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School Supply Drive To Benefit Local Students July 13, 2018

Almost as quickly as the school year ends, summer always seems to race to a finish, and the preparations for a new school year begin. To help ensure that children in Columbia Borough are ready, Columbia Life Network is once again hosting its annual school supply drive to collect items for students of the Columbia Borough School District and Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School.

Items requested include new backpacks, pencils, pens, crayons, rulers, scissors, binders, notebooks, glue sticks, and more. Several opportunities for the community to donate school supplies to the effort are planned. The first will be at several local retail stores on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Once the list of locations is finalized, it will be posted at

Another opportunity to drop off donations will be at the popular "Jail 'N' Bail" event during the Columbia Borough Police Department's National Night Out from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, at Glatfelter Field, 1249 Lancaster Ave., Columbia. Throughout the evening, donors will receive tickets that can be used to help their favorite local celebrity get out of the makeshift "jail." Celebrities will include teachers and administrators from Columbia Borough School District and Our Lady of the Angels, Columbia Mayor Leo Lutz, Columbia Borough Police Chief Jack Brommer, Ray McCarty of the Columbia Boys Athletic Association, and Columbia Public Library staff members.

School supplies may also be dropped off at Columbia Life Network, 336 Locust St., Columbia, between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon on Mondays through Fridays. Monetary donations are also accepted by Columbia Life Network and will be used to purchase other supplies that are needed throughout the school year.

Jamie Widener, who has been serving as the executive director of Columbia Life Network since November 2017, said that the costs of school supplies continue to rise each year and having assistance can provide a tremendous amount of savings for families. The school supplies are divvied up and donated to each of the schools in Columbia and then distributed to students according to need.

Widener said that financial donations are also crucial for helping teachers and families out during the midpoint of the school year - typically after the holiday break - with restocking items. Columbia Life Network reaches out to the schools at that time to see what they need. "A lot of time they're asking for simple things like tissues, because at that point it's flu season," Widener noted.

Columbia Life Network exists to offer a hand up to residents in need in the Columbia Borough and surrounding areas by connecting them with available resources and facilitating efforts to develop services to answer needs within the local community.

As of this summer, Columbia Life Network has teamed up with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Community Action Partnership, and several other groups and businesses to bring Fresh Express to the area. Income eligible individuals and families are now able to pick up free fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and eggs from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Friday of each month (excluding November) at Park Elementary School, 50 S. Sixth St., Columbia. Volunteers to support the Fresh Express program are desperately needed, Widener noted. To register for the program or to sign up to volunteer, readers may contact Widener at or 717-684-8094.


Classroom In The Field Day Highlights Agriculture July 12, 2018

Over two days before the end of the school year, Lampeter-Strasburg (L-S) High School students led hands-on farming, soil and water management, and environmental science activities for Classroom in the Field Day.

Classroom in the Field Day is a creation of teachers Eva Strawser and Holly Oberholtzer. As part of the L-S fifth-grade science instruction, which includes units on agriculture and society, watersheds and wetlands, the scientific method, and interaction with the environment, Strawser realized that L-S had an untapped resource in the form of the the high school's active agriculture department. She contacted Oberholtzer, and together they put together an educational day of activities beneficial to students at both the elementary and high school levels.

According to Strawser, the purpose of the day is for students to get a glimpse into the real-life application of their impact on the environment, as well as career options.

Fifth-graders had the opportunity to interact with older students, examine and ask questions about equipment, and feed their interests in a variety of disciplines. For the agriculture science class, it was an opportunity to put what they have learned into practice as well as a chance to work with younger students. The older students had to develop and practice lesson plans, as well as adapt them on the spot.

The Agriculture Department, Garden Spot FFA, and fifth grade hope to continue implementing this activity in future years.


Junior High Earns Honor July 10, 2018

District Administration magazine is honoring 22 schools and districts for education technology initiatives as part of the Schools of TechXcellence program. This is the second year for this national recognition program.

TechXcellence was created to recognize schools that have implemented innovative, effective, and replicable technology programs that contribute meaningfully to student or operational success. The June 2018 honorees were selected by the program's judges from numerous nominations and reflect programs that demonstrate effective and replicable success.

The 22 schools and districts honored in this round of TechXcellence have programs that incorporate technology powered by Intel, including laptops, tablets, and 3D printers.

