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When The Times Leader began the Best & Brightest awards in 1994, the intent was to recognize the academic and community service achievements of area high school seniors. The concept developed after we heard from people in the community — and people in the education community — who said that students who excelled in academics didn’t get the same attention and acclaim as students who excelled in athletics. It was a sad refrain we’d heard for years but it easy enough to fix. We met with school administrators, determined which students would be considered, selected winners and published the results in The Times Leader. It has been an honor for 20 years to recognize all those students who consistently exercised their brains, awoke early and stayed up late creating projects, and practiced every day developing musical and artistic abilities. We were giving long-overdue credit to the areas’ academic all stars. Those initial Best & Brightest awards were fairly straightforward. Over the years, however, that good intent evolved into a complex evening event held in late

spring in conjunction with the publication of a special print section. There was a long application to be filled out by each student entering the contest. School administrators coordinated the process on their end. There was preliminary judging by one set of judges; another round of judging with a second set of judges. At a time of year when high school seniors are in a final dash for grades and competing in sports (some academic all-stars are athletic all-stars, too), we asked students to take some of their valuable time to visit with judges and do video interviews. And finally there was an elaborate production – for several years in the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre – complete with a professional staging company, presenters wearing tuxedos and gowns and a reception with elaborate catering. And it turns out it was as time-consuming and taxing for busy students and school administrators as it was for the newspaper staff. So this year we removed the complications and returned to basics, focusing on

recognizing the top academic achievements of our area’s best students. I expect the Best and Brightest will continue to evolve in future years but always keep the core mission of recognizing the best area students. That’s what we did this year. We asked area education administrators to name the top five students at their high school, based on class rank or grade-point average. The educators and students did the hard work getting all those students

through high school and a few to the very top of the class. We made it easy for them to determine The Times Leader Best & Brightest for 2012. Here they are. Joe Butkiewicz Executive Editor The Times Leader

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Area students still the Best & Brightest


BERWICK AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Abby Bull High school: Berwick Area GPA: 101.5146 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: September Student of the Month; Winifred Myers Love Advanced Physics Award; Cross Country Outstanding Runner Award; Cross Country Most Improved Runner Award; Track and Field Outstanding Freshman Award; four-year letterman in cross country and track field; member of National Honor Society Activities: Cross country (9, 12); track and field (9, 12); ballet/tap/ pointe (9,12); women’s chorus (9, 12); gifted (9, 12); job shadowing (9, 11); Berwick Ramblers Running Club (9, 12) Community/school service project: Students Helping Out Willingly (10, 11) Favorite courses: AP physics C: electromagnetism Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who influenced me the most is my physics teacher Mr. Shrader because he helped me realize that I wanted a career in the physics field. Work experience: None What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Gettysburg College What are your career goals? Biomedical engineer What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I have faced in high school is maintaining my GPA for four years. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Many of my friends do not know I can play the clarinet and piano. Community: Briar Creek Township Family: Parents William and Beverly Bull, sister Alexandra Bull.

Name: Kelly Shiptoski High school: Berwick Area GPA: 100.3122 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Distinguished honor student, four years; Health Care Hero Award, runner-up

Name: Brandon Strickland High school: Berwick Area GPA: 102.49 (Ranked 1) Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Distinguished honors (9-12); American History Award; U.S. Department of Energy Design Award; National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation; Newton Math Competition – individual 7th place, team 1st place; TEAMS Engineering team competition, 1st place, Bucknell. Activities: Spanish club (9, 10), vice president sophomore year; Model UN (9-12), president, senior year; Mathletics club (10-12), president senior year; JETS/TEAMS (11, 12); National Honor Society (10-12), secretary, senior year; Interact club. Community/school service project: Alzheimer’s walk (2010, 2011); M.S. walk (2011); Food cupboard through Interact. Favorite courses: AP calculus BC and AP Latin Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Todd Gunther, because he makes class very personal and interesting. He shows concern for his students, as well. Work experience: none What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Lafayette College What are your career goals? To become a mechanical engineer What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The biggest challenge I have faced was a speech impediment I had when I was young. I have since worked through it. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? No Community: Berwick Family: Lisa and Kevin Strickland

Name: Shea L. Volkel High school: Berwick Area GPA: Ranked 4th Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor

Society; distinguished honor roll; Student of the Month; varsity swim team, district relay medalist; varsity tennis doubles district qualifier; PMEA Festival Participation Award Activities: field hockey (9); varsity swim team (9-12); varsity tennis team (11, 12); Mathletes (11, 12); PMEA District 8 chorus (10, 12); Columbia-Montour County chorus (10, 12); Modernaires (11, 12); women’s chorus (9-12); Students Helping Out Willingly (10-12); Bethany United Methodist Church, BYG Room Ministries youth group (7-12); church praise band; singer; guitar lessons. Community/school service project: Nescopeck Community Cupboard – SHOW; tutoring; Rock of Hope Dance-a-thon for House of Hope (at Karen Gronsky’s School of Dance); BYG Room Ministries. Favorite courses: Usually anything science-related, such as AP biology, though I have a general appreciation for electives and other subjects. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who influenced me the most was probably my eighth-grade teacher, Mrs. Gibson because she was one of the first teachers to get me enthusiastic about science. Work experience: Job shadowing at University of Delaware Earth, Ocean and Environment Lab with Dr. Patrick Gaffney What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of North Carolina, Wilmington What are your career goals? To become a marine biologist What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Trying to balance my life and time management. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Self-taught piano by ear Community: Salem Township, Berwick Family: Parents Barry and Kim Volkel, brother Derek Volkel.

CRESTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Susan Hao High school: Crestwood High School GPA: 4.475 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Performed at Carnegie Hall (10); PJAS talent search winner (11); PJAS, 1st place regional, 2nd place See CRESTWOOD, Page 4

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Name: Alanna Mae Clark High school: Berwick Area GPA: Ranked third Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society Activities: Student Council, (9 –12); Interact club (Sergeant in Arms 11, Vice President 12); women’s

chorus (class representative 12); Modernaires (11, 12); mixed chorus (9-12); swing choir (11, 12); National Honor Society (10-12); JOLTT (10, 11); prom committee (11); Mathletics (11); Key Club (9); Horizons (9); field hockey (9-12), MVP defense (9-12), captain (10-12); softball (9); Powder Puff football (11, 12); writing lab (11,12); physics club (12, secretary) Community/school service project: Youth Group: Sunday night get-together with fellow high school Christians; Focus: six-week program for elementary children; Vacation Bible School: one-week program for younger children; ASP Mission Trip, missions trip in the Appalachian Mountains remodeling houses; Jamaica Mission Trip: mission trip in Jamaica building houses, visiting retirement village, spending time with the people of the village; Cooking for Teens: fellowship time for women of the church and teenage girls while they teach us to cook; Young Lady’s Bible Study; tutor. Favorite courses: AP calculus AB/BC Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? N/A Work experience: Kemler’s Family Restaurant, waitress; Mel Roe’s Family Restaurant, waitress; special events staff ticket stubber, parking; Nippy’s Ice Cream Stand, ice cream server; Bloomsburg Fair, Gold Chain Stand What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Millersville University What are your career goals? Math teacher and if that fails, CIA agent What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Not being the richest in town and helping my mother as much as possible with my siblings or money. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? No, sorry. Community: Berwick Family: Parents Vicki and Darren Clark, siblings Nick Happle and Trista Fields.

(2009); Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Seminar Essay Contest finalist (2009); National Honor Society (2010 – present); National Young Leaders Conference (2009) Activities: drama club, secretary and costume designer chair person (2008-2012); marching/ concert band, (2010-2012); mathletes (2009-2012); Future Business Leaders of America Club (20092012); writing center consultant (2011-2012); high school library aide (2011-2012). Community/school service project: I have been volunteering at the McBride Memorial Library weekly since May 2010. During the summer I also volunteer for the summer reading program for children at the McBride Memorial Library. Favorite courses: chemistry II (honors) and AP Literature and composition. Chemistry is my favorite subject because it requires abstract thinking and hard work to master the material. I loved AP literature and composition because I love to read and analyze books. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My chemistry teacher, Mr. John Allen helped me to develop a deep love and respect for science, aided me in discovering my talent in chemistry, and brought out my leadership skills through working with others in labs. Work experience: I have been working at May’s Drive-in (a local restaurant) as a cashier since May 2011. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Drexel University What are your career goals? I am not completely sure of the career I want, but I am sure of my interests: chemistry, international relations and politics. As of now, I am thinking of pursuing engineering, specifically chemical engineering. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Coping with the divorce of my parents. When they divorced, my entire world turned upside down. However, as time went on, I became very close to my mother and sister, and they are the reason I am the strong young woman I am today. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I absolutely love to write. I am also very interested in politics and the current presidential campaign. Also, other cultures fascinate me, and I hope to travel the entire world some day. Community: Berwick Family: Mother Carmela Shiptoski, sister Maria Shiptoski

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BEST & BRIGHTEST 2012

CRESTWOOD Continued from Page 3

states (11), Marywood Math Competition, 2nd place (10); Marywood Math Competition, 3rd place (9); LCCTM math competition, 4th place (11); National Merit Scholarship winner (12); National Honor Society (9-12); Spanish National Honor Society (10-12) Activities: Piano, dance, track and field, volleyball, tennis, treasurer of Student Government Community/school service project: Big Brothers Big Sisters (11,12); volunteer at Kirby Library (9-11) Favorite courses: biology and calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? There are four teachers who have influenced me the most, and they all happen to be my high school science teachers. Mrs. Gryzkewics (my biology I and chemistry I teacher), Miss Hoyt (my chemistry II teacher), Mr. Modrovsky (my biology II teacher), and Mr. Garroui (my physics teacher) have influenced me the most. They became more than teachers to me; they became friends who I could joke around with, address my problems to, and just talk to in general. Because of them, I have matured into the person who I am today. They have given me guidance and advice even when I did not have them as teachers anymore. I will always remember the laughs and good times that I had with them, and I will never forget any of them. Work experience: White Haven Bakery (11); Ko Ma Qui (11); Aeropostale (11, 12); Powerhouse Eatery (11, 12) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Pennsylvania What are your career goals? Surgeon What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Learning to go on with life without the most important person in my life Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can fold my tongue in half and wiggle my ears. Community: White Haven Family: Parents Yongping Dong and Jifa Hao; siblings Grace Hao, Jonathan Hao, Dong Hao

Name: Kaitlin Gower High school: Crestwood GPA: 4.395 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society; Spanish National Honor Society; Student of the Quarter; King’s College Young Scholar; Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program, HOBY 2010

Ambassador for Crestwood Activities: Suzuki School for Strings violin lessons; Suzuki Advanced Orchestra; Spanish club, math club; track and field, (9,10); stage crew member (11); school play, (9,12); St. Jude Youth Group; St. Jude Youth Advisory Board member. Community/school service project: St. Jude Vacation Bible School volunteer; St. Jude picnic volunteer; Week of Service participant; nursing home and soup kitchen volunteer. Favorite courses: biology, chemistry, math Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Modrovsky who sparked an interest in biology and the medical field Work experience: McDonalds crew member in Mountain Top What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? First choice is Binghamton University What are your career goals? Nurse anesthetist What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Public speaking in front of more than 200 ambassadors, alumni and leaders of Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? artistic ability Community: Mountain Top Family: Parents Greg and Jill Gower, younger sister Sarah.

Name: Hannah Gzemski High school: Crestwood GPA: 4.379 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Color Guard captain; literary magazine editor in chief; National Honor Society; Best Smile in Marching Band Award Activities: marching band (10-12); concert band (10-12); school

play (10-12); literary magazine (9-12); track and field (9-11). Community/school service project: Harrisburg Invasion, Sunday school teacher Favorite courses: music theory, biology, chemistry, Shakespeare & the Novel Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Joseph Ziegler, because he taught me a lot about discipline and creativity, both as my band director and teacher. He puts so much time and effort into the lives of each student he has in order to make them better musicians. Work experience: cashier at Weis Markets What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Stony Brook State University of New York What are your career goals? Biomedical engineer What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge is always the one that you’re about to face. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Can quote The Lion King verbatim Community: Mountain Top Family: Parents Jim and Beth Gzemski, siblings Sarah and Joey

Name: Joseph Legg High school: Crestwood GPA: 4.458 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Academic letter, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society Activities: Golf, tennis, track and field, exercising, skiing, reading, volunteering, mentoring. Community/school service project: I am the Crestwood Key Club president so I run Go Green, soup kitchen and other club events. Favorite courses: calculus, physics, biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Garranoi, my physics teacher, has changed my outlook on my life decisions and has made me a more critical thinker. Work experience: Dishwasher at Blue Ridge Trail, dental assistant. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Pittsburgh What are your career goals?

Oral surgeon What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Not succumbing to the peer pressure of partying in high school or “senioritis”. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I have been able to read more than 800 words per minute. Community: Mountain Top Family: Parents Joseph and Kristen Legg, siblings Ashley and Alexis Legg

Name: Jesse Quintiliani High school: Crestwood GPA: 4.445 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (2009-2012); Spanish National Honor Society (20092012); Harold Baker Award (2009, 2010, 2011); American Math Competition (2009-2011) Activities: Crestwood Varsity Baseball (2009-2011); American Legion Baseball (2009-2011); Spanish club (2009-2012) Community/school service project: Mentor, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, Wilkes-Barre (2010-present). I have been a mentor with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program since March 2010. I have benefited from this experience as much as my “little brother” has. I have made a commitment to be a consistent and dependable person in his life and I strive to be a positive role model for him. I look forward to continuing as his mentor. Favorite courses: I enjoy all math and science courses, especially chemistry and biology. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My eighth-grade English teacher Mr. Eric Lawson. His caring was genuine and he allowed us to think that anything was possible. I am a person with a strong interest in math and science. English was not my favorite subject, but Mr. Lawson had a way of making it enjoyable. Work experience: I tutor middle and high school students in Spanish, math and science. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Wilkes University – Nesbitt College of Pharmacy What are your career goals?

My goal is to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. In addition, to a PharmD, I am considering pursuing an MBA as I would like to assume an administrative role within a clinical setting, such as a hospital. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I have faced would be the enormous time management and organizational skills needed to navigate through a successful senior year. In addition to taking the most challenging courses offered at Crestwood High School, I am enrolled at Wilkes University in the Young Scholars program. Juggling a demanding schedule with my Big Brother commitment, athletic and tutoring schedules and the daunting task of the college application process have made for an interesting senior year. Community: Mountain Top Family: Parents William and Cynthia Quintiliani, sister Lindsay.

JAMES M. COUGHLIN HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Andrea Grillini High school: James M. Coughlin GPA: 101.500 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Member of Coughlin High School’s National Honor society, Highest Honors all four years, 1st place in district for National History Day paper (2008-2009), 1st place in local district for Plains Rotary Essay Contest (2011) and 5th place in Rotary District 7410. Activities: Member of Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Fundraising, member of Softball team, member of Spanish Club, member of Girls’ Basketball team, member of girls’ volleyball team, member of future Business Leaders of America Community/school service project: Held my own car wash my junior year benefiting the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Favorite courses: AP calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Gillis, because he never fails to give his students everything he has to offer day in and day out. Work experience: employee at The Snack Shack for two years See COUGHLIN, Page 5


COUGHLIN Continued from Page 4

What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Duquesne University What are your career goals? Major in biology at Duquesne University on a pre-medical track What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Organizing my car wash on my own in honor of my grandfather, who has Parkinson’s Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? No Community: Parsons section of Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Paul and Margaret Grillini, older brother Anthony

Name: Jessica Walsh High school: James M. Coughlin GPA: 99.881 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, varsity letter in field hockey and basketball; Academic AllState Team for field hockey (2011) Activities: Spanish club, Future Business Leaders of America, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Key Club, Go Green Club, field hockey, girls basketball (20082009); girls soccer (2010); track and field (2011); Valley Styx Indoor Field Hockey Club (2006-2009); Kapow Indoor Field Hockey Club (2010) Community/school service project: Golden Living Center volunteer Favorite courses: Spanish and chemistry Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Blaum, my ninth-grade biology teacher, because her class sparked my interest in science, which is the field I plan on studying in college. Work experience: Wilkes-Barre park attendant What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Temple University What are your career goals? An occupation in health care What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Maintaining my high GPA and juggling schoolwork and my activities Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I have an addiction to pizza and chocolate. Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Philip and Debra Walsh, siblings Alyssa, Philip and Nicole

DALLAS HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Somiah Almeky High school: Dallas GPA: 99.42 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: All A’s awards; honors with distinction; National Honor Society; science award; Al-Noor Youth group (held officer positions 9-12) Activities: Key Club (9); Future Business Leaders of America (10); Math Competition Club (11, 12); International Club (9, 10); MiniTHON Club (9, 10, 11); National Honor Society (10-12); Al-Noor Youth Group (9-12) Community/school service project: youth group projects; Coffee and Donuts at the Square, monthly; community dinners, organizing annual trips for community Favorite courses: AP chemistry, anatomy and physiology, AP calculus, comparative religions, oral communications Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My comparative religions teacher, Mr. Rushmer, taught us about the major belief groups without putting his opinion or any popular opinion into it. My greatest challenge that I faced was being the only Muslim in my school because of the way the media portrays Islam. In this class, he clarified any misunderstandings and it made it a lot easier for me because my classmates now have a better understanding of who I am and what I believe in. Work experience: Volunteer at the Medical Center of NEPA What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Wilkes University or the University of Scranton What are your career goals? I would like to pursue a career in the field of medicine What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I faced was wearing the Hijab, or Islamic covering in school. It was hard because I was the only Muslim in school and no one understood why I dressed differently and covered my hair. The Hijab is a part of who I am and people respect me for it. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I like to make jewelry and other crafts. Community: Shavertown Family: Mother Azza Almeky, siblings Abdulrhman, Moustafa, Kareem, Noor

