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MMI students receive athletic awards

MMI Preparatory School recently presented athletic awards to students during the school’s annual Awards Convocation.

The awards were presented by MMI Athletic Director Jason Tribbet and team coaches.

The District 2 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Award was presented to Desiree Dinko and Edward Herbener. The award is for students who have participated in MMI’s athletic program for multiple years, maintained high academic averages and are involved in community and school service. Sarah Moyer and Brendan Drusda received the 2016 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, which recognizes students for success and achievement in both academics and athletics.

Edward Herbener received the Freeland American Legion Good Citizenship Award from Freeland Mayor Ed Appleman.

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MMI honors students at annual awards convocation

MMI Preparatory School recently held its annual Awards Convocation to honor students in 9th through 12th grades.

MMI Head of School Thomas G. Hood said, “Our students have made a number of tremendous accomplishments in many academic and community service areas throughout the 2015-16 school year and we’re honored to reward them for their achievements.”

Alyssa Famalette received a scholarship award on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling (PACAC).

Brendan Drusda was given the 2016 Jake Kislan ’56 Polonaise Society Award, which honors the highest achieving Polish American graduate of MMI. He also received the Ernest Scheller III Memorial World Wide Scholarship, which is awarded annually to one student on the basis of academic merit, demonstrated leadership and documented civic and community service participation.

The Eckley B. Coxe Jr. Memorial Subject Awards were presented to senior students who have excelled in their fields of study as follows: Art, Karalyn Sitch; History, Luke Yamulla; English, Brendan Drusda; Science, Math and Spanish, Jay Solgama; Chinese, Terrance Jankouskas; German, Sarah Moyer.

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Four MMI students advance to FBLA National Leadership Conference

Ten MMI Preparatory School students placed in the top 10 in their respective competitive events categories at the 2016 Pennsylvania FBLA State Leadership Conference in Hershey, including four students who placed in the top four and will advance to the FBLA National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Allison McGeehan placed second in the Business Law category and was honored in a recognition ceremony at the conclusion of the awards program for being elected to serve the state chapter on the Executive Committee as the 2016-2017 Pennsylvania FBLA State Reporter. Joshua Narrow, Joey Kress, and Nicholas Young placed fourth for their work in Marketing and will join Allison McGeehan at the national conference in Atlanta from June 29 to July 2.

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Limited openings remain for MMI 2016 summer camps

There is still time to register your child for MMI Preparatory School’s 2016 Summer Camp program but space is limited.

A variety of camps will be offered in morning and afternoon sessions for children ages 5 through 15 across a five-week period in June, July, and August. The camps are open to all area school children. Topics include maker camp, robotics; the science, art, and literature behind Harry Potter; Egyptian archaeology; computer work with Minecraft; film making with Legos; hovercraft design; forensics and crime scene investigation; Asian art; and bookmaking.

Each summer camp is held for three hours each day over five days and costs just $150. Parents may sign their child up for multiple camps. Children attending two camps in a day should bring their lunch and will be supervised between sessions.

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MMI holds 124th commencement ceremony

MMI Preparatory School in Freeland, conducted its 124th Commencement Exercises on Thursday, May 19, as seniors were awarded diplomas by Stanley B. Warner III ’92, chairman of MMI’s Board of Directors.

This year’s graduating class of 31 seniors amassed more than $5.9 million in merit scholarships and awards, an average of more than $190,000 per student. The 2016 graduating class also attained an average SAT score of 1708. The Class of 2016’s average ACT score is 26.

Members of the Class of 2016 were accepted at over 90% of the colleges they applied to and will attend over 19 different colleges and universities this fall.

Brian Rosen ’75, a partner in the Business Finance and Restructuring Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Manhattan, delivered the commencement address.

During commencement exercises, valedictorian Jay P. Solgama spoke to his fellow graduates about time and how it passes more quickly as you get older, and about the impact of technology on our social interactions.

Salutatorian Sarah K. Moyer also addressed her classmates about "first impressions" and unique contributions to MMI made by the Class of 2016.

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MMI holds National Junior Honor Society and National Latin Honor Society inductions

MMI Preparatory School inducted 18 eighth-grade students into the National Junior Honor Society and 12 eighth graders into the National Latin Honor Society during a ceremony at the school.