Red Lion Area Junior High School is being recognized for its Instructional Rounds for Innovation program, in which educators observe their colleagues in the classroom and reflect on one another's work. Teachers participate in monthly professional development sessions, which are led by the technology integration coach and have been developed, in part, through the observations made during the instructional rounds. The process fosters increased personalization of professional development for educators and meaningful, relevant conversations about instructional practice. The Red Lion Area Junior High School initiative underscores the importance of embracing technology as part of the educational process.

To view more details about this award, readers may visit


School Board Names New Superintendent July 7, 2018

The Hempfield Board of School Directors has announced the appointment of Michael Bromirski as the Hempfield School District's next superintendent. Current superintendent Chris Adams plans to retire in 2019 after serving in that position for three years.

Bromirski has been the district's assistant superintendent since July 2015. He has served in the field of education for 21 years, first as an elementary teacher, then, subsequently, as a building administrator and a district administrator. He holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary and kindergarten education from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Education in elementary education from Bloomsburg University. In June 2018, he completed a Master of Business Administration program at Elizabethtown College, and this degree is expected to be conferred in August. Bromirski's principal certification in kindergarten through 12th grade is from The Pennsylvania State University (Great Valley), and his Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility is from Edinboro College.

According to a statement from the school board, since the announcement of Adams' intent to retire, the board had engaged in a comprehensive, rigorous statewide search to name his successor. The process to select the next superintendent included listening to input from students, administrators, faculty, and staff members, as well as community members. An application period yielded 19 applicants. Seven prescreened, well-qualified candidates subsequently participated in personal interviews, followed by input and deliberation amongst the board members. Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 facilitated the search process.

Formal approval of Bromirski's contract was anticipated to take place at the July 10 meeting of the school board.

"The board looks forward to working with district leadership, as well as Hempfield's dynamic staff (members) to ensure a seamless transition for district educational programming and operations," the statement read. "Transition specifics will be fully articulated through future communications over the course of the coming weeks and months."

The school board also expressed its members' appreciation for Adams, who has accrued 34 years of service in public education, 11 of which were in Hempfield.

"Dr. Adams has always been a staunch advocate for students and an outstanding mentor to a generation of teachers and administrators," the board's statement read. "We also wish to thank the various stakeholders who provided insights and opinions during this process. Our decision is the culmination of intense efforts to find a candidate with a skill set and leadership vision that will enable Hempfield to continue its tradition of providing an outstanding educational experience. We are confident that Mr. Bromirski will fulfill that promise."

For more information, readers may contact district director of communications Shannon Zimmerman at 717-898-5539 or


Penn Manor Honors Retirees July 5, 2018

Penn Manor honored 18 retirees with nearly 450 years of combined service on May 2 during the 39th annual Employee Recognition Dinner in the high school cafeteria. Attendees watched a video presentation of comments and a song-and-dance number by 12 of the retirees - Jeff Roth, Marilyn Springer, Donna Brady, Anne Butterfield, Cheryl Dearolf, Frank Dell'Estate, Sue Frese, Shirley Jackson, Nancy Kaufhold, Peg Murr, Wayne Martin and Dave Bender. The other retirees were Karen Braun, CeCe O'Day, Dave Hoar, Faye Sangrey, Christine Pierce and Cheryl Drumm-Miklos.

At the event, the school district also honored 41 Penn Manor employees with 20 or more years of service and the Outstanding Employee and Educators of the Year. Cindy Bachman, high school athletics secretary, was named Outstanding Employee for 2017-18. The Outstanding Educators were Beth Mader, a Central Manor Elementary second-grade teacher, and Ken Webster, a Marticville Middle School social studies teacher.

The following employees were honored for 30 years of service: Carol Alexander, Sharlotte Dammerman, Cynthia Frey, Lori Graham, Jeff Himes, Peg Murr, Michelle Rankin and Melany Rios.

The following employees were honored for 25 years of service: Cindy Bachman, Anne Butterfield, Donna Falk, Kathy Grenier, Kelley Groff, Marty Ioannidis, Doug Kramer, Marjean Long, Gary Luft, Amy Niemkiewicz, Carol Purzycki, Carol Ragland, Kathleen Railing, Maryann Saylor and Laura Stephan.

