Phelan caps off golf career with trip to state finals

by Nick Archacki, news editor

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Phelan (left) took twenty-eighth place at the PIAA Boys AA State Individual Championships.

As the sun rose in York, Pa. on Oct. 22., Saegertown senior and local golf prodigy Will Phelan took to the course for the last time in his eventful high school career.

Phelan, an athletic and academically talented senior, trekked across the state for the fourth consecutive year as he participated in the PIAA Boys AA State Individual Championships on Oct. 22 and 23 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.  

On Monday, Phelan shot an 18-hole round of 89, putting him in thirty-third place out of thirty-five golfers for the tournament. “Heritage Hills is a tough course with little room for error,” Phelan said. “I enjoy playing it, even though the layout of the course doesn’t really suite the strengths of my game.” In response to his score of 89, Phelan brought in another 18-hole round of 84, bringing his overall total to 173 and finishing in twenty-eighth place, the exact position Phelan placed at last year in this event.

Phelan is the first golfer in the history of Saegertown High School to compete at the PIAA State Championships in all four years of high school, competing with the team in 2015 and 2016, and individually in 2017 and 2018.

Each of his trips has been a unique experience. “All four years that I competed there (Heritage Hills) were different, and having several people golfing with you for the team event is a totally different atmosphere and experience than just golfing for yourself,” Phelan said. “I love the experience of golfing individually, but I prefer to golf with the team and have them there with me.”

Phelan admits he did not finish his golfing career as strongly as he hoped, but he still thoroughly enjoyed his experiences with varsity golf. “I’ll miss the connection I had with the golf team, the practices that we had, and the good times we shared,” Phelan said.

The camaraderie between team members has left Phelan with several fond memories. He cited when junior Nick Archacki plowed into the reese hitch of a Nissan truck with a golf cart at the Western Regionals Team event in 2016 as a memory that he will forever cherish. He also noted that one of his greatest moments was when he shot an 83 at the Treasure Lake Silver Course at the Western Team Regionals event in 2015, helping the golf team move on to the state finals for their first time.

Throughout his golfing career, Phelan has stunned many with his skill, grit, and unmistakable power. Phelan has evolved from a curious and inexperienced freshman to a notable and respected golfer who has left his lasting impact on Saegertown. “I’d like to thank the team for their support and Coach Hanley for the encouragement,” Phelan said. “It’s been a great ride.” 

Seniors test the waters with early dismissal

By Claudia Fetzner, photo editor 

Since the first week of October, seniors have been given the opportunity to leave thirty minutes early every Wednesday. Whether students use this extra half hour to nap, catch up on homework, or grab a bite to eat, seniors are benefitting from their early dismissal. Senior soccer player Brenna Repko said: “It’s great, I am able to go home and get some work done before practice.”

The process for leaving is made easy by Mr. Chris Greco, science teacher and senior class adviser, who stands at the office doors and quickly checks out the eager seniors. The checklist, created by Assistant Principal Kylene Koper, is updated weekly to include those who meet the requirements (see below). Seniors must meet these expectations every week in order to be released.

Seniors who attend the Crawford County Career and Technical Center have been given the opportunity to arrive thirty minutes late on Wednesdays to compensate for missing afternoon releases. “It’s something different,” said senior Charlie Johnson. “It’s definitely better than being here at 8 a.m.”

In order to be eligible for release, seniors must:  

  • have no attendance issues (all excuses are turned in with no illegal or unexcused absences)
  • have zero discipline issues
  • have no zeros in classes and have passing grades in every class
  • not be needed for the Intervention/Extension period
  • must have a signed parent form to give permission to leave on record in the office

Señora says ‘Adios’

By Hannah Draa, staff writer

“God bless you. Keep doing what you’re doing,” said soon to be retired Spanish teacher Janyce Brawn. After teaching off and on from 1978, Senora is looking forward to taking a break. “I need a vacation. I’m looking forward to doing something very different,” she said. Senora has always enjoyed working with kids which is what helped her decide what to do for a profession. However, Senora Brawn didn’t always want to be a Spanish teacher. “I enjoyed working with kids, and originally I thought I’d be teaching art because I enjoyed the creativity with it. No one in this area was hiring, and my husband worked in Erie so when I couldn’t find an art job I decided to teach English as a second language. Eventually I ended up with my degrees in Spanish and ESL program specialist certification.”