Name: Angelina Hoidra High school: Dallas High School GPA: 99.96 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Graduate of Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre, 11; National Honor Society, 10, 11, 12; Ranked first in class, 9, 10, 11, 12; French I Award, 9; French II Award, 10; French IV Award, 11; English Department Award, 11; Social Science Department Award, 11; M. Jay Pope Leadership Point of Light Award, 11; Certificate of Recognition: House of Representatives of Pennsylvania, 11; Certificate of Recognition: Senate of Pennsylvania, 11; President’s Volunteer Service Award, 11; Bishop Youth Award, 12; Citizen Student of the Quarter, 12; Best Witness Award (Mock Trial), 12; Dr. Martin Luther King Novice Finalist in Dramatic Duo (second place), 10; Catholic Forensics League Tournament Finalist in Dramatic Duo (third place two times) 11; Wilkes University Invitational Speech & Debate Tournament in Dramatic Duo (first place) 11; runner-up for National Catholic Forensics League All National Tournament in Dramatic Duo, 10, 11; Qualified for National Catholic Forensics league All National Tournament in Dramatic Duo, (third place overall) 12; Recognition by Dallas School Board for Speech & Debate Nationals Qualification, 12. Activities: Chorus, 9, 10, 11, 12; Chamber Choir, 9, 10; Literary Magazine, 10; Speech & Debate Team, 10, 11, 12; Student Leadership in Civics Club (secretary, 11; president, 12); Theatre Club, 9, 10, 11, 12. St. Ignatius of Loyola: cantor, leader of song, altar server, children’s choir, teen choir, contemporary ensemble, festival choir and youth group; 9, 10, 11, 12; fourth grade catechism teacher, 10, 11, 12; summer Bible Camp kindergarten teacher, 9, 10, 11, 12. Apple tree Nursery/Primary School Summer Camp Junior counselor, 9, 10. Wyoming Valley Orthodox Choir, 10, 11, 12. Dallas High School Mock Trial Competition, 12. Take The Stage Performing Arts Studio, 11. Dallas High School Broadcasting Team, 12. Regional Youth Ministry Leadership Team, 12. Community/school service project: My Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre group visited the Laurels Nursing Homes during the winter holidays. In March we held a bingo fundraiser in the basement of St. Ignatius of Loyola Church

and also sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts to raise money. In the end, we amassed around $1,000 for the nursing homes. Also, in my junior year was the completion project that serves as a graduation requirement at Dallas High School. My group and I decided to put on a full-stage musical. I casted, directed, produced, taught music, designed set, designed lighting, blocked and performed. We produced two shows, during which we also held bake sales. In total, we ended up donating all $2,000 to the Dizzy Feet Foundation, an organization that aids aspiring, underprivileged young performers. In addition, through my involvement in Student Leaders in Civics, each member participated in over 200 hours of community service. We put on our Second Annual Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony and school-wide assemblies in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as volunteering with Shoemaker Mission Central, a local Habitat for Humanity site, the United States Postal Service’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, and many visits to the local veterans at the VA. Favorite courses: French I,II, II, IV, (9, 10, 11); World Literature (11); Intro to theatre (11); AP English (12); AP Calculus (12) Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Candyce Fike has impacted me in a very profound way, so much so that she is almost like family. Mrs. Fike has been my French teacher, Intro to Theatre instructor, and Speech & Debate coach. I have learned some of the greatest lessons in her classroom. Work experience: Apple Tree Nursery/Primary School Junior Counselor, 9, 10. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? DeSales University or George Washington University What are your career goals? I plan to double-major in English and theatre. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My most grueling challenge would be my junior completion project, Mirror Image. It was certainly one of the most stressful endeavors I’ve undertaken thus far, but with determination and a wonderful support system, we managed to produce an enjoyable show (twice) and raise $2,000 for a worthy charity. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can memorize performance pieces rather rapidly. I’m also a champion Pictionary player. Community: Dallas Family: Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Matthew & Debbie Hoidra; one sister, Christina.

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Name: Bailey Novak High school: James M. Coughlin GPA: 100.677 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Received three letters in cross country; captain of cross country; received three letters in soccer; National Honor Society; Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen certificate; Barnes & Noble Essay Contest (honorable mention); Luzerne County Veterans Day Essay Contest (first place ); F.B.L.A. regionals (2nd place, twice); F.BL.A (two-year state qualifier ); F.B.L.A States (6th place); Student Council (president); Junior and Senior Class, assistant treasurer Activities: cross country (captain); soccer; Student Council; (president), Senior Class Officer (assistant treasurer), Junior Class Officer (assistant treasurer), Key Club, Spanish Club, Junior City Council, Wilkes-Barre General Hospital volunteer Community/school service project: I’m a member of the junior city council and we work on multiple community projects, including a coat drive and cemetery cleanup. Favorite courses: Biology and Science III Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My AP English teacher Mr. Trievel’s motivational attitude helps to push us. But his inspiration goes beyond the classroom; he is always encouraging us to take action in our community and to make life worthwhile.

Work experience: Wilkes-Barre park attendant What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Arcadia University What are your career goals? To become a cardiologist What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Dealing with divorced parents for most of my life. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can quote the Harry Potter books word for word. Community: Miners Mills Family: David Novak and Christie Sprau

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BEST & BRIGHTEST 2012

Name: Chelsea Martin High school: Dallas High School GPA: 99.00 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, The National Society of High School Scholars, Youth Salute, Honors with Distinction, First Honors, WVIA Artist of the Week 2012, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards of 2012, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers: Gold Key for excellence (Region-at-Large program) 2012, Suzanne Maria Rossetti Memorial Juried Art Exhibit-Best of Show 2012, 2nd Place Best of Show 2011, Best of Grade Level 2006-12, Ripple Blue Society 2006-2012, second place in the postcard/announcement design 2010, among many other awards from the Rossetti Art Show, SPCA-first place award for the poster design contest 2009, Fine Arts Fiesta, Student Exhibition Grades 9-12; Wyoming Valley Art League second place award 2009 & 2011, Christopher Robinson Memorial Art Award 2009, first place award – Lorraine Franckiewicz 2008 & 2011, Celebratingart.com Top Ten Winner 2011, Hoyt Library Literature Exhibit, third place, King’s College, PA 2009 Congressional Art Competition – first place 10th District of Pennsylvania’s Congressional Art Competition, painting was exhibited for one ear in the Cannon Tunnel, U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C., Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award in Cumulative “A” Average, 20082012, Academic Recognition Award for Artistic Discovery Award 9 and 11, Academic Recognition Award for English 9th grade, Cliff Robins Cross Country Invitational 23rd place award 2009, Lackawanna County Cross Country Invitational 17th place award 2009. Activities: Wilkes-Barre Junior Leadership Program 11; class secretary 9, 10, 11, 12; vice president of the National Honor Society 12; secretary of the National Honor Society 11; Newspaper Club 9, 12; International Club 9, 10, 11; Forensics team 9, 12; Steering Committee 9, 10, 11, 12; Student Council 9, 10, 11, 12; Student Government 9, 10, 11, 12; Library Aide Club 9, 10, 11, 12; Art lessons at Sue Hand’s Imagery first grade to present; Summer Studio Society at Sue Hand’s Imagery 9, 10, 11, 12, Cider Painters of America 10, 11, 12; Wyoming Valley Art League 9, 10, 11, 12; Pennsylvania En Plein Air Society 9, 10, 11, 12; Cross Country Team 9,

10 , 11, 12; Track & Field Team 9, 10, 11; Winter Track Club 9, 10 11. Community/school service project: Back Mountain Memorial Library: Action artist 2009, pottery class, teachers’ aide 2009, Haunted Library volunteer, 2007- 2010. International Club, Dallas High School: Elementary Foreign Language Academy, teacher aide, 2008-2010; Back Mountain Food Pantry Fundraiser, Soups-N-Sweets, 2009-2011; Shoe Box Project, 20092010. Sue Hand’s Imagery, Dallas; Annual Rosetti Art Show, processed tags and paintings, 20092011; Schools end art exhibit judge, 2009; Painted Mule, Back Mountain Memorial Library 2008; Hillside Farms Mural Painting, 2011. Shavertown United Methodist Church: Congregational spaghetti dinner server, 2010; rummage sale, 2009; scripture reading, 2009; Rec with the Roc volunteer, 2009; Sunday School teachers aid, 2008-2009; congregational breakfast server 2007-2008. Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre Project: 5k run- Kilometers for a Cause, proceeds benefited Candy’s Place, 2011. Dallas High School Completion Project: 5k run-Run For The Fallen, proceeds benefited the Michael J. Cleary Foundation for war veterans, 2010. Spencer Martin Memorial Bike Ride sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, 2009-2010; SPCA Fundraiser, Freshman Steering, 2009; Leadership Wilkes-Barre Times Leader mural painting, 2008; Diabetes Walk, 2008; Wilkes-Barre Triathlon, 2007-2008; DHS Honor Society Red Cross Fundraiser, 11. Favorite courses: I love new experiences, learning and trying different activities. Instead of focusing my attention on one subject, I like to focus it on many. Teacher who influenced you the most and Why? Sue Hand, my art teacher of 12 years, has influenced me immensely. Sue has shown me the importance of giving back to the community and doing things for others. Work experience: I have been working at Sue Hand’s Imagery for the past three years as an art instructor and teacher’s assistant. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Penn State University (University Park), Hofstra University or Wilkes University. What are your career goals? My goal is to be successful in whatever career I choose; but to achieve success with honor. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Life is full of challenges. I’ve had to deal with many throughout high school, so I cannot name one. Community: Dallas Family: Douglas and Bernadette Martin, parents. Amanda Martin, sister.

don’t know about you? I can fall asleep at any place, any time of the day. Community: Dallas Family: Parents Dr. John M. Prater and Susan Prater, siblings Brittany Prater and John F. Prater

Name: Emily Regina Prater High school: Dallas GPA: 99.13 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: honors with distinction (9-12); All-A’s Award (9-12); Spanish II Award (10); National Honor Society (10, 11, 12); WilkesBarre Junior Leadership Class of 2011 (11); Paderewski Gold Medal from the American College of Musicians for the piano (9) Activities: peer helper (9-12); Mini-Thon (9-12), canning for MiniThon (9-11); peer tutor (9-12); cross country team (9); girls soccer (10, 11, 12); Wilkes-Barre Free Medical Clinic volunteer (10, 11, 12); organized candlelight vigil with Peer Helpers in memory of classmate Tom Lynch, “Love for Lynch” (12); homework helper for CEO (10); volunteer at Mother Theresa Haven during Camp Orchard Hill (10-12); Cross Creek Church Vacation Bible School volunteer (12); church service piano player; “Day of Prayer for Corey” organizer (12) Community/school service project: While volunteering at the Wilkes-Barre Free Medical Clinic, it was found that a significant number of patients had difficulty understanding and speaking English. I developed English-Spanish translation documents for the most common diagnoses – diabetes, hypertension, respiratory illness and abdominal pain. Favorite courses: biology, human physiology, comparative religions Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Arlene Besecker was my second-grade teacher at Dallas Elementary School. She had recently been diagnosed with brain cancer and because of the stories she shared with us, I grew my hair and donated 18 inches to Locks of Love in her honor, twice. Her positive attitude and strength inspired me, even at 8 years old. Work experience: Babysitter for four families What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University What are your career goals? Bachelor of Science in nursing with a goal to work in pediatrics. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Training through the winter outside and then running to complete the Walt Disney World Marathon. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends

Name: Deep Patel High school: Dallas High School GPA: 99.40 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Cumulative “A” Average; high honor roll; Rensselaer Polytechnic Math and Science Medal; National Honor Society (president) Activities: baseball (9-12, captain); newspaper (10-12, copy editor); Junior Engineering Technical Society (12); Mysteries of the Universe (10-11 treasurer); math club (11-12); Science Olympiad (11); economics club (12). Community/school service project: Meadows Nursing Home (200 volunteer hours), WilkesBarre General Hospital (150+ volunteer hours). Favorite courses: math and gym Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Saba, taught me to pursue what I liked and not what made the most money. Always told me, “Do what you like and the money will follow.” Work experience: N/A What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Wilkes University assurance medical school program in association with Penn State Hershey (final interview pending) What are your career goals? Become a family physician, get a house by the beach and chill. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Moving from New Jersey my sophomore year and starting my life over in a completely different place. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? No one does breakfast like I do. My chocolate chip pancakes could start a war. Community: Dallas Family: Parents Pragnesh Patel and Manisha Patel, siblings Kajal Patel (sister), Buddy Patel (brother, dog)

GAR MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Kaleigh Killian High school: GAR GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, 9, 10, 11, 12; District chorus 12; All-Area Orchestra, 9, 10, 11, 12; Luzerne County Honors Band, 9, 10, 11, 12. Activities: Chorus 9, 10, 11, 12; jazz, marching and concert bands 9, 10, 11, 12; scholastic scrimmage team 9, 10, 11, 12; orchestra 9, 10, 11, 12; Students Against Destructive Decisions 12. Community/school service project: Caroling at nursing homes for the holidays 9, 10, 11, 12; Relay for Life 10. Favorite courses: Math and literature Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My trigonometry teacher, Mrs. Drost, greatly influenced me with her teaching and positive attitude. She told me on a daily basis that I could do anything with a little practice as long as I believe in myself. She taught me that when life gets me down, I just have to get back up. Work experience: Party hostess and cashier at Chuck E. Cheese’s. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Either Elmira College or Misericordia University What are your career goals? I want to be a teacher of math as well as a published author. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Growing into myself and learning to accept myself for who I am, as well as getting my friends and family to accept me for myself. It has been a great struggle throughout my life to realize that I’m okay the way I am. Just being true to myself can sometimes be a daily challenge, but it is worth it every time. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? When I am moody or stressed, I cope by rock climbing and writing poetry. Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Susan and William Killian Jr.; Siblings Patrick Killian


Name: Tara Kolatira High school: GAR Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society; Field Hockey Academic All-State Activities: Field hockey, softball, cheerleading, Key Club, chorus, Spanish club; Blue and Gray Community/school service project: Tutoring Favorite courses: Chemistry I & II Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Cooper because he’s the one who had me start thinking about what I’m going to do after high school. Work experience: Dietary aide at St. Luke’s Villa since August of 2009. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Misericordia University What are your career goals? To be a successful physical therapist and maybe even go into sports therapy. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Balancing work, sports, school and a social life. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Half of my family lives in Ireland, so I visit every summer. Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents John and Tina Kolatira

Name: Laurel Roughsedge High school: GAR GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (10-12); Academic All-State (12); Activities: varsity field hockey (10-12); softball (10); Spanish club (11, 12); ski club (10-12); Community/school service project: Favorite courses: Chemistry I,

II; trigonometry Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Drost influenced me to pursue the career I will be studying in college. Work experience: Turkey Hill (12) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Penn State University What are your career goals? I would like to become an engineer. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Balancing school and sports and now work and school. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I make people laugh. Community: Laurel Run Family: Parents Lois and David, siblings David and Chanel

Name: Steven Trebunak High school: GAR GPA: 98.477 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society; senior class treasurer; PMEA district chorus Activities: Band (9-11); school newspaper (12); Spanish club (11, 12); chorus (9-12); small group chorus (10-12); yearbook (12); orchestra (9); Key Club (11) Community/school service project: Favorite courses: math Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Miss Kishbaugh because even though I don’t have her in class this year, she is more than willing to help me with anything. Work experience: Panera Bread What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Wilkes University What are your career goals? To become a high school math teacher What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Trying to balance school with everything else. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I like to cook. Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents John and Judith Trebunak

GREATER NANTICOKE AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Alexa Gorski High school: Greater Nanticoke Area High School GPA: 97.933 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Thomas M Cesarini Youth Award, The Commonwealth Medical College Research Fellowship; Pennsylvania Academy of Science Talent Search Winner; Science Olympiad Medals; five regional (three first place, one second place, one fourth place); and two state (one second and one third place); PJAS Regional Competition (three First Awards (One first and one second at state competition); County Envirothon competition, fourth place medal; High Honor Roll for four years; National Honor Society, three year member, current president; Youth Salute; Division 2 Field Hockey Champions, sophomore year; Gladiator NFCHA High School National Academic Squad, senior year. Activities: Field hockey, 9, 10 ,11, 12, varsity letter winner, four-year starter, co-captain; participant in Misericordia summer league, Amateur Athletic Union Tournament, and Keystone State Game Tournament; Science Olympiad, 9, 10, 11, 12; Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, 10, 11 ,12; Envirothon, 11, 12; Power of 10: 11, 12, senior moderator; Reach Hei, 11. Community/school service project: Helped to organize a flood relief drive during senior year; participant in Christmas drive, which provided toys and gift cards to over 200 local families; Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre Class of 2011, organizer of Luck for the Laurels Bingo event, which raised $2,000 for a nursing home; Greater Nanticoke Area Youth Task Force, seven-year member and three-year president; assembled a care package to send to soldier serving in Iraq, visited nursing home on holidays Favorite courses: Advanced Biology, Government and Sociology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My teacher Mrs. Mancuso has been so much more

than just an exceptional educator. From day one in third grade, she has always been full of heartfelt advice and constructive criticism. In every situation, success or failure, she has helped to turn it into a learning experience for me. It was because of her never-ending support and guidance that I became involved in so many activities. If I needed help with anything from feeding planarian chopped liver to memorizing lists of diseases, she was always there for me. Work experience: Holiday season concessions worker at Mohegan Sun Arena. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Bucknell University What are your career goals? Obtain M.D. and PhD from Wake Forest University, become a molecular Neuro-pharmacologist. I also wish to volunteer at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Growing up with divorced parents Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I know how to knit Community: Nanticoke Family: Mother, Suzanne Smith; father, Todd Gorski; grandparents, Carol Gorski and Edward Bush

Name: Peter Mash High school: Greater Nanticoke Area GPA: 98 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Senior Excellence Award in Mathematics, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, 2012 (12); Second place in the Newton Mathematics Competition 2011- Pennsylvania (12); Science Olympiad Regional first place and state metals (9); district swim championships 2010, 2012’ first place digital movie, Regional Computer Fair 2010 and 2011; Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science first Place with perfect score 2011 and 2012, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science 2012 Perseverance Award; National Honor Society Vice President (11); Luzerne County Honors Band (8, 9, 10, 12); Hershey Stadium Cavalcade of Bands (9, 10, 11, 12). Activities: varsity swim team (10, 12); Hanover Area Aquahawks swim team (3-9); trumpet player marching band (7-12); concert and jazz band, See NANTICOKE, Page 8

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Name: Justin McCarthy High school: GAR GPA: 100.026 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (9, 10, 11, 12); Lions Young Leaders In-Service Award (11); United States Achievement Academy (10) Activities: Students Against Destructive Decisions (11, 12 president); Junior Class President (11); Key Club (9-12); Envirothon (10,

