A Snowy Weekend Forecast

Now is the time to invest in a good pair of snow boots and a warm winter jacket, because this weekend there will be snow.

According to the website, Weather.com, we will be getting two to four inches of snow on Saturday and some more light snow on Sunday. A winter storm is heading in from the Gulf Steam and we have no choice but to welcome it with open arms. Earlier this year, weather experts predicted this: a snowy winter. Maybe this time the weather man will be correct.

Penn Manor students sure hope so. Snow to the average high school student seems to be the greatest winter gift, the gift of a delay or a relaxing day off.

Sophomore, Breezy Rivera, seems excited for the snow this weekend, “It’s beautiful when it’s snowy.”

Sophomore Adam Morris is another student who is looking forward to a snowy weekend, “Snow is boss. I love snowmen.”

However there are the students of Penn Manor who aren’t the biggest fans of the snow to come, and they hope that the weather man will be incorrect in his prediction.

“I don’t think it’s going to snow because when they say it’s going to it never does,” senior Joanna Reyes says, “I hate the snow.”

Sophomore Alyssa Thompson seems to be expecting big snow this weekend and wants to be well prepared, “I feel like I should go get some bread, eggs, lock myself in my house, get my snow stuff ready, and stock my cabinets.”

Principal Doug Eby is accepting the fact that this winter we may be seeing a lot of snow, “I think it would be nice to have some days off, I’m going to go sledding with my kids.”

It seems that the only downside to having those unexpected days off is having to make them up on the expected days off.

“It seems like it will snow a lot and that will push back the snow days,” senior Amanda Sanchez says.

This weekend we are in for some snow, but we’ll all have to sit back and wait to see if it truly does come.

By: Abby Wilson

The Gift of Giving Grows at Penn Manor

Since last year, Penn Manor has offered a gift to the community – the Giving Tree, an activity that fulfills the Christmas wishes of those who can’t afford to buy Christmas gifts.

“It’s a really good activity that we’re doing,” said Megan Harris, a senior in student council since her freshman year.

The Giving Tree reaches out to families in the Penn Manor school district, elementary schools, middle schools, and the high school and puts out tags with Christmas wishes from the families. The tags with the wishes on them are to be taken, by those willing to buy a gift for a family, to the library by Dec. 16.

The Giving Tree at Penn Manor
The Giving Tree at Penn Manor Photo by Alex Blythe

“It’s getting us into the holiday spirit,” senior student counsel member, Taylor Eichelburger, said.

This year, the number of families that were helped through the Giving Tree has doubled since last year.  Students and faculty who want to help those that can’t afford to buy gifts for their family, can take a tag, and spread the holiday joy.

Last year, the Giving Tree helped 10 families with 100 tags. This year, the presents will be going to 25 families, and 450 tags were posted.

“Hopefully this year goes as good as it did last year,” junior student counsel member, Mikah Farbo, said.

“Clothing, shirts, pants and the younger kids prefer games. The boys want foot balls, the girls want makeup,” Good said about some of the Christmas wishes from the families the giving tree helps, “It’s not all toys.”

“Shoes, clothes, toiletries,” Harris said, “stuff we take for granted.”

By Michael Stokes

A Class Project Goes Above and Beyond

When Sally Muenkel assigned a “cell analogy project” she had no idea what to expect

For the project the students had to compare a cell to a real life situation such as a city or a school.

The students used their creativity, mixed with science, and put it into a project which allowed students to excel above and beyond, according to Muenkel

“I’ve never had these results” Muenkel says. “The creativity exhibited by the students is more than good.”

The projects varied from a field hockey game, to a farm, and then to the Harry Potter Hogwarts school.

In every model, the students had to compare every single part to a cell.

“It was one of the hardest projects I’ve had to do,” says Teerney Nace, a student in Muenkel’s, honors biology class.

Sara Bennis, also a student in the class, said “It took a week of class time to cut out the models.”

They put 100% of their effort into the project , said Nace.

“It was more fun to express the ideas of the project,” said Ian Toomey.

According to the students, the project took a lot of time to finish because “everyone was trying to be more creative than the other,” said Bennis.

“Everyone pretty much passed though,” says Kegan Miney.

All in all Muenkel said she was thrilled with the outcome and how this years project came out.

By Miriam Karebu

Mathematicians Take the Prize

X is a positive integer, 338 being a perfect square, what is the value of x?

If you’re not a mathematical genius, the answer probably isn’t an easy one to grasp.

Luckily Penn Manor has quite a handful of these geniuses and they took the top prize recently at the George Washington University, Colonial Math Bowl.

The Colonial Math bowl is a widely known math competition held in Washington, D. C.  once a year where schools come to compete from across the East coast, including this year’s teams from D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

“Most of the kids that are at this competition are from private or elite public schools,” said one of Penn Manor’s math teachers, Kathy Grenier.

Penn Manor’s very own, Ben Clark, and Grant Eledge, placed in the top ten of the individual competition and both received an $80,000 scholarship to the George Washington University.

Neither student has confirmed if they’re going to attend at George Washington University because of the $50,000 yearly tuition.

