Dunmoreans of the Month: Amanda & Rebecca Lucas

By Steve Svetovich

Raising two daughters as a single mom has its challenges, but Dunmore’s Janet Lucas has absolutely no regrets. And she sure did good.

Amanda Lucas, Dunmore High School Class of 2018 Valedictorian, and Rebecca Lucas, Dunmore High School Class of 2020 Salutatorian, daughters of Janet Lucas, Dunmore, and Curt Lucas, South Carolina, are now college students.

Both were officers and members of many clubs at Dunmore. Both participated in various varsity sports and cheerleading. They were asked to represent Dunmore High School in leadership roles, including the Rotary Youth Leadership Association (RYLA) and Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY). Both are active leaders in the Dunmore community.

Their proud mom feels their accomplishments are extraordinary coming from sisters two years apart. 

Dunmoreans of the Month - JANET & family

Janet Lucas, at left, is shown at her daughter Amanda’s graduation in 2018 when she was valedictorian of her class. At right is daughter Rebecca, who was salutatorian of the DHS class of 2020.

“As a single mom,” she said, “I have strived to make my daughters feel like they matter, and that they are loved unconditionally. 

“I always wanted Amanda and Rebecca to be respectful, grateful, thoughtful and conscientious. I worked hard to instill those qualities and give them a strong foundation. From there, it was all them.

“Their work ethic and self motivation is unbelievable, even when it was difficult. I am so proud of the young women they have become, and so excited to see what they will accomplish. I am in awe of my daughters.”

Amanda is a junior at St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, majoring in chemistry. She has an impressive 3.97 academic average. She serves as honor’s mentor for the Honor’s Program at St. Joseph’s. She is a resident assistant (RA) for a freshmen dormitory.

While at Dunmore, Amanda participated in golf, swimming, track and field, football cheerleading, yearbook editor, events coordinator for the engineering club, treasurer of the French Club and vice president of TACT. As a senior, she was Dunmore’s first female All Regional selection for golf. And she was class valedictorian and member of the National Honor Society. 

Articulate, courteous and polite, Amanda said she learned a lot from her mom. “My mom taught me about perseverance and hard work. In order to accomplish anything in life, you need to work hard at it. And she did a lot for me to help me along.” 

Amanda said she would like to eventually go to graduate school for Forensic Science and get into the field as a career. 

She said it is nice to see her sister do well in school. “It is a friendly competition and it’s good for us. She sees what I do and then strives to do better. It’s a good thing.”

Amanda, well spoken, has high praise for Dunmore. “It was so close knit and personal. We know all the teachers and they know us. It is also kind of cool to have your coaches as teachers.

“St. Joseph’s is also a small school. I have a small major and the same kids are in most of my classes. Right now we are wearing masks and social distancing. We social distance in the residence hall.”

Rebecca, 18, is a freshman at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia where she majors in Pharmacy. It is a six-year program and she has intentions of becoming a pharmacist. 

While at Dunmore, she was class salutatorian finishing with a 3.84 academic average. She was a member of track and field, golf, basketball cheerleading captain, Science Club, French Club, TACT, Art Club, SADD and National Honor Society. 

Also polite and insightful, Rebecca praised her mom. “My mom always taught me to work hard. She always tells me no matter what, it works out in the end. She is always there for me.”

Rebecca said she is grateful how Dunmore High School handled the pandemic. “Our teachers were very helpful getting us the information we needed online. They posted information on the AP test.

“Besides school work, I did a lot of running and spent time with family during the pandemic. It caused us to miss the track season.”

Finally, her class graduated this past July 17 in a small ceremony outdoors at the football stadium. 

Rebecca said her goal is to become a pharmacist and help with surgeries and new medicines. “Helping with new medicines is very important to me because of this pandemic.”

As Class of 2020 Salutatorian, she feels a sense of accomplishment. “I feel very honored. I put hard work into it and it paid off.”

She is also proud of her older sister’s accomplishments. “I have a strong sense of fulfillment for what she has done, but I don’t compare myself.”

Rebecca spoke glowingly of her experiences at Dunmore. “It was very fulfilling and heart warming. I received a great education and met a lot of amazing people.”

The sisters have one more thing in common. When asked separately who they would want to see in concert, if they could pick just one, both responded Harry Styles. 

Doin’ Dunmore: A Little Princess with a Purpose

Doin Dunmore - Avery Shivock 1By Steve Svetovich

Three-year old Avery Schivock is a little princess with a purpose.

Wearing her “princess dress” for the occasion, the Dunmore preschooler has an unusual hobby for her age.

And she is not afraid of getting her hands dirty.

