Whitehall High School senior Alix Buskirk was chosen to receive the Travelers Protective Association of America’s Altruism Award April 12 for her dedication to her peers and her community as well as her accomplishments both academically and athletically.
The TPA Altruism Award honors those with a selfless concern for the well-being of others, and the staff at Whitehall High School unanimously determined that Buskirk was the most shining example of altruism at the high school.
This summer, the Miss Texas competition, held in Dallas July 1, will feature women from all over the state vying for the winning title and hoping to continue their journey toward Miss America. This year, one Miss Texas hopeful, Kelly Kercher, is from right here in the Lehigh Valley and is very proud of her Pennsylvania roots.
Whitehall High School senior Samantha Nino was selected to receive the Travelers Protective Association (TPA) of America’s Altruism Award April 6 for her natural leadership and volunteer service work, both in the school and the community.
The award ceremony was held at Northampton Banquet & Event Center, Northampton.
Chad Stefanyak, a counselor at Whitehall High School, spoke on Nino’s behalf, saying she excelled academically as well with a GPA over 4.0 and with a rank in the top 50 in her graduating class.
Twelve years ago, physical therapist Rowena “Row” Solomon decided to pursue her dream of owning a business that would offer a variety of therapeutic and rehabilitation services, along with other medical and general daily assistance all under one roof. She hoped to create a business that would be a “one-stop shop,” allowing her patients access to numerous services tailored specifically to meet each individual’s needs.
On Jan. 21, 1997, Beverly-Ann Smith first opened the door to her new business, Bev’s Cake & Candy Supplies, bringing with her only a few tables, some supplies, her homemade chocolates and her passion for making them.
Now, celebrating 20 years in business, one that began on what she calls “just a whim,” Bev’s shop has become more than even she ever dreamed it could be. With a lifetime of love and passion for baking goodies and making chocolates, Bev has brought something truly unique to her shop in Fullerton.
Whitehall artist Bradley Boyer has always enjoyed painting and is especially fascinated with impressionist art. As early as age 10, he was inspired by Claude Monet, the founder of French impressionist painting, and Pennsylvania impressionists such as Edward Redfield, Fern Coppedge and Lehigh Valley’s own Walter Baum, who founded Baum School of Art and Allentown Art Museum. Boyer would study their painting techniques with a magnifying glass, in order to best replicate their impressionist style while incorporating his own signature brush strokes and passion.
This year, the staff and students at Whitehall-Coplay School District’s Gockley Elementary welcomed a new principal, Denise Saylor, to their administrative staff.
Saylor began her career in education in 1994 as a kindergarten teacher in the Bethlehem Area School District and, two years later, joined Whitehall-Coplay School District as a third- and later a fourth-grade teacher at Steckel Elementary. In April 2006, Saylor became a guidance counselor at Steckel and remained there until September 2009 when she transferred to Zephyr Elementary as a guidance counselor.
Lois Favier moved back to the Lehigh Valley several years ago to be on hand and closer to help her elderly parents. Favier, like many other adult children of seniors, was concerned with her parents driving on their own to appointments, errands and leisure activities. After sharing this concern with others, she learned, aside from herself providing transportation or the use of public transit, there were not a lot of options for her parents to utilize, while still feeling a sense of independence, safety and affordability.
The last day of school for students and teachers is usually much the same. The warm, sunny weather is in full swing, and everyone is excited to take a break from their studies and enjoy summer. This past June at Gockley Elementary School, however, there were additional emotions in the air on the last day of school.
As the first-grade students left Gockley for their buses that day, they each hugged or gave a high five to Dr. Mary FeKula and presented her with either a heart or hand, with personal messages about their thoughts and feelings for her as their principal.
Whitehall High School senior Vanessa Pedraza was selected to receive the Travelers Protective Association of America’s Altruism Award for her dedication to her peers and those in her community. Patricia Lorenz, a guidance counselor at Whitehall High School, spoke on her behalf.
A ceremony was held April 7 at Northampton Banquet & Event Center.
Pedraza was chosen because of her leadership, commitment, perseverance and, especially, her concern for others, according to Lorenz.