The following employees were honored for 20 years of service: Mark Andrew, Christine Bachman, Beth Corl, Rebecca Eichler, Stephen Harnish, Erica Kopp, Carin Leisure, Lisa Martin, Emily Mattern, Shawn Maxwell, Charlie Reisinger, Cindy Rhoades, Deborah Sensenig, Streeter Stuart, Jennifer Winters and Pam Witmer.


Student Earns Free Week Of Camp July 2, 2018

Justin Hyser has earned a free week of summer camp for his efforts as part of the Christians in Action (C.I.A.) released time program at Eastern York Middle and High schools.

Justin has been earning points toward his free week of camp since he was enrolled in the Wrightsville Elementary School released time program. Points are earned by memorizing Scripture verses, looking up verses, and explaining what the verses mean. Students can receive rewards for every 25 points they earn.

The released time program is available to students in all Eastern York School District schools in grades three through 12. For one hour a week, students are transported to a local church or other facility to take part in the program, which includes Bible teaching, verse memorization, singing, and more. Students must have a permission slip filled out by their parent or guardian in order to attend. The program is state-approved and operated by the nonprofit JoyEl Generations.

For additional information about the C.I.A. program or other released time programs, readers may visit


Students Recognized For Good Deeds June 26, 2018

A pair of Lower Dauphin Middle School students were recognized for their efforts by Hummelstown Police and Lower Dauphin Communities That Care.

Sixth-graders McKenzie Grady and Megan Mayberry were nominated by music teacher Matt Dickinson after seeing that they were helping a classmate with special needs.

For their efforts, McKenzie and Megan received a Do the Right Thing T-shirt, a gift card, and free pizza coupons.

South Hanover Elementary School fifth-graders Ella Giannascoli and Meghan O'Brien were nominated for a good deed at their school and received a certificate.

The Do the Right Thing program recognizes students in the Lower Dauphin community who have distinguished themselves through their accomplishments, attitude or outstanding efforts. Any adult over the age of 18 can nominate a child.


Fundraiser To Show Bobcat Pride June 25, 2018

The Northeastern basketball cheerleaders will hold a fundraiser in the Northeastern School District this summer. The cheerleaders will be available to paint pawprints and sports balls on driveways in the community. Local residents are encouraged to show their Bobcat pride to the community and support their favorite sports team.

All requests must be made by Wednesday, Aug. 1. Order forms can be obtained by visiting, by emailing, or by stopping by the Bobcat Creamery, 117 S. Main St., Manchester, or the the high school office, 300 High St.


Students Receive Scholarships June 20, 2018


Lower Dauphin Orchestra Director Honored June 15, 2018

Lower Dauphin orchestra director Melody Cliff recently received the Orchestra Director of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association. She was recognized for demonstrating outstanding achievement as an orchestra teacher and conductor, resulting in major advancement of her program with documentation of unusual success. Cliff started at Lower Dauphin in the 2008-09 school year and is a 2004 graduate of Lower Dauphin High School.

The Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association is a chapter of the American String Teacher Association.


Lower Dauphin Students Recognized June 15, 2018

Two Lower Dauphin Middle School students were presented with Do the Right Thing recognition by Hummelstown Police and Lower Dauphin Communities That Care.

Seventh-grader Thomas "T.C." Campbell was nominated by his school counselor, Teresa Coller. She said that during track practice, T.C. voluntarily paired himself with a student during running drills.

Another seventh-grader, Madison Deal, was nominated by her social studies teacher, Kristan Cherry. She said that during the year Maddie reached out to help students with special needs in her class.

The Do the Right Thing program recognizes students in the Lower Dauphin community who have distinguished themselves through their accomplishments, attitude or outstanding efforts. Any adult over the age of 18 can nominate a child.


District Recognizes Employees June 14, 2018

Lampeter-Strasburg School District employees were honored at a recent banquet.

