Principal’s Principle: The tale of the tie

By Principal Doug Wilson


Mr. Doug Wilson leaves Saegertown on October 5 to begin his new job as principal of Iroquois High School. Mr. Tom Baker will be the new principal of SHS. 

There is a little known fact about all formal ceremonies that occur at S.H.S. that many of you may not have noticed. I have shared this legend with very few people over the years. At the 2015 graduation ceremony, however, I casually related this story to Mrs. Hetrick. When she heard the story, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, “You have to write that up as one of the Principal Principles.”

So Mrs. Hetrick, this one is for you…

Our former superintendent was fond of saying “everyone is replaceable.” To most of us that is hard to hear, but in most cases, it is the absolute truth. Each year seniors graduate and staff gets reassigned or retires. However, Saegertown High School still moves on. Shortly, I will be leaving the hallowed hallways of this school, and Mr. Baker will be taking over as your principal.

Over the past twenty-five years, S.H.S. has had six other educational leaders. Each one of us have all had something in common: the Panther Tie. While I am not sure where the tie originated, I do know that I am the sixth principal to wear this
fabled blue tie with gold panthers streaming across the front. It is a special tie that is only worn about four times each year. It has seen better days but it is still the favored tie in my collection.

Six years ago in July as Mr. Randy Deemer was departing for the last time, he walked to his car, came back into the building, and handed me the tie. I thanked him for the gift and he looked directly into my eyes and simply stated, “Take care of this tie and take care of this building.”

While I appreciated his action, I did not appreciate his words to their full extent.

In October I will be passing the Panther Tie off to Mr. Baker. Chances are that it will show up on the opening day of school, at the NHS induction, and at graduation as it always has for the last twenty-five years. I now realize the importance of Mr. Deemer’s words. He wasn’t telling me to take care of the tie and the building, he was asking me to do these things.

I will give the tie to Mr. Baker on my last day at SHS. I have every confidence that he will take care of the tie and he will take care of the building.

(Note: Mr. Wilson has written his column, The Principal’s Principle, for every issue of The Panther Press for the past six years. We thank him for being an inspirational contributing writer.)

Show your spirit for homecoming this week

By Sarah Shaw,  staff writer

Student council encourages all students and staff to participate in Spirit Week.

Student council encourages all students and staff to participate in Spirit Week.

With homecoming this week, the Saegertown student council and senior court have buckled down to make this a week of festive celebration. “We’re doing spirit week along with other things we’re trying to get done before the week comes,” said Ben Courson, student council treasurer. “We have four pages of checklists to do.”

Spirit week kicked off today with a display of flannel shirts and pink to celebrate the final day for Principal Doug Wilson. 


On Tuesday, wear tie dye. Wednesday, wear the assigned colors by grade level. On Thursday, dress as a fan of your favorite TV show, and on Friday, dress head to toe in blue in gold. For more information, papers are posted around the school. Following Friday’s pep assembly, the football team will take on the Maplewood Tigers at 7 p.m at Cannon Memorial field.

The formal homecoming assembly will take place October 7 in the auditorium, starting at 10 a.m. “Students can vote for homecoming king and queen Thursday, October 8 during history classes,” said Jacob Perrett, student council president.

All the homecoming candidates are ecstatic to take part in this special week.. “I’m super excited to just have a fun time. I think we have a good group of students,” said McKenzie Ashbaugh. The king and queen will be announced before the game Friday night, and the dance will be Saturday from 7:30-10 p.m. in the gym. Cost is $3 per person and $5 for a couple. 

Scouting and Hunting for hidden talents

By Scout Van Cise and Hunter Trzeciak, Art and Entertainment editors.

Have you ever wondered what talents Saegertown students are hiding?  That’s exactly what we wanted to investigate.  Senior Colten Burdick, though you may see him performing in chorus concerts and in school musicals, actually writes his own music.  “I try to think of what past experiences I’ve had and how to react to those experiences through my lyrics,” said Burdock. He began taking voice and music composition lessons in 2014, and has been writing ever since. To share his talents with friends and family alike, he performed in the 2015 Spring Showcase.  

However, Burdick is not the only student hiding his musical talents. Junior Dane Rhoades, whom you probably see on the football and baseball fields as well as the basketball court, conceals his guitar playing abilities.  Dane began playing when he was in fifth grade by taking lessons for a year.  According to Rhoades, taking lessons was “A good decision because I got to learn something new.”  He rarely performs for an audience, but he recently played at a family event. But music isn’t the only talent being suppressed in our school.

Rachel Lance, a sophomore, has a knack for drawing and painting.   She discovered her skill at a young age when her mother encouraged her to start drawing.  “My mom is my inspiration,” said Lance, speaking about the beginning of her art career.  Lance’s work has been displayed at Meadville Medical Center and several art galleries.  Lance has also won various first place awards at the Crawford County Fair.

