Penn Manor Ed Foundation awards $40,000 in teacher grants

  Many thanks to the Penn Manor Education Foundation, which has awarded more than $40,000 in Venture Grants to teachers to enhance learning for students in multiple subjects at all grade levels at Penn Manor schools.

   The grants range from $345 for flexible classroom seating for sixth-graders at Central Manor Elementary School to $7,085 for a wind tunnel at Penn Manor High School to enhance the teaching of aerodynamics, fluid dynamics and aeronautical engineering.

   Two of the grants this year will support efforts to teach more students about local watersheds, which is the focus of a new partnership with Millersville University to expand watershed education efforts.

   The grants, totaling $3,842, will fund groundwater simulation stations that will help students understand how the movement of water impacts ecosystems.

   “This grant will provide a unique, hands-on opportunity for students to see and understand groundwater, seepage, infiltration, and pollution,” said Brad Showalter, a fourth-grade teacher at Hambright Elementary who received a $1,988 grant.

   “We are challenging our fourth-graders to become watershed ambassadors who understand how humans impact local and regional water quality and aquatic ecosystems.”

   Several Venture Grants will be used to expand opportunities for music students, including classroom sets of ukuleles at two elementary schools. Grants at the high school and middle schools will fund a gong, snare drum, cymbals, mallets, wind chimes and other percussion accessories to be used in band and music classes.

  “These instruments and accessories will impact our students for many years to come,” said Sara Masten, high school orchestra director and co-director of the middle school orchestra, band and chorus. “Having proper equipment directly impacts the overall quality of students’ experiences and performances.”

   Another grant will enable high school singers to compete at a choral festival next year.

   Students in family and consumer science and health classes at the high school will benefit from a grant to purchase two infant simulators, including one that demonstrates the dangers of shaking a baby.

   On the elementary level, several grants will fund sensory paths for school hallways to encourage active learning. Another grant will fund materials for a sensory room at Hambright Elementary School to help students with auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and visual needs develop coping strategies.

   In all, 29 different teachers received grants for 2021-2022. A second round of Venture Grants will be awarded in the spring. You can see the grants list here.

   In addition to funding teacher Venture Grants, PMEF administers more than $75,000 in scholarships awarded to graduating Penn Manor seniors each year and assists families in need with grants through its Strong & Healthy Families program.

   The foundation is a nonprofit supported by Penn Manor community members and businesses. You can learn more at

Many thanks to all those who help support the Foundation to make these grants possible!

Penn Manor approves four-year contract with teachers

  Penn Manor school board and the Penn Manor Education Association have reached an agreement on a new four-year teachers’ contract that will run from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2026. 

   The contract was approved Monday, November 15, by the school board and the general membership of the education association.

    The four-year pact will increase teacher salaries by an average of 3.2 percent each year. The increases are partially offset by health care concessions and a more robust wellness incentive program aimed at reducing ongoing health-related expenses.

   School board president Herk Rintz thanked the teachers’ union representatives and district administration for bargaining in good faith. The new contract is truly a compromise, he said, because neither side got everything they wanted in negotiations.

   “The agreement is fair for teachers, fair for the school district and fair for Penn Manor taxpayers,” Rintz said.

   Mary Kay Fair, president of the Penn Manor Education Association, praised the district negotiating team for “engaging in professional, ethical and compassionate bargaining with the association.”

   “Our goal entering into these negotiations was to achieve an agreement which acknowledges the hard work our members have been engaged in over the past two years, and are continuing to do so, in the face of so many challenges,” Fair said. “We feel we achieved our goal with this agreement.”

   Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter also praised the process that led to the contract.

   “Penn Manor has a long history of strong relationships between teachers, administrators and the school board. I am pleased with the outcome of this negotiations and look forward to focusing our collective attention on improving instruction for the students of Penn Manor,” he said.

Penn Manor to present ‘Clue’ Nov. 19 & 20 in HS auditorium

Penn Manor Productions will present its fall play, Clue, at 7:30 p.m. November 19 and 20 in the high school auditorium.

