PMEA District II Band Festival: Six advance to regions

By Ally Shenk, Staff Writer

Musicians from forty schools took the stage Jan. 7-10. (Casey Fetzner/SHS)

Musicians from forty schools took the stage Jan. 7-10. (Casey Fetzner/SHS)

Saegertown High School played host to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District II Band Festival last week (Jan. 7-10). One hundred-seventy students came from forty high schools across the three-county region to compete for a position in Region II Band, which will be held at Fort LeBoeuf High School in February.

The musicians were supposed to begin practice and participate in auditions on Wednesday night, but, due to weather delays, they didn’t start until Thursday, January 8. The community concert was held Friday at 8 p.m., with a second concert on Saturday at 1 p.m.  The guest conductor Robert W. Smith said, “Preparation was easy, and I got a sense of where the students were at skill wise.” The only difficulty he seemed to face was getting the students to play as a whole. Smith is a nationally known composer who has over 700 works to his name. Saegertown band director Mr. Patrick Baldwin called him a “rock star” among composers of concert band music.

Several students from Saegertown made it to the Region II Festival: seniors Kristina West, Matt Peters, and Makayla Miller; juniors Ben Courson and Jared Shaffer; and sophomore Jesse Stewart (who earned first chair in a field of eight tubas). “We learned how to transpose Mary had a Little Lamb,” said senior Kristina West. At Region Band, students will have the opportunity to compete for a position in All-State Band, which will be held in Hershey, Pa. To see more photos from the event, visit http://www.edline.net/pages/Saegertownjshs.

Johnston (‘10) returns from service in Kuwait

By Garrett Johnston, Assistant Features Editor

Homecoming parade.

Homecoming parade.

Saegertown alumnus, Dylan Johnston (‘10), brother of Saegertown High School junior Garrett Johnston (that’s me) and son of MDS aid Michele Johnston, returned to the states on Nov. 4 after spending seven months on active duty in Kuwait. He returned to Crawford County on Nov. 6 after spending the required time at Fort Indiantown Gap in Harrisburg, Pa.

Johnston family at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Johnston family at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Dylan is a part of the 201st Red Horse Unit, a division of the United States Air National Guard. The unit entered Fort Indiantown Gap after being escorted from Newark, New Jersey by a police bike and a motorcycle group called the Guardian Knights. “It was really touching to see the parade when he returned,” said Michele. “I had no idea they would have an escort like that.  When I finally got to see him, I didn’t say anything. I just hugged him. So glad to have him home.” Dylan plans to return to Penn State Mont Alto in the spring to complete his final semester and receive his degree in forestry.

Saegertown ladies travel to PSB for Women in Engineering Day

By Lianna Ketcham, Website Editor

Sophomore Sydney Kightlinger created a windmill at Penn State Behrend's Women in Engineering Day on Nov. 21..

Sophomore Sydney Kightlinger created a windmill at Penn State Behrend’s Women in Engineering Day on Nov. 21. (photo by Sydney Kightlinger)

Saegertown High School ladies ventured to Penn State Behrend today to participate in the ninth annual Women in Engineering Day. Sixteen girls in grades ten and eleven attended the day of math and science related activities along with many other schools in Pennsylvania and southern parts of New York. Guest speaker and PSB alumni, Tiffany Beers from Nike talked to the students about the opportunities that await those with engineering backgrounds.

Students attended different sessions where they created things such as windmills, gumball machines, and lava lamps. Presenters came from varying companies to help with the activities: Construction Process Solutions, Ltd., Erie Insurance, Eriez Magnetics, FMC Technologies, GE Transportation, and LORD Corporation. The program is designed to help steer students into thinking about their lives after graduation.

“It was very informative. I have been thinking about my future a lot recently, and I think engineering is definitely plausible for me,” said sophomore Sydney Kightlinger. Many students left the campus with thoughts of engineering possibilities.

To find out more, visit the Women in Engineering Day page at Penn State Behrend.

Greco’s class cuts up the crayfish

By Kaylee Luchansky, Web Site Editor

Mr. Greco's advanced bio classes took their dissection practical on Thursday, Nov. 6.

Mr. Greco’s advanced bio classes took their dissection practical on Thursday, Nov. 6.

This week in Mr. Chris Greco’s Advanced Biology classes, the juniors and seniors have been dissecting crayfish. This is their first dissection. After picking their crayfish from a bucket, the students studied the outer anatomy before the inner anatomy.

“It’s interesting to see and understand the functions of a body, and the daily struggle it goes through,” said junior Nick Harnett. After three days of dissection and two of review, the classes had a practical [test] today. Junior Lindsey Price said, “It was really neat to see the internal structure of a crayfish.”

After this first activity, the class will dissect dogfish, bullfrogs, and then rabbits. According to Mr. Greco, the benefits of dissection include hands-on learning opportunities and seeing things better than you could in a text book. “Students always have fun dissecting,” Mr. Greco said.