Though we may not see it displayed all the time, we have many talented students here at Saegertown High School.  Those you may think you know inside and out could be hiding something amazing!  
If you have a secret talent that you want to share, contact Scout Van Cise at or Hunter Trzeciak at

Self-Service competes with App Store

By Jackie Galford, features editor and Kaitlyn Walsh, advertising

Where did the App Store go? Students have investigated their iPads and found something unusual.They were informed that an alternative catalog has been installed on the iPads.

Self-Service is a student access portal to administration approved apps. Teachers can request educational apps to put

The self-service app was introduced to the school this year in order to allow students to use their iPads to their full potential.

The self-service app was introduced to the school this year in order to allow students to use their iPads to their full potential.

into the portal that will tie in with their classes. It’s similar to the App Store, just controlled.

But with this convenience comes consequences. “I’ve experienced some frustrations with Self-Service, including the apps not showing up,” said senior Colten Burdick. For multiple students, several apps failed to appear after they were repeatedly attempted to be downloaded. Students are finding the unavailability of the App Store an annoyance.

This new Self-Service (app) has surprised and frustrated some of the students with its faulty set-up. “I’ve had a few issues with Self-Service.  Apps wouldn’t install when I tried to download them,” said seventh grader Ava Jones.         

Greg Henry, network administration specialist at Saegertown High School, described the benefits of the new system: “Self-Service is more supervised than the App Store. With Self-Service, there is no longer a lot of abuse on the iPads with the games. I believe only 15-20 percent of students have had trouble. It definitely makes our summers a lot easier because we don’t have to go through and wipe everything out on the iPads,” Henry said. “Overall, I think it has gone well, and will probably be used in the future.”      


Football team fighting for a successful season

By Cutter’b Pritchard, staff writer and Alainia Erdos, photo editor

The numbers in the program may be small, but the hearts they have are something to mention. Although bodies help no matter the sport, “Kids have to do what’s right by them,” said first-year head coach Adam Horne. A lot of senior leadership for the team has been lost in this past year due to graduation, but there could be players stepping up for the struggling program to help them win their first game, and ultimately, make this season a successful one.

The Saegertown Panthers highschool football team line up on the sidelines in preparation for their first game against Mercyhurst Prep, which took place on September 4. (Photo by Emily Loccisano)

The Saegertown Panthers football team line up on the sidelines in preparation for their first game against Mercyhurst Prep on September 4.
(Photo by Emily Loccisano)

Junior Dane Rhoades, starting quarterback, said that his season would be successful if the team, “played an entire game instead of taking a half or a quarter (of the game) off.” Captain Tony Offi, junior and starting running back for the team (before he sprained his ACL) will be out for approximately six weeks. Offi said, “The team should’ve spent more time in the weight room, myself included.”

When asked about the loss of important players on the offense, Horne said that the seniors who graduated last year will obviously be missed, but the underclassmen are growing into the positions. One recent change in personnel has been at quarterback. Rhoades, who joined the team after the start of the season, is now the starting quarterback, a position formerly held by junior Zack Nishnick. Horne said, “Nishnick needed to go to the running back position because of Offi being hurt and Nishnick is being a team player.”

On the defensive side of the field, Offi said the defense is struggling in comparison to last season because of their lack in size, but senior Christopher Mattern-Gilchrist and junior Tyler Brooks are leading the defensive linemen. To summarize, Horne said, “a young team has growing pains.”

Although the team hasn’t won many games in the past few seasons and currently has a record of 0-4, they are rebuilding with new leadership, champion-like effort, and the mindset of winners. The Panthers will be in action this Friday, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. at Eisenhower High School.

News of the Weird

By Ben Haylett, broadcast and Ben Courson, broadcast

Authorities are looking for a man in Alaska who was reportedly harassing a mother bear and her cubs in a river. What makes this interesting? The man was wearing a realistic bear costume.

As the onlookers watched, the man began to get close and splashed water in the bear’s direction. When he was finally pushed away from them, he entered his car, with the costume still on, and drove off.

Carson Jones, an eighth grader at Saegertown High School, said, “I think that was a dare for a frat boy.” Sam Michaels, a junior, said, “He was being an idiot.”

None of the eyewitnesses did anything to deter the man from getting closer to the bears. “It depends on where he was at the time, if he was next to the cubs, then I wouldn’t have done anything. If he was running away then I probably would,” said Michaels.

This incident raises questions about security regarding how close people should be able to get to such large and dangerous animals. Mr. Horne, a ninth grade history teacher, said, “There should be less security, that way people that want to interact with bears can do it once, and then you wouldn’t have to worry about them again.”