The tale begins at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects.

Led by Wadsworth (the butler), Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard race to find the killer as the body count stacks up.

All seats will be reserved and can be ordered online at Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. On the night of each show, any remaining seats will be available for purchase at the box office starting at 6:30 p.m.

In addition, free admission will be offered to senior citizens enrolled in the Comet Classic program. To get tickets, seniors must present their Comet Classic card at the box office on the night of the show. The free seats cannot be reserved in advance.

You can learn more about the Comet Classic program here.

Audience members who need accessible seats for wheelchairs or other special accommodations should call the box office at 717-872-9520 ext. 1958.

Clue will be the first play performed in the new Ranck Auditorium of Penn Manor High School.

The play is based on the 1985 Paramount motion picture, which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game. Clue also is based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn and written by Sandy Rustin, with additional material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price and original music by Michael Holland.

Clue is produced by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing.

Manor FFA poultry team places among top 10 in nation

Congratulations to the Manor FFA Poultry Evaluation Team, which placed in the top 10 nationally at the recent FFA National Convention. 

The team of Lizzy Strickler, Jenna Smith, Carly Railing and Molly Gehr — all Penn Manor sophomores — earned a gold ranking and placed ninth out of 37 teams in the National Poultry Evaluation Career Development Event, held October 28 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Individually, Carly Railing and Jenna Smith earned gold rankings, and Carly placed 17th out of 148. Molly Gehr earned a silver medal.

During the competition, the students had to take a written test on poultry management, complete a team problem-solving activity on poultry nutrition and processing, evaluate live hens and broilers, grade eggs and chicken carcasses based on USDA criteria, and identify retail poultry meat cuts.

Also at the national convention, 2020 Penn Manor graduate Darby Conrad received the American Degree, the highest honor in FFA.

Many thanks to these young ladies for representing Penn Manor and the state of Pennsylvania so well.

From left, poultry evaluation team members Lizzy Strickler, Jenna Smith, Carly Railing and Molly Gehr.

11 students qualify for County, District Chorus festivals

Congratulations to the eleven students who have qualified to represent Penn Manor High School in the upcoming County and District Chorus festivals.

Nine students — Nicole Chen, Ella Layton, Elizabeth Lebo, Grace Fafel, Paige Wall, Emily Witmer, Kaleb Kabakjian, Matthew Perkins and Max Ponton  —  have qualified for the Pennsylvania Music Educators District 7 Chorus Festival, to be held at Chambersburg Area Senior High School February 11 and 12, 2022. 

These nine students also qualified for the Lancaster-Lebanon County Chorus Festival, along with Joy Perkins and Andrea Kirkley, who will serve as an alternate at the festival, to be held January 8 at Annville-Cleona High School.

The students were selected based on video auditions, and Nicole Chen placed first among all students who auditioned as a piano accompanist for both festivals.

Elizabeth Lebo, Ella Layton, Joy Perkins and Andrea Kirkley qualified as Soprano 2s; Grace Fafel, Paige Wall and Emily Witmer will perform as Alto 1s; Kaleb Kabakjian qualified as a Bass 1; and Matthew Perkins and Max Ponton qualified as Bass 2s.

Thank you to all these students, and their teachers, for making us Penn Manor Proud!

Jesselin Lopez and Charlie Gonzalez earn homecoming crowns

Congratulations to Jesselin Lopez and Charlie Gonzalez, who were named Homecoming Queen and – for the first time at Penn Manor High School – King at halftime of Penn Manor’s homecoming football game October 22.

Congrats, also, to the entire homecoming court, which raised more than $5,000 and collected numerous supplies for the Loft Community Partnership, a nonprofit that assists Penn Manor families in need.

Jesselin received her crown during homecoming ceremonies at halftime, but Charlie was unable to participate because he was playing in the homecoming football game.

