Abington Heights graduates lauded, challenged during commencement ceremony

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com
Usher Jack Nealon, center, leads half the class as the graduates process into the stadium for the 2018 Abington Heights commencement ceremony June 22. - Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal
Trevor Gabura, left, and classmate Anthony Freda complete a special handshake after being introduced to the large audience at graduation. - Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal
Abington Heights 2018 class president and salutatorian Mateen Kasim had the opportunity to address graduation twice during the evening. - Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal
English teacher Marilyn Pryle was the featured speaker at the 2018 Abington Heights commencement ceremony. - - Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal
Abby Brown accepts her diploma from school board president Cathy Ann Hardaway. - - Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

CLARKS GREEN — English teacher Marilyn Pryle, who served as the faculty speaker, recognized the many triumphs the graduates have achieved and also challenged them to treat others with compassion and respect during Abington Heights High School’s Commencement June 22 at Comets Stadium.

“You are a class of many achievements, great and small, in academics, sports, music, arts, and all kinds of extracurricular activities,” Pryle said. “You’ve won awards, titles, medals, chocolate bars, and your fame is widespread. The ancient Greeks had a word for this: Kleos. It means your glory, your fame and outstanding deeds.

“The Class of 2018 has a great deal of Kleos. Now, you have a responsibly to take your talents and gifts and do good with them in this world.”

Pryle specifically urged the students to embrace everyone who comes into their lives.

“This life is a series of human connections and I would suggest that who you are as a person is even more important than what you achieve,” she said. “My challenge to you is not to change your own beliefs, but create a space to show hospitality in your heart for others. When you are truly present to others and let them exist without felling judgment, fear, anger or superiority, then you practice true compassion. Be kind…even when it’s not easy.”

Graduate Paige Morgan, who introduced Pryle, believes the teacher has made a great impact on many of her students.

“She has built her classroom on a foundation of positivity,” Morgan said. “Her devotion and love for teaching has changed the lives of so many people to come through Abington, including myself. I would like to thank her for being one of the kindest, most well-rounded individuals I’ve ever met and for making me a better person through her positivity and happiness both inside and outside the classroom.”

Class historian Siena Rainey spoke highly of Class President and Salutatorian Mateen Kasim, who will study Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh’s Honors College.

“His intelligence transcends far beyond academics,” Rainey said. “His intellect is prevalent in every conversation and his remarkable empathy guides him in this quest. I believe I’m right in saying that Mateen has somehow made a positive impact on each student in the Class of 2018. His interpersonal intelligence travels seamlessly between social groups. He has the capacity to befriend any person and deeply understand each one of them.”

Valedictorian Katie Dammer, who will study Neurobiology and compete on the cross country and track & field teams at Georgetown University, shared some lessons she has learned through running with her fellow graduates.

“There is always someone better than you at everything,” Dammer said. “This should be refreshing, not scary. Be prepared, enter the race anyway and fear no one. You have intelligence and grit so never count yourself out, even when it seems others have.”

Abington Heights Superintendent Michael Mahon, Ph.D. recognized graduate Luke Gualtieri, who plans to enter the military.

“There is always an element of service to community and country that motivates our young men and women to the calling of military service,” Mahon said. “That calling to protect our nation continues to be fundamentally important in our dangerous world.”

Usher Jack Nealon, center, leads half the class as the graduates process into the stadium for the 2018 Abington Heights commencement ceremony June 22.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_AH1-2.jpgUsher Jack Nealon, center, leads half the class as the graduates process into the stadium for the 2018 Abington Heights commencement ceremony June 22. Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

Trevor Gabura, left, and classmate Anthony Freda complete a special handshake after being introduced to the large audience at graduation.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_AH2-2.jpgTrevor Gabura, left, and classmate Anthony Freda complete a special handshake after being introduced to the large audience at graduation. Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

Abington Heights 2018 class president and salutatorian Mateen Kasim had the opportunity to address graduation twice during the evening.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_AH3-2.jpgAbington Heights 2018 class president and salutatorian Mateen Kasim had the opportunity to address graduation twice during the evening. Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

