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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
What You Need To Know
  • May 24Breakfast for 05/27/24 - Memorial Day, no school
  • May 24Lunch for 05/24/24 - Baked Chicken and Roll
  • May 23Lunch for 05/23/24 - Chicken Alfredo
  • May 23Breakfast for 05/24/24 - Biscuit with Sausage Gravy
  • May 22Lunch for 05/22/24 - Beef Tacos
  • May 22Breakfast for 05/23/24 - Bacon Egg and Cheese Croissant
  • May 21Announcements for 05/21/24
The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Jacob Steinbugl delivers the benediction speech at graduation last school year. This year, the benediction will be delivered by senior Jake Yohn.
Valedictorian, salutatorian to speak at graduation
Charlie Kephart, Associate Editor • May 20, 2024

On May 31, graduation will be held at Mansion Park. The ceremony will begin with a welcome from superintendent Brad Hatch, followed by the National...

Money makers. After this school year, prices of Gardeners will be raised. These classic boxes will be less known come next year.
Money melting away
Megan Shultz, Associate Editor • May 13, 2024

Beginning next school year, the price of Gardener’s Candies will be raised. Students can purchase Peanut Butter Meltaways for $2, Chocolate...

Senior sneak peek. A senior decorates her parking spot during the 2023 Senior Week. Parking spot and car decorating have been a key part of the schools Senior Week (photo courtesy of Megan Shultz).
Senior week to take place week of May 20
Mattie Baker, Reporter • May 9, 2024

When high school alumni Jocelyn Fetter and Benjamin Blackie first created Senior Week, they didn’t expect it to turn into a high school tradition,...

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The mind behind it all. Sarah Saylor laid the ground work for music classes to become weighted. (Courtesy of Sarah Saylor)
Musical persuasion: Sarah Saylor's journey for weighted music classes
Madison Aboud, Associate Editor • May 15, 2024

It began as just an idea.  Senior Sarah Saylor was the driving force in having music classes be weighted.  “I first went to Mr. Detwiler with my idea and created...

Swing into action. Students and staff are encouraged to join the new pickleball club advised by music teacher Kelly Sipes.
Students, staff take to the courts in new pickleball club
Cevin Dively, Reporter • May 15, 2024

The pickleball club, advised by music teacher Kelly Sipes, is in full swing. Students and staff have...

Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science is one of the few clubs funded by this budget. (Courtesy of Dave Borst)
School district budgets funds
Charlie Kephart, Associate Editor • May 10, 2024

With over $100 million in the General Fund Budget for the 2023-2024 school year, the district created...

Students signed up for Toona Tune Up will participate rain or shine in order to clean up the city.
DeShong to run her last Toona Tune Up
Gracie Gioiosa, Reporter • May 10, 2024

On May 28, roughly 250 juniors and seniors will embark across Altoona with 31 teachers to clean up Altoona....

Victory! Physical Education Chairperson Thomas Palfey wins the second annual March Madness Competition. 
(Courtesy of Olivia McMinn.)
Humble winnings: Thomas Palfey wins March Madness competition
Madison Aboud, Associate Editor • May 10, 2024

  On April 3, the Climate and Culture squad began hosting the second annual March Madness competition,...

The Gateway clipper sails under the Fort Pitt Bridge while students watch the city on the top deck.
Sailing through Pittsburgh
Lila Benjamin, Reporter • May 8, 2024

On April 24, French students and students from Hollidaysburg traveled to Pittsburgh to attend the Gateway...

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Take down, Gilbert has a newspaper hung in his room showcasing 2023-24 Altoona Mirror wrestling all-stars. There are three girls who appear in this photo, showing girls can wrestle too.
Girls wrestling in the ring
Abigail Rudy, Reporter • May 9, 2024

Sophomore Akira Kenawell is making her move by trying to start a girls’ wrestling team. “I want to start a girls’ team because I have an interest in wrestling, and...

Guarding the ball. Freshman Raylin Eyer blocks the opposing team from shooting into the hoop and gaining points.
Lady Lions prepare for summer league at YMCA
Lydia Beltz, Guest Reporter • May 8, 2024

Summer is right around the corner which means so are summer sports. The sports program is widely recognized by people, but summer sports aren’t...

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Mountain Echo Voices
The War on Drugs spearheaded by Altoona native Harry J. Anslinger has resulted in mass incarceration skyrocketing and little to no positive results.
Altoona's role in failed War on Drugs
Gracie Gioiosa, Reporter • May 20, 2024

On Thursday May 16, the Justice Department formally moved to reclassify marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act from a Schedule I drug, the most dangerous type to a...

Ominous. Every day, students sign onto Skyward to check their grades. Cyber students are now exception to this rule, as it is even harder to keep track of assignments in cyber school.
Cyber schooling promotes complacency
Lincoln Frank, Reporter • May 16, 2024

With its flexibility and convenience, internet learning has become a competitive alternative in the ever-changing educational scene. But as we learn more about its dynamics,...

Students can find out more about the Upward Bound program at https://equity.psu.edu/offices/upward-bound
Upward Bound provides opportunity for first generation students
Addisen McDonald, Reporter • May 16, 2024

Upward Bound projects provide academic instruction in mathematics, sciences, composition, literature and foreign languages for first generation students. This program was...

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May is the time of reflection and it is time to look over the year and reflect over our favorite books.
(Made in Canva)
May Book of the Month
Madison Aboud and Mattie Baker, Associate Editor and Reporter • May 23, 2024

After an incredibly long and rewarding year, we have made it to the final Book of the Month for the 2023 - 24 school year. For our final Book of the Month, we have decided...

Editorial Cartoon
Editorial Cartoon
Georgia Zlupko, Guest Reporter • March 4, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Transgender struggles
Letter to the Editor: Transgender struggles
Theo Kessling, Contributor • March 1, 2024
(Made with Canva)
Cyber school provides diverse learning opportunities
May 21, 2024

Giving any student the proper education is dependent on the uniqueness of the individual. When it comes to education, one method does not work...

Get set. Freshman, Jill Long and sophomore, Brooklyn Weaver get ready to run the 100 m dash. Weaver placed in the top 10, sending her into finals.
Mountain Lion Classic
Addisen McDonald May 9, 2024

Today's Weather


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May 25
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Moderate rain
May 26
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Patchy rain nearby
May 27
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Moderate rain
Photo of the Week
Heating and Cooling
Mountain Echo Pulse

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Featured Staff Members
Charlie Kephart
Charlie Kephart
Associate Editor
Megan Shultz
Megan Shultz
Associate Editor
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School