General McLane School District Communications Specialist 
Marissa Orbanek
Office: Therese T. Walter Education Center
(814) 273-1033 Ext. 5901
Fax: 814-273-1030
To submit story ideas or be added to our media list, please contact Marissa Orbanek.


Gillespie Foundation Scholarships Now Open

Edinboro, PA (January 24, 2018) – The H.G. Gillespie Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2018 H.G. Gillespie Scholarship. These scholarships provide financial assistance to General McLane School District alumni.

Graduates who have attained at least third year standing in post secondary educational institutions are eligible to apply. Second year students that anticipate third year standing by June 1st should apply.

The H.G. Gillespie Foundation will award $1,500.00 scholarships to General McLane graduates in 2018. Awards will reflect primarily the applicants’ character, citizenship, and probable contributions to the futures of their communities. Race, gender, religious convictions, and quality of academic achievement will not serve as criteria for awards. GM graduates that have been awarded the H.G. Gillespie scholarship in previous years are not eligible.

Last year, the H.G. Gillespie Foundation awarded sixteen $1,500 scholarships to the following General McLane graduates: Lisa Yoder, Taylor Shade, Mathew Costa, Michelle Jahn, Allison Schultz, Evan Dillen, Logan Gatenby, Kathryn Getson, Michael Prihoda, Peter Solberg, Brittany Curry, Brook Dowlen, Jacob Haibach, Laura Schaefer, Daniel Hansen and Clara Ashton.

Applications are available on the internet at or may be requested in writing. Send a self addressed stamped envelope along with your request to:

H.G. Gillespie Scholarship
c/o General McLane Foundation
Therese T. Walter Education Center
11771 Edinboro Road
Edinboro, PA 16412

The deadline for these scholarships is April 16.



Flu Season Affect on General McLane students

(January 24, 2018) Edinboro, PA – General McLane schools are taking a proactive approach to keeping students safe this flu season.

According to General McLane High School nurse Laurie Swanson, as of earlier this week, the district had not seen the number of confirmed cases of the flu by physician that had been seen in the past several years.
That doesn’t mean, however, that General McLane nurses aren’t preparing.

“It’s still early,” Swanson said. “It is flu season, and it is always a worrisome time. We are hoping that with the preventative actions on the nurses part, in conjunction with other media publications and reports, we are helping to keep our numbers down.”

General McLane nurses are on the lookout and sending students home who show flu symptoms. Parents are encouraged to follow up with their health care provider.

The Erie County Department of Health sends weekly updates to General McLane nurses to monitor current flu status and trends.

In addition, Swanson said they are stressing ways to reduce the spread of viruses by posting and encouraging proper hand washing, cough hygiene and other ways to prevent the spread.

“Education is the best defense,” Swanson said. “Arming our schools and communities with information will assist in keeping our population healthy and reduce the number of flu cases.

As families to continue to fight this flu season, Swanson shares tips and advice for influenza prevention.

The Flu-how does it spread?

Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with flu virus on it and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose. Many other viruses spread these ways too. People infected with flu may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. That means you may be able to spread the flu to someone else before you even know you are sick — in addition to the duration of your time sick. Young children, those who are severely ill, and those who have severely weakened immune systems may be able to infect others for longer than 5-7 days.

Ways to avoid spreading and getting the flu:

•Get the Flu shot. It is not true that you can get the flu from the shot.

•Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

•If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.

•While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

•Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze.

•Eat a well-balanced healthy diet, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.

•Wash your hands for 1 full minute, often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

•Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

•Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated.

•See your health care provider as soon as symptoms occur. There is medication to reduce the severity of the flu.




Edinboro, PA – Need information on child care assistance? Do you need to find a specific child or youth service? Assistance providing food, clothing or shelter?
Simply dial 2-1-1 and talk with a trained caring resource navigator who can assist you with access to thousands of programs. United Way’s PA 2-1-1 Northwest information and referral service connects people in need to social services and operates on a 24/7/365 basis.

“Students in our community struggle for a lot of different reasons. At the same time, we have a lot of positive supports in our community,” said James W. Parker Middle School principal and District curriculum director Jason Buto. “Parents and other care givers are often at a loss for how to get the help they need. The 2-1-1 system is an easy way to get kids with various challenges hooked up with the right help.”

People in need of services can dial 2-1-1 from a landline or cell phone. Individuals can also conduct their own searches or use the live chat feature for assistance at the website, Information and referral service has not been available in Erie County since the 1990s when a similar service offered by Erie Hotline ended.

Spreading awareness within the General McLane community about the 2-1-1 service, which United Way of Erie County launched in May, is one of the three goals that General McLane’s Parent Engagement Action Team has established for this school year.

“We are committed to the success of all of our students,” said Buto, who leads the Action Team. “We often see kids hit roadblocks and want to equip parents with the tools they need to help their children be more successful.”

General McLane formed a Parent Engagement Action Team during the 2016-2017 school year, thanks to a $7,500 grant from the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University. The District created the team to help facilitate improved family and community involvement, a component of a 2016-2017 Strategic Plan initiative. The team consists of school personnel, parents and community members.

The District received an additional $5,000 grant in October to continue the work during this school year.

PA 2-1-1 NW is being managed by PA 2-1-1 Southwest which serves the 11-county SW Pennsylvania region and the three-county Southeast Pennsylvania region. The contact center for the Northwest Region is housed at Venango County Human Services.



Family Creates New Endowment Fund

EDINBORO, PA (December 14, 2017) – Starting this school year, the Jean and Alton Huntley Family Endowment will annually award a graduating senior who will be attending Edinboro University or a local technical school with a cash scholarship.