The other homecoming candidates were Riley Peart, Ella Kratz, Joy Perkins, Avery Groff, Devyn Mauger, Lily Sugra, Nicole Lapp, Erik Hinkle, Connor Brumbaugh, Noe Perez, Ethan Adelman, Carter Harnish, Harrison Brown and Zach Erb.

Many thanks to the homecoming court and the Penn Manor community members who supported their efforts to assist families in need!

(Photos courtesy of Lifetouch)

PMHS to host Education Day November 1

Penn Manor parents and students are invited to attend Penn Manor’s Education Day, scheduled for Monday, November 1, in the high school gymnasium.

More than 100 representatives from two- and four-year colleges, technical, nursing and business schools will be available to discuss what career training and education programs they have to offer. The event will run from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Students and parents can learn about entrance requirements, financial aid options, campus life and academic programs. They also can get information on career opportunities in health care, construction and other fields from representatives of local companies.

Here are the colleges, universities, businesses and organizations scheduled to participate.

20 Penn Manor students participate in ‘Construction Wars’

    Twenty Penn Manor middle schoolers learned about the construction trades directly from professionals in the field by attending “Construction Wars,” a career exploration event held October 5 through 7 at the Keystone Center for Construction Careers in Manheim.

    Eleven student from Manor Middle and nine from Marticville Middle took part,  building wooden benches, testing electrical circuits, making sheet metal tool boxes and trying their hands at brick laying under the guidance of professionals in the construction industry.

   Students also learned about high-paying, in-demand jobs in the trades and the education and training programs available to them through Lancaster County Career & Technology Centers and the Keystone Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).

    The “Construction Wars” program, sponsored by ABC, attracted about 200 students from Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

    Participants from Manor Middle School included Seth Barrett, Tyler Cook, Hunter Cusack, Zriyah DeJesus, Johary Frias Vasquez, Kayleigh Harmon, Reagan Gerlach, Ethan Markulik, Jeremy Marte, Jacob Nesmith and Antonio Rodriquez.

    The Marticville students were Hudson Mehaffey, Josh Zook, Ben Patterson, Ethan Todd, Aida Riveria, Janelly Vazquez, Nicea Rocca, Braden Hickey and Quintin Hopstetter.   

Many thanks to those who made this opportunity possible for our students!

  • Student participate in "Construction Wars" activities

Sixteen seniors vying for Homecoming King and Queen crowns

Sixteen Penn Manor High School seniors are vying for the title of 2021 Homecoming Queen and – for the first time at Penn Manor – Homecoming King while raising money to support Penn Manor families in need.

Riley Peart, Ella Kratz, Joy Perkins, Avery Groff, Jesselin Lopez, Devyn Mauger, Lily Sugra and Nicole Lapp are the candidates for Homecoming Queen. Erik Hinkle, Connor Brumbaugh, Noe Perez, Charlie Gonzalez, Ethan Adelman, Carter Harnish, Harrison Brown and Zach Erb are vying for the title of Homecoming King.

The King and Queen will be crowned at halftime of Penn Manor’s homecoming football game against Cedar Crest on October 22 at Millersville University’s Biemesderfer Stadium.

During homecoming week, Penn Manor will host Fall Fest from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 21, at Comet Field.

The event will include food trucks, fireworks, cornhole and spike ball tournaments, bounce houses, children’s games, a DJ and stands selling Four Diamonds merchandise.

Admission is free.

On Saturday, October 23, the Homecoming Dance will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on the top level of the high school parking garage.

Tickets can be purchased the week of October 17 during lunch periods or in the school office at $10 per person. Attire will be semi-formal (no jeans).

Members of this year’s homecoming court are raising money and collecting goods and supplies for the Loft Community Partnership, which provides clothing, food and household supplies to Penn Manor families in need. The court members are:

  • Riley Peart, the daughter of Megan and Kevin Peart of Lancaster. Her father will be her escort at homecoming.

Riley is a member of the Student Ambassadors, National Honor Society, MiniTHON, Student Council and Comet Nation. She also plays on the Penn Manor basketball team.