12); Watershed (12); Spanish club (11, 12); soccer (9, 10, 11, 12 (cocaptain); track and field 9, 12; Leo Club mentor 9, 10, 11, 12; DeMolay 10, 11, 12. Community/school service project: Dodge Ball Tournament, Community Day at Bon-Ton; Salvation Army bell ringing; Easter egg set-up on Public Square; Muscular Dystrophy Walk; Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl-for-Kids Sake; Toys-for-Tots collection and packing; St. Vincent DePaul Kitchen fundraiser; Veterans Administration Hospital; St. Stephens Church coat drive. Favorite courses: Advanced placement calculus, chemistry, physics Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? I was most influenced by my Social Science Seminar teacher, Mr. Andrejko, because he opened my eyes into the career that I want which is becoming a petroleum engineer. Work experience: I have worked around my family’s business What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Penn State University (University Park) What are your career goals? I plan to work on a more efficient fuel source for our oil-hungry nation. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My transfer from a small private school into a large public school system. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? None Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Justin and Josie McCarthy, sister Seanna McCarthy

SPECIAL SECTION, SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2012

BEST & BRIGHTEST 2012


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BEST & BRIGHTEST 2012

NANTICOKE Continued from Page 7

(7-12); Ukrainian dance (11, 12); Science Olympiad, (7-12); Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, (7-12); Scholastic Scrimmage, (11,12); altar boy (Transfiguration Ukrainian Catholic Church, 2-12); Wyoming Seminary Performing Arts Institute, (10); Pennsylvania Computer Fair (10, 11, 12); Bass Player in One Foot In (11, 12). Community/school service project: Organizing a community party and talent show at Transfiguration Church Hall. Favorite courses: calculus, economics Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Barbara Lach, second grade. She was intelligent, talented, dedicated and respected every student. Work experience: camp counselor, Ukrainian Homestead, Lehighton What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Pittsburgh What are your career goals? Working in business or finances, possibly in the film industry. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? School goes from 7:30 to 2:00, which was a hindrance to my working to potential. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I am a member of Kazka Ukrainian Folk Ensemble as a dancer. Community: Nanticoke Family: Parents Kenneth and Christine Mash; siblings Mary, Katherine and David Mash

Name: Chris Miller High school: Greater Nanticoke Area High School GPA: 98.12/99 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society Favorite courses: biology and government and sociology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Xaan Pray: She has always cared, listened, and

given advice whenever I was in need. Work experience: Coach at the Little League Baseball Camp, Williamsport; cashier at the variety shop in Glen Lyon What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Temple University What are your career goals? To be come a physicians assistant What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Keeping my grades up Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? NA Community: Glen Lyon Family: Parents Jamie and Chris; siblings Aaron and Abigail

Name: Kelsey Rynkiewicz High school: Greater Nanticoke Area High School GPA: 98.180 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Luzerne County Community College president’s list (11); High Honor Roll (9,10,11,12); Softball District Championship (9,10,11); Softball District Championship (10); 2010 PIAA AA Softball State Championship (10); Volleyball letter (10); National Honor Society (10,11,12); Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society (Beta Iota Rho Chapter) (12). Activities: Dual enrollment (11, 12); Wilkes University Mathematics Competition (11); Reach Hi Afterschool Program (11, 12); Youth Salute (11); softball (9, 10, 11, 12); travel softball (10); volleyball (10). Community/school service project: Golf tournament benefiting the American Cancer Society (9); Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Haunted House (11,12); delivery of Thanksgiving Day meals for the elderly (11); orientation leader at Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s 2011 freshman orientation (11); flood drive for 2011 flood victims (12); Cleanup from 2011 flood (12); volunteering as part of National Honor Society (10,11,12); Greater Nanticoke Area Christmas toy drive (12); Shoe boxes of school supplies for children in need (12); tutor for younger student (12); notetaker for special needs student at LCCC (12). Favorite courses: biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Xann Pray; I have known Mrs. Pray the past

three years as the school librarian and as my Honor Society adviser. She has always been there for me to lend a hand or listening ear. No matter how big or small the problem I may have had, she has always helped me as best she can. Mrs. Pray has had the most influence on me because of her advice and encouragement that I could do whatever I set my mind to. Work experience: None What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? King’s College What are your career goals? I plan on becoming a certified athletic trainer after completing my undergraduate degree at King’s College. I am hoping to graduate with a double major in athletic training and business, and then possibly pursuing a career combining the two. I intend to go to grad school for either a master’s in athletic training or a degree in physical therapy. I also hope to one day open my own rehabilitation clinic. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? One of the biggest challenges I have faced so far is deciding on a college and a major. With all of the options out there, choosing just one is so overwhelming. I’ve found myself completely stressed out trying to make heads or tails of what I wanted to do. However, finally choosing something has been such a relief and made the challenge worthwhile. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? None Community: Nanticoke Family: Parents Sandy and John Rynkiewicz, sibling Kristopher Rynkiewicz

Name: Brianne Tomko High school: Greater Nanticoke Area GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Nanticoke Gifted Program since ninth grade; Science Olympiad (third place in regionals, 2011); two first awards at regional PJAS; National Honor Society. Activities: Jazz, concert and marching band (six years); drum major (two years); saxophone section leader (four years); high school chorus (8); drama club and stage crew (8, 9, 10); Wilkes Uni-

versity Civic Band (2009); Science Olympiad (10-12); Wyoming Seminary Performing Arts Institute (2009, 2010); Misericordia University Biology Summer Career Exploration Camp (2011); cantor (2008-present); religious education aide (2009); WVIA Scholastic Scrimmage (11, 12); piano lessons and recitals (2002-present); saxophone (2005-present); WVIA Artist of the Week Community/school service project: Volunteered for more than 90 hours at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the summers of 2008 and 2011; tutored math and volunteered at the GNA Family Center and Valley with a Heart benefit; GNA Catholic Youth Group since 2007. Work included nursing home visits, cleaning up flooddamaged homes and working at the church picnic; church passion play (2009, 2010 , 2011, and will do in 2012) Favorite courses: biology, physics and calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who influenced me the most was Mr. Brad Bunnell. He has been my band director since sixth grade. Mr. Bunnell taught me how to play saxophone in sixth grade, which is now my favorite extracurricular activity. He got me involved in marching band and made me saxophone section leader and drum major. He makes band fun, even in the scorching heat of August band camp and November football snow or rain. He sees the potential in his students as always encouraging me to do my best. Mr. Bunnell has taught me about many different types of music and to think about music differently to better my playing. Work experience: Math tutor What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Gettysburg College What are your career goals? Research biochemist What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My biggest challenge has been juggling school and extracurricular activities. I am in jazz, concert and marching band, chorus, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, Science Olympiad and Wilkes Band. I have a rehearsal almost every weekday for most of the year. I sometimes need to miss classes for performances or competitions, which can be a detriment. It is always easy, but I have learned how to balance these activities with my schoolwork and I am ranked first in my class. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? No Community: Nanticoke Family: Parents Ed and Nancy Tomko

HANOVER AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Gina Baiamonte High school: Hanover Area GPA: 99.5 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: High honor roll and National Honor Society Activities: cheerleading; all-star cheerleading; volleyball; Young Scholars program; sportsman’s club; Student Council. Community/school service project: Red Cross blood drive; Plains Yankees Cheer Clinic; Mini Hawk Cheer Camp; soup kitchen. Favorite courses: chemistry and biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who influenced me the most is my chemistry teacher, Ms. Holodick, because she challenges me and motivates me to reach my full potential. Work experience: Babysitting What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Misericordia University or The University of Scranton What are your career goals? My career goal is to become a surgeon. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Competing on a senior level 3 all-star cheerleading team Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I taught myself how to play the piano. Community: Ashley Family: Parents Mark and Dawn Baiamonte, siblings Melissa Luksh, Giovanni Baiamonte and Gabrielle Baiamonte

Name: Brianna Good High school: Hanover Area GPA: 99 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, member of the 2011 homecoming court, two-time PIAA DisSee HANOVER, Page 9


HANOVER Continued from Page 8

trict Swimming Medalist, Gifted Math Students, Junior Leadership graduate 2011 Activities: Varsity Swim Captain, Varsity Cheerleading Captain, Key Club member, yearbook journalist, student council member, Scholastic Scrimmage participant Community/school service project: Hoops fpr Hope X (20110 benefiting the Make-a-Wish Foundation Favorite courses: biology II Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Peterman, who served as an inspiration both academically and personally. Work experience: Age-Group Swim Coach 2009-2011, certified lifeguard What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Penn State University or The University of Scranton What are your career goals? Major in biology, attend medical school. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My three-hour black belt test Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I am a black belt in Goshin Jitsu Karate. Community: Hanover Township Family: Parents Patrick and Linda Good, sister Melina Good

Name: Catherine Qiu High school: Hanover Area GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Member of National Honor Society; dual enrollment student Activities: Key Club, Upward Bound Program at Wilkes University, talent search program Community/school service project: Volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen, volunteer at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business & Industry Favorite courses: art, Spanish, math Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Miss McCormick: She has allowed me to grow as a person, become active in community service, and explore various areas of interest. Work experience: N/A What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Penn State University, University Park What are your career goals? Graduate college and find a stable job that I will enjoy What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Upward Bound six-week summer program Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Self-studying the Japanese language. Community: Hanover Township Family: Peter Qiu, Jerry Huang, Johnny Qiu

Name: Amy Ann Viti High school: Hanover Area GPA: 99.6% Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: September Student of the Month (12); Junior National Honor Society member, (president 9); National Honor Society (10, 11, 12); Key Club January Member of the Month; cross country Wyoming Valley Division 3 All-Star (9, 10, 11 and Most Outstanding 12); varsity letter in cross country (9-12); varsity letter in track and field (9-12); varsity letter in basketball (10, 11); district medalist in cross country (9, 12); district medalist in track and Field (9, 10, 11); state qualifier in cross country (9, 12); state qualifier in track and field (11) and school record holder (11); Wyoming Valley Conference honorable mention in basketball (10); 2011 Homecoming Queen; cross country Citizen’s Voice All-Star (12); cross country Times Leader honorable mention (12) Activities: Yearbook, editor (9-12); Key Club (9-12) and vice president (11, 12); class secretary (11, 12); Young Scholars (11, 12); Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre (11); peer tutoring (9, 11, 12); concert band (9, 10, 11); Student Council (9, 10); SPARC (9, 10, 11); Leo Club (9); Spanish club (10, 11); varsity cross country (9-12, captain 11, 12); varsity basketball (10, 11); varsity track and field (9-12) Community/school service project: Organized and held a 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk to benefit the American Diabetes Association and raised $940 (senior project); organized and held a 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk to benefit Candy’s Place and raised more than $1,000 (Junior Leadership service project) Favorite courses: chemistry, biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Jocelyn Holodick-Reed, has influenced me the most during my high school career. Ms. H. inspired us to always do our best and taught us that in order to achieve our goals, we have to be willing to work hard and never give up. She led by example and gave us helpful advice that I personally will take advantage of in and out of the classroom. Work experience: Babysitting What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Misericordia University What are your career goals?

My goal is to become a successful speech-language pathologist. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge I’ve faced was overcoming anemia during senior year of my cross country season by qualifying to compete at the state competition by the time districts came around. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I have reread the Harry Potter series seven times in summer during vacation Community: Sugar Notch Family: Parents Linda and Robert Viti, brother Jacob Viti

HAZLETON AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Annya D’Amato High school: Hazleton Area GPA: 101.295 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (11, 12), French National Society (12), Student Volunteer Award – presented by the Luzerne/ Wyoming Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees (11), Varsity Letter in Cross Country (9, 12); 1st place Emerging Business Issues, Regional Leadership Conference for Future Business Leaders of America (11, 12), 4th Place Emerging Business Issues, State Leadership Conference for Future Business Leaders of America (11). 2nd Place , Word Processing II, Regional Leadership Conference for Future Business Leaders of America (10), 1st Place Network Design, Regional Leadership Conference for Future Business Leaders of America (9), Bishop’s Youth Award (12) Activities: Varsity Cross Country (9, 10, 11, 12) – Senior Captain, (12); Varsity Track and Field (10, 11, 12); Future Business Leader of America (9, 10, 11, 12); Serento Gardens Student Board of Directors (9, 10, 11, 12) (Secretary 12, 11th grade respectively). Book club, Executive Council (10, 11, 12), Senior Ballet Company, Performing Arts Center (9, 10, 11, 12) Community/school service project: Faith Formation Teaching Assistant at St. John Bosco Church, Conyngham Favorite courses: calculus, English, psychology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who

influenced me most is my seventhgrade algebra teacher Ms. L. Feola. She inspired me to be a math teacher because her lessons have stayed with me to this day. I aspire to be like her. It was in her class that I discovered my knack for math and helped my peers with their homework problems. Work experience: Camp counselor at Park Program, Conyngham (9, 10, 11) , babysitter for private employers (11) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Bloomsburg University What are your career goals? I aspire to be a high-school or middleschool math teacher. Eventually I hope to become a professor of mathematics. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I have faced is time management. I’ve had to learn to balance two Advanced Placement courses along with a varsity sport, dance and other extra-curricular activities while meeting college deadlines and getting my homework done! It has been challenging, but I truly believe I am better prepared for college because I remain so busy. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? One thing I truly enjoy is photography. I love taking pictures of things in nature, especially flowers. Not many people know this about me, but I take pride in my pictures and some of them are pretty good! Community: Conyngham Family: Parents Marnie and Neil D’Amato and siblings Ario and Dario D’Amato

Name: Kayla Garzio High school: Hazleton Area GPA: 101.4656 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Consistent Highest Honor Roll, First Team Pennsylvania AllState Field Hockey Selection (2010, 2011), Second Team Pennsylvania All-State Field Hockey Selection (2009), Honorable Mention Pennsylvania All-State Field Hockey Selection (2008), Hazleton Area High School Field Hockey Varsity Team Captain (2010, 2011), Varsity Field Hockey Letter-winner (4 years), See HAZLETON, Page 10

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Name: Shawna Rabbas High school: Hanover Area GPA: 99.4 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: December Student of the Month; National Honor Society, secretary; varsity letters in volleyball and track Activities: volleyball (9-12); gifted math (9-12); Young Scholars (11-12); WVIA Scholastic Scrimmage (12); track and field (9, 11, 12); Key Club (10,11, 12); concert band (9, 10, 11); Volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen (10, 11, 12). Community/school service project: Volleyball tournament benefiting the American Cancer

Society Favorite courses: AP World Literature and calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Osborne: she fostered my love of English and helped make me a better student in the process. Work experience: Sales associate at Gap What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Syracuse University What are your career goals? to become a fashion journalist What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Playing in the WVC All-Star volleyball game Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can play the ukulele Community: Hanover Township Family: Parents Daniel and Lois, sister Jessica

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Varsity Track and Field Letterwinner (2 years), Future Business Leaders of America – State Qualifier (Public Speaking I, Principles and Procedures: Top 10 in state two consecutive years. Activities: Junior Leadership, Hazleton; Executive Council; Future Business Leaders of America; Serento Gardens Student Board of Directors; Partners in Education; Youth Field Hockey Coach; Peer Tutor. Community/school service project: Breast Cancer Awareness, church volunteer Favorite courses: A.P chemistry, A.P biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Adam Edmondson inspired my intended career path through his exceptional enthusiasm in regard to chemistry. Work experience: Pharmacy technician at a local pharmacy (current) and Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC as waitress (current) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, PharmD. Program (University of the Sciences) or Wilkes University Nesbitt College of Pharmacy and Nursing, PharmD. Program What are your career goals? Obtain a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree and pursue a career in clinical pharmacy What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? N/A Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Previous to my endeavors with field hockey I was a district swimmer and loved to play soccer. Community: Kline Township Family: Parents Connie and Richard Garzio, sister Selena Garzio.

Name: Dana Kisenwether High school: Hazleton Area GPA: 101.0933 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, German National Honor Society, Pennsylvania High Education Assistance Agency Certificate

of Merit for being among top 5,000 highest SAT scores in Pennsylvania, Top Company Award at Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, 4th Place at the Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference in the Emerging Business Issues event Activities: Lady Cougars varsity volleyball (9-12); Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (11); Future Business Leaders of America (9-12); Future Business Leaders of America Active Council (10, 11); foreign language organization (11, 12), Class of 2012, executive council (10-12); Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (9, 10); Science Olympiad (9,10); gifted education program (9-12); Lady Cougars soccer (9); book club (12); Spirit club (12); Coal Cracker Cougars volleyball club (10) Community/school service project: Manager/statistician for the Cougars Varsity Volleyball Team Favorite courses: AP calculus, accounting Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Laura Barletta, because she motivated me to take accounting and become more involved with the Future Business Leaders of America organization. Work experience: cashier at Weis Markets, Hazleton (April 2011-present); snack bar attendant at the Rock Glen Pool, Sugarloaf (May 2011-present, seasonal) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Binghamton University What are your career goals? certified public accountant at an up-and-coming firm What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Having patience Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I may seem all girly, but most don’t know I can drive a manual pick-up truck Community: Black Creek Township Family: Parents David and Patti Kisenwether, sister Kayla

Name: Catherine T. LaBuz High school: Hazleton Area GPA: 101.02 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Research and technical paper publications: PA delegate to the PA Science and Humanities Symposium in 2010 in

Baltimore, Md.. Paper abstract entitled “Can Synthetic Gypsum from the Montour Power Plant be used as a soil amendment to increase the production of alfalfa” was published at the symposium. Selected as PA delegate to the PA Science and Humanties Symposium in 2009 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Paper abstract entitled: “Mine Reclamation: Utilizing Poultry Manure, Paper Pulp Sludge, and/or Fly Ash as Soil Amendments” was published at the symposium. Member of Hazleton High School Chamber Concert Choir, district choir 2011-2012; regional choir 2011-2012; alterbate for state choir 2012; National Honor Society; Bishop’s Youth Award Activities: varsity softball (5th in state 2010, two-time district champions); varsity volleyball; softball travel team; attended summer enrichment programs: Environmental chemistry at Muhlenberg College 2011, conservation leadership program at Penn State 2010, department of Conservation and Natural Resources “Exploring Careers Outdoor Camp” at Kirby House 2010, Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Camp at Lycoming College in 2009, Exploring Careers in Biology camp at Misericordia University 2009; PA Junior Academy of Science (2006-2012). Community/school service project: Church Cantor; Hazleton Junior Leadership Program and service projects; Traveler Hospitality Program volunteer; Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society; community service project at Holy Dormition Monastery for habitat diversity and erosion control involved in planting 100 Norway spruce trees; St. John Bosco Youth Group; fundraising for Hurricane Katrina survivors. Favorite courses: calculus I, AP chemistry, AP biology, anatomy and physiology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who influenced me the most was my AP biology teacher, Mrs. Marie Ernst. She not only stimulated my curiosity in the sciences, but encouraged and supported me to research environmental issues that I was concerned about. She is an excellent teacher and does not hesitate to giver her personal time to help students. Her guidance does not only end in the classroom; she is available to discuss long-term college pursuits as well as any personal issues that affect her students. She is and outstanding individual. Work experience: Part-time babysitter; run errands for elderly neighbors on weekends; permanent volunteer as cantor for weekly church services; summer involvement including independent research, college enrichment programs; job shad-

owing with pharmacist and physician assistant. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? I am planning on attending Wilkes University for its 6-year PharmacyDoctorate Program What are your career goals? To work as a pharmacist in the specialized field of cardiology What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I face is living up to my family’s expectations of me. My five older siblings, all former Times Leader finalists, semi-finalists and/or valedictorians, encourage me to do my best and to succeed in all my endeavors. They have set a high bar for me and I want to be successful in completing my education as a pharmacist. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? A hidden talent that I possess that some of my close friends don’t even know about me is that I am musically talented in many instruments. I sing classical music as well as play classical piano and violin. I took piano lessons for nine years. Community: Drums Family: Parents James and Carmella LaBuz, siblings Michelle (LaBuz) Kenning, Cheryl (LaBuz) Novak, Eugene LaBuz, Mary LaBuz, Margaret LaBuz, Patrick LaBuz

