Former board members, superintendents honored at Leadership Dinner

Former Penn Manor school board members and superintendents were honored Monday night for their service as Penn Manor hosted its biennial Leadership Dinner.

Held in the Manor Middle School cafeteria, the event brought together former school directors and superintendents, including Dr. Elmer Berkebile, Penn Manor’s first superintendent following school consolidation, who served from 1967 to 1983.

Other guests included nine former school board members and one former superintendent, along with their spouses. Joining them were current Penn Manor board members and administrators.

The dinner is held every other year to honor those who have helped guide the school district by serving in leadership roles. The group that gathered Monday amassed more than 150 years of service to Penn Manor.

In addition to Berkebile, attendees included former superintendent Don Stewart and former school directors Kirk Schlotzhauer, Frank Hoke, Alice Ahlfeld, Bob Kindig, Dick Bauder, John Wenzel, Pete Alecxih, Johnna Friedman and Jeff Lyon.

After dinner, a plaque commemorating former school board presidents was unveiled. It will be displayed in the board room.

To all who have served leadership roles in Penn Manor School District over the years, we appreciate your service!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Ed Foundation awards $55,000 in Penn Manor teacher Venture Grants

Penn Manor students will be creating virtual tours of the Fulton Opera House, building robots for competitions, using drones to study agriculture and physics, and benefitting from the expertise of a visiting book illustrator and a professional actress under projects funded with Penn Manor Education Foundation Venture Grants.

PMEF has awarded 47 grants totaling more than $55,000 for 2018-2019 – a record dollar amount – to 46 teachers, counselors and principals at all 10 of Penn Manor schools.

The projects range from $46 for models of planets for second-graders at Central Manor Elementary School to more than $5,000 for a classroom set of Google Expeditions goggles and software to enable students to create and experience lessons in virtual and augmented reality.

Other grants are funding drones to be used in experiments and research in physics and agricultural education classes and a 3D printing pen that will enable students to create and study three-dimensional molecules and cell parts.

A $3,500 grant will fund materials for the high school’s robotics club, and other grants will take students to the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Museum of the American Revolution.

For the second year in a row, the Foundation has awarded a $3,000 grant to help train a therapy dog for one of its schools – Hambright Elementary – following the success of a similar effort at Manor Middle School last year.

Grants also will pay for alternative seating – camp chairs, standing desks, yoga mats and balance balls – at several schools. And several grants will be used to purchase foreign language reading materials and graphic novels at Penn Manor schools and libraries.

Since 2000, the Education Foundation has awarded more than 800 teacher Venture Grants in excess of $850,000, providing learning opportunities that teachers and schools could not fund on their own.

“The Venture Grant program allows PMEF, with the support of our community, to fund innovative ideas for teaching and learning,” said Jan Mindish, Foundation executive director.

“The enthusiasm that can result in the classroom from these projects can make all the difference in a child’s learning. PMEF applauds the initiative of our teachers, and we are proud to support their efforts.”

Erika McLaughlin, a Marticville teacher who received $700 to equip her classroom with STEM materials, said the grants “continuously support and enhance classroom instruction for our students.”

“We are so thankful to receive PMEF Venture Grants,” she said.

In addition to its Venture Grant program, PMEF supports Penn Manor students and families experiencing financial and emotional difficulties through its Strong & Healthy Families initiative and administers more than 50 annual scholarships for graduating Penn Manor High School seniors totaling more than $60,000.

A full list of Venture Grant projects is available here.

 

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.

 

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.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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

 

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!

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.