Diane Huntley created the fund in memory of her parents and former Edinboro residents, Jean and Alton.

Jean passed away in January 18, 2016. Jean worked for General Telephone for two years and was employed at the Campus School and University Libraries at Edinboro University until her retirement.

Alton passed away April 23, 2017. Alton was a teacher at Greensburg High School and Technical Memorial Junior High in Erie, as well as a Career Counseling and Placement counselor and as a Supervisor of secondary education student teachers at Edinboro State College. A U.S. Army veteran who served during the Korean War, Alton served on various boards, including the Borough of Edinboro Council, Church Men’s Council, Edinboro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and was Mayor of the Borough of Edinboro.

Jean and Alton have three children, Linda, Diane and Dale, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The General McLane Foundation was founded in 2005 as an organization exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. Each year, the Foundation hosts the Holiday Arts Fair and the Golf Outing – two major events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors and innovative educational projects within the district.

To donate to the Huntley Family Endowment and learn more about the General McLane Foundation, visit



Senior reflects on loss on Children’s Grief Awareness Day

Edinboro, PA (December 5, 2017) – Despite only being three years old, General McLane senior Amelia Swenski has a clear recollection about certain events from October 26, 2003.

The day before, they saw a Wooly Bear crossing the road. That day, she spent the afternoon on the swing with her father before saying goodbye when he left for work.

Late that night, however, her father passed away one block away from home in a fatal car accident on his way back from work.

“It was a powerful period in my life,” said Amelia, who vividly remembers the police showing up at their house the next morning.

Since then, Amelia and her family have always had an open conversation about death. Now, Amelia carries that conversation into the classrooms as president of General McLane’s Caring Club.

Through the club’s initiatives, Amelia and hundreds of General McLane students stood in unity on Children’s Grief Awareness Day, a day to remember and support those who have lost a close family member.

“I just want those who grieve to know that they’re not alone,” says Amelia. “Everything that is done for the day ends up creating a very positive atmosphere of support from the community, both within the school and in our surrounding area. That’s a great feeling and a healing experience.”

Children’s Grief Awareness Day was created in 2008 by the Highmark Caring Place, a Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families that offers a safe place for grieving children and families to come together. The Caring Place offers these services at no charge to grieving families from throughout the community to make sure these children receive the support they need.

Throughout the week, General McLane students participated in a variety of activities to show unity and support. Members of the high school Caring Club ran a bake sale and a basket raffle to raise money for The Caring Place, provided students with an opportunity to write the names of loved ones for a memory wall and decorated the building with blue butterflies, the symbol most associated with this day.

Amelia with the help of classmates Allie Shade, Emma Hunter, Phoebe Will, McKenah Bryson, Hannah McDermott, Jenna Brock, Anna Shreve, Haley Carter and Kendra Trezona, created a display of butterflies in the main lobby windows. Amelia created the memory wall, which included a paper tree with the words “we continue to grow and they continue to watch over us” placed next to it, specifically to be in memory of all of the lost parents and siblings of high school students and staff. Also, Mrs. Brenda Hertel, with the help of Mr. Jeremy Reed, Officer Jose Montes, Enrique Cornejo and Brayden Shaw, decorated the cafeteria windows with about 700 blue butterflies. The space served as an additional memory wall for the students.

“I want to help the people who have family members who have passed more recently to realize that they will always miss that person, but they will continue to live and do great things,” says Amelia.

Around twenty students and staff who have lost a sibling or parent gathered in the morning. They had a small ceremony where they to wrote the names of their passed loved ones on paper leaves to be hung on the tree. Students wore blue to show awareness of grieving children.

“I am lucky that I have a very supportive family, my grandparents have been complete bonus parents for me and I am grateful for that,” says Amelia. “But the hardest part is him being unable to see me when I accomplish milestones, those are times where I wish he was there. I constantly think of stuff like that in the future.”

Conversations like Amelia’s allow the entire community to know the meaning of Children’s Grief Awareness Day.

The Caring Club consists of 15 students who wish to make a positive impact at General McLane. Each month, they host events to create a caring atmosphere.

General McLane High School and Parker Middle School began offering grief support group meetings in September of 2014 as part of a regional program sponsored by the Highmark Caring Place, which has offered grief support for children at its Erie facility since opening in 2001. Students and counselors meet every Thursday for about an hour.

To learn more about General McLane School District, visit



General McLane students recognized in Join the Shift contest

Edinboro, PA (November 21, 2017) — Four General McLane High School students were honored for their achievements in a safe teen driving contest, with one winning one of the top student prizes.

Sponsored by Erie Insurance and facilitated through Hamilton Insurance Agency, Join the Shift is a safe teen driving program that uses fun, interactive activities to help teens learn about and spread the safe driving message. Students participate in point-earning activities that include creating safe driving videos, taking a safe driver pledge and sharing content on social media. Students can also earn points by referring friends to sign up during the eight-week contest.

More than 4,000 students from 42 schools across 10 states participated in this annual contest.

The top three students and schools earn cash prizes. In addition, there is a $1,000 schoolwide prize for best video.

Junior Haley Andrzejewski was named the “Best Video” prize winner of the overall contest, earning herself a $1,000 prize. Her video was selected by a panel of judges at Erie Insurance and will be featured on for the next year as well.

“I believe what set Haley’s final product apart from others was all the pre-production work she had done before production,” said General McLane High School Media Arts teacher Tyler Stuyvesant. “Haley has the ability to envision her final product before she begins. She drew detailed story-boards, was prepared, took the contest seriously and delivered a powerful message to her target audience. I was impressed by her work ethic throughout fall quarter, she’s a great student and well-deserving of this prize.”

