A note from Superintendent Dr. Scott Deisley: It is nearly impossible to encapsulate a life in a few words. It is even more difficult to capture the impact and contributions of Jeff Fix to the Red Lion Area School District. A few days after the senior high prom, Mr. Fix wrote an open letter to the students of the senior high. I think his words best sum up his love for this district and our students.
Dear RLASH Students:
I am often asked why I would want to serve on our school board. There are many long meetings, complex issues that must be resolved, balancing our budget with limited tax dollars…and we don’t get paid to do it! But I think I can speak on behalf of the entire board, both past and present, that the opportunity to serve YOU, our students, and assure that you get the best education possible is well worth the effort.
We are constantly reminded of the outstanding things you do. Whether it’s your academic accomplishments, the excellence you achieve in music, athletics, and other extracurriculars or the many ways you give back to our community. Mini-THON and the Habitat House are two great examples of how you go way above and beyond what is expected.
In my nearly eight years on school board, there have been countless occasions when I have been overwhelmed with pride in your accomplishments, but perhaps never more so than on the evening of April 25th. Each year, you select a Prom Queen and King who always represent the very best of who we are at Red Lion. And this year, you did so again by selecting Lauren Bankard and Cody Woods. Both are great kids and very special people.
In addition to being special in the general sense, Cody is uniquely so, and it is not his needs that make him special nor define who he is. What makes him special is the joy, the enthusiasm, and the positive spirit that he brings to school each and every day. Thank you for bestowing both Cody and Lauren with this honor.
On behalf of the entire school board, we are enormously proud of your gesture. I believe that we as a school district are perhaps best defined by how well we include our special kids in our lives. In that regard, you have set a very high standard. You are truly the best!
Jeffrey E. Fix
Red Lion Area Board of School Directors
Jeff understood the need to run a fiscally sound district. Although he worked to not raise taxes, he never wanted to give our students less--only more. He valued academics yet recognized the importance of extracurricular activities. He was proud of our facilities from our stage to Horn Field to the Fitzkee Center. He loved to brag about the opportunities that our students have. His 32 years as an unpaid tennis coach speaks to his commitment to our students. In addition to providing our students with a world-class education, Jeff was deeply concerned about uniting the entire Red Lion Area School District. Although Jeff was elected to represented Red Lion Borough, he worked to actively include the other two regions when making decisions. He dreamed of a united district where all students were able to participate equally. He did not like to hear that some students were unable to participate in activities because of a lack of transportation or funds. To that end, he gave freely of his time and energy.
Certainly, Jeff loved this school district. He loved serving our students especially as the President of the Board. Truly Jeff represents the best of our school district. The blood that coursed through his veins undoubtedly was Gold and Black.
Our district is a better place because of him.
By Claire Krackow
Senior prom is definitely a night to remember and cherish for the rest of your life. The seniors at Red Lion Senior High School did just that and then some. On the night of prom at 8 p.m., prom court was announced to walk with an escort of their choice. Lauren Bankard won prom queen.
Senior Cody Woods, a classmate with Down Syndrome, was then crowned prom king.
Cody was very excited when he was crowned that night. The song that Cody chose to walk to with his escort (Brittany Mancha) was “Greased Lightning.
“I chose that song because it’s from my favorite movie,” Woods said. His favorite character is Danny Zucco from the movie “Grease,” which is another reason why he chose the song.
Fox 43 showed up at prom to interview Cody and other classmates about his being crowned king. Woods said that he was very “excited” and “nervous” about being interviewed but all around it was a great experience for him.
“I danced and took a lot of pictures,” Woods said.
“We were first asked if it was okay that Cody would be on court by the lady that runs the prom (Mrs. Jennifer Wireman) and everything,” Cody’s teacher, Mrs. Denise Wagner said. “And we said that we felt that he would handle it very well.”
“And then when he was on prom court, we talked to him about the possibilities of winning but also the possibilities that he might not, but that we loved him regardless and he was our king, regardless,” Wagner said with a smile.
Senior Brittany Mancha, who works with Cody on the morning announcements show, was chosen to escort him down the prom court that night.
“He’s such a sweetheart. We talk every morning when he comes to the TV studio and he always has a smile on his face,” Mancha said.
