Penn Manor Productions presents “Noises Off”

By Jalyn Clow

The cast of Penn Manor’s fall play, “Noises Off,” will perform November 16-17. (Photo provided)

Looking for something to do? Well Penn Manor’s fall play “Noises Off” is coming up this weekend and it’s a show you do not want to miss.

Michael Frayn’s chaotic comedy “Noises Off” takes a look at a group of actors and actresses and how their egos, passionate affairs and memory loss turn their stressful performance into a high-risk adventure. This play-within-a-play captures a production of “Nothing On” in three stages: dress rehearsal, the opening performance, and a performance. “Noises Off” is a delightful backstage buffoonery, complete with slamming doors, falling trousers, and -of course- flying sardines.

There are about 40 students working on various crews and 11 cast members working hard to make this show the best it can be. The play is directed by Carole Shellenberger.

The show’s play within a play format challenges the actors to play two different characters.

“It’s really hard and very difficult having to time our conversations perfectly, but I have a feeling that it will click,” said junior True Herbert, the actor who plays Garry who in turn plays a character named Roger. The cast also worked on British accents.

As for the crew members, they are working hard to get all the flying sardines they need to give the show its comical aspect. Students have worked hard on all areas of putting on a production, including designing and building the set, makeup and costumes for the actors, sound and lighting, and marketing and promotion.

Assistant director Melissa Mintzer said, “It involves a lot of timing and practice to get things to flow just right… it’s been quite a challenge!”

Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16-17. All seats are reserved, and tickets can be bought online here.

Penn Manor puts on “Twelve Angry Jurors”

By Hannah Reen

Pictured above are the 13 actors who take part in Penn Manor’s production of "Twelve Angry Jurors." From left to right, (back row) Parker Brown, Alexander Anderson, Garrison Webster, Hailey Fafel, Logan Graves, Max Minnick, Alex Patterson (middle row) Skyla Taglieri, Kassidy Ponton (front row) Madison Beatty, Logan Connelly, Claudia Heitland, Kristopher Boston. (Photo provided)
Pictured above are the 13 actors who take part in Penn Manor’s production of “Twelve Angry Jurors.” From left to right, (back row) Parker Brown, Alexander Anderson, Garrison Webster, Hailey Fafel, Logan Graves, Max Minnick, Alex Patterson (middle row) Skyla Taglieri, Kassidy Ponton (front row) Madison Beatty, Logan Connelly, Claudia Heitland, Kristopher Boston. (Photo provided)

Nothing to do this weekend? How about coming to see Penn Manor’s fall play? Tonight, November 18, and tomorrow night, November 19, at 7:30 p.m., Penn Manor Theatre will be hosting the production of “Twelve Angry Jurors.” Tickets are available at the door and are $5 for students and $7 for adults.

Although “Twelve Angry Jurors” is a very popular production to perform in high schools today, this will be Penn Manor’s first time premiere. When asked why “Twelve Angry Jurors” was chosen this year, Carole Shellenberger, the play’s director, said, “In light of today’s political atmosphere, I thought it was the perfect time to do it.”

The play centers around 12 jurors just out of court, deliberating whether a 19-year-old boy is guilty of stabbing his father. Drama starts to arise in the beginning of the play when 11 votes are cast for guilty and one is cast for not guilty. Even though the majority clearly rules, the vote is not unanimous and thus, thickens the air among these jurors, stirring up emotions.

Many of the actors chose the same scene from the play as their favorite.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s definitely the fight scene,” said senior, Skyla Taglieri, who is cast as Juror #11.

“It’s emotion-packed and adrenaline-filled,” said senior, Parker Brown, who plays Juror #10.

Those who aren’t theatre fanatics, might not realize what goes on behind the scenes when putting on a production. The cast is most visible, but the crew works hard behind the scenes. Lighting, sound, construction, marketing, makeup and costumes all play a role in making sure everything goes smoothly.

“Everyone spends a lot of time behind the scenes, working on the little details, to make a bigger picture in the end,” says junior, Claudia Heitland, who plays Juror #4, when asked about what goes into the production process.

The backstage crews also spend their time at their own rehearsals during the weeks that the actors have their practices. On the weeks leading up to the shows, the cast and crew spend nearly six to eight hours, just over the weekend, at rehearsals to make sure that the performances go well. Some things, such as the makeup and costumes, are picked out and arranged well ahead of time, while others, such as the lighting and sound, are only able to be tested a few weeks in advance.