Name: Hayley Price High school: Hazleton Area GPA: 102.03 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Merit finalist (12); National Honor Society (11, 12); Spanish National Honor Society (11, 12); highest honors (9-12); Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tenn. (2010, 6th place in marketing event) Activities: Class of 2012 Executive Council (Class President) (10, 11, 12); Student Council (vice president of student activities 9-12); Future Business Leaders of America (9-12); Key Club (9-12); Junior State of America (10, 12); Lady Cougars varsity tennis team (10, 11, 12); gifted program (9-12) Community/school service project: Lector at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Drums (12); volunteer for the Hazleton

Chapter of the American Red Cross (12); peer tutor (11, 12) Favorite courses: Honors engineering science, AP chemistry, AP English Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? While all the teachers I’ve had within the past four years influenced me in some way, Mr. Edmondson (my honors engineering science and AP chemistry teacher) has probably made the greatest impact. Not only has he inspired my decision to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering, but he also completely transforms the classroom with his passion for learning and scientific discovery. In addition, his good-natured and humorfilled comments on life in general (fondly dubbed “Edmondsonisms” by his students) are sufficient to fill a book! Work experience: Cashier at Gould’s Shursave Supermarket in Conyngham (2010-present) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Harvard University What are your career goals? I plan on pursuing biomedical engineering as an undergraduate major in hopes of subsequently attending medical school. My ultimate goal is to become involved in stem cell research, gene therapy and the pursuit of cures for diseases such as cancer. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Academically, one of the greatest challenges I have met in high school was taking Advanced Placement Calculus as a junior. In order to even fulfill the prerequisites, I had to take an online pre-calculus course the summer before my junior year. Not only was AP calculus probably the most demanding class of my high school career, but it also placed me in an entirely new level of competition with the most talented students in the then-senior class. However, the phenomenal teacher, Mrs. Beechay-Feola, as well as the many new friends I met in the class made the experience very much worthwhile. Moreover, earning a 5 on the Advanced Placement Exam at the course’s end, in addition to maintaining my top-class rank, represented a meaningful personal accomplishment. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can play the piano and love to write fiction and poetry. Community: Drums Family: Parents Derek Price Sr. and Lynne Price, brothers Derek Price Jr., Jonathan Price


HOLY REDEEMER HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Allison Muth High school: Holy Redeemer GPA: 4.29 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Merit Scholar, National Honor Society, Diocesan Scholar (11, 12), American Chemical Society High School Chemistry Exam Runner-up (10), Royal Scholar (9), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Scholar Activities: varsity tennis (9-12), Junior varsity softball (9), WilkesBarre girls softball (9-11), yearbook club (9), Spanish club (11-12) Community/school service project: Altar server (4-12), Vacation Bible School teacher (8-12), Girl Scout (K-10), tutor in algebra, chemistry and grammar (11) Favorite courses: Latin, honors rhetoric, alegbra II, AP U.S. government, honors survey of dramatic literature, chemistry Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Kara Beviglia. She consistently encourages me to push myself beyond what I believe I am capable of accomplishing. Her courses are demanding, but she always believes in me and my potential and inspires me to believe in myself. Experiencing her love of learning has fostered that same love in me, and her passion for teaching has made me an even more eager and dedicated student, both in and out of the classroom. Work experience: Schiel’s Family Market, Cashier/front end supervisor (October 2009-present) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Boston College, Georgetown University or Syracuse University

What are your career goals? I am undecided about my major and what field I would like to enter after college, but I am determined to delve into the college experience and learn as much as I can so that, when I leave, I am prepared to be successful and able to make a difference in our world. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge so far has been effectively managing my time, especially this year. Balancing school, work and extra-curricular activities and still find time for myself has been difficult. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Almost everyone I meet is surprised to discover that I love listening to rap and hip-hop music. Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Joseph and Geralyn Muth, sisters Amy and Abby

Name: Elsbeth Turcan High school: Holy Redeemer GPA: 4.30 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, National French contest (three-time local winner, two-time national winner); National Merit Scholarship Contest finalist; People to People Student Ambassador to the British Isles (for summer 2012); 20 school awards for academic excellence in specific subjects. Activities: Color guard/marching band and orchestra, French club; yearbook staff; creative writing Community/school service project: Peer tutoring; copy editor of local parish bulletin; volunteer work for local flood victims; volunteer work for parish bazaar and service projects Favorite courses: Physics, computer programming Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My secondgrade teacher Sister Mary Elizabeth, who was the first to encourage my academic potential Work experience: None What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? George Washington Uni-

versity, Washington, D.C. What are your career goals? After obtaining my degree in computer science, I hope to become a programmer for a company like Microsoft, or even a video game design company. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Finding time to balance all of my studying and hobbies and still relax and talk to friends! Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I’m also a writer, and I have a brown belt in martial arts. Community: Exeter Family: Parents William L. Turcan and Dr. Elaine C. Turcan

Name: Michael Anthony Vamos High school: Holy Redeemer GPA: 4.1 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Top 3 percent of class. Ranked 4th. High honors (9-12); National Honor Society; Holy Redeemer Scholar; Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Scholar Award; Attorney Gary F. Yenkowski Memorial Scholarship Award; Spirit Alive Award from the Diocese of Scranton; Bishop’s Youth Award (2008, 2012); National Latin Exam Award; Holy Redeemer Certificate of Achievement in Honors Geometry; honors pre-calculus; honors chemistry; honors physics; honors U.S. history; Spanish I, Rhetoric; theology II; theology III Activities: math club; Spanish club; chess club; ski club; volleyball team, (9-12), lettered, junior varsity most valuable player, captain varsity team senior year, member of district championship team that placed fifth in state tournament. Community/school service project: Wilkes-Barre Veterans Affairs Medical Center: Student Summer Volunteer Program at VA Medical Center last three summers; American Red Cross – Wyoming Valley Chapter, volunteer; St. Jude Parish Vacation Bible School, group leader; St. Jude Youth Group, advisory board member. The Youth Group is where I spent the majority of my volunteer time. Some examples of the volunteer activities include working with homeless people as part of the VISION program. I also trained students for the Sacrament of Confirmation. The See REDEEMER, Page 12

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Name: Stephanie Amendola High school: Holy Redeemer GPA: 4.20 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society; High Honors; Honors Chemistry 2 Award; Honors PreCalculus Award; Honors Spanish 4 Award; Latin 2 Award; Logic Award; Theology 2 Award; Honors Geometry Award; Honors Biology Award; Outstanding Achievement Award, National Latin Exam; Grammar Award; Health Award; Service and Leadership Award; Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Activities: varsity field hockey (captain, varsity letter, four years); Student Leadership Committee; freshman homeroom representative; sophomore and senior class commissioner; junior class secretary); St. Michael’s Society; indoor/ club field hockey; varsity track and field; Students Against Destructive Decisions; TV crew. Community/school service project: Candystriper at WilkesBarre General Hospital Favorite courses: chemistry and math Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Beviglia is the teacher who has influenced me the most. She has helped me both in and out of the classroom. I admire not only her dedication to teaching but also the care and compassion she displays for each of her students. Work experience: Cashier at Wegmans Food Markets, three years. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Clemson University What are your career goals? I plan to attend medical school upon graduating college and become a pediatrician. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I have faced was learning that my father has cancer. Going through the treatment process with my family has been a difficult experience. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I play the piano. Community: Mountain Top Family: Parents Amy and Mark Amendola, sisters Julia and Emily.

Name: Sara Cavanaugh High school: Holy Redeemer GPA: 4.09 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: High honor roll; Grammar Award; National Latin Exam Achievement Award; Honors American Literature Award; Spanish II Award; Theater Arts I Award; Theology III Award; Honors Spanish III Award; Student Leadership/St. Michael’s Society Service Recognition awards Activities: Student Leadership Officer for 4 years; student body President; TV Club (announcements). ski club, National Honor Society, secretary of Holy Redeemer Chapter, St. Michael’s Society; Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre; cross country; track and field; music and theater Community/school service project: Organized the 5K benefiting Candy’s Place “Kilometers for a Cause” as a part of Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre; participated in various service projects through Student Leadership at Holy Redeemer in both the school and community. Favorite courses: literature, chemistry, theater arts Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Humiston, my chemistry teacher for three years, has influenced me greatly through both her excellent teaching skills and lively personality. By being a part of her class, I not only learned a vast amount of scientific knowledge, but I also acquired lab skills that can help me in the future. I often looked forward to her class because the friendly and entertaining atmosphere enabled me to learn, practice, and retain things that I otherwise do not feel that I would have understood. Work experience: Babysitting What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Maryland, College Park What are your career goals? My primary goal for the future is to find success in a field about which I am passionate and which challenges me to reach my fullest potential while also making me happy. What occupation this may be, I have not yet discovered, but I hope to find out! What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My

greatest challenge has been maintaining balance between academics, activities, family and friends throughout a busy high school career. However, I have found that involvement in all of these areas has made me a better person and has given me countless opportunities and irreplaceable experiences. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? If I had to choose a “hidden talent” I would say it is my ability to dance at about any moment during the day. Dancing is certainly not my calling, nor am I good at it, but I enjoy pulling out some spontaneous dance moves. My close friends do know this about me and have come to expect and participate in it. Community: Plains Township Family: Parents Christopher and Sally Cavanaugh, siblings Colleen and Christopher Cavanaugh

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REDEEMER

BEST & BRIGHTEST 2012 LAKE-LEHMAN one day become a clinical Club editor (2010-2011); varsity psychologist. wrestling (2009-2012); gifted proHIGH SCHOOL What has been the biggest gram (2009-2012);

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youth group also visited nursing homes to interact with the residents individually or as a group. The youth group also worked on food drives for the Mountain Top Food Bank. The food drives consisted of collecting food donations from individual residences and sorting the food which was delivered to the various shelters. The youth group supported the senior citizens group by serving lunches where I served meals to the seniors. I also worked at the St. Jude Church bazaar and at the school as a member of the youth group; altar server at St. Jude Church for the last nine years. Favorite courses: During my high school and elementary education my favorite courses were math and science. These subjects have an appeal that made me enjoy learning the material. Even though the material seemed difficult initially, there was satisfaction when it was finally understood. Ultimately this led to my decision of pursuing engineering at Wilkes University. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Sister Immaculate is a theology teacher at Holy Redeemer High School. I had the pleasure of being in her class during my sophomore year. She certainly lives her faith and by doing so is a role model for all of us. Her influence in my life has helped me to be a better person. Work experience: I made a decision to do community service instead of working at a part-time job. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Wilkes University to study engineering. What are your career goals? I plan on completing an advanced degree in engineering and then working in the specialty of biomedical engineering. The advances in technology can be applied to helping people have a better quality of life. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I have faced in life is to forgive people who have hurt me. “It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” – Gandhi. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? My hidden talent is my ability to persevere and accomplish my work. Community: Mountain Top Family: Parents Karen and George Vamos

Name: Kristen Boyle High school: Lake-Lehman GPA: 4.2691 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society member; county, district and state champion in a variety of horseback riding classes in 4-H; state qualifier in National History Day (9-12); Wilkes-Barre Junior Leadership; school ambassador for HOBY Leadership Conference; Youth Salute participant Activities: President of Lake-Lehman Key Club 20112012; managing editor for school newspaper; yearbook staff; Yellow Rose 4-H Club (president, 2011-2012); art student at Sue Hand’s Imagery participating in Immerging Artists Exhibit, award winner at Rossetti Art Show, nominated and inducted into studio’s Palette Society; Regional Science Olympiad competition Community/school service project: As my graduation project, I volunteered at Hillside Farms over my summer vacation and assisted Sue Hand and local artists in painting a mural that was donated for the farm’s “Mooseum.” Favorite courses: AP English, humanities, Holocaust, psychology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who influenced me the most was my gifted teacher, Mrs. Lipski. She shared her wisdom, kindness and humor with me in every class and inspired me to always have a passion for knowledge and embrace learning. Mrs. Lipski also taught me to analyze complex problems in creative and logical ways that are skills I will undoubtedly use for the rest of my life. Work experience: Part-time employee at the Shoe Department What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Saint Joseph’s University What are your career goals? I plan on receiving a doctorate degree in psychology with a business minor to

challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I have faced has been dealing with my legal blindness. I was born with a rare eye condition, which means I was born with underdeveloped optic nerves. So, I only have a little light perception in my right eye and have acuity of 20/200 in my left. Having low vision has made life more challenging, but I try to never let it hold me back. This disability has taught me the importance of working hard and advocating for myself because if I want to be successful, I need to find my own way of doing things. I may not be able to read off the board in class or see regular sized print, but I haven’t let that stop me from graduating with the top of my class Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? My hidden talent is my ability to draw portraits Community: Shavertown Family: Parents Christopher and Sandra Boyle, brothers Matthew and Thomas

Name: Bryan Patrick Carter High school: Lake-Lehman GPA: 4.1806 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (2009-2012); Wyoming Valley Conference All-Academic Wrestling First Team (2009, 2011); Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association First Team All-Academic All-State (2011); Regional Science Olympiad Balloon Race Event (2nd place); regional National History Day Competition, State Qualifier (2nd place); varsity wrestling captain (2011-2012); Catasaqua Duals Outstanding Wrestler award (2011); District 2 Individual Wrestling champion (2011-2012); Times Leader All-Star Wrestling Team (2011-2012); WVIA Scholastic Scrimmage (20112012) Activities: WVIA Scholastic Scrimmage (2011/2012 ); WilkesBarre Junior Leadership Class of 2011; Wilkes-Barre Junior Leadership Student Adviser for class of 2012; Student Council (treasurer 2011-2012); yearbook (2010-2011); Key

Community/school service project: Key Club, at least 50 hours a year doing work such as blood drives, volunteering at state parks and answering phones during the WVIA fundraiser; Junior Leadership: 5K run benefiting Candy’s Place that raised more than $1,500; senior project: 5K run benefiting Medical Oncology Associates that raised more than $2,000; Salvation Army bell ringing; Salvation Christmas Angel Sponsorship; St. Francis of Assisi soup kitchen Favorite courses: AP chemistry, AP biology, AP calculus, AP government, anatomy and physiology and Humanities I and II Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Jean Lipski. Throughout high school, Mrs. Lipski has been my gifted teacher. She has guided me to become the person I am today. Mrs. Lipski has helped me with everything from choosing courses to community service projects all the way to advice on personal subjects. No matter what happened, I could always go to her for advice. She has influenced me the most out of all the teachers just because she has always been here for me. Work experience: Red Rooster dishwasher (2010-present) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? The Ohio State University – Columbus, Health Science Scholars Program What are your career goals? Major in Biochemistry/premedical track and a career as a neurologist/ neurosurgeon What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I had faced was my wrestling injury during my freshman year of high school. I was at Danville Geisinger Hospital in the ICU for four days. The injury was eventually diagnosed as a concussion, fractured ribs and a spinal contusion. The most challenging part of it was the months of physical and occupational therapy to try to regain my strength back to normal. Although this was a horrible event, I would not be the person I am today if it did not happen. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I don’t really have any hidden talents. However, my best friend will be attending Penn State University which is a large rival of The Ohio State University. This makes for some intense conversations and rivalry through school and sporting events. Community: Sweet Valley Family: Parents Donald and Kathleen Carter, siblings Kris, Sean and Donnie

Name: Connor Daly High school: Lake-Lehman GPA: 4.2031 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, 200 I.M. Record Activities: swimming, track and field, cross country, teacher at my church Community/school service project: Pace for Prescription Assistance Fund Favorite courses: AP calculus and chemistry Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Novrocki because he educated me about true pain in the Holocasut class. Work experience: None What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Shippensburg University What are your career goals? To get a Ph.D. in chemistry What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Taking AP Literature Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can play the violin somewhat. Community: Dallas Family: Parents Kevin Daly and Leah Munn-Daly

Name: Shelby Jean Foster High school: Lake-Lehman GPA: 4.2780 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society; Two-time regional winner and state finalist Voice of Democracy Essay Contest, 6th place in state; District medalist in 4 x 800 m relay track and field; Student council president Activities: Cross Country; Track and Field; Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre; Yearbook; Student Council Community/school service See LEHMAN, Page 13


LEHMAN Continued from Page 12

project: Children’s Christmas Party; Kilometers for a Cause: 5K Run/Walk to benefit Candy’s Place Favorite courses: Anatomy and physiology, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, the Holocaust class, Humanities I and II Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Dr. Brian Gorski. He has always pushed me to be the best student I could be. He influenced me to write an optional National History Day paper during my senior year. It ended up being on of the most rewarding academic experiences of my high school career. Work experience: Worked at Burger King in Shavertown for one year, four months. Currently working at Humphrey’s Bootery. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Pennsylvania State University – Schreyer Honors College What are your career goals? Graduate from PSU with a science degree and go on to medical school to become a doctor or medical researcher. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Balancing 25 hours a week of work, three AP classes and one honors class, a fall and spring sport and not falling apart and achieving all of my college-related goals. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? With my love for Penn State, I have had minor difficulties getting along with a very good friend who chose to attend Ohio State, but I’m learning to look past it. Community: Dallas Family: Parents Curtis and Joyce Foster, brother Jay

ELMER L. MEYERS HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Michael Kishbach High school: Elmer L. Meyers GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, Honor roll, Vice President of Future Business Leaders of America; Letter in Varsity Football Activities: Future Business Leaders of America, Key Club, National Honor Society, Football, Track and Field. Community/school service project: Bell-ringing for Salvation Army, Autism Awareness project, Toys for Tots, canned food drive, Pennies for Patients. Favorite courses: AP History, German, Political Science and AP Calculus. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Ms. Amanda Mendoza. She has pushed me to challenge myself over and over again. She was my AP History teacher and gave me my first taste of what a college history class would be like. She has always been there to help both in and out of school. I would like this to be a personal thank-you to her for everything she has done. Work experience: Whitewater rafting guide with Whitewater Challengers, cashier at Schiel’s Family Market. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? King’s College What are your career goals? I want to be an active member of the community and find a way to help others as much as possible. I am thankful for all that the community has done for me. I hope to do these things by either majoring in history education or criminal justice. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge has been balancing everything I do. I am very active in many different ways. I am involved in academics, sports, clubs, work and family life. With determination, encouragement from others and positive attitude I have managed to do this all throughout high school. Also, I have always managed to keep good grades and in the upper percentage of my class. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? No Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Chris and Angie Kishbach, brother Chris

Name: Matthew Kropp High school: Elmer L. Meyers GPA: 100.059 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Raymond G. Joseph Scholar/Leader Award, National Honor Society, Eagle Scout, Future Business Leaders of America State Qualifier, Junior Class Vice President, District Chorus Activities: Future Business Leaders of America; President, Track and Field; Key Club; Student Council; Football; Chorus; Scholastic Scrimmage Team Community/school service project: Building a cross garden for my church Favorite courses: AP Calculus, AP History, Political Science, Chorus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Trigonometry and AP Calculus teacher Mrs. Andrea Raineri because she taught me what I need to know in college and taught it well. Also, FBLA adviser Miss Amanda Mendoza because she unintentionally helped me decide my major for college and career choice. Work experience: Cashier at Schiel’s Family Market since March 2011 What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business What are your career goals? To succeed and give back to my parents for all they’ve done for me. A dream job would be a General Manager for an NFL franchise. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Staying positive. I’m my own biggest critic, but setting high standards for myself helps me achieve to my full potential. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Even close friends don’t know that, at home, I’m extremely obsessive-compulsive and always organizing things around my house, sometimes for very long periods of time. Community: Laurel Run Family: Parents Rev. George P. Kropp and Carol Kropp, brother Luke.

