EIS Student Wins First Place in Journalism Contest

Landon Adamson, an Ephrata Intermediate School fifth-grader, is a first-place winner in Celebration 225: The LNP/LancasterOnline Journalism and Design an Ad Contest.

As part of a class assignment that would then be entered into the contest, Landon wrote about his love for football and the challenges he has had to overcome since playing the sport.  “I was confident about what I wrote because I tried to include lots of details,” Landon said.  He noted his love for practice drills and what skills were necessary to contend with opposing teams.  “My mom helped me with editing, mostly with grammar,” he continued.  He wrote the two-page essay in approximately one week.

When Landon found out he was a first-place winner he said, “It felt amazing.”  He will attend an awards ceremony with his family and teacher Susan Izydorczyk where he will receive a cash award.

Landon’s work will be published in an expanded print edition of the LNP Schools section on Tuesday, May 21.  It will also be featured on LancasterOnline.com.

EIS Hosts First Area Rubik’s Challenge

Students in grades 5-8 from four school districts – Ephrata Area, Lampeter Strasburg, Penn Manor, and Red Lion Area – convened at Ephrata Intermediate School on Monday, May 6 for a first-time event, a Rubik’s Challenge.


The goal of the event was to provide students with an opportunity to increase their stamina, perseverance, problem solving, and self-esteem when engaged in the common task of solving a Rubik’s Cube. “Through the cube, students link visual spatial relationships with algorithms while working through the sequence of the cube. It is incredible to see the motivation that one small plastic cube can bring out in our students,” said Mrs. Nicole Reppert, Ephrata Intermediate School teacher and event coordinator.


The event was comprised of team and solo contests.  Teams of up to eight students attempted to solve 25 cubes collectively as quickly as possible, while solo competitors solved one cube as quickly as possible.

Practice sessions were held in advance, and many students utilized website tutorials to prepare for the event.  “Our students have remained motivated and have been working diligently to prepare. The resilience, perseverance, and task dedication to learn the cube has been impressive,” said Mrs. Reppert.

Grade 5 Solo Event

  1. London Reiff (Ephrata Area) 44.126
  2. Todd Weist (Ephrata Area) 47.107
  3. Izabel Musser (Ephrata Area) 54.296

Grade 5 Team Event (Solving 25 Cubes)

  1. Rubik’s Racers (Ephrata Area) 6:14.925
  2. Captain Cubers (Ephrata Area) 6:20.420
  3. Lion Cubers (Red Lion) 8:43.678

EASD Rubik’s Racers:  Adam Batzel, Jacob Buckwalter, Alicia Mcgill, Izabel Musser, London Reiff, Shelby Sensenig, and MacKenzie Thoeun

EASD Captain Cubers:  Haleigh Cline, Nadia Drobot, Ethan Garman, Ayden Kern, Graham Mendenhall, Peter Suhrbier, Kade Vernon, and Todd Weist

Outside of her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Reppert is an ambassador for Rubik’s and travels to colleges and conferences to teach the challenge to other teachers. Additionally, she hosts workshops and summer camps for students to show firsthand the benefits of cubing.

She initiated the event at EIS this year and hopes to see it grow.  As this was the first Rubik’s Challenge in the region, there was interest from schools as far away as New Jersey.  “Once feedback has been obtained from all involved in the event this year, I could see it being expanded to include more grade levels and occurring after school or on a weekend to allow for more districts to be involved,” she said.

One Book, One District

Students across all Ephrata Area School District elementary schools recently embarked on a collective reading adventure, One Book, One District. 

Funded by an Ephrata Area Education Foundation Venture Grant, every student in Kindergarten through grade 4 was provided a book – either Glamourpuss or Cheese – by Sarah Weeks.  Students were encouraged to read their book independently and at home with family members, in addition to reading it with classmates and teachers while in school.   The experience created a common bond among students, staff, and families.  Additionally, it inspired schoolwide comradery and shared conversations through a common book.

The culmination of One Book, One District was Ms. Weeks’ visit to all four District elementary schools during the week of May 9.  Students took pride in decorating their schools with themes connected to the author’s books and enjoyed interactive assemblies during her visit.  Akron Elementary School Principal Sheri Horner noted students’ excitement to meet Ms. Weeks.  “Students were very eager to learn directly from an author,” she said.

Sarah Weeks is the author of 59 published books.  Visit sarahweeks.com for more information.

