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Hanover Area, Nanticoke Area teaming up on field
for a good cause
Steve Bennett - Citizens Voice
When Nanticoke Area and Hanover Area had their exhibition baseball game
postponed prior to the start of the season, it figured to be just another
game lost to poor weather conditions.
But Hanover Area junior Matt Clarke had an idea, and it showed that when
times are tough, positive things can come out of the most heated rivalries.
Not long after Nanticoke Area senior Aaron Kreitzer was diagnosed with
leukemia in March, Clarke approached Hanover Area coach Mike Zapotoski
about playing a game to benefit Kreitzer and his family. Zapotoski called
Nanticoke Area coach Joe Yudichak, and Yudichak didnt hesitate.
From there, Nanticoke Area athletic director Ken Bartuska thought it would
be a good idea if the softball teams from both schools became involved.
And next Sunday, a doubleheader will be held at Hanover Area with all
proceeds from the event going to the Kreitzer family. The Nanticoke Area
and Hanover Area softball teams will play at 1, with the baseball teams
scheduled to play at 2. Both games are exhibitions.
He was going to be one of my senior leaders and a starting outfielder,
Yudichak said of Kreitzer, who is receiving treatment at Geisinger in
Danville. It is tough to put into words. This never happened to
me with a player in 30 years of coaching. It shook up the whole team.
The whole team is battling through it with him.
The connection between the two schools goes well beyond the rivalry. There
are friendships that have been forged, and Aarons father, Brian,
is a health and physical education teacher at Hanover Area. He teaches
alongside Hanover Area softball coach Kathy Healey. And, to take it a
step further, Aarons cousin, Kyle, is an assistant baseball coach
at Hanover Area.
Once Clarke came up with the idea of the game, Kyle Kreitzer took the
ball and ran with it, mainly to keep the pressure of putting together
something like this off the kids.
When Kyle asked if the softball team wanted to play, we said we
absolutely would, Healey said. The Hanover kids love Mr. Kreitzer,
and they said they would do anything for him. A lot of our players know
Aaron; they definitely want to help.
The teams sold shirts for the game at a cost of $15, and the shirts the
players will wear are donated by Senator John Yudichak and Joe Yudichak
Sr. A limited number will be sold at the games on a first come, first
The team brought it up, and I took it upon myself to take charge
of it, Kyle Kreitzer said. Aaron is my cousin. We are pretty
close. I grew up with him; we spend all the holidays together. We would
hang out, go over his house swimming and all that.
Kyle Kreitzer came up with the design for the shirts.
I wanted to do something simple, he said. His jersey
number (17) will be on the jersey and the word Fight is across
the back. Just a way of everyone coming together to fight for him and
with him. Everybody will be wearing the number 17.
Reality kind of sets in and you put all the rivalry stuff behind
you. Especially with (Aaron) being a family member. It is nice for both
communities to come together. Both communities are connected to him. It
is nice we can all come together and have a game for him.
Pat Revello from Old Forge, another relation to the Kreitzer family, is
donating pizza for the event. There is also a contingent from Old Forge
that will be traveling by bus to the games. They will be wearing similar
shirts to the players only theirs will be gold. Also, baked goods
will be available, and there will be raffles and a 50-50 drawing. There
is no admission fee to attend the games, but fans will be asked to donate
money for parking.
Its a great thing, it shows that two rivals can come together
and do something for a kid that is in need right now, Yudichak said.
It is amazing that (Clarke) could come up with an idea like that.
When (Zapotoski) called me to see if I wanted to set something up, I was
thrilled. I am happy that the kids care. You see the heart in a lot of
people when something like this happens.
Yudichak said players from Nanticoke Area are constantly in touch with
Aaron Kreitzer via text message. The Trojans wear a ribbon on their hat
and a patch on their jerseys as a way to honor him.
I cant stress enough what a good kid he is, Yudichak
GNA travel programs broaden horizons
By Madelyn Bugdonovitch, Newspaper In Education student columnist
Traveling can open minds,
giving a new sense of responsibility and a new sense of self to the traveler.
The Greater Nanticoke Area High School gives its students the chance to step outside
the mere walls of the classroom and take advantage of opportunities to get out
of town, out of state, and even out of the country.
is so personally enriching; you get to see how other people live and think. As
a teacher, it is amazing for me to see students so engaged in such a different
environment, said Linda Kelchner, Spanish teacher at GNA and chaperone for
many of the international excursions.
many of its programs, Greater Nanticoke Area affords students the opportunity
to experience new places and cultures, to talk with people of other nationalities,
to try foods different from that which they are used to, and to really step outside
of their comfort zone and explore the world around them. They also get the chance
to meet students who are traveling from other areas, and in some cases, to form
lifelong friendships. By choosing to travel, students are allowing themselves
a chance to grow and change in many positive ways.
