Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘Millcreek Township’
Posted: April 22nd, 2013

arthurIn Kevin Cuneo’s column today, he writes that Marc Brown — famous Erieite who attended Millcreek schools and author of all the “Arthur” books and the PBS series – had written a letter to Erie friends to lobby the folks on the Millcreek Township School District board to retain arts in its curriculum. Kevin’s column is here.
The letter in its entirety is below:
Dear Millcreek friends,
As someone who was nurtured by the Millcreek school system, I was saddened and alarmed to hear that the Millcreek schools were considering eliminating the arts from the curriculum. In my opinion, this would be a tremendous loss for every student. Whether you’re naturally artistic or not, learning how to think creatively is a very important skill. The arts contribute to every child’s ability to use his or her imagination. Art is about inventing new ways of fitting things together: words, images, objects, processes, thoughts and history.
Growing up in Millcreek and watching my dad go to work everyday for the railroad was painful. Dislike for his job was palpable. But he filled his free time with creative pursuits, writing, architecture, gardening, researching and collecting antiques. This taught me an important lesson at a very young age. Find a job you love because it adds immeasurably to the quality of your life. By cutting the arts in Millcreek Schools, you are saying to many kids, who you are and what you want to be, isn’t important. You are removing a critical foundation that may lead to successful careers in the arts for many kids.
Not every child goes down the educational conveyor belt neatly nourished by the core curriculum. I was one of those kids. I don’t want to even imagine what might have happened to me without the ability to major in art at McDowell High School with Nancy Bryan as my teacher. And there are many other kids like me growing up in Millcreek today needing the arts in their educational process to make them the exceptional adults that they can become.
As I travel around the country speaking to children about my books I have the great opportunity to talk with teachers about their schools and their work. For many years now the things they report about what teaching has become is not encouraging. Since the reduction of art, music and drama in so many schools, accompanied by the testing requirements for government funding, our children are becoming robotic regurgitators of facts for test taking.
Perhaps the most compelling reason to keep the arts in our schools is outlined brilliantly by my friend, Harvard professor, Howard Gardner in his book, “MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES.” I urge every person who is in the position of eliminating the arts in schools to read this book. He outlines eight intelligences and writes very compellingly about the importance of integrated daily arts instruction. He explains the idea that people have eight intelligences (verbal-linguistic, mathematical-logical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical-rhythmic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist), and schools must use them all to help every child reach full potential.
My Millcreek education provided the arts foundation I needed to help build a successful career in the arts. It’s impossible to imagine Millcreek Schools withdrawing this critical component of a child’s education. If I were a student in your schools today, I would be very frightened about my future.
I’m hoping you’ll do the right thing for our children.

Sincerely,


Marc Brown

Here’s a story Sean McCracken wrote in January about a visit Brown made to local schools. The photo below is of Marc Brown speaking in Fairview.

Author Marc Brown speaks to students at Fairview Elementary School and draws a creature from their suggestions on Wednesday, Jan. 23. SEAN McCRACKEN//ERIE TIMES-NEWS

Author Marc Brown speaks to students at Fairview Elementary School and draws a creature from their suggestions on Wednesday, Jan. 23. SEAN McCRACKEN//ERIE TIMES-NEWS

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times andHouse to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three — all graduates of McDowell High School.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 31st, 2013

MP900341908[1]In the wake of the personal, paid leave for Michael Golde … and all the silence surrounding the Millcreek’s School District board’s handling of this entire McDowell mess — oh and the mysterious $5 million transfer from a capital fund to an operating budget — a no-no someone had to sign off on, I found an article about superintendents behaving badly.

Read the LehighValley Morning Call’s piece by staffer Paul Carpenter. This article, dating back to 2011, discusses the salaries and arrogance of Allentown, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh superintendents.

Here’s a sample: Former Allentown superintendent Gerald Zahorchak collected a $195,000 salary, and Carpenter in his article in the Morning Call quoted complaints that “Zahorchak ruled like an autocrat and warned subordinates that any public criticism of his policies would result in disciplinary action.” He resigned after less than a year and is now the director of strategic initiatives of the Allentown School District. Hmmm.

Paul Carpenter also calls attention to huge separation packages that superintendents walked off with in other cities.

Meanwhile back at the ranch here in Millcreek, Michael Golde is on paid personal leave. Follow The Erie Times-News’ Sean McCracken as he unravels the audit, the consolidation and the taxpayer frustrations.  And McCracken has news on the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit’s “hoarding” of $11.8 million from 17 school districts.