EHS Library Receives PA Forward Bronze Star

The Ephrata High School Media Center has been awarded a PA Forward Bronze Star from the Pennsylvania Library Association.  It is the second Pennsylvania school in the state to have received this award, as all other recipients are either public or academic libraries.

The Pennsylvania Library Association acknowledges libraries that are “community centers of information, technology, and learning that will fuel educational and economic opportunity for all citizens.”  There are five components to PA Forward, including basic literacy, information literacy, civic and social literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy.

EHS Media Center Specialists Mrs. Jane Englert and Mrs. Samantha Hull completed a series of eight PA Forward professional development sessions to help earn this distinction.  Additionally, the operations of the EHS Media Center, as it aligns with the PA Forward initiative, provides the support and resources necessary for students to succeed as individuals inside and outside the classroom.

Mrs. Englert and Mrs. Hull are proud advocates of the PA Forward initiative.  They recently hosted the spring South Central Pennsylvania School Librarians Association meeting in the EHS Media Center to discuss their experiences with offering students more choice and personalized learning opportunities.

“In the coming years, we hope to increase awareness in one or more of the specific literacies and have goals set to hopefully earn silver and gold awards in the future,” commented Mrs. Hull.

PA Forward is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services as administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, Governor.

Arbor Day

Ephrata High School students recently collaborated with Ephrata Borough to plant 40 trees in honor of Arbor Day.  The students, who are part of two environmental science classes, planted the trees to be a riparian stream buffer in Moyer Meadow, located near the intersection of Penn Avenue and First Street in Ephrata.

The trees were donated by the Penn State University Extension for the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership, and representatives from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry were in attendance.

The Arbor Day celebration was made official with a resolution read by Mayor Ralph Mowen.  The mayor also noted that 2019 is the seventh year Ephrata was recognized by Tree City USA as one of the thousands of communities across America that understands and recognizes the importance of trees.  Learn more at www.arborday.org.

EMS LRG Disposition Days

Students at Ephrata Middle School are learning what it means to be successful in life by embodying the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the District Life Ready Graduate profile during monthly schoolwide activities.

On a designated morning each month, students spend time self-reflecting on their growth in the various Life Ready Graduate dispositions, including integrity, resilience, and more and record their thoughts, feelings, and stories in an online personal portfolio.  The morning wraps up with collaborative activities, which could include a giant game of trivia, a school-wide scavenger hunt, or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) competitions.

“Overall, these days are a huge success!  They help to promote a positive school-wide culture for both students and staff and create meaningful peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher relationships,” said Mr. Pete Kishpaugh, Ephrata Middle School Principal.

To learn more about the Ephrata Area School District Life Ready Graduate profile that aims to prepare students to have a positive impact on an ever-changing world and enhance students’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions beyond traditional content mastery and standardized assessments, visit www.easdpa.org.

State Geography Bee

Jacob Huntington will compete at the National Geographic State Bee on Friday, March 29 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.  As the top finisher of the Ephrata Middle School Geography Bee in February, he qualified to take a written exam and scored high enough to earn the opportunity to compete in the state competition.  The winner of the state competition will receive a $1,000 prize and a trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Championship.  Jacob will be recognized at an upcoming School Board meeting with a School Board Resolution acknowledging this achievement and his years of dedication, practice, and hard work.

All-State Music Ensembles

For the first time, three Ephrata High School students will be participating in three different state music ensembles.  Juniors Jamie Chon, Braden Mulcahy, and Olivia Schmid have been selected for three Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) All-State Music Ensembles and will represent Ephrata Area School District as performers at the PMEA All State Annual Conference April 3-7 in Pittsburgh.

Jamie Chon will be participating in the PMEA All State orchestra.  She also placed as 3rd Chair Violin at the County Music Festival, 3rd Chair Violin at the District Music Festival, and 2nd Chair Violin at the Regional Music Festival.

Braden Mulcahy will be participating in the PMEA All State band.  He was also First Chair baritone saxophone at the 2019 District 7 Band Festival and the PMEA Region V Band Festival.

Olivia Schmid will be participating in the PMEA All State chorus.  She placed sixth as an Alto 2 in the Region V Chorus festival at Muhlenberg High School to qualify for the state ensemble.

“This is the first time that EHS has had a student from orchestra, band, and choir all in the same year participating at this level.  The impact of these programs will last a lifetime for many of these students,” said EHS vocal music teacher Mrs. Jackie Owsinski.