding for a bunch of different things, and they could use it later when they grow up. With coding, I’ve always dreamed of making my own game.”

Keller said Penn Manor decided to offer the camp after introducing students to coding during the school year.

“The response has been amazing,” she said. “We registered more than 175 students and had a wait list for all the camps. I hope this can become an annual event.”  

Keller also was pleased with the large number of girls who participated. Most sessions were split evenly between boys and girls, and one was mostly girls.

 “I think introducing coding to girls at an early age removes a stigma that seems to exist in the field,” said Keller, who pointed out that only about 17 percent of computer science jobs are currently held by women.

She said all students will benefit from the skills they learned during the camp, including critical thinking, determination, problem solving, computational thinking – and the courage to try new things while having fun.

“It was really fun seeing what everybody else could create and comparing it to what you could create,” Jolie said. “That was really cool to see what I could do.”

  • Coding Camp at Eshleman Elementary
    Ryan Landis leads his peers during the camp.

Penn Manor community steps up to donate bikes for students in need

More than a dozen Penn Manor students will be able to get to summer jobs, run errands and attend ESL classes, thanks to the generosity of community members who donated bicycles to families in need.

The effort began when Wendy Letavic, English Language Development coordinator for the school district, encouraged students to attend a free, two-week English as a Second Language program in August.

Many of them said they’d like to attend but had no way to get there.

So Letavic asked them, “If you had a bike, would you ride there, since it’s in Millersville? And many of them said yes,” she recalled.

Letavic sent out an email to the high school staff explaining the need and asking for bike donations. That email resulted in four bikes, some of them in need of major repairs.

That’s where one of her students, Josenlly Martinez, stepped in. 

Josenlly used to fix bikes and sell them for extra money to help his family in the Dominican Republic before immigrating to the United States two years ago. He volunteered to do any needed repairs to make the bikes safe and rideable for students.

“It is amazing what he can do for these bikes, making them look almost like new,” Letavic said.

When demand for the bikes grew, Letavic sent out another email appeal, which a Penn Manor staff member shared with her church. That produced eight more bicycle donations, along with several helmets.

A local bike shop also became involved, as did an organization called Santa’s Spokes. In all, about 20 bikes and several helmets have been donated to date.

“The students are so elated to receive a bike because this gives them many more opportunities during the summer to get out of the house, socialize, exercise or get to a job,” Letavic said. “This has been such a rewarding experience.”

Several more students are in need of bicycles, and helmet donations also are being accepted. To donate, contact Wendy Letavic via phone or text at 717-475-5906.

Many thanks to the Penn Manor community for stepping up to support this cause!

Manor FFA members earn honors in state competition

Several Manor FFA teams and individuals were named state champions and earned other honors at the State FFA Activities Week, held June 11-13 at Penn State University.

The Dairy Cattle Evaluation team was crowned state champions and will compete at the National FFA Convention and Expo Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Indianapolis.

Members include Colt Barley, Alyssa Chalfant, Maddy Denlinger and Berklee Perry.  Manor FFA alumni Aaron and Angie Breneman coached the team.  

The Nursery Landscape team was named state champions and will move on to national competition. Members include Morgan Harnish (2nd place individual award), Sarah Bleacher (3rd place individual), Janelle Richardson and Maddy Kahler.

The Ag Communications team was named state runner-up. Members include Lauren Sensenich (1st place individual), Becca High, Jordan Arms and Laurel Barley.

Public Speaking – Arilyn Oatman placed second and will be competing at the Big E Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts in September. She also was chosen to serve on the State FFA Officer team as Sentinel.

The Poultry Evaluation team placed third overall. Members include Micah Frey (1st place individual), Addy Eby, Bella Peters, and Ben Raifsnider.

The Vet Science team placed fifth overall. Members include Brianna McMichael, Audrey Schlegel, Angie Frola and Brenna McDevitt. 

Austin Kolb participated as an FFA State Delegate.

Nine Manor FFA members were recognized as State Proficiency Award Winners or Finalists. 