Hamilton Insurance Agency, a local Insurance Agency representing Erie Insurance in Edinboro, also recognized the top three winners from General McLane, based on points. These students are Aimee Campbell, Ben Howe-Jones and Ben Lipinski. They each received gift cards.

Students created videos in their Media Arts class, a new elective that provides high school students with industry-standard skills in both traditional and new media. According to Stuyvesant, creating public service announcements, like ones created for this contest, are an important part of any communication curriculum.

“It’s a great message that students can be engaged with and can share with the student body and it’s a great opportunity for students to develop their digital communication skills. Anytime we can mix a bit of competition into the classroom, a new level of excitement becomes part of the educational experience,” he said. “I’m thankful for companies like Erie Insurance and Hamilton Insurance Agency for helping support our youth and creating worthwhile competitions like this.”

Georgiann “Turk” Hamilton and Lauren Pusch, of Hamilton Insurance Agency, and Lisa Rodgers, Erie Insurance District Sales Manager, presented the check and gift cards to General McLane students on Monday.



11th Annual Holiday Arts Fair Approaching

EDINBORO, PA (November 6, 2017) – The General McLane Foundation’s 11th Annual Holiday Arts Fair is quickly approaching.

This year’s event will be held Saturday, November 18, at General McLane High School.

Nearly 100 vendors will be in attendance. This year’s crafts include: hand-carved santas, glass sculptures, wood working signs and décor, purses, jewelry, puzzles, soup, birdhouses, ceramics, paintings, pottery, and quilted, croched, stitched and sewn items.

In addition to vendors, there will also be a Chinese Auction and a Silent Auction. Items are still being collected for the Silent Auction.

There will also be performances by General McLane’s bands and choir groups throughout the day.

“Our community’s support for this event over the years has been nothing short of amazing, and we are hopeful that this year is no exception,” said organizer Carrie Crow. “We are honored to be able to host some of our region’s best unique artists and crafters while directly supporting General McLane students. The General McLane Foundation invests in our future by investing in its students through student scholarships, innovative educational programs and capital improvements.”

Last year’s event raised almost $7,400 for student scholarships. All proceeds benefit the General McLane Foundation, an organization founded in 2005 exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. More than $500,000 has been donated to the General McLane Foundation in memory or honor of students, teachers and staff of General McLane School District.

In addition, the General McLane Foundation works with the Gillespie Foundation to give ten’s of thousands of dollars away each year to GM students who have completed two years of college.

Tickets are $2.50 for adults and free for students and children. The doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. For more information or if you would like to make a donation to the Silent Auction, please call 814-273-1033 or e-mail



Former Teacher Creates New Endowment Fund

EDINBORO, PA (November 1, 2017) – If you ever stepped into Jean Smith’s classroom, there was something obvious that stood out – there was no desk.

Instead, she’d pull up a chair and get down to the student’s level. For her, it was all about making her classroom student-focused.

“Getting to their level was so important to me. You learn by doing, that was my philosophy,” said Smith, who was hired as an elementary teacher in 1965.

Smith gave back to General McLane for more than 40 years. Yet, she’s not done giving. Smith recently made a significant donation to the General McLane Foundation to start a new endowment fund that will directly benefit General McLane students.

“I’ve been in the District over four decades and I got to thinking that I wanted to give back to a District that has given me so much,” she said.

Starting this school year, the J.L. Smith Endowment will annually award a grant to elementary teachers in special area subjects, including health, library, music, art and physical education. This will be available to both McKean and Edinboro Elementary teachers.

A committee of current teachers and administrators will decide each year which project should be awarded the money. Edinboro Elementary students created the logo for this fund.

“I choose to use the funds specifically for the specials because it would make the biggest impact since all elementary students take specials,” she said. “The specials within General McLane School District are important because they create well-rounded students.”

Creating well-rounded students was something Smith practiced during her time at General McLane School District. She provided her students with a solid educational foundation through Writing Portfolios, Shakespearean Research Project and the famous mini-society she formed within her classroom throughout the years. From Beanieboro to Gum City to State Champsburgh, Kitty City and even Scooterville, Smith’s most well-known classroom project involved transforming students into entrepreneurs, who would try their hardest to earn Lancer Bucks through their businesses’ products and services.

“Our students need to experience everything,” she said. “One of my favorite things about teaching was when the window would open for a student and they’d experience those daily lessons.”

Smith taught fourth grade for two years at McKean Elementary School and third grade for 42 years at Edinboro Elementary School. She retired at the end of the 2007-2008 school year and received the Lancer Legacy Award for Distinguished Service to the General McLane School District in 2011.

Her pride for General McLane hasn’t diminished.

“I am very proud to have taught in the District. They were always so good at keeping up with the latest trends and engaging students,” said Smith, who hopes to help teachers stay current through this fund.

The General McLane Foundation was founded in 2005 as an organization exclusively for charitable educational purposes that will benefit the students of the General McLane School District. Each year, the Foundation hosts the Holiday Arts Fair and the Golf Outing – two major events that help fund scholarships to graduating seniors.

To learn more about the General McLane Foundation, visit



JWPMS Teacher Receives Golden Apple Award

Edinboro, PA (October 25, 2017) – James W. Parker Middle School teacher Tiffany Brooks received the Golden Apple Award today.

Sixth graders Sarah-Terese Petkac and Hannah Fratus nominated Mrs. Brooks, who has worked five years as a teacher in the District. She currently teaches fifth grade and has previously served as a learning support teacher at JWPMS and an elementary teacher at McKean Elementary.

