Lackawanna Trail graduates offer words of wisdom

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal
Allyssa Artley waits in the gym of Lackawanna Trail High School in Factoryville for commencement ceremonies to begin. - Fred Adams | For Abington Journal
Trent Ashley leans on the shoulder of a fellow graduate Tuesday at Lackawanna Trail High School in Factoryville while waiting for the procession onto the football field. - Fred Adams | For Abington Journal
Members of the Lackwanna Trail High School Class of 2018 process on the track surrounding the football field. - Fred Adams | For Abington Journal
Emma Hivner enjoys a laugh while standing with fellow graduates, looking into the stands on the football field at Lackawanna Trail High School. - - Fred Adams | For Abington Journal
The last two to walk across the football field in the procession are Brooke Lamberti, left, and Lauren Zotta Tuesday in Factoryville for the Lackawanna Trail High School commencement ceremony. - - Fred Adams | For Abington Journal

FACTORYVILLE — Friends and family members sat on bleachers at Lions’ Pride Stadium listening to inspiring speeches during Lackawanna Trail’s 62nd graduation commencement Tuesday. Male graduates wore black caps and gowns while females wore white.

Dr. Mark Murphy acknowledged the futures of the graduates, reporting 84 of them will attend a two or four-year college or university, 15 will join the workforce next year and six will continue their learning at career and vocational centers across the Unites States. Five graduates have enlisted in the US military.

“These commencements are designed to recognize and celebrate accomplishments of the remarkable senior class,” Murphy said.

Remarks from superintendent Matthew Rakauskas included a quote from Booker T. Washington — “If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else.’”

“From what I understand, this class has been doing that since they were in the elementary center,” said Rakauskas. “And judging from the potential and values that have been instilled upon them, it’s something that they will continue to do long after tonight’s graduation.”

Trail graduate Allison Decker, who ranked third in her class, earned the honor of becoming this year’s commended student. In her address, she thanked everyone who made an impact on her. She acknowledged first-born graduates whom she said set an example for their younger siblings and last-born graduates whom she mentioned followed in the footsteps of their older siblings.

“My point is that most of our class has an honorable role in their families’ generation,” Decker said.

Murphy then introduced salutatorian Alaina Jones. In her address, Jones shared her goal of becoming top in her class, then realized, besides the medal, having to give a speech comes with the honor.

After asking her parents for advice of what to include in her speech, Jones followed her mom’s advice of “just be you.” She passed that advice to her fellow graduates, advising them to find what makes them happy.

“I’ve become a better person when I stopped worrying about what others thought of my interests and just did what makes me happy.”

Jones shared her decision to pursue her passion of music and join the marching band rather than continuing to play field hockey with her friends. She chose the latter, then encouraged graduates to follow their hearts, as well.

This year’s valedictorian Jennifer Price earned awards for the mathematics, French and English departments.

In her address, Price lauded her fellow graduates for their kindness towards people.

“These are people who strive without ceasing, never push away those who ask for help,” she said. “If these people are the future, then it is a future we can look forward to.”

Price then quoted American activist Grace Paley by saying, “’The only recognizable feature of hope is action.’” She told her fellow graduates to be a symbol of hope to the people around them and take action.

Allyssa Artley waits in the gym of Lackawanna Trail High School in Factoryville for commencement ceremonies to begin.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_LTgrad1-2.jpgAllyssa Artley waits in the gym of Lackawanna Trail High School in Factoryville for commencement ceremonies to begin. Fred Adams | For Abington Journal

Trent Ashley leans on the shoulder of a fellow graduate Tuesday at Lackawanna Trail High School in Factoryville while waiting for the procession onto the football field.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_LTgrad2-2.jpgTrent Ashley leans on the shoulder of a fellow graduate Tuesday at Lackawanna Trail High School in Factoryville while waiting for the procession onto the football field. Fred Adams | For Abington Journal

Members of the Lackwanna Trail High School Class of 2018 process on the track surrounding the football field.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_LTgrad3-2.jpgMembers of the Lackwanna Trail High School Class of 2018 process on the track surrounding the football field. Fred Adams | For Abington Journal