Proficiency Winners – Agriscience Research, Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman; Equine Science Entrepreneurship, Darby Conrad; and Swine Production, Rebecca High. They will move on to national competition.

Proficiency Finalists – Ag Processing, Rebecca High; Dairy Production Entrepreneurship, Austin Kolb; Dairy Production Placement, Joe Allman; Diversified Horticulture, Morgan Harnish; Equine Science Placement, Mandy Baker; Poultry Production. Sarah Bleacher; and Specialty Animal Production (bees), Jolene Fields.

Proficiency awards are based on student learning in a specific area of agriculture through a supervised agricultural experience program and a lengthy application submission.

The Manor FFA Chapter Application, highlighting activities, goals and results, placed fourth and will contend for a national ranking.

Congratulations to these students for their accomplishments!  

  • Dabney Conrad
    Dabney Conrad

Penn Manor Quiz Bowl team places in top 50 nationally

   The Penn Manor Quiz Bowl Team recently placed in the top 50 in the nation in the High School National Championship Quiz Bowl Tournament.

   The event featured 336 teams from across the country and was held May 24-27 in Atlanta.

   The Penn Manor team went 6-4 in preliminary matches to make the single-elimination playoff rounds, and then won two games to stay alive and secure a 49th place finish.

   Team captain Connor Mayers was recognized for being the 16th highest scorer out of more than 1,600 individuals in the competition.

   Penn Manor also competed in the 2019 PACE National Scholastic Championship June 8 and 9 in Reston, Va.

   Ninety-six of the country’s best quiz bowl teams participated. After going 1-6 in preliminary rounds, Penn Manor won its next eight straight games to finish 9-6 and secure a 73rd place finish overall.

  In addition, Connor Mayers was honored as the eighth-highest scorer among the 400 individuals who participated. He also was presented with the Benjamin Cooper Academic Ambassador Award, given each year to one member of the Quiz Bowl community who “embodies the ideals of academic competition.”

   This year was the first time in six years that a Penn Manor Quiz Bowl team qualified for national competition, according to Sallie Bookman, one of the team’s coaches.

   “Our team is intensely dedicated to Quiz Bowl and prepares extremely well,” Bookman said. “They are able to pull up information quickly and buzz in early in anticipation of the question, and they are relentlessly positive throughout their matches.”

    “Other students have great knowledge but few can pull it up as quickly as this impressive team.” 

   In addition to Connor, Quiz Bowl A team members include Chad Hoglund, Shane Mosley, Claire DeVinney and Gabe McGough.

Penn Manor operating on four-day work week

Penn Manor is operating on a four-day weekly schedule through July 26.

The district office, Penn Manor High School and Marticville and Manor middle schools are open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. All schools and offices are closed Fridays.

The five-day work schedule resumes the week of July 29. The district office will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the high school will be open from 7:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and district middle school offices will be open from 7 to 3:30.

District elementary school offices are closed until August.

The above hours are subject to change because of staff vacation schedules, so visitors should call the school they plan to visit in advance. Here are the phone numbers:

High School – 717-872-9520
Marticville MS — 717-284-4135
Manor MS — 717-872-9510
Central Manor ES – 717-872-1401
Conestoga ES — 717-872-9535
Eshleman ES — 717-872-9540
Hambright ES — 717-872-9503
Letort ES — 717-872-9530
Martic ES — 717-284-4128
Pequea ES — 717-464-3831

Inspired by book, schools raise $2,700 for South Sudan water project

    Students, staff and parents at three Penn Manor elementary schools raised nearly $2,700 to support efforts to bring water to South Sudan after students were inspired by the book “A Long Walk to Water.”

    The book is about an 11-year-old “Lost Boy” displaced by the Sudanese civil war who must walk through southern Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya in search of a safe haven and clean drinking water, and the fictional character Nya, an 11-year-old girl who walks eight hours each day to fetch water from a pond.

    The boy in the book, Salva Dut, immigrates to the United States and begins a project to build water wells in South Sudan, where access to water supplies often is extremely limited.