The GOLDEN APPLE AWARD program is a tradition at JET-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania. JET-TV, in partnership with Edinboro University, honors local educators who have made a positive impact upon the youth of our community. Students submit written nominations explaining why they are nominating a teacher. Each week during the school year, JET-TV visits an area school to announce the winner.

This honor will air Wednesday, November 1 on Action News24 at 6:00 p.m., and the story airs again on Thursday morning, November 2, on Action News 24 between 5:30 and 7:00 a.m.




EDINBORO, PA (October 24, 2017) – General McLane High School expects to be raising some fins this November with a fishy fable for all ages.

Tickets go on sale Friday for Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which has been selected as this year’s high school musical and will be staged at General McLane High School from November 16-19, 2017.

“The Little Mermaid is one of those Disney classics that captures many hearts,” said General McLane High School musical director Bruce Yates. “Our set is going to be amazing, [Buck Snodgrass] is extremely talented and doing a phenomenal job. We also have a very talented cast who’s doing a great job with their characters. We can’t wait for the community to see the show. It’s going to be another spectacular GM show!”

The cast consists of 43 students. Students cast for roles in the musical include: Ariel (Taylor Thomas), Prince Eric (Sam Petkac), Grimsby (Franklin May), Flounder (Gabe Bayle), Scuttle (Kellen Smith), Sebastian (Brennan Herlihy), Ursula (Melina Walters)

Tickets will be available in the High School Office and are $8 for students, $10 for general admissions and $15 for a limited number of “Ariel’s Grotto”, which are the first 8 rows of the center section (about 120 seats per night). The tickets will be available by calling the General McLane High School office at 814-273-1033 ext. 1900. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; 2 p.m. on Sunday.

New this year as part of the musical celebration is The Little Mermaid Sea Tea, an event on November 11 for students in grades Pre-K through 4th-5th grade. This event will feature character performances, sea theme food and drinks, mermaid dancing, face painting and more. Sea Tea tickets are available now at the High School office for $17.

This musical is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

The Little Mermaid performance is just the latest accomplishment for General McLane’s music department. The previous performances of Oliver!, Sweeney Todd and Phantom of the Opera were almost completely sold out. The General McLane Broadway Dinner, which has produced 118 performances to more than 32,200 people over the last 33 years, is held annually in the spring, and the most recent performance incorporated more than 220 students in some capacity.

General McLane High School was selected as GRAMMY Signature School Semi-Finalist in 2014. General McLane High School music teacher Bruce Yates was selected as a quarterfinalist for the 2016 Music Educator Award, presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation.

General McLane School District is dedicated to making the arts an integral component of the District’s curricular and co-curricular programs, which has made General McLane home to one of the most competitive arts programs in Erie, PA. Art shows, musicals and dramas, as well as the Broadway Dinner and choral and instrumental concerts are all part of the McLane Advantage, which is available to tuition students outside of the District.



Edinboro Elementary Recognized as a 2017-18 Title 1 Distinguished School

Edinboro, PA (October 20, 2017) – Edinboro Elementary School was recognized as a 2017-18 Title I Distinguished School by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Federal Programs. Edinboro Elementary is one of only 123 schools in the state to receive this honor.

“Edinboro Elementary’s dedicated staff works hard to support all students,” says General McLane Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “We are proud to receive this recognition from the state to confirm the fact that our staff is committed to empowering students and helping them succeed. We are proud of the staff and students at Edinboro.”

Edinboro Elementary School was selected as a Reward High Achievement School for the 2016-17 school year, meaning Edinboro Elementary is part of the highest 5% of Title I schools based on ELA and Math proficiency. In addition, Edinboro Elementary met all Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs), which included test participation, graduation rate, closing the achievement gap for all students and closing the achievement gap for the historically underperforming students.

All distinguished schools will be honored at the 2018 Title I Improving Schools’ Performance Conference, held January 28-21 at the Sheraton Station Square in Pittsburgh. All of these schools are eligible to be chosen as Pennsylvania’s National Title I Distinguished School. National Title I Distinguished Schools will be honored at the National Title I Conference in Philadelphia in February 2018.

A Title 1 School is one that receives Title 1 funds, which are is financial assistance distributed to schools in order to enhance reading and mathematics.

A project of the National Title I Association, the National Title I Distinguished Schools Program publicly recognizes qualifying Title I schools for the outstanding academic achievements of their students. The program has been in place since 1996 and highlights the efforts of schools across the country making significant improvements for their students.



Edinboro teacher receives grant

Edinboro, PA (October 20, 2017) — Edinboro Elementary teacher Katie Waddell was named a recipient of Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative’s 2017 Clearly Brighter Teacher Grant.

She was awarded $450 for her hands-on science unit focused on the moon. The students will participate in several learning stations and finish the unit by designing a Moon Buggy. This unit will take place in January.

The Clearly Brighter Teacher Grant Program was designed to help kids by providing their teachers with financial assistance for innovative and effective educational curriculum that is not covered by traditional school financing. Individual teachers can apply for grants up to $250, while teams of teachers (two or more) can apply for grants up to $500. Since 2000, REC has awarded $51,000 in grant funds to teachers and educators throughout Northwestern REC’s service territory.

Applications for the next grant period (fall 2018) will be accepted online beginning May 1, 2018, through Sept. 15, 2018. Visit for more information.



