Dunmore High School Class of 2020 Valedictorian: Bell Pendon

DHS Valedictorian - Bell PendonBy Steve Svetovich

The reality is still setting in for Dunmore graduating senior Bell Pendon. 

Daughter of Janet and Reynold Pendon, Dunmore, Bell said she feels “humbled” after learning late last month she is the Dunmore High School valedictorian.

“At first when I was told,” she said, “it didn’t feel like it was real. It took me a while to take it all in. Now I am getting used to it.

“I feel very humbled and grateful.”

Bell, 18, will be attending Bucknell University next year on a Dean’s Scholarship. She will study psychology.

Bell, who has an infectious giggle, said she wants to become a psychiatrist eventually. She will combine the sciences with psychology. The Dunmore scholar said her best subject is English, but she likes science the best.

“I am going to study psychology,” she said, “because I always wanted to help people. I have seen first hand how mental health issues affect people’s lives and I want to be in a profession to help.”

Bell loves to be active and play a big part in school activities which is evident by her membership in numerous clubs. She is a member of the Student Council, Yearbook staff, Drama Club, Newspaper Club, Earth Club and is a football cheerleader. 

Bell enjoys acting and was in various plays at Dunmore High School. “That was a lot of fun,” she said. “It is nice to be involved in a lot of clubs at school. I thought drama was great.” 

She talked about her experience at Dunmore. “It was such a welcoming experience. The teachers and my fellow students supported me so much. They made me who I am today. I am very grateful.”

Bell said she enjoys baking and her favorite musical artist is Taylor Swift.

She has two sisters, Cessna, 21, and Marchete, 19, both Dunmore graduates. Cessna attends the University of Pittsburgh and Marchete goes to the University of Chicago. Higher learning obviously runs in the family. Her sisters have been very positive influences on Bell.

Born in the Phillipines, Bell came to Dunmore with her family when she was in the fourth grade. She talked about the differences in two countries. “Well, it is warmer in the Philippines,” she said, “but here there are many more opportunities. There were certainly a lot of clubs to join in at school. I made many friends.”

Humble in nature, Bell said she learned “perseverance and kindness” from her parents. She said her Dunmore teachers always taught her “to be curious.”

Bell said she spent the past several months studying at home, spending a lot of time with her family and practicing “social distancing” during the on going COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bell said she is excited about attending college at Bucknell. “I am very excited about meeting new people and taking on higher education learning. It will be a different kind of learning with college professors. My experience at Dunmore will help me. 

“My goal is simply to lead a happy life.” 

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