    “A Long Walk to Water,” which all Penn Manor sixth-graders read this past year, inspired students at Martic, Pequea and Conestoga to raise money to support Salva’s charity,

    Beginning in late May, students at Martic and Conestoga held carnivals featuring bake sales, face-painting, ring toss, bowling, cup stacking, relay races and other games, during recess to raise money.

    Martic raised $1,320, and Conestoga raised $802.

    At Pequea, students were challenged to walk around the playground carrying a gallon of water. For each lap they completed, sixth-grade teacher Elizabeth Raff pledged 50 cents for Salva’s charity. Parents contributed another $300, for a total of $550.

    Raff said students were “dramatically moved” by “A Walk to Water,” which was added to the curriculum for the 2018-2019 school year.

    “Instead of feeling helpless at the end of the text, they were motivated to do something to help Salva and other children that are going through similar situations,” she said.

    “The kids did a wonderful job supporting an amazing cause,” said Trevor Mattern, a sixth-grader teacher at Conestoga.

  • Pequea students with water bottles
    Pequea students carry water on their heads to raise funds for South Sudan.

Bookmobile to make summer stops at Penn Manor schools, neighborhoods, churches

Lancaster County’s library on wheels is coming to Penn Manor neighborhoods this summer.

The Lancaster County Bookmobile will make several stops at Penn Manor schools, neighbohoods and churches through the middle of August to encourage children to keep reading over the summer.

Stops will include Eshleman and Conestoga elementary schools, Pheasant Ridge, Manor Heights and Millersville Manor, and Pequea, Mt. Nebo and West Willow churches.

The first stops are Monday and Tuesday, June 10 and 11, at Conestoga and Eshleman schools.

The full summer schedule is here.

Registration is now open for new students for 2019-2020 school year

Registration is now under way for all new students entering Penn Manor schools for the 2019-2020 school year.

Parents can begin the registration process online here.

Parents will be asked to create an account or sign in to their existing account and select the grade level of their child. After completing and submitting the registration form, they will be directed to schedule an appointment to complete the registration process.

Please note that students will be assigned to schools based on their address and class size.

Penn Manor has an open registration system; however, registrations must be completed by Aug. 7 to assure that students have busing on the first day of school on Aug. 21.

417 members of Class of 2019 earn diplomas

Members of the Penn Manor Class of 2019 received their diplomas Tuesday night before family and friends during an upbeat graduation ceremony at Franklin & Marshall College.

In his address to the crowd, principal Dr. Phil Gale celebrated the many accomplishments of the 417 graduates, including state and national recognition in academics, technology, agriculture, the performing arts and athletics.

He pointed out that seniors will be receiving more than $2.5 million in academic awards and scholarships to continue their education. About 70 percent of graduates plan to further their studies, and about 20 percent will enter the workforce. Twelve students will be joining the armed forces, including Cole Shenk, who earned an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Shenk was one of six student speakers who addressed the crowd at commencement. The others were Derek Davis and Ryan Glenn, co-valedictorians; Sameeha Hossain, salutatorian; Jared Stephan, class president; and Erica Shaub.

Members of the Class of 2019 completed 77 college classes while enrolled at Penn Manor and took 502 advanced-placement exams in 24 different subjects. In addition, 73 seniors graduated from the honors program, 69 students graduated with a grade-point average of 4.0 or higher, and 61 seniors earned a GPA of 4.0 or higher and graduated with honors.

During the ceremony, David Kramer was named Student of the Year, as selected by the faculty. Dr. Gale honored the memory of Sean Moore, who passed away at the start of the school year, pointing out that he will always be a member of the Penn Manor Class of 2019.

The ceremony was the final one for Dr. Gale as principal. After working for 19 years at the high school, he has accepted the position of assistant superintendent for secondary education at Penn Manor.

The ceremony also honored members of the Penn Manor High School Class of 1969, many of whom were in attendance. One of them, Denise Morris Race, got to see her granddaughter, Paige Marie Ireland Miller, graduate exactly 50 years to the day that Denise received her diploma.