JWPMS to host 4th Annual Trail of Treats

Edinboro, PA (October 20, 2017) – James W. Parker Middle School students are adding Halloween festivities for children in the General McLane community.
Members of Student Council and 8th grade advisors are hosting the fourth annual Trail of Treats Fundraiser on Saturday, October 28. Children are invited to gather candy and treats at various stations set up throughout the Middle School between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

“We pride ourselves on supporting our community as much as they support us and this is a way to provide a sense of family through giving the children another chance to wear their costumes,” said JWPMS guidance counselor Pamela Swanseger, who oversees the 8th grade advisors. “This is an opportunity for children ages 12 and under to trick or treat in a safe, fun and indoor environment.”

This event is for children 12 and under and the cost is $3 per child. An adult must accompany any child throughout this event. Costumes are encouraged, but not required.

All candy is donated from local businesses. Previous events, which have averaged 300 trick or treaters, raised money for the Boro Women’s and Family Services, the Erie County Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ECCDHH) and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwestern PA.

This year, all proceeds will benefit the AH Club of Edinboro, a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to provide warm clothing to the children in the General McLane School District.

“The AH Club has been a constant support for students and families in our school district. They give so much help to families in need that we wanted a chance to give back and support that help,” Swanseger said.

General McLane School District serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in Franklin, McKean and Washington Townships, as well as the borough of McKean and Edinboro. The District also serves tuition students throughout Erie County.



Alumni Feature: A Roadie from the Boro

Edinboro, PA (October 19, 2017) – When Edinboro’s J.L. Jamison graduated from General McLane High School in 1980, his background in music was pretty simple: he never played an instrument, he couldn’t tell you much about music notes and he never took a music class.

He was a fan of Aerosmith, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, but most importantly, he loved Rock and Roll.

Fast-forward 35 years, and he’s running a 48-man band crew for Jimmy Buffett.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” Jamison said. “I went to concerts and everything growing up in Erie, but I never pictured myself doing anything like this.”

Jamison left Edinboro right out of high school to work at a ski resort in Lake Tahoe. While working for the lodge, Jamison started working for a local band, Unicorn.

He started doing lighting and then headed down to Key West to work with a variety of bands, including The Producers, the Bangles and Berlin. It wasn’t long before he got the call.

“When I started touring with bands, we would stay at people’s houses or camp grounds or in one hotel room. The sound guy and I roomed together, and he was the one who got me on the tour with Jimmy,” Jamison said. “When I first got hired, I didn’t know who Jimmy was. But I got a call saying, ‘they want to interview you and no one on our tour has to room together, not even the t-shirt guy.’ That was the coolest thing to me – not sharing a room.”

With that, Jamison said he was sold. He headed down to Hawaii in December of 1984. The following summer, he was called back to join Buffett’s lighting crew. It was there that another opportunity came up.

“[Buffett] and I were always running into each other, and we’re at a bar and he goes, ‘I’m thinking about opening a club in Key West, you should come help us out.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, great idea,’ but I didn’t really think he was serious. Then I got a call, ‘Buffett’s down in Key West and wants to know where you are.’”

Jamison was one of Margaritaville’s first employees when it opened in 1985. When he wasn’t on tour, he would serve as the soundman for the restaurant.

Although he still books the bands for Margaritaville, including Edinboro’s own High Life and Tiger Maple String Band, Jamison’s involvement with Jimmy Buffett has expanded from when he first started as a member of his lighting crew. Now, he serves as everything from a Project Stage Manger to Crew Chief to Entertainment Director and Studio Manager.

“I run the band crew, which is all of the crew that takes care of the musicians. From lighting to sound and video to wardrobe and set, that all goes through me,” Jamison said.

Jamison has toured all over with the band, from Tokyo to Dubai to the West Indies and Caribbean.

“We were just at the Byron Bay Bluesfest, and that was really cool because I know a lot of these bands from here in the States, so it was fun getting together on the other side of the world,” Jamison said.

When he’s not on the road, Jamison also runs Buffett’s studio, Shrimpboat Sound. It was there that they recorded George Strait’s album, Troubadour, which earned a Grammy Award for Best Country Album. An image of the Grammy-award winning album hangs in his cottage in Edinboro, which he frequents quite often to visit his family.

Jamison’s mother was a librarian and reading teacher at Edinboro Elementary School, and his father was a football coach and health and physical education teacher for General McLane High School. His four older sisters Beth, Kathy, Cindy and Jenny also graduated from General McLane.

“My parents are 93 and 90, so I want to spend more time with them. I was gone so much after high school, it’s nice to spend time with them now,” Jamison said. “I also love Edinboro Lake. I grew up on the lake, so it was like my playground. Those are my favorite things about coming back home – family, friends and the lake.”

Jamison and his wife live in Key West with a beagle, Clover, and a cat named Ritto.

He just recently got back to Key West from Europe, his first time home since Hurricane Irma went over the Keys.

“The damage and loss of historic landmarks is pretty hard to explain, but it’s one tough little island chain and seeing the whole community come together, we will bounce back in no time.”



GMHS and Great Lakes partner for iPad Storage Solutions

EDINBORO, PA (October 12, 2017) – When General McLane School District began planning for its elementary iPad rollout, technology supervisor Jeremy Dylewski searched for the best storage solution on a budget.

The result? A one-of-a-kind drawer that allows each teacher to securely store and charge the iPads, as needed, within an already existing space – and all locally sourced, thanks to Great Lakes Case & Cabinet.

“The customization of the product to best fit our needs, financially and logistically, was the driving force that led to the partnership,” Dylewski said. “We’ve been amazed at their professionalism, quality of the products and customer service. The entire experience has been above and beyond – and we’re supporting a local business, which makes it even better.”

