Dunmorean of the Month: Gia Occhipinti

Gia OccipintiBy Steve Svetovich

When you talk to Dunmore High School senior Gia Occhipinti, her humble and gentle nature stands out.

And it is not hard to notice how much she loves her fellow students and teachers.

Daughter of Ron and Christal (Costanzo) Occhipinti, Dunmore, Gia, 18, with all her humility, is quite an accomplished student at Dunmore High School.

And she has evolved into quite a leader.

Presently, she is ranked number one in her senior class. She has a 99.4 academic average, including a grade of 100 so far in all four years studying French.

She has earned many awards in the National French Exam and completed the Leadership Lackawanna’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program.

Gia was chosen as a counselor for RYLA youth leadership program. She is the Dunmore High School president of the National Honor Society. She is a varsity football cheerleader co-captain. She is editor of the Dunmore High School yearbook.

Gia’s mom said her daughter’s work as a counselor for the RYLA youth leadership program  was life changing.

“The Dunmore Rotary Club sent me to Keystone College for two summers in 2017 and 2018 as part of the youth leadership awards program. I was a counselor for high school sophomores. I was in charge of the Art group. Being a counselor for those two summers really taught me a lot.

“It really was a very influential part of my life. I was kind of shy growing up. By taking on a leadership role, it changed the way I conduct myself and gave me confidence.”

Gia is unsure about where she will attend college, but wants to study biology and pre dentistry in hope of eventually becoming an orthodontist.

Her favorite academic subject is French.

“I hope to pursue French as a minor in college. My French teacher at Dunmore, Mr. Lucas, has served as a mentor for me. He gives me great advice about life and opportunities.”

Gia, polite and well spoken, said her parents have been huge influences. “My parents teach me to be a good person in life. They gave my brother Justin and I a great set of morals and values. Their code of ethics helped make me a good student and friend.”

Gia has truly loved her experience at Dunmore. “It has been so great here at Dunmore. I wouldn’t change anything about it. I have such a close knit group of friends. I love them all.

gia“And I have to give a shout out to all my amazing teachers. They are all like extra mothers and fathers to me. I have learned so much from them.”

Gia talked about what it takes to be a good cheerleader. “It is very necessary to be punctual for practice. You need to get to practice on time to focus on your skills.

“Most of all you need to show a lot of school spirit. You need to get your school pumped up.”

Gia enjoys listening to music in her spare time. She would love to see Khalid, an R and B Rap artist, in concert.

In the meantime, Gia will focus on her final six months at Dunmore. “It is such a great school. We are all very close here.”

Athlete of the Month: Emma Coar

Athlete of the Month - Emma CoarBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore High School Homecoming Queen Emma Coar has many passions, but one stands out.

She is a kicker for the district champion Dunmore football team.

Daughter of Thomas and Jennifer Coar, the multi talented senior is also ranked second in her class with a 98.9 academic average.

Emma excels on the Dunmore soccer team where she is a captain and two-time All-Star. She is a member of the school band, member and treasurer of the honor society, vice president of the Spanish Club, treasurer of the Music Guild and writes for the school newspaper.

And it was Dunmore veteran football coach Jack Henzes, currently recuperating from a heart ailment, who asked Emma to join the football team.

“Coach Henzes asked me in gym class,” said Emma. “He saw me in kickball and liked how I kicked.

“I thought about it and looked at it as an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I looked at it as a great way to remember my senior year.

“My parents were very supportive. They had my back and were there for me. They always teach me to have a strong work ethic.”

Emma went on to excel as a kicker. She kicked over 40 extra points for the district champions.

“It was not a problem with the boys on the team. They looked at me as another athlete on the team. Just like anyone else. They never looked at me as different.

“The practices were not that hard for me. I pretty much was on my own with workouts during practice.

bucks“Coach Henzes continued to support me. He is always very supportive. Even though he was out, Kevin McHale and the other coaches were always in contact with him. Coach McHale was also very supportive.”

Emma, humble and hard working, said she is undecided about a college major but would like to attend the University of Scranton. Her favorite subject is history.

“I like all my classes though.”

Emma enjoys music and would love to see Khalid, an R and B rap artist, in concert.

She talked about another one of her passions, soccer.

“I love soccer,” she said. “You need to put in a lot of work and time to excel in it. You need to be passionate about it.”

Emma said her experience at Dunmore High School has been awesome.

“I learned a very good foundation for my future. The teachers and coaches have been great. I made a great group of friends who I will always be in contact with no matter where we all go to college or in life. 

We will be friends forever. It is really a great school.”

Dunmoreans Take the Stage in Annual “Nutcracker” Production

Nutcracker DunmoreBTOS5312Dunmoreans featured in the 43rd annual free performance of The Nutcracker presented by Ballet Theatre of Scranton and Marywood University include, Mary Katherine Connor, standing, and Celia Eagen, seated.

Artistic Director Joanne Arduino is also a Dunmorean.

Shows are scheduled for Dec. 26, 27 and 28th at the Marywood Sette LaVerghetta Theater at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each day.

Sponsored by Fidelity Bank, free tickets are available to the general public two hours prior to the specific performance at the Marywood box office.

For more information, visit www.balletscranton.org or call 570-347-2867.