Name: Ann Josephine Nace High school: Elmer L. Meyers GPA: 98.701 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Junior National Honor Society, Senior National Honor Society, Mohawks Medallion Award Activities: Student Activities Officer, Envirothon, Key Club, science club, Scholastic Scrimmage, Senior Class Secretary Favorite courses: biology, chemistry, English Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My science teachers have influenced me the most because they have inspired me to pursue a career as a biochemist. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Wilkes University What are your career goals? My goal is to become a biochemist and work in a research facility Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Arthur and Mary Jo Nace, brother Michael

Name: Mary Pettit High school: Elmer L. Meyers GPA: 99.081 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: highest honors (7-12); Nominated for National Youth Leadership Forums; Junior National Honor Society; Diversity Camp graduate; Who’s Who Among American High School Students; Newton’s Math Competition (2nd place in group competition); National Student Leadership conferences; National Society of High School Scholars; Senior National Honor Society; Scholastic Scrimmage (semi-finalist); Bloomsburg University Math Contest participant Activities: field hockey (7-9, captain 8-9, three-year letter winner); track and field (9-10); volleyball (10-11); cross country See MEYERS, Page 14

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Name: Nathan Rinehouse High school: Lake-Lehman GPA: 4.2343 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National

History Day, regional competition, 2nd place (9); John Gold Exam, first in school (11, 12); JETS Test (11, 4th place grade 12); Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week, stockholder’s presentation (first, 12); National Honor Society (9-12) Activities: varsity golf (9-12, captain, 12); JV/varsity volleyball (9-12, letter 11, defensive specialist 12); martial arts (9-12), brown belt in karate; Key Club (11, 12, secretary with distinguished officer status, 12) Community/school service project: Pace for PAF (Prescription Assistance Fund) 5K Run/Walk at Kirby Park to raise money for Medical Oncology Associates Favorite courses: AP chemistry, AP calculus, AP U.S. Government, economics Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Kvashay. I’ve had him in 7th grade for pre-algebra, 8th grade for honors algebra I and finally this year for AP calculus. He’s worked all of his classes harder than any other math class that I’ve ever had, but I like it for the challenge and he pushes us to our limits. He frequently gives over an hour of homework each night, but I believe it’s totally worth it. Mr. Kvashay has probably been one of the most underappreciated teachers at LakeLehman. He truly shines with students who actually want to do the work in advanced lessons. He has so much energy for math, and is the best math teacher I’ve ever had. Work experience: Jewish Community Center Day Camp as a lifeguard (11, 12) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Brandeis University What are your career goals? To combine science and business to bring advancement to the treatment of disease through sound and systematic business practice. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Being overweight as a kid and getting into great physical condition. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I lifeguarded at the JCC for two summers where I donated my time and primarily taught kids water safety and how to swim Community: Shavertown Family: Parents Jeanne and Steve Rinehouse, brother Adam

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(12); environmental club (7-10); S.A.D.D. (9-12); TWLOHA (suicide prevention group) (9-12); Key Club (9-12); chorus (8, 9, 11); FBLA (9-12); Diversity Camp (2010); Wilkes-Barre Junior Leadership (11); school newspaper, editor columnist (12); science club (12); German club, president/founder (12) Community/school service project: Raised $1,800 for my friend Sarah who was struck and critically injured when she was hit by a car in 8th grade; S.A.D.D.; Trim a Tree (9); camp counselor (10); visited nursing home (11); held a bingo to raise more than $1,000 for Laurels Nursing Home (11); raised $330 through a bake sale to benefit breast cancer awareness (11); St. Patrick’s church dinners (7-12); Duck Derby (American Cancer Society) (7-12); Relay for Life (10-12); helped sorority ZTA sell products for breast cancer at Moravian College (10-12); peer tutoring (12) Favorite courses: AP calculus, AP chemistry, AP English, German Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? For the past three years I’ve been fortunate enough to have an absolutely brilliant chemistry teacher. Mrs. Yelen has given me every ounce of knowledge she is able to give and has more than prepared me for my career at Lehigh University where I will be majoring in chemistry. Having Mrs. Yelen as my chemistry I, chemistry II and AP chemistry teacher has shaped me into the high-achieving student I am today. Her work ethic and criticisms have inspired me to follow in her footsteps. I want to be able to give back to a colleague or student the way that Mrs. Yelen has given her knowledge to me. Being able to have such control of a classroom and effectively educate students while being a loving mother and wife is laudable. She is a true multi-tasker. During my time at Lehigh, I will be studying pharmaceutical chemistry. I fully understand the time I must dedicate and the difficulty of this course, but I feel confident with my education I’ve earned from Mrs. Yelen and my other teachers that I will be able to succeed. Everything from the rigorous labs to the “easy” quizzes have prepared me for everything to come. Mrs. Yelen has given me more than an education but rather opened my eyes

to my true calling in life. Work experience: Wegmans Food Market (2009-present) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Lehigh University What are your career goals? Pharmaceutical development research What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Senior year can be a tough year between deciding on where to go to college and filling out scholarships. This year has to be the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced. Filling my school course with three AP classes, advance biology II and a fourth year of a language has proven to be more than just challenging, but nearly impossible. School has always been challenging and I purposely have challenged myself over the course of the four years, but senior year I accepted the greatest challenge of them all. Enrolling into AP English, AP chemistry and AP calculus was looked at by many to be an unwise choice on my part and many claimed I’d never be able to pull it off. After a semester and a half, I’ve successfully been able to achieve straight A’s and have proven all of those doubters wrong. I’ve never regretted filling my schedule to this capacity, but rather am grateful for the workload to better prepare myself for college. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Being extremely organized about everything. Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Michele and Ivan Pettit, siblings Nicholas and Kelly

Name: Kristin Sheetz High school: Elmer L. Meyers GPA: 100.545 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: honor roll, National Honor Society, Challis award, Spanish National Honor Society, Newton Mathematics Competition (2nd place) Activities: Key Club, Student Council, ski club, volleyball captain, Spanish club representative, track and field, Wyoming Valley Youth Salute, cience club Community/school service

project: Luck for the Laurels Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre Favorite courses: chemistry, biology, AP calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Andrea Raineri has had the most influence on me because she always goes above and beyond to help all of her students. She stays after school until 5:15 to help me whenever I need it. Work experience: I am a role model, style specialist, brand ambassador and “jeanius” at Aeropostale at the Wyoming Valley Mall. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Randolph-Macon College What are your career goals? I would like to become a pediatrician. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge for me is making an admission decision to college. I have one particular college that I would like to attend, but because of cuts in federal aid, it is making this part of my decision very difficult. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I tell my best friends everything about myself, so I don’t think there are any hidden talents that I have that they do not know about. I have the most amazing friends. Community: Laurel Run Family: Parents Michelle and Harrison Sheetz, brother Joshua

MMI PREPATORY SCHOOL

Name: Paul Brasavage High school: MMI Preparatory School GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: member, National honor Society (2009-present); National Spanish Honor Society (2010-present); Science National Honor Society (vice-president, 2010-present); Central Pennsylvania Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference (2010); American Legion School Medal Award American Legion Post 473, Freeland, PA (2008); American Chemical Society high School Chemistry Exam (runner-up, 2010); school winner, American Mathematics Competition (2011); school top scorer, Marywood University Mathematics Contest, Level II (2011); 3rd place,

Marywood University Mathematics Contest, Level I (2010); 6th place, Wilkes University Mathematics Contest, Level I (2011); school top scorer, Bucknell Mathematics Contest 92012); advisory board award, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (2012); AP Scholar with honor, College Board (2011) Activities: Student Council (president 2011-present); participant, Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science. Earned seven first-awards and one second award from 2007-2012 at regional level, including one perfect score (2008). Earned five firstawards altogether at state level in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011; member, MMI Robotics Team. Team placed fourth overall, scoring at 2010 Botball competition. Team also placed first in the alliance round and earned the Spirit Award (2010-present); member, MMI Mock Trial Team, 2010-present; member, MMI Drama Club. Played the Tin Man in the 2009 production of the Wizard of Oz, and played Sky Masterson in the 2012 production of guys and Dolls. Also, performed in productions of Back to the ’80s and Peter Pan. (2008-present).participant, Bloomsburg University Science Iditarod (2011); president, freshman class (2008-2009); editor/writer, student newspaper PrepTalk (20102011); coc-captain, Varsity CrossCountry team (2008-present); chess player; guitarist; active member of church community. Community/school service project: volunteer at Hazleton General Hospital (2006-present); volunteer, 150th anniversary of the Vine Street Cemetery, Hazleton (2009) Favorite courses: mathematics, chemistry, physics Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Miss Laura Petro, chemistry instructor, showed me how important it is to give students every possible opportunity. Her love of chemistry and teaching resonated with me in a way that made me excited to pursue a career in applied sciences. Mr. Gerard Pierotti, mathematics instructor, taught me the importance of staying strong amidst adversity and working hard for life’s greatest accomplishments. Work experience: None What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Lehigh University What are your career goals? I hope to become a successful chemical engineer, but I have also enjoyed the possibility of teaching math later in life. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Being the leader of the school as Student Council president while juggling four AP courses was quite difficult. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I love music, and I play guitar often. Community: Freeland Family: Parents Mark and Bernadette Brasavage; siblings Holly DeNofa, Nicole Composto and Matthew Brasavage.

Name: Roderick Cook High school: MMI Preparatory School GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Grand National Catholic Forensics League Tournament, Washington, D.C. (2011 ); National Honor Society (2011-2012, president); National Spanish Honor Society (2011-2012 president); Science National Honor Society; attendee of 2010 Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference; recipient of University of Pennsylvania Book Award (2011); National Merit Scholarship Commended Student Activities: Founder and president of Awareness Club; Mock Trial team; speech & debate team; Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre (2010-2011); drama club; Robotics team Community/school service project: Volunteer at St. Luke’s Miners’ Memorial Hospital Geriatric Center; volunteer for 2008 Hazleton for Obama Campaign. Favorite courses: Spanish and all history classes. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? As my Spanish teacher and Mock Trial coach, Mr. Clarke sparked my interest in the two fields that I now wish to pursue: law and the Spanish language. He has been ever-present in my academic life since the beginning of high school and has provided me with his experience and knowledge. Work experience: Concession stand worker/custodian at Angela Triplex Theatre. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? The University of Pennsylvania What are your career goals? I want to become a human rights attorney, working to fight for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. I hope to one day work for an organization such as Lambda Legal, using law to further the LGBT rights movement. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge has been succeeding in science courses at school, particularly chemistry and physics. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? For a long time, I wanted to be an artist. I love to draw. In another life, I would be an illustrator for children’s books or graphic novels. Community: Nesquehoning Family: Parents Melissa Hawk and Brian Cook


Name: Brittany Fisher High school: MMI Preparatory School GPA: 3.9 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: MMI President’s List (2008-present); honor roll 92008-present); Most Improved Player for Softball (2010); National Society of High School Scholars (2011); German Academic Achievement Award 92011); Bryn Mawr President’s Book Award 92011); Most Valuable Player/Cross Country (2011); 11th-grade German Subject Award 92011); 11th-grade Science Subject Award (2011); Activities: pianist 9200-pre-

sent); participant, American Math Competition (2008-present); participant, ancient Greek Course at MMI (2008); member, Toxophilia Club (2008); member, Valley Softball Carone’s Team (2009); participant, Marywood University Math Competition (2009, 2011); hisotiran, National Honor Society (2010-2011); team captain, Varisty Cross-Country (2010, 2011); member, National Honor Society (2010-present); treasurer, National German Honor Society (2010-2012); member, Envirothon team, 1st place regional competition and 15th in state competition (2010); member, Science Iditarod Team (2011); participant, Wikes University Math Competition, 6th place out of participating juniors (2011); participant, Teen Reading Lounge at Hazleton Public Library (2011, 2012); secretary, Class of 2012 (2011-2012); participant, Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University. (2011); treasurer, National Honor Society (201-2012); participant, Lehigh University High School Math Contest (2012); participant, Science Olympiad (2012); participant, 39th John Steiner Gold Mathematical Competition at Bucknell University (2012); member, MMI Varsity Cross-Country. Team was runner-up for school’s district area in 2009 (2088-present); member, MMI Varsity Softball (2008-2010); chess; artist. Favorite courses: AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Gerard Pierotti has been one of the best teachers in high school. He made all my math classes fun and exciting and he is always easy to talk to. Mr. Pierotti is also quite a musician and respects people who can play an instrument. Work experience: Picker/packer of warehouse, Bradley Caldwell, Hazleton. (summer 2010, 2011) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Lehigh University What are your career goals? I would like to work with the government or any company that is dedicated to protecting our environment. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Balancing my life between schoolwork, extracurricular activities and free time has been my greatest challenge. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I tend to have an uncanny memory of many school subjects. For example, I remember a lot of Latin from 7th and 8th grade. With one quick glance, I usually do not need a dictionary to translate a whole chapter. Community: Freeland Family: Mother Kyo Fisher, brother Bruce Fisher.

NORTHWEST AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Michael Macarevich High school: MMI Preparatory School GPA: 3.9 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (elected treasurer 2010); Science National Honor Society; German National Honor Society; President’s List (2009present); MMI Open House Awawrd (2010) AP Scholar Award (2011); University of Rochester Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology 92011); National Merit Commended Student (2011). Activities: MMI Varsity Golf, MMI Versity Tennis, MMI Robitics Club and Botball team, class Treasurer (2010); student, Ancient Greek summer course (2008, 2009); guitar playing; member, St. Michael’s Bowling League, Feeland (2009-2010); Community/school service project: Annual Rails to Trails cleanup with my class; volunteer, Broad Street Cemetery, Hazleton Favorite courses: AP Calculus, AP Physics, Music Studio Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Gerard Pierotti, for teaching in an easy-to-understand way, being interested in us as people, not just students and teaching life lessons. Work experience: stockperson, Freeland’s Carone’s Market (2011-present); work-study program (summer, 2010) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Rensselaer Poly Tech What are your career goals? To become a successful computer engineer, maybe even developing my own software and starting a company around it or just getting a good job in an already-existing company. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Finding the motivation required to get through high school Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Top 10 in the world on combined total score across all Guitar Hero games on Expert. Community: Drifton Family: Parents Brian and Carol Macarevich

Name: Deanna Gill High school: Northwest Area High School GPA: 3.6 (96.43) Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society Activities: Basketball Community/school service project: Big Brothers, Big Sisters Favorite courses: Chemistry II, AP Calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Wasikowski because he gave me a strong foundation in math that has helped me a lot. Work experience: Sales associate at American Eagle What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Temple University What are your career goals? Physician, possibly specialize in cardiology What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? National Youth Leadership Forum on medicine. It was difficult living away from my parents at such a young age, and the schedule curriculum was very rigorous. Dou you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I play guitar in my spare time. Community: Shickshinny Family: Parents, Ed and Deborah Gill; brother, Ed Gill

Name: Brandylynn Macierowski High school: Northwest Area High School GPA: 96.74 (3.6) Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Captain of cheerleading team, Leadership award, Student of the Month for February Activities: Adventure Club, NaSee NORTHWEST, Page 16

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Name: Antonia Kitchen Diener High school: MMI Preparatory School GPA: 3.85 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Subject Award (9th grade English, 10th grade art, 11th grade Advanced Placement European History); National Merit Commended Student (2011); George Eastman Kodak Young Leadership Award (2011); AP Scholar with honor (2011); National Honor Society; National Spanish Honor Society, National Science Honor Society; Qualified for and competed in grand National Catholic Forensics League tournament 92011); honor roll/president’s list (2006-present); National Spanish Examination Award Recipient (20092011); finalist, MMI Preparatory School Best of the Best Assembly Presentations (2009, 2011) Activities: drama club; Mock Trial Team (2010-present); Future Business Leaders of America (2010-present); varsity tennis (2009-present); Student Council (senior class president); Robotics Team; staff member Minamek (yearbook 2011, 2012); varsity cheerleading, co-captain (20072010); varsity softball (2010); Junior Leadership (2010-2011) Community/school service project: Volunteering at Grace Park Senior Living, an assistedliving facility in Stroudsburg 2009-present); volunteer Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (2009-present); volunteer, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital 92009); reading tutor (2011present) Favorite courses: AP English Literature and Composition, AP European History, AP Calculus, Spanish IV Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Mattew Kenenitz has been my teacher since 8th grade and has taught what have been several of my favorite classes. I’ve always loved English and studying under Mr. Kenenitz certainly helped cement that. The classes Mr. Kenenitz teaches are the one you remember for years to come. Mr. Kenenitz taught me to work hard and really prepared me for the challenges college (and the University of Pennsylvania) will bring, and for that I can never thank him enough. Work experience: I worked for

several years as a baby-sitter for a family friend and her son Alex. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? The University of Pennsylvania What are your career goals? I aspire to become a physician, with a specialty either in Infectious Disease or Family Medicine. However, if I decide not to pursue medical school, I believe I would like to earn my Master’s of Public Health and try to work in the Public Health field, ideally with the United Nations World Health Organization. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Prior to transferring to MMI, I went to a very small Montessori school with a very unstructured curriculum and schedule. Upon arriving at MMI, everything changed, as I suddenly had a much more intensive schooling experience. This change, compounded with the fact that I skipped a grade in order to start at MMI, meant that simply surviving my first year was a huge challenge. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Ever since I was a small child, I participated in archery. I had a little blue bow strung at 30 pounds at age 7, and I was a pretty good shot. I haven’t been able to devote as much time to it as of late, but archery is still something that I love to do, and after all these years, with my camouflage compound bow, I’m still a pretty good shot. Community: Pocono Lake Family: Parents Emeline L.K. Diener and Ian L. Diener