Congratulations to the 417 members of the Class of 2019, and best wishes as you embark on the next chapter of your lives!

  • Graduation speakers, principal and superintendent
    Graduation speakers with principal Dr. Phil Gale, left, and superintendent Dr. Mike Leichliter.

Class of 2019 receives more than 200 local scholarships, awards

Penn Manor High School seniors got a boost to their post-high school plans when members of the Class of 2019 received 203 scholarships and awards totaling more than $110,000 during the Senior Awards Ceremony, held May 23.

The honors included $70,000 in scholarships awarded to 65 seniors through Penn Manor Education Foundation. Many thanks to the Penn Manor community members, organizations and businesses that contributed to all of these local awards.

The seniors also earned outside scholarships and financial aid to continue their education after graduation.

The top recipients of Penn Manor academic scholarships/awards were Sameeha Hossain and Jared Stephan, with seven awards each; Evan Lyon, with six awards; and Haide Sorial, with five awards.

Congratulations to all the seniors who earned awards, and best wishes on your future endeavors!

Here are the awards, listed alphabetically, by recipient.

Penn Manor seniors honored with athletic awards, scholarships

More than 60 Penn Manor High School student athletes were honored May 16 during the Senior Sports Awards Social in the high school cafeteria.

In all, more than 40 awards were presented, including Coach of the Year to Larry Bellew and Assistant Coach of the Year to John Terscha.

The top athletic awards went to:

  • Outstanding Penn Manor Male and Female Athletes — Anna Sugra, Emma DeBerdine, Hunter Enck and William “Billy” Briegel.
  • Penn Manor Coaches Association Scholarships — Anna Sugra, Riley Neuman, Aydan Hinkle, David Kramer, Jared Stephan, Ryan Glenn, Kyle Echterling and Shayna Warfel.

Here’s what their coaches had to say about the top award winners:

Anna Sugra is an outstanding swimmer and team leader. Her best events are the 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, and sprint freestyle. She won all but one individual event during the regular season and was the 2019 L-L League Champion in the 200-meter freestyle, with a time of 1:57.21. Anna will be attending Bloomsburg University in the fall.  

Emma DeBerdine is recognized as one of the best field hockey players in the country. She has been a perennial All-Star/All-State player, National All-American, National Player of the Year, Academic All-American and member of the U17-19 USA Field Hockey National Teams. Emma was the consummate team player/leader, on and off the field. She will attend the University of Maryland next year and join her sister, Brooke, on the Terrapins nationally ranked field hockey team.

Hunter Enck is a two-sport athlete who exceled in soccer and volleyball. In soccer, he was a two-time Lancaster-Lebanon League All-Star and a co-leader in goals scored his senior year. As team captain, he led by example and character. Hunter added volleyball to his repertoire his freshman year and quickly earned a place on the varsity squad. He earned First Team All-Star honors in the Section the last two years as the team’s libero. Hunter was a great ambassador, not only for the soccer and volleyball teams, but for Penn Manor School District as well.

Billy Briegel was a four-year starter for the lacrosse team. He started in 72 of a possible 73 games and was a three-time 1st Team All-League performer in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Over his career, Billy scooped up 324 ground balls and caused 152 turnovers. He was named an Academic All-American for the Central Pennsylvania Lacrosse Chapter. Billy’s leadership skills and work ethic will take him to wherever he wants to go.  Billy received a Division I lacrosse scholarship and will be attending the University of Hartford next year. 

Riley Neuman was a four-year starter on the lacrosse team. He was a two-time All-League performer during his career and was captain of the team as a senior. During Riley’s playing career, he scooped up 191 ground balls and caused 91 turnovers. His energy level and desire to compete at a high level made him stand out. Riley will be attending Temple University next year.

Aydan Hinkle was one of the top attackmen in lacrosse in the L-L League.  During his senior year, the team compiled a 7-3 record with Aydan in the lineup, and he scored 16 goals and had five assists. Aydan’s competitiveness is what made him stand out. He will be attending Penn State University next year. 