In the team section, Penn Manor’s Blue Team consisting of Grant Elledge, Helen Hutchens, Ben Clark, and Dan Gochnauer took first place, though the first round was lost, they stayed strong into the finals. The team received a plaque for their winnings.

Great job, mathletes!

By Noah Kuhn

FFA Convention

Each year there is a national FFA convention, in which FFA members from all over the country come together, so they can mingle with each other, and increase their knowledge about careers and colleges in which they are interested.

Penn Manor senior FFA members are able to go on this trip, as long as all the requirements are met.

Chris Cook, Jen Drumm, Brian Groff, Joe Herr, and Jeremy Kreider are the seniors who attended this year’s trip from Monday October 19, 2009 through Saturday October 24, 2009, located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

At the opening session, the national officers spoke to all 55,000 attendees.

Drumm said, “It’s an assembly of students from all over the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.”

At Lucas Oil Stadium, where it was located, everyone got to walk around, looking at the different colleges and businesses that were there, exploring their personal interests.

Cook explained, “It was like a giant mall.”

There were college stands, bull riding, off road experience, and even Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs” at the stadium.

Kreider said his favorite part of the trip was “going to the convention, seeing all the career booths.”

The group visited the Flight 93 crash site and memorial, the Corvette Assembly Plan, the Mammoth Cave Historic tour, the Louisville Slugger Museum and Manufacturing Facility, Fair Oaks Farm, and Carley Elk Farm, along with camping out at Bowling Green KOA in Louisville, Kentucky.

The competition was held in Indianapolis, Indiana, located in the Indiana Convention Center.  About 50,000 people were in attendance.

“I had a blast.  We had luxury dinners, like steak, every night,” Cook said.

The Penn Manor FFA students learned new things about the careers they’re interested in, along with some other interesting and useful information.

By Brittany Burke

From Quiz Kids to Champions

From bones to geography, optics to archeology, the quiz bowl team at Penn Manor knows it all.

Mark Twain once said, “It is wiser to find out than to suppose.”

That is exactly what Penn Manor’s first-place quiz bowl team is doing.

The Quiz Bowl team at their practice on Monday
The Quiz Bowl team at their practice on Monday

This Penn Manor team is first in the league, out of a total of 24 teams.  With a record of six wins and zero losses, and a total cumulative score of 1110.  They average about 185 points per match.

The team gets their practice questions out of quiz books in the library.  They practice every Monday 3-4:30 unless they have a competition.

Captain Grant Elledge, a senior said, “I’m a firm believer that quiz bowl should be a combination of questions and dodge ball.”

Though their practices are laid back and fun, they can get competitive when need be.

“Other teams get really frustrated, and you can see that.  We’re not like that.  That’s our strength,” said  junior Lars Andersen.

At their latest practice on Monday, they had a lot of inside jokes and everyone got along and laughed together.

Hmm, what is the term for the study of light, the team fell silent.

The answer: optics.

A synchronized “DUH!” filled the library.

The most entertaining event at practice was when a senior reprimanded his buzzer because it would not work.

The best part about quiz bowl, senior  Christine Sharp, said, “It’s cool to see how much useless trivia I have stuffed in my brain over the years.”

The rest of the team includes Brendan Stoekyl, Henry Stewart, Morgan Flood, Corey Delmonto, Georgina Waldman and Helen Hutchins, though the practices include others.

The greatest part of the whole quiz bowl experience said Elledge, “I like traveling, we went to the capital, had a competition inside the capital building, D.C., and even went to Chicago.”

They continue to work toward a state competition this year.

By: Alyssa Funk

Rockin’ at the Hop Raises Cash for Chorus

The smell of hamburgers filled the room as girls in poodle skirts and boys in leather jackets danced in and out of tables.

The chorus’ second annual “Night at the Hop” took place in the cafeteria Nov.6, raising more than $8,000 for the group’s future gig in Hawaii.

Decorated in checkered tablecloths, pink and green streamers, and old records, the entire event was designed around a 50’s diner  theme.

Preparations begin hours ahead of "Night at the Hop"
Preparations begin hours ahead of "Night at the Hop"

Hannah Tucker, chorus president, said, “We used classic colors from that time to add some fun to the black and white checkers. A lot of the stuff was donated to us, except for a few things like ketchup which we made panic runs for at the last minute.”

Chorus member, Estefania Perdomo, explained that students got their jacket and skirts off of Ebay, at Good Will stores and said to help out, she made her own skirt along with six others.

After a few hours of set-up, the guests arrived and the singing began. Performers included the chorus members, a school band called Manhunt, and even Melissa Telesco, the chorus teacher.

M Telesco

The song list covered many classic 50’s hits to match the décor, and ranged from artists Johnny Cash to the Ronnettes.

Entertainment also included swing dance. According to Dakota Jordan, he and other students in the chorus were taught by Corina Connelly and Jill Wiley.

Jordan stated, “We practiced after school for four weeks” to prepare for the festivities.

Students took turns serving their tables so that while one of them was singing, the other was taking orders and making runs to the kitchen for food.

