28 PM students qualify for state TSA competition

Twenty-eight Penn Manor students have qualified to compete on the state level after their strong showing at the Technology Student Association regional conference Feb. 9 at Huesken Middle School.

Ten students from Manor and Marticville middle schools and 20 Penn Manor High School students competed against their peers from Lancaster, Berks and Lebanon counties in more than 40 events, ranging from structural design and engineering to extemporaneous presentation.

Penn Manor middle school teams placed first in Biotechnology, Medical Technology, Safety Illustration, and Off the Grid events. The high school teams took top honors in Biotechnology, Extemporaneous and Prepared Presentations, Video Game Design, Webmaster, Safety Illustration, Children’s Stories and Problem Solving events.

Here are the students who qualified to compete at the state conference April 10-13 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion.

Middle School
Mitchell Jackson, Kieran McFall and Anders Murphy, 1st place.
Medical Technology:
 Suren Clark, Ian Groff, Mitchell Jackson and Anders Murphy, 1st place.
Off the Grid: Mitchell Jackson, Caden Jacyszyn and Aders Murphy, 1st place.
Safety Illustration: Benjamin Hickey, 1st place; Ava Ritchie, 3rd.
Tech Bowl – Written: Suren Clark, 2nd place.
Mass Production: Suren Clark, Ian Groff, Benjamin Hickey, Caden Jacyszyn and Noah Reen, 2nd place.
Problem-Solving: Kieran McFall and Ava Ritchie, 3rd place.
Challenging Technology Issues: Suren Clark and Benjamin Hickey, 3rd place.

High School
Biotechnology Design:
Audrey Jachimowicz and Jordan Schucker, 1st place.
Children’s Stories: Sophie Groff and Jaden Smith, 1st place; Morgan Cooper, Bernie Eckman and Audrey Ritchie, 3rd place.
Extemporaneous Presentation: Ray Gerner, 1st place.
Prepared Presentation: Isaac Leshok, 1st place; Audrey Ritchie, 3rd.
Technology Problem Solving: Ray Gerner and Cole Shenk, 1st place.
Video Game Design: Aidan Lewis, Audrey Ritchie and Aliya Trussell, 1st place.
Webmaster: Audrey Ritchie and Aliya Trussell, 1st place.
PA-Safety Illustration: Grace Fafel, 1st place; Ray Gerner, 2nd.
Forensic Science: Audrey Jachimowicz and Jordan Schucker, 2nd place; Kaylee Jackson and Cole Wilson, 4th.
Software Development: Aidan Lewis and Aliya Trussell, 2nd place.
Board Game Design: Morgan Cooper, Bernie Eckman, Kaylee Jackson and Isabella Price-Dubble, 3rd place.
Debating Technological Issues: Sophie Groff and Bernie Eckman, 3rd place.
Computer-Aided Design—Engineering: Ryan Buchwalder, 4th place.
Photographic Technology: Jordan Schucker, 5th place.

Congratulations to these students for representing Penn Manor so well, and best of luck in the state competition!

  • Middle school TSA participants
    Middle school TSA participants

Penn Manor’s Fellenbaum named Outstanding PA Ag Teacher

Penn Manor High School agricultural education teacher Neil Fellenbaum has been named Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teacher by the Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators.

    Fellenbaum was nominated for the award by his peers and is now in contention for a national award.

“I am very humbled to receive the award, considering there are so many great ag teachers in Pennsylvania,” said Fellenbaum, who is in his 19th year at Penn Manor High School.

    A Penn Manor alumnus, he is coordinator of the high school’s agricultural education department and teaches courses in Plant Science 2, Engines 1, and Introduction to Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

    Fellenbaum and other award nominees were evaluated based on their teaching philosophy, instructional strategies, professional growth, community connections and involvement in promoting student participation in ag organizations and activities.

    Fellenbaum will receive his award at the Pennsylvania Association of Agricultural Educators Conference July 9-11 at Blackhawk High School.

He is now being considered for a national award by the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

Congratulations, Mr. Fellenbaum, on this well-deserved honor!

