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School’s Out!

June 5, 2015 in Featured - Fink, Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 Summer Break POST BANN

Beginning Monday, June 15, 2015 through Friday, July 31, 2015, all MASD school buildings will be consolidated to Middletown Area Middle School for summer operations. The Middle School will be open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. with the exception of Friday, July 3, 2015 when all Middletown Area School District buildings will be closed for the holiday.

Building personnel and office phone numbers will remain unchanged. Signage will be posted within the building to direct visitors to the appropriate office within the building. For your convenience, the office locations are listed below.

  • Elementary Offices – Guidance Suite
  • Middle School Offices – Main Office
  • High School Offices – Room 135

Beginning August 3, 2015 all school buildings will reopen to prepare for the start of the school year.

School will resume Monday, August 24, 2015.

Class of 2015 Commencement

June 4, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

On Wednesday, June 3, 2015, Middletown Area High School held Commencement ceremonies at The Forum in Harrisburg. The 2015 Valedictorian was John Ponnett III and the 2015 Salutatorian was Joshua Alcock. Commencement speaker was Mrs. Leigh Hurst, Class of 1988.

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Free Summer Lunch Program

June 4, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

No need to register or sign up!
Just show up and join your friends for a nutritious lunch!

Middletown Area School District is participating in the Summer Food Service Program which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Free lunches will be provided rain or shine, Monday through Friday, to all children ages 18 and under. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program are the same for all students regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Middletown Area Middle School Cafeteria
June 9 - July 31, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Fink Elementary School
Held at War Memorial Field concession stand
June 9 – August 8, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Wesley United Methodist Church
64 Ann Street, Middletown
June 9 – August 7, 2015
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.


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Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA-related activity should immediately contact: USDA Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th & Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20250-9410, (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Four Raiders Take on the World!

June 1, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

15-16 Study Abroad POST BANNMiddletown Area High School is excited to announce that four students will be studying abroad during the 2015-2016 school year. You can read their personal accounts below as they each explain the journey they have taken that has led them to study across the Atlantic for a year.


Georgie M. Britcher, Oman

Georgie M. Britcher, Oman

In the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year I applied to study abroad for my sophomore year of high school. I applied for three different scholarships: the Speedwell Scholarship to Bosnia, the CBYX program to Germany, and the Kennedy-Lugar YES-Abroad scholarship to a country with a significant Muslim population. In February and March I received noticed that I received the Speedwell Scholarship as well as the CBYX. On April 6 I received noticed that I was one of 65 students nationwide who received the YES-Abroad scholarship to one of 12 Muslim populated countries. I was chosen for Oman.

The process for applying for a fully funded study abroad scholarship, especially three scholarships, was very time and energy consuming. In total, I wrote 14 essays. Four for Speedwell, four for YES-Abroad, and six for CBYX. The process to attain the YES-Abroad scholarship was the most time consuming and hardest to obtain as it the most competitive scholarship, but definitely the most rewarding. The YES-Abroad scholarship is fully funded by the State Department. The scholarship receives around 1,500 applicants nationwide and then selects 110 semi-finalists based on an Internet application to attend an In Person Selection Event (IPSE) in Washington, DC in March for a whole weekend of interviews and getting to know the other applicants. At the IPSE, YES chooses the finalists and their country placements and releases the notifications in April. Not only does the YES-Abroad Scholarship provide each participant with a fully funded scholarship, the scholarship also covers visa costs, an emergency disposable phone, and a monthly stipend for personal costs. The YES-Abroad Scholarship funded by the State Department was made in the aftermath of 9/11 to send students to countries with a high Muslim population so that we young americans can break down stereotypes between the two cultures. Through applying to study abroad I have not only grown closer to the girls here at my school who also applied to study abroad but also with kids across the nation who applied to study abroad with YES and I have made many new friends.