Retiring employees who received recognition include Terry Sweigart, district business manager; Jeffrey Brown, district accountant; Charles "Bob" Eavenson, Martin Meylin lead custodian; Diane Rhinier, assistant food service manager; Debra Smith, Martin Meylin kitchen helper; Teddi Book, high school nurse and 2016-17 Teacher of the Year; Mark Trach, high school physical education teacher; Katherine Stehman, elementary librarian; Susan Doll, Hans Herr music teacher and choral director; Emily Vasey, fourth-grade classroom teacher; Suzanne Meskers, Lampeter library assistant; Jean Sware, Lampeter principal's secretary; Lisa Feerrar, sixth-grade English language arts teacher; Warren Hoffman, high school custodian; Linda Long Wettig, Hans Herr lead custodian; Dale Martin, field house custodian; Kimberly Nielsen, special education teacher assistant; Gary Schreckengost, social studies teacher; Sharon Styer, classroom aide; and Pamela Weidman, high school custodian. Combined, the 2018 retirees have 422 years of service to the community's children. Their supervisors gave remarks during the banquet.

Martin Meylin principal's secretary Linda Kauffman received recognition for 25 years of service to the district. Sixth-grade English language arts teacher Christine Willig and Distinguished Alumni Award winner Mary Caperton Morton were also recognized during the banquet.


Exhibit To Showcase Students' Artwork June 14, 2018

The 2018 Solanco School District Art Exhibition will kick off on Saturday, June 30, at the Quarryville Library, 357 Buck Road, to celebrate the artwork of students from the district schools. The community may attend the opening reception from 1 to 3 p.m. on June 30, and the exhibition will remain on display through the month of July.

A variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media works have been created by Bart-Colerain, Clermont, Providence, and Quarryville elementary school students; Smith and Swift middle school students; and Solanco High School students. Artistic categories include drawing, painting, mixed media, jewelry, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, film photography, and digital photography.

Select works by elementary school students were exhibited earlier this year at the Millersville University Winter Center for the Visual and Performing Arts as part of the Studio for Students program. Works by middle school students will highlight excellence from sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders during the 2017-18 school year.

Artwork from high school students will include 2018 Portfolio Scholarship Award-winning pieces that were featured at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In addition, pieces that earned special, gold, silver, and honorable mention honors from the Scholastic Art Awards and Young Artist Awards will be displayed. Numerous pieces were also on display at the Lancaster Museum of Art and the Demuth Museum earlier this year.

The 2018 Solanco School District Art Exhibition aims to celebrate the creativity and critical thinking of students as they envision, explore, engage, persist, and reflect upon their ideas as they represent and interact with the world around them. The exhibition also honors the dedication and expertise of educators who provide opportunities for increasing levels of sophistication and confidence in the development of each student's voice.


District Receives New Instruments June 14, 2018

Lampeter-Strasburg School District's music department recently received a dozen brand-new instruments as part of the third annual Giant Instrument Give-Out from Music for Everyone.

Mr. Royer, the district's secondary band director, received an electronic keyboard for use at the middle school and high school. Mr. Shaubach, the district's orchestra director, received three violins and two violas for use by students whose families cannot financially support the instrument rental process.

Mrs. Ceresini, the district's elementary band director, received a trombone, two snare drums, a suspended cymbal, and two tuba stands for use in the Hans Herr band program. These instruments will make their debut at this year's outdoor Hans Herr Summer Concert, scheduled for Thursday, June 21.


Willig Receives Honor June 14, 2018

Martin Meylin Middle School teacher Christine Willig received Lampeter-Strasburg School District's Master of Pedagogy award for 2018. She was nominated by her peers at the middle school and introduced by Martin Meylin principal Jamie Raum.

Willig is a native of the Catskills region of New York state and a graduate of Millersville University and Eastern Mennonite University. Originally hired as the district's first ESL teacher, she has spent the past 21 years as a sixth-grade English language arts teacher. She resides in Conestoga with her husband and two teenage children. Her oldest daughter is currently serving in Guatemala with the Peace Corps.

Willig credits retired administrators Robert Frick and Michael Burcin and retired teacher Barry Decker as influences and mentors. Willig is known as a fun-loving, energetic, and innovative teacher who develops lasting relationships with her students. Many stop by her classroom to visit, even after leaving middle school, and she has even attended past students' weddings.


Alumna Receives Award June 14, 2018

Lampeter-Strasburg (L-S) School District's 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award went to science and travel writer Mary Caperton Morton from the Class of 2000. She was nominated by retired L-S High School English teacher Janis Harrington and selected by a committee of former teachers and administrators.