Neil Fellenbaum
Agricultural education teacher Neil Fellenbaum works with student Colin Smith in Plant Science 2 class.

Rep. Cutler visits Penn Manor HS classrooms

State Rep. Bryan Cutler visited Penn Manor High School Jan. 24 to learn more about our programs and to congratulate Penn Manor’s Teacher of the Year finalist.

Cutler visited the psychology classroom of Maria Vita, who was one of 12 finalists vying for the 2019 Teacher of the Year award. Cutler congratulated Ms. Vita, then spent time with students as they worked with lab rats.

The students were interacting with their “adopted” rats to socialize them before they are used in conditioning lab experiments.

Cutler also addressed students in Jon Boxleitner’s AP Government class, where he talked about serving in the state Legislature and answered students’ questions about state government.

Later, he visit with high school counselor Melissa Ostrowski to learn about Penn Manor’s Comet Credential initiative.

Introduced last year, the program helps ninth-graders develop the “soft skills” employers say are needed to succeed in the modern workforce.

Many thanks to Rep. Cutler for taking the time to learn firsthand about what happens in the classrooms at Penn Manor!

  • State Rep. Bryan Cutler addresses AP Government students.
    State Rep. Bryan Cutler addresses AP Government students.

Penn Manor musicians earn district, regional honors

Two Penn Manor High School students recently earned district and regional music honors.

Penn Manor senior trumpet player Julia Young has been named to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Central Region Orchestra and Region V State Band.

Garrison Webster earned a spot in the PMEA District 7 Jazz Festival, following an audition Jan. 18 that included students from Lancaster and several other counties.

Garrison, a junior, placed first as a bass in the vocal jazz ensemble and will represent Penn Manor at the festival, scheduled for March 15 and 16 at Big Springs High School.

Julia qualified for the Region V State Band Festival based on her audition at the PMEA Lower District Band Festival, held Jan. 25 and 26 at Lancaster Mennonite High School.

The Region V festival will be held March 7 through 9 at Conrad Weiser High School.

She also qualified for the Central Region Orchestra based on her audition during the PMEA District 7 Orchestra Festival, held Jan. 10 through 12. She qualified for one of only two slots for trumpet.

To reach the District 7 festival, she had to audition along with nearly 50 trumpet players from Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties for one of only four slots.

Qualifying for the Central Region Orchestra is a major accomplishment, said Sara Masten, Penn Manor High School music teacher.

“Students who audition for District Orchestra are among the top musicians in their school district and county, and if they make it past the district level, they are truly among the best,” Masten said. 

The Central Region Orchestra Festival will be held Feb. 20 through 22 at Williamsport Community Arts Center.

Four alumni, one sports team inducted into PM Athletic Wall of Honor

Four individuals and one athletic team were inducted into the Penn Manor Athletic Wall of Honor during ceremonies in the high school January 18, 2019.

This year’s inductees include:  Chas Alecxih (football), Greg Bervinchak (wrestling), Britney Clugston (field hockey), Aaron Dread (basketball) and the 2008 field hockey team.

Chas Alecxih (Class of 2007)

Chas Alecxih was a two-sport athlete, throwing for the track and field team for three years and playing football for four. He earned two varsity letters in football and three in track and field.

Chas led the Comets football team as a captain in 2006 and was a two-way starter at tight end and defensive end. In 2005 and 2006, he was named 1st Team All Lancaster-Lebanon League and was Section 1 Lineman of the Year in 2006. He also was named to The Associated Press Class AAAA All-State 3rd Team and was selected to play in the Tri-County All-Star game.

Chas went on to play at the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a four-year letterman, two-year starter and graduated with a degree in communications. In his redshirt junior year, Chas started all 13 games at defensive tackle, had 57 tackles, nine TFLs and 7.5 sacks and had a career-high eight tackles in three different games. As a result of his performance, Chas was named an All-Conference Defensive Tackle in 2010.