For many students at GNA,
this is their first time traveling alone without their families. This environment
provides a chance to develop essential life skills such as decision-making, self-sufficiency,
and money and time management.
Studying abroad and traveling internationally
can help bring about a sense of independence that is essential for life after
high school. These unique opportunities have been offered thanks to teachers who
know and understand both the personal and educational value of international travel.
GNA has teamed up with WorldStrides to educate and make dreams
of travel come true.
WorldStrides has more than 50 years of travel experience,
taking more than seven million students all over the globe.
not just a travel company but an actual accredited school. Its just like
other schools, but without the walls. They have a curriculum and an academics
department that offers official academic credits to student travelers. Student
travelers have the chance to complete online courses regarding the location they
have travelled to and the things they experienced while there. By completing these
courses, students can earn free high school credits and/or three college credits,
truly making the most of their international travel.
Costa Rica trip
year, students from GNA traveled to Costa Rica. It was a nature-based trip that
included time spent in the rainforest where students observed and studied the
bats that inhabit the area. The travelers tested the waters of the Sarapiqui River,
ran various experiments, and participated in many exciting activities, such as
ziplining through the jungle.
I watched students grow and begin to take
risks. I watched them learn and become willing to try new things. Seeing these
children develop, I find, is more rewarding than the trip itself. It was amazing
to watch them discover a whole new side to themselves, said Kelchner.
who attended this trip experienced something profound and returned with a new
perspective and an improved self-confidence. We had a student who absolutely
did not want to zipline and, on the way up inside of the tramcar, he was second
guessing his decision. Later on, that particular student was ahead of me. I called
out, Hey, are you liking it? and his response was, No, Im
loving it! This brought tears to my eyes because here was a student who
was dead-set on not participating. He took a risk and then had an amazing life-changing
experience, stated Kelchner.
This year, Peru
For the 2016-17
school year, students from GNA will travel to South America and spend 10 days
exploring the country of Peru. This is a cultural and historical based trip where
students will visit several sights and museums in Lima including the Lima Cathedral,
the Plaza de Armas, the Presidential Palace, and the famous Larco Museum, where
more than 4,000 years of Peruvian history is showcased.
After sightseeing around
the City of Kings, students will fly to the Sacred Valley of Cusco,
the heart of the ancient Inca Empire. There, they will follow the Inca Trail and
visit several historic sites, such as the ancient ruins and temples, and the Inca
baths of Tampu Machay. Travelers will participate in a full day excursion
to explore Perus most famous destination, the Lost City of Machu Picchu,
which sits high up in the Andes Mountains. They will also be spending a few days
exploring the Amazon Rainforest. Additionally, unique educational experiences
will await them in Peru, where students will be visiting an Incan Tribe to learn
about, watch, and participate in one of their ancient rituals to honor and give
thanks to Mother Earth. Students will be spending time at a Peruvian School where
they will have the opportunity to interact with Peruvian students. These are just
a few of the incredible places and exciting things the students at Greater Nanticoke
Area will be fortunate enough to experience.
Next year, Iceland
year, students will be given the rare opportunity to visit Iceland for an entire
week of nature and science based experiences and experiments. Students will find
themselves face to face with opportunities to view some of the most amazing sights
in the world and can explore Icelandic life and visit numerous museums and villages
in and around Reykjavík. Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and
Ice due to the many volcanoes and glaciers that cover the country.
students will study volcanoes, climb massive glaciers, explore ice caves, observe
geysers in action, and hike to breathtaking waterfalls. The trip will conclude
with a swim in the Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal spring. It is sure to be
an adventure that students will not soon forget.
The Greater Nanticoke Area
School District also offers a variety of travel opportunities within our country
as well. Members of the chorus enjoy a trip to New York City every spring where
they sightsee and attend a Broadway show. The Marching Band embarks on an annual
trip to various locations where the days are filled with fun and interesting events,
sights, and activities. In past years the GNA Marching Band has visited Boston,
Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New York City, and even ventured
across the border to Canada to visit Toronto and Niagara Falls. Seniors at GNA
have the chance to visit Washington D.C. with their American Civics classes and
also travel to Florida every spring to spend a week in Disney World and at Universal
Studios. All of these opportunities provide the students at Greater Nanticoke
Area with affordable, once in a lifetime experiences and unforgettable memories
they can carry with them throughout their entire lives.
These experiences can
undoubtedly help shape the students at Greater Nanticoke Area, giving them a sense
of purpose and place in the world, as well as helping them establish lifelong
values, priorities, independence, and confidence. Lessons learned while
traveling definitely transfers into students lives when they return home
as well. I think they gain a lot of patience but, most of all, an opening of their
world view, said Kelchner. The benefits of travel are endless and students
can gain invaluable perspective of the enormous and diverse world around them.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama summed it up best when she said: ...studying
abroad isnt just an important part of a well-rounded educational experience.