They served hamburgers and cheese burgers, soda, French fries, baked beans, and cole slaw. For dessert there was apple cobbler and banana pudding, and milk shakes to wash it all down.

Poodle skirts and saddle shoes were in vogue during "A Night at the Hop"
Poodle skirts and saddle shoes were in vogue during "A Night at the Hop"

The students also hosted a raffle, the largest and final prize being a handmade wooden cabinet. The raffle also included smaller prizes such as gift cards and framed photos.

Tucker said, “Everyone’s doing a great job helping out” and at the end of the night she said she felt the event was a great success.

Good food and 50s music highlighted the Chorus fundraiser
Good food and 50s music highlighted the Chorus fundraiser

The event was planned in order to help minimize the cost of a trip scheduled to take place in 2011. The chorus will be traveling to Hawaii to perform at the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Telesco said the event was a huge success that they would be continuing the tradition next year.

By Stephanie Carroll

Powder Puff Update

The Powder Puff game has been rescheduled for Wednesday December 9. There are two mandatory practices which are taking place on Monday December 7, and Tuesday December 8.

There will also be a mandatory dinner before the game that all players and coaches are required to attend. The dinner will be free!

Another change to this year’s game is that there will be no boy cheerleaders, the junior and senior classes will have to cheer for themselves.

The permission slips for the game are due next Friday November, 13. If you don’t hand in your permission slip by 2:45 on the due date, then you will not be able to participate in the Powder Puff football game.

The price to get into the game is $1 or a canned good.

Don’t miss seeing the Senior and Junior girls duke it out on Wednesday December 9!

By: Abby Wilson

Television Station Visits Penn Points Newsroom

Penn Points Online is gaining  lots of attention in its first weeks of release.

A crew from a local television station, WGAL, made an appearance at Penn Point’s newsroom Thursday to feature the online news magazine’s debut as one of the first student newspapers in the state to become totally web-based, eliminating any sort of traditional paper version.

“I was impressed,” said Lori Burkholder, a WGAL reporter, “especially with your featured video.”

Susan Baldrige, Penn Points Online advisor, was first to be interviewed.

“I was a little nervous, I’m not used to being interviewed, I’m used to being the interviewer,” said Baldrige. “I was nervous I would forget something.”

WGAL reporter, Lori Burkholder, and cameraman, Dan Maddox, visit Penn Points news room.

Pioneering an online school newspaper in Lancaster County has put Penn Points and its staff on front stage. Dozens of e-mails, posted comments, and positive feedback  has graciously flooded the school newspaper and its staff.

Networking, getting to know people, and educating ourselves on not only local politics but national politics were just two skills the staff should be working on, advised Burkholder, with her 20 years of  experience.

Burkholder also interviewed editor-in-chief, Robert Henry, senior Abby Wilson and long-time staffer, Andrew Zell, to find out how the paper has changed and the direction it is heading.

Most of  the young journalists on the newspaper staff were videotaped working on deadline stories at their desk.

Penn Manor’s Information Technology director, Charlie Reisinger, who first conceived of the online paper, was on hand to answer technical questions for the reporter.

WGAL’s story on Penn Points Online is slated to air the week of November 2.

By Robert Henry

Just Call It More Testing – Pa. Goes to Graduation Testing

Current eleventh grade students better get studying.  Pennsylvania today approved a plan to test students before they graduate.

They don’t pass, they don’t graduate.

The good news for students is they will no longer need to pass the PSSA tests; instead, they will be taking a series of tests, known as the Keystone Tests, in order to graduate.

The first tests will be on the subjects of biology, algebra and literature and are taking place next year. Thus, all current juniors will be forced to pass this test in order to graduate in 2011.

“We already have to pass classes and take finals and SATs, we shouldn’t have to take another” complained Penn Manor High School Junior, Emily Land.

According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the new tests offer little-to-no room for error. Any student that receives a grade score of “D” or lower receives a score of zero on the test.

And the tests come with a large price. It will take a reported $176 million to develop and administer the tests for the first year they take place. The following years, it will cost an estimated $31 million.

Junior Lauren Ressler, who will be among the first to take the Keystone Test, had this to say: “We do enough work as it is.”

And junior Jeff Ford was in agreement, “We shouldn’t have to take it.”

One advocacy group, Pennsylvania State Conference of NAACP fears that this new technique of testing will deny students diplomas just simply because they fail the test.

Along with the draft of this testing process, the State Education Board included that if a student would happen to fail the test, and re-fail the test a second time, what is being called a “special project” would be included in order to help students reach the credit needed.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests would also count toward the scores.

Though the tests are mandatory, the qualification for graduation is pending an individual school district board vote. If the school district decides not to include the tests mandatory to graduate, they will be forced to design their own way to measure the students’ skills.

“I knew it was coming, I think we are trying to show our students are growing in school,” said Mrs. Cox, who is also concerned about the cost of the tests. “I think we compete with a lot of countries and I wouldn’t be surprised if a universal curriculum isn’t created soon.”

By: Tyler Barnett