Receiving the notification that I will be spending my sophomore year abroad in the beautiful country of Oman was one of the best news. Four other girls and I will spend our year in Oman in the city of Muscat. Muscat is on the coast line of Oman and is the capital of Oman. The country of Oman is located in the Middle East on the Arabian Peninsula bordering Yemen and Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Sea. The official language is Arabic and the official religion is Islam. We will each get an individual host family and will attend a different private IB school where the primary languages of teaching will be English and Arabic. After school, I will go to the AmidEast Center, the program administrating me to Oman, and have extra Arabic lessons and a history class on Women in Islam and the history of Islam. I look forward to being an American Ambassador and to break down stereotypes between the U.S. and Middle Eastern cultures and to live with a Muslim host family and learn about the culture, the religion, the language, and how to be global citizen and a youth Ambassador from America.


Kelly R. Moyer, Denmark

Kelly R. Moyer, Denmark

I first heard about America Field Service (AFS) from Bailee Koncar when I met her during our high school volleyball season this past fall. She had just returned from Spain at the time, and we soon became friends. She would mention stories about her year abroad, and I became very intrigued with it. So when I heard that a spokesperson from AFS would be holding a meeting the following week, I obviously went. While I was there, I got to hear about Bailee’s journey as well as Natalie Souder’s, another MAHS student who studied abroad (France), and Rebecca Niccolai, who is a current exchange student at MAHS from Italy. I liked what I heard, especially the Speedwell Scholarship. The Speedwell Scholarship is only for students living in the Central Pennsylvania region (19 counties), and it grants thirty $15,000 tuitions to students every year. One condition that scares most students away from this specific scholarship is that you MUST select a NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING nation as your destination. Obviously, this did not scare me away.

When I began my application, I had to select a host country, fill out several papers and write four, one-page essays: why did I want to study abroad, what leadership skills I possessed, how would I cope while abroad, and why I would be a great ambassador for AFS. I chose the country of Denmark and turned my application in along with my four essays at the beginning of January. In mid-March, I received a call from an AFS Volunteer saying that I won a Speedwell Scholarship!! Yay!

Since receiving this news, I have applied for my visa and received my passport and have been placed with a host family. I will be living with Jesper and Anne and their son Valdemar in the port-town of Holbæk, which is located on the North Eastern Region of Zealand. One thing that I am extremely excited about is the fact that I will be about an hour away from the Capitol, Copenhagen!

I will be enrolled at Stenhus Gymnasium og HF as a junior. I do not know what classes I will be taking yet, but I assume that they will be similar to what I would have taken if I was at Middletown Area High School: Physics, History, Mathematics, English, Danish, Gym and Spanish. I plan on trying many new sports, and my host family has also found me a club team for volleyball!


Erin N. Templeton, Norway

Erin N. Templeton, Norway

Before the fall of 2014, I had never really considered the idea of studying abroad in high school. It was always something that I would do in college or when I was older, but after listening to the presentation at our school for AFS (American Field Service), how could I say no? Then, when I was informed of the Speedwell Scholarship which provides the full tuition to study abroad for thirty students in the Central Pennsylvania region, my thought changed from, “Why should I go?” to “Why should I stay?” I’ve been excited since the beginning and it is only growing as I get closer and closer to departure.

This August, I will be leaving to study abroad in the country of Norway for an entire year with AFS. I do not have a host family or location just yet, but AFS has been great at teaching me a lot about patience! I will be speaking the Norwegian language in my home and at school while I am abroad, and I have begun to teach it to myself through the Internet and Duolingo. My goal while abroad and when I return is to improve the cultural awareness of my family and friends and to encourage others to study abroad as well. Takk for å lytte! (Thank you for listening!)


