Friday, Jan. 4: Girls JV basketball game at Boiling Springs canceled

Due to a flu outbreak at Boiling Springs High School, the girls' JV basketball game has been canceled. However, the varsity teams will still play. Game time is 7 p.m. at Boiling Springs. Get well soon, Boiling Springs! And good luck, Bearcats!

William Penn

Life Skills students open Bearcat Bistro at high school

Posted on May 16th, 2017

The Life Skills program at York High is excited to announce the opening of the Bearcat Bistro.

Student and Teacher high fiving

York Daily Record photo

The bistro will be operated by Life Skills students with community sponsorship from the Green Bean Roasting Company, a York City coffee shop at 100 S. Beaver St. The bistro was made possible with start-up funding from a grant awarded by the York County Alliance for Learning (YCAL).

The bistro will be open from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the school year and will serve the Bearcat staff light breakfast fare including pastries, fruit, smoothies, coffee and tea. Under the supervision of high school teachers, the students working in the bistro will be responsible for preparing the menu and food, buying and inventorying supplies, cleaning the facility and equipment and handling the finances. The Bearcat Bistro is offering delivery services, online orders, weekly specials and punch cards.

“I am very excited for the opportunities it will provide for the Life Skills students,” said Michelle Masco, Life Skills Support Teacher. “This café provides students with moderate to severe disabilities a chance to plan, shop, bake and sell.”

Students working in cafe

York Daily Record photo

“I am very proud and supportive of our Life Skills classes in coming together to build an opportunity for our students that functionalizes the material they have learned throughout this school year and exposing the students to a very realistic post-secondary outcome,” said Lawrence Bopp, assistant principal at the high school.

“As a city resident and business owner, giving back to the community is essential to me. Our community will only meet its full potential when our youth meet theirs. I am thrilled to be a part of Bearcat Bistro and the wonderful work that William Penn is doing for its students,” said Jen Schreiber, owner of the Green Bean Roasting Co.

Check out YDR coverage of the Bearcat Bistro by clicking one of the links below:

Students Run York’s Newest Cafe
Student Run Bistro Opens Business.


School police organize special prom for a special student

Posted on May 16th, 2017

Anyone who’s been to a York High prom knows well the tradition of glamorous entrances.

Prom Goers

York Daily Record photo

Parents and community folks gather outside to watch the kids arrive couple by couple. The teens step out of their cars to applause and pose while photographers snap away.

On Saturday, at the Class of 2017’s prom, one entrance stood out among the rest.

The officers of the York City School Police Department, led by Officer Britney Brooks, planned the prom of a lifetime for a student who’s made a positive impact on her school and community in just her short 18 years.

Brooks told the York Daily Record that she interacts with hundreds of students every day at William Penn Senior High School. But there’s something special about Shaniece Holmes-Brown that makes her stand out.

Girl getting makeup done

York Daily Record photo

A talented poet, Shaniece will attend Lincoln University in the fall to study journalism on an almost full academic scholarship.

Brooks and her fellow officers rallied community members and businesses to give Shaniece a send-off she won’t forget. They paid for her dress, makeup and accessories. They set her up with a nice date. And they enlisted the help of West York Police and state troopers to escort Shaniece to her prom.

Check out YDR’s coverage of this amazing gift here.

And here’s a video!


York students treated to college tour at Franklin & Marshall

Posted on May 8th, 2017

Students at Franklin and Marshall Junior Summit

Eight William Penn Senior High School juniors were selected to attend the Franklin and Marshall Junior Summit, where they were provided an opportunity to learn about the college process as well as the benefits of attending a private Institution.

The students who participated are Alizaya Santiago, Yomaicol Pena, Chrislenny Disla, Kaliyah Raffensberger, Kyree Generett, Trinity Benedict, Alitzel Barajas and Ajah Martin.

They were all provided information on athletics, financial aid, admissions, community service and many other topics. There were more than 300 students in attendance at this event where our students were able to interact and intermingle with other juniors from more than 27 different high schools.

Students were also provided an opportunity to learn about their prospective majors from professors of the university. The event was a great turnout and our juniors were able to learn whether their prospective major was for them or not.

Students were selected for participation based on GPA and leadership potential. We chose students also based on who we felt had limited opportunities such as students not currently enrolled into the YCCOSP program and other opportunities such as those.

Many of the students decided that a private institution may financially be a better fit for them and many were convinced that they would be applying to Franklin and Marshall College, though that was not the intent of the trip. It was more so to convince our juniors that a private college is still affordable and can provide the level of competitiveness many of our students may require to excel and thrive.

— Olatunde Fadahunsi,
College Adviser


School police officer reinvents the York High Gospel Choir

Posted on February 21st, 2017

The York High Gospel Choir is back!York High Gospel Choir Singing

Thanks to the dedication of School Police Officer Britney Brooks, student singers have yet another creative outlet to get involved with at school.

In addition to serving as a police officer, Ms. Brooks is a local singer and performer.

After performing for the first time publicly at a press conference, the York High Gospel Choir was invited to perform in Harrisburg at a Black History Month event presented by the state Department of Community and Economic Development. They performed the National Anthem and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Black National Anthem.

Choir posing for pictureCheck out a video of their performance here.

And, Watch a YDR interview with Officer Brooks here.


College Fair connects students with 30 institutions of higher education

Posted on February 13th, 2017

William Penn Senior High School hosted a College Fair for students Friday featuring 30 institutions.Young girl filling out form

Representatives of institutions ranging from traditional four-year colleges, two-year schools, trade schools and the military met with students throughout the day. We also made sure to have representation from in and out of state.

