Annual Principal’s Reception recognizes student work, scholarship

Cole Skuse, Business Manager/Copy Editor

On the evening of May 23, high school students, parents, teachers and administrators met at the high school for a cause: to celebrate academic success. The variety of success was all put together into one event: the Principal’s Reception. This year, students were invited via a letter in the mail.

The event started around 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria where light food and beverages were served to the attendees. Tables were set up to hold the food and the tables in the middle and right side of the cafeteria were decorated for the occasion. From there, at around 7 p.m., everyone started to move into the auditorium, where the actual event was being held.

With the red curtain closed and a table set up for all of the certificates that the award winners would receive, the evening truly began. The first award was not for a student, but rather a teacher. Special Education teacher Jessica Fontaine was awarded Beaver County Teacher of the year from the Jumet Foundation. Several of Fontaine’s students along with her family showed up to the event to congratulate her. Vice Principal Steven Mott was the one who nominated her for the award. For winning the award, she received $500 for classroom use and $500 for personal use.

Next up, School Resource Officer Tom Liberty was presented with the Guy “Tippy” Tyler Award. The award is for officers who show service to kids in their school in the best way possible.

From here, guidance counselors Rita Kaplin and Chris Bennett took over presenting the awards. The senior Nicholas DiNardo received the first award of the night in the form of the American Legion Scholarship, from which Dinardo got a $1,000 scholarship. Following that, seniors Claudia Huggins and Melissa Keith were presented with the Anna Maria Folmar Scholarship. Two seniors are chosen to win the $500 every year, along with an alumni who receives $250. The award is given through the Freedom Cares Foundation.

Next up, a variety of awards were given out to BCCTC students. Senior David Messenger received an award for winning second place in a statewide culinary competition. Senior Dylon Hartigan and juniors Kenneth Grant and Dawson Gingerella received awards for their work in Business Information and Networks, along with Hartigan receiving a $6,000 scholarship. Four seniors also received awards for their work in HOSA: Ashlynn Young, Channing Baker, Raven Olson and Brooke MaKray.

Following those awards, senior Zach Rosa was awarded with the Carl Arbes Scholarship, which is for a student who intends to go into a STEM-related field. Following up that award, Keith received the Central Electric Scholarship in the amount of $2,000. Keith also was recognized and awarded with a $1,350 award from the Distinguished Young Women of Beaver County competition.

Additionally, senior David Eisenbrown won the Daughters of the American Revolution Award. The award is intended for students who are nominated by a teacher based on service, leadership and academics.

The Emily Hilliard Award was handed out next. The award is given to seniors in band who display the true attributes of a band students. This year, the two selected were seniors Samuel Romutis and Mikayla Evans.

Five scholarships from the Freedom Area Education Association were given out as well. Eisenbrown received one for $750, senior Isabella Krall earned one for $750 as well, senior Robin Kaufman was awarded with a $1,000 scholarship, senior Trisha Spechier received $500 and senior Marydeth Feits was the last one with a $750 scholarship.

The Freedom Middle School Parents Scholarship followed, which was awarded to senior Kaitlyn Lore and Feits. In order to be considered, they submitted essays highlighting the impact that a middle school teacher had on them. For Lore, it was eighth grade English teacher Chantelle McKim and for Feits, it was fifth grade teacher Tina Boyd.

Junior Cole Skuse was then presented with an award for his selection for the 2019 Governor’s School for the Sciences. Out of over 500 applicants, he is one of 50 chosen to spend five weeks at Carnegie Mellon University for a college science program over the summer.

A local scholarship was then presented: the Helen Bodkin scholarship. This scholarship was presented to Keith and senior Evan Seiber. The Jumet Foundation followed up with it’s own scholarship to Keith in the amount of $1,500 per year that she is in college.

Next up were three awards from the Freedom Lil’ Bulldogs. The first was the ASA Donaldson Award, which was given to Rosa. Senior Raeanna Glomosia received the John Challis award and senior Nicholas Wolfe received the Don Kemerer award.

Continuing with more awards, senior Noah Yeck was presented with a scholarship from the Livestock Club in the amount of $1,000.

Two juniors were then presented with awards for their achievements: Natalie Dubovi for reaching the high number of points in the year for Math League and Cade Skuse for reaching the national DECA competition in April.

The Pittsburgh chapter of the NFL Players Association then presented Rosa with an award on behalf of the organization.