MMI Head of School Thomas G. Hood provided opening remarks and greeted those in attendance before the ceremony. Faculty member and adviser, the Very Rev. Lawrence Barriger, presented the criteria for membership, inducted the students into the honor societies, and introduced the speaker.

Justin Richard, Esq. ’04, assistant district attorney for Luzerne County, was the guest speaker. Assistant Head of School Charles C. Seidel provided closing remarks. Benjamin Putnam, an eighth-grade student at MMI, provided music for the processional and recessional.

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Karalyn Sitch announces college selection

MMI Preparatory School senior Karalyn Sitch, seated at center, will continue her academic and athletic careers at Immaculata University, where she will run cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field. Seated with Karalyn are her parents, from left, Rosemarie and Mark Sitch. Also pictured are, second row, from left: MMI Assistant Head of School Charles Seidel, MMI Athletic Director Jason Tribbet, MMI Cross Country Coach Jon Weaver, and MMI Head of School Thomas G. Hood.  

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New York corporate attorney to deliver Founder’s Day address at MMI Commencement ceremony

MMI Preparatory School Head of School Thomas G. Hood announced that Atty. Brian Rosen ’75 has accepted his invitation to deliver the Founder’s Day Address during MMI’s 124th commencement ceremonies, which will be held on Thursday, May 19 at the school.

Rosen is a 1975 MMI Preparatory School graduate and was a point guard on the school’s basketball team. He is a partner in the Business Finance and Restructuring Department of Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Manhattan and focuses on chapter 11 bankruptcy (through pre-packaged and in-court solicitations) and out-of-court debt restructurings, acquisitions of distressed companies or assets, and the collection of sovereign indebtedness.

Rosen has been recognized several times as a “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America for his work in Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. He was named a “Recommended” lawyer for Corporate Restructuring, including Bankruptcy, in the United States by The Legal 500 USA.

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Five MMI juniors to receive National Merit Scholarship Program recognition

Five MMI Preparatory School juniors will receive 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program recognition after placing among the top 50,000 out of 1.5 million participants on the qualifying test.

Ali Aijaz, Anirban Chowdhury, Allison McGeehan, Samuel Sessock, and Nicholas Young finished among the top 50,000 nationwide on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). All five students recorded a Selection Index score of 209 or above and have the opportunity to be one of the 16,000 students who will be named National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in September.

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D. Scott Wiggins hired as interim Head of MMI

D Scott WigginsThe MMI Preparatory School Board of Directors on Tuesday appointed D. Scott Wiggins of New Hope, Pennsylvania, as interim Head of School for the 2016-2017 school year.

The appointment comes as part of an ongoing national search for a permanent successor to Thomas G. Hood who announced in January that he has accepted a position as Head of School at St. Agnes Academy and St. Dominic School in Memphis, Tennessee.

MMI’s Board of Directors acted on the recommendation of a search committee comprised of six current and former members of the board of directors, four of them having served as chairs of the board and all of them having graduated from MMI Preparatory School.

In addition to the search committee, Wiggins also met during the interview process with an advisory committee comprised of MMI staff, faculty, parents and students. Then, on Tuesday, he met with the full board of directors before the vote was taken. He will begin his duties as Head of School on July 1.

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Five MMI teams finish in top 15 overall at Luzerne County Envirothon

Five MMI Preparatory School teams finished in the top 15 overall out of 36 teams at the 2016 Luzerne County Envirothon.

The Luzerne County Conservation District coordinates and sponsors the Envirothon, an annual environmental competition for high school students in grades 9-12, each spring. It tests their knowledge of the environment with five 100-point tests: Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, and a Current Topic. A cumulative score is tabulated based on the performance in those five tests.

The team of Joshua Kalada-Kania, Samuel Sessock, Taylor Peluso, Sarah Moyer, and Jay Solgama captured first place with 410 out of a possible 500 points and clinched the top category in the individual components of Aquatics, Current Topic, Soils, and Wildlife. They will represent Luzerne County in the two-day Pennsylvania Envirothon on May 24 and 25 at Susquehanna University.