English teacher Marilyn Pryle was the featured speaker at the 2018 Abington Heights commencement ceremony.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_AH4-2.jpgEnglish teacher Marilyn Pryle was the featured speaker at the 2018 Abington Heights commencement ceremony. Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

Abby Brown accepts her diploma from school board president Cathy Ann Hardaway.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_AH5-2.jpgAbby Brown accepts her diploma from school board president Cathy Ann Hardaway. Tony Callaio | For Abington Journal

By Robert Tomkavage

rtomkavage@timesleader.com

Abington Heights High School Class of 2018:

Reenad Abdullah Alqahtani

Saud Abdullah Alqahtani

Lacey Marie Ammenhauser

Dominic Charles Angelicola

Emma Catherine Baker

Cassidy Ann Bartkowski

Micah James Beahan

Kyra Elizabeth Beckish

Lauryn Elizabeth Beermann

Robert John Berkmann

Joseph Charles Beyrent

Alexander Junda Bi

Ian Vasil Bichler

Sandon Tyler Birch

Savannah Marion Blaum

Christopher John Bochon

Maria Rosalie Bordonaro

Alec William Bradican

Gavin Chyle Bradican

Matthew James Brouillard

Abby Frances Brown

Alayna Lin Ann Brown

Madelyn Elizabeth Brown

Arielle Lee Burdett

Julia Grace Burke

Kyle Patrick Burke

Ryan Joseph Burke

William Charles Carey

Lauren Ann Carroll

Tricia Rose Caucci

William Beck Chickillo

Timothy Linton Christman

Kyle John Chrysler

Katherine Clare Clark

Emily Elizabeth Clauss

Cyler Austin Cleary

Ross Alexander Cohen

José Juan Colõn, Jr.