Following his collegiate career, Chas was signed by the Miami Dolphins in May 2012. He spent four years in the NFL with the Dolphins, Chiefs, Chargers, and Carolina Panthers. On February 7, 2016, Chas played in the Super Bowl with the Carolina Panthers and ended his NFL career on the highest note possible.

Chas now works in commercial and residential real estate and lives in Lancaster with his girlfriend, Lauren, and one-year-old daughter, Alaina.

Greg Bervinchak (Class of 1987)

Greg Bervinchak was a three-sport athlete (wrestling, soccer and baseball) at Penn Manor and earned four varsity letters in wrestling and three in soccer.

Greg was a four-time L-L League Wrestling All-Star and a Sectional Champion in 1984, 1985 and 1986 and a Sectional Runner-Up in 1987. In 1984, as a freshman, he qualified for districts. Greg would go on to qualify for districts all four years he wrestled at Penn Manor and is a member of the elite “100 Victories” Club.

Greg placed fifth in the district tournament as a sophomore, second as a junior and fourth as a senior. He also qualified for the state tournament in his junior year. Greg was a perfect 35-0 in his final two seasons with the Comets in dual meets and had an overall dual meet record of 66-2 – the highest winning percentage in Penn Manor wrestling history.

Greg also is the Comet’s all-time team points leader, with 315. Scoring an average of 4.6 points per match, he holds the record for all-time points per match.

After graduating from Penn Manor, Greg attended Lock Haven University and was a member of the wrestling team for four years and later coached wrestling at Hempfield High School for 24 years.

He is in his 15th year as a health and physical education teacher at Hempfield.

Britney (Long) Clugston (Class of 2004)

Britney was a four-sport athlete at Penn Manor. She ran track for a year, played one year of soccer, three years of basketball and was a field hockey standout for four years, earning seven varsity letters.

Britney was a four-time field hockey L-L League All-Star and a 1st Team All-State Selection in 2002 and 2003 as a junior and senior. She also earned MVP honors in her junior and senior seasons and was team captain in her senior year, helping lead the Comets to a sectional championship and the district tournament in 2002.

Britney earned a gold medal in the National Futures Tournament and a silver at the Junior Olympics in 2002. As an indoor field hockey player, she won gold at the Indoor Nationals in 2003 and 2004. In addition, Britney was named a National Futures Elite Honoree from 2002-2004 and was nominated for the High School Heisman Award.

She earned a full scholarship to Penn State to continue her field hockey career. During her junior year, Britney had a nearly 74 percent shot-on-goal rate. After her senior year, she was named to the 2nd Team NFHCA All-Mideast Region. She also earned spots on the Academic All-Big Ten Team and the NFHCA National Academic Squad.

In her senior season, Britney led the team in points (30) and goals (14), placing her sixth in points and third in goals for the Big Ten in 2007, the same year she was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team and competed for a National Championship.

The daughter of Ken and Heidi Long, Britney lives in Albany, Ga., with her husband, Penn Manor alum Caleb Clugston, and children, Lennon, 4, and Cash, 2. She works part-time as a fitness instructor.

Aaron Dread (Class of 1990)

Aaron Dread was a four-year starter and four-year varsity letter winner on the Penn Manor boys’ basketball team. He also earned a varsity letter in soccer.

In basketball, Aaron is the all-time career scoring leader for the Comets, with an impressive 1,743 points. In his 1989-1990 season, Aaron was named an L-L League All-Star and 2nd Team All-State. Overall, Aaron was a two time All-Section member and was named the Suburban Cable Player of the Game four times.

During his four years on the team, the Comets made three L-L League Playoff appearances and earned the team’s first district playoff win in 18 years. The Comets also earned three straight District 3 berths and a PIAA Playoff berth in 1990.

In 1989, Aaron was invited to the McDonald’s All-Star Invitational Camp in North Carolina and was an All-Star Team Selection. He played in the Keystone Games three times and was a bronze, silver, and gold medalist in 1987, 1988, and 1999.

