Panthers support HK Pinwheel Packs

HK Pinwheel Packs logo. (contributed photo)

HK Pinwheel Packs logo. (contributed photo)

By Olivia Burger, Opinion Editor

The seventh and eighth grade student council is sponsoring a local fundraiser that is very important to one certain seventh grade student. The fundraiser, called HK Pinwheel Pack, is a local fundraiser organized by seventh grader Meadow Campbell and her mother, Nerissa Galt.

The purpose of the HK Pinwheel Pack is to create care packages for the children of families who have delivered stillborn babies. The care packages contain a variety of items including pinwheels, craft supplies, and small toys. This idea is important to Campbell because when she was younger her family delivered a stillborn child. “I just want to help families with their grieving, and I hope that I can just help people,” she said.

Meadow Campbell and Samantha Evans hold donated items. (photo contributed)

Meadow Campbell and Samantha Evans hold donated items. (photo contributed)

So far, HK Pinwheel Pack has put together ten baskets for families located all around the United States. One package was sent all the way to California while some have been delivered locally in Meadville. In order to receive a care package, families can request to receive one through the organization’s Facebook page.

Saegertown students and teachers can support HK Pinwheel Pack by donating items for the fundraiser that runs through April 23. Junior high student council advisor Mrs. Nicole DeFrances said, “It would be nice to see SHS support more hometown organizations and really give back to their own community.”

Trout make the run upstream

By Assistant Sports Editor Wyatt Fleischer 

A trout that resembles the trough stocked in woodcock creek. (photo from

A trout that resembles those stocked in Woodcock creek. (photo from

The bait hits the water and SPLASH, the surface lights up and a trout launches out of the water into the air like a lion exploding from its cover to attack its prey. The spring run is on and in full swing. The ice has melted away, the creeks have swelled and the fish are in a frenzy. The creeks are stocked with everything from rainbow, to brown, to cut throat, to brook trout, and even lake trout in Lake Erie. Here we are, living everyday on the battlegrounds of some of the most renowned trout fishing territory in the nation.

The state of Pennsylvania has a tremendous hatchery. The Pennsylvania Fish Commission stocks many of our local creeks, including nearby Woodcock creek with brown and rainbow trout any time from last Saturday, to April 28. They will also be stocking Conneaut Creek from April 17, to May 6 with only browns. The season opens on April 4, in the Southeastern part of the state. The rest of the states season opens April 18.

To fish for trout in Pennsylvania, you have to buy a normal fishing license for $22. Then you must buy a trout stamp for an extra $10. Keep in mind that in order to fish in any watershed of Lake Erie, you must also purchase an Erie stamp for another $10. That’s $42 for all three.

So what does it take to fish trout? Well first, get up early to beat the crowds to the best holes. The first couple of weeks will be crowded, so if you beat the competition there, you have just increased your chances by tenfold. Second, fight nature. The air will be cold, the water will be high and muddy, and the fish may be on the bottom. Mr. Adam Horne, social studies teacher, advised, “You gotta put weight on it. The fish are down there, just put more weight on.” Third, use the right bait. Now, everybody and their brother will be throwing a maggot, or a worm, or a minnow on a hook. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. When the fish are at the hatchery, they are fed corn by the bucket loads. The little ones will bite near everything. The big ones will stick to what has kept them alive their whole lives, that’s corn. For those of you who like a challenge, use artificial baits. Senior John Adams is an avid trout fisherman. “I caught an 18 inch brown trout out of my secret honey hole last year.” When asked about his spot, he said he would have to kill me if he told me.

When it comes to trout, their numbers are depleted throughout the season, so the old baits really do the job. We all know, with age comes wisdom. So over an old fish’s lifetime, it has seen all the tricks of the trade and won’t bite. When the trout are stocked, they are new and new to the old-fashioned baits, so they should get the job done. Panther Martin spinners, dare devil spoons, flies. Anything that looks like an easy meal, the fish will more than likely bite on it. These baits take skill and practice to work efficiently. To make a spoon look like a real fish on its last breath, or a fly that flew too close to the water and it’s struggling to get into the air before it is inhaled by the ultimate predator takes practice. But with dedication, it should come quickly. For more information about trout season, which begins this Saturday in our area, visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

PSSA testing begins today for junior high

By Lauren Haylett, junior high reporter

The PSSAs (Pennsylvania System of School Assessments) are right around the corner for the junior high and teachers are scrambling to make sure the students are prepared for testing in English Language Arts, math, and science.  “This year we have switched to the PA Core Standards, and  the test is going to more difficult than before,” explained reading and English teacher Mrs. Nicole DeFrances.  “I think even though it is harder, everyone should still strive to improve,” said seventh grader, Kaylee Mulligan.  Many students are nervous about the test, but most feel as if they are ready for it. But of above all else, most students don’t care for the PSSAs.  For some, it’s because they don’t like tests, but others, like Mulligan, feel that it’s an unfair way of testing one’s knowledge and reflects the school and not individuals.  But from a teacher’s standpoint, they see it as a positive opportunity for students  to show off their skills.  Mrs. DeFrances feels that even though the students have a negative attitude towards the test, they should still show their ability by doing their best.  Teachers are preparing the students by giving them state-issued practice tests.  “I like the practice tests,” said Chloe Luchansky, “They give us a heads up on what he have to work on.”  According to the PSSA Code of Conduct for Test Takers, students should get a good night’s sleep and eat a good breakfast the day of the tests, which will be given Tuesday through Thursday this week and next. The testing period will begin at 9:04 a.m  and will last until 10:30 a.m.  Students are to report to their assigned rooms with a book, water bottle, and no electronics. Breakfast will be provided for seventh graders.  For more information on the PSSAs, visit


