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THE

M A I NLI NE newspapers

JOURNAL

Blacklick Valley to graduate 54 students

Vol. 93 No. 23

ISSN:1529-9910

By Andrea Waltman

of Mainline Newspapers

On Thursday, June 5, 54 students from the Blacklick Valley High School Class of 2014 will gather together one last time to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas. Commencement will begin at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Diplomas will be presented by Arthur Wurm, school board president; Superintendent Dr. John Mastillo; and High School Principal Dr. Laura Fisanick. Mary Little served as class advisor, and the class was governed by the following officers: Kate Goldian, president; Josie

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Roberts, vice president; Nate McEvoy, treasurer; and Ashleigh Lawton, secretary. The class colors are red and black. The class flowers are the red and white rose. The class motto is, “Let’s call it a day!” The class song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” a 1985 ballad performed by the band Simple Minds, is perhaps best-known for being played during the opening and closing credits of the classic high school film “The Breakfast Club.” Valedictorian Alissa Campbell will deliver the farewell address. SEE GRADUATES, PAGE 15A

Miss Teen PA visits Jackson Elementary

Jackson Elementary students Wayne Cooper, Audrey Cooper, and Reilly Paul with Brielle Corrente. Photo by Andrea Waltman.

Alissa Campbell, valedictorian

Ashleigh Lawton, student speaker

By Andrea Waltman

of Mainline Newspapers

On Friday, May 30, students at Jackson Elementary School sat in rapt silence, listening to Brielle Corrente read from her new book, “Finding the Color in My Black and White World.” Corrente, a senior at Forest Hills High School who was crowned Miss Teen Pennsylvania International in April 2014, was at the school to deliver a message on overcoming adversity. In her book, Corrente tells the story of a princess whose life is changed one day, in the blink of an eye, when a wicked witch casts a spell upon the princess, taking away her ability to see color. While the princess’ world initially is reduced to black and white, throughout the tale, she learns that by seeking true, inner beauty, she is able to regain her sense of color. The story Corrente tells is essentially her own, and to each school she visits, she brings a message of hope and perseverance. She explained to Jackson

Elementary students that when she was fourteen, she lost the majority of her vision and became color blind. Doctors diagnosed Corrente with optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve, the bundle of nerve fibers that transmits visual information from the eyes to the brain. Optic neuritis is highly associated with multiple sclerosis, a disease that causes inflammation and damage to nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Signs and symptoms of optic neuritis may be the first indication of multiple sclerosis. Corrente explained the challenges that optic neuritis brings both to daily life and to pageant competitions. For instance, bright lights further hinder her ability to see onstage, so she must memorize how many steps to take from point A to point B onstage before each competition. Corrente has not let her condition interfere with her dreams, however. In the four years since her diagnosis, she has persevered to overcome many obstacles

Cambria County Christian School’s Class of 2014 looks to future Vanessa Bouch, salutatorian

SEE MISS TEEN PA, PAGE 3A

By Andrea Waltman

of Mainline Newspapers

On the evening of Friday, May 30, members of the 2014 class of Cambria County Christian School gathered with family, friends and underclassmen at Pike Grace Brethren Church to celebrate their graduation. Pastor Rudy Sheptock welcomed guests and opened the ceremony with a prayer. Mr. Thomas Pattison presented awards. Breanna Berkebile, recipient of the principal’s award, looked SEE FUTURE, PAGE 4A

Cambria County Christian School graduates (from left) Scott Urban, Jr.; Seth Fyock; Jonathan Perry; Bobby Fleegle; John Major; and Breanna Berkebile. Photo by Andrea Waltman.


Journal 6 5 2014