“It was so funny, Mrs. Kuhn actually called me out of calculus and said, ‘So, Cody was planning on asking you, but he wanted to make sure it wouldn’t interfere with your date.’ I said it was perfectly fine and the next morning, Cody walked up to me in the TV studio with Mrs. Kuhn. He was so giddy, but nervous, and asked me if I would escort him. Of course, I said yes,” Mancha said. “He immediately held his arms out for a hug.”
“Everyone on court was so kind to him and he couldn’t stop grinning the entire time. When the song “Greased Lightning” started playing, he walked down the ballroom and he high-fived every single person the entire walk down,” Mancha said. “I felt absolutely honored to escort such a sweet guy.”
“We chose the right kind of person to walk with him that evening, so that he had the right type of person to handle his abilities and to just be sure that he was doing okay,” Mrs. Wagner said.
Woods said that even when he was announced prom king, he already felt like a king beforehand.
“It doesn’t matter what day it is, if it’s sunny, if it’s bright or even if it’s not, he high fives everybody in the halls,” Wagner said. “He makes sure that he goes out of his way to say hello to people, good morning, he greets teachers, and he doesn’t let anybody stop him. So if he gets discouraged with somebody, he will still say hello to them again the next day.” Wagner said.
“It does not matter who they are, he wants to be friends with everybody.”
By Adrianna Clinton
At 7 a.m., as students and faculty make their way to school, many travel through the square of Red Lion. Almost every day, they notice a peculiar sight in the parking lot of the Lion Pharmacy.
Regardless of sub-zero temperatures or humid mornings, Roberto Martinez can be seen almost every morning working out and waving to passing students on buses.
“It started with a girl saying hi to me on a bus and becoming my friend,” Martinez recalled. “I have a daughter myself, and a granddaughter. I think kids are the best thing.”
Inspired by a special needs student who waves to him on the way to school, Martinez has been returning to the square as a part of his martial arts regimen. Martinez has come to the square to see the kids of Red Lion and to show them that they can be their own person.
“There’s nothing wrong with being a person who likes to idolize somebody, as long as it’s good. I do it not to show I’m bad in the martial arts, but to put a positive image out there… I do it as an inspiration, not to show off,” Martinez said.
His interest in martial arts began at 10 or 11 years old, when Martinez saw a movie of Bruce Lee. His career then began at 15.
“At first, the Hollywood part drew me in. I was young, I didn’t understand it took a lot of hard training to get to that level. But as I grew older in the martial arts, it kind of became a way of life. I live it every day. I still am doing what I did as a kid,” Martinez said. “I’ll probably be doing this until I’m 70 or 80, maybe even longer.”
Martinez, 50, practices Gung-Fu, a martial art developed in China hundreds of years ago. His intense workouts, consisting of kicks, punches, and lots of stretching, have garnered a lot of public comment over the past two or three years, earning him the nickname “Red Lion Ninja”, even though he has been taking his martial arts to the streets of Red Lion and Dallastown for over 20 years.
His day starts at 4 a.m. when he starts stretching and training in his home. Before he goes to the square, he eats while stretching or doing some activity to prepare his body.
“I never sit down,” Martinez said.
In fact, his home is set up like a gym. One room houses dummies of all kinds to work on his fighting techniques. In his bedroom, pull-up bars are hung above the door, weights sit on the floor for neck exercises along with bricks covered in rice to harden his hands, and a bag of sand that Martinez punches 300-500 times.
Martinez proceeds to the square at 7 a.m., where he often talks to members of the community.
“Even at the square when he has his headphones in, he still sees and hears everything,” Martinez’s wife Megan said.
He returns a couple hours later to train with a friend, then sleeps for an hour and take a medication to control the seizures that sometimes hinder but never entirely stop his workout routine.
The seizures, which began about 16 years ago, have taken away some of Martinez’s motor skills, reading and writing abilities, and if he has a bad one, he’s usually down for two to three days.
“Even with all that damage, I never forgot anything about martial arts. It became second nature, like walking,” Martinez said. “Even if you have a disability, you can be whatever you want and achieve whatever you want. I’m still doing martial arts...if I can have seizures and do this, what can you do with a clear brain?”
Toward the ends of his days, Martinez does balancing exercises, and at night when he is watching television, he does sit-ups.
“This is how crazy I am: I can’t wait to get up the next morning and start all over again. When it’s done, I’m excited for the next day. It’s not an obsession, and not that I want to leave a legacy behind. I feel I have a purpose to show the younger generation that there’s always something better out there. It’s not just about fighting,” Martinez said.
Martinez has involved himself in the Red Lion community, as he has taught rape prevention classes and is about to teach a class at the Grace Lutheran Church.
He fought on a professional level for five years and never lost before he had to stop. His skills could have potentially taken him to a bigger stage than the Lion Pharmacy parking lot.
“We could’ve tried to make a career out of it [martial arts], he had things lined up, but it was just too much of a risk,” Martinez’s wife Megan said. “He’s very dedicated.”
Martinez even had his wife training in martial arts for three years. “But then she got lazy on me,” he said.
In the rare moments when he is not doing something related to martial arts, Martinez enjoys cooking, Spanish and Chinese being his best dishes. He also works with computers and spends time with his granddaughter.
Carly Guise was the local winner for the Red Lion-Dallastown Rotary Club. Her essay was submitted in the larger contest of all the Rotary Clubs in Rotary District 7390 (Central PA). Carly won the larger contest as well.
She read her winning essay to the district convention May 2 and was awarded a check for $500. Her mother, Chera Stough, her father, Scott Guise, and her brother Shane were present for this.
On Thursday, May 7, 2015 the Red Lion-Dallastown honored the finalists and winner of the Rotary 4-Way Essay Contest. A summary of each of the finalists’ essays was shared and Carly Guise read her essay to the Rotary Club members at the Great American Saloon Banquet Room. The students and their essays were warmly received.
Submitted by Dr. Frank Herron.
By Helen Zeidman
“This is it, the big day. All your hard work will pay off.” Mrs. Mina Hoffman said to the high school art students as they walked into Windsor Manor elementary school on May 1.
Hoffman has been working with the students for months to complete a collaboration project with the kindergarten art students at Windsor Manor. The kindergarteners drew pictures of monsters and the high school students sculpted them into three dimensional clay figures. The assembly was the big reveal where the kindergarteners were given their monsters.
Mrs. McBrien, an art teacher at the high school, and Mrs. Filiziani, an art teacher at Windsor Manor, planned this project together.
Filiziani, who used to be McBrien’s student teacher, knew that art could bridge the gap between the elementary and high school students.
“I think it connects students,” Filiziani said. “It is nice for the kids to see how they can do art at the high school.”
The high school students on the trip, 28 in total, were anxious to finally present the younger students with their masterpieces.
The high school students were waiting to give their gifts to the kindergarteners, when they were surprised with their own.
McBrien, who has been on leave from school since the end of April due to surgery, showed up at the event, surprising all of her art students. She walked in with watery eyes and a brace around her neck, but she still kept a huge smile on her face the whole time.
She went hugging and fist bumping every one of her students.
“I’m going to be pooped this afternoon, but it’s worth it.” McBrien said.
After the reunion was over, the kindergarteners eagerly filed into the gym. They impatiently sat cross-legged in five lines that stretched across Windsor Manor’s gym.
Meghan Rutzebeck, a senior who was crucial to the project, gave a short speech to the kindergarteners before they received their monsters.
“See, at the high school we have art class like you do,” Rutzebeck said. “You gave us a monster and we made them into 3D figures. You can take them home and keep them forever. Isn’t that cool?”
A chorus of excited “yeahs” erupted from the kindergarteners.
Then, the students were given their precious monsters. The kindergarteners marvelled at the creations and the magic that brought them from a drawing into real sculptures.
At the end of the trip, kindergarteners were hugging the high school students who made their sculpture, taking pictures, and playing with their creations. The sound of the kindergarteners’ thank-you’s was loud enough to be heard all of the way at the high school.
In the past, clubs signups began a few weeks into the school year, and clubs themselves began in late October. Recently, a committee of Red Lion teachers have come together with an idea of change.
Club periods are an enjoyed break from the everyday lives of Red Lion students.
Since the high school first introduced the flex bell schedule, club periods have fallen on the last day of a seven-day rotation. In the upcoming school year, they are set to most likely continue this trend. The difference will be the date that clubs kick off.
The school will make club signups available at the end of the current school year instead of waiting until the beginning of the next. This will enable clubs to begin in early September instead of late October.