Yearbook sales are underway

By Michala Medved and Hannah Draa, staff writers

Every year, Saegertown High School’s dedicated yearbook staff captures the exciting events that go on throughout the year, creating a very special yearbook. “I think every year is different and this year I have a lot of confidence in our staff,” said yearbook advisor, Mrs. Dee Henry. Senior Katie Loyd, editor of the senior section, decided to become an

Advertisements are posted around the school encouraging students of all ages to buy a yearbook.

Advertisements are posted around the school encouraging students of all ages to buy a yearbook.

editor this year to ensure that it would look “amazing.”

Last year’s yearbook theme was “Perspective,” featuring many impressive twists. “Every staff has a unique theme and we’re working hard to get as much coverage of everyone as possible,” said Mrs. Henry.

Editor in Chief Emily Ford, a junior, said she is “excited to see how the yearbooks turn out,” because there are a lot of new members who are capable of some really outstanding work. Ford explained that yearbooks are on sale now through November 30. They can be purchased by filling out a paper order form or online at

By ordering the yearbooks online, students can have their names engraved on the front of the book, and they can order decals to add a special touch. The starting price is $60; however, it will be an extra $6 to have your name imprinted and $3 extra for a decal.

Underdogs to wonder dogs: Marching band looks to defend LMBA title

By Caitlin Bieganski, opinion editor

There was tension in the air on Saturday, Sept. 19 as the marching band awaited the results of its first Lakeshore Marching Band Association (LMBA) competition of the 2015-16 season. Located at McDowell High School, the competition included just two Class A competitors, Saegertown and Erie All City, of the eleven bands in attendance.

When the score sheets were tallied, the 32 members of the SHS band brought home their first victory with a score of 70.3 compared to Erie All City’s 69.8. In addition, they won the Class A High Music and General Effect captions (awards

given for specific areas of performance). According to Mr. Baldwin, the band “really put their hearts into their

The band performed September 16 at McDowell High School, winning the Lakeshore Marching Band Association (LMBA) competition with a score of 70.3. (Photo by Danelle Henry)

The band performed September 16 at McDowell High School, winning the Lakeshore Marching Band Association (LMBA) Class A competition with a score of 70.3.
(Photo by Danelle Henry)


In fact, this year’s show is titled “Hearts.” The performance includes three pieces: Heartrate, Heartbreak, and Heartbeat. It also features two soloist musicians: Logan Krasa on tenor sax and Zachary Courson on alto sax, and color guard soloist Catrina Erie.

“At first I was a little sketchy about the show’s theme, but I think the idea is clearly expressed in our show. I really like it, to be honest,” said Drum Major Ben Courson.

The band has overcome several obstacles this season, such as losing their color guard instructor Elizabeth Mascitti, but their hard work definitely paid off on Saturday.

“The band really impressed me this weekend,” said Color Guard Captain Catrina Erie, “Especially the guard. They’ve come so far in such a small amount of time.”

On Oct. 17, the band will compete again at Edinboro University.

“I’m very excited about this season because we have a ton of room to grow. There’s a lot of potential,” said Courson.

Eighth grade students read to make a difference

By Kaity Gage, marketing director and Bailey Kozalla, staff writer

Instead of the average eighth grade advisory class where students take advantage of a free period and finish homework, Mr. Brad Wise’s advisory is reading to the Life Skills class as part of a youth serving youth project.

“I wanted to make it a make-a-difference class,” Wise said.

Wise wants his advisory class to get to know each other better, to go outside their comfort zones, and to interact with other children within the school.  “They’re nervous when they go down (to the MDS room), but when they come back, they feel a sense of accomplishment,”  said Wise.

Every Tuesday, five eighth graders go to the MDS room, each bringing two children’s books to read for twenty minutes to one of the students.  Each pair goes to a separate room, so they can read with minimal distraction.

“My favorite part about reading to the students is spending time with them because I don’t really get to talk to them,” said Karley Price.  Price reads to Life Skills student Chloe, who is visually impaired. Price has a tactile book that includes Brallie that she reads to Chloe. A tactile book has texturized pages for the blind to feel.

Even though the students were originally reluctant, they now go and read to the MDS students because they get to experience something new. Not only does it help the Life Skills students, but it also encourages the advisory class to make positive environments in the school.

“I would be willing to go above and beyond to brighten these kids’ days,” said Price.

(Students involved in the 8th grade advisory class include David Deets, Andy Hasychak, Cameron Jordan, Darian Kaye, Casey Kozalla, Maddie Mondi, Aurora Phillips, Karley Price, Dayna Woodruff, Katelyn Young, Michael Whippo, and Martin Kimmel)