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tional Honor Society, Northwest varsity cheerleading and competitive cheerleading for All-Star Cheer Academy Community/school service project: Steering Committee – rebuilding Shickshinny project Favorite courses: History and English Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Daniel Delfine because his classes have helped influence my career choices. Work experience: None What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Duquesne University What are your career goals? Corporate lawyer What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? A.P. Calculus Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I like to run Community: Shickshinny Family: Parents Lisa Zipay, Dirk Macierowski; siblings Sierra Macierowski, Frank Macierowski, and Ellee Zipay Zula

Name: Karly Mason High school: Northwest Area High School GPA: 3.8 (98.18) Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society – vice president Activities: Student council, student representative, Wilkes University Upward Bound Program Community/school service project: Steering Committee – rebuilding Shickshinny Favorite courses: chemistry and biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Hizny, his experience and intellect has helped me choose my career goal and he also taught me that boys are bad! Work experience: Sub-artist at Subway (summer 2011) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Wilkes University What are your career goals? Graduate pharmacy school with my doctorate degree What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Moving

out of the house and away from mom Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I love to write poetry, music and sing Community: Shickshinny Family: Mom Kathy Mason

Name: Jeffrey D. Nelson High school: Northwest Area GPA: 4.0 (99.6) Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society Activities: cross country: freshman captain (9); letter recipient, All-Star (10); letter recipient (11); letter recipient, All-Star, senior captain (12). Team member Northwest Area boy’s basketball: Freshman captain (9th grade); 10th grade; letter recipient, leader award (11); letter recipient (12). Northwest Area track and field: letter recipient (9, 10 and 11); district medalist (11); senior captain (12); National Honor Society: President, Junior High Chapter (9); 10th, 11th grade; senior captain (12). Gifted Program (9, 12); Student Council (9, 11); Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society: Beta Iota Rho, Luzerne County Community College Chapter (12) Community/school service project: Mixed with activities above Favorite courses: calculus and physics Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Davenport, English teacher. He taught me to always question everything, to think and to strive to do great things. Work experience: Cashier, stock worker, Five Mountain Market (August 2010 to October 2011); Northwest Area Little League (June 2008 – present). What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Penn State University, University Park What are your career goals? To attain a management position as a computer engineer at a large computing firm. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Maintaining my academic standing while balancing athletics, work and service. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I enjoy playing ping pong and swimming as much as possible. Community: Union Township, Shickshinny Family: Parents Don Nelson and Lisa Nelson; brother, Michael Nelson

Name: Matthew Joseph Schwiter High school: Northwest Area High School GPA: 3.6 (96.66) Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, Student of the Month for January 2012, Baush & Lomb Science Award Activities: Adventure Club, football and track and field Community/school service project: helped out with the blood drive Favorite courses: Physics, calculus, manufacturing Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. DeAnnis, he always pushes me to take pride in my work and to do the best I can. Work experience: NA What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Widener University school of Engineering What are your career goals? To become successful and give back to the community What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? N/A Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can wiggle my ears Community: Fairmont Springs Family: Parents Dawn Schwiter and Joseph Schwiter; sister – Rachel Schwiter

PITTSTON AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Michelle Fernando High school: Pittston Area GPA: 4.431 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Sunday Dispatch Athlete of the Week; PIAA district medalist in swimming; original essay and poems published in A Celebration of Young Poets; National Honor Roll; National Honor Society;

National Society of High School Scholars; United States Achievement Academy. Activities: President of the International Cultural Experience Club, President of the Medical Explorers Club, WilkesBarre Triathlon and Key Club. Community/school service project: Luck for the Laurels Bingo (2011) – organized a fundraising bingo event that included food, drinks, a raffle, and prizes. More than two thousand dollars was raised in order to benefit the Laurels Nursing Home; Valentines Day Bingo Ball (2012) – helped organize an afternoon of bingo, prizes and refreshments for Wesley Village Nursing Home. Favorite courses: My favorite course is AP calculus because it is challenging. Each problem is like a puzzle that must be solved. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who influenced me the most is my American Literature teacher and swimming coach, Miss Conlon. She has inspired me always to do my best to reach my goals and has always been there for me whenever I needed her advice. Work experience: West Pittston pool lifeguard (2009); Pittston YMCA, lifeguard and swim instructor (2010- present); John Heinz Rehabilitation Institute, safety aide, lifeguard (2011– present) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Providence College What are your career goals? My dream is to become a physician What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Ever since I was 8 years old, competitive swimming has been a huge part of my life. In a way, it controlled my life; it determined how I spent my time, how I ate, who I talked to, and what people thought of me. At first, I really loved having something that made me who I was, but as time went on I fell out of love with the sport and started to almost hate the expectations the sport forced upon me. My senior year, I decided not to swim. It was the hardest decision of my life because I was so worried about letting down everyone around me, including my team, my family, and my best friends. It helped me realize that although it is important to make others happy, I had to put my happiness and health first. Stopping swimming also forced me to find out who I really was underneath the lifelong label of “swimmer, and

gave me the opportunity to grow as an individual and try new things. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? A lot of people know that I love reading, but not many people know that I love to write, too. I’m really shy about letting anyone read the stories or poems that I write, but it’s an excellent way to put together ideas and be creative. Community: Pittston Township Family: Parents Brenda Fernando and Alejandro Fernando, siblings Stephen Fernando (brother), and Kevin Fernando (brother).

Name: Sarah Kosik High school: Pittston Area High School GPA: 4.431 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Youth Salute Candidate, USAA National Honor Student, Who’s Who Among Honor Students, Who’s Who Among All-American Scholars, Honor Roll, National Honor Society (treasurer), Published Poet – A Creative Communications Poem titled “Swimming,” Swim District Competitor and Medalist, Certificate of Merit: Commonwealth of PA, PHEAA (SAT scores among 5000 highest in PA), Letter of Commendation: National Merit Scholarship Program (PSATs), Certificate of Distinction: Advanced Level PSSA scores in math, reading, science and writing. Activities: Student Council (Parliamentarian), Medical Explorers Program (Vice President), Key Club, I.C.E. Club, swim team and soccer team (captain). Community/school service project: The past two ears, my friends and I organized a Valentine’s Day Bingo Ball for the residents of Wesley Village. Favorite courses: Psychology and calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Miss Conlon was my English teacher during my sophomore and junior years and my swim coach the past four years. She is one of the nicest people I know and someone I sincerely look up to. Work experience: N/A What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? The University of Scranton See PITTSTON, Page 17


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What are your career goals? I plan on receiving a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and continuing on to attain my doctorate of physical therapy. After graduating, I hope to become a successful physical therapist, working in a private practice or possibly in collaboration with my brother, who is studying to be a chiropractor. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Decision-making has never been easy for me, and trying to choose a college was extremely challenging. I applied to seven institutions and it seemed every day I had a different school in mind to attend. I thought that once I got it down to two or three schools, I would somehow just “know” which one was for me. Unfortunately, I never really experienced that “gut feeling” everybody talks about. I went back and forth for what seemed like forever until finally reaching a decision. I can honestly say that after the months and months I spent putting it off, it feels great to finally know not only where I want to go, but also what I want to do and how I’m going to do it. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I love to bake. I’m always baking something, whether it is cookies, brownies, or cupcakes, and bringing them to my family or sending them to my brother and cousins away at school. Community: Hughestown Family: Richard and Carolynn Kosik, Richie and Brian

Name: Chris Musto High school: Pittston Area GPA: 4.431 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: President of the National Honor Society, All-Star Football Player, National Merit Commended Student, AP Scholar Activities: football, soccer captain, track, communications club, International Cultural Experiences Club Community/school service project: I taught a Spanish class to elementary school students and taught an SAT Prep class to members of the football team. Favorite courses: math and science Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Ms. Colleen McGarry, because she taught me to see that it is possible to be both an athlete and a nerd at the same time. Work experience: I started my own lawn care business and worked as a youth soccer referee. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? The University of Scranton What are your career goals? I want to become a dentist What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Trying to live up to the high standards that my brothers have set. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I am capable of eating 10 double cheeseburgers at one time Community: Jenkins Township Family: Parents Alice and Gerard; brothers, Kevin and Brian; sister, Kate

Name: Grace O’Neill High school: Pittston Area High School GPA: 4.431 Awards, accomplishments

and honor societies: Times Tribune Scholastic Superstars team (12); ranked first in class (10-12); nominated for the United States Achievement Academy Yearbook (12); First Team All Conference for varsity basketball (12); John Walsh Memorial Award for varsity basketball (12); Wyoming Valley All-Star East Team (12); received sportsmanship award for varsity basketball (12); National Merit Scholarship nominee (11); Second Team All-Conference for varsity basketball (11); featured in the United States Achievement Academy Yearbook (10) Activities: varsity basketball; varsity softball; National Honor Society; International Cultural Experience (ICE) club; Key Club; health and wellness club; Pep Squad; telecommunications club, Class Government (president). Community/school service project: “Lady Patriots Support the Special Olympics” – money was raised at one of my varsity basketball games and all proceeds went to the Special Olympics; there was a raffle, bake sale, and T-shirt sale (12); “Shoot for a Cause” free throw competition at the Avoca Legion during the winter and all money raised was donated to the American Cancer Society and the Miles for Michael Foundation (11); Helped the Key Club ring bells for the Salvation Army. Also, we held a coin drop for all of the homerooms wherein whoever raised the most money won an ice cream social; all proceeds went towards a toy and warm pajamas for local preschool (10); helped clean up the St. Rocco’s Cemetery for community service hours by replacing all worn flags on veteran’s graves. (9) Favorite courses: Literature, physiology, chemistry, algebra Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Ms. Colleen McGarry. She was not only my math teacher for two consecutive years, but also my softball coach for three years. She started me and put so much faith in me as a freshman, and I appreciate the opportunities she always gave me. She expects the best from people, which makes you try your best for her at all times. She is such an intelligent, funny, and interesting person. She is known among my class as the person who “knows everything.” Work experience: I babysat for a summer for two children, one was three, and the other was just one. They taught me tons of responsibility and patience. I also worked part-time at Panache, a salon in Avoca. What college or post-second-

ary school do you plan to attend? I am either going to attend the University of Scranton, or the University of Pittsburgh. What are your career goals? I hope to finish undergraduate school, attend med-school, and eventually become a pediatrician with my own practice in the nearby area. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? I lost both my parents in seventh grade. The greatest challenge I have faced was trying to stay on track with my life and to continue working hard and focusing in school. It would have been easy to just shut down and tune out all of my responsibilities, but I used them as a drive to wake up every morning and continue living. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I don’t think I have a hidden talent, but I tend to notice the unimportant details that sometimes end up being important. However, they usually remain unimportant so I’m filled with unneeded information. Community: Avoca Family: Parents Timothy O’Neill and Ann Marie O’Neill, (both deceased). Caregivers – grandparents Ann George and James George

Name: Mallory Yozwiak High school: Pittston Area GPA: 4.431 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Senior captain of the field hockey and soccer teams; three- year varsity starter field hockey, lettered all four years; two-year varsity starter soccer, (lettered 11, 12); awarded best defensive player for the field hockey team junior, senior years; best all-around senior field hockey; National Honor Society, secretary; International Cultural Experience Club, treasurer; Youth Salute; Who’s Who and People to People nominee (9-12); honors with distinction (9-12); National Honor Society, three years Activities: Field hockey, soccer, National Honor Society, Student Council, International Cultural Experience Club, Key Club, TeleSee PITTSTON, Page 18

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Name: Jamie Lee High school: Pittston Area Senior High School GPA: 4.431 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: 9th grade: Who’s Who Among Honor Students, People to People & National Youth Leadership Programs Nominee; 10th grade: National Honor Society, Key Club vice-president, published poet in “A Celebration of Poets” – spring 2010, Who’s Who Among Honor Students, National Student Council Award; 11th grade: National

Honor Society, Key Club vice-president, Youth Salute, published poet in “A Celebration of Poets” – fall 2010, Luzerne/Wyoming Chapter of the PA Association of School Retirees Student Volunteer Award, Who’s Who Among Honor Students; 12th grade: National Honor Society, Key Club vice-president, Student Council Treasurer, Exhibitionist Artist at the Pennsylvania Department of Education Youth Art Month Exhibit, Who’s Who Among Honor Students, Who’s Who Among All-American Scholars. Activities: Art Club, Book Club, International Cultural Experience Club, Stand Tall Club, Student Council, International Cultural Experience Club, Key Club, Pep Squad, Telecommunications Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre, WVIA Scholastic Scrimmage, Young Lawyers Club, Advanced Math Club, Science Olympiad, yearbook staff. Community/school service project: Adopt-a-highway, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Muscular Dystrophy Association Fundraising, UNICEF, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, American Cancer Society Daffodil Days, Love-a-soldier Donation Program, Luck for the Laurels Retirement Facilities Bingo Ball, Caitlyn Smiles Foundation Fundraising and Dodge Ball Tournament, PA/WA Kickball Tournament, Pittston Cemetery clean up/Veterans Day flag replacement, Ronald McDonald House Fundraising, American Cancer Society – Relay for Life committee chair person, Muscular Dystrophy Association Fundraising. Favorite courses: Calculus and English Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Ms. Vitek, my first and second grade teacher. Ms. Vitek was genuinely concerned about her students furthering their potential in school. She had a desire to help whoever needed it and believed in her students, their potential and their capacity to be great. Work experience: Co-manager, Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant, 2007-present What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Scranton What are your career goals? Doctor What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I have ever faced is growing up in a very non-diverse and sometimes non-accepting environment, but learning to trust people and open up. I believe that everyone should be accepting and open-minded of others and the unfamiliar. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can flatten my nose and I love badminton. Community: Duryea Family: Father, Tin Sang Lee, mother, Shuk Yam Lee; Sisters, Annie Lee, Hiu Lee, Yee Lee and Amy Lee; Brother, Steven Lee

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BEST & BRIGHTEST 2012


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communications Club, lector, commentator, altar server at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Community/school service project: In my junior and senior year, I organized the “I am Beautiful” charity field hockey game to benefit eating disorder awareness. The game was played against Wyoming Area. The event included a bake sale, 50/50 raffle, and Chinese auction. Over the past two years, over $3,000 has been raised. All of the proceeds were donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Hershey, a program for eating disorders in Hershey, and the National Eating Disorder Association. A speaker was also brought in to educate the eighth grade girls on the dangers and warning signs of eating disorders. Also, in fifth grade, my sister and I collected money and school supplies for a school in Punta Gorda, Fla., that suffered damage from Hurricane Charlie in 2005. We personally delivered everything and had the opportunity to meet with some of the kids who were affected. Favorite courses: psychology, Spanish Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Ms. Karaffa. Over the years, I have become closest with her out of all my teachers. I know that I can go to her with anything and I feel comfortable talking with her. Work experience: Cashier at Quinn’s Market since 2010 What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? West Chester University What are your career goals? I plan to major in business and that’s as far as I have gotten. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My sister being anorexic. Even though she was the one suffering, no one actually realized the toll it took on me. Essentially, I became second priority. In a sense, it forced me to grow up faster and become even more mature than I already was. I had to make a lot of sacrifices so my sister could get the help she needed. I had to put on a brave face and be strong for everyone else. There were days that I didn’t even want to be in the house. Nonetheless, I have grown from that experience. It taught me to appreciate my life more. It made me realize the bigger picture and that you can’t take one second of your life for granted. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can sing very well. No one really knows about it because I only sing when I’m alone and never in front of people. Community: Pittston Township Family: Parents Melanie and Charlie Yozwiak, sister Meredith Yozwiak

TUNKHANNOCK AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Amelia Ayers High school: Tunkhannock Area GPA: 98.232 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society; Wyoming Valley Conference cross country All-Star and captain; soccer second-team All-Star and captain; Kiwanis Most Improved Student; basketball senior All-Star and captain; Most Athletic of the senior class Activities: Soccer, track, cross country, basketball, steering committee Community/school service project: youth basketball clinic; youth basketball referee; Greenley’s Nursing Home; Sky Haven Airport Fly-in breakfast Favorite courses: Latin and physics Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Royo because she is a very good teacher and has helped me a lot through school, running and anything else I need help with Work experience: Babysitting and working at Slumber Valley campground What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Lafayette College or La Salle University What are your career goals? Go to medical school after college to become an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in feet and ankles What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Getting injured so much in all my sports Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can bake and decorate cakes Community: Northmoreland Township Family: Parents Kelly Wisnosky and Jeffrey Ayers, brothers Daniel and Nathan Ayers

Name: Carley Griffiths High school: Tunkhannock Area GPA: 100.05 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (11, 12) Activities: Tennis (9-12); band 99-11); Interact club (9-12); astronomy club (9-11) Community/school service project: Volunteering at Griffin Pond Animal Shelter Favorite courses: AP biology, psychology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Kutish. She inspired my passion for biology Work experience: Epicureah Delight Catering (9-12); Moe’s Southwest Grill (10, 11); Gerrity’s Supermarket (11, 12) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Arcadia University What are your career goals? To become a clinical psychologist What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Fighting depression while maintaining grades Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? No Community: Dalton Family: Parents Amy and Darren Griffiths, sibling Rachel Griffiths