“Theatre is a lot more committed than people give it credit for,” said Heitland.

The temperature’s dropping: things to do indoors to keep active

By Aly Whiteman

As the temperature goes down, so does physical activity. It’s harder to stay active for long periods of time, and lots of us would rather binge watch a show with blankets and hot chocolate than go for a run or play basketball. Some people settle with the fact that there isn’t anything better to do. In reality, there are many things in Lancaster County to do when the weather gets colder.

For example, there’s the Escape Room in Lancaster City. If you’ve ever played one of the escape games online, you’ll enjoy this. There are three themed rooms — Escape from Hades, Medieval Castle and 1920s Train Station. You have one goal: follow the clues to find the key to get out in one hour. If you’d like to try to beat the clock, you’ll have to visit the website and book ahead of time. It costs $24 a person, unless you book a group, in which cast it costs $300 for 11-12 people. To purchase tickets, go to

photo credit: clarkmaxwell foam pit. via photopin (license)
photo credit: clarkmaxwell foam pit. via photopin (license)

If puzzle solving isn’t your style, and you’d rather bounce around, SkyZone in Lancaster is something you might want to check out. For $12, you can bounce on the many trampolines they have, jump into a foam pool and play ultimate dodgeball for half an hour. If you want more time, you can add 30 additional minutes for $4. It’s strongly suggested to buy tickets ahead of time, so you are able to jump when you want. And if that doesn’t sell you, when you come to SkyZone, you’ll leave with a pair of neon orange socks that you can wear if you return.

Brandon Harris, a junior at Penn Manor High School, said, “The best time to go is on Friday nights, because there are a lot of people there, which makes it better.”

For hours and to pre-purchase tickets, go to

If you’re not into jumping and can’t really do cool flips and would rather shoot your friends with lasers, check out Laserdome in Manheim. For $15, you get 40 minutes in “The Dome,” where you run over ramps and under structures to try to shoot the opposing team’s base with lasers. But you have to watch out, though, since the opposing team will be aiming at you. Ten additional dollars will double your time. In the lobby, there’s a full arcade with games like “Call of Duty” and a roller coaster simulator, and a laser course that you can crawl through to try tp beat it. For group prices and hours, go to

If you’re a bad shot and better on wheels, The Castle Roller Rink in Lancaster might be for you. Each night is a different theme, and the prices range from $5-$7. If you’re a beginner, there’s an area in the middle of the skating rink for you to practice. If you’re more advanced, the outside ring is where you can go as fast as you want and do tricks. Quad skates are $3 to rent, while inlines are $5. There’s an arcade and a food court for when you get tired. There’s music playing the entire time, and there are request nights for when you want to hear a certain song. Mixed in with the free skates are games like the limbo, the chicken dance and backwards skates. Justin Arment, a homeschooled sophomore, said that his favorite game he’s played there is the backwards skate. For themes and specific prices, go to

Bowling is fun to do on a cold day with a group of friends. photo credit: aguscr descansan las bolas via photopin (license)
Bowling is fun to do on a cold day with a group of friends.
photo credit: aguscr descansan las bolas via photopin (license)

And if none of that interests you, you might like Leisure Lanes Bowling and Golf Center. It’s on Columbia Ave and is a frequent spot for high school students to bowl. For bowling, it’s $4 per game, per person and $2.50 for shoe rental. Glow bowling starts at 11 p.m., and in between games, you can play pool, get some food and win stuffed animals in the arcade. Bowling is open 24/7, so you can go wherever you want to. James Mintzer, a senior, said that his favorite memories there are during cast parties for the musicals he’s been involved in. For party prices and to pre-reserve lanes, go to

As you can see, there’s a lot of different things to do as the temperature drops. The question is, which one are you going to do first?

Tatted teachers

By Rebekah Lueke

For centuries people have been getting tattoos.

Inked Magazine wrote in 2014, “About one in every five people in America has at least one tattoo.”

But why do people mark their bodies with ink forever? For some people, it’s because they want to express themselves; for others, tattoos hold a strong sentiment or memory, and for a good portion of people it ends up being a good story to tell.

When you think of someone with a tattoo, you probably don’t picture the middle-aged adult who stands at the front of the class and lectures you daily.

Untitled Magazine writes, “Society raises us to believe that tattoos are a form of rebellion.”

