PUNXSUTAWNEY — Students who were inducted into the National Honor Society were honored at the annual banquet that is put on by Rotary Club of Punxsutawney Thursday at the Punxsutawney Country Club.
"The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise," said Dave London, principal of Punxsutawney Area High School and Rotary Club member.
London said, speaking to the members of the National Honor Society, that as they become young professionals somewhere, he hopes they'll consider joining a Rotary Club.
"We take ladies and gentlemen into the Rotary Club wherever you choose to live," he said. "Our Rotary Club in Punxsutawney raises a lot of money, which is used to benefit projects all over the globe."
He said the Rotary participates in many things.
"This is just one of the charities we have, sponsoring things for the students in the National Honor Society," London said, before introducing the juniors who were in attendance: Tamara Anthony, Laura Chelgren, Elizabeth Depp-Hutchinson, John Gigliotti, Emily Horner and Danielle Mallory.
Juniors who were not in attendance included Lauren Giavedoni, Haley Hartman, Tessa Spearing and Emily Travis.
London then introduced the senior members and gave some information about each one.
• Jaelene Burkett is from the Reynoldsville area, attended SS.C.D. Elementary School and is the secretary of the National Honor Society.
London said her parents are Kevin and Ann Burkett. In school, she participated in girls' tennis and Spanish Club, was selected as the Student of the Month and works in the high school office.
"Her most notable global project for her to work on is to find a cure for cancer," he said.
London said Burkett's most memorable high school moment was the experience of being an office helper and that she likes living in Punxsy because it's a small community and it's a great place to raise a family.
"Jaelene plans to attend Clarion University to major in early childhood education and hopes to volunteer at a church to serve her community in the future," London said, adding that she thinks the most important National Honor Society pillar is having good character because it shows you're reliable and trustworthy.
• Christopher Fairman is a former Rotary Boy of the Month, lives in Sprankle Mills and attended Mapleview Elementary School, said London. He said his parents are Bob and Peggy Fairman. London said he has been on the Math Club, Math Team, Science Club, high honor roll and the National Honor Society.
"He would like to see cancer be cured; his most memorable high school moment was surviving AP Calculus," London said.
Fairman likes the small-town feeling of Punxsutawney and plans to go to Wyotech in Blairsville.
"He thinks leadership is the most important pillar in the National Honor Society," London said.
• Elizabeth Keller is president of National Honor Society and is from Punxsutawney. London said she attended Mary A. Wilson Elementary School, and her parents are Lisa and Rod Keller. Keller has been in Spanish Club, Bible Club and Key Club, was named Student of the Month and is an Americorps volunteer.
She would like to see awareness of extreme poverty in developing countries solved in the next 25 years. He said her most memorable high school moment was that one time she received the highest grade in a Calculus final. London said Keller's future plans include attending IUP for Spanish education and International Business.
"She plans to serve her community by continuing her mission work in Guatemala and obtaining her ESL degree so she may teach English in a third-world country," London said.
He said service is most important to her, because you must first help others and appreciate the life that you have and the opportunities that you are given.
• Sarah London of Big Run was one of the last students to attend Big Run Elementary and attended Bell Township, Dave London said, adding that she is Dave and Mary Kay London's daughter. He said she's been in the Drama Club, Student Government, Bible Club, Spanish Club, Select Ensemble, Varsity Club and Key Club. She was a Student of the Month in grade 9,
Career Women's Girl of the Month and a Variety Show emcee, and she played girls’ golf. Dave said Sarah would like to see clean drinking water provided to everyone in the world.
"Her most memorable high school moment was being an emcee of the Variety Show along with her best friend, Caroline Dunkel," London said, adding what Sarah liked best about the Punxsutawney community is that everybody knows everybody, and it made for a great place to grow up.
Dave said Sarah's future plans are to attend Penn State University to major in hotel hospitality management.
"Her dream is to plan weddings at Walt Disney World and possibly pursue a career in acting," he said.
He said character is most important to her, because at the end of the day, that is what everything comes down to.
• Garrett Neal is the son of Gary Neal and the late Joann Kerr and attended West End Elementary School, London said, adding that his activities have included Spanish Club, Science Club, Math Team, former Rotary Boy of the Month, Student of the Month and PRIDE student.
London said Neal's global issue to be solved would be to end discrimination across the world.
"His most memorable high school moment was being in the Variety Show, and he said the best thing about the Punxsutawney community is Punxsutawney Phil," London said.
Neal is planning to attend Penn State University for aerospace engineering.
• Levi Sikora plans to attend Penn State University for petroleum engineering, London said, adding that he wants to make petroleum drilling safer. London said, "He thinks character is most
important, it shows how you have values of yourself for others.”
Sikora attended West End Elementary School, and his parents are Christopher and Kelly Sikora, London said, adding that he was on the Math Team, was Rotary Boy of the Month and that he would like to see cancer eradicated across the globe.
"His most memorable high school moment was when he got his first race car," he said.
• Jerod White, who London noted was the prom king, is the son of Harry "Butch" and Rosemary White.
London said White has been in the Math Club, Spanish Club, Math Team and Shadow staff, where he serves as the managing editor. He has been named Student of the Month and Rotary Boy of the Month, and he's on the high honor roll.
"Jerod would like to see hunger eradicated across the globe," London said, adding that Jerod's most memorable high school moment was the Spanish class field trip to New York City.
He said Jerod likes that Punxsutawney is famous but has maintained a small-town feel.
London said Jerod plans to attend Penn State University with English education as his major.
"Jerod would also like to see a cure for Alzheimer's disease, which runs in his family," London said.
Scholarship is Jerod's favorite pillar of NHS.
Seniors not in attendance included Lauren Ball, Alexander Bevak, Drew Cooper, Sydney Dubensky, Alannah Malia, Trevor Peace, Taylor Phillips, Austin Sabatucci, Katelyn Sallack, Alexa Shaffer, Ashley Walls, Sydney Weaver and Ty Zimmerman.