Great Lakes Case & Cabinet (GLCC) is a metal fabricator based out of Edinboro and specializes in the manufacture and integration of indoor and outdoor enclosures for the storage and protection of IT equipment.

Dylewski worked with a GLCC engineer and team to completely customize this product from start to finish. He was involved with the plan throughout the entire process, from the drawing it on the whiteboard until implementation. In addition to complete customization, face-to-face interaction, and keeping tax dollars in the local community, the costs of the project added significant savings to the District. The District saved approximately $600 each drawer compared to the average cost of a mobile charging cart.

The new storage system occupies unused space within the technology cabinets that already exist in the classrooms for technology needs. Forty drawers were created and placed in the elementary homerooms.

Through the latest technology rollout, General McLane School District successfully implemented a 1:1 iPad initiative for students in grades 3 through 12. Students in Kindergarten through second grade each have access to iPads through a classroom set that contains 12 iPads each.

The focus of the 1:1 technology initiative is to meet students where they are and help boost student achievement, engagement and increase students’ creativity, collaboration and critical-thinking skills. Technology is just one of the tools teachers use in the classrooms.

The district began its iPad rollout in 2012. James W. Parker Middle School piloted the 1:1 program during the 2013-2014 School Year and General McLane High School expanded the program during the 2015-2016 School Year. General McLane High School students take their iPads home, students in grades 3 through 8 leave theirs in the schools.



GM Alumn makes name in extreme running scene

Edinboro, PA ( October 5, 2017) – When Morgan Elliott graduated from General McLane High School in 2010, he left as an all-region and all-district performer in cross-country.

Now, he’s breaking out in the trail-running scene as one of the top extreme runners in the United States.

For the second year in a row, Elliott took first place this past August in the Audi Power of Four Trail Run 50K. As a result of this international race, he is the continental ultra sky champion.

A month later, Elliott placed second at Montana’s Run the Rut – 50K.

And then, just a few weeks ago, he set a FKT (fastest known time), for a popular route in Colorado called the Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop. The four-pass loop is about a 27-mile trail hike/run with around 8000 ft of elevation gain.

This weekend, he will compete again in the Flagstaff 55K. Last year, he took first in this race and became the overall winner of the US Skyrunner Series in the ultra category.

“I definitely want to be running for a while,” Elliott said. “I don’t care how successful I am on the podium, I really enjoy running, the competiveness and the journey of training. It has been so much fun.”

While at General McLane, Elliott lettered four times in both track and cross-country and once in swimming.

In Cross Country, Elliott won the McDowell Invitational, was the region 5 champion, and qualified and medaled at states. While a senior track member, Elliott was the District 10 champion in the 800 and qualified for states in the 1600. In the 1600 preliminaries at the state meet, he ran 4:23, the second fastest mile in Lancer history.

He continued his running career at Slippery Rock University, thanks to advice from General McLane High School teacher and coach John Guzik.

“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run in college, but he told me that I may regret it if I don’t do it. He encouraged me to try it out, even if it was just for one season, and I owe him for that, he was a great coach,” Elliott said. “He really motivated me and kept me running when I had no one else to do it.”

It was a good thing he listened. During his senior year, Elliott set a school record for the 1500 meter—3:50.18. This record was just beaten this past spring.

He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2014 with his Bachelor’s of Arts in Park and Recreation Resource Management and minor in Aquatics, although Elliott jokes that he majored in running. It was there where he realized he was tired of running on the road and enjoyed the technical terrain that came with running in McConnells Mill State Park.

“I love being in the trails when the sun is shining onto the trees and river. The technical terrain is more callous, with more rocks, roots, mud and ruggedness to it than a flat, cross-country course. I really love the grit of it,” Elliott said. “In these races, you have to be completely aware of where you are placing your feet and have to be focused as you change gears running up or down hill.”

Elliott currently lives out of his car and travels to different spots to train for races.

“It’s very simplistic, how little can I get by with. I wake up at trailhead and go run on it – the freedom of it all is very amazing and surreal,” Elliott said.

His races have between 10,000 to 12,000 vertical feet of gain within a span of 31 miles. His favorite races are the ones near rivers and waterfalls, where Elliott said he is able to jump in whenever he wants. Through his running, he serves as an ambassador for inov-8, an all-terrain running brand.

After the races finish for the year, he plans to return to Asheville, North Carolina, where his family has relocated. His goal is to eventually qualify for the U.S. Ultra Distance Running Team and represent the United States overseas.

His experiences at General McLane, however, have made a lasting impression.

“It took a bunch of little steps to get me where I am now. The first step began when I was a member of the 7/8th grade cross-country team and then it continued throughout high school,” Elliott said. “My experiences at General McLane morphed me into the athlete that I am today.”

His favorite memories are ones of his teammates.

“The pride we all had back then, we are all happy to be part of General McLane. My teammates made a big difference in my high school experience, and I loved my teachers and I loved my coach,” Elliott said.

Guzik gave him a mantra that he still does today.

Condition, strong, confident, relaxed, focused, prepared.

That last part – prepare – is what keeps him running.

“That’s why I do it, mostly for the journey of it, the 9-12 weeks that you put into it. The race is one day, one morning. I want to be healthy and out having adventures in the mountains. I don’t want to stop.”



General McLane to raise money for Houston Schools

Edinboro, PA (September 28, 2017) –It’s been only a couple of weeks since General McLane High School’s National Honor Society Induction ceremony took place, but students are already to work.

Throughout the next week, General McLane High School’s National Honor Society is hosting a district-wide fundraiser to help those affected by the hurricanes this past month.