After high school, Riley plans to attend a four-year university and  major in biochemistry and public health.

  • Ella Kratz, the daughter of Phil and Jen Kratz of Millersville. Her father will be her escort.

Ella has been involved in Penn Manor girls’ soccer, Student Council, the National Honor Society and MiniThon.  

After high school, she plans to attend Central Penn College to become a physical therapist assistant.

  • Joy Perkins, the daughter of Mary and Larry Perkins of Lancaster. Her parents will be her homecoming escorts.

Joy is a senior class officer and member of the National Honor Society. She has been involved with Penn Manor Productions, Manor Singers, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Board Game Club and the Spike Ball Club.

After high school, she plans to attend college and major in occupational therapy.

  • Avery Groff, the daughter of Brad and Brenda Groff of Lancaster. Her father will be her escort.

Avery is a member of the Penn Manor swim team, the York YMCA swim team, Comet Nation, the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

After high school, she plans to attend a four-year college and study finance.

  • Jesselin Lopez, the daughter of Jessica Ortiz and Will Lopez of Mountville. Her parents will be her escorts.

Jesselin is a member of the Scrubs Club, the Spike Ball Club and Comet Nation. She plans to attend a four-year college after high school.

  • Devyn Mauger, the daughter of Robert and Rebecca Mauger of Pequea. Her father will be her homecoming escort.

Devyn is a member of the girls’ lacrosse team, Lanco Elite Travel Lacrosse, the National Honor Society, MiniTHON and the varsity cheerleading squad. Devyn also is a junior coach for the Penn Manor Junior Comets and a Comet Nation Club student representative.

Devyn plans to attend Juniata College to continue to participate in athletics and major in secondary math education and psychology.

  • Lily Sugra, the daughter of Chris and Jen Sugra of Millersville. Her father will be her escort.

Lily has participated in varsity soccer and basketball, MiniTHON, the National Honor Society, Comet Nation and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

She plans to attend a four-year college or university after high school.

  • Nicole Lapp, the daughter of Robert and Erica Lapp of Lancaster. Her father will be her escort.

Nicole is a Student Ambassador and a member of the track and field and Unified Track and Field teams at Penn Manor.

After high school, she plans to attend Bloomsburg University and major in health sciences and psychology.

  • Erik Hinkle, the son of Nichole and Yon Hinkle of Millersville. His parents will be his escorts.

Erik participated in football and lacrosse at Penn Manor. After high school, he plans to attend a four-year college and study business.

  • Connor Brumbaugh, the son of David and Leslie Brumbaugh of Lancaster. His mother will be his escort.

Connor participated in the MiniTHON and lacrosse and was a Comet Boy and Comet Nation club leader. After high school, he plans to attend Albright College and play lacrosse.

  • Noe Perez, the son of Rosa Valdez and Rafael Perez of Lancaster. His escort will be Kayla Benne-Shindle.

At Penn Manor, he participated in the Attollo program and was a member of the basketball team. After high school, Noe plans to major in education at Millersville University.

  • Charlie Gonzalez, the son of Merida Gonzalez of Lancaster. His escort will be Shalaika Gonzelez.

Charlie participated in football and lacrosse at Penn Manor. After graduation, he plans to study criminal justice at Alvernia University.

  • Ethan Adelman, the son of Jared and Lori Adelman of Conestoga. His mother will be his escort.

Ethan participated in football, baseball, recreational basketball and the Football Club at Penn Manor. His post-graduation plans are undecided, although he is interested in becoming an athletic trainer.

  • Carter Harnish, the son of Kyle and Amanda Harnish of Washington Boro. His mother will be his homecoming escort.

Carter played baseball at Penn Manor High School. After graduation, he plans to attend a four-year college.

  • Harrison Brown, the son of Dan and Tina Brown of Millersville. His parents will be his homecoming escorts.

Harrison participated in track and field, wrestling, the MiniTHON and the Comet Nation club.

After high school, he plans to attend a four-year college and study business and sports medicine, with the goal of opening his own gym.

