School day shortened to create standardized district schedule

By Austin Brown, news editor

As you have probably noticed, there have been changes to the bell schedule. A change that has students arriving at the building later and leaving earlier because the student school day was shortened by forty-five minutes.  

In previous years, the school day started at 8:15 a.m. and ended at 3:24 p.m. for Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School.However, this year classes start at 8:25 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. for every high school in the district because the daily schedule has been standardized across the district.

The disappearance of the school wide tutorial and ‘C’ lunch are direct results of the shortened school day.  These changes have frustrated some students like Junior Jacob Steiger. “Because of the changes I don’t have time to study during school, and ask for assistance from my teachers if needed,” Steiger said.  Despite the change, all PENNCREST schools are still meeting the 990 hours of instruction required by law.

There are many reasons the district bell schedules were aligned according to PENNCREST Superintendent Michael Healey. “We tried to standardize the arrival of all the schools. We put a consistent period of arrival so the teachers may look at student data, and look at instructions to better serve students. When we want those things, we have to put give and take in the schedule.”

While there have been mixed emotions about the loss of the school wide tutorial, it was cut because it was not designated for a common purpose. “I am not opposed for giving students remediation, but all three schools were doing different things with the class period,” said Mr. Healey.

However,  Mr. Healey did not dismiss the possibility of returning to a tutorial period. “ Mr. Nuhfer [Principal at Cambridge Springs Jr. Sr. High School] is going to get together with the other principals to bring to me a plan to evaluate whether or not that period is necessary, and an operation for a remedial period at the end of the day.”

Senior Kalib Kiser said, “I think that the changes regarding the schedule hardly affect any students, and any students who have negative comments regarding the change are just complaining. Honestly, what’s it even matter?”

Saegertown to celebrate Shawn Morelli Day on Nov. 3

By Bailey Kozalla, sports editor

SAEGERTOWN, PA –Two-time paralympic gold medalist, Shawn Morelli will return to Saegertown High School on Nov. 3 to be honored at “Shawn Morelli Day.” Students and faculty will celebrate her achievements and learn about her story. The day will begin with a school-wide welcome assembly in the school’s auditorium. Then Morelli will visit Saegertown Elementary School and attend a special luncheon with students in the high school library. The afternoon will include a press conference with the staff of The Panther Press and visits to health, anatomy, and biomedical engineering classes. This will be Morelli’s first trip back to her alma mater.  “I think it is pretty cool. To be recognized by the school is something I never thought of. It is an honor for me to give back my school and hometown,” said Morelli.

Shawn Morelli is a 1994 graduate of Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School. She attended Penn State and Webster Universities in 1998 and 2001. After graduating, she became an engineer officer in the United States Army. In 2007, Morelli was injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. It left her with neck and nerve damage, traumatic brain injury, and permanent blindness in her left eye. Two years later, Morelli decided to take up cycling. “I took up cycling as a way to heal mentally and physically. After I was wounded it awoke so much in my life that was different and my therapist and PT were thinking of ways to get me active again as I regained ability to walk and balance. They suggested cycling believing it would give me back some of that freedom I had lost,” Morelli said. She now lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., and is working on a Ph.D. in public and community service. She coaches a high school soccer team, mentors kids at a local community center, and speaks to health classes.

Morelli has a total of six medals in her cycling career. Two gold were from her recent win at the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio. Morelli was one of nine cyclists competing in the C4 road race category. Crossing the finish line with a time of 29:25:40 enabled her to capture gold, after 9.3 miles of pedaling. In the individual pursuit race, Morelli competed against eight other cyclists in the C4 category. She placed first in the preliminaries and won the gold medal match against Australian Susan Powell with a time of 3:59.407, five seconds ahead of her competitor.


Trump teetering at the polls

By Kaitlyn Walsh, features editor

After the second debate, America is coming closer to THE decision: Who will be our next President? After last Sunday’s Presidential Debate, the public has credited Donald Trump to be more professional and presidential than in the first debate, but Hillary Clinton is still projected to win based on a CNN poll.

As of today, Clinton is still winning by eight points. Donald Trump is starting to fall behind due to his comments towards women during an Access Hollywood  interview from 2005 between him and Billy Bush while his microphone was still on. His comments range from “Grab her by the p****”, and “When you’re a star, they [women] let you do it. You can do anything.”