Sophomore Keith Pawlowski was given an award for his work in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy for Sciences, in which he attended four Saturday morning workshops at local colleges. Cole Skuse and Huggins were presented with awards for placing first in their respective categories at the Pennsylvania Student Press Association’s state competition. Sophomore Samuel Covalt was awarded with a certificate for Best Editorial for the FHS Press’ staff editorial in October, which he wrote on behalf of the staff, combining the staff’s feelings on the topic of teen suicide awareness and prevention.

Senior Evan Larrick received a $300 scholarship from Pepsi Bowling and DiNardo took home an $8,000 scholarship from Slippery Rock University.

West-Aircomm Federal Credit Union presented Makray with a $500 scholarship. The scholarship is given to a student regarding their academics but also their dedication to improving their community. A branch manager from one of the credit unions presented McKray with the award.

Following all the recognitions and scholarships, seniors who received scholarship to various colleges were recognized. The seniors and their amounts are as follows: Kassandra DePoppe $14,500 for West Virginia University, Eisenbrown $24,000 for Penn State University, Jenna Engel $9,000 for Clarion, Abigail Evans $500 for Community College of Beaver County, Nathan Galderisi $10,400 total for Robert Morris University, Ashley Kanschat $12,000 for La Roche College, Keith $8,000 for Edinboro University, Chloe Keller $17,200 for Kent State University, Brianna Kidd $17,500 for La Roche College, Krall $10,000 for University of Pittsburgh, Steven Leasure $44,000 for Kansas University, Jacob Pail $2,000 for Edinboro University, Ethan Paxton $18,000 for Seton Hill University, Cody Ross $8,000 for Slippery Rock University, Katelyn Saunders $19,000 for Akron Art Institute, Myla Sharpless $114,000 for Florida Atlantic University, Samuel Socash $9,000 for Youngstown State and Young $60,000 total for Geneva College. All of those numbers were student-submitted. This made for a total of $464,100 in scholarships and awards for the night given to students.

The “Grit” Award came next, which Seiber received. The award is for a student who represents perseverance and strength who takes challenges they are facing and turns them into goals.

Though the reception generally focuses on academics, senior captains Keller, Taylor Greene and Alexsia Barlamas of the girls soccer team presented their coach Colin Williams with a plaque for the team’s achievement of being runner-ups for the state title.

Next came the Department Awards. The first award was for “Freshman Shining Stars.” This award is given to “two ninth grade students who embrace what they need to in order to be successful in high school.” Freshmen Carter Huggins and Madison Fessides won that award.

Next was the Choral Department award, which was given to senior Joseph Smith for his performance in the musical and band and chorus concert.

The next department award was from the English Department, presented by English teachers Aaron Fitzpatrick and Heather Giammaria. The “Up and Coming” award was given the sophomore Emily Ostrowski and the “Department” award was given to Huggins and Keith.

Following that, the Mathematics department presented their Up and Coming award to freshman Josh Pail and their Department award to Kaufman. The Performing Arts department followed, awarding sophomore Erica Gazdik the Up and Coming award and junior Camryn Hampe the Department Award.

The Physical Education department awards came next. The Up and Coming was presented to Jonathan Demar and the Department Award was presented to DiNardo and Speicher.

Science teachers Brian Wargo and Linnea Homa presented their department awards, giving the Up and Coming to Cole Skuse and Department to Kaufman. History teacher Nathaniel Langelli presented junior Evan Ruffing with the History department Up and Coming award and seniors Alexis Geimer and Sara Schoedel.

The Technology Education continued on with the awards, presenting freshman Norina Baker with the Up and Coming award, senior Cash Pcola with the “Ace of Action” award (an award designed for a student who is willing to do anything) and the Department award to Carson Burton.

Continuing on, the Visual Arts department awarded their Up and Coming to Covalt and freshman Emily Milligan. The Department award was given to Engel. The final department to go was the World Language department. The Up and Coming award was given to sophomore Angel Clinkscales and the Department award was given to Cole Skuse.

The final awards for the evening were the Principals’ Student of the Year. Principal William Deal went first and presented Eisenbrown as his choice of Student of the Year while Vice Principal Steven Mott selected Young as his choice.

Overall, the atmosphere of the evening was to the students as received the awards and recognition that they had worked so hard for over the year. As one of the last events of the year, the reception is one of the few closures of of academics for the year, especially for seniors, who will be going to their own ways in years to come.