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PAT CROSSLEY/Sun-Gazette Other area honored seniors included (from left) Kathleen Wentzler, Perakovich, Dustin Stoetzel, Emma Logue, Zachary McGuire, Kendall Kelley, Alliyah Kennedy, Addison Heasley, Brennah Kennedy.

When nine local high school graduates honored at the 21st Education Celebration venture out into the world upon their upcoming graduation, the world will benefit from this group of intelligent, compassionate students. And as Jason Fink, President/CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming County Chamber of Commerce, who presented the event, said, “Hopefully they will return to live and work in the area after they graduate.”

Here are some interesting facts about the group.

Brenna Kennedy

As a student at Hughesville High School, Brennah was involved in many of the school’s clubs, from the Yearbook Club to Students Against Drunk Driving. She is a Senior of the Month winner and is a Fellow of the National Honor Society. She volunteers at a local vet and for Toys for Tots. When she introduced Brennah, Andrée Phillips, chair of the student interview committee, said it is her “Enthusiastic about mathematics”

“She discovered that transition processes differed from person to person, and as a result learned to personalize instruction, articulating and reformulating mathematical concepts so students could better understand them. She learned to appreciate people who think differently and gained confidence in breaking down barriers that hinder learning.” Phillips said.

Students across the country were asked about their concerns, which Brennah says relate to the climate, factory farming and renewable energy.

She plans to study environmental technology with a focus on renewable energies.

Dustin Stoezel

A senior at Jersey Shore Area High School, Dustin’s activities include piano lessons, jutsu karate, the Science Olympiad team, snowboarding and personal fitness.

He placed second in both the Agribusiness and Business Law tests in the FBLA at the regional level. He received the Good Citizen for Antes Fort Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. He packed lunches for the #weSHOREcare project and volunteered at the church.

“Dustin describes a good work ethic as being persistent and knowing when to take a break and get on with the task at hand.” Phillips said.

Dustin said his concerns are with the economy and the incentives that pay people not to work. He plans to pursue a law degree with a specialization in small business.

Allyia Kennedy

A Loyalsock Township School District senior, Allyia is a member of the collegiate basketball, softball and golf teams and participates in the Key Club and FBLA. She has written in all three sports and was a district champion in softball and basketball.

She has worked with elementary school girls, helping them develop basketball and softball skills. Allyia helped coordinate and conduct vacation Bible school activities and helped make goody bags for children with cancer.

“[Allyia’s] The definition of a good work ethic is doing your best and providing the best service and product that you can. For her, an engaged community is the most important resource a place can have,” Phillips said.

Alliyah will study actuarial science at Elizabethtown College.

Addison Heasley

Addison is a senior at Montgomery Area High School and top of her class in her 62nd grade. She and her team were awarded best videography for their video. “What’s so cool about manufacturing.” She is associated with the Virtuoso Musical Theater Ensemble at the school, has performed in 13 shows and three vocal concerts, and was WVIA Performing Artist of the Year. She volunteers with events in nursing homes, the Linus project and the construction of stage sets.

“Addie believes that passion can transform the most boring task and is the best motivator,” Phillips said.

Addison is most concerned nationally about human divisions, the politicization of parties, race, gender and COVID, Phillips said.

“We’ve lost the ability to disagree without being uncomfortable,” Phillips quoted Addison as saying.

She will study biology or organic chemistry at Penn State.

Kathleen Wentzler

A senior at Montoursville Area High School, Kathleen lists track and field, yearbook staff, Key Club, and Boy Scouts of America Troop 21 among her activities.

She is number two in her class and is a member of six honor societies.

Kathleen has “mastered prioritizing decisions to achieve self-care and balance in her life,” Phillips said.

“She cited a good life lesson in saying no.” Phillips shared.

“She is wise beyond her years” and “appreciates community service and always gives her best”, Phillips added.

Her national concern is treatment and immigration facilities.

“She remarked that even though we are faced with endless choices, we no longer focus on helping others, but on helping ‘me.'” Phillips said.

Kathleen plans to study science.

Zachary McGuire

Zachary is a senior at South Williamsport Area High School and is involved in band, choir, tennis and theater. Phillips described Zachary as a historian, photographer, actor, and drum major at his school.

He decided that the most important life lesson he learned is “to enjoy the time you put into what you do, turning it into something you want to do rather than something you have to do.” Phillips said.

“His perspective not only focuses on the positive but has propelled Zachary to a higher level of success. His positivity is evident in the school project he initiated to boost morale and kindness.” She added.

He counts among his awards, Senior of the Month and Year and a member of the PMEA District Band.

He plans to enroll in a five-year architecture program when he attends the college of his choice.

His national theme is the environment and designing buildings seems to fit in well.

Emma Logue

A senior at St. John Neumann Regional Academy, Emma cites competitive dancing, athletics, and yearbook co-editing among her many activities. She has won the Bishop’s Youth Award, Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, Academic End of Year Excellence Awards and is a Diocesan High School Scholar.

Phillips said Emma is a competitive dancer and spends at least 16 hours a week perfecting her art.

“Emma’s essay focused on the importance of balancing your life, mind, body and spirit by loving God, yourself and your neighbors.” Phillips said.

At national level, she is concerned about the polarization of political parties and their uncompromising attitude.

She plans to study biology at Dickinson College.

Kendall Kelly

Kendall is a senior at Williamsport Area High School and her activities include St. John’s School of the Arts, Marching Millionaires, Les Chanteuses and school musicals.

She is first in her class of 404.

Kendall earns her Gold Award in Girl Scouting by starting a career project by providing professional clothing and personal hygiene products to the less fortunate.

“She describes herself as very outspoken and stands up for everything she believes in. Black Lives Matter is the issue she is strongest on when she believes in giving everyone an equal chance at everything.” Phillips said.

Kendall will be attending Penn State University as a biology pre-med major with a specialty in cardiothoracic pediatrics.

Willow Perakovich, the senior at Muncy High School, was honored as an outstanding senior at the event.



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