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Lower Dauphin seventh-grader honored for ‘doing the right thing'

12 14 do right thingContributed photo -- Rick Blair with Commonwealth Financial Associates; Hannah Murray; Hummelstown Police Officer Eugene Spencer; and LDMS dean of students Ken Kulina share a moment after the awards ceremony in the school cafeteria last month.

Hannah Murray, a seventh-grader at Lower Dauphin Middle School, was recognized by Hummelstown Police and Lower Dauphin Communities That Care in the Do the Right Thing program.

Hannah was recognized by Lori Schaefer, a school counselor, who says that she meets a special needs student at the bus every day and walks with her to her homeroom and then escorts her back to her bus at the end of the school day. “Hannah is one of the most friendly, compassionate and personable students I have had the opportunity to work with,” she said.

For her willingness to help another student, she was recognized with a $25 gift card, a Do The Right Thing T-shirt and certificate, and Papa John’s pizza coupons. This month’s program sponsor was Commonwealth Financial Associates.

The Do the Right Thing program is modeled after a successful national program. Now in its 10th year, the program recognizes students in the Lower Dauphin community who have distinguished themselves through their accomplishments, attitude or outstanding efforts.

School staff members and police officers typically nominate students whose positive actions come to their attention, but any adult over the age of 18 can nominate a child. A volunteer committee reviews the student nominations on a monthly basis and selects a winner for each month. For more information, contact Kathy Peffer at 566-6096.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 11:52

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LD Falcon Foundation to honor Witmer at gala

The Lower Dauphin Alumni Association and Dr. Judith T. Witmer will be honored by the Lower Dauphin Falcon Foundation on Saturday, Jan. 21, at the foundation’s ninth annual Blue and White Gala.witmer judithWitmer

In recognizing the Alumni Association, foundation President Patricia Gordon said LDAA represents thousands of Lower Dauphin High School graduates and serves as a focus for them to stay connected to their school and each other.

“Lower Dauphin alumni represent our school and community wherever they go, bringing honor and acclaim to the Blue and White,” Superintendent Sherri Smith said. “We thank our Alumni Association for providing this link to our traditions and proudly serving their alma mater.”

The Falcon Foundation will honor Witmer, whose energy and creativity helped successfully launch the Alumni Association in 1989, according to a press release.

Witmer has served Lower Dauphin since 1960, literally writing the book on the high school with her landmark 500-page history of Lower Dauphin High School, “Loyal Hearts Proclaim.”

From classroom teacher of English literature, composition, and public speaking, Witmer rose through the ranks as a principal at the high school, director of the Coalition of Essential Schools, and assistant to the superintendent.  Following her tenure at LD, she managed programs for the Department of Education, taught for Temple University, served as a consultant to many projects at the Milton Hershey School, and edited the National Arts Standards and other federal programs.

She is the director of the Capital Area Institute for Mathematics and Science at Penn State Harrisburg and is the owner of Yesteryear Publishing.

Among her many other contributions to Lower Dauphin was the initiation of the original English Enrichment program, which placed one cohort of students with the same two teachers for three years. She was the director/producer of eight high school musicals, a member of the three-person pit orchestra for the first two school musicals, director of seven drama productions, and yearbook adviser for seven publications.

She was the director/producer and script-writer of 24 student-centered commencement and baccalaureate programs. She also initiated the inclusion of alumni participation and junior class marshals in the graduation ceremonies. She started the practice of class gifts as well and was the “voice of the morning” in the high school from 1963-1990.

LDAA initiatives include being the originator of the Alumni Showcase and the originator and chair of the LDHS Golden Jubilee with numerous activities throughout the year, culminating in several celebratory major events in one fall weekend.

Her administrative contributions included, among others, several student assistance programs, creation of the Student Advisory Board, development of a School Governance plan, initiation of a Senior Awards Family Night, founding of Parent Advisory Boards and a student Spirit Club.

Her service leadership included chairmanship of the board for Pennsylvania’s Governor’s Schools, member of the national Goals 2000 Initiative, fund-raising co-chair for the Alexander Library, publication chair for Hummelstown’s Bicenquinquagennial and editor of its commemorative publication. She also served as LD Field House co-chair for fundraising.

Other honors include, among others, LDAA’s Distinguished Service Award (2010); Outstanding Alumni Award, DuBois Campus of Penn State (2016); and the Dissertation Award (1990) by the Association for Moral Education at Harvard.

Witmer is the author of 19 books and co-author of three others as well as seven book chapters, 48 journal articles, 23 dramatic scripts, 78 proposals and strategic plans, more than 100 grant proposals, as well as evaluation reports, presentations/workshops, 14 national speeches for clients, 244 book reviews, and other writing, including non-disclosure projects for the federal government.

Tickets for the event are $100 each and are still available.

Reservations may be made online at the foundation website ( For information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or get in touch with any Falcon Foundation board member.

“The Lower Dauphin Falcon Foundation provides our students with opportunities which they might not otherwise be able to enjoy,” Smith said. “The foundation also enhances opportunities for our students to get the most out of their educational experience here in Lower Dauphin.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 11:35

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GALLERY: Middletown Area High School Holiday Concert

The Middletown Area High School Holiday Concert on Wednesday, Dec. 14 included the Middletown Area Jazz Band, Middletown Area High School Select Choir, Middletown Area High School Chorus and Middletown Area High School Concert Band. Songs included old favorites such as “White Christmas,” “Dashing Through the Snow,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride.”

Photos by Jodi Ocker

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 14:32

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Penn State Harrisburg planning to hold emergency preparedness exercise Sept. 30

Penn State Harrisburg, in coordination with local and regional agencies, will conduct an emergency preparedness exercise in its library, on Friday, Sept. 30, starting at 9 a.m. The library will be closed to the public between 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

As part of the exercise, the college community and visitors to campus can expect to see the increased presence of law enforcement and emergency response professionals. Except for activities in the library, the exercise is not expected to otherwise affect normal operations of the college.

As part of the exercise, alert systems such as the PSUAlert messaging system may be tested to help ensure functionality in a true emergency. All Penn State students, faculty, and staff are automatically signed up to receive e-mail alerts via their Penn State email address.  An active Penn State access account is required for users to access PSUAlert to change contact settings, such as adding cellphone numbers to receive text messages and adding e-mails.

The emergency exercise will provide the college and participating organizations with an opportunity to assess capabilities, policies, and procedures, as well as decision-making, coordination, and agency integration, with the goal of improving effectiveness in an actual emergency.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 15:56

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