“The Incredibles 2” is a super addition to the current Pixar line-up

by Dustin Steiger, arts and entertainment editor

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Steiger

The 2004 Pixar masterpiece known as “The Incredibles” has been a beloved and enjoyable film for years, and while its sequel may not quite capture the full extent of the film’s original glory, it still meets its audience with an entertaining and compelling story.

Picking up right where the original movie ended, “The Incredibles 2” tells the story of how, after failing to live up to the public and the media’s standards, the Parr family (aka “The Incredibles”) must work to restore not only their own name, but the names of all the heroes cast aside by society. Mrs. Incredible (voiced by Holly Hunter) takes the spotlight as she battles against crime in the city while Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson) struggles to care for the kids while she’s away, all while the mysterious villain known as the “Screenslaver” works in the shadows.

Other notable voice performances include those of Samuel L. Jackson, Brad Bird, Catherine Keener, Bob Odenkirk, Huck Milner, and Sarah Vowell.

incredibles 2 pic“The Incredibles 2” takes a risk by mixing the usual, brightly-colored world of animation with subject matter that can be surprisingly dark at times. While the movie may be considered a “Children’s Movie,” it still has enough plot and edge to keep its adult audience occupied. The movie boasts a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94%, while its predecessor- the original “The Incredibles”- has a 97% approval rating based on the same site. While the sequel may not be quite as beloved as the original, it’s still worth a look due to its beautiful animation and clever plot.

Overall, “The Incredibles 2” is an enjoyable adventure that’s sure to keep your attention. It mixes small slice-of-life moments with the thrills of a super-powered adventure, making it an excellent choice for the whole family. The film is set to be released onto iTunes and other digital platforms on October 23, while its Blue-Ray and DVD release date is set for November 6.

Junior high students voice Homecoming opinions

By Taylor Munce, sports editor and Sam Hetrick and Grant Anthony, junior high reporters

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Seventh graders Joelle Jackson, Fayelynn McWright, and Hannah Hyden are looking forward to the dance Saturday night.

Homecoming is an opportunity for junior high students to rub elbows with the upperclassmen. With all the buzz surrounding court and who will reign as King and Queen, their voices often get lost in the noise.

Seventh grader Fayelynn McWright is looking forward to seeing how her friends and peers look. “I’m not wearing heels, though, I don’t want to break my neck!” She feels that homecoming should not just be about getting a date for the dance. “I don’t need a man to feel good about myself,” McWright said. “I just like hanging out with my other Single Pringle girlfriends.” Her friend Joelle Jackson agreed: “We’re all fries in a McDonald’s box. We stick together.”

Freshman Kat Diesing feels similarly about dates and homecoming. “I am too good for all these men,” Diesing said. “I need to go with my best friend Aidan. She always makes it a blast.”

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Seventh graders Collin Jones and Alyssa Arblaster will be attending the dance together.

Most of the Junior high students agree that friends make the dance all the better. Seventh grader Collin Jones said that he looks forward to hanging out with friends at the dance. “I’m also looking forward to singing, dancing and having a great time,” Jones said.  Both Jones and fellow seventh grader Alyssa Arblaster are looking forward to the music. Both agree that their favorite song is “Africa” by Toto.

The Homecoming dance is not the only event that students are looking forward to; many are also excited for the football game.“The football game is fun and exciting because you get to see who the King and Queen are,” said Arblaster. “Getting to know new people at the dance is fun as well.”

 

Saegertown welcomes back Mr. Justin Hayes

By J1 students

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Mr. Justin Hayes

Third time’s a charm for Mr. Justin Hayes, who has returned to Saegertown to teach senior government and economics and provide ESL (English Second Language) services after being previously furloughed from the district. He replaces Mr. Brian Lipps who took a leave of absence for this year.  

Mr. Hayes graduated from Edinboro University and started his teaching career in an alternative education school in Erie in 2007. Then he went to East High School in 2009, where over a third of the student population comes from outside the United States. For five years, he helped refugees and other international students learn English as a second language. Students from all over the world, including countries like Somalia, Nepal and Iraq, were represented by flags that hung around his classroom. From 2015-17, he worked for PENNCREST: first as an ESL specialist for the district, then as the technology education teacher at Saegertown Elementary. However, due to budget constraints, he was furloughed the for the 2017-18 school year.

Mr. Hayes chose to look on the bright side of what many would have viewed as a career setback. “It was totally amazing,” Mr. Hayes said. “I got to hang with my daughter for the first year of her life. I don’t take that opportunity for granted.” According to Hayes, family is his highest priority. He lives with his wife Adrienne, his 11 year old step son, Trent, and his 13-month-old daughter Teighan. They also have two small dogs (Bishop and Kingston) and a Maine Cat named Rook.

Outside school, Mr. Hayes enjoys watching and playing sports. He played both tennis and basketball in high school and remains an avid fan to this day. Another passion of his is cooking, especially on his electric smoker, where smoked wings are one of his self-reported specialties. He also enjoys listening to reggae music and his favorite band Sublime.

Mr. Hayes looks forward to forming relationships and connections with students and staff. “I feel like a new teacher [at Saegertown],” Mr. Hayes said. He noted that this is his first time teaching classes with a majority of students whose native tongue is English.