Morton graduated from Franklin & Marshall College and received her master's degree in journalism from Johns Hopkins University. She is a freelance writer, world traveler, and founder of the popular blog Travels With the Blonde Coyote. Her book "Aerial Geology: A High-Altitude Tour of North America's Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks" was among the New York Times Top Ten Travel Books of 2017. She also serves as an EMT on the search and rescue team at the Big Sky Resort in Montana.

Morton expressed gratitude to current and retired L-S faculty members, including Mrs. Harrington, Mr. Sterner, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Marsh, and Mr. Albanese, as well as to the district's gifted program for providing an opportunity for her to learn in her own style.

Morton's mother, Caroline Morton, accepted the Distinguished Alumni Award on her behalf.


Solanco Holds Cap And Gown Walk June 14, 2018

Graduating seniors at Solanco recently took part in the annual Cap and Gown Walk. A few hours prior to their graduation, the seniors visited Solanco elementary and middle schools and the administration office, where students and staff members greeted them with cheers, high-fives and handmade signs of congratulations.

The purpose of the event is to inspire elementary and middle school students and to provide opportunities for the seniors to interact with the younger students and visit the elementary and middle schools they attended prior to high school.


Solanco Women To Compete At Pageant June 14, 2018

Four young women from Solanco have earned the opportunity to compete in the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, June 23, in Pittsburgh. The competitors include Marissa Witmer, Miss Lancaster County and Solanco Class of 2017; Kayla Schneider, Miss Keystone and Solanco Class of 2016; Tiffany Shrom, Miss Hershey and Solanco Class of 2016, and Donna Montgomery, Miss White Rose City and Solanco Class of 2015. In addition, Solanco High School junior Noelle Schneider will vie for the Pennsylvania Outstanding Teen crown.

Last year, Marla Peiffer, Solanco Class of 2011, finished as the first runner-up in the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant.


Octorara School Board Names New Student Representative June 13, 2018

Ava Zimmerman has been selected to be the new student representative to the Octorara Area School Board. She was appointed to the position during a meeting of the school board on June 11.

Student representatives attend the board's public meetings and report on student activities and issues. They may take part in discussion or answer questions from board members when there is an issue where the board members feel they could benefit from a student's perspective. The student representative is an observer only and does not attend executive sessions or vote with the board.

Ava, who will be a sophomore at Octorara Area High School in the fall, is the daughter of school board member Jere Zimmerman.

"I've always had an interest (in the school board) because my dad has been involved with it," Ava said. "I'm definitely hoping to have a bigger part in our school (as a result of) this."

Ava reported that her family encouraged her when she decided to volunteer for the job of student representative. "They definitely thought it would be a great opportunity," she said.

In addition to her new position as student representative, Ava is a member of Student Council, chorus and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). She is on the high school tennis team and takes part in the school musicals. She has studied piano for nine years and is attending tennis camp this summer.

As a part of her involvement with Student Council, she has taken part in Final Fridays in Parkesburg, where she has helped with face painting.

"I love science and biology. Next year I'm taking honors earth and space science," she noted. "I want to be a doctor of some sort - maybe a pediatric surgeon.

"Science is definitely my thing, and I like to work with people," she added. "I've always wanted to work with kids, so that would be a perfect mix."

Her first choice is to attend Johns Hopkins University, but she is also looking at the University of North Carolina as a potential college following graduation.


MAHS Holds Commencement June 13, 2018

The Middletown Area High School (MAHS) Class of 2018 celebrated commencement on June 6 at The Harrisburg Forum. The commencement speaker was the Honorable Gladys M. Brown, Class of 1981. The class valedictorian was Sarah Fluke, and the salutatorian was Gabriel Wisniewski.

Sarah is the daughter of Nicole Fluke. She was a member of National Honor Society, Link Crew, select choir, concert band, and jazz band. She served as president of concert choir and Tri-M Music Honor Society, as well as treasurer of the marching band. She was named to county chorus, as well as the PMEA District, Region, and All-State choruses. She completed an internship at Fink and Reid elementary schools with music teacher Mrs. Checco. She plans to attend Susquehanna University to major in music education.

Gabriel is the son of Cathy Wisniewski. He was involved in Key Club, Link Crew, Brainbusters, and Mini-THON, and he was named to the distinguished honor roll. He served as vice president of Future Business Leaders of America and National Honor Society. He has a black belt in taekwondo. He plans to attend the Florida State University Honors Program to major in biology with the goal of attending medical school and becoming an anesthesiologist.

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