Jasmine M. Rivera, Spain

Jasmine M. Rivera, Spain

I won a scholarship to study abroad in Spain through the Speedwell Foundation. The Speedwell Foundation is paying the full tuition of about $15,000. Unlike Erin, Kelly, and Georgie, when I first applied for the scholarship, I was rejected and was made an alternate. I then had to write letters to the foundation and explain my intentions for studying in Spain. Now that I have received a scholarship and have been accepted by AFS Spain, I am waiting to receive my host family. I will be leaving at the end of August and will be back in the U.S next June. I am looking forward to this experience and am very excited! All of my teachers, specifically Mr. Kyser, my counselors, and the returnees I have met have helped me so much! I hope studying abroad will become a regular thing at our high school.

Howk & Ortiz Place at Film Festival

May 28, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody


Michael Howk & Gerry Ortiz

Two students at MAHS submitted video projects to the 2015 Cumberland Valley Film Festival. As part of Mrs. Justine Shippling’s Multimedia Designs II class, sophomore Michael Howk produced a documentary about bullying and junior Gerry Ortiz produced a commercial marketing his father’s restaurant. Both students received word that their films had been selected as one of the best in their categories and their work had been nominated for the finals! On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, the Film Festival was held at the Performing Arts Center at Cumberland Valley High School. At the Festival, both students learned that they had placed second in their categories! Michael and Gerry were called forward for recognition and a portion of their films were displayed for the audience.

Congratulations to Michael Howk, Gerry Ortiz and Mrs. Shippling for representing MASD with Raider Pride!

Class of 2015 Valedictorian & Salutatorian

May 21, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody


John A. Ponnett III
Class of 2015 Valedictorian

Class of 2015 Valedictorian, John A. Ponnett III

John Ponnett III is the son of Stephanie Ponnett and John Ponnett, Jr. both of Middletown. John has been a four-year member of the High School Band Program, participating in the marching, concert, and jazz bands. John has furthered his passion for music as a two-year member of the PMEA District 7 Concert Band, a one-year member of the District 7 Jazz Band, and a four-year member of the Dauphin County High School Concert Band. He served as MAHS Band President during his senior year and earned the John Philip Sousa Band Award for his dedicated service to the program.

John is also active in Middletown Area High School’s chapter of Future Business Leaders of America, which he helped to found in 2013. Serving as President this year, Ponnett attended the annual State Leadership Conference in Hershey for the second consecutive year. As Treasurer of National Honor Society for the past two years, he has been proud to make the High School shine in Middletown through committed community service.

John also had the privilege of participating in the MAHS senior internship program. John was placed in the Dauphin County Tax Collections Office to work alongside of tax collector Janis Creason. Initially Ms. Creason was a bit hesitant to take on a high school student. But it didn’t take her long to realize she had been assigned a uniquely gifted and high-capacity student. After witnessing John’s capabilities, she assigned him the task of creating a Small Games of Chance primer. Several recent amendments to the Small Games of Chance law had necessitated the need for an at-a-glance primer so staff members and the public could keep track of the new regulations. John did such an excellent job of creating the primer that it is now being utilized by the District Attorney’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office and is posted on their websites for public use.

In the fall, John will be attending Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business as a member of the Schreyer Honors College. He intends to pursue a degree in either Finance or Management.

Joshua Robert AlcockClass of 2015 Salutatorian

Joshua Robert Alcock
Class of 2015 Salutatorian

Class of 2015 Salutatorian, Joshua Robert Alcock

Joshua Alcock is the son of Robert and Paula Alcock of Middletown. Josh has been involved in many activities within and outside of the high school. He is a two-year member of the National Honor Society and the Future Business Leaders of America Club, where he currently serves as Vice President. Josh is also a four-year member of the marching, jazz, concert and county bands, in addition to participating in multiple ensembles. Alcock is actively involved in his youth group at Camp Hill United Methodist.

Josh has been a very active athlete at MAHS. In the fall, he was part of the soccer team for all four years, and a member of the football team for the past two years. In the winter, he was a four year leadoff bowler for the Middletown bowling team where he finished several games with a perfect score of 300. In the spring, he was a member of the baseball team for all four years. Outside of school, Josh has played recreational soccer and baseball as well as playing legion baseball for one year. He also keeps busy by serving as a soccer referee.