“It’s not just about helping people you know, but it’s about helping people who need it. This is a cause that is bigger than any one of us,” said president of National Honor Society and senior Nicole Foulkrod.

Through the Dollars for Disasters Fundraiser, students will be raising money for Jefferson Elementary School and the Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Houston.

This District had all 200 school facilities damaged by the hurricane and 100 of them have been inaccessible.

“I’m worrying about what’s going to happen to me after high school and these students don’t even get to go to school and may not even finish high school because their building has been destroyed. It’s life changing,” said senior and National Honor Society member Maddiy Schutt. “This is something tragic and terrible that has happened to these students.”

The students connected with a former General McLane teacher, who is now teaching for the Houston Independent School District. Mrs. Christine Zimmer taught English and Special Education at James W. Parker Middle School. She left the District in June to relocate to Texas.

The National Honor Society kicked of the fundraiser with an assembly on Thursday and it will run through next Friday. Students placed bins in each of the homerooms and will collect the donations daily.

James W. Parker Middle School and Edinboro Elementary School are also participating in the fundraiser and will begin collecting money next week.

The class (or grade level at Edinboro Elementary) that raises the most money will receive a classroom party. Some of the teachers have even added their own incentives. High School art teacher Mrs. Katie Thompson, for example, will let students style her hair for the day if her class raises the most money.

McKean Elementary students have been raising money in a separate fundraiser to help the victims of the recent hurricanes. Third grade students spearheaded this effort.

“I am very proud of their efforts. In social studies our students learn that they are members of many communities and regardless of the size of the community, their responsibility as a member remains the same,” said McKean Elementary Third Grade teacher Lesley Little. “When someone in your community is hurting or in need, you try to reach out and help if you can. I believe that participating in such an activity will help shape caring citizens for our future.”

They have raised more than $600 through their fundraising efforts and will donate this money to the Red Cross.

To participate in either of the fundraisers, individuals can drop off money at one of the corresponding schools.

General McLane School District serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in Franklin, McKean and Washington Townships, as well as the borough of McKean and Edinboro. The District also serves tuition students throughout Erie County.

To learn more about General McLane School District, visit




Edinboro, PA (September 15, 2017) – General McLane High School senior Alex Lofgren has been named a semi-finalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The National Merit Scholarship Program is a nationwide competition for recognition and awards conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. In each annual program, approximately 16,000 academically talented high school students are honored and have the opportunity to compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.

As a High School student, Logren is involved in the Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force, and various General McLane High School clubs, including: Robotics Club, TEAMS, National Honor Society and the Principal’s Cabinet. Last February, Lofgren received a Pennsylvania House of Representatives Citation by Representative Ryan Bizzarro.

Lofgren qualified for this recognition through scoring among the highest on the 2016 Preliminary SAT/NATIONAL Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Next, he will need to fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Students will be notified in February of the Finalist Designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be notified starting in April and selected on basis of their skills accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

General McLane School District serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in Franklin, McKean and Washington Townships, as well as the borough of McKean and Edinboro. The District also serves tuition students throughout Erie County.

To learn more about General McLane School District, visit



GM welcomes twelve new teachers to the District

EDINBORO, PA (August 22, 2017) – General McLane School District welcomes twelve new teachers to the District this year.

Haley Adams will be an Autistic Support teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. Adams recently graduated from Mercyhurst University with dual-certification in both Special Education and Early Childhood. She worked extensively with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders at the Canisius Institute for Autism Research, as well as throughout her student teaching. Adams also worked with at-risk students in the city of Erie through an after-school tutoring program and also served as a mentor for inner city students. Adams played volleyball at Mercyhurst University and earned numerous PSAC honors. She also studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and France.

Ashley Enstrom will be a seventh grade math teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. She previously worked as a mathematics teacher for Erie Public Schools for six years, working at both Strong Vincent and Collegiate Academy. While with Erie, Enstrom was a member of the Math Committee to rewrite the Algebra 1 curriculum to state standards. Enstrom graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education from Edinboro University, with her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Gannon University.

Brianna Erdman will be a part-time music teacher at McKean Elementary School. She taught music at St. Thomas Elementary School and Corry Alliance Academy. Erdman has also served as a vocal coach at Union City High School, an assistant marching band director for Corry Area School District and the Director of Liturgical Music for her church. She graduated from Mercyhurst University with her Bachelor’s in Music Education.

Brenda Geraci will be a first grade teacher at McKean Elementary School. Geraci was with McKean Elementary School last year serving as an AmeriCorps member. She previously worked at Growing and Learning Center. Geraci graduated Magna Cum Laude from Edinboro University with dual-certification in Early Childhood and Special Education. While at Edinboro, Geraci was the president of BOROeyc, an affiliate of the national Association for Education of Young Children.

Ami Iaquinta will be at Autistic Support teacher at McKean Elementary School. Iaquinta has worked with students with special needs at Central Tech for 13 years. Iaquinta is very involved with the Special Olympics program and is a Handle with Care instructor. Prior to working for Erie’s Public Schools, Iaquinta worked with Sara Reed. She graduated with her Bachelor’s from Indiana university of Pennsylvania and earned her Master’s in Special Education from Edinboro University.

Jessica Inks will be a second grade teacher at McKean Elementary School. Inks worked part-time at Little Acorn’s Learning Center since 2014 and served as a long-term substitute for Northwestern. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Edinboro University with dual-certification in Early Childhood and Special Education. She also has a STEM Endorsement. She was selected to present the Pennsylvania Council for Exceptional Children Conference and was selected to be a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success Honors Fraternity. Inks has also been involved with Erie Youth Soccer Association.

