Seventh grade STEM students head to the woods

 By Sydney Kightlinger, design editor

Seventh grader Isaac Levis bends a tree so Jane Hetrick can collect leaves for the STEM project.

With the weather quickly changing and Autumn approaching, the seventh grade went to the woods behind the football field on Sept. 19 to collect leaves for their classification projects.

The seventh graders spent the morning with the objective of finding fifteen unique leaves. “It is good we are outside, but I can’t reach the leaves,” said Jaden Reagle. The trees had to be “chest high” (4.5 feet) and 14 centimeters in diameter.

As the leaves were collected, the students wrapped them in newspaper and pressed them between their textbooks for preservation; however, some students felt that the lack of tree variation made for difficulties in creating a diverse collection.  “A lot of the trees are the same and they are high,” said Landis Crawford.  

This is the first phase of the ongoing classification project, which will continue in mid-October as they progress into the scientific inquiry and classification units. Overall, the outdoor adventure of the classification project was well received. “The outside is a lot of fun, Jack, but sometimes you walk into spider webs,” said Jane Hetrick.

Baby Norwood is on the way

Mrs. Norwood helping a student in her classroom.

Mrs. Norwood, who is expecting a baby in Novemeber, is helping a student in her communications class.

By Lauren Haylett, Junior High Staff

“Potentially I could’ve gone without knowing the gender, but I like being able to make preparations. My husband really wanted to know, though,” said Mrs. Susan Norwood, English and communications teacher, who is preparing to welcome a little girl in November.

At this point, the baby’s name is still undecided. “We have it narrowed down, but we don’t want to say until she’s born because then you get some people who are like ‘Oh you don’t want that name.  I knew a girl with that name and she was awful.’  Our code name for the baby is ‘Rory.’  It’s my favorite character from ‘Gilmore Girls’ and my husband won’t allow me to name her it.” “Rory” is due to arrive on November 11 and will be born at Meadville Medical Center.

Mr. and Mrs. Norwood are almost ready to welcome the baby into their home. “We’ve converted the second bedroom into a guest/baby room, painted furniture, and made some art for the wall.” Not only is it taxing at home, but at school as well. “I get much more tired quickly, and I don’t wander around as much as I used to,” said Mrs. Norwood. “In the past, I would take some work home, but now I’m too exhausted when I get home to do much.  I’m just trying to find a balance.”

Many of her students are happy for her. “I think it’s nice for her being pregnant because she can start her own life and family,” said Ethan Hayes. Eighth grader Hannah Urbanick said,”I’m happy for her to have a baby girl because she seemed very happy when she told my class about it on the first day of school.” Even though it’s tiring and sometimes difficult, to Mrs. Norwood it’s all worth it. “I feel like I am most looking forward to when she gets to be two and three years old and really reacting to the world around her and responding verbally. Both my parents were great, and I am looking forward to trying to be like them.”

Teen Read Week coming to local library

By Caitlin Bieganski, staff writer

Sophmore Emily Loccisano designed Teen Read Week bookmark.

Sophomore Emily Loccisano designed the Teen Read Week bookmark that will be used for an Instagram contest starting Sept. 19.

For readers and nonreaders alike, the Saegertown Area Library is celebrating Teen Read Week (TRW) October 18-24. The event is meant to inspire young people to pick up a book and become more involved in the world of literature.

The Young Adult Library Services Association created Teen Read Week in 1998. Our local library began participating in the event about three to four years ago, when young adult works, such as Twilight, were becoming more frequent in the literature scene. The library has a special event each year, but this year is the to be the best and the biggest yet according to librarian Paula Brown. Not only will TRW benefit readers, but it will encourage photographers and artists as well.

This year’s event will kick off Sept. 19 with a month-long Instagram contest, which will continue through the end of TRW on Oct. 24. The photos entered in the contest must include the original bookmark created by local artist, Emily Loccisano, a sophomore at Saegertown. Loccisano designed the bookmark because she was intrigued with TRW and wanted to promote the event. Her bookmark reads “Be a book nerd and celebrate Teen Read Week! Oct. 18-24.” Loccisano said “I wanted it to look cute and represent Teen Read Week.” Additional rules and details can be found on the library’s website. “I think Teen Read Week is a great way to encourage people to read, and is a great experience!” Loccisano said. 

Panthers receive Saegertown’s first academic letters

By Wyatt Fleischer, Sports Editor

The first Academic Letter recipients were recognized on Sept. 2.

The first Academic Letter recipients were recognized on Sept. 2.

At the opening assembly on Sept. 2 in the auditorium, Principal Doug Wilson welcomed the students and staff back to the building in his normal fashion with a booming, “GOOD MORNING SAEGERTOWN!”

