French Creek Community Theater packs the house at Disney World

 

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Saegertown students Dustin Steiger, Rachel White, and Blake Hamilton performed at Disney with a group from French Creek Community Theater over the Thanksgiving break.

By Dustin Steiger, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Roughly six months ago, the student performers of French Creek Community Theatre (FCCT) began training for “Team Disney 2018,” a special opportunity to perform as a show choir on Saturday, November 24 at Disney Springs. The young actors and actresses involved with FCCT were more than excited to show Orlando what they had. As Thanksgiving Break began, the students, including  Saegertown students Blake Hamilton, Rachel White, and myself, made their way to Florida.

As a proud FCCT performer myself, I can personally say that the experience was absolutely exhilarating. The group arrived and checked into Disney’s All-Star Music Resort a couple days before the performance, which gave us a couple days to get familiar with the parks and to explore. On Friday, November 23, the group attended two “Workshop” sessions, which gave us the opportunity to discover the process that Disney performers and voice actors go through first-hand.

For the first workshop, we learned and performed a dance routine for the Disney song “I Have a Dream,” and for the second workshop, we recorded voice-overs using footage from the Disney movie “Frozen.” While exploring the parks and attending the workshops were certainly amazing, the real highlight of the trip came from the Team Disney 2018 performance on Saturday.

With the hot sun beating down on us, we arrived at the Marketplace Stage in Disney Springs and crowded backstage, where we waited anxiously. After the group said a quick prayer, we were introduced by the announcer and walked on stage to find the seats filled, with a large number of people standing behind the seats in order to watch. With every song we performed came rounds of applause and smiles from the audience. The show lasted about a half an hour, with the group performing fourteen total songs, including popular Disney tunes such as “The Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” and “Colors of the Wind,” as well as a few Broadway hits, such as “One Short Day” from the musical Wicked and “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent.

“I one-hundred percent won’t (forget this),” said Jonathan Merritt, FCCT performer and a former Saegertown Panther. “(These are the) best years of my life.”

“This theatre is my family,” said Rachel White, “and I can always count on them. I will always remember the adventures.”

Ms. Nova Dinsmore receives REC grant for Hispanic Fair

By Morgan Radwick, design editor

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Ms. Nova Dinsmore

After the success of the first annual Hispanic Fair last school year, the Northwestern Regional Electric Company has awarded Spanish teacher Ms. Nova  Dinsmore a grant of $200 to put towards supplies and materials for this year’s event.

Ms. Dinsmore assigns her students a Spanish speaking country to research. Then they create tri-fold poster boards and prepare culturally accurate food that corresponds with their designated country. Students display their efforts at the Hispanic Fair. 

Ms. Dinsmore plans to spend the funds on baking and cooking supplies. “Last year students made food. However, we ran out quickly,” Ms. Dinsmore said. “This year I am hoping to give the students supplies so they can make more food.”

The Hispanic Fair will be held on Arts and Academics Night, which is set for May 29, 2019.

Katelyn Young verbally commits to Lehigh

By Will Phelan, social media editor

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Saegertown junior Katelyn Young

Junior softball star Katelyn Young has caught the eyes of high-level college coaches since her freshman year, and on October 27,  she verbally committed to play at Lehigh University. “I was planning on attending Buffalo until late this summer, when the coach I committed to left,” she said.  When UB’s coach moved to another school, other schools reached out to Young. Lehigh was one of them. “I identified Lehigh as a school I would be interested in because of their great mix of high-level softball and stellar academics,” Young said.  

After visiting, Young was drawn to the campus:  “I love the entire campus because it is so beautiful,” she said. “I also like that the school is on the smaller scale, so it will be like home.”  Located in Bethlehem, Pa., Lehigh’s student total is on the low end of most universities with about 5,000. Contrarily, she noted its distance from home.  “I don’t like that it is 5 ½ hours away,’’ Young said. “But it is actually not that bad of a drive.”

While she isn’t sure of her educational plans, Young says Lehigh has plenty of options.  In terms of the softball team: “With everything being positive and the likeliness of being able to play in the NCAA tournament, I decided Lehigh was the place for me,” she said. She also noted that her future coach is personable and friendly.  

“Coach Troyan actually drove to my house and enjoyed taco Tuesday dinner,” Young said.  The two have a solid relationship already and look forward to her future at Lehigh. Of her decision Young ultimately said, “I have to say we are both very excited.”