Aaron attended Millersville University and helped the Marauders basketball team earn four straight playoff appearances, capture one PSAC Championship and reach two NCAA Regional Tournament Rounds. In the 1993-1994 season, Aaron held an impressive 45.4 three-point field goal percentage, with 49 made three-pointers.

Aaron currently lives in Burtonville, MD, with his wife of 19 years, Dr. Kisha Murry-Dread. They have three children – Miles, Malcom and Mason. Aaron works in the medical sales field for Romark Inc.

2008 Field Hockey Team

The 2008 field hockey team won the PIAA Class AAA State Field Hockey Championship, dominating Hershey High School by a score of 5-0, one year after losing in the state finals by a 2-1 margin.

Penn Manor started out the 2008 State Tournament by blanking Lackawanna Trail 3-0, then gained revenge on defending champ Emmaus with a 2-1 victory in overtime before earning a 4-2 win over Central Dauphin. In the final, the Comets scored on all five of their shots on goal, setting a PIAA record for the most goals scored and largest margin of victory in the State Final game. Senior goalie Kathi Weidman stopped all three shots she faced.

The 5-0 victory was Penn Manor’s first ever PIAA State Championship in field hockey.

Team members included Alexandra Adams, Cathryn Altdoerffer, Jennifer Bradley, Katie Breneman, Maggie Brommer, Helen Doolittle, Taylor Eichelberger, Mariah Farbo, Megan Harris, Kelly Harsh, Nicole Henderson, Madelyn Hess, Carenna Neely, Laura Revelt, Nancy Stehman, Renee Suter, Haley Weaver, Kathi Weidman, and Jill Witmer.

Player highlights – Jill Witmer (1st Team All-American, All-Mid East Region, 1st Team All-State, L-L League Player of the Year, L-L League All-Star, 1st Team L-L League Section 1); Jenn Bradley (1st Team All-American, All-Mid East Region, 1st Team All-State, L-L League All-Star, 1st Team L-L League Section 1); Maggie Brommer (2nd Team All-State, L-L League All-Star, 1st Team L-L League Section 1, PHSFHCA All-Academic Honors).

Kathi Weidman (1st Team L-L League Section 1, PHSFHCA All-Academic Honors); Cathryn Altdoerffer (2nd Team L-L League Section 1, PHSFHCA All-Academic Honors); Renee Suter (L-L League Section 1 Honorable Mention); Alexandra Adams (PHSFHCA All-Academic Honors); Mariah Farbo (PHSFHCA All-Academic Honors)

The coaching staff included head coach, Matt Soto; assistant coaches, Denise Gobrecht and Lisa McCoy; junior high coaches, Britney (Long) Clugston, Liz (Chismar) Kelly and Brandy (Yocum) Basile; scorekeeper, Diana Alston; and trainer, Dave Ohl.

Following the ceremony, the basketball jersey of Wally Walker, the Penn Manor standout who played eight seasons in the NBA, was retired during the boys’ varsity basketball game against Warwick.

  • Wall of Honor inductees
    2019 Penn Manor Athletic Wall of Honor inductees: front row, from left, Greg Bervinchak, Aaron Dread, Chas Alecxih and Britney (Long) Clugston; back row, 2008 field hockey team players and coaches.

Manor FFA members earn multiple awards at PA Farm Show

Penn Manor High School students won several awards recently at the Pennsylvania Farm Show representing Manor FFA.

Agriscience Fair

Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman placed first in the state in the Animal Systems Division of the Agriscience Fair for her project on the effect of diet on blood glucose levels and weight gain in rats.

Arilyn fed rats three different types of food and monitored their weight, general health and glucose levels to determine whether a homemade soy-based diet was preferable to a commercial feed diet or a non-soy diet.

She is now applying to present her project in national competition.

Other Farm Show honors for Penn Manor students include:

Keystone Degrees

Eight students – Alyssa Broderick, Michael Brumbaugh, Kyle Bushong, Alyssa Chalfant, Melodie Garrett, Rebecca High, Blake Rohrer and Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman – earned Keystone Degrees.

The Keystone is the fourth of five degrees FFA members can earn.  Only 409 members out of 12,771 in the state received the degree.