Skylar Melina Conway

Christian Anthony Coronel

Ariel Kimberly Corrigan-Mills

Audrey Elizabeth Cottell

Joseph Robert Cottone

Cameron Leigh Craig

Sydney Maya Crum

Katherine Eileen Dammer

Jackson MacDonald Danzig

Adam Benjamin Deák

Frank Joseph DeFazio

Ashley Nicole DeRiso

Aidan Steven Demkowich

Mary Siobhan Dempsey

Alexander Earle Derry

Isabelle Brooke Dikeman

Cecilia Ann Donahoe

Mariah Ann Dougherty

Lauren Michelle Durante

Savannah Glenn Evanski

Kazimir Joseph Fantanarosa

Ashlynn Maraid Fitzgerald

Evan William Florey

Skyler Lee Fox

Matthew Scott Franchetti

Anthony Edward Freda

Trevor John Gabura

Kaitlyn Rose Gilhooley

Breanna Megan Gillow

Cianna Marie Giordano

Austin Jesse Glidewell

Noah Alexander Golosky

Sha’Lena Leona Gonzalez

Joshua Robert Green

Kaleigh Taylor Greenish

Bristol Susan Grenfell

Carly Ann Grizzanti

Nathan Paul Gronsky

Luke Michael Gualtieri

Gregory William Guditus

Zackary Lance Guinup

Victoria Sharrice Gullone

Margaret Patricia Hall

Isaiah Nikolás Hall-Grzybowski

Alexander Mitchell Hamilton

Joseph Anthony Harrington

Garrett Scott Harris

Gena Arlene Harris

Alexis Christine Hazlett

Amanda Kate Hazlett

Frederick Lee Hickman

Christian Le Hicks

Cohen Lucas Hodge

Chelsi Ann Malia Hoffmeier

Owen Robert Holland

Victoria Bryn Hood

Sharon Jane Houlihan

Arick Vincent Howells

Arjun Iyengar

Tyler Franklin James

Hayley Nicole Jewett

Ian Christopher Jewett

Mats Michael Jonsson

Aidan Patrick Jordan

William Joseph Jozefowicz

Jacob Curtiss Judson

Mateen Kasim

Julia Alicja Kasperkowicz

James Tyler Kazmierski

Brandon Christopher Kelleher

Thomas Aquinas Kerrigan

Nicholas Jack Kester

Alex Michael Klucher

Jamie Jacob Kneiss

Benjamin David Knox

Alexis Koczwara

Paris Rachel Koehler

Austin Matthew Kohut

Kyle David Kostiak

Hannah Kowalski

Robert Andrew Krance

Alyssa Marie Kresge

Schyler Madison Krieger

Dawn Nicole Kroptavich

Cassandra Leigh Ksiazek

Caylee Joy Kull

Devin Reese LaRue

Thomas James Lacey

Jonah Michel Lambert

Theodore Edward Lambert

Morgan Lynn Landers

Christopher Gerard Langan

Jack Alexander Leightcap

Nacole Pearl Leonhart

Tyler John Lesjack

Hannah Lauren Linker

Juan Francisco Loboda

Alexa Aurora Longcor

Rachel Anne Lorah

Kiera Lucash

Tara Elizabeth Lydon

Carolyn Teresa Lyon

Isabel Kathleen MacGregor

Samantha Elizabeth Machler

Cole David Maciak

Parker Ryan Maday

Emily Marie Mahoney

Joseph Henry Makowski

Emma Grace Marion

Christian Joseph Matsell

Kento Matsui

William Ray McDonald, Jr.

Jada Ausia McDuffie

Jasmine Jabreah McDuffie

Meghan McGinley

James Gerald McGurl III

Dylan Brett McHale

Molly Catherine McHale

Colin Patrick McIntyre

Bryan Francis Melliand

Alexis Lucia Mercado

Gabrielle Jane Michno

Eric Joseph Middleton

Antonia Veronica Milas

Clara Joy Miller

Mackenzie Marie Milo

Hector Emanuel Miranda-Santos

Haqique Mirza

Alexandria Moletsky

Abigail Elizabeth Molnar

Dylan Joseph Moran

Paige Elizabeth Morgan

Daniel Craig Muller

Grace Joan Murphy

Sarah Elizabeth Murray

Andrew Mark Myers

Sarah Christine Nealon

Liam Neary

Meghan Margaret Noone

Halle Elizabeth O’Neil

Brendan David Orlando

Nadia Alexis Orr

Chase McCreary Overholser

Pariseema Samir Pancholy

Mia Quinta Paris

Parth Pankaj Patel

Brian Peters

Luke Robert Petty

Samantha Lynn Petty

Bianca Marissa Pineiro

Seth Daniel Pollock

Matthew Dominick Post

Siena Rainey

John Robert Rama

Claire Helen Reed

Samuel Jack Remus

Kailynne Patricia Riker

Ryan Douglas Roberts

Emily Elizabeth Royce

Carina Danielle Salerno

Sage Nicholas Santarsiero

Christian James Schimelfenig

Tucker Michael Schimelfenig

Perri Leigh Scott

Phoebe Marie Sebring

Kelly Brinn Seechock

Johnathon Joseph Shaffer

Matthan Gregory Sherman

Jonathan Patrick Sileo

Lauren Elizabeth Simakaski

Mia Rosalie Smith

Schuyler Elizabeth Smith

April Marie Sokalsky

Naudia Mary Solan

Jordan Dune Spatt

Nichole Anne Spencer

Alexandra Marie Stanton

Kaila Rachael Steenback

Samuel Connor Stevens

Summer Michelle Stevens

Dakota Kevin Stiles

Katelyn Grace Stoppe

Caitlin Elizabeth Stoughton

Talia Rose Sullum

Marissa Catherine Sunick

Maria Rose Sutton

Alana Naveena Yasmine Swartz

David Allan Terhune

Nickolas Shaw Termini

Maria Grace Terrinoni

Courtney Marie Toroni

Adam Parker Traweek

Daniel Christopher Turshon

Daniel Joseph Uhranowsky

David Lee Urda

Vincent Anthony Vaccaro

Anna Camille Van Wert

Anshul Verma

Cameron Joseph Vishnesky

Brianna Jo Wahlers

Kimberly Ann Ward

Alexander Joel Waskovich

Benjamin Robert Weis

Hannah Elizabeth White

Jeffrey Connor White

Samantha Elizabeth Wilkerson

Ariana Elizabeth Wisenburn

Elizabeth Patricia Wright

Khira Lane Wudarski

Jonathan Ross Yocum

Alexandra Mary Zolin

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.

Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.