389 Liberty Grads Begin '2nd Mile' of Life

“The Miles of Life” was the theme as 389 Liberty High School seniors became graduates last night in Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena.

Samuel Rodriguez Jr., the commencement speaker chosen by members of the graduating class, told the audience, “Graduation from Liberty represents the conclusion of the first mile and the commencement of the second.”

He explained how in the 13 years of their school careers his fellow graduates “have acquired academic fundamentals” as well as other “essentials of success in life.”

But in addition, he said, “We have acquired discipline and the ability to grow further toward wisdom. We have acquired a special pride and an intimate sense of unity.

“Above all is our recognition that in this life we do not want to merely survive, but we want to succeed.

“We must not be satisfied with just reaching the reachable and conquering the conquerable. We must use all of the essentials which we now have within our grasp to reach the unreachable, to conquer the unconquerable.”

David Minor, the commencement speaker chosen by the faculty, pointed out, “Throughout our years of education, our purpose has not been to learn the right answers, but instead to see how diverse subjects as literature, mathematics, history and science are all related. We have been presented with the searches which people who have preceded us have made.

“Now our turn comes, our chance to take the opportunity and initiative and search for ourselves.

“Look around you and notice the events which touch your lives and why they affect you. Do not let the last 13 years be a waste. Continue your learning throughout your lives.”

Liberty’s commencement was moved from the school’s campus to the arena this year to provide more space and to eliminate concerns about heat in the gymnasium and rain when attempts were made to hold it in the stadium that have made ceremonies uncomfortable in the past.

Students were recognized for academic achievement by Principal Anthony Ruggiero and for school and community service by Assistant Principal Edwin E. Abel Jr. and acting Assistant Principal Roberta J. Whitcomb. Jean Trend, guidance counselor, recognized those students receiving scholarships.

Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Thomas J. Doluisio presented the class, and John F. Spirk, president of the Bethlehem Area School Board, awarded diplomas.

School and community awards were received by James Cho, altruism; Carol Ann Dittbrenner and Angela Quartuch, both American Legion Grabar Lucas Post for citizenship; Michael S. Brown and Kevin L. Mingora, both Art Gallery for excellence in art; Rebecca E. Little, Bausch and Lomb science; Michelle Ann Germuga, Bethlehem Education Association, citizenship; Kristine M. Berback, Morris Black Award for citizenship; Keith J. Facchiano, Renee N. King and Raymond Reed, all Cauldron for work on yearbook; Amy Hagemann and Rodriguez, both Class of 1920 award for citizenship and service; Joanne M. Allegra, Class of 1942 award for citizenship and service; Delton J. Costan Jr., Arthur Black Award to outstanding senior wrestler; Michael Dwinal, Class of 1980 for efforts on behalf of colleagues; Lisa M. Langensiepen, congressional citizenship for contribution to school and community; Irene I. Kim, Daughters of the American Revolution for citizenship; Thalia E. Kiapokos, Daughters of Penelope for contribution to school community; Jason C. Reed and Mary E. Harvey, both dramatics; Kimberly Enstrom, Kim,Marci S. Simon, all French; Debra S. Bader, German; Dittbrenner and John B. Williamson, Spanish; Joseph F. Brandon, Joseph P. Frey Award to outstanding lineman on football team; Robert M. Simons, Harold Groman Award of American Legion Band for instrumental music; Maria del Carmen Rosada, Jean Hafner Award to student with appreciation for quality of life and achievement of educational goals, and Little, Daughters of the American Revolution history.

Also, Buss and Minor, both Raymond R. Hoffert Award for music; Rodriguez, human relations award for development and improvement among students of different cultural backgrounds; Christine K. Bonney and Kimberly Enstrom, both Interact Club; Little, Jamesway Corp. for highest academic rank; David C. Nonnemaker, Mark John Kelly Memorial Award of achievement in graphic arts; John B. Callahan, John F. Kennedy Award for contribution to school at large; Denise A. Beidelman and Gregg J. Albus, both Keystone Savings for high academic attainment in business program; Brian Kroelich, Donald R. Kilpatrick Award for outstanding performance in soccer; James A. Austin, Charles A. Klein Award for service to fellow men; Stacy A. Wescoe, Knights of Columbus Trinity Council for strong moral influence; Peter Chaikowsky and Little, both booster club for school citizenship; Claudine Celebuski, Robert Galle, Thomas J. Husser III, Christopher W. Shade and Wescoe, all Liberty Life for work on school newspaper; Margaret E. Farrell, Ida C. Marakovits Award of Bethlehem Teachers’ Federal Credit Union for contributions to school community; Renee E. Gonzalez, marketing and distributive education; Alissa S. Witiak, outstanding student in instrumental music; Buss, Musicians Association Local 411; Jessica R. Thompson, Pennsylvania Playhouse; David A. Bader and Chaikowsky, both perfect attendance in Grades 9-12; Tricia K. Glancy and Kevin R. Oliver, both perfect attendance in senior year; Gwen Kay and Scott E. Snyder, both Phillip F. Phillippi Award to athletes for contributions to school; Christina M. Jackson, Dawn M. Palhofski, Robin L. Shoemaker, Simon, Beverly A. Smith and Joanna Villani, all Margaret Randt Library Club for outstanding service to school library; Earl J. Kinsley Jr., Joseph J. Risbon Award for outstanding leadership; Little, Debra Bader and Allegra, all Society of Women Engineers for accomplishments in science and mathematics; Beth Horninger, Sons of American Revolution for scholarship and character; Nancy Romig and Warren West, both outstanding athletes; Buss and Minor, both theater music; Crim and Melissa W. Tiers, both Carlton S. Weaver Award for music; Neil Szanyi, William Shakespeare Award for commitment and contribution to classic literature; Deborah Ann Scheetz, Woman’s Club Award for art; Buss, Woman’s Club Award for music; Jennifer L. Peischl, Bethlehem Area School District Woman’s Club Award for creativity, scholarship and enthusiasm; Tamara A. Bloss, Dorris R. Young Memorial Award in home economics; Chaikowsky, Kraig Eric Yurchak Memorial Award for high academic average and participation in athletics, and West, Jerry Zerfass Award for outstanding member of football team backfield.