Here he strives to connect with his students in ways that he could not at East High, and he has a willingness to learn from his students. “Please take my mistakes and learn from them. Please take my experience and apply it,” Mr. Hayes said. “I definitely don’t have all the answers.”

(This web post is the first completed by the J1 students as a collaboration. Look for future bylines.)

 

Superintendent Glasspool promises changes for PENNCREST

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

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Dr. Timothy Glasspool

Students and staff at PENNCREST can expect to see changes in their schools starting in early October. Over summer break, new superintendent Dr. Timothy Glasspool worked to reduce standardized testing in the elementary and high schools, increase opportunities for students across the district, and work closely with administration and outside sources to modernize PENNCREST.

One of Dr. Glasspool’s initiatives is to decrease the amount of standardized testing in both the elementary and high schools. “We need to reduce the frequency of lengthy standardized assessments in grades K-12 and spend more student instruction time engaged in purposeful teaching and learning,” Dr. Glasspool said. He also suggested the possibility of the district paying for the PSATs, and reimbursing students who receive a 3 or above on their Advanced Placement exams.

One change that may be indicative of the district’s future direction has already been implemented at Saegertown High School. As many students at SHS have noticed, French class is now being taught online by Mr. Nathan Youngblood from Maplewood. Dr. Glasspool plans to expand upon the idea of online classes by working closely with the Virtual Learning Network, one of the largest networks of district-based virtual academies in the United States. By partnering with VLN, students at PENNCREST will be able to take classes not offered inside their buildings.

Dr. Glasspool also plans to improve upon electives and activities already offered at school. In order to increase participation, Dr. Glasspool suggested “school activity buses” to provide students with transportation. This option will be explored.

Another of Dr. Glasspool’s objectives is to balance the budget without raising taxes for the second year in a row. “We can spend the money we have in a better ways,” Dr. Glasspool said. He wants to achieve this without the loss of any teachers or faculty, noting that, “Staff makes the difference at schools.”

Earlier this year, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 44, which created the committee that will develop the criteria to measure school safety, and help administer grants based upon preparedness. At the September work session, the PENNCREST school board revealed that the district received $25,000 towards ALICE training, possible visitor management, exterior door upgrades and portable metal detectors.  Dr. Glasspool and Principal Tom Baker are slated for ALICE training in Pittsburgh on Sept. 24-25 of this year. “I don’t know what to expect,” Mr. Baker said. “But I hope it will be beneficial to not only our school, but the whole district as well.” PENNCREST is also in the process of applying for a competitive grant that would award the district more funds to be put towards security.

The PENNCREST website will also be receiving a makeover. Dr. Glasspool plans to streamline the graphics and increase social media like Facebook and Twitter in order to keep community members up to date. Community members that follow the PENNCREST Facebook page may have already noticed the updated profile picture. More updates will follow. In addition, students may soon be able to receive texts about buses and two-hour delays rather than the traditional phone calls.  

Dr. Glasspool promises to bring new ideas and perspectives to PENNCREST. He will remain a visible figure in the administration and maintain an open line of communication. “Actions will speak louder than words,” Dr. Glasspool said. “And I’m excited to see what students and staff have to say.”

 

 

 

New superintendent outlines plans for PENNCREST

by Kassie Boyd and Braeden Kantz, news editor and sports editor 

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Dr. Timothy Glasspool

On Monday June 4, Dr. Timothy Glasspool was announced as the new PENNCREST superintendent, replacing Mr. Brad Whitman, who filled the position since mid April of 2018. Glasspool, a former superintendent of Plum Borough School District, was chosen by a committee assembled by the IU-5.

Dr. Glasspool attended Gannon University, then went on to receive his masters at Carnegie Mellon in 2003. He then earned his doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006. He served at New Kensington-Arnold and Burrell school district, before becoming superintendent of Plum Borough in January 2012.

During a recent interview, Dr. Glasspool shared four areas of focus for PENNCREST: curriculum, communication with stakeholders, school safety, and fiscal stability. He also aims to boost the district’s Future Ready PA Index profile by altering the curriculum and instruction that affect standardized test scores.

School safety is another matter that Dr. Glasspool intends to tackle during his tenure at PENNCREST. He advocates for active shooter preparation (ALICE training) that would better prepare students and staff in the event of a threat. Dr. Glasspool addressed the issue of firearms in school buildings by acknowledging the potential ramifications. “As soon as a firearm is brought into a school, it is a potential weapon for someone to use,” Dr. Glasspool said. “The person armed must know how to use and defend that weapon and must be mentally and physically stable.” He intends to work closely with law enforcement to improve security.

Former superintendent Mr. Whitman was closely involved in the search for the new superintendent through his work at the IU-5. He cites Dr. Glasspool’s leadership style and personable nature as what set him apart. Mr. Whitman will remain at PENNCREST for the next week or two to help Dr. Glasspool transition into the position. “The district is in good hands,” Mr. Whitman said. “It will continue to move forward in a positive direction. The beginning of next school year will be very exciting.”

During his time at PENNCREST, Dr. Glasspool vows to listen, remain visible, and share and exchange thoughts with the community. He plans to add opportunities for students and to work with the board and community as a cohesive unit. “There is not a one size fits all for education,” Dr. Glasspool said. “I believe that the best place to educate a student is in a public school.”