Through the years,  some of Senora’s favorite memories have been experiencing the joy of watching students’ eyes light up after they finally understand something. Some of her other fondest memories, of course, have happened on the annual Spanish club trip to Pittsburgh. Senora Brawn has also had some not so fond memories in her years of teaching as well. “Well, I had my life threatened up in Erie which is why I decided to come teach at Saegertown. The woman threatened my life because she didn’t want her son in my Spanish class, and I didn’t want him either. I left school that day after being warned to watch out for this woman. I was getting a cappuccino when I saw her and her son, and I thought that if they tried anything I’d throw it at them,” said Senora.

When it comes to Senora’s fellow teachers, she has some advice. “Don’t lower your standards. Keep raising the standards for the kids. Keep doing what you’re doing, and Saegertown’s quality will stay high.” Senora also has some advice she wants the students of Saegertown to remember. “Don’t take the easy way out. Do your best and expect the best from yourself and others. You won’t be disappointed.” Senora isn’t the only one leaving SHS this year. Senora is saying goodbye right along side the Class of 2016, and she is offering her wisdom to them as well. “Whatever you do, give it your all. Pursue your dreams. Money isn’t everything.”

Panthers plant for a cause

By Morgan Barksdale, Staff Writer

Seniors plant trees on Beautification Day. (left to right: Shauna Bowen, Marissa Cormier, Emily Ohmer)

Seniors plant trees on Beautification Day. (left to right: Shauna Bowen, Marissa Cormier, Emily Ohmer)

Mr. Chris Greco’s advanced biology classes, along with the seniors who took advanced biology last year, took a day to give back to nature. They went to Stainbrook Park on April 27 and gave the park a good, natural touch-up.

The group did everything from planting trees to landscaping, and even housekeeping. “The work wasn’t very hard; it made me feel more connected with my community,” said senior Spencer Price. The students enjoyed taking part in the beautification of a park that is so close to home.

Juniors took part in the beautification on Friday, May 1, in a field in Edinboro. The plain space was made spectacular by planting hardwoods. Trees that had been cut down were replaced, and when the new trees are harvested, they money will continue to benefit PENNCREST students through a scholarship fund. “Students worked hard, and the day was a success,” said Mr. Greco.

E-Books are now accessible everywhere

By Sydney Kightlinger, Assistant Opinion Editor

Time to turn off those games you are vigorously playing on your iPad because there is now something worthwhile in town. Instead of rotting your brain with that riveting game of 1010, you can now grow your mind with the tiny tablet. The library is now offering electronic books, E-books.

There are over 120 books in all genres from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald to Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. “I like the thought of having access to E-books, especially since the library is closed for business every other day,” said senior Eric Kisner.

To start checking out books, go to Mrs. Litke with your iPad, and she will give you login information.

Happy Reading!

TEK4S comes to SHS

By Emily Johnson, Director of Marketing

Technology is an ever growing educational tool, and it can be difficult to use. Here at Saegertown, a hidden gem called TEK4S helps with just that. The program has been functioning for eight years. It is run by Mr. Nick Paolini, and, in his Prezi, he describes TEK4S’s mission. “Participants will acquire and hone 21st century skills essential to learning while fostering the use of emerging technologies to strengthen the pedagogical practices of educators within their districts,” he said. Mr. Jeff Patrick, the adviser of TEK4S, works with several students: eighth graders Mikayla Balog and Will Phelan, and seventh grade students Megan Murphy and Josh Weaver. All four students were nominated by teachers to be in the club.

“It’s a jumpstart for kids interested in technology,” said seventh grader Josh Weaver. It introduces seventh and eighth grade students with newly developed technology, but there is a twist; the students attend meetings at the intermediate unit 5 in Edinboro. While at IU5, they’re assigned an education oriented application. Then the students, back at the school, make presentations to share at IU5, and teach their teachers how to use the apps. They explore three apps and complete three presentations per year. Their final project, if satisfactory, can make it to the state level. The students also participate in activities in order to receive prizes. Unfortunately this is the last year for TEK4S due to state level budget cuts, but it has supported our school for years.