Due to Trump’s comments, some of the republican leadership pulled their endorsements of Trump. Notables figures who no longer support Trump include Senator and 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain, California Governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Some party heads even called for Trump’s dismissal. South Dakota Senator John Thune said, “Donald Trump should withdraw and Mike Pence should be our nominee effective immediately.”

In light of these accusations, Melania Trump broke her silence Monday night during an interview with Anderson Cooper, stating that the women coming forward about her husband sexually assaulting them are lying, or that they are a part of the Democratic Party trying to bring down his campaign.

“This was all organized from the opposition. And with the details – did they [democrats] ever check the background of these women?” said Melania. “They don’t have any facts.”

Donald Trump also claims that the election is rigged against him, which he boasted on Twitter and during a rally in Wisconsin. “Remember, we are competing in a rigged election,” said Trump Monday night. “They [election officials] even want to try and rig the election at the polling booths, where so many cities are corrupt and voter fraud is all too common.

However, these claims of voter fraud are questionable. Election officials in ten states, including Missouri, New York, Delaware, New Mexico, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island Oklahoma, and Washington released their voter statistics from 2008 and 2012 to ABC News, where voter fraud incidents were only less than five out of thousands and sometimes millions of people.

After the third debate Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton was declared the winner of the final battle between the two candidates by a thirteen point margin according to a CNN poll. This win gives her a sweep of all three debates. However, 54 percent of people who watched the debate said it would have no effect on their election day vote. America will make its final decision Nov. 8.


Kicking senioritis to the curb


By Sydney Kightlinger, editor in chief and senioritis crusader  

Any senior who tells you that they aren’t suffering from a case of “senioritis” is lying to you and probably themselves. Even the most dedicated and driven students are susceptible to the virus. And it is understandable. Most seniors only have two or three credits keeping them from graduation, so electives are finally prevalent in their schedules.

In theory, senior year is a cakewalk, but in reality, it’s like trying to dance after you’ve been sitting on your legs for three hours. It’s hard because you were lazy.

However, there is a way to combat the sloth!

  1. Get a Job

It is always tempting to go home after school, curl up on the couch, and watch a little Netflix. But when one episode becomes a season, you are getting into murky territory. If you are watching multiple hours of Netflix without a qualm, you have a touch of senioritis. This is one of the first symptoms.  

A little structure to your afternoons makes a world of difference. It gives you a sense of purpose, and some spending money (and, something to add to your resume).

  1. Assign yourself assignments

Adults love harping on us to keep a planner because they work. “I don’t need to write that down. I will remember to do that tonight” are words frequently followed by missing assignments and dropping GPAs. When seniors utter this cursed phrase, they  are earnest, but at 6:30 p.m. they gravitate more towards Netflix than thirty-one calculus problems. Miraculously, the next day as we waltz into class, our memories are jogged, but it is too late. Our GPAs will rest in peace.

Now if we would just write down the assignments to begin with,  there is a better chance we won’t bury ourselves so deep in late work that we can’t see our goals anymore.

  1. Keep your goals in mind

Sports? Check. Community Service? Check. Good Grades? Check.

At times, high school feels like a four-year audition. But when  we have checked all the boxes on the college applications and can see the light at the end of the tunnel as the acceptance letters roll in, that is when we are most susceptible to the senioritis virus.

Colleges still care about what you are doing after they say yes. They don’t want bums. A lot of schools require you to send your transcripts every grading period to ensure you are still on track. And there can even be money awarded for not “burning it down” from the day after senior project night to graduation. So keep in mind that while we’ve finally made it to the end, it is really just the beginning of our real lives.

All in all, as seniors we have our entire lives ahead of us. High School is the shortest four years of our lives, even if it seems like the longest right now. We need to be examples for the underclassmen. Our legacy shouldn’t be that we “gave zero cares” as we burned it down. It should be that we worked diligently to the end. That doesn’t mean we can’t watch netflix. We just have to learn moderation because the countdown to adulting is on.

#MuslimsReport trends after presidential debate

By Kassie Boyd, staff writer

Following the second presidential debate on Oct. 9, Republican candidate Donald Trump sparked a media frenzy and trending hashtag: #MuslimsReport. A muslim woman asked both candidates about Islamophobia, a pressing issue in the 2016 election. Both answered, but Trump’s reply was especially scrutinized: “We have to be sure that Muslims come in and report when they see something going on.”
‘Muslim twitter’ responded accordingly, in what turned out to be a satirical parody.