Midterms 2018: Democrats seek to retake the House

By Braeden Kantz, managing editor

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Senior Mikayla Balog, who is shown here working at the polls in Saegertown Borough, will be voting for the first time today.

Today’s midterm elections will be crucial in determining which political party will control the House of Representatives for the next election cycle.  Residents of Crawford County, which is a part of Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional district that stretches from Erie County to Butler, are heading to the polls to vote on several local and state elections that may prove to be critical in the Democratic party’s projected retake of the House majority for the first time since 2010.

Saegertown seniors Ben McWright and Mikayla Balog will be voting for the first time in the 2018 midterm elections. “I’m excited to participate in politics for the first time,” said Balog “I want to have a say in the way the country is progressing.”

Crawford County, which has consistently voted Republican in recent elections, will select either Democrat Ron DiNicola or incumbent Republican Mike Kelly for Representative of the 16th Congressional District. They will also choose either Bob Casey Jr. (D-incumbent) or Lou Barletta to represent Pennsylvania in the senate. In addition, there are several state-level races for  governor, state senator, and state representative.

According to today’s Meadville Tribune, there are currently 52,547 registered voters in Crawford County, including 27,626 Republicans, 18,498 Democrats, 269 Libertarians, 55 Green Party, and 6,099 independent or otherwise affiliated voters. The 16th Congressional District, which was altered by the state Supreme Court ruling that the previous Pennsylvania Congressional Map was unconstitutional due to gerrymandering, may experience different results than previous elections. For live election results check out this link.

 

Mrs. Heather Patton to run New York City Marathon on Sunday

By Kassie Boyd and Braeden Kantz, editor-in-chief and managing editor

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Mrs. Heather Patton will run the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

In 2017, Saegertown teacher and alumni Mrs. Heather Patton became the first woman to complete the Great Lakes Marathon Series. She is set to make headlines once again at the New York City marathon on Sunday, Nov. 4.

This year’s applicant pool was record-breaking, with a staggering 105,184 runners applying to the free, non-guaranteed lottery drawing. Mrs. Patton is one of the 15,640 athletes accepted. A total of 50,000 athletes will compete in the NYC marathon. Those who were not drawn in the lottery represent local clubs or charities that were guaranteed entry.

Not only will Mrs. Patton be running in Sunday’s race, she will also represent the United States at the opening ceremony tomorrow in New York City’s Central Park, which will be live streamed on https://abc7ny.com/ at 5:25 p.m.

Patton will begin the 26.2 mile race at roughly 10 a.m. on Sunday. “I’m excited,” Mrs. Patton said. “The NYC Marathon has been on my bucket list forever. I finally got in and I’m ready for it.”

Phelan caps off golf career with trip to state finals

by Nick Archacki, news editor

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Phelan (left) took twenty-eighth place at the PIAA Boys AA State Individual Championships.

As the sun rose in York, Pa. on Oct. 22., Saegertown senior and local golf prodigy Will Phelan took to the course for the last time in his eventful high school career.

Phelan, an athletic and academically talented senior, trekked across the state for the fourth consecutive year as he participated in the PIAA Boys AA State Individual Championships on Oct. 22 and 23 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.  

On Monday, Phelan shot an 18-hole round of 89, putting him in thirty-third place out of thirty-five golfers for the tournament. “Heritage Hills is a tough course with little room for error,” Phelan said. “I enjoy playing it, even though the layout of the course doesn’t really suite the strengths of my game.” In response to his score of 89, Phelan brought in another 18-hole round of 84, bringing his overall total to 173 and finishing in twenty-eighth place, the exact position Phelan placed at last year in this event.

Phelan is the first golfer in the history of Saegertown High School to compete at the PIAA State Championships in all four years of high school, competing with the team in 2015 and 2016, and individually in 2017 and 2018.

Each of his trips has been a unique experience. “All four years that I competed there (Heritage Hills) were different, and having several people golfing with you for the team event is a totally different atmosphere and experience than just golfing for yourself,” Phelan said. “I love the experience of golfing individually, but I prefer to golf with the team and have them there with me.”