Its also becoming increasingly important for success in the modern global
economy. Getting ahead in todays workplaces isnt just about the skills
you bring from the classroom. Its also about the experiences you have with
the world beyond our borders with people, and languages, and cultures that
are very different from our own.
Madelyn Bugdonovitch is a sophomore
at Greater Nanticoke Area High School. Student columns are published Wednesdays
during the school year.
they now?' Successful GNA alumni share their stories
Harley Larue - Greater NanticokeArea news
In "The Allegory
of the Cave," Plato argues that those who have achieved enlightenment have
a certain obligation to help those who have not yet attained such wisdom. If one
applies Plato's concept to the field of education, it becomes apparent that a
responsibility exists for those who have achieved academic success in the classroom
and accomplishment in vocation. At Greater Nanticoke Area, the cyclical nature
of education is displayed through the output of the "Where Are They Now?"
section of our high school newspaper, The GNA Insider.
The GNA Insider highlights
the happenings within Greater Nanticoke Area High School and gives students, teachers,
and community members a unique inside glimpse into life at GNA. From academic
achievement to athletic accomplishment, The GNA Insider covers all aspects of
student life. The "Where Are They Now?" section, however, was created
in order to give GNA Alumni a chance to inspire current students to believe that
dreams can come true. With the continued success of our graduates, there is plenty
of opportunity to reach out to accomplished alumni who are always eager to reciprocate
"Where Are They Now?" is published in every edition of
The GNA Insider. Student journalists research the whereabouts of successful alumni
and later conduct interviews with them. In the interview, former graduates discuss
their current occupation and then explain how they attained success in their given
profession. Though each interview is vastly different, they all possess a commonality:
each graduate gives credit to the people of GNA who helped make their dreams become
Dr. Stanley J. Dudrick,
Dr. Stanley J. Dudrick, a 1953
graduate of Nanticoke, former surgeon, and former professor at the University
of Pennsylvania, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Yale University,
and Misericordia University, among others, is best known for a device he invented
that successfully fed people through I.V. This specialized central venous feeding
technique is called Intravenous Hyperalimentation (IVH), which has been acknowledged
as one of the three most important advancements in surgery during the past century
along with open heart surgery and organ transplantation. The GNA Insider interviewed
Dr. Dudrick, asking him questions about his education, work, and life. He provided
much insight, gave students advice on many levels, and discussed the importance
of participation in GNA' s extracurricular activities. "We were blessed with
a wide assortment and variety of extracurricular activities to supplement our
formal education in a manner which allowed all of us to pursue interests and challenges
outside of the curriculum," he said. He went on to praise the climate at
Nanticoke. "The entire culture of the Nanticoke High School community was
friendly, congenial, educational, helpful, supportive, and dedicated to our best
interests, starting with the faculty and administration and pervading throughout
the entire student body." Dr. Dudrick left students with some final words
of wisdom. "Prudently establish your goals and then focus on achieving them
by working as hard, conscientiously and consistently as you can toward achieving
them. Never give up. Finally, remember that if you always do good, you will do
COO, USMD Holdings
The GNA Insider was
also able to speak with Michael Bukosky, a 1971 graduate of GNA, who is currently
the Chief Operating Officer of USMD Holdings and President of Physician Practices
Management. He has served as Chief Executive Officer of University of Louisville
Physicians and also as the Chairman of the Board for American Medical Group Association
(AMGA), whose member organizations employ over 175,000 physicians and provide
healthcare to one in three Americans. Bukosky stated, "GNA was a caring family
in a safe and positive environment. From the superintendent to the teachers, to
students, we all cared for each other. The community of the school along with
the entire city of Nanticoke prepared us well as to how we should treat others
in our entire adult life." His advice to students is quite simple. "Follow
your heart, be thankful for your health, your family, and all who have supported
you in school, in your faith and those close to you. As an American, there are
no limits, the opportunities are endless, and in the end, and most important,
be happy in what you decide to pursue."
Natalie Thimm, a 1987 graduate,
spends her days busy as a makeup artist. Her work has been featured in many movies
and television shows and she has worked with numerous celebrities, including Alice
Cooper. When The GNA Insider spoke with her, she told students, "There is
always someone who wants your job, but the key is to have a positive attitude,
no matter how bad your day is going. Having a strong will and loving what you
do is important."