He then introduced newly named Assistant Principal Tom Baker who spoke briefly about his excitement at becoming a Panther after spending several years at our sister school Cambridge Springs.

Before the students were dismissed, Mr. Wilson called upon Student Council advisers Mrs. Nicole Keller and Ms. Amanda Scott to recognize the first set of academic varsity letter-winners at SHS. Seniors Maile Chang, Garrett Johnston, Brianna Lybarger and Katie Thompson and juniors Luke Dangel and Tanna Walters qualified for this award by having a grade point average of 92 percent or better, passing all three Keystone exams (literature, algebra and biology), and having no incompletes for any grading period in their high school careers.

Instead of an actual letter, they received a pin engraved with the word “honor.” Mrs.Keller said, ”It felt great handing out the first letters for this achievement. We come to school to learn, and it seems that we sometimes put a larger emphasis on sports at this school.” Keller and Scott were selected to award the letters because last year’s Student Council promoted the idea, and they look forward to watching the list of recipients grow. “Frankly, I was extremely surprised, but it was a true honor to make my mark in Saegertown’s history,” said Chang.

Seventh graders mark ‘day of hope’ on Sept. 11

Students placed the message of hope on seventh grade lockers during morning advisory period.

Students placed the message of hope on seventh grade lockers during morning advisory period.

“Remember 9/11 by spreading hope and performing an act of kindess.”  This is the message that Mrs. Kara Bechtel’s seventh grade advisory group wanted to convey to mark the fourteenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The students (Collin Ishimaru, Dixie Kindervater, Jeremy Rosipko, Skyler Summerville and Trinity Ives) made plans earlier in the week after discussing how to focus on a positive remembrance of those who died on Sept. 11.

During their morning advisory period, they taped a lollipop and the quote above to each seventh grade locker. They also wrote and delivered letters to someone they care about. “Instead of making it a day of sadness, we wanted to make it a day of hope,” said Ishimaru.

Mrs. Bechtel, who teaches geography, said, “My students will never understand because they didn’t live through it, but I think the people who lost their lives would appreciate this positive legacy.”

Spanish classes celebrate the end of the school

By McKenzie Ashbaugh, Director of Marketing

With the school year coming to an end, Spanish teacher Mrs. Janyce Brawn and her classes celebrated by making pinatas. This year there were six new pinatas made: Mickey Mouse, M&M, heart eyed emoji, Mrs. Pacman, an eyeball, and Gary the snail from Spongebob. “I liked building it. I thought it was going to look like crap, but after it looked really good!” said junior Makenna Robison. Junior Peter Mattocks said he had fun and “enjoyed the conversation while making the pinatas.” Robison and Mattocks, both in Spanish 3, helped their class construct a Gary the snail pinata. Instead of breaking their new fancy piñata, the Spanish 3 class chose to fill an old Garfield pinata with candy to break outside. Senora Brawn said that her favorite part of making the pinatas is being able to see the creativity of the students.

Saegertown volleyball takes second in the state


By Becca Siple, Assistant Social Media Editor 

(photo contributed)

Brendan Barclay makes a play during the match against Northeastern. (Emily Ford/SHS)

A big congratulations to the boys volleyball team on such a successful season. On Saturday, June 6, the boys faced the Northeastern Bobcats in the PIAA state finals at Penn State.

Although they were defeated, they can claim the proud title of state runners-up in class AA. Many panther fans made the trip to cheer on their team, and they were welcomed back to the community on Saturday night with an escort of firetrucks and a reception at the school. Great job, guys!

Baseball team ends season with solid win streak

By Lance Neuscheler, Staff Writer

Despite having an on and off season, the Panther baseball team managed to finish the year off with a solid three game win streak. With a strong finish, Saegertown’s final record was 6-11 for the season. Though they lost more games than they won, many of the players do not feel that the season was failure. “I don’t think that our record reflected our team’s potential and we could have done much better now that we know what needed improvement. What really matters though is that we had a fun season” said senior Scott Sada.

In addition to their three game streak, at the end of the season the Panthers beat Cambridge Springs 10-1, making up for their 9-3 loss earlier in the season. Saegertown had a similar outcome with Harbor Creek, losing the first meeting 8-2 but getting a 9-6 in the second to last game of the year. “We started off the season rough, but we began really clicking in the end, and it felt good to get revenge on a few teams that beat us early on,” said senior Trey Reagle.

The Panthers will be graduating four seniors this year: Scott Sada, Trey Reagle, Kyle Tharp, and Cody McDonald. While three of the seniors have other plans, Sada will be attending Penn State Behrend to continue his baseball career. “I’m sad it’s over, but the underclassmen have a bright future,” said Tharp.