So it’s not common to pair teachers and tattoos together.

Penn Manor has more tatted teachers than you may know.

Ms. Beck's tattoo of a fish with faith written in it on her wrist.
Ms. Beck’s tattoo of a fish with faith written in it on her wrist.

Science teacher Ms. Tonya Beck has two tattoos. On her calf she has a mom holding a baby with her kids’ names which she got in 2010. Four years after she got another tattoo on her wrist which reads “faith”.

Ms. Beck said she would definitely get another tattoo.

“I got them to express things important to me,” she said.

FCS teacher Ms. Elizabeth Sheerer got her first tattoo in her freshman year of college on her back. Her tattoo is a rose and vine that forms a treble clef.  

Ms. Beck”s tattoo of a mom holding a baby with her kids names, on her calf.
Ms. Beck”s tattoo of a mom holding a baby with her kids names, on her calf.

“I got it because music is very important in my life,” Ms. Sheerer said. “I told myself if I ever saw a treble clef with a rose I would get it, and I did.”

Teachers are just like any other person, so does a teacher having a tattoo make them easier to talk to?

“I think it makes us seem more down-to-earth, or easier to talk to,” said Mrs. Jennifer Kroesen, math teacher.

Mrs. Kroesen got her first tattoo eight years ago on her foot.

“The tattoo is a palm tree,” she said. “The trunk is my kids’ initials. I got it in Key West with my husband on a trip away.”

“I absolutely think it opens up conversation,” said English teacher Ms. Lisa Mayo.

Ms. Mayo's ankle with an Orioles logo.
Ms. Mayo’s ankle with an Orioles logo.

Ms. Mayo has a Baltimore Orioles logo tattooed onto the inside of her right ankle. Two years ago she got it because she wanted to “make a commitment”.

For some people, getting a tattoo is just something that happens fast, for others it takes some time.

Ms. Janna Ames, biology teacher and head cheerleading coach, waited five years before actually going through with her tattoo. Just this past summer, Ms. Ames got the bible verse 1 Corinthian 9:25-27, in her mom’s handwriting, on her rib by her heart.

“I got it because it talks about how athletes do stuff because they have a gift,” she said. “They guide others.”

Mrs. Kroesen has a palm tree with her kids' initials tattooed on her foot.
Mrs. Kroesen has a palm tree with her kids’ initials tattooed on her foot.

The verse reads, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others, I myself might be disqualified.”

According to Statistic Brain, about 45 million Americans have at least one tattoo. Maybe your teacher could is one of the 45 million.

Overdrive provides more options for borrowing books

Using the Overdrive app or website, students can borrow library books electronically.

By Aly Whiteman

Are you the type of person who loves to read new books, but in the end loses all of their library book, and gets a huge fine? With the Overdrive program, you can never lose the books, they automatically return and there’s no way you can get a fine.

In winter 2014, district administrators and librarians sat down and decided to participate in a system called Overdrive. This system allows students to borrow library books to read on their phones. A year later, Penn Manor School District was registered to let students check books out electronically.

This program costs the library nothing, and students are allowed to take out books as they please.

In order to check out books through Overdrive, students will need to follow these steps:

  1. Download the Kindle app and the Overdrive app. Both are free.
  2. Sign into the Overdrive app with your school id, and find a book you’d like to read.
  3. Check the book out, and download it to the Kindle app.

After you’ve downloaded the book, you have it for two weeks, until you either renew it via Overdrive or it automatically returns. No lost books, no fines.

The Overdrive system is also available on your laptop if you don’t have a phone or tablet.

“It allows book access in a more convenient way for students that are interested in reading on their phones and tablets” said Mr. Jeffrey Taylor, librarian.

The books on the app are primarily fiction, with a few nonfiction books. The nonfiction books would be good for independent reading but not to use for a research paper.

There are over a thousand books on the app, with new books coming every year. Students can request to add a book on the app, but that would cost the library approximately $60 to $80, so it would be easier to request to order the physical book in the library.

“There are a lot of new and exciting books on Overdrive, ones that we don’t have in the library, so it’s good to check out if you want something new and exciting,” said Mr. Taylor.

There are multiple copies of the books on the app, but if all of the copies are out, you can place a hold on a book. It will take approximately 2-3 weeks to get the book if you’re the only hold on the book. If there are other people who have the book on hold, however, it might take a month or more.

