‘State of the Art’ technology fuels future success

By Mason McClure, staff writer

Monday through Sunday, night and day, Saegertown students use their electronics and technology for homework and in-school assignments. Technology is everywhere; it’s entwined into almost every aspect of our culture.

Junior Josh McWright adjusts the battery on a bot for the RoboBots competition.

Using technology in the classroom gives teachers the opportunity to develop their students’ digital skills. It’s one thing to use electronic devices; it’s another thing to know how to use them correctly and responsibly.

Newer electronics and machinery are essential for modern-day careers, so it only makes sense that our schools should have them too. In classes like Robotics, Wood Tech, and Tech Education, students are taught how to properly use modern technology. Students choose electives like these to expand their knowledge, or even to help themselves pursue long-term goals.

According to an article from securedgenetworks.com, “If used correctly, mobile devices and the applications they support, will help prepare students for their future careers.”

Robotics teacher Mr. Nahay emphasizes that, generally, schools should invest more funding into modern advancements and machinery, “Students need experience using modern technology, comparable to technology in workplaces,” he said.

Junior Zane Schlosser, a robotics student, shared his input about the importance of technology in school: “I think technology should be utilized in every subject for school. It can help you prepare for the workforce. Any career you decide, technology will be a huge factor.”

Students and faculty members should have more input on the school’s investment into these advancements. “You have to continually invest in technology,” said Mrs. Stacey Hetrick, journalism advisor and English teacher. “I appreciate the iPad initiative, but I hope the district will continue to invest in computers. I also wish the district would reinstate the ‘bring your own device’ program.”

Schlosser hopes the district will continue to make cutting-edge technology a priority: “The closer to state of the art, the better. When entering the workforce, you will be using newer technology. If our school decided to invest in more advanced technology, we would have a better look into possible future careers.”

Saegertown teachers saddle up for ‘Donkey Basketball’

By Bree Snyder, staff writer

For a second year, teachers from Saegertown will face off against Maplewood in a game of donkey basketball. Principal Tom Baker, teachers Phil Young, Chris Greco, Kelli Peters, Kathleen Mattera, Shannon Stewart, Rose Baker, Brian Hanley, and cafeteria worker Memory Irwin will compete on behalf of SES and SHS.

Exactly as the name suggests, players from both schools will be seated on the backs of donkeys (provided by Buckeye Donkey Ball) while attempting to shoot hoops and score points for their respective teams.  

According to Maplewood PTO co-president Jenna Barickman, all proceeds will be split between the Maplewood Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and the Saegertown PTO. A Chinese Auction and raffle tickets will also be available for purchase.

“I’m looking forward to having fun,” Mr. Greco said. “I have friends from Maplewood, so I know it will be all in good fun.”

The action will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 in the Maplewood High School gymnasium. Entrance fees are $6 for advanced admission and $8 for gate admission. Children under six are free with paid adult admission.

For more information, you can email barickfam@gmail.com or call (814) 337-1659.

Singers set for region chorus competition

By Morgan Radwick, design editor


After a remarkable performance at District Chorus, four Saegertown students will be moving on to regions taking place this week.

The 2019 PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) Region Chorus competitions will be held at Clarion High School from March 21-23.

Participating students from Saegertown this year are as follows; junior Carson Jones (Tenor II), junior Oliver Smith (Bass I), junior Sam Shelenberger (Bass ll), and senior Madison Morgan (Alto l). They will be accompanied by Mrs. Susan James. Each of the four advancing singers are members of Chambers Singers at Saegertown. “Regions is just a more technical version of Districts, It’s time to see who can put the passion and the intricacies into their music,” Jones said.

The students had to place in the top ten out of approximately twenty-five other contestants at District Chorus. Auditions and competitions will be held shortly after arrival on March 21.

The singers will then warm up in a group while a meeting for the directors is held. After a quick warm up, they will gather in their respective sections and be summoned, one at a time, into a room with three judges and a Sergeant of Arms.

The auditioning students are not to talk to the judges (their backs are turned to the student auditioning) so if they have a question, they ask the Sergeant of Arms.  The SA is also there to help students stay calm.

The students then audition with two pieces of music from their folder, which they received before the competition. Participants are expected to sing their part from the music with only a starting pitch. They are judged on correct pitch, rhythm, intonation, breathing, diction, etc. If the singers receive a high-enough score from the judges, they will move on to the State competition in Pittsburgh on April 3.