Band and orchestra awards were presented to Karen S. Becker, Joshua L. Bees, Facchiano, John S. Hayes III, Jay J. Holzinger II, Smith and Szanyi.

Choraliers awards went to Bees, Buss, Crim, Lynn A. Faraldo, Jennifer L. Fischel, Sean Grove, Heather Heslin, Tammy Jo Hittinger, Holzinger, David C. Kolman, Jacqueline Podhany, Paul N. Ritter, Kasey M. Rogers, Brian K. Sharer, Szanyi and Melissa W. Tiers.

Stage arts awards were presented to Fischel, Carla L. Forschner, Julie C. Frankenfield, Kay, Renee N. King, Julie A. Meckley, Podhany, Christifer F. Portner Jr., Kimberly A. Schmoyer, Shade, Sharer and Sara C. Steiner.

Student government awards for contributions to the school were received by David J. Danner, LeeAnn R. Dipeppe, Erin M. Hart, Kim, Langensiepen, Little, Simon, Villani and Witiak.

Students receiving the technical theater arts award were Matthew J. Boyer, Douglas W. Caldwell Jr., Jeffrey H. Demerjian, Hart, Davis C. Kolman, Witiak and Ronald C. Woodley.

Students recognized for receiving scholarships and awards were Kristine M. Berback, Buss, Celebuski, Enstrom, Frankenfield, Hittinger, Beth Horninger and Peischl, all American Association of University Women; Beidelman, American Business Women’s Association Bethlehem Chapter; Richard DeJesus, Bethlehem Area School District Freedom-Liberty Run Scholarship; Horninger, Truman L. Frey of Bethlehem Area Foundation Scholarship; Nora Jane Kubat, Bethlehem High School Alumni Award; Colin D. Benert, Bethlehem Lions Club Edward C. Kunow Education Fund Award; Chaikowsky, Jeffrey Stephen Capuano Memorial Scholarship; Peischl, Class of 1960; David Paul Brown and Germuga, both Fountain Hill Exchange Club Scholarship; Peischl, GFWC Woman’s Club of Bethlehem; Eric G. Williams, J.F. Goodwin Scholarship Fund; Jason C. Reed, International Paper Company Chairman Fellowship Scholarship; Lealan Zaccone, Johnson and Wales College DECA Scholarship; Deborah Ann Scheetz, Charles A. Klein Scholarship; Hagemann, Ladies Auxiliary of Muhlenberg Hospital Center Volunteer Services; Rodriguez, Larrazza and McDonald Corporations Scholarship; Yuzhang Duan, Merit Scholarship to Northampton County Area Community College; William K. Sassaman, Comenius Scholarship of Moravian College; Szanyi, National Merit Scholarship sponsored by Richard King Mellon Foundation; John B. Callahan, National Merit Scholarshipsponsored by UPS Foundation; Horninger, Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association; Ronald C. Woodley, Pennsylvania State University both Navy ROTC and Scholars Program; Jason C. Reed, Joseph B. Preletz Memorial; Brian K. Sharer, Warren R. and Sadie Roberts Estate; Dwinal, Ross-Hulman Institute of Technology; Deborah Ann Scheetz, Spring Garden College Scholarships, both competition award and trustees scholarship; Stacey Colleen Sullivan, St. Joseph’s University Board of Directors Scholarship; Benert, Walter A. Schrempel Memorial Scholarship presented by Rotary Club of Bethlehem; Betty S. Parente, UNICO Bethlehem Chapter; Renee N. King, Washington College, both 1782 Society Scholarship and George Washington Scholar; Todd A. Burkhardt, Chaikowsky, Matthew J. Hosfeld and Michael Issa, all Michael Glenn Memorial Award, and Jason C. Reed, Kraig Eric Yurchak Memorial Scholarship.

David A. Bader
David A. Bader
Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Data Science

David A. Bader is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science at New Jersey Institute of Technology.