In the fall, Josh will be attending Penn State University, University Park, where he plans to major in Finance. Josh hopes to be part of the PSU bowling team, and would also like to be a member of one of the Penn State pep bands.

Bailee Koncar Earns State Award

May 21, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Koncar.Bailee POST BANN

Each year, the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association (PSMLA) selects a graduating high school senior who has exhibited excellence in the area of world language. PSMLA members from across the state are eligible to nominate students from their senior class who have excelled in language studies.

Middletown Area High School is pleased to announce that out of all the nominees from the entire state of Pennsylvania, Bailee Koncar was selected as the 2015 recipient and has been named the 2015 Outstanding High School Graduating World Language Student. Bailee will receive a monetary award, a certificate of achievement, and a letter of recognition from PSMLA acknowledging her accomplishments. Bailee will also be granted a one-year membership to PSMLA.

Bailee plans to pursue her passion for world languages by majoring in International Business and Spanish at Penn State University, University Park.


May 19, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

0 2015 Prom POST BANN

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District Attorney Ed Marsico Addresses Students About the Dangers of Sexting

May 19, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Dauphin County District Attorney, Ed Marsico, spoke to the students at Middletown Area Middle School and Middletown Area High School about the dangers of sexting. Mr. Marsico clearly defined sexting and several other technology based crimes such as cyber-bullying and cyber-harrassment. He gave examples of how once an individual hits “send” on any mobile device or computer, the content can never be erased even if the sender deletes it. The ability for recipients to save, take screenshots, forward messages and post information on social media instantly makes any content a permanent record. Students were warned to think carefully before sending or even taking inappropriate pictures. Even photos that have been deleted from devices can be located by computer experts. Mr. Marsico shared several real-life stories to illustrate the potential ramifications of sending inappropriate messages or photos. Consequences such as being fired from job, imprisonment, loss of reputation, unable to get a job again in the future, and even suicide are all very real outcomes that need to be considered when student think they are taking photos “just for fun.”

Mr. Marsico was an excellent communicator who kept the students engaged in this difficult content. He told several administrators that he was very impressed with the respect of the students at both MAMS and MAHS and commended them on their attention. Middletown Area School District is extremely grateful to has access to professionals who are willing to speak to our students and address these important topics.

Ed Marsico  Dauphin County District Attorney

Ed Marsico
Dauphin County District Attorney

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Signing Day – May 13, 2015

May 17, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

On Wednesday, May 13, 2015, four Middletown Area High School athletes participated in Signing Day. Coaches, administrators, parents and family members gathered to support the athletes as they publicly announced their commitments to play a sport at the college of their choice. Congratulations to the following Blue Raiders and their families.

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Kyle Finsterbush
Soccer at Millersville University

Kyle Finsterbush, son of Edward Finsterbush of Middletown, has committed to play soccer at Millersville University. Kyle played soccer and baseball all four years of high school and was also a member of Link Crew during his senior year. During both his junior and senior years he was selected as a First Team Mid Penn All Star in the sport of soccer. Kyle plans to major in Sports Management at MU.

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Harry Kapenstein
Tennis at PSU Harrisburg

Harry Kapenstein, son of Larry and Mari Anne of Middletown, plans to attend Penn State Harrisburg to play tennis and major in Business Management. Kapenstein played soccer, basketball, and tennis during all four of his years at MAHS and has chosen to continue playing tennis at PSU. During his high school career, Harry has been an honor roll student and was chosen for the 2nd team All Division Soccer. Under the coaching of Ms. Lynn Miller, Kapenstein was a district qualifier in doubles tennis his junior year and qualified for singles in his senior year. He ended his MAHS tennis career by advancing to quarter finals in district doubles.