To earn a Keystone Degree, FFA members must hold the Greenhand and Chapter FFA Degrees; perform at least 25 hours of community service; earn or invest $1,000 or work 300 hours outside of school in their SAE program; participate in 15 FFA Activities, five of them above the chapter level; and demonstrate leadership and advocacy of agriculture and FFA.

Jacket recipients

Five students – Bobbie Ditzler, Emma French, Carter Hess, Laurel Mull and Danielle Oatman – earned a blue jacket, the iconic symbol of FFA membership.

The first-year member jacket campaign is sponsored by the Pennsylvania FFA Alumni, which provides the jackets and a scarf or tie free of charge.  To qualify, students must write about what the jacket means to them and what they plan to achieve while wearing it.

Livestock Showmen

Laurel Barley, Logan Eshelman, Lauren Sensenich, Jenna Smith and Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman showed livestock. Jenna Smith earned Reserve Champion Yorkshire and Master Showman honors for her hog, Nora.

Keystone Star

Arilyn Tegtmeier-Oatman was named Keystone Star in Agriscience. Arilyn will move on to the regional contest and compete at the Eastern States Exposition in Massachusetts in September.

Nominations sought for Outstanding Educators, Employees

Do you know of a Penn Manor teacher or staff member who goes above and beyond in performing his or her duties? If so, please consider submitting a nomination to the 2018-2019 Outstanding Educator/Employee Awards program.

The school district will present the awards later this year to two teachers and two staff members.  Nominations are being accepted until February 22, 2019, from parents/guardians, students and colleagues of Penn Manor staff members.

Last year’s honorees included Cindy Bachman, high school secretary, named Outstanding Employee for 2017-2018. The Outstanding Educators were Beth Mader, a Central Manor Elementary second-grade teacher, and Ken Webster, a Marticville Middle School social studies teacher.

The Outstanding Educator Awards should be based on a teacher’s ability to promote academic growth in his/her students and for outstanding pupil-teacher relationships.  A person may nominate one elementary teacher, one secondary teacher or one teacher on each level.  The nominee must currently be employed by Penn Manor School District.

Nominations for the Outstanding Employee Awards should be based on the staff member’s ability to support the educational program and the quality of his/her relationships with staff and students.  A person may nominate one elementary staff member, one secondary staff member or one employee on each level.  The nominee must currently be employed by Penn Manor.

Please click here to submit a nomination. Use one form for each nominee.

Below are an explanation of the awards, guidelines and a list of previous recipients.

Penn Manor student follows sister, plays in New Year’s Day Rose Parade

When Elise Thyrum marched in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, on New Year’s Day, she was continuing a family tradition.

Four years ago, Elise’s older sister, Emily, marched in the same band as part of the Rose Parade, an annual New Year’s Day event. Emily played the piccolo.

Elise, a senior horn player, represented Penn Manor, which was one of only 20 school districts with students participating in the Cavalcade of Bands Rose Parade Honor Band. In all, about 20 different bands from across the country performed in the parade.

Elise auditioned by submitting videotapes of her playing the mellophone, and of her marching while playing the instrument, to the Cavalcade of Bands organization, which formed the band for the parade.

A New Year’s Day tradition for 130 years, the Rose Parade features elaborate flower-covered floats, marching bands and equestrian units. Elise’s marching unit played “Stars and Stripes Forever” along the 5.5-mile parade route.

Elise received another recent honor when she was selected to participate in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 7 Band Festival, to be held Jan. 25 and 26 at Lancaster Mennonite High School.

Congratulations to Elise and the Thyrum family!

HS students headed for state Future Business Leaders competition

Ten Penn Manor High School students have qualified to compete at the Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference in Hershey in April.

The students qualified by placing in the top three at the FBLA Region 18 Conference, held Dec. 18 at Cocalico High School.