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Elliot Blasko captures MMI Spring Best of the Best title

Elliot Blasko, pictured in the second row at left, won the overall title in MMI Preparatory School’s Spring Best of the Best competition for his speech entitled “How to Be Funny.” Each MMI student in grades 7-12 makes at least one appearance in an assembly program each school year. The best student performances from each semester's assemblies, chosen by the MMI faculty, are presented to a joint assembly of both upper school and middle school students to determine the "Best of the Best." Additional Best of the Best competitors and their assembly presentations were, first row, from left: Irene Altmiller, “Number 32: Christian Laettner;” Kaitlyn McGeehan, “The Human Memory;” and Jacqueline Snyder, “Lucy the Elephant.” Second row: Elliot Blasko and Eric Degenhart, “Liberty of Babel.”

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MMI junior selected to attend prestigious Wharton School business program

MMI Preparatory School junior Danielle Pileggi is one of only 160 students worldwide who were recently selected from hundreds of applicants to attend this year’s Leadership in the Business World program offered by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Pileggi, the daughter of Daniel and Sandra Pileggi of Albrightsville, will attend the highly-selective program from July 3 to July 30 on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus in Philadelphia.

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Two MMI juniors accepted to prestigious PA Governor’s School for the Sciences

MMI Preparatory School juniors Ali Aijaz and Anirban Chowdhury were recently accepted into the summer 2016 Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences.

The Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Sciences (PGSS), which is hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, was established in order to provide a summer enrichment experience in the sciences and mathematics for talented Pennsylvania high school students and to encourage them to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The program provides instruction in biological sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science, with emphasis on collaborative learning and team research.

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MMI students take 10-day educational European tour

Thirteen MMI Preparatory School students and two faculty members recently completed a 10-day educational European tour of Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The group learned about the culture, history, geography and people of each region and sampled traditional European meals.

Seniors William Bower, Samanta Cottone, Brian Galbiati and Sarah Moyer; juniors Ali Aijaz, Niklas Byriel, Garrett Kost, Anna Olivieri, Keenan Overa, Dylan Slusser and Jacob Weiksner and sophomores Nicolo Cottone and Joseph Taylor attended the trip. T.R. Laputka, MMI IT Director, and Gabriela Moustardas, MMI world language department chair and German instructor, were the faculty advisers. The trip was planned in conjunction with educational tour company EF Education Tours.

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MMI students capture first place in annual Holocaust essay contest

MMI Preparatory School students Allison McGeehan and Abigail Walters captured first place in their respective divisions in the 21st annual Israel T. and Mildred Klapper Memorial Holocaust Essay Contest, which is sponsored jointly by the Hazleton Jewish Community Council and the Greater Hazleton Ministerial Association.

Allison McGeehan, a junior and the daughter of Thomas and Sandra McGeehan of Drums, was first in the high school division. Abigail Walters, an eighth grade student and the daughter of Teisha and Christopher Hardy of White Haven, finished first in the middle school division. Both students will read their winning entries and receive their awards prizes at the Hazleton Holocaust Community Service on May 4 at Beth Israel Temple in Hazleton. MMI English instructor Jennifer Novotney was the faculty adviser for the competition.

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MMI athletes announce college selections

MMI Preparatory School seniors Desiree Dinko and Edward Herbener recently announced they will continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level in the fall of 2016.

Desiree Dinko will continue her academic and athletic careers at Immaculata University, where she will be a pitcher on the softball team.

Edward Herbener will continue his academic and athletic careers at Bloomsburg University, where he will be a pitcher on the baseball team.

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Ten students place in the top three among MMI participants on mathematics exam

Ten MMI Preparatory School students placed in the top three within the school’s competition on the Mathematical Association of America’s American Mathematics Competition 8 (AMC 8). The annual AMC 8 is a 25-question, 40-minute, multiple choice examination in middle school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills.

In the eighth grade competition, Grant Warren placed first, Philip Byriel and Marcus Kassick were second and Kai Mele, Adam Tron and Abigail Walters finished third. In the seventh grade competition, MMI’s overall school winner Charles Dick placed first, Hannah Falatko and Kevin McNulty were second and Hunter Blasko came in third.

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MMI holds language honor society inductions

MMI Preparatory School recently held a student induction ceremony for the Spanish, Chinese and German national honor societies.