Rehearsals for the concert will be held Friday, March 22 and the concert will Saturday at Clarion High School at 2 p.m. Results from the Saegertown student auditions will be available on Twitter @PantherPressSHS.

Picketing with my father: United Electric lockout strikes home

By Kaitlyn Kozalla, features editor

On Sunday, March 3, I picketed with my family to show support for the plight of United Electric members after a nine day lockout. I was overwhelmed by the community’s encouragement and positivity. Trucks ushered wood for burn barrels so families could stay warm, restaurants supplied food, while the refrigerators and freezers in the united electrical radio and machine workers union hall overflowed. Three days later, United Electric 506 and 618 reached a consensus to end the lockout in Erie’s manufacturing facility.

Union members gathered in front of Wabtec’s corporate headquarters in Wilmerding, Pa. during the lockout.

The union passed a vote on Feb. 26 to initiate a lockout on the facility formerly owned by General Electric (GE) Transportation, which is now owned by Wabtec Corporation. This lockout was passed the day after Wabtec’s purchase of the plant was made official.

As the daughter of a 13-year GE employee, I witnessed first hand the impact of Wabtec’s corporate greed. The day of the purchase, the company released an official statement that included the changes being implemented. Some of these changes included a wage cut of almost forty percent, mandatory overtime and to relegate 20 percent of workers to part-time positions with no benefits.

The introduction of Wabtec’s two-tier wage system was the breaking point for many employees. Former GE employees would retain their wages, while new employees would have their wages slashed. What Wabtec failed to clarify is what would happen to employees who are laid off and later returned – they too would receive a wage cut.  

After walking the picket line for about an hour, I learned of Wabtec’s regulations on strikers. According to the official statement, only ten members (at least five feet apart) could walk the picket. While all this was occurring, Wabtec employees acted as monitors from their warm vehicles.

Union members shouted: “Who are we? UE!” and “What do we want? A fair contract! When do we want it? Now!” Passing motorists honked in shows of support, some possibly being former GE employees

Harborcreek Township resident Chris Merit, a 30-year GE employee, said: “You can’t just bring in people off the street to do what we do.” Wabtec claims to offer competitive wages, but fails to take into account the common adage “skilled labor isn’t cheap and cheap labor isn’t skilled.”

I continued to follow the situation through local media, but saw no change. Another blow was dealt when I learned my family had lost our insurance. Through the bad; however, the union supported workers as much as they could by helping families pay their bills if they couldn’t afford to do so.

This issue quickly gained national support. Senator Bernie Sanders wrote a letter to Wabtec asking the company to keep the existing contract until a compromise could be reached. Sanders continued by saying he will provide his “full support and solidarity” until a contract is set.

UE President, Scott Slawson, spoke for Local 506 and 618 at a Bernie Sanders rally in Brooklyn. He urged Wabtec to respect hardworking families and find a fair deal for both sides. News outlets including CNN covered the story, which promoted worldwide support for the UE members. The UE Facebook page UE Members 506 was filled with messages of support from working families from California to Connecticut and as far away as Italy, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

Wabtec and UE reached an agreement containing a 90-day contract that allows more negotiations towards a long-term deal. It is unknown whether an agreement will be reached by the end of the term, but both parties claim they are optimistic. At this time, the plant will not close and wages will be maintained at their present levels.

Never have I thought that my family would ever go through this. It was, and still is uncertain of what will happen next, and if i’m honest, it’s nerve-racking. I know in the end everything will turn out, we will persevere no matter the case.

‘Alcatraz’ and ‘The Liberator’ prepare for Robobots battles

By Jake Reisinger, Web Site Editor

On March 30, Meadville Area Senior High school will host the 2019 RoboBots competition. Two teams of students in the robotics class, advised by George Nahay, are preparing to make sure their bots are ready to enter the battle arena. “We hoped to be finished with our bots sooner,” Mr. Nahay said. “But we should have both bots complete by next week.”

Junior Josh McWright works on making sure “Alcatraz” is ready for battle.

Team one is “We The People” with their bot The Liberator. Team members include: Jaden Reagle, Josh Weaver, Ashley Merritt, Ben McWright, Darian Kaye, Tim Senovich, and Wesley Price.