David Kramer is the sophomore and junior class record holder in the 800-meter dash and was a member of the school record-holding 4 x 400 team. He medaled in various events at invitational and league/district meets. David carries himself in a way that other athletes look up to. He is always where he needs to be when he needs to be there, competes with a drive to win and handles his wins and defeats with poise. David will continue his running career at West Chester University.

Jared Stephan was one of the hardest workers on the boys’ swim team. His best events were the 200 individual medley and the 500 freestyle, but Jared could swim any event and do well. He placed fourth at the L-L League meet in the 500 freestyle and was named to the L-L League Honor Roll by as part of the 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay, with one of the top three times in those events. Jared will be swimming at Kings College next year.

Ryan Glenn was a member of the basketball and baseball teams. He was an L-L League First Team All-Star in baseball and was named to the All-Academic Team for basketball. He not only earned the respect of his teammates, but of other teams throughout the league with his play on the baseball diamond. Ryan has a 4.72 weighted GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, National High School Mock Trial and Grey Zone. He plans to attend Penn State University.

Kyle Echterling was a dedicated member of the boys’ swim team and was one of the most-improved swimmers in his senior year, which is difficult to accomplish. He qualified for the L-L League meet in the 200 freestyle and got a best time for his last swim of the season. Kyle always sought ways to improve his time and strokes during the season. He will be swimming at Lebanon Valley College in the fall.

Shayna Warfel was a four-year member (three years on varsity) of the volleyball team who played in 188 varsity sets and earned an L-L League First Team All-Star award. She had 486 kills and 316 digs in her playing career and led the team into league and district playoffs for the first time in five years. Shayna will continue her academic and athletic career at Bloomsburg University. 

See the full list of award winners here.

Six students to address Class of 2019 at June 4 commencement

    Six student speakers have been named for Penn Manor High School’s 2019 commencement, scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Franklin & Marshall College Alumni Sports and Fitness Center.

    The speakers are Derek Davis and Ryan Glenn, co-valedictorians; Sameeha Hossain, salutatorian; Jared Stephan, senior class president; and Cole Shenk and Erica Shaub.

Ryan Glenn is the son of Richard and Lorena Glenn of Lancaster. He participated in National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Gray Zone, Student Ambassadors, Rocket Club, Mock Trial, TEAMS (Test of Engineering Aptitude, Math and Science) and Mathematics Club and was a member of the Penn Manor baseball and basketball teams. Ryan plans to study engineering at Penn State University.

Derek Davis is the son of Sharon and Ernie Davis of Lancaster. He participated in jazz band, Rocket Club, TEAMS (Test of Engineering Aptitude, Math and Science) and TSA (Technology Student Association) and was a member of the Penn Manor tennis and soccer teams. Derek plans to attend the University of Alabama and study aerospace engineering.

Cole Shenk is the son of Audrey and Thomas Shenk of Washington Boro. He participated in TSA (Technology Student Association), TEAMS (Test of Engineering Aptitude, Math and Science), Science National Honor Society, Mock Trial, Rocket Club and Student Council. He also was a class officer and a member of the Penn Manor soccer, wrestling and track and field teams. Cole plans to attend the U.S. Naval Adademy and study aerospace engineering.

Jared Stephan is the son of Laura and Scott Stephan of Millersville. He participated in MiniTHON, Scrubs Club, Varsity Club, Young Humanitarian League, and National Honor Society and was a class officer. Jared also was a member of the Penn Manor tennis, volleyball and swimming teams. He plans to attend King’s College and study to be a physician’s assistant.

Erica Shaub is the daughter of Michelle and Brian Shaub of Lancaster. She participated in the Young Humanitarian League, Varsity Club and chorus and was a member of the Penn Manor swimming and volleyball teams. Erica plans to study mathematics at the University of Colorado.