Emma Hivner enjoys a laugh while standing with fellow graduates, looking into the stands on the football field at Lackawanna Trail High School.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_LTgrad4-2.jpgEmma Hivner enjoys a laugh while standing with fellow graduates, looking into the stands on the football field at Lackawanna Trail High School. Fred Adams | For Abington Journal

The last two to walk across the football field in the procession are Brooke Lamberti, left, and Lauren Zotta Tuesday in Factoryville for the Lackawanna Trail High School commencement ceremony.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_LTgrad5-2.jpgThe last two to walk across the football field in the procession are Brooke Lamberti, left, and Lauren Zotta Tuesday in Factoryville for the Lackawanna Trail High School commencement ceremony. Fred Adams | For Abington Journal
School district holds 62nd annual commencement

By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

LACKAWANNA TRAIL

CLASS OF 2018

Allyssa Michelle Artley

Trent Zane Ashley

Austin Lee Aukema

Joseph William Baker

Lauren Elizabeth Beemer, Cum Laude

Samantha Jansen Benjamin

Justin Joseph Brower

Kyla Cokely

Timothy Arthur Cole, Cum Laude

Emma Lauren Collins

Alyssa Michelle Colomey

Trinity Anne Marie Craft

Karley Beth Cresswell

Dakota Delbert Croasdale

Heidi Ann Davis, Cum Laude

Mark Allen DeBree

Allison Jean Decker, Cum Laude

Olivia Ryan Dodgson

Lydia June Dunckle, Cum Laude

Courtney Elizabeth Dwyer, Cum Laude

Keith Joshua Ortiz Ella

Andrew Craig Faist

Melinda Figueroa

Marleah Clarrinda Filan, Cum Laude

Jordan Taylor Flynn

Taylor Janina- Marie Giannotti

Kayla Lynn Gowka

Kaitlyn Elizabeth Harvey

Summer Lynn Helbing

Emma Hivner

Owen Hivner

Griffin Andrew Holmes

Owen Matthew Hyde

Quinn Thomas Jagoe

Jesse James

Roberto Michael Jaquez-Lambert

Alaina Brooke Jones, Cum Laude

Shawn David Jones

David Joseph Klinges

Thomas George Kohinsky II

Annika Lauree’ Kongvold

Alexandra Kwiatkowski, Cum Laude

Brooke Lauren Lamberti, Cum Laude

Seung Hyun Lee

Carolyn Marie Mack, Cum Laude

Vincent John Masters III

Allison Rae Melnikoff, Cum Laude

Ryan David Wayne Mercer

Reid Emerson Miner

Dylyn Mooers

Tieler Mooers

Arent Oak Moore

Samantha Lucretia Morgan, Cum Laude

Dillon Moyle

Christopher Robert Mulvey

Lillian Joan Noakes

Hannah Marie Palaskas

Laurelann Marie Penn, Cum Laude

Brianna Lynn Pensak, Cum Laude

Danielle Lynn Petrilak, Cum Laude

Jennifer Lee Price, Cum Laude

Eva Ranay Rappenglueck

Alivia Jean Ann Rarick

Jerenis Marie Resto-Medina

Deenna Catherine Richmond

Angel Marie Roberts

Riese William Roberts

Kathleen Grace Rodenbach, Cum Laude

Ryan Matthew Schur

Samantha Sheridan

Caroline Amalia Skade

Morgan Marie Smurl

Ami Lynn Sohns, Cum Laude

Mikayla Marie Stuenzi, Cum Laude

Damien Surridge

Ashley Mariah Symons

Nicholas VanFleet, Cum Laude

Koyotie John Vilchock

Thomas Ralph Vokes III

Benjamin Levi Walker

Jacob Ryan Wescott, Cum Laude

Breanna Elizabeth Wood, Cum Laude

Jessica Lee Zajac, Cum Laude

Lauren Alexis Zotta

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.