  • Zach Erb, the son of Keith and Michelle Erb of Holtwood. His mother will be his homecoming escort.

He participated in varsity soccer, Young Life, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Comet Nation club.

Zach plans to study business at a four-year college after high school.

Best wishes to all the candidates!

  • Homecoming Court group photo
    The 2021 Penn Manor Homecoming Court

Penn Manor receives $3,500 library book grant from Tanger

Many thanks to Tanger Outlets for supporting Penn Manor school libraries and students!

Tanger recently presented a $3,500 check to Penn Manor to pay for new books at school libraries throughout the district. Penn Manor applied for the grant earlier this year to help replenish library books that were misplaced or lost during the pandemic.

Monica Trego, Tanger marketing director, presented the check to Martic Elementary School librarian Lori Paules on September 24.

The grant was through the TangerKIDS Grants program, which provides almost $200,000 in funding for special projects, programs and equipment in schools located in the communities served by Tanger stores.

Thanks again for your support!

53 students inducted into Penn Manor National Honor Society

The Penn Manor chapter of the National Honor Society welcomed 53 new members during an induction ceremony September 22 at Penn Manor High School.

The Penn Manor High School juniors and seniors qualified for induction by maintaining a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.85 and demonstrating the four pillars of the NHS – scholarship, leadership, service and character.

The 2021-2022 inductees include:

Micah Adams, Abby Ames, Annie Bibus, Bria Booth, Allie Burkholder, Emily Castline, Sheridan Charles, Nicole Chen, Ella Coleman, Liv Cox, Jenna DeVinny, Emma Dinges, Natalie Doyle, Colette Evans, Benedict Flinchbaugh, Amber Floyd, Ethan Fox, Stephan Gebhard, Alyssa Guzman, Jenna Haldeman, Aaron Harnish, Jessica Hemmerly, Landon Hertzog, Stacy Hilt, Alyssa Jones, Elijah Julian, Aidan Karlow, Abbie Kelly, Maisie Kemrer.

Isabelle Kligge, Jackson Knaub, Emma Landis, Madeline Lavelle, Miranda Martin, Nathan Mintzer, Madeline Mitchell, Blessing Mmugambi, GG Moenga, Natalie Myer, Joshua Oatman, Olivia Parshley, Maximillian Ponton, Kaitlyn Pontz, Catherine Rabatin, Wyatt Rohrer, Kaitlyn Roth, Grace Seiger, Ben Shaffer, Sydney Shepos, Erin Shipley, Lauren Stoner, Spencer Stuart and Reagan Webster.

They join the 42 returning members of the Penn Manor NHS.

Officers this year are Audrey Patterson, president; Jasmine Sanders, secretary; Avery Groff, treasurer; and Emily Riggs, historian. Advisors are Jane Myers and Catherine Tejada.

Congratulations to these students for earning this distinguished recognition!

  • New members of the Penn Manor chapter of the National Honor Society.
  • National Honor Society officers

Information on September 20 school board meeting procedures

Please read the following information provided by the Penn Manor Board of School Directors regarding procedures to be followed at the school board meeting on Monday, September 20.

September 16, 2021

The Penn Manor Board of School Directors will meet on Monday, September 20, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Penn Manor High School. If you are interested in speaking during the public comment section of the meeting, the school board requests that you pre-register here so that an appropriate amount of time can be allocated for public comments. 

We expect members of the public to be respectful in their comments to the school board. Personal attacks, inflammatory comments and disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. No drinks, food or bags will be allowed inside the auditorium. In addition, face coverings are required for all people attending the meeting. If attendees refuse to wear a face covering, the school board has the authority to adjourn the meeting. 

Penn Manor School District is obligated to comply with the provisions of the face coverings order issued by the Acting Secretary of Health, including during school board meetings, unless or until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an injunction regarding the implementation and enforcement of the order.

A lawsuit has been filed seeking to block the face coverings order. However, the Commonwealth Court has postponed a hearing on the lawsuit until after September 23, 2021. 