Sameeha Hossain is the daughter of Kazi Hossain and Sharmin Maswood of Millersville. She participated in Student Council, Serteen, National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Young Humanitarian League, Scrubs Club, Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy and MiniTHON. She also played piano and clarinet in the Penn Manor band. Sameeha plans to major in biology/pre-med at Franklin & Marshall College.

Admission to commencement is by ticket only, nine per graduate. All seating, with the exception of a reserved section for the disabled and honored guests, will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Admission tickets will be distributed to graduates at the end of commencement practice, scheduled for 8 a.m. June 3 and 4 at Penn Manor High School.

The commencement ceremony will be webcast live, beginning at 6 p.m., on the district website, DVDs of commencement will be available for purchase here. Parking details are available here: F&M event parking

Baccalaureate is at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 30, at Millersville Community Church, Hope Campus. Seniors may also participate in a “Senior Walk,” a procession through the halls in their caps and gowns at the elementary school they attended, on June 3 and 4, beginning at 12:45 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: Commencement is a formal ceremony that marks an important event in each student’s life.  For this to occur, we need the cooperation of the Class of 2019 and each person in the audience. During presentation of diplomas, please refrain from cheering or making other noises that will make it difficult to hear student names.  Once all students have received their diplomas, attendees may celebrate.

  • Sameeha Hossain
    Sameeha Hossain

Seven Penn Manor students win awards in journalism contest

Congratulations to the seven Penn Manor elementary students who won awards in the LNP/Lancaster Online Journalism & Design an Ad Contest.

Students from Hambright, Eshleman and Central Manor received honors in the contest, which was open to all students in Lancaster County.

Here are the winners and their teachers:

Writer’s Choice, Third Grade – Morgan Milisock, first place; Mason Barnes, second place; and Amirah Santiago, third place, Hambright Elementary (teacher: Lorien Gilbert).

Writer’s Choice, Second Grade – Lillian Evans, first place, and Lily Quinn, second place, Eshleman Elementary (teacher: Beth Kaplan); Emma Layla Shea, third place, Central Manor Elementary (teacher: Shelly Kyle).

Illustrating Headlines, Kindergarten – Brayton Swartz, second place, Hambright Elementary (teacher: Maggie Kyper).

The winning students were recognized in the May 21 edition of LNP. That evening, first-place awardees and their teachers were honored at a reception.

  • Lillian Evans of Eshleman
    Lillian Evans of Eshleman

Penn Manor students celebrate their heritage through food

    Students at two Penn Manor schools recently celebrated their heritage with food.

    Penn Manor High School students got to share the foods of their native countries with fellow students, teachers and staff during the third annual Multicultural Day, held May 2 in the high school gymnasium.

    On May 9, Eshleman Elementary School held its World Food Fair, featuring foods from 17 different countries, including Bhutan, Eritrea, Brazil, Nicaragua, Nepal and Hungary.

   Students and their family members dressed in native garb and displayed maps, flags and other symbols of the countries they represented.

   The event was established 13 years ago to celebrate the cultures of Eshleman students and families and expose community members to traditional food and dress from around the world.

   For the high school event, students prepared foods from the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Nepal, Nigeria, Mexico and Puerto Rico to share with the school community. Several students donned traditional garb as part of the celebration.

    In order to sample the food, students and staff members had to learn to say a common phrase in the language of the country represented. In addition to preparing the foods, students created colorful displays about their countries and talked about some of the geographic features and traditions of their native lands.

    The event is the culminating project for the school’s Multicultural Club, which was established three years ago by Etsub Tolossa, a Penn Manor senior from Ethiopia. Club advisors are Penn Manor foreign language teachers Katharine Rodriguez and Nadine Smith.

   Etsub started the club “to provide a platform for students to share their backgrounds, their stories and their cultures, as well as to learn from each other and embrace their culture and heritage,” she said. 

    “America is a product of different countries and nations, and the club helps us teach others about the many cultures that we’re seeing in our classes and community.”

    About 325 Penn Manor School District students are from families that speak 24 different languages at home.

  • Multicultural Day at high school
    High school student Etsub Tolossa dishes out Ethiopian food at Multicultural Day.