I guess we all have something to learn from these facts.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three — all graduates of McDowell High School. She is a step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 23rd, 2013
This is a photograph of Gus Anderson Field at McDowell High School on April 17. Photo by JACK HANRAHAN/

This is a photograph of Gus Anderson Field at McDowell High School on April 17. Photo by JACK HANRAHAN/

On Jan. 22, Sean McCracken reported that Millcreek Township School District Superintendent Michael Golde is on administrative leave for “personal reasons” since Jan. 18.

No one is talking, and district employees said Golde’s leave might be discussed at the Millcreek School Board’s Jan. 28 meeting — 10 days after he left.

Another mystery brews. Officials referred questions to Tim Sennett, Millcreek Township attorney at the personnel, finance and operations meeting on Jan. 22.

See GoErie.com and read Sean McCracken’s update here for more details. Just a tidbit from McCracken’s story that caught my eye: “Golde is working under a five-year contract with the district that expires in 2014. His pay started at $155,000 a year and increased a maximum of 4 percent annually based on evaluations of his work.”

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three — all attended Millcreek schools. 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 3rd, 2012

Check out the photo gallery of 200 photos from the McDowell High School Homecoming parade and football game in Millcreek Township on Friday, Sept. 28.

Injured McDowell senior quarterback Jarrett Koper appears in the photo at left with his date for homecoming. See all the teenagers and cute babies and tots in costume.

There’s more — see the water polo photos from McDowell High School versus Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy here.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 1st, 2012

Stephanie Williams, Photo by Christopher Millette, Erie Times-News

She’s my neighbor and mom of one of my daughter’s high school pals. Stephanie Williams is more than a principal. She is principal of the year — a statewide recognition. Read Sean McCracken’s story here.

“I think a principal needs to be both a curriculum leader and a building manager,” Williams said to McCracken. “And it can be easy to just focus on the building manager part of that.”

Williams is the mom of three girls, and she knows firsthand the issues teenagers face. She never got caught up in the administration rather than working with students.

She was instrumental in helping my son get back into schoolwork after he broke his ankle and missed a lot of school his freshman year.

It was a difficult time, and we appreciated all her effort. Congratulations to Williams on a well-deserved award.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 19th, 2012

This is a photograph of Gus Anderson Field at McDowell High School on April 17. Photo by JACK HANRAHAN/

Last month, amid a lot of hoopla, the Millcreek school board voted to spend $94 million on a new school complex. Plans are getting underway with scheduling construction. Read Sean McCracken’s complete coverage of the timeline here.

The plan to knock down a high school and raise up a new athletic field is on deck, but the field comes first. And the devil is in the details. The current Gus Anderson stadium has six lanes which means the school cannot host any major PIAA track events. Architect Chris Coughlin, of Hallgren, Restifo, Loop & Coughlin Architects, said the pricetag will boost another $250,000 in construction costs by installing eight rather than six lanes.

Right now, Harbor Creek High School, which has an eight-lane track, hosts the District 10 track and field championships. The event brings in athletes, parents and patrons from a lot of schools. Track meets include admission fees and concessions. As a track mom, I know this is big money.

In Millcreek, board members Ron Wilga, Judy Wheaton, Terry Scutella and John DiPlacido favor a six-lane track, and Brian Kramer favors eight lanes, according to McCracken’s article.

There is a special meeting tonight at the Millcreek Education Center, 3740 West 26th St., from 6 to 8 p.m. I’m not sure if they are discussing the field or the track, but they face some important issues.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 19th, 2012

 


James Conner, right. Photo from goerie.com

Even if your son or daughter isn’t an athlete, you need to read this terrific story by John Dudley. It explores the importance of postings via text message, Facebook and Twitter. Kids need constant reminders that what they post can be seen, forwarded, copied and pasted all over the Internet. James Conner, a McDowell senior, and one of the most recruited local athletes, learned the power of social media. If you Google his name, more than 10 pages of listings come up with multiple Youtube, ESPN, and Yahoo listings. Most schools don’t dictate social media policies, but Oil City does. Here’s a quote from Dudley’s article

Social media policy

Oil City’s policy on social media, as stated in the district’s athletic policy manual:

- “I understand that it is my responsibility to not use any form of social media (text messages, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc.) to be critical of teammates, coaches, game officials, school administrators, opponents, opposing schools, or any other personnel involved in the athletic program. Furthermore, I understand that a violation of this policy could be cause for suspension from or removal from the team.”

James Conner photo by Josh Barber, Erie Times-News

Conner rushed for 246 yards on only eight carries Saturday in a 49-20 victory over Lancaster Catholic. He scored three touchdowns and is committed to the University of Pittsburgh for 2013.