Head of School Thomas G. Hood welcomed those in attendance to open the ceremony and MMI Spanish instructor Dennis Clarke served as guest speaker. Clarke, who has been teaching at MMI since 1979, is the founder of the school’s Pablo Picasso Chapter of the Spanish Honor Society and began MMI’s annual piñata contest.

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MMI to hold Open House on Sunday, April 17

MMI Preparatory School will host its annual Open House on Sunday, April 17 from 2:00-4:30 P.M. The public is invited to attend the event where students will showcase their projects.

Each year, MMI students are challenged with preparing special research projects, which are displayed at Open House. Students in grades six through 12 will display, explain, and demonstrate their projects in classrooms and locations throughout the school.

Visitors will be able to observe a variety of student projects in the areas of literature, mathematics, science, and social studies. In addition, food projects prepared primarily by world language students will be featured. The food, which will be available for sampling, will be served in an atmosphere authentic to the nation of the food’s origin.

Non-food projects are open to the public from 2:00-4:00 P.M., and culinary projects are open to the public from 2:30-4:30 P.M.

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Jessica Smith to participate in PA School for Global Entrepreneurship

MMI Preparatory School announced that junior Jessica Smith, the daughter of Jonathan Smith and Beatrice Russo-Smith of White Haven, will also participate in the Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship this July at Lehigh University.

Jessica Smith and classmates Katherine Eschenbach and Keenan Overa will be among 76 students from around the world who will participate in the four-week learning experience.

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MMI releases third quarter honor roll

MMI Preparatory School Head of School Thomas G. Hood has announced the names of students who achieved Honor Roll status during the third quarter of the 2015-2016 school year.

The Honor Roll recognizes sound academic performance each quarter. To earn a place on the Honor Roll, a student must have a cumulative average in all core subjects of 85, have attained an average of 70 or better in each course, have no “incompletes” at the end of the nine-week grading period, be enrolled in a complete schedule of courses, and have a satisfactory citizenship record.

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MMI students perform orchestra pieces they helped compose with renowned Wister Quartet

MMI Preparatory School chamber ensemble students performed three songs they helped compose with the nationally renowned Wister Quartet during the Grammy-nominated ensemble’s visit to the school last month.

This is the 13th consecutive year that the Wister Quartet has performed at MMI. The performance was made possible through the support of Dr. James W. Feussner ’65 in memory of Elizabeth Feussner.

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MMI announces summer camps open to area children

MMI Preparatory School is offering all area school children an opportunity to make their summer vacation enjoyable and educational at the same time through its annual MMI Summer Camps in June, July and August.

A variety of camps will be offered in morning and afternoon sessions across a five-week period. Topics include maker camp, robotics; the science, art, and literature behind Harry Potter; Egyptian archaeology; computer work with Minecraft; film making with Legos; hovercraft design; forensics and crime scene investigation; Asian art; and bookmaking.

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Brendan Drusda receives Wilkes University scholarship at mathematics competition

MMI Preparatory School senior Brendan Drusda captured first place in the senior division and was awarded a full scholarship to Wilkes University good for any program or degree during the 68th annual Luzerne County Council of Teachers of Mathematics competition at Wilkes University.

Brendan Drusda is the son of Jeffrey and Linda Drusda of Drums. Additionally, four other MMI students and one team placed in the top four during the competition. Sarah Moyer, the daughter of Robert and Susan Moyer of Bowmanstown, finished second in the senior division and Ali Aijaz, the son of Fakhruddin and Dr. Naghma Aijaz of Mountaintop, was second in the junior division. Andrew Alday, son of Dr. Senen Alday and Dr. Milagros Azcueta-Alday of Mountaintop, came in fourth in the senior division and Nicholas Young, son of Christian and Nicole Young of Freeland, was fourth in the junior division. The team of Andrew Alday, Brendan Drusda and Sarah Moyer placed first in the senior division.

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Forty-five MMI students capture first place at Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition

Forty-five of MMI Preparatory School’s 55 entrants placed first at the recent Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science competition at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre. Ali Aijaz, Gabriella DeMelfi, Garrett Kost, and Chava Kornblatt all placed first with a perfect score in their events.

Anirban Chowdhury and Elizabeth Pinto both qualified for a summer research fellowship at The Commonwealth Medical College, while Garrett Kost and Joshua Kalada-Kania received a summer research fellowship at Lacawac Sanctuary. Senior High Excellence Awards were given to Alyssa Famalette (in microbiology), Garrett Kost (biochemistry) and Chava Kornblatt (biology), and Alexander Kline received a Junior High Excellence Award in engineering.