There are copies of the summer reading books for classes as well, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Great Gatsby.” If you are more interested into listening to the book rather than reading it, you can borrow an audiobook for select titles.

Don’t have a tablet or phone? You can go to the Overdrive website on your school computer and read from there or borrow a Nexus Tablet from the library. All you need to do is fill out a permission form, and you can borrow a tablet for two weeks.

Bowling team prepares for upcoming season

By Lily Gibson

Penn Manor High School’s bowling team is holding open gyms at Leisure Lanes in Lancaster every Tuesday and Thursday until Nov. 20 when the winter sport season officially starts.

Students who come to the open gyms pay $5 each session to play three games, during which their skills will be assessed. Students are not required to have any previous experience or training to participate in the open gyms. Once the season officially starts, team members will no longer have to pay for practice.

Coach Chris Vital, who has been the bowling team’s coach for 13 years, said that one of his favorite parts of this sport is that students don’t need previous experience and all who want to join can. No student gets turned away.

Students will be divided into the varsity and the junior varsity team when the November practices begin. However, according to Coach Vital, at any point in the year a student can be moved up to the varsity team.

Coach Vital has had to make serious on-the-spot decisions in order to allow his team to win. Coach Vital spoke of one instance where  a freshman had bowled a total of one and a half games the whole season, but when he got a new ball, he started playing better. Later in the season at play-offs, one of the stronger bowlers had not been bowling very well, so Coach Vital switched the freshman with the senior, and the ninth grader bowled all strikes, winning the play-offs.

The boys bowling team won the state championship for the 2015-16 season. Senior Nick Fisher and freshman Katelyn Welsh, both members of the team, expect that this year they will again make it to compete in the Championships and hopefully bring home another victory.

Coach Vital expects that this year’s main rival will be the Warwick bowling team.

Students on the team said that they expect the year will be “competitive but fun.”

According to Fisher, playing on the team has been very fun for him and a very low-pressure atmosphere.

According to junior Michala Harvey, the team is, “really close; we’re like a family.”

For this season, training began early. Coach Vital said he began practice about a month before he has in the past.

Welcome to Wonderland: homecoming dance approaches

By Rebekah Lueke

Are you looking to do something this weekend? The homecoming dance will take place at Penn Manor High School on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The cafeteria will be decorated in theme of “Alice in Wonderland” by Penn Manor’s cheerleaders. The dance begins at 7 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m..

Tickets may be purchased at the doors Saturday night. For one person, tickets cost $8 dollars. For a couple, tickets cost $15. Any student who wants to bring someone from another school must pick up a form in the main office.

On the night of the dance, the homecoming queen will be announced.  Members of the homecoming court were nominated by the senior class.

The homecoming court includes seniors Brooke DeBerdine, Emily Gutierrez, Emma Young, Karly Emmert, Kiah Trago, Lynsey Wissler, Shania Pagan, and Victoria Martin.

Emmert, homecoming queen nominee, said, “The court got together and decided to raise money for Operation Homefront. The money goes to veterans that come home and need medical treatments, help with a fresh start, transitioning from being homeless and other ways of support.”

The homecoming queen will be determined by whoever gets the most votes from the sophomores, juniors and seniors. The runner-up will be the girl who raises the most money.

“I am very excited,” said Emmert. “It’s weird to think that it will be my last, but I know it will be a great time. All of the girls on the homecoming court are happy to have this experience.”

Life Skills students collect, recycle paper

A poster created by the Life Skills class, with inserts from the paper and the words "We Recycle" written on it. (Photo by Aly Whiteman)
A poster created by the Life Skills class, with inserts from the paper and the words “We Recycle” written on it. (Photo by Aly Whiteman)

By Aly Whiteman

It was Friday, Sept. 30 when two students and a teacher brought 1,700 pounds of newspaper to Gordon’s Recycling Services in York, Pa. All of the papers were stacked in the back of a white van, which drove up onto a giant scale and weighed in. After the van backed into what looks like a huge garage, the students threw all of the paper they collected into the giant pile of newspapers. The van is then weighed a second time, to see how many pounds they brought.

The students were students from Mrs. Melissa McMichael’s Life Skills class, and the newspapers were the papers they collected from around Penn Manor High School.