Possibly the most popular tweet, with 91,000 retweets and 179,000 favorites came from Moustafa Bayoumi, an associate professor of English at Brooklyn College.


This election is no stranger to internet satire. From more humorous hashtags like #WhenTrumpisElected, to more serious ones, such as #ImWithHer, and #NeverTrump, social media has played a major role in both campaigns.


Key Club ‘Graveyard Gala’ set for Oct. 28


By Ben Haylett, director of broadcasting

Hey, are you looking for a fun way to spread the Halloween spirit without the fear of being attacked by a vicious clown? Well, you should come to the Graveyard Gala on Oct. 28 sponsored by the Pantherian Key Club and show off your amazing creation and sick dance moves.

The dance is from 7- 9:30 p.m. and the entire school is welcome to come. You can buy snack and drinks, and prizes will be given out for the most spooky, creative, and humorous costumes. The proceeds of the dance will go to Trick or Treat for Unicef and other Key Club sponsored activities.

Additional informations can be found at, or ask Sydney Kightlinger. Hope to see you there!

Nature trail opens at Saegertown Cemetery

By Emily Ford photo editor, and Grant Phelan staff writer

The Saegertown Cemetery French Creek Trail’s grand opening was Sunday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m.  Leading from the southeast corner of the cemetery, the trail is marked with a sign followed by the pathway leading to benches donated by members of the community. The purpose of the two benches are for cemetery visitors to honor and remember their loved ones, according to Saegertown Cemetery Association Vice President Chester Morfenski.

A group of seniors from Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School helped complete trail with the SCA President Chuck Orr and Vice President Chester Morfenski during the summer as part of their senior projects. Seniors who volunteered include: Grant Phelan, Kaitlyn Walsh, Joseph Gajdowski, Kevin Field, Alexis Oldakowski, Skylar Leszek, Emily Ford, Nakia Rivera-Dalton, Jude Mattocks, Jeff Baldwin, John Jackson, and Jesse Stewart.

“It feels good that we did it voluntarily, and that people know high school kids did it for the community benefit,” said Stewart. Students were asked to shovel and rake wood chips, donated by Telliho Tree Service, to mark the trail.

“So many people were very willing to help,” said Morfenski. “A majority of donations were not even asked for or cost us anything.”

Saegertown Women’s Improvement Club and Charles Lake donated signs to help better mark the trail. Saegertown Hardware supplied all tools that were necessary to construct the project. Thrivent Financial contributed money to reward the workers with pizza for their hard work and t-shirts. Wilson Building Supply donated all the posts and wood, crucial for fencing. Linda Fink provided seeds for landscaping. Mitch Hohmann of Blooming Valley Landscaping designed the trail through the woods.  Sunset Memorials provided cement bases for the benches that were sponsored by the Waid and Mizner Funeral Homes along with community member John Hasenkopf.

Stewart said, “I think it will be rewarding for the community. That is why it felt rewarding to complete the project.” All cemetery visitors are welcome to use the trail at their leisure.

Community gears up to “Make a Difference”



By Hillary Twiford, staff writer

Crawford County Make a Difference Day marks its twenty-second year tomorrow, Oct. 15. Make a Difference Day is a nonprofit organization dedicated to roofing, raking leaves, painting, installing handicap ramps, leading food drives, and providing other services for those in need. In 1994, 25 projects were completed, but it is estimated a total around 150 projects are on tap for 2016. A skilled supervisor leads each project.

Clark Bryant, a Make a Difference Day supervisor, has been with the organization for 20 years. “I’m glad I got involved. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people. It’s definitely a worthwhile project because the people receiving help are in need and very appreciative,” said Bryant.

Senior Rachel Barner will be participating with the Pantherian Key Club this year by helping winterize a house for an elderly community member. “I am really excited. Every year we do this it is incredible to see how many people come out to improve our community.”

Volunteers meet at 7:30 a.m. at the Diamond Park in Meadville. Registration is available now and until the morning of the event. Anyone can help by volunteering, providing tools and supplies, and donating money. Click here to go to the Make a Difference Day website for more information.