To follow all the regional football games live on Friday nights, check out the live Erie Times-News Varsity blog — just click here. To see Conner and the McDowell Trojans in action, check them out Friday, Sept. 21 at home against St. Ignatius (Cleveland, OH); Friday, Sept. 28 against St. Edward (Lakewood, OH); and Friday, Oct. 5 @ Cathedral Prep (Erie, PA).

You can also listen live to the McDowell games — click here for the school’s Internet broadcasts of the games.

Pam Parker is the daughter of the late famed football coach Walt Strosser, the wife of football coach Kim Parker, and the mom and stepmom of five former football players. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 31st, 2012

This is a photograph of Gus Anderson Field at McDowell High School on April 17. Photo by JACK HANRAHAN/

Last night’s Millcreek school board meeting brought in a crowd, and the vote is in. The plan is to demolish McDowell High School and merge with an enlarged McDowell Intermediate for a total cost of more than $110 million, but the story won’t end here. It’s the beginning of an event that will take years to complete.

We have six McDowell graduates in our family, and they are watching this drama unfold. While people on all sides are very passionate about their opinions, we all need to remember who is watching — on Facebook and all the media sites.

I joined and liked all the Facebook pages to see comments, and I agree with a little of what both sides have to say. We need better facilities. I think everyone agrees on that. And we need better communication in Millcreek. Here’s what I hope for next:

Respect. Just plain old respect and for both sides to be civil. Some comments and statements I’ve seen on Facebook have become personal attacks, and that just shouldn’t happen. I’m hoping that the next steps can include listening and that we all learn a lesson and teach a lesson to our kids that we can disagree, but we can do it without name-calling and personal insults. We have years ahead of us for this school transition to take place, and thousands of students will be living through it. Our kids need to feel good about their school and community.

Pam Parker is the parent of three and stepmom of three — all graduates of McDowell High School. Pam is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 26th, 2012

Butch Peelman, Bob Boyd, Dale Matha and Ron Seyboldt

U.S. Navy veteran Bob Boyd touched our family and hundreds of others this summer.

Yesterday, he honored veterans, POWs and MIAs including my dad, Walter C. Strosser.

A former prisoner of war during World War II, Dad was also Bob Boyd’s world cultures teacher at Tech Memorial High School. Bob graduated in 1966. He shared many memories with my brother Dr. Walter L. Strosser and me.

“I just wanted you to know that in those days, we knew many of us were going to Vietnam,” Boyd told me. “Your dad told us all that if he and his neighbor got in a fight, he’d want to fight at his neighbor’s house and not his own. That was why we had to go to Vietnam. I’ll never forget that.”

Boyd, 64, is the founder of Armed Forces Christian Ministry, and he is on a mission to honor veterans and current service men and women. He is responsible for American flags along Erie area bridges. Boyd has placed flags on the Peninsula Drive bridge, the Sgt. Donald S. Oaks Memorial Bridge, the Bayfront Connector near East 12th Street and the Jeremy Horton bridge on Powell Ave.

Yesterday, I was honored to join Boyd and half dozen others as they attached  flags to the Nagle Road bridge near Route 20 in Harborcreek — the fifth bridge Boyd has lined with flags and the first to honor POW’s and MIA’s. next, he plans to place flags around the  Harborcreek High School athletic field.

The flags have been donated by funeral directors and cemeteries. He plans to remove the flags before bad weather hits — after Labor Day, but he is hoping to keep the flags up until Veterans Day. Here’s a WJET-TV video of the story on the Powell Avenue bridge.

Boyd’s helpers include HAM operators Butch Peelman, Ron Seyboldt and Dale Matha, grandfather of football player Dan Matha, a McDowell graduate in his senior year at Indiana University of Pa.

To help out, contact Bob Boyd at bobboydjr@usa.com

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 10th, 2012

Last night’s Millcreek school board meeting brought in a crowd to listen to  Stantec Architecture outline three basic options before the board, and thanks to Jim Martin of the Erie Times-News for summarizing them:

- Renovate McDowell High School and McDowell Intermediate for a total cost of $98.9 million

- Demolish McDowell High School for $5 a square foot and merge with an enlarged McDowell Intermediate for a total cost of $98.3 million

- Demolish the high school and build a larger addition to McDowell Intermediate for a total cost of $110.5 million.

Read Jim Martin’s entire article here. Link to the architect’s July 9 report on the McDowell web site.

For more reading, Facebook opinion pages now include:

https://www.facebook.com/supportMcDowellconsolidation

https://www.facebook.com/no.mcdowell

https://www.facebook.com/McDowellProject?ref=ts

The deadline for state funding is Oct. 2, although state funding will pay only 10 percent of the total cost of the renovation.

Read Jim Martin’s entire article here.  He can be reached at 870-1668 or by e-mail.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized