By Benjamin Ostrander
Insulation, two-by-fours, windows, and all sorts of power tools are scattered within the shell of the schoolhouse. This time it is not arithmetic, reading or writing that is being taught. This time around it is information about construction and use of power tools that the students are learning.
The Neff Schoolhouse project began earlier this spring with a few students in Mr. John Royer’s drafting three class, which involves task of renovating the Neff one room schoolhouse. From tearing out walls to putting in new windows, the students are doing it all.
“It was a lot of work in not a lot of time, but we got a lot done...We tore the right half of the front wall down, put it back up and put in all the windows,” said senior Brandon Kinard. “It’s a lot of fun to learn and a lot of fun to help.”
Several of Mr. Royer’s students approached him about the project after completing the Habitat for Humanity Project in Windsor during the 2014-15 school year. “If all of these people are getting into it and they think this would be worthwhile and with how old it is, why not keep it around, ” Royer said.
Through many day-long field trips, the entire front porch has been redone along with repainted, and almost half of the siding has been ripped down and replaced.
“The progress is great. There are a lot of things to be done but for the most part it is well organized,” said project supervisor John Royer. “We’re on track for completion based on this spring (2016)...but if not, a little will be touched up next fall.”
The school was built in the 1860s and moved to its current location in the mid-to-late 1970s. The move, which occurred almost 110 years after the schoolhouse was initially built happened because the owners of the house and the land only donated the land. When the borough of Red Lion acquired the house it was on the corner of Country Club Road and Dairyland Drive, which is private property. This move was not major, being only about a half of a mile down Country Club Road. The schoolhouse now resides in the front lawn of the Edgar C. Moore elementary school which is now River Rock Academy. This schoolhouse is one of the few that has not been turned into a business or a residence.
By Shawn Gunarich
News & Feature Editor
Landon Knepp is a kindergartener at Red Lion, but two years ago, he and hisfamily had their world pulled out from under them, as a 12 centimeter tumor in Landon’s abdomen was found. The tumor would come back to be cancer, a rare and aggressive cancer called Stage Four Neuroblastoma. Since his diagnosis, Landon has undergone six rounds of chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, and immunotherapy. Any child who has to undergo such things should be considered a superhero, and in the Four Diamonds family, Landon is a superhero.
The Knepp family has agreed to be the Red Lion Mini-THON family for 2016. This means on April 8, Red Lion students, faculty and Four Diamonds families will dance for twelve hours straight to raise money in honor of the Knepp family. This year is special to the Red Lion Mini-THON family, as it is the tenth birthday of THON at Red Lion.
Since Landon’s last round of chemotherapy this past November, his tumor was reduced considerably and completely eradicated.
“Its tears you apart to see your son like that,” Mrs. Katie Knepp said after recalling Landon in a weakened state, “but after everything, in the end it pulls you all together.” Landon’s mother was forced to resign as a teacher in Red Lion School District in order to be with Landon in his time of need.
Since 1993, Mini-THONs have raised over $17 million to help end a disease that affects millions of families worldwide. In 2015 alone, 188 schools in Pennsylvania raised $4,309,979.60. These feats could not have been reached without the growing family that is the Four Diamonds Fund.
The Four Diamonds was founded by Charles and Irma Millard who lost their son, Chris, to pediatric cancer, but not before Chris could write a story called the Four Diamonds. This story, which gave the Four Diamonds its name, also gave them their ideals and principles. In Chris’ story his character, Sir Millard, is sent out to collect four diamonds that symbolize a certain characteristic of the Four Diamonds fund. These characteristics are honesty, courage, wisdom, and strength, each of which is a diamond that makes the symbol of the fund.
Because of Charles and Irma Millard we have the Four Diamonds, a fund that is based out of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and has touched over 3,200 families.
For those who don’t know, the Four Diamonds helps to raise money to help end childhood cancer, but also allows the parents of the affected children not to have to worry about medical bills. Everything from lodging to food is taken care of by the fund, which allows parents of the children to focus on what really matters, the kids.
“Knowing we didn’t have those medical bills was like a ton of bricks lifted off our shoulders,” Mrs. Knepp said.
Every three minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer worldwide. The aim of the Four Diamonds fund is to make that number zero, and with the help of Mini-THONs across the world, we can make it happen.
By Carly Guise
Despite what their name may suggest, students in the National FFA Organization aren’t just planning on becoming production farmers.
With less than five percent actually going into farming, many students instead choose to go into teaching, medicine, engineering, or science, among many others, according to Mrs. Kimberly Dahr, the high school’s agriculture teacher and FFA advisor.
Larissa Herbert, a junior, wants to be a veterinarian. “The skills I’m learning now in FFA are really going to help me in the future,” she said. “I was even able to enter a state vet skills competition that I came ninth in out of 68.”
“I’m going to be an Ag teacher,” said Jacki Henshaw, also a junior. “So the competitions like Teach Ag really help to gain experience and knowledge.”
The organization’s goal is to create a path of achievement through leadership, personal growth, and agriculture education. Lessons such as these are often learned in numerous competitions that members of the Red Lion Area FFA enter and often dominate.
Mrs. Dahr calls it the program’s “best year yet,” which can be seen in their record of success so far this year.
Starting at the York County Fair in September, Red Lion students Larissa Herbert and Casidee Crowl both won first place in the senior and junior divisions of Dairy Skills, respectively.
Allison Macklin took home first places in the senior division of Livestock Judging and Chapter Bundle. Stephanie Gerver’s display, “The Avian Flu and You,” also won a first place prize.
From there, students traveled to the National All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, where Heidi Chapman came in first out of 168 competitors overall.
At the Keystone International Livestock Expo, Sam Bacon came in third overall out of 377 other competitors.
Out of all of their competitions, the organization’s Fall Skills Day is one of the more recent. The day typically features numerous individual competitions for students to enter; including Apple Judging, in which Larissa Herbert came in fourth; County Agronomy, where Stephanie Gerver won first; and County Tractor Driving, in which Ethan Urey came in third.
“You have to have past experience—a lot of it—to drive a tractor,” said senior Ethan Urey. “Especially if you want to do well [in a competition].”
The success of Red Lion’s FFA so far this year has shown that these future teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, and scientists have been putting the lessons learned through the organization to good use, proving that they’re so much more than their name conveys.
By Zachary Rhine
News & Feature Editor
Substitute teachers are often a class’s dream come true, but that dream may be in trouble as of late. In the past few years the number of substitute teachers in the country, and Pennsylvania specifically, has decreased by more than fifty percent, according to comments from the PA Senate and House Education Committees released in October.
Superintendent of Penn Manor School District, Michael Leichliter, spoke at the state Congress about this substitute teacher shortage. Leichliter explained that Penn Manor, a school only a forty five minute drive from Red Lion, doubled in the number of vacancies left unfilled from the 2013-2014 school year to the 2014-2015 school year.
“As our pool of substitutes has shrunk in relation to those needed just to handle routine sick day and personal day needs of teachers,” said Leichliter, “the number of professional days for teachers has grown, further contributing to our current crisis.”
Not only is the demand for substitutes at an all time high, but the fairly recent Affordable Care Act is also making schools hesitate to schedule the substitutes that they already have. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it is commonly known, redefined how many hours a full-time and part-time job entails.
If a substitute is scheduled for more than thirty hours a week then by law they are entitled to certain benefits, salaries, and are considered full-time workers. Schools now have to find a balance with how many teachers they can schedule and also manage an already tight school budget.
“With cuts in education, and hiring, and simply the diminishing of the substitute teaching state,” said Mr. Shue, Red Lion Principal, “the district certainly has been impacted.”
When asked if administrators ever cover any classes, Shue explained, “On occasion, but often students unfortunately have to report to the commons.”
Mrs. Joanne Bouton has been a substitute teacher for fifteen, going on sixteen years at both Red Lion and Dallastown. She planned on only teaching for a year or two, but ended up continuing because of how much she enjoyed it.
She said that she has noticed that the pool of her fellow substitutes has dwindled over the years.
“It’s a shame, too,” said Bouton, “because it’s such a joy to see the kids from elementary grow up, and see how they change going from middle to high school.”
Junior Levi Jones expressed concern about this year’s lack of substitutes. “When Mr. Smith was out for a week after his injury there were many days where we didn’t even have a sub; we were simply told to go to the commons. So now we’re behind from where we need to be.”
With all of the news and struggles that schools deal with day-by-day, few could have guessed that the seemingly bismal component of substitute teachers would cause such dramatic effects when their group began to vanish.
Now two things must happen if this stupple of public schooling is going to continue for future generations: schools must find the budget to schedule more substitutes, and more of the younger generation will need to be enticed to pursue substitute teaching.
By Ian Adler
With 400,000 square feet, three floors, two gymnasiums, and an external tech-wing, it can be hard to get lost in the vastness of Red Lion Senior High. However, freshmen Chance Riddle has created an application to help solve that problem.
The app, called “School Scout”, is currently only accessible as a website, but the application will be available sometime before the start of the 2016-2017 school year. It holds maps of all three floors of the senior high, the various bell schedules, and even the monthly lunch menu.
“One of my biggest concerns about coming into the high school was the size,” freshmen and app developer Chance Riddle said. “I just thought it would be convenient to have something that you could see right at your fingertips.”
After forming and spreading his idea, Chance’s junior high seminar teacher Mrs. Shay referred him to Mrs. Samantha Smith, the K-12 district Technology Integration Coach, for guidance in constructing the application.
“He really thought it would be helpful, with being an incoming freshmen, to create something that would help assist freshmen when they come to the high school,” Smith said. “So he wanted to know how he could make that happen and make it a reality.”
“Of course, he wanted to make an app, which was awesome, but the reality was that I did not know how to do that,” Smith said. “So, we started creating a mobile website, which was the easiest way for us to get to his end result and ultimate goal quickly.”
Through some research into coding and design, the site was up and running by the start of the 2015-2016 school year after various tests and clearances by Red Lion-affiliated channels.
“He has access to all of the knowledge at his fingertips,” Smith said. “Plus, we do have some great resources here at Red Lion that are going to help him with coding and things of that nature.”
The next step in finalizing the application will be actually making it available as a downloadable app on the iTunes store.
However, Apple product users can easily create a shortcut button on their home screen to take them directly to the site. The website is currently available at https://sites.google.com/a/rlschools.net/test1/ as of November 24.