The hope and vision is that we, at William Penn Senior High School, get our students exposed to as many post-graduate options as possible. We envision the freshman student entering the school not really having a clear path to what they would do post-graduation.

Student getting information at a tableThrough our school’s offerings and programs, the student, as a freshman, would have the opportunity to be exposed to more than 50 schools before the end of their freshman year, and this continues for the next four years. This, now senior, student would have then been exposed to more than 100 universities and other institutions when it comes time to choose a path!Student talking to military recruiters

The more options and knowledge a student has, the more likely they are to choose a school of best fit. It is our aim and mission to provide a hub to foster this exploration.

— By Olatunde Fadahunsi, college adviser

Communities in Schools helps teens visualize goals

Posted on February 6th, 2017

A group of students at William Penn Senior High School have been working with the Communities in Schools site coordinator, Kam Ritter, and school social worker Victoria Valdes on something called “Vision Boards.”

Girls creating vision boardsA vision board helps define the teens’ dreams and goals, which they find are full of possibilities. It also allows them to have a visual reminder to keep them focused on their goals and dreams. The groups meet on Monday and Wednesday during their lunch break in the CIS room at the high school. The girls works on different topics they want to discuss pertain to life and school issues.

One group meets on Monday, and the other group meets on Wednesday. The boards will be displayed in the room, but the girls can take them home. The group is open to any girl in the school. The girls have talked about career goals for themselves, marriage, kids, having a house, a car, friends. We believe Vision Boards will prove a useful tool to help the students be more engaged in school. The boards help students visualize the things they want in life.  If they focus and put in the time and work, they can reach their goals.


York choral students represent district at Lebanon Valley College

Posted on February 6th, 2017

Earlier this year, four students from William Penn Senior High School’s music department participated in the first Lebanon Valley College High School Honors Choir Festival. Danara Muldrow (soprano), Sierra Moye (alto), Kennard Watson (tenor) and Augustine Mariche (bass) represented the district as a recommended quartet to participate in the choir. Nine hours of rehearsals and four songs in different languages later was the finishing touch to a wonderful two-day festival. York choral students pose your picture

Also participating was the Penn State University Gospel Choir, under the direction of Dr. Anthony Leach, “Essence of Joy” and the Brazilian choir of LVC.

Dr. Matthew Erpelding conducted both the high school choir and the LVC Concert Choir in the performance.

The students made new friends, enjoyed the campus (especially lunch on a college campus) and the opportunity to join the other 70 members of the choir to give a wonderful performance.

U.S. History students study African American WWI unit

Posted on January 30th, 2017

Last week, U.S. History students at William Penn studied the 369th Infantry Regiment, an African American unit who served in World War I, but whose story was nearly lost in history until recent years.

The “Harlem Hellfighters,” as the group was nicknamed, trained to fight in combat, only to be relegated to menial tasks after arriving in France.African American WWI unit picture

They finally had a chance to prove themselves after General Pershing, who refused to allow any of his white troops to fight in the Allied units, assigned the Harlem Hellfighters to the French forces. They became one of the most highly decorated American units in WWI.

One of the soldiers, Sgt. Henry Johnson, single-handedly killed four German soldiers and wounded over 20 more, while saving his comrades from a surprise attack.

Despite his heroic efforts, Johnson and many other African Americans returned to a segregated post-war America that did not respect or recognize their service.  Johnson was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2015.

Asked why it is important to remember and honor the Harlem Hellfighters, students gave the following responses:

“The acts of bravery of these men were great. They were segregated but they still fought for this country!”- Shyzere Stahle, Class of 2018

“Black men/ Strong and Bold/ A man named Henry Johnson/ A Story they haven’t told”- excerpt of poem by Toiyonda Orr, Class of 2018

“Johnson went home a hero but died, at 32, penniless.” – Lesly Rodriguez, Class of 2019

“The Harlem Hellfighters were the most courageous group of soldiers in WWI, despite being the worst treated.” –Sha-kim Wright II, Class of 2018

“They helped change the public’s opinion of African American soldiers and paved the way for future black soldiers.” – Roxxana Rijo, Class of 2018

— Maggie S. Mafnas, York High Social Studies Teacher


Bearcat football team gives back

Posted on January 9th, 2017

It was their first day of their holiday break, but these Bearcats weren’t sitting at home.Football player picking up trash

Two football players helping each other pick up trashLed by Coach Russ Stoner, about 20 members of the York High football team volunteered their time on a Thursday morning to pick up litter throughout the city. They walked south on George Street from Smalls Field to Jackson Street, cleaning all the way.Football players returning to field house for pizza

Afterward, the boys returned to their field house for some much-deserved pizza provided by the York County Economic Alliance and School Director Lois Garnett.Football players and school director posing for picture


Whole football team poses for picture Whole football team shown walking away after a job well done

Art student recognized by York College

Posted on December 19th, 2016

Congratulations to York High student Luis DeJesus, who earned 3rd place in the first YCASE (York Community Art Luis DeJesus picturedStudents Exhibition) juried art exhibit.

His piece is called “The Hunter’s Eye.”

The event was sponsored by York College and its art department as a partnership between the college and local high schools to showcase their talented art students.The Hunters Eye art piece

Four York High students made it into the juried exhibition. DeJesus received a monetary award and a certificate.

The event gives seniors the opportunity to win a $20,000 scholarship to study art at York College. They also have access to a number of workshops at the college or Marketplace Arts on Philadelphia Street.

— By William Valyo, York High art teacher


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