Dunmorean of the Month: Isabella Zeller

Dunmorean Miss Buck

By Steve Svetovich

Inspiring children and helping those in need are Dunmore senior Isabella Zeller’s goals in representing her school in 2020-21 as Miss Buck.

Daughter of Aimee and Larry Zeller, Dunmore, the new Miss Buck of Dunmore High School was humble, but excited when she learned about her new role as a senior.

“I am so excited to be able to serve as a role model for younger children,” she said. She is also following in the footsteps of her mother who served as Miss Buck during the 1994-95 season.

Isabella, 17, is an honor student with a 3.3 academic average at Dunmore. She is a member of the French Club, TACT and has been a basketball cheerleader for the past eight years, serving as co-captain this year.. She is a three-year member of the Dunmore tennis team.

Isabella, modest in nature, said her best academic subject is English. She wants to study Elementary and Special Education at West Chester University after she graduates from Dunmore in 2021.

Dunmorean Miss Buck 2She talked about her goals as Miss Buck. “I want to inspire young children and be a good role model. I hope to inspire young children to be twirlers. I want to help those in need.”

And her future goals? “I want to go to West Chester and become a special education teacher. I want to help young children with special needs.”

Isabella said she loves twirling and learned to twirl under the direction of the prominent Sherry Rubino Nicolais, Dunmore. She has been a twirler for the past 10 years. 

The Dunmore senior said her parents taught her well. “My parents always taught me to be kind to those in need.”

Isabella’s number one mentor in life is her grandpa, Thomas Carr. “My grandpa has always been a very hard worker,” she said, “He teaches me to never give up on anything. I learned about the value of hard work from him. He is retired, but worked for Dunmore Roofing and drove for UPS. He worked hard for everything he has in life.”

Isabella said she kept busy during the COVID-19 pandemic by practicing to become Miss Buck and preparing for the upcoming season.

She is proud to represent Dunmore High School as Miss Buck. “Dunmore High School has provided me with lifelong friends,” she said. “The bond you make with your classmates here is so incredibly strong and unbreakable. Dunmore has made me the person I am today.”

Isabella is an active participant in “Tomorrow’s Leaders of Today.” Her favorite musical artist is Harry Styles. “I like him because he treats people with kindness,” she said.

“I am really looking forward to my senior year and beyond,” she said. “I want to be a good role model for my school and set a good example for young children. I have great classmates and friends here at Dunmore. It is just a great experience.” 

Artist of the Month: Mary K. White

Artist Mary White

Mary K. White is shown with her painting Fox vs Hawk, which evolved from a simple picture of a fox into something more complex.

By Mary K. White

You never know when something will touch you and inspire you to put it on canvas.  The Fox vs Hawk started out very differently. It was going to be a simple picture of a fox, but I found myself thinking of a family member who was fighting a severe illness and had a ferocious determination to never give up, to get well, and recover completely.  

As I thought more and more about this person, a simple painting of a fox turned into a battle between a fox and a hawk.

I started coming to the Activity Hub about 10 years ago to take an oil painting class.  It was a wonderful class taught by Jill Swersie.   

Jill started everyone with the basics.  She suggested brushes that are best for oils, but inexpensive. She recommended several oil colors I would need for a basic oil pallet and she told me to start with a canvas no smaller than 16 x 20 inches. 

Everyone in her class is working on their own painting, so Jill during a class sits with each student helping them and recommending ways the painting can be improved.

The  Dunmore Activity Hub offers more than art classes.  Alison Boga, the director, has scheduled classes that members have requested and enjoy.  I have taken  knitting classes (taught by Bonnie Strohl), meditation classes, and Tai Chi, among others.  While the center is closed during this pandemic, Alison has scheduled many online classes through Zoom, which I have also participated in. At the Dunmore Hub, there is a little something for everyone.

Doin’ Dunmore: H.S. Seniors Volunteer to Help Children’s Advocacy Center

Doin Dunmore pic 2

Dunmore High School officers for the Class of 2020 included, from left: Katie Hilson, Mia Chiaro, Charles Valvano, Bell Pendon and Madilyn Cianci. Not pictured is Nick Stanco.

By Steve Svetovich

A group of Dunmore High School seniors received recognition for their volunteer service work in holding a fundraiser last December to help the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeast PA. 

Mary Ann LaPorta is executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeast PA, 1710 Mulberry St., Scranton. 

The Dunmore senior class officers who held the fundraiser during a basketball tournament in December were Nick Stanco, Mia Chiaro, Madilyn Cianci, Charles Valvano, Katie Hilson and Bell Pendon.

The Dunmore High School senior class officers’ fundraiser last December to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA was called “Silent Night 2019.” 

Students were asked to bring teddy bears to the basketball game for the children of the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA. The event collected 450 teddy bears and $350 in donations, said Rosemary Bohenek, fundraising and event coordinator for the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA.

The Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA named the six Dunmore graduates, all who were senior class officers, as Youth Ambassadors of the Year for Cocktails by Moonlight. The event to honor the six Dunmore seniors was supposed to be held this past April 5 at Fiorelli’s, Peckville, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Bohenek.

“Due to COVID, the event did not happen,” said Bohenek. “We have been unable to honor them and Dunmore High School. And they deserve to be honored for their volunteer work. 

Doin Dunmore pic

Dunmore High School senior class officers are shown making a donation to the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA. Shown from left are: Nick Stanco, Mia Chiaro, Mary Ann LaPorta representing Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA; Madilyn Cianci and Charles Valvano. Not shown are Katie Hilson and Bell Pendon.

“However, we nominated these Dunmore students as Youth Ambassadors for 2020 for their service work in 2019.

“The Dunmore community responded so well at the basketball game when the event was held. The kids were so great to deal with. They were so enthusiastic. The teddy bears were thrown onto the basketball court for the children. And $350 in donations were collected at the game. The Dunmore community really took part in this to help the Children’s Advocacy Center.”

The Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA, a non profit child abuse intervention center, began in 1998 through the work of Judge Michael Barrasse who decided children needed a different avenue to tell their stories of abuse and neglect. Previously, abused children had to go through multiple professionals and the court system and face their abuser after initiating allegations of abuse, said Bohenek.

Through the Children’s Advocacy Center, a child can now tell his or her story of abuse to one initial contact, said Bohenek. It then goes through a National Data Base and Children and Youth Services and then to the Children’s Advocacy Center, added Bohenek.

“The child’s story is admissible in a court of law and the child never has to face the perpetrator.

“It makes it much easier and less threatening for a child to report abuse. It goes right through us and just one initial contact.” 

Bohenek said the six Dunmore seniors, Dunmore High School and Dunmore community should be commended for their efforts in helping the children of the Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA.

“They really did a fantastic job. They were great.”