Daughter of Stephanie and Christopher Schivock, Avery picks up cigarette butts in her Dunmore Sherwood Park neighborhood on a weekly basis.

Her mom explained. “My husband and I were looking for something to do during the pandemic,” she said. “So to get some fresh air and exercise, we started walking around our neighborhood by Sherwood Park with Avery and our one-year-old son, Mason. We started picking up cigarette butts for recycling and to help clean up the area. Well, Avery especially loved doing it and knows it is for a good cause. We’ve been going every week since April and she loves it.

“Avery likes to get out and make a difference. We are a very eco-friendly family. Avery understands the cigarette butts are going to help our environment. We put them in a canister and send them off.

“Initially, our daughter wore a princess dress while we took our walk and she collected the cigarette butts. Now she always has to wear a princess dress while searching for the butts.

Doin Dunmore - Avery Shivock 2“Now she looks for different colors and understands she is helping the Earth while collecting the different cigarette butts.

“She practices good safety habits. Avery wears gloves when she picks up the butts and places them in a can.

“The cigarette butts are filtered during the recycling process and even used for park benches and pallets.

“Our son Mason is still in the learning stages, but Avery is becoming an expert at this now. She loves it because she knows this is making the earth a better place for everybody.”

Avery attends preschool at the Greater Scranton YMCA in Dunmore.

Avery’s mom said the cigarette butts are placed in a container and sent to Terracycle, located in New Jersey.

“They have recycling programs for everything you can imagine,” she said. “Some are free, some are not. 

“Our family recycles k-cups, plates, plastic utensils, fast food cups, straws, chip bags, cellophane wrappers, Gerber baby food cans, and other items in addition to the cigarette butts for Terracycle.

Doin Dunmore - Avery Shivock 3“We also recycle foam, electronics and clothing for local facilities.

“We are very proud that a family of four, with a little one in diapers, make less than a single kitchen bag of garbage a week. 

“Avery has been helping us since she was old enough to carry the bottles to the recycling can on the porch.”

Stephanie and Christopher both graduated from Bishop O’Hara High School in Dunmore. Stephanie graduated from Marywood University and is a proud stay-at-home mom. Her husband was in the United States Coast Guard Academy, served 10 years of active duty and now is a GIS specialist for Rutgers University Marine and Coastal Sciences Department.

Athlete of the Month: Mason Maciejewski

Athlete of the Month - Mason Maciejewski pic 2By Steve Svetovich

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dunmore Bucks do not open their football season until Oct. 3, but senior all-star lineman Mason Maciejewski is more than ready.

“His work ethic is always outstanding,” said Dunmore football coach Kevin McHale.

A Lackawanna League all-star as a junior from the center position on offense, Mason is also a stalwart as a defensive tackle for the Bucks.

Son of Scott and Stephanie Maciejewski, his sister Moriah, 24, was a three-year starter and three-time all-star on the Dunmore Lady Bucks basketball team. She was twice All Regional and once All-State. She is a graduate of  Newmann College where she received a bachelor of science degree. in accounting.

With sports in his blood, Mason chose football and is now entering his fourth season as a key member of the Dunmore Bucks football team.

He is undecided where he will attend college or what he will choose as his field of study, but is certain he wants to play football on the Division I or II level.

Mason is an honor student with a 3.2 academic average at Dunmore. His best subject is history.

He enjoys listening to music in his spare time and his favorite musical artist is Travis Scott.

Well-spoken and polite, Mason talked about what it takes to excel as a lineman in high school football. “You need to work very hard in the weight room,” he said. “Never slack. You also need to learn all of the techniques from the coaches. And work hard all the time.”

Mason said he cannot thank his parents enough for everything he learned from them. “I thank them a lot. I can’t even begin to say everything they have done for me. It is so much.”

He is quick to praise Dunmore coach McHale. “He taught me so much about techniques. He knows a lot about linemen and teaching the right techniques. He taught me a lot even when he was an assistant coach under Jack Henzes.”

The hard working senior lineman said the Dunmore Bucks football team will once again be very good and compete at a high level despite a possible shortened season due to the pandemic. Athlete of the MOnth - Mason Maciejewski“The goal is a state championship,” he said. “That is always the goal here.”

Always striving, Mason has kept busy during the pandemic.

“I’ve been working out, running, going over plays, and talking football with my teammates,” he said. “Football practice has been going well and we can’t wait for our first game on Oct. 3.” 

Confident and self assured within himself, but not cocky, Mason talked about his future goals on a personal level. “I want to always work very hard and never slack. I want to be the best person I could be. And I want to always have goals. 

Mason summed up his experience at Dunmore in a few words that tell it all. “I love it. There is absolutely no better place.”