Thursday, December 1 2022

PROVIDED PHOTO Willow Perakovich, a senior at Muncy High School, has been chosen as an outstanding senior at the 21st Annual Celebration of Education presented by the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

Willow Perakovich of Muncy High School was chosen as the outstanding senior at the event.

In accepting the award, which comes with a cash award and scholarship, Perakovich recognized fellow honored students at the event.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who is here with me, because none of us would be here without hard work and dedication,” said Perakovich.

She also thanked her parents for their support. “whether athletic or academic or not.”

PAT CROSSLEY/Sun-Gazette Other local seniors honored were, left to right, Kathleen Wentzler, Perakovich, Dustin Stoetzel, Emma Logue, Zachary McGuire, Kendall Kelley, Alliyah Kennedy, Addison Heasley, Brennah Kennedy.

Student selection was made by members of the Education Celebration Committee and included an interview process.

Andrée Phillips, chair of the committee, shared some of the questions posed to the students during the interview.

“What life skills have you learned through extracurricular or community activities? » Phillips said. “We asked them which national issues are most important to you. And we asked them a lot of other questions because the interviews lasted about half an hour,” Phillips added.

Introducing Perakovich, Phillips said the elder said the “The most important part of volunteering is having a positive impact on someone’s life.”

“She helped clean up neighborhoods, mentored students through the National Honor Society, and volunteered with the FBLA,” Phillips said.

PAT CROSSLEY/Sun-Gazette Outstanding Educator Award winners, left to right, Nicole Kephart, Sara Watson, Brett Hofstom, Judy Christie, Richard Cassels, Melanie Rojas, Brad Watkins, Susan Holmes, Kirk Bower.

Perakovich has also worked with Aly’s Monkey’s Movement, which provides stuffed monkeys to people in need of comfort, especially hospitalized children.

“She is meticulous, confident, empathetic and a good listener. Willow’s national interests are the environment, hunger and global warming,” Phillips added.

Perakovich was top of her class of 81 and plans to major in mechanical engineering and business management when she heads to college in the fall.

Other honored students included Brennah Kennedy, Hughesville High School; Dustin Stoetzel, Jersey Shore Area High School; Allyia Kennedy, Loyalsock Township Secondary School; Addison Heasley, Montgomery Area High School; Kathleen Wentzler, Montoursville area high school; Zachary McGuire, South Williamsport Area High School; Emma Logue, St. John Neumann Regional Academy; and Kendall Kelley, Williamsport-area high school.

Educators from area schools were also honored during the celebration. Those who received the Outstanding Educator awards were Richard Cassels, East Lycoming School District; Nicole Kephart, Jersey Shore Area School District; Kirk Bower, Loyalsock Township School District; Brett Hofstrom, Montgomery Area School District; Susan Holmes, Montoursville Area School District; Bradley Watkins, Muncy School District; Melanie Rojas, South Williamsport Area School District; Judith Christie, St. John Neumann Regional Academy; and Sara Watson, Williamsport Area School District.

Outstanding Alumni Awards for graduates of the two local colleges were Suzanne Stopper, Lycoming College, Class of 1983; and Jonah Howe, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Class of 2007.

The Education Business Partner Award went to PPL Electric Utilities for their work providing safety education programs for elementary school students, donating over 130,000 books to children in 29 counties and improving the quality of education.

Each student received a cash prize to donate to the charity of their choice.

The evening’s prize sponsors were M&T Bank, cash prizes; Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Textbook Fellowship; and the Lycoming County United Way, LIVE UNITED in education award.

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