Phelan admits he did not finish his golfing career as strongly as he hoped, but he still thoroughly enjoyed his experiences with varsity golf. “I’ll miss the connection I had with the golf team, the practices that we had, and the good times we shared,” Phelan said.

The camaraderie between team members has left Phelan with several fond memories. He cited when junior Nick Archacki plowed into the reese hitch of a Nissan truck with a golf cart at the Western Regionals Team event in 2016 as a memory that he will forever cherish. He also noted that one of his greatest moments was when he shot an 83 at the Treasure Lake Silver Course at the Western Team Regionals event in 2015, helping the golf team move on to the state finals for their first time.

Throughout his golfing career, Phelan has stunned many with his skill, grit, and unmistakable power. Phelan has evolved from a curious and inexperienced freshman to a notable and respected golfer who has left his lasting impact on Saegertown. “I’d like to thank the team for their support and Coach Hanley for the encouragement,” Phelan said. “It’s been a great ride.” 

Prom moves to Erie location for ‘Enchanted Garden’

By Chloe Luchansky, staff writer

No one at Saegertown can remember a time when prom was held in Erie. All of that is about to change. On Thursday Oct. 11, the junior class met with junior class adviser Ms. Nova Dinsmore to decide the 2019 prom venue, and it was decided that prom will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Erie Ambassador Center on May 17, 2019.

On Oct. 24, members from the prom committee traveled to the venue to consider decorations. The theme is “Enchanted Garden” and the colors are blue and white. “We lucked out on the location because it’s a beautiful space and it was the only place available on May 17,” said junior class president Lauren Haylett.

The junior class is currently doing a Yankee Candle Fundraiser. If students sell at least 25 items, the cost of their ticket will be covered.  

Some students have expressed their concerns about the added distance, but the prom committee hopes the Erie location will give students more options for dinner and photo locations. “Having prom in Erie gives more options for dinner,” Haylett said. “The drive is no farther than the one to Hotel Conneaut, so it all works out.”

“A new location brings endless possibilities,” said junior class advisor Ms. Nova Dinsmore. “The 2019 prom committee is very excited to present the most Enchanted Prom.”

Seniors test the waters with early dismissal

By Claudia Fetzner, photo editor 

Since the first week of October, seniors have been given the opportunity to leave thirty minutes early every Wednesday. Whether students use this extra half hour to nap, catch up on homework, or grab a bite to eat, seniors are benefitting from their early dismissal. Senior soccer player Brenna Repko said: “It’s great, I am able to go home and get some work done before practice.”

The process for leaving is made easy by Mr. Chris Greco, science teacher and senior class adviser, who stands at the office doors and quickly checks out the eager seniors. The checklist, created by Assistant Principal Kylene Koper, is updated weekly to include those who meet the requirements (see below). Seniors must meet these expectations every week in order to be released.

Seniors who attend the Crawford County Career and Technical Center have been given the opportunity to arrive thirty minutes late on Wednesdays to compensate for missing afternoon releases. “It’s something different,” said senior Charlie Johnson. “It’s definitely better than being here at 8 a.m.”

In order to be eligible for release, seniors must:  

  • have no attendance issues (all excuses are turned in with no illegal or unexcused absences)
  • have zero discipline issues
  • have no zeros in classes and have passing grades in every class
  • not be needed for the Intervention/Extension period
  • must have a signed parent form to give permission to leave on record in the office

Sign up for fun on Friday afternoon

By Dustin Steiger, arts and entertainment editor

Two extra half-hour periods will be added to the school day on Friday, Oct. 26. The schedule will be the same as Wednesdays, with a morning period and an afternoon period.  

The morning will be used as meeting times for established clubs with advisers such as Key Club, Hi-Q, Campus Club, and Prom/Spanish Club. The afternoon period, on the other hand, will be used for fun recreational activities, such as a Poetry and Creative Writing Club with Mrs. Stacey Hetrick, an electronics room with Mr. Chris Greco, and Four Square in the Gym.

Sign-up sheets will be posted outside the teachers’ respective rooms. Students will report to their first period teachers at the start of the day and then head to their clubs in the morning.

If you aren’t in a club, you will remain in your first period class for a study hall in the morning. In addition, eligible seniors who have their senior release forms filled out on time will be allowed to leave at 2:25 p.m. 

To check out the club and activity lists, click the links below.

ACTIVITIES LIST

CLUB LIST