Penn Manor’s top finishers were:

  • Max Forrey, first place, Journalism
  • Alex Mowery, first place, Business Calculations
  • Kaden Peart, second place, Political Science
  • Dominic Roma and Zach Bailey, third place, Sports & Entertainment Marketing
  • Dan Mader, Owen Rohrer and Trevor Grassel, third place, Marketing
  • Gavin Davidson and Garrett Garber, third place, Entrepreneurship

They will move on to compete at the state conference April 8 to 10 in Hershey.

Congratulations, and best wishes as you compete at States!

Penn Manor/Hempfield team places second in HackHershey

A team of students from Penn Manor and Hempfield was a top finisher in a statewide hacking competition held recently at Hershey High School.

    Kyler Stigelman, Aidan Lewis and Tristen Martin of Penn Manor and Michael Pagano of Hempfield placed second overall in HackHershey, a 12-hour programming competition that attracted 21 student teams from across Pennsylvania.

    The projects were judged on originality, technical difficulty, polish and usefulness.

    The four students developed an app called Face2Password that uses facial recognition software to assist people who forget their passwords.

    “The team had a fully working program completed in less than 10 hours, which was really impressive,” said Gina Kostelich, Penn Manor Student Help Desk specialist, who helped prepare Team Face2Password for the competition.

    The Penn Manor students all are enrolled in the Help Desk Course at Penn Manor High School, in which they complete repairs and provide technical support for student computers under the 1:1 Laptop Program.

    Help Desk students earn credits and work under the direction of Penn Manor’s professional information technology staff.

    “I think this course has really expanded their programming passion beyond a hobby,” Kostelich said.  “Plus, the students are now bonding and using their programming experience to do some really cool projects.” 

    “Bright futures are in store for this group.”   

    Tristen is a senior and Kyler and Aidan are sophomores at Penn Manor. Michael is a sophomore at Hempfield.

    The students received $600 worth of prizes, including a computer monitor, Airpods and Snapchat Spectacles, for their second-place finish.

Team members, from left, are Kyler Stigelman, Michael Pagano, Aidan Lewis and Tristen Martin.

PM students to participate in county, district music festivals

More than two dozen Penn Manor students have been selected to participate in upcoming county and district band, orchestra and chorus festivals. Here are the festivals and the participating students:

Lancaster-Lebanon Music Educators Association Middle School County Band South Festival, Jan. 19 at Lampeter-Strasburg HS.

    Jerica Strohmeyer, Lexi Wilson, Allison Burkholder, Drew Lebo, Abigale Nesmith and Griffin Sweigart from Manor Middle School; and Natalie Myer, Paige Bland and Claire Eckroat from Marticville Middle School.

    Students were nominated by their director, Skip Reddig

LLMEA High School County Band South Festival, Jan. 19 at Lampeter-Strasburg HS.

    Anna Aston, flute; Hannah Stork, clarinet; Morgan Naylor, clarinet; Ally Sauers, clarinet; Julia Young, bass clarinet; Ethan Esterly, tenor saxophone; Reid Buffenmyer, baritone sax; Elise Thyrum and Jordan Stum, French horn; Josh Brandt, trombone; and Peyton Cassel and Devon Keene, trumpet.

    Student were nominated by their director, Andrew Johnson.

LLMEA High School County Orchestra Festival, Feb. 16 at McCaskey East High School.

    Julia Young, trumpet; Elise Thyrum, French horn; Eleanor Helm and Collin Lively, violin; Jesse Kanagy, viola; and Nolan Stauffer and Evelyn Weaver, bass.

     Students were nominated by their director, Sara Masten, based on proficiency in performing a solo piece.

LLMEA High School County Chorus Festival, Feb. 2 at Donegal High School.

    Adelyn Beans, Soprano 1; Janae Beiler, Alto 1; True Herbert, Bass 1; Diane Imboden and Briana Shyver, Soprano 2; Jordan Stum, Bass 2; and Leilani Torres, Alto 2.

     Students qualified by competing against other students from high schools throughout Lancaster and Lebanon Counties in an audition process Sept. 22.

Pennsylvania Music Educators  District 7 Chorus Festival, Feb. 7 to 9, Cedar Cliff High School.

