Lancer Letter 11-09-11
The week of October 29–November 5 was a good example of some of the great things that happen in this school district.
On Saturday, October 29, the GM Lancer Marching Band once again competed in the championships of the Lakeshore Marching Band Association. For the sixth time in the last decade, the band was the Open Class champion! The band has long been a point of pride for the district and this year was no exception. We have come to expect excellence from this program but let’s never forget that it comes at the high cost of hard work and commitment on the part of the directors and students. Congratulations, GM Lancer Marching Band!
On Tuesday, November 1, Mrs. Karen Lerch had her first period English class unexpectedly interrupted to learn that she has been named the State Journalism Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania School Press Association. This is only the second time the organization has selected a teacher from the western part of the state. Karen has long been the advisor of our award–winning student newspaper, the Lancer Ledger. If you’ve ever seen this publication, you know how impressive it is. Under Karen’s direction, students work diligently to write sophisticated articles, laid out in an impressive color magazine format. The work of her and her students, has been recognized numerous times by the state organization, Columbia University and Kent State. What a great representation of our high school! Congratulations, Mrs. Lerch!
On Thursday, our volleyball team competed in the first round of district playoffs. Since Mike Merriam has assumed the reigns as head coach four years ago, this is not an unusual occurrence. The team has made it to the district play-offs every year, having been district champs his first year. They advanced to the finals on Saturday, another familiar accomplishment, and did well enough to continue into the state playoff tournament. Coach Merriam is leaving us at the end of this season to embark on a business venture that will call upon his original training as a chemical engineer. Mike has been a great teacher and coach for General McLane. He fostered a great learning atmosphere in his classroom and created a culture of excellence in the volleyball program. He will be greatly missed and we applaud him and the young ladies in the volleyball program who have worked so hard under his guidance.
Saturday, November 5, the boys’ soccer team faced a talented Slippery Rock team at Vets Stadium for the district championship. Our boys prevailed with a 1-0 victory that gave GM its first District 10 soccer championship since 2002. In only his second year, head coach Josh Hopkins has provided outstanding leadership and technical guidance to a group of young men who are talented and of sound character. Though Coach Hopkins works outside of education, he is often in attendance as a spectator at many GM sporting events. This commitment to the district has instilled a sense of commitment in his players that has been a recipe for success.
In many schools, any one of these four accomplishments that happened in one week at GM would be a unique occurrence. At General McLane, it has become commonplace for our teams to advance to playoffs and for our pursuits in the arts and academics to result in recognition. This is because we have competent adults who care deeply and students who respond to their leadership appropriately. Let us never take these attainments for granted but rejoice in our performance while continually looking toward future success!
The Lancer Letter is a weekly editorial by Richard Scaletta, Superintendent of Schools, General McLane School District. Opinions expressed are Mr. Scaletta’s views on the issues and subjects of discussion.