Name: Matt Stroney High school: Tunkhannock Area GPA: 101.2 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Ranked 3rd in class; National Honor Society, treasurer; Future Business Leaders of America regional competition, 2nd; Newton Math Team competition, 3rd; Regional Junior engineering Technical Society competition, 3rd Activities: Future Business Leaders of America (12); steering

committee 9-12); tennis (10-12); National Honor Society (11, 12) Community/school service project: Volunteer coach for youth basketball team Favorite courses: physics, calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My fourthgrade math teacher Mr. Ross because he was the person who made me really enjoy math Work experience: Weis Markets What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? undecided What are your career goals? To become a successful businessman What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Being diagnosed with a medical condition Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I’m pretty good at table tennis Community: Lake Winola Family: Parents Brian and Patricia Stroney, sister Nicole Stroney

Name: Eric L. Tschantz High school: Tunkhannock Area GPA: 101.38 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Regional SkillsUSA competition for technical drafting (1st place); JETS team competition (3rd place); top six in class (three years); most improved award and dedication award from Robinson’s Martial Arts Institute; introduction to business communications at FBLA regional conference (4th place); first- and second-degree black belts from the World Tang Soo Do Association; Tunkhannock Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen award; member 2012 Times-Tribune Scholastic superstar Team; Junior Engineering Technical Society; National Honor Society Activities: Robotics Team (treasurer, 10; president 11, 12); Future Business Leaders of America; martial arts second-

degree black belt; Black Sheep Squadron (remote control airplane club); Envirothon team Community/school service project: Over the past two summers, I have volunteered for the Triton Hose Fire Company carnival by grating cheese for the pizza tent; I volunteer for the Susquehanna and Wyoming County Red Cross; I volunteered with the Tunkhannock Tree Association; I have donated my time to help instruct a 4-6-year-old kids’ class at Robinson’s Martial Arts for the past two years; I ran the FBLA Student store my sophomore year. Proceeds are donated to charity; I helped the Dietrich Theatre clean up after the September, 2011 flood Favorite courses: physics, biology, Latin, calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? I would consider my biology teacher, Mrs. Kutish, to be one of the teachers who have influenced me the most. She was my first biology teacher and she truly helped me appreciate science. Work experience: dishwasher for the Fireplace Restaurant (2009); bagger, cashier, night balancer at Thomas’ Grocery Store (2011-present) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Still undecided; narrowed down to Lehigh, Drexel and Penn State universities What are your career goals? I want to obtain an engineering degree in either biomedical, aerospace or a broader more generalized engineering field with minors in the previous two areas What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? One of my greatest challenges has been managing my busy schedule. I have to balance between schoolwork, my robotics team, karate, work and all my other activities Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I have attended Robinson’s Martial Arts Institute for more than 10 years and hold the rank of second-degree black belt. I fly remotecontrolled airplanes and even belong to a club specifically for this, the Black Sheep Squadron Community: Tunkhannock Township Family: Parents Jim and Patti Tschantz, sister Jackie Tschantz


Name: Kassandra Williams High school: Tunkhannock Area GPA: 102.35 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, times-Tribune Scholastic Superstar Team Activities: steering committee, class treasurer, gifted class, WVIA Scholastic Scrimmage, basketball (captain) Community/school service project: referee youth basketball league Favorite courses: biology, anatomy, physiology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Burke influenced me because of her passion and enthusiasm every day and Mrs. Kutish made me love biology. Work experience: catering and babysitting What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Misericordia University What are your career goals? Physician assistant What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Choosing a college Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can make balloon animals Community: Lake Winola Family: Parents David R. and Karen Williams, brother David

WEATHERLY AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Jamie Dougherty High school: Weatherly Area GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society; Senior of the Month, H.O.B.Y. ambassador Activities: Band; County Band; Chorus; County Chorus; Partners in Education, member; Girl’s Varsity Cross Country, soccer, basketball and softball; Envirothon team member. Community/school service project: None. Favorite courses: chemistry, anatomy, biology, calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Matthew Neil, Mr. McClafferty, Mr. Scarcella Work experience: Currently work at the Weatherly Country Inn

and also worked at McDonalds What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Penn State University What are your career goals? Major in biology and minor in philosophy, attend medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge has been learning how to handle difficult situations in my life and to keep a positive outlook on life. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? My ability to think quick on my feet. Community: Packer Township Family: Parents Jim and Joanne Dougherty

Name: Alicia Panzarella High School: Weatherly Area GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: German National Honor Society; National Honor Society; First Team for volleyball (in the Schuylkill League) as a senior and third team for volleyball as a junior; honorable mention for basketball as a junior and senior; Most amount of three-pointers for the area and Schuylkill League as a junior; Senior All-Star Team for volleyball (Schuylkill League); George Eastman Young Leaders Award; Interact Club treasurer 911, 12); National Honor Society treasurer (12); Class treasurer (9, 10, 11, 12); band president (12); sportsmanship award for basketball (11) Activities: Future Business Leaders of America (9-12); Student Government Association (9-12); Interact Club (9-12); Student Forum (10-12); Envirothon team; Math Team Community/School Service Project: Catasauqua River Cleanup; Tweedle Park cleanups; Planes Road cleanups; library volunteer; summer library reader Favorite courses: Math, physics Teacher who influenced you the most. Why? Mr. McClafferty. He is the best math teacher I have witnessed thus far and I would like to base my teaching methods from his. Work experience: summer recreational aid for three years; Whitewater Challengers kitchen employee, two years

What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Millersville University What are your career goals: Math and physics teacher What has been the greatest challenge you have faced? Earning a spot on the varsity basketball and volleyball team as a freshman. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I can tie a cherry stem in my mouth. Community: Weatherly Family: Parents Carl and Carole Panzarella

WEST SIDE CAREER AND VOCATIONAL CENTER

Name: Nicole Davenport School: West Side Career and Technology Center GPA: 3.4 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Technical Honor Society; varsity volleyball MVP; Top of the Class health related technology and English; underclass physical education award Activities: volleyball, yearbook staff, county chorus, history club, member of the Cooperative Education Program Community/school service project: annual school blood drive, cleaned up picnic area for a memorial bench for a former student that died in a house fire, set up nativity and Christmas decorations at church. Favorite courses: chorus, history Teacher who influenced you most? Why? Ms. Pineno helped me break out of my shell Work experience: cashier and CNA What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Misericordia University or Penn State University What are your career goals? To become a veterinarian and maybe open up a floral shop on the side Community: Plymouth Family: Parents Jack and Kathy Davenport, brother Jack Davenport

Name: Derrick Eyerman High school: West Side Career and Technology Center GPA: 3.5 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Top of the Class history, English, math, science, American history, physical education; PSEA Underclass Awards in culinary, social studies, mathematics and English; Student of the Month; Certificates of Achievement; Excellence in Titan volleyball; Varsity Letter for Titan volleyball; Outstanding Performance in chorus, science and English; National Technical Honor Society Activities: volleyball, chorus, astronomy club, culinary arts club, Student Council, yearbook staff, National Technical Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Skills USA Community/school service project: I volunteered at Hillside Farms and at the Lehman-Idetown U.M. Church. At Hillside Farms I planted crops and then later in the year we harvested them for the farmers market. At church, I sang and helped out with the ceremony. Favorite courses: mathematics, science, art. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My chorus teacher, Ms. Pineno. She has helped me through a lot, whether it was dealing with school or just problems I am having Work experience: Cashier at Wegmans supermarket for almost two years. Hollister Impact person for three months. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? I will be attending Marywood University and will be majoring in nursing. What are your career goals? I plan to become a Registered Nurse and would also like to further my education to become a medical examiner. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge would have to be competing with my fellow classmates to get the highest grade, and who ends up getting valedictorian. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I have played cello for three years and love to dance. I have a very outgoing personality and I am not afraid to let the world know who I am and what I stand for. I don’t try to conform to the type of person other people think I should be Community: Plymouth Family: Mom Tracey Swartz and siblings Kristal Eyerman, Cortney Eyerman, Kris Petrosky Jr.

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Name: Matthew John Caccese High school: Weatherly Area GPA: 4.0 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: U.S. Air Force Academy nominee; crosscountry team captain; National Honor Society, president; German National Honor Society;

distinguished honor roll Activities: blood donor; crosscountry and spring track; Scholastic Scrimmage; CAN-DO; Citizen Bee; Computer Fair. Community/school service project: Coordinated collection drive for U.S. Marines serving in Afghanistan Favorite courses: German, calculus, history, psychology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Dual enrollment professor Mr. Joseph Scarcella inspired me to be who I am in life and taught me to succeed after failing. Work experience: Weatherly School District, summer job as student technician assistant; Weis Markets, cashier What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Penn State University, Army ROTC for aerospace engineering What are your career goals? Work for the Central Intelligence Agency or NASA What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Not giving up and learning to deal with rejection. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I am able to remember numbers in sequence. Community: Weatherly Family: Parents Robert and Coleen; siblings Bobby, Nicole and Rachael

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BEST & BRIGHTEST 2012

Name: Elias Kocher High school: West Side Career and Technology Center GPA: 3.43 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: 1st Place Health Administration, 1st Place Health Knowledge Bowl, Top of the Class Activities: National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Skills USA, History Club, Astronomy Club, Health Occupation Students of America Community/school service project: Blood drive Favorite courses: Health Related Technology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Gina Harrison is a teacher who has influenced much of what I do and how I have planned my future. Whenever I need advice I go to her to get help or find out what to do. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? King’s College What are your career goals? Military and College for Computer Science Community: Larksville Family: Mom Ann Marie Kocher

Name: Hannah Smith High School: West Side Career and Technology Center GPA: 3.70 Awards/Accomplishments and honor societies: Student of the Month (April 2012); National Technical Honor Society, vice president (September 2011); Certificate of Achievement for Job Shadowing (May 2011); Top of the Class: English (March 2011); highest honors (20092012); Top of the Class: Health Related Technology (2010-2011); Outstanding Performance: Calculus, English and health related technology; ranked 3rd; National Technical Honor Socie-

ty; National Honor Society (2008-2009); Activities: Health Occupational Students of America, Skills USA, National Technical Honor Society, Chorus, History Club Community/School Service Project: Volunteered at Meadows Nursing Center Favorite courses: Health Related Technology (HRT), American History Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? The teacher who influenced me the most is my HRT lab teacher, Mrs. Harrison. She attended WSCTC and got her CNA and then continued on to get her RN. She cares about her students, is well organized, and she handles stressful situations well. Work Experience: Waitress at Red Rooster Restaurant from August- October 2010; Food Prep at O-Live Restaurant, May, 2011-present What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? I plan to attend Luzerne County Community College in Nanticoke. What are your career goals: I plan to work this summer and through college as a Certified Nursing Assistant, and continue on until I become a Registered Nurse. What has been the greatest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge was obtaining my CNA as a senior. There is a great deal of paperwork and it is a big responsibility. Every day on clinical was a surprise and you have to be ready for anything. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I play guitar and I sing, but most people know that about me. Community: Sweet Valley Family: Parents Randal and Patricia Smith, older sister Sarah, dog and cat.

Name: Sam Edmonds High school: West Side Career and Technology Center GPA: 3.6 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Technical Honor Society, Skills USA, history club, science club, Health Occupation Students of America , Co-op club Activities: Girl Scouts Community/school service

project: Blood drive, Red Ribbon Day, Kirby Park cleanup, Antibullying Rally Favorite courses: Health related technology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mrs. Jeane Kravitz is a teacher who has influenced much of what I do and how I have planned my future. She helped me discover what I want to do in my life after graduation. Work experience: Certified Nurse Aide at Timber Ridge Health Care What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Undecided What are your career goals? Join the military and become a Registered Nurse What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Trying to discover what I want to do in the future and how to accomplish my goals. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? No Community: Sweet Valley Family: Mom Jayne Derby

WILKES-BARRE CAREER AND VOCATIONAL CENTER

science Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My parents because they taught me how to be humble, keep faith and to never forget my roots. Work experience: I worked for the City of Wilkes-Barre cleaning and cutting grass at Coal Street Park and the Wilkes-Barre Boulevard along Pennsylvania Avenue. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? I was selected to go to Norwich University and its Corp of Cadet Program. I am waiting for the Naval Reserves Officer’s Training Course Scholarship. If I do not receive that I am leaving for Boot Camp in July. What are your career goals? I am looking to pursue a career in the Marine Corps. So far I signed up and my main goal is to make it to the Marine Corps Special forces also known as Force Recons or MARSOC. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge so far is waiting for the news about the NROTC scholarship and the physical fitness test I had to take for it. Community: Wilkes-Barre Family: Parents Joe and Virginia Rivera-Mercado, brothers Max and Joseph Ramos, Tristan Mercado and Joseph Mercado.

math club, hiking, camping. Community/school service project: I volunteered my time to help support the flood victims and the clean-up process. I participated in my Eagle Scout project, which involved making displays that were viewed at Frances Slocum State Park. I am in the church youth group and church choir. Favorite courses: science and history Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Hizynski because he made me think about the most important question: why? Work experience: I have worked on fixing homes, as well as yard work. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Brigham Young University What are your career goals? I am not sure yet. I would hope to obtain a low-stress job that helps a lot of people. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Earning my Eagle Scout Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? NA Community: Harding Family: Parents Kip and Cindy Alder, siblings Devin, Amy, Austin, Justin, Jenna and Ty.

WYOMING AREA HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Ian Mercado High school: Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technology Center GPA: 93.95 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Troop P. Camp Cadet, Coughlin High School Honor Society, WBACTC Honor Society, Junior National Honor Society, high-highest honors, high school wrestling certificate, junior high football and completion of Hispanic Outreach Program. Activities: Wrestling Skills USA, Okinawan Karate. I am in the Delayed Entry Program for the U.S. Marine Corps. Community/school service project: Thanksgiving and Easter food drives Favorite courses: history and

Name: Trevor Alder High school: Wyoming Area Secondary Center GPA: 4.3304 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Science Olympiad awards/medals; president of the National Honor Society; Eagle Scout; College Psychology 101 (2010); gifted program; People to People representative to Australia (2008) Activities: Science Olympiad member (2009, 2010); Student Council (2011); S.A.V.E. (2011); Scholastic Scrimmage (2009, 2010, 2011); Science Iditarod (2010, 2011); Boy Scouts of America, tennis, football, chess club,

Name: John Barcelon High school: Wyoming Area High School GPA: 4.2611 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, 2010, 11; High Honor Roll, 2010, 11; Student of the month, Grade 7-8; Science Olympiad, Gold and silver winner in regional and national, grade 7; Test of engineering aptitude, mathematics and science second place winner. Activities: Student Council (10, 11); math club (9, 10 11); film club (11); basketball (9, 10 11) Community/school service project: Environmental tree project (8) Favorite courses: AP calculus See WYOMING AREA, Page 21


WYOMING AREA Continued from Page 20

and AP biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Parents and Mr. Lulewicz, because they helped me develop my love for education. Work experience: Rock Recreational Center What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? King’s College What are your career goals? To have a career in the medical field What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Losing to Tunkhannock in the Tests of Engineering Aptitude Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Great dancer Community: West Pittston Family: Parents Lilia and Rolando Barcelon, siblings Christine, Rolf, Rolando and Joanne

Name: Jessica Hollister High school: Wyoming Area GPA: 4.2435 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (10,11,12); High Honors (9,10,11,12); Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award in Humanities and Social Sciences(11); Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens Award (12); Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 9 Band and Orchestra (10,11,12); Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Region 4 Band (11,12); United States Achievement Academy (11); Excelente Logros en Espanol (10); Segundo Ano Award (10). Activities: Students Against Destructive Decisions (9,10,11,12), secretary (12); Key Club (9,10,11,12); Yearbook Committee (9,10,11,12); Concert Band (9,10,11,12); Marching Band (9,10,11,12), section leader (12); Greater Pittston Anti-drug Task Force (11,12); Teens against Tobacco Use (9); History Bowl (11); Wilkes Math Competition (11); Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary (12); SADD (9,10,11,12), secretary (12), scholarship board (9,10); Luzerne County Bank (10,12); Power of 10 (11,12); Dual enrollment (11). Community/school service project: Exeter Panthers Cheerleading, Junior advisor (9); Babysitting (11,12); I helped plan the mock car crash held in the spring of last year to raise awareness around prom season about the dangers of drinking and driving. Favorite courses: AP United States History and AP Calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Hizynski

influenced me the most because he was always available for advise in regards to subjects outside of the class, such as college and my future plans. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Scranton What are your career goals? My career goals are to enter college in the fall undecided and then pursue the major I decide, graduating with that degree. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge is trying to decide, as I enjoy making contrasting subjects, what to pursue as my future career in life. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? In addition to playing French horn at school, most would not know that I also like to play piano in my spare time. Community: West Wyoming Family: Parents: Kenneth and Sharon Hollister; sister and brother, Nicole and Benjamin Hollister

Name: Jonathan Scrobola High school: Wyoming Area Secondary Center GPA: 4.3167 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Vice president of the National Honor Society; numerous medals for science, math, and history competitions. Activities: Swimming (District III Champs 2010, captain (10,11,12), tennis (10,11,12), flying ( 12 years old ‘til now), hunting (11 years and on), fishing (11,12) co-founder fly fishing club, Wilkes Math competition (11), Science Iditarod (third consecutively physics plaque, 10, 11), concert band (9,10); film club (11,12); History Bowl (11). Community/school service project: I volunteered at an airport for Valley Aviation Airport Day. I also helped clean up a riverside cottage affected by the flood. Favorite courses: AP calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Lulewicz. His approach to teaching makes you want to learn. Work experience: Lineman for Valley Aviation What college or post-secondary school do you plan to at-

tend? King’s College What are your career goals? I wish to obtain a career in the medical field What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Managing my time between my academics and becoming a student pilot Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I like to fly airplanes Community: Wyoming Family: Parents James and Joyce Scrobola, siblings James, Zach and Grace Scrobola

parents for that. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I attempted to form a lawn-care business my freshman year with my cousin called Cousin’s Lawn Care or CLC, and even went so far as to design a logo, make pamphlets, distribute them and look into buying a domain name. Community: Pittston. Family: Parents Michael and Nadine Banul; sisters Samantha and Skylar Banul

WYOMING SEMINARY

Name: Sean Banul High school: Wyoming Seminary Upper School GPA: 4.33 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Cum Laude Society; Levi Sprague Fellowship; Best Delegate at Brown University Model United Nations; Directors Award in Earth and Space Science (1st overall) at Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science State Competition; National Merit Commended Scholar; 2011 Brown University Book Award; Advanced Placement Scholar Activities: Student Government; Model United Nations; Junior Statesmen of America; Science Research Group; Cross Country; Peer Group; Tutoring; Drama production of "Our Town" Community/school service project: My main service activity is volunteering as a counselor and coach at Camp St. Andrew, a 5-day overnight camp in Tunkhannock. Favorite courses: my United Nations Seminar class from my junior year. It is a class split into two periods – one period for U.S. history and U.S. literature. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Ms. Lydia Traill, my literature teacher from my sophomore and junior years. She pushed everyone to challenge themselves in both their analyses of literature and critical thinking. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Pennsylvania What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? I have never really faced any kind of challenge and I can thank my