Team two is “Prison Break” and with their bot Alcatraz. Team members include: Drew Hunter, Josh McWright, Devin Steiger, Ryan Washburn, David Deets, Zane Schlosser, and Jordan Bush.

The action begins at 9 a.m. Check out the March 29 Panther Press for full details about the Saegertown teams.

‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’: a thrilling follow-up to a classic

by Nick Archacki, staff writer

The year 2017 was filled with many award-winning and extravagant films. At the end of 2017, however, another hit was released that had a special touch to it that can’t be denied. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” is a follow-up to the 1995 classic film “Jumanji” that is based on a story of four teenagers who get sucked into a video game that they’ve never heard of or seen before. The teenagers, Spencer, Fridge, Martha, and Bethany have to live the life of the avatars that they’ve chosen and beat the game with their hilarious new attributes in order to return home.

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” adds an uproarious twist when the actors in the film get transformed into the avatars that they’ve chosen, many of whom are completely opposite to their real life personalities. Spencer, a nerdy student played by Alex Wolff and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is Dr. Smolder Bravestone. Fridge, the athletic football star played by Ser’Darius Blain and Kevin Hart, is Franklin “Mouse” Finbar. Bethany, the dramatic beauty queen played by Madison Iseman and ironically Jack Black, is Professor Shelly Oberon. Finally, Martha, the self-conscious loner played by Morgan Turner and Karen Gillan, is Ruby Roundhouse.

The four characters can exit the game, but they have to defeat all of the levels with the three lives they received when they first entered Jumanji. Characters who lose all their lives will die in the game and never go back to their real-life home. Therefore, the four teenagers who have transformed into adults in the game have to “find the missing piece, return the jewel back to the Jaguar, lift the curse and save Jumanji,” as said from the tour guide in the film, Nigel.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the movie is a success with a rating of 76 percent, beating the original 1995 “Jumanji” film by over twenty percent.  Rotten Tomatoes notes: “‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ uses a charming cast and a humorous twist to offer an undemanding yet solidly entertaining update on its source material.” iMBd (Internet Movie Database) rated the movie a 7/10, narrowly beating the original film, which was rated a 6.9/10. The movie is currently ranked forty-second on the all time worldwide box office gross list, crushing its predecessor, as the original “Jumanji” film is currently sitting in the 509th slot on the very same list.

The first time I watched the trailer for “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” I was in love from the start. When I watched it in theaters; the movie was unlike any other I’ve ever seen before because of the thrilling action, mystery, and hilarious comedy that it offered. It was statistically one of the best films of 2017, being the fifth best worldwide box office film of the year behind “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Fate and the Furious”, and “Despicable Me 3.”

Veteran Panther Press movie reviewer Dustin Steiger said, “‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ was a comedic masterpiece, and I would definitely recommend watching it!” “It was enjoyable from the get-go and it kept the audience laughing, myself included.”  

Saegertown players shine in Lions Club All-Star basketball game

by Bailey Kozalla, editor-in-chief

Lions_Clubs_International_logo.svg_-1024x971.pngSaegertown seniors Owen Chess and Stevie Siple brought their basketball talents to Maplewood High School on March 26 in the All-Star game. Sponsored by Townville Lions Club, the game featured two teams of seniors separated into East and West teams. Chess and Siple played for the West.

The East was coached by Dave Gjovic of Maplewood and the West was coached by Mark McElhinny of Meadville. The Crawford County players included seniors from Saegertown, Cambridge Springs, Maplewood, Meadville, Cochranton, and General McLane.

The annual All-Star game is laid-back and high scoring by nature. Combining impressive shot attempts, and a plan to drive in with either a cool pass or an open three-point shot, the East team defeated the West with a score of 106-66.

Despite the loss, Siple and Chess contributed with two and eight points respectively.

“I got to really enjoy my last game without all the stress of competition. I am grateful for the experience to play,”Siple said.

Chess said, “It was a really fun game overall even though it was more relaxed. It was fun to go out on the court and just enjoy myself.”

In a Meadville Tribune interview, Harry Zurasky of the Townville Lions Club said, “It was an interesting game. They all shared the ball well. They all had fun and they compete all those years, and tonight they get to just have fun together.”