Mrs. Nicole DeFrances returns from maternity leave

By Morgan Barksdale, Staff Writer

Mrs. DeFrances poses with her family. (Photo contributed by Mrs. DeFrances)

Mrs. DeFrances poses with her family. (Photo contributed by Mrs. DeFrances)

Mrs. Nicole DeFrances has returned after the delivery of her healthy baby boy Michael. Adding a new member to the family, she expressed that he is a marvelous baby and never fussy. She is excited and enthusiastic about being a new mom. “I have a new outlook on the world. Being a mom opens your eyes,” she said. “I love being with him.” She returned on March 25 and was welcomed back with the excited smiles of students and staff. “Everybody was very welcoming. I couldn’t be happier to be back,” said DeFrances. “I like having her back, she’s more understanding and the communication is better between her and the students,” said seventh grader Kimmy Reisinger. Reisinger, like the rest of the seventh grade class, was excited about her return. Being on leave, Mrs.DeFrances expressed that she was worried about being replaced, but coming back, she says that this was not the case. “Getting back into rhythm is no challenge. Having a baby has definitely made me a better teacher,” Mrs. DeFrances said.

Woge crafts new header for Panther Press

PantherPressMasthead2015By Bradley Amy, Staff Writer

Woge poses with two copies of The Panther Press with the new header. (photo contributed)

Woge poses with two copies of The Panther Press with the new header. (photo contributed)

Back at the very beginning of the school year, Panther Press graphic designer Nick Woge, senior, proposed the idea of creating a new header for The Panther Press. Woge wanted this new header mainly to give the paper a new look. “It has been almost ten years since the Panther Press has had a different header, and I figured with it being my last year at Saegertown, that it was time for something new.”

After a long week of working on ten different headers, Woge left the decision of the new header to the staff of the Panther Press. They ended up choosing the header of a panther pouncing behind the heading “The Panther Press.” Assistant social media editor Becca Siple said, “I really like the new addition to the paper, and it’s nice to see a change after ten years.” The new header first made its debut on Feb. 12, in the Valentine’s Day edition. Hetrick said, “I think it looks clean and modern. We’ll probably keep it for the next ten years. Nick did a great job, and this will be his legacy.”

Mr. Lipps holds historic Easter egg coloring activities

The winning eggs.  (photo contributed)

The winning eggs. (photo contributed)

Juniors and seniors participate in the competition. (photo contributed)

Juniors and seniors participate in the competition. (photo contributed)

On April 1, social studies teacher Mr. Brian Lipps held an egg coloring competition. Every period started off with a brief history behind Easter followed by egg coloring. Then winners were chosen, and their eggs were kept for display. The winners from eighth grade are Will Phelan, Jared Kula, Samantha Evans, Morgan Radwick, Mikayla Balog, Renee Allen, Brooklyn Kridler, Lydia Betts, Claudia Fetzner, and Dustin Steiger. Senior high winners are Makayla Miller, Abby Kasemer, and Lindsey Price. ​

Rich Jones visits foods classes

Jess Tomiczek, Social Media Editor

Rich Jones poses for a picture.

Rich Jones poses for a picture.

Rich Jones, a culinary specialist from the Art Institute in Pittsburgh visited Mrs. Patton’s foods classes on Friday, March 20 preparing bruschetta for the students. Jones has been traveling to schools for fifteen years showing them how to make certain dishes.

He also showed a slideshow on all of the programs that The Art Institute has to offer such as culinary arts, game programming, photography, and much more. The Art Institute has many different locations throughout the United States. “He is a very good speaker. He keeps the students engaged and entertained, plus he feeds them, so it’s a bonus,” said Mrs. Patton.



Awkward tales from the depths of SHS

By Kaylee Luchansky and Lianna Ketcham, Website editors

All of these true stories are brought to you by the students of Saegertown. If you would like your awkward story to be featured in the next set, email Lianna Ketcham at or Kaylee Luchansky at All stories will remain anonymous.

“I was in the hallway, stationed at my locker, when the horrific occurrence happened. My hand rose to shut my locker door, but instead of grabbing it, my hand went directly into the pants pocket of the kid beside me. Yeah, right into the left pocket like an eight ball in a game of pool. The first grading period of my freshman year hadn’t even ended yet, and I already did something ridiculously embarrassing.

The kid laughed, made an inappropriate joke, and moved on. But I hadn’t. As the embarrassment faded, my friend joined me and I began to tell the tale for the first time. As the words escaped my lips, I realized how funny the excursion actually was and promptly burst into laughter. My mortification was soon replaced with tears and a tummy ache from laughing so hard.

The event left a mark in my mind that I will never forget, but instead of being horrified at the awkward happening, I actually look back at it as a funny thing that happened. I can’t speak for the pocket owner, but I will definitely remember this for years to come.”

“The most awkward experience I’ve ever had would probably be when I accidently hip bumped a teacher in the middle of the hallway. My bad.”

“Have you ever had someone think something happened to you, but it didn’t? I once had a sub believe that my nose exploded instead of my lipgloss. I went to apply it when an air pocket became my enemy and sent the pink liquid directly into my face. In a panic, I put both of my hands to my face. The sub rushed over to see if I was alright and was quite surprised to hear it was only my lipgloss. No sir, I did not need a tissue, but thanks for caring I guess.”