Life Skills students gather the copy paper, newspapers, broken textbooks and magazines from the classrooms every Tuesday, then sort it into different piles depending on the types of paper, remove all paper clips and staples, then bring all of the supplies to Gordon’s Waste on the last Friday of each month.

Julia Siar, a student in the Life Skills class likes how all of her classmates work as a team to sort and bring everything to the recycling center.

“Helping out is a good thing to do with the earth. Keeping it clean and healthy,” Siar said.

Mrs. McMichael said that it’s part of a “Good Citizenship” unit, which teaches the students skills, such as taking care of the earth and being active in the community.

Leroy Boynes, another student  the class, said that he learns how to sort the papers into piles, and what’s trash and what’s recyclables.

For each ton of printer paper, the class receives $70, and for each ton of newspaper, they get $45. Last year, they got approximately 38,000 pounds of materials from the school as a whole.

This money goes towards Community Based Instruction, which teach the students skills like table etiquette, then allows them to  visit a restaurant to practice those skills.


FFA students show animals at local fair

By Lily Gibson

Rebecca High and her two pigs, Phoenix (left) and Jett (right).
Rebecca High and her two pigs, Phoenix (left) and Jett (right).

Penn Manor FFA students showed their cattle, pigs and goats  at the West Lampeter Fair from Sept. 28-30.

Rebecca High, sophomore, showed her two pigs, Phoenix and Jett, on Wednesday, Sept. 28. The two pigs were in the Heavyweight division and both received a ribbon, one for second premium and one for third. High also received a ribbon herself for showmanship. This was her third year showing pigs and she intends to show again next season.

Sophomore Tabitha Swope showed her dairy beef cattle on Thursday, Sept. 29. This was her fifth year showing dairy beef; however, she plans for this to be her last season so she can focus more on academics.

Experiences can differ from year to year.

Swope said that the first time she received a blue ribbon, her cattle ate it, but she does always hope to receive another blue ribbon.

Even though High hasn’t showed for as long, she still has some advice to give.

“You definitely have to work with your pigs” she said, to make sure they show well.

When showing an animal, students start fresh each year by raising the animal from a calf or a piglet. The students care for the animals for several months until fair season, when they show and sell the animals.

High said that she received her pigs a few weeks early this year, and that had a fairly large effect on the results. She said that the pigs gained weight too fast, and that she had to adjust their diet in order to keep the pigs in their weight division.

The idea behind having students entered in the farm fairs is “to gain experience in agriculture,” as agriculture teacher Mr. Neil Fellenbaum said. However, not all students who show do so just for agricultural experiences. High stated that she started showing animals because she was asked by her brother her first year, but enjoyed it so much that she has continued.

FFA students who enter projects in farm fairs do it of their own decision and not as a part of class. Mr. Fellenbaum said that these are called Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects, and the student choose based on their own interests. These projects are mostly completed outside of class, but there is limited class time set aside to plan and update the projects.

There are also certain limitations on where a student can show and who can enter. Mr. Fellenbaum stated that a student must be a member of FFA in order to show animals, and according to Swope, students can only show certain animals at certain fairs.

Marching band returns to competition

By Keegan France

After two years of abstaining from competitions, the Penn Manor marching band has decided to re-enter and compete again.

“I’m excited but I’m also nervous,” said Band Director Mr. Andrew Johnson.

Two years ago, former Band Director Mr. Tom Mumma decided to pull Penn Manor out of local and state competitions to reduce time spent on marching band the pressure that went into competing. This past summer, the band members and music teachers met to decide the future of the marching band in competitions.

“The students were really behind it. The students like being competitive,” Mr. Johnson said about the meeting. Even with an extra night of practice, an extra week of band camp and the pressure to compete, many students enjoyed their first competition, held on Sept. 17 at Hempfield High School.

The marching band finished in seventh place out of eight competing bands. Many students expressed that they were not nervous and that they exceeded expectations.  

“It was a lot of fun,” said senior and Drum Major Emma Young. Young is one senior who was still in marching band when Penn Manor competed three years ago. She said she, too, did not feel nervous, and that the experience was enjoyable.

The marching band had a showcase on Saturday, Sept. 24 which Young described as being more laid back and gave students a better chance to socialize with students from other schools.

The band’s next competition will be on Oct. 8 at Cumberland Valley High School.

Mr. Johnson said that band competitions are usually paid for by the school or by fundraisers throughout the year; however, improved performances provides a motive for Penn Manor to upgrade their band room and equipment.