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Morgan Taylor Light
Cheerleading at Penn State Altoona

Morgan Taylor Light, daughter of Charles Light and Patricia Hart, is headed to Penn State Altoona where she will lead PSU fans to route for the Nittany Lions as a member of the cheerleading squad. During her years at MAHS she has participated in cheerleading, Mini-Thon and chorus. Morgan plans to major in Elementary Education at PSU because of her love for kids.

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Jeyliane Rivera
Basketball at York College

Jeyliane Rivera, daughter of Arlene Quinones and Luis Roman, will head to York College to play basketball in the fall. Jey loves sports and plans to major in Sports Management so she can spend her life in the field of sports. During her years at MAHS, Jey has participated in basketball, track and Mini-thon. As a junior, Jey was selected as a First Team Mid Penn All Star and was a member of the Mid Penn Capital Division Championship team. As a senior, she was chosen as a member of the Honorable Mention All Star Team.

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MAHS Hosts First STEM Summit in Central PA

May 6, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

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STEM Video BANNOn Thursday, April 30, 2015, Middletown Area High School hosted the first ever STEM Summit in Central PA. The entire ninth grade class participated in this daylong event exploring Career Pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Educators have discovered that students develop an interest in science and math in middle school but their excitement dwindles as they enter high school. The goal of the STEM Summit is to inspire students to pursue an academic STEM focus in the remainder of their high school courses to help prepare them for STEM careers in the future.  In addition, by participating in hands-on, high-energy activities students realize that careers in math and science can be cool and a whole lot of fun! After the Summit, Guidance Counselors have a foundation to work with students on appropriate school course work.

Junior Achievement of South Central PA created the STEM Summit three years ago and has been offering it to freshman classes in schools in their region. As a member of the Central PA Junior Achievement, Mrs. Michele Myers, MAHS Career Coordinator, expressed interest in piloting the program for the Central PA region. Educators from surrounding school districts, who currently don’t have the STEM Summit available to their schools, came to observe the MAHS freshman in action.

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What is the STEM Summit?

The STEM Summit is a day long program held at a high school which consists of nine thirty minute sessions. There are three sets of experiments, three sets of competitions, and three sets of career panel presentations. Students participate in activities such as math problem solving, chemistry experiments, electrical assembly, physics experiments, and engineering. The fast pace and constant motion help create an atmosphere of excitement and energy. The program involves up to thirty business volunteers who work with the students during the day. Each volunteer has a specific STEM career and is able to share their background with the students as the day proceeds.

How did students describe their experience?

Blake: “What I enjoyed the most was rotating around and experiencing all the variety of careers there were to choose from. My favorite event was the Chemistry labs. I didn’t know I’d be interested in that before today and I really liked it.  We had a good time and got to learn new things because there was a variety of things to do.”

Ryan: “My favorite part of the day was Physics because of all the things we got to do like putting a stick through a balloon and the activity with the smoke in the trash can. When I had the cup on my head I couldn’t see the force coming at me but I could feel it. It was cool.”

Veronica: “I liked the Chemistry part because of all the experiments. We made foam insulation and watched elephant toothpaste explode. We made gooey worms and played with sand that wouldn’t get wet. I’ve never done anything like this before and it was interesting to me. I didn’t know I had an interest in Chemistry and today made me what to do more experiments.”

Thank you, Junior Achievement!

Middletown Area School District would like to thank the South Central PA Junior Achievement Chapter for assisting the Central PA Chapter in pulling off this pilot event for our region. We are also grateful for the many professionals in the STEM community who volunteered to make the day possible.