Lindsey Jahn will be part-time Secondary Special Education Teacher at General McLane High School. Jahn graduated Summa Cum Laude from Edinboro University, where she also was a four-year EUP and PSAC Scholar-Athlete. Jahn was also a member of numerous student and professional organizations, including the Council for Exceptional Children and the National Society for Leadership and Success. She has served as a counselor for Summer’s Best 2 Weeks and a volunteer for the Unified Track and Field team.

Emma Jones will be an Emotional Support teacher at Edinboro Elementary School. Jones is quite familiar with the District, as she has served multiple positions within the District for the past three years. Jones was an AmeriCorps member, as well as a long-term substitute at both Edinboro and McKean Elementary Schools. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Edinboro University, where she was involved in various student organizations and participated in multiple community outreach programs.

Julia McCollum will be a music teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. She has served two years as a Choral Director, Band Instructor and General Music Educator at Roosevelt Middle School. McCollum has participated in various professional development opportunities and organizations. She earned her Bachelor’s in Music Education with Magna Cum Laude honors from Edinboro University, where she served as a Peer Advisor.

Melanie Mischler will be teaching 8th grade Language Arts at James W. Parker Middle School. This past school year, Mischler worked as a part-time sixth grade teacher at James W. Parker Middle School and a library aide at General McLane High School. Mischler has previously held long-term substitute assignments within the District and has also taught middle and high school students in Kenya, Virginia and Philadelphia. She holds a number of certifications, including English, Reading Specialist, Library, Elementary and Mid-Level English and Language Arts. Mischler graduated with her Bachelor’s from Cairn University and received her Master’s in Reading from Edinboro University.

Katy Spencer will be a Learning Support Teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. Spencer has served as a Learning Support at Union City Area Middle/ High School for 11 years, as well as one year as a Literacy Coach / Reading Specialist. At Union City, Spencer took on the role as the Special Education Department Head for seven years and served on the Restructuring Committee for the District-wide Literacy Initiative. Spencer graduated Summa Cum Laude from Edinboro University with her Bachelor’s in Education and her Master’s Degree in Reading.

Tyler Stuyvesant will be the Facilitator and Instructor of STEM Education for General McLane High School. Prior to coming to General McLane, Stuyvesant taught Technical Education at McDowell, film-making in Hawaii and STEM in Connecticut. Stuyvesant was the director of a Photography Indy feature film and is a professional cinematographer. He graduated with his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Film ad Video production and his Educational Certification in Art and Technical Education from Edinboro University.



JWPMS adds new PE technology to improve student fitness

EDINBORO, PA (January 5, 2017) – Basketball, double dutch, dodgeball, sledding and … technology?

Introducing the 21st century physical education classroom.

James W. Parker Middle School (JWPMS) is engaging students through interactive technology to improve students’ cardiovascular fitness.

Through the IHT Spirit System, students now have the opportunity to manage their individual health and fitness. The technology includes heart monitor watches, docking stations, PC’s to run the IHT Spirit system software and the software itself. The watches are intended to motivate students by instantly sending them an email with their heart rates throughout the period ensuring that they challenge themselves and hit specific heart zones.

“The investment is in our students. Our district and our HPE department believe that students should be exposed to a variety of opportunities throughout their educational experience,” said JWPMS physical education teacher Robert Santos. “It is part of what we call the ‘new’ PE.”

At the middle school, students are exposed to a blend of team sport activities, lifetime activities and non-traditional activities. Activities include sledding, castle ball, tchoukball, basketball, football, gymnastics and running.

“Within our diverse curriculum, emphasis is also put on cardiovascular fitness. These trackers provide us with even more insight into our health and training,” said JWPMS physical education teacher Luke Jahn.

The first step? Inspiring students through an artistic new room – thanks to a joint project between the health and physical education department and the art department.

A former storage room, the health and physical education department’s new Exercise Technology Room connects the middle school physical education curriculum with the IHT technology.

Seventh-grade art students participated in the collaboration by creating wall murals for a one-of-a-kind activity-themed design in their new room. The theme for the room is movement.

“Our hope, when designing this mural, was to entice students to get active and create a sense of excitement about physical education,” said JWPMS art teacher Christina Martin.

The first step was to design images based on units taught in physical education at JWPMS. Health and physical education teachers Heather Karns, Santos and Jahn, along with Martin, sketched ideas to kick-start the project. From there, students were recruited to help edit and sketch images, prep the room and paint.

Although many students were involved with the project, there was a main group of students who dedicated their time and came in during homeroom to make this project a reality. Those students include Lyric Shaw, Regan Luebbert, Bella Dorman, Sydney Farbotnik, Hannah Haddix, Zelie Maloney and Emily Moran, Kaitlyn Dubynskiy.

IHT isn’t the first piece of technology to be used within JWPMS’ physical education curriculum. In 2015, the teachers purchased an Xbox 360 4G Kinect with fitness, dance and sport-related games through the William and Mary Smith Grant. This system has been used for adaptive physical education classes and students with medical injuries that cannot participate in the regularly scheduled class. It is also incorporated into the middle school’s fitness-based physical education class.

“This is also a benefit to students with visual or hearing challenges because the watches use both colors and sounds to monitor heart zones,” Karns said. “We now have a true, interactive, cross curricular, room that will meet students at where they are.”

General McLane School District serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in Franklin, McKean and Washington Townships, as well as the borough of McKean and Edinboro. The District also serves tuition students throughout Erie County.

To learn more about General McLane School District, visit