As of now, the order remains in effect.

The school board agenda will be posted on the Penn Manor website by Friday, September 17, 2021, at 4 pm.


The Penn Manor Board of School Directors
Carlton Rintz, President
Dr. Joseph Fullerton, Vice President
Dr. Richard Frerichs
Donna Wert
Christopher Straub
David Paitsel
Nickole Nafziger
Dell Jackson
Mitchell Sweigart

Penn Manor students, staff kick off 2021-2022 year

Penn Manor kicked off the 2021-2022 school year on Monday, August 30, with new faces in leadership roles at several schools and new spaces for students and staff to explore at the high school.

A new humanities wing with about 50 English, social studies, foreign language, art and special education classrooms and studios has opened at Penn Manor High School, along with a new media center and offices.

The construction project has entered its third phase, which will include a new auxiliary gym and health facilities that are expected to be completed in summer 2022. All site work should be wrapped up by December 2022.

At Conestoga Elementary, a new principal — Scott Keddie — greeted students as they entered school on the first day, and two assistant principals — Mike Fowler at the high school and Jerrell Birch at Manor Middle School — got to work in their new positions.

Students at all 10 Penn Manor schools returned to classrooms for full, in-person instruction one year after starting the school year with a blend of in-school and online classes.

Penn Manor superintendent Mike Leichliter reported a smooth start as more than 5,000 students arrived for the new academic year.

“The first day of school is a time to reconnect with our students and celebrate the start of a new year,” he said. “We are excited to see all of our students and look forward to the year.”

Many thanks to our families, students and staff for a successful start to the new year!

  • Conestoga Elementary students leave buses
    A student gets a helping hand at Conestoga Elementary

Opening Day activities mark start of year for Penn Manor staff

Penn Manor welcomed back more than 500 staff members for Opening Day activities at the high school on Monday, August 23, formally marking the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

The first day of school for students is Monday, August 30.

Teachers and staff enjoyed breakfast in the high school lobby before assembling in the new auditorium for Opening Day addresses by superintendent Mike Leichliter and school board president Herk Rintz.

The district also honored its outstanding teachers and employee for 2020-2021.

Richard Bodde, Eshleman sixth-grader teacher, was honored as Outstanding Elementary Educator. Kimberly Braun, head nurse at Penn Manor High School, was the Outstanding Secondary Educator; and Mary Jacoby, Letort Elementary secretary, was named Outstanding Employee.

Following a break, teachers and administrators participated in Ed Camp discussions on a wide range of topics, including behavior management, blended learning, career and job skills preparation, creative writing strategies and project-based learning.

Thanks to all the staff members who attended Opening Day, either in person or via livestream, and best wishes on a successful 2021-2022 school year!


  • Staff members enjoy breakfast on Opening Day.
    Staff members enjoy breakfast on Opening Day.

Kickoff Classic to be held August 25 at Comet Field

The Kickoff Classic returns for 2021 with a new format on Wednesday, August 25.

The 19th annual showcase of Penn Manor’s fall athletic teams and marching band begins at 6:45 p.m. on Comet Field.

Beginning at 4 p.m., attendees can purchase food from food trucks at Comet Field, including Dough Heads Stuffed Waffles, El Toro Barbacoa and Au-Sam’s Trolley Stop.

These vendors have a variety of food options, including subs, cheesesteaks, burgers, fries, Mexican and slow-smoked barbecue, stuffed waffle sandwiches, and desert. A portion of food sale proceeds will be donated back to the Penn Manor Coaches Association Scholarship Fund.

Beginning at 6:45, the Penn Manor Marching Unit will perform, followed by the cheerleaders and the introduction of the fall sports teams – field hockey, girls’ volleyball, cross country, boys’ and girls’ soccer, golf, girls’ tennis, cheerleading and football.

The event will conclude with the singing of Penn Manor’s alma mater.

Please come out and support our talented student athletes and musicians!