    Diane Imboden, Soprano 2; Leilani Torres, Alto 2; and True Herbert, Bass 1.

    Students qualified following an audition process.     

PMEA District 7 Orchestra, January 11 and 12, Central Dauphin High School.

    Julia Young, trumpet. She qualified following an audition process.       

PMEA District 7 Band, Jan 25 and 26, Lancaster Mennonite High School

    Julia Young, trumpet; Elise Thyrum, horn; and Hannah Stork, clarinet. They qualified following an audition process.                        

Ms. Vita honored as finalist for Teacher of the Year award

Congratulations to Maria Vita, who was honored this weekend as a finalist for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award for 2019.

Vita, who has taught at Penn Manor since 2003, was one of 12 finalists who participated in the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Conference in Hershey.

She was introduced at the conference by former student Grace Rhine, a 2017 Penn Manor graduate.

Vita teaches Advanced Placement Psychology at Penn Manor and recently was named chair of the American Psychological Association Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools.

She helped establish an Aevidum student club at Penn Manor that seeks to create an atmosphere in which all students feel accepted, appreciated, acknowledged and cared for. Aevidum also works to increase awareness of depression and prevent teen suicides.

She was nominated for the Teacher of the Year award by Penn Manor Superintendent Mike Leichliter and his wife, Mary Edith, whose three children all had Maria for class.

“Maria exemplifies the mission of every teacher who wishes to make an impact on children by inspiring her students to love learning and instilling in them an appreciation for compassion and hard work,“ Leichliter said

“We could not have asked for a more caring and capable teacher for our children.”

Vita said she was “honored and humbled to be considered” for the award.

The 2019 Teacher of the Year is Marilyn Pryle, an English teacher from Abington Heights School District.

Many thanks, Ms. Vita, for representing Penn Manor as a finalist!

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PM’s Slates earns regional Outstanding Early Career Teacher award

Penn Manor agricultural education teacher Meagan Slates has been honored as the Outstanding Early Career Teacher for the Northeastern United States.

Slates, who has taught at Penn Manor for four years, earned the award – one of only six in the nation – from the National Association of Agricultural Educators during its annual convention in San Antonio, Texas. She previously was named Outstanding Early Career Teacher for Pennsylvania.

The award was established to encourage young teachers to remain in the profession and recognize participation in professional activities. It is sponsored by John Deere through the National FFA Foundation.

Applicants are evaluated on their teaching philosophy, effective classroom instruction, experiential learning and leadership development qualities. Teachers also are evaluated based on their professional growth and community engagement.

“Meagan is well deserving of this award,” said Neil Fellenbaum, who heads the agricultural education department at Penn Manor. “Her passion for teaching and making students better people, along with her desire to prepare them for careers after high school, make her an outstanding educator.”

Slates teaches Introduction to Ag Mechanics, Plant Science 1 and Wildlife and Natural Resources classes at Penn Manor.

In 2016, she was one of 36 teachers nationwide to be honored with a Teachers Turn the Key professional development scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators.

Congratulations, Meagan!


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Three Penn Manor students qualify for District Band, Orchestra

Congratulations to Penn Manor High School students Julia Young, Elise Thyrum and Hannah Stork, who were named to District 7 Band and Orchestra.

Seniors Elise (horn) and Julia (trumpet) and sophomore Hannah (clarinet) were named to District Band and will participate in the District 7 Lower Band Festival Jan. 25 and 26 at Lancaster Mennonite High School. They will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Jan. 26.

Julia also was named to District 7 Orchestra and will participate in the Orchestra Festival Jan. 10 to 12 at Central Dauphin High School. She will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Jan. 12.

The students were selected to participate based on auditions that included other students from Lancaster, Lebanon, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry and York County schools.

Julia had a particularly strong audition, placing second out of 46 students playing trumpet.

Way to represent Penn Manor, ladies!

From left, Julia Young, Elise Thyrum and Hannah Stork.
From left, Julia Young, Elise Thyrum and Hannah Stork.



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!

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