Mrs. Wilson, Red Lion science teacher, is one of the teachers on the committee that came up with this idea. She hopes that this will raise club participation from its current 65% to 80%. “I am impressed how much club participation has grown,” said Wilson, “but I know that we can do even better.”
When asked, senior Bailey Tomes thought the early club date is an excellent idea. “This will be especially beneficial for clubs like Mini-THON,” said Bailey. “They won’t have to waste time at the beginning of the school year, and they can get right down to business.”
Junior Mickayla Smith, however, had some reservations about the changes to clubs. “I think that it could benefit certain clubs, but what about the incoming freshman?” asked Mickayla. “I hope they can explain it well enough to them, and that they already have their student council members chosen.”
Club signups began on May 12 and will run until the end of the school year. Students may go to Edline for the provided link to sign up for a club. Future clubs to look out for include Yoga, Slapstick Hockey, Faith (Religion), iPhone Photography, and Scrapbooking.
To sign up, visit http://tinyurl.com/rlclubs1516
By Bella McCarey
Red Lion’s music program is one that has been acclaimed for its accomplishments on both the local and national level. It was recently named by the NAMM Foundation (National Association of Music Merchants) as one of 2015’s Best Communities for Music Education.
Within the Red Lion community, there are select individuals who shine as musically inclined students, one of those students being senior Joelle Godfrey. Godfrey is one of the choreographers for the Red Lion Show Choir, along with senior Hannah Sattazahn.
“I’ve been choreographing for about two years now, and it mainly entails picking five pieces that are modern, fun music,” Godfrey said. “We want to be able to make it look bold and big, but also make it easy and fun.”
The Show Choir had been preparing for their concert May 2 since September, putting in three hours worth of choreographing per piece. They also performed at Voices of the Pride, at the Habitat closing ceremony, and MoTown. Once she has the dance choreographed, then they teach the dance to the whole choir.
“We [Hannah Sattazahn and I] put in two hours every Monday September through February working on dances,” Godfrey said. “It’s a lot of work, it’s not simple.”
Godfrey uses her own 13 years of experience of taking various types of dances lessons as well as her experience teaching dance to younger children.
“It’s helped to teach me about being refined and show worthy,” she said. “It’s all about responsibility and taking on a lot of leadership. But we have a lot of positive energy.”
Godfrey plans on attending York College next fall to dual major in Special and Early Childhood Education. She also intends to continue to teach dance to younger kids.
By Ian Adler
Mr. Jay Vasellas, a former student and teacher at Red Lion, is planning to run for school board in this year’s upcoming election.
Vasellas taught various American history classes at the high school for 38 years, and with the exception of college and pre-kindergarten days, spent all of his life in the district as well. In addition to teaching at Red Lion, Vasellas also teaches American history classes at York College, and has been doing so for 13 years.
“I’ve just got a passion for this school district,” Vasellas said. “It’s defined me, it’s defined my family and any of the accomplishments and opportunities my family has had have been generated by this school district.”
However, Jay isn’t the first in the Vasellas family with interest in a school board membership. Vasellas’ mother, Norma Vasellas, served on the school board for 16 years.
“I saw what she could bring in background knowledge and how teachers feel about certain things,” Vasellas said. “It’s a different thing.”
Norma was a teacher at Dallastown, in addition to her Red Lion school board membership.
Currently, there are no teachers or former teachers on the school board, as no paid employee of the district may serve on the board, as outlined in the school board member applicaton. This obviously can raise a few issues between the two groups of people, from communication to wants and needs.
“Sometimes, I feel like the communication between school board and teachers can be enhanced, almost as a translator,” Vasellas said. “Teachers and board members sometimes just do not speak the same language.”
In addition to the standard expectations and activities that all school board members carry out, Vasellas has some ideas of his own to contribute.
“My priority is going to be how do we best implement mandates on the local level when they come from above,” Vasellas said. “How do we do the best job we can to teach kids in the classroom?”
Currently, Vasellas is an Interim board member. He was named to temporarily fill a position that someone had resigned from.
School board primary elections were held on May 19. Vasellas placed first among both republican and democrat voters. Mike Rowe will be his opponent for the seat in November elections.
In addition to Vasellas, four other candidates are running. Clair Weigle, James Clark who is currently on the board, Kevin Downs and Michael Rowe.