Students Serve at Local Food Bank

April 29, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

Several Middletown Area High School Special Education students serve their community weekly by volunteering at the Central PA Food Bank. As seen in the photos below, students work together to bag, weigh, seal, label, and box up bags of pretzels. Other students routinely assemble boxes so that the boxes are ready to be filled with food items for distribution to families in need. As new tasks arise, the high schoolers are trained to assist with the production. The service opportunity develops skills such as social interaction with other volunteers, following directions, respecting authority, and provides the satisfaction of being useful and productive while serving others. And it doesn’t hurt that the students have a blast hanging out together and get to snack on a few pretzels now and then!

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2015 MAHS Mini-THON Raises $21,295.49

April 22, 2015 in News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 MiniThon 4Middletown Area High School’s 4th annual Mini-THON celebrated its year long fundraising efforts on Friday, April 17, 2015 with a six hour, no sitting, dance marathon and collected a record-breaking $21,295.49. Throughout the year, the Mini-THON Committee organized many fundraisers and activities such as: “For The Kids 5K and Fun Run,” a “Night in Italy” spaghetti dinner, and the “Mr. Middletown Man Pageant,” along with many other canning and fundraising efforts to help raise money for the Four Diamonds Fund which aids children and families battling pediatric cancer at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The collaboration from the committee, students, faculty, administration, and community helped to fundraise and spread awareness of the Four Diamonds Fund. Great job to everyone involved!

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Botterbusch Aims High

April 10, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

William Botterbusch

William Botterbusch, a senior at Middletown Area High School, has been accepted into the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Botterbusch grew up in a military family; his father and grandfather both served their country as members of the army. This family influence increased Will’s interest in the military and developed a passion to serve his country. He grew up watching war movies and was inspired by his dad’s stories of his own army experiences. There was just something about serving in the military that caught his eye. And his heart. Will’s passion, combined with a fascination of airplanes and things that fly, fostered a dream to someday become a military pilot.

Will’s desire to fly grew throughout his high school career. He decided to pursue the daunting task of applying for the Air Force Academy which is a grueling process. One of the application requirements was to receive one of three available congressional nominations. Botterbusch completed interviews with Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr, Senator Pat  Toomey, and Congressman Roscoe G. Bartletta and received the nomination from Congressman Barletta. Will’s leadership experiences at MAHS were instrumental in building a strong resume. Botterbusch was captain of the Raiders’ football and wrestling teams. He also served as a class officer and a student council representative.

In January 2015, Will and his family received the news that he had been accepted into the Air Force Academy. He will head to Colorado Springs at the end of June to begin six weeks of basic training. Will plans to major in mechanical engineering and compete for a coveted pilot slot which would begin in his junior year. Upon graduation from the Air Force Academy, Botterbusch will serve a ten year commitment to the Air Force. Will hopes to be spending those ten years in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

MAHS 2014-2015 Choral & Band Achievements

March 19, 2015 in Featured News, News by Zorbaugh Jody

2015 HS Band Honors POST BANN

Christian Nordai, Brett Altland, Joshua Alcock, Nathaniel Gingrich, Aaron McDevitt, John Ponnett
Jessaca Rusnov, Serena Rizk, Fabiola Hernandez, Rachael Rusnov, Kyra Rizk
Shannon Reese, Allyson Marshall, Jenna Abbott, Samantha Altland

PMEA District 7 Chorus
Samantha Altland

Dauphin County High School Band
Jenna Abbott
Joshua Alcock
Brett Altland
Samantha Altland
Megan Burghdorf
Nathaniel Gingrich
Fabiola Hernandez
Aaron McDevitt
Meaghan Nelson
Christian Nordai
John Ponnett
Kyra Rizk
Serena Rizk
Shannon Reese
Jessaca Rusnov
Rachael Rusnov

Lebanon Valley College Honors Band
Alyson Marshall
Meaghan Nelson
Jessaca Rusnov
Rachael Rusnov

PMEA District 7 Band
Fabiola Hernandez
Aaron McDevitt
John Ponnett
Rachael Rusnov

PMEA Region V Band
Fabiola Hernandez
Rachael Rusnov

PMEA District 7 Jazz Band
John Ponnett