State Sen. John Yudichak, a 1988 graduate, told The
GNA Insider that he had "many great teachers" and offered students this
piece of advice: "Study hard, work hard, and put forth effort. Enjoy your
classmates because high school goes by quickly." State Rep. Gerald Mullery,
also a 1988 graduate of GNA, expressed a similar sentiment regarding GNA. He credits
much of his success to his teachers, whom he described as, "encouraging and
always saying you could accomplish whatever you put your mind to."
Hofherr, who graduated in 1995, worked his way from the hallways of GNA into the
upper echelons of one of the largest and most influential universities in the
United States. He currently holds the title of vice president and chief information
officer at The Ohio State University. His success has been an inspiration to many
students and his advice to GNA is simple
"Read. Ask. Be brave, be humble,
and be accepting. Simplify." He explained to students that they should be
proud of their school and community. "I am never so proud as when I talk
about where I came from and giving back is such an honor."
a 2001 graduate, has held multiple positions with Disney, including working as
the general manager for the Disney Theatrical Group and as the associate company
manager for The Lion King and Mary Poppins North American Tours. Michael explained
how GNA was a place "where individual differences melted away, and the focus
was on celebrating ourselves as a whole school." He explained to students
the importance of extracurricular activities and involvement in the arts. "Participating
in these groups prepared me tremendously for life after high school. The most
important things I learned were to stay organized and to keep your promises. The
arts have played a major role in my overall character development."
Gesecki Holt, a 2006 graduate of GNA and an alumna of the United States Naval
Academy, was among the Navy's first female officers to serve aboard submarines.
Abby accredits many of her achievements in her naval career to GNA, especially
athletics, which helped her with overall character development. "I believe
playing team sports was one of the most significant experiences that ultimately
prepared me to become an officer in the Navy. I learned that being a leader is
so much more than just being a good athlete. It's about how you perform when the
game is over. It's about representing your school by carrying yourself with pride
and respect and setting a good example for those who look up to you."
GNA graduates featured in the "Where Are They Now?" section of The GNA
Insider include Harry Hamilton (GNA '80), member of the 1982 Penn State National
Championship football team, former NFL safety, and federal government attorney;
Jimmy "Mac" McDermott (GNA '88), local hall of fame inductee and semi-professional
baseball player who is currently a Senior Oncology Accountant Manager for Exlixis;
Daryle Cardone (GNA '89), a 21-year veteran and current Prospective Executive
Officer of the Navy, graduate of the Navy Weapons Fighter School (TOPGUN), who
has flown over 120 combat missions; Ellen Bartuska (GNA '90), member of the 1990
Trojanette State Championship team and current Zookeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo;
Lynette Paczkowski (GNA '97), Notre Dame graduate ('01) and lawyer who made her
way onto the Worcester Business Journal list of "40 Under 40" in the
Boston area; Petrina Mashala ('98), a United States Secret Service Uniform Division
Officer; Robert Oltra (GNA '00), Field/Segment and Associate Producer on Dancing
With The Stars for 8 seasons who has worked on the sets of many popular movies
and T. V. shows, and Michael Bernatovich (GNA '03), a NASA employee who spends
his days designing spaceships.
Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger once said,
"The most powerful thing you can give someone is hope. Giving your spirit
to other people and giving them the feeling of, 'you know, it was worth it, all
of this hard work.'" Every day in the Greater Nanticoke Area school system,
students bear witness to certain elements of this institution that truly complete
it as the perfect environment for budding bright minds to live, learn, and dream.
A special bond is shared among us who "ever praise the white and blue."
Though our graduates may find themselves hundreds of miles from the school they
once called home, they never forget their roots and are always willing and eager
to return to their alma mater and give back.
Harley LaRue is a sophomore journalism
student at Greater Nanticoke Area High School. Student columns are published Wednesdays
during the school year.
await students upon start of new year
Amy Scibek is leaving Wyoming Valley West as State Street Elementary School
principal to become principal at Greater Nanticoke Area High School. Also at Greater
Nanticoke Area, the district is temporarily closing Kennedy Elementary School
this year because of an upcoming construction and renovation project there.
Because Kennedy Elementary will be closed, second-grade students will attend the
Elementary Center and fifth-grade students will attend the Educational Center.
Both schools are at the Kosciuszko Street campus in Nanticoke.
school students will be getting new Google Chromebook computers to use in their
classrooms, and teachers in grades K-7 will use a new mathematics program called
Go Math, Superintendent Ronald Grevera said. The new series provides
teachers with a variety of Common Core-aligned materials, and officials hope it
increases math achievement in the district.
As the new high school principal,
Scibek will be examining the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
curriculum, Grevera said. The district is adding a new high school course
Scientific Research and Design. Its intended to introduce students to the
skills needed for technical careers such as engineering and scientific research,
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
Wednesday, Aug. 31
Greater Nanticoke Area