Name: Bethany Brody High school: Wyoming Seminary Upper School GPA: 4.45 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Cum Laude Society; Wyoming Seminary Trustee Full Scholarship (four years); Levi Sprague Fellowship; Wallace F. and Susan B. Stettler Scholarship Award; Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award; Tracey Leigh Vandermark Biology Award; Regional Orchestra during sophomore year, placed in the top three cellists at district orchestra festival and moved onto regional compettion); two field hockey varsity letters; National Spanish Exam honorable mentions (9-11); Bishop’s Youth Award Activities: Community Service Executive Board (11, 12); Medical Club (9-12, leader 11, 12); peer tutor (11, 12); Blue Key (9-12); yearbook staff (7-12); orchestra (5-11); Orientation Committee (12); field hockey (7-12) Community/school service project: Leader of Kids’ Café, Angel Tree and Salvation Army Bell-ringing efforts at Seminary; Sunday School teacher at St. John the Baptist Church; narrator for Christmas and Easter plays at St. John the Baptist Church; summer church bazaar volunteer Favorite courses: chemistry, biology and calculus Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Dr. Dickinson was my teacher for honors chemistry and AP chemistry. He truly cares about the well-being of his students. He does not simply stand in front of the classroom and speak about the topic; he works tirelessly to make sure students actually understand the material. In addition, Dr. Cooper, my BC calculus and differential EquaSee SEMINARY, Page 22

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Name: Allison Golden High school: Wyoming Area GPA: 4.2435 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society, 2009,2010,2011,2012 Activities: Cross Country, (9,10,11,12); guitar lessons at B&C Music Studio; Spanish Club; History Club (9,10,12); Key Club; Emerald Isle Step Dancers. Community/school service project: Flood Fest Favorite courses: AP United States History Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Hizynski. He developed my interest and appreciation for history and has helped me the past two years to decide on a college and area of study following graduation. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Gettysburg College What are your career goals? I plan to pursue a degree in histo-

ry and to possibly study Mandarin. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? The greatest challenge I have faced was overcoming the various obstacles that the flooding in September presented. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I have been playing the guitar for six years. Community: West Pittston Family: Parents James and Denise Golden; siblings Kimberly Golden (my twin), Michelle Golden and Elizabeth Golden

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tions teacher, has influenced me immensely. He pushed me to my limits and made me realize the value of hard work. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Cornell University What are your career goals? I would like to study biochemistry. I want to then either continue my education at a medical school to become a practicing doctor or attend graduate school to carry out medical research, specializing in cancer research. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? During my junior year, I took BC calculus and it was my biggest challenge ever. Both the teacher and the course material pushed me to my limits and made me be a better student. BC calculus demonstrated to me that not everything will be simple and hard work and dedication truly pays off in the end. I ended the year with an A- in Dr. Cooper’s class and scored a “5” on the AP exam; it was by far my most academically challenging, yet rewarding experience. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I love to bake cupcakes from scratch, and I am very proud of them. Community: Edwardsville Family: Parents David and Catherine Brody; siblings Joshua, Megan and Rebekah Brody

Name: Kelsey Dolhon High school: Wyoming Seminary Upper School GPA: 4.15 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: AP Scholar, PSAT Commended Student, and Cum Laude inductee. John Ruggles III Creative Writing Award in 2009 and 2010 for success in creative writing contests, as well as the Frederick Rudolph Historical Writing Prize in 2010 for a major scholastic essay. National Spanish Exam awards, PMEA music festivals, advancing to regional orchestra both this year and last. Activities: Wyoming Seminary

Upper School Orchestra as well as the Chorale, String Ensemble, Baroque Quartet and Handbell Ensemble. After school, I maintain private lessons on cello and piano, as I am involved with the Wyoming Seminary civic orchestra during the school year and the Performing Arts Institute during the summer months. Outside of musical groups, I am the president and co-founder of my school’s Morning Yoga Club and a monthly soup kitchen volunteer. Community/school service project: I have volunteered as an assistant at summer camps for young children as well as fundraising events for my church. Currently, I am a monthly volunteer at the St. Vincent DePaul kitchen in Wilkes-Barre. Favorite courses: My favorite was the Seminar in American Studies I completed last year. A team-taught course which met for two class periods daily, the Seminar combined AP American History with AP American Literature to study the exchange and influence of the two in American culture over the years. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? By far, the instructor for both my private cello studies as well as my music theory courses has been an incredible influence on my life. I first met Mrs. Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida as I entered Wyoming Seminary in eighth grade and she has been both friend and mentor ever since. Work experience: I am employed by the Plymouth Public Library and work during the weekends as an all-purpose librarian, circulating records and assisting patrons with technology and book checkout. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Carnegie Mellon University What are your career goals? I aspire to someday edit literature for a magazine or publishing house while possibly producing some of my own creative work and remaining active in musical ensembles. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My father suffered a life-threatening illness in late February. Though he recovered remarkably well in the weeks since then, I have learned a great deal about the fragility of life and the importance of living it to the fullest. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I am very enthusiastic about recycling and I often design and create my own jewelry out of recycled or repurposed small objects. Community: Kingston Family: Parents Kim and James; siblings Brianna and Daniel

Name: Logan May High school: Wyoming Seminary Upper School GPA: 4.58 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: All-American 5th-place finish at National Prep. Wrestling Tournament; Wyoming Seminary Gold Award Winner – four-year varsity Letter winner, ranking top 10 nationally for four years; Mock Trial, Luzerne County Champions, state, 3rd place (20092010) and Cornell Model United Nationals Best Delegate Award; Brown University Simulation of United Nations, honorable mention; Mock Trial, Luzerne County Champions, Empire City Invitational 4th place, State Champions, National Tournament 6th place (2010-2011); Brown Simulation of United Nations Outstanding Delegate 920102011); Mock Trial, Luzerne County Champions, empire Invitational 2nd place, University of Pennsylvania Invitational Champions, Undefeated at University of Pittsburgh Invitational 92011-2012); Cornell Model United Nations Outstanding Delegate; Trustee Academic Scholarship winner; 2010 and 2011 winner Charles Harold Laycock Latin Prize; Latin II National Latin Exam Gold Award Winner; Level 4 (Poetry) National Latin Exam gold Award Winner; Teresa Jordan and Frank J. Mehm II Scholarship Award (2011); Dean’s List High Honors (all terms of high school); National Merit Letter of Commendation; Alumni Service Award Candidate; AP Scholar with Honor Activities: wrestling; Mock Trial; Moot Court; Model United Nations; Peer Group; peer tutoring; Blue Key Community/school service project: With help of Junior Leadership Group, organized a 5K run to benefit Candy’s Place (2011); peer tutoring Favorite courses: physics, Latin, psychology. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My physics teacher Mr. Klann possesses a wealth of fantastic information that he conceals behind his honest face. He is the most influential simply because he doesn’t teach by the book; he goes off script. Work experience: Pizza baker at Grotto Pizza, Harveys Lake (June 2011-present) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Waitlisted at Harvard and if that doesn’t work out, will likely attend

University of Pennsylvania as a part of the Vagelos Scholar program for Microbiology. What are your career goals? I would like to be a lawyer. I’d like to retire into some sort of teaching position. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge up to this point was maintaining the lifestyle I lived throughout my junior year. I would wake up at 6:30, go to school from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., then wrestling practice from 3:30 until 5:30. Three days a week, I would have Mock Trial from 7-9 p.m. I would arrive home around 9:30 and start my homework. Every weekend, I was either wrestling or competing in Mock Trial or Model UN competitions. It was rough, but I learned so much, especially about myself and the limitless potential of human beings. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I try to designate at least a half hour every day to meditation. Having started meditating around the fourth grade, I have a pretty good grip on the art. I am also very interested in the channeling of life-force energies as a form of homeopathic medicine. It has been so successful for me that I have never missed a day of school in high school for reasons other than extra-curriculars. Community: Dallas Family: Paige B. and Sidney D. May

Name: Amy M. Shick High school: Wyoming Seminary Upper School GPA: 4.45 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Alumni Service award candidate (12); Cum Laude Society (9-12); Dean’s list high honor roll (9-12); National Honor Society of High School Scholars (9-12); University of Rochester Xeros Award for Innovation and Information Technology (11); St. Michael’s College Book Award (11); Wallace F. and Sue B. Stettler Scholarship Award (10); Edward J. Roberts Memorial Latin Award (10); National Spanish Exam (10); Stella G. Purvin Memorial Scholarship Award (9); The Charles Harold Laycock Latin Prize (9); National Latin Exam Silver Medalist (9)

Activities: Community Service Executive Committee; math club – math and computer science competitions; Spanish club; Blue Key; student activities committee; orientation committee; medical club; saxophonist; Jazz Band; Wind Ensemble; Orchestra; Best Jazz Band in PA (2009, 2012); performed at Walt Disney World (2009, 2010); Austria and the Czech Republic (2011); Big Apple NYC Music Festival – Best Jazz Band (2011); swim team (Coach’s Award, Captain); tennis team; field hockey team Community/school service project: Habitat For Humanity of Greater Portland Maine: I worked in Freeport, ME on the “Grean Bean” house building front house steps, landscaping, and driveway design projects. I worked on the “House of Steel – Homes of Hope” building project laying hardwood flooring and painting to get the houses ready for their future owners. I conducted two extremely successful bedding drives entitled “Sweet Dreams” collecting sheets, pillows, comforters, blankets and books for the families; Marian Sutherland Kirby Library special programs volunteer; St. Vincent DePaul Kitchen, school’s community service executive committee team leader; Crestwood School District summer reading program; middle school math clinic/math tutor; Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals programs; Sordoni Library student assistant; Wyoming Seminary Lower School AfterSchool Enrichment Program Favorite courses: Differential Equations, AP statistics, AP calculus BC Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? I admire Dr. Cooper because of his immense knowledge of the mathematical world and his ability to inspire his students to pursue a mathematical career. Work experience: Math, science and organizational skills tutor for primary and middle school students; babysitting What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? University of Richmond What are your career goals? Major in Mathematical Economics, minors in Computer Science and Spanish. A possible career in Actuarial Science What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Missing my best friend and role model, my brother Alex, as he relocated to Madison, WI, to begin his working career. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? Secret aspiration to be a “Roller Derby” jammer Community: Mountain Top Family: Parents Mucille M. Shick and Bradley U. Shick, sibling Alexander U. Shick


WYOMING VALLEY WEST HIGH SCHOOL

Name: Jason Klus High school: Wyoming Valley West GPA: 4.040 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: National Honor Society (10-12); Citizenship Award (9-11); Academic Excellence Award (10); Newton Math Competition Award Winner (11); National Spanish Exam Honorable Mention (9, 10); Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Concert Band (11, 12); WVIA Artist of the Week (12) Activities: Marching Band (9-12); Concert Band (9-12); Orchestra (10, 12); Chorus (11, 12); All-School Musical Pit Orchestra (10, 11, 12); Spanish Club (9-12); National History Day (9, 10); Interim Literary Magazine staff member (11, 12); Junior Engineering Technical Society Competition Team member (11); Wyoming Valley Concert Band (12); Marywood University Wind Band Celebration (11, 12); Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 9 Band 910-12); Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 9 Orchestra (12); Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Region 4 Band (10-12) Community/school service project: Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon (9, 10) Favorite courses: American Authors/Literature, Calculus, Music Theory and Harmony Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Mr. Andy Kolojejchick treats everyone he teaches as a peer and not a student. More than anything, he has an overwhelming passion for what he does that is something rare and incredible to see.

Work experience: Edwardsville Kmart Store (12) What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Marywood University or Wilkes University. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? I am lucky to have a fairly stress-free life. Community: Kingston Family: Parents Jeffrey and Denise Klus, brother Patrick

Name: Jocelyn Sickler High school: Wyoming Valley West GPA: 4.14 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Interim Literary Arts Magazine editor (9-12); school newspaper editor (11); Perfect Attendance (9, 10, 11); student council officer (10-12); National Honor Society 910-12); Who’s Who in American High Schools (9); Student of the Month 912); Citizenship award ( 9-11); 3rd place in regional History Day competition (9); 1st place in Business Communications at regional Future Business Leaders of America conference (12) Activities: Student council (9-12); Future Business Leaders of America (9-120; Interim Literary Arts Magazine (9-12); West Side Story newspaper staff (11); Spartan yearbook staff (11); Key Club (9-11); actress at Gravestone Manor (11, 12) Community/school service project: I’ve volunteered at many community walks including the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association Walk, Alzheimer’s Association walk and March of Dimes. I also worked as an actress at Gravestone Manor, a haunted house supporting the United Way, during my junior and senior years. Favorite courses: I’ve always had a soft spot for my English courses. They gave me a reason to pick up some great books that I may have otherwise pushed aside and see the world in a different light. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My third-grade teacher, Mr. Mentyka, made the greatest impact. Before his class, I woke up in the morning dreading the sight of the school bus, but his innovative way of teaching the class made me look forward to coming to school for the first time in my life.

What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Unknown What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? In seventh grade, I took on the most tiresome project of my school career. For English class, I was required to write an autobiography about my family, everything I had done up until that point in time, and my plans for the future. By the time I finished though, I was rewarded with more than 20 pages of writing and a perfect 100. It showed me that hard work pays off and something good comes out of every endeavor. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I really enjoy making things in Photoshop. Community: Larksville Family: Parents William and Christine Sickler, sister Christina Name: Ryan Yashinski High school: Wyoming Valley West GPA: 4.064 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Student of the Month (March 2012); high honors with distinction (9-12); Honors Society (10-12) Activities: Student Council (9-12); Interim Literary Arts magazine (10-12, secretary 11); Future Business Leaders of America (state qualifier 10, 11); Mixed Martial Arts (9); Wyoming Valley West production of "Nightwatch" stage crew (12); Wyoming Valley West production of The "Sound of Music" cast (12) Community/school service project: Gravestone Manor volunteer (11, 12); Steamtown Historical Site transcription (10) Favorite courses: I manage to find something of personal interest in every course I take, be it English, biology, psychology, calculus or physics. I feel I’m a well-rounded, and this universal interest in learning helps that cause. Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? Miss Powis, my high school French teacher is without a doubt the individual who stands out. Of all the brilliant teachers I’ve had, she’s the one I see each day reaching out to even the most unruly students, who other teachers might label as lazy and motivates them to learn. Every time I have her class I look forward to it. She makes a classroom an incredible experience to learn and enjoy the school day. What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Plan to attend Pennsylvania State University at University Park What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Trying something new can be a challenge

to face. For me that was getting out of my academic comfort zone and trying things such as martial arts and the musical cast. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I like to write, mostly fiction. It’s just a comfortable way to express myself. Community: Edwardsville Family: Parents Thomas and Melanie Yashinski, brothers, Troy and Cory

Name: Veronica Zimmerman High school: Wyoming Valley West GPA: 4.173 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Citizenship Award (2010); National Honor Society; WVIA Scholastic Scrimmage; Wyoming Valley Interfaith Council Essay Contest, 3rd place Activities: Interim Literary Arts staff member; Spanish club Community/school service project: N/A Favorite courses: AP biology, AP English Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? My 11th-grade English teacher Miss Doman influenced me the most because of how relatable she is. Although her class pushed me to try harder than any of my other classes in high school, she always had a great attitude toward all the students and our own opinions. She is a dedicated teacher who has been there for me and helped me come out of my shell. Work experience: Cashier at Gerrity’s supermarket in Luzerne What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? I plan to attend LCCC to complete my general education courses and then transfer once I decide on my major. What are your career goals? Although I do not know what I want to study after graduation, in any career I decide to pursue I want to be able to say that I made a difference. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? My greatest challenge would be dealing with my father’s death. Although it has been and will always be extremely difficult, it has made me a stronger person. Do you have a hidden talent or something even close friends don’t know about you? I am an open book with all my friends and family so there really is not anything about me that is hidden. Community: Edwardsville Family: Mother Cynthia, sister, Emma.

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Name: Kelcie Hromisin High school: Wyoming Valley West GPA: 4.027 Awards, accomplishments and honor societies: Field Hockey: team Captain (11, 12), team starter (9-12); District 2 Class AAA Champions (11, 12); Among Top Scorers in league (10-12); Citizen’s Voice and Times Leader All-Star Teams (9-12); All American, 3rd Team (12); All American Mid-East Region first Team (12); First-Team All State (11, 12); Second Team All State (10); USA Field Hockey Achievements: USAFH U19 Junior National Team member (International Tour to Vancouver) (12); USAFH U17 Junior National Team member (International Tour to Holland) (11); PA Junior High Performance Squad Member (11); AAU Joel Farrell Sportsmanship Award – Outstanding performance (10); Junior National Camp Selection (11, 12) (Approximately 30 field hockey athletes in each age division from the USA are selected to this elite camp); Futures Elite member (9-12); Junior Olympics Selection (9, 10) ; Soccer: District Champions (9); Varsity Starter and Letter Winner (9-11); First Team Coach’s Choice (10, 11); All-Conference Selection (10, 11) Academic Achievements: National Honor Society member (10-12); Science Olympiad Team member (12); Wendy’s High School Heisman School Winner (12); Student of the Month (October) (12); Selected to the Junior engineering Technical Society Team (JETS) (11, 12); Citizenship Award (9, 10, 11); Selected to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference (11) Activities: Peer Tutor (12); Student Council Representative (9-11); Burgundy and Gold Goes Green Club Representative 911, 12); Future Business Leaders of America (10); Field Hockey Team (9-12); Soccer Team (9-11); Kapow Indoor Field Hockey Club member (10-12); USA Field Hockey U19 Junior National Team Member (12); USA Field Hockey U17 Junior National Team member (11) Community/school service project: The Lands at Hillside Farms volunteer (9-11); Steamtown National Historic Site volunteer; peer tutor (12); active member of St. Ignatius Church (9-12) Favorite courses: Geometry, biology Teacher who influenced you the most? Why? As both my 9th-grade

public speaking teacher and 11thgrade American Literature teacher, Miss Sarah Doman has consistently challenged me with coursework and expectations. Work experience: babysitter What college or post-secondary school do you plan to attend? Boston College What are your career goals? To become a physical therapist What has been the biggest challenge you have faced? Learning how to effectively manage my time with school assignments while also being involved in athletics. Community: Larksville Family: Parents Ralph and Carol Hromisin; brothers Scott and Brian

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2012 Best and Brightest