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Borealis Wind Quintet performs at MMI

Borealis Wind Quintet, one of America’s preeminent chamber ensembles, performed Thursday for MMI Preparatory School students as part of the community outreach program of the Greater Hazleton Concert Series.

Amelia Bergeron, Greater Hazleton Concert Series director, opened the program by speaking to the students about the Greater Hazleton Concert Series and the Borealis Wind Quintet. The chamber ensemble’s visit to MMI follows their performance Wednesday night as the Greater Hazleton Concert Series celebrates its 80th anniversary.

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Freeland history researcher Charlotte Tancin takes crowd on trip back in time during photo presentation at MMI

Freeland native and local history researcher Charlotte Tancin visted MMI Preparatory School’s recently to narrate a presentation of historical photographs of Freeland and the surrounding areas.

Tancin spoke to a packed audience inside MMI’s Joseph A. Turri ’45 Library and Learning Center. Her photos, including some dating back to the 1800s, featured many of the town’s most iconic businesses and residents, as well as a glimpse at Freeland’s churches and a view of surrounding towns like Jeddo and Drifton.

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Three MMI students place at state journalism competition

Lindsey Walko, Joshua Narrow, and Charles Bower finished in the top three at the Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) Student Journalism Competition State Championship finals. The competition was held earlier this month in the Hetzel Union Building’s Freeman Auditorium on the Penn State University Main Campus in University Park.

Walko, the daughter of Lawrence Walko and Debbie Brenner-Walko of Drums, captured first place in the Copywriting competition. Narrow, the son of Howard and Marie Narrow of Hazleton, finished second in the Poetry division. Bower, the son of Tracy and Stephen Tichy of Drums, took third in Literary Magazine Artwork. MMI English instructor Jennifer Novotney was the faculty adviser for the competition.

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Wister Quartet to perform at MMI on April 4

For the 13th consecutive year, MMI Preparatory School will host the Grammy-nominated Wister Quartet for a public performance at the school on Monday, April 4, at 7:00 P.M. The performance is made possible through the support of Dr. James W. Feussner ’65 in memory of Elizabeth Feussner.

Once again this year, the Wister Quartet will perform with guitarist Allen Krantz, a critically acclaimed guitarist, composer, and chamber musician. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Athletics and Drama Complex on the MMI campus at 154 Centre Street, Freeland. Doors open at 6:30 P.M.

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Freeland local history researcher to present collection of Freeland area images from the early 20th century

Freeland native and local history researcher Charlotte Tancin will narrate a tour of the Freeland area through images from the first half of the 20th century during a presentation in March at MMI Preparatory School.

Tancin will make her presentation on Thursday, March 10 at 6:30 P.M. in The Joseph A. Turri ’45 Library and Learning Center on MMI’s campus at 154 Centre Street in Freeland. The event is free and open to the public. It is offered through The Joseph A. Turri ’45 Library and Resource Center as part of the Community Event Series.

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MMI Prepper Playhouse will present Disney’s Beauty and the Beast March 11 and 12

The MMI Prepper Playhouse is presenting Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12 at 7:00 P.M. in the MMI Athletic and Drama Complex, 154 Centre Street in Freeland.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast tells a classic tale as old as time about Belle (Lindsey Walko), a young woman from a small provincial town in France, and the Beast (Luke Yamulla), who is really a young prince trapped under an enchantress’ curse. If the Beast learns to love and be loved, the curse will be broken and he will be transformed. If the Beast does not learn his lesson, he and his household will be doomed forever. 

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MMI releases first semester President’s List

MMI Preparatory School Head of School Thomas G. Hood has announced the names of students who achieved President’s List status during the first semester of the 2015-2016 school year.

The President’s List recognizes sound academic performance each quarter. To earn a place on the President's List, a student must have a cumulative average in all core subjects of 85.0, have attained an average of 70.0 or better in each course, have no “incompletes” at the end of the semester, be enrolled in a complete schedule of courses and have a satisfactory citizenship record.

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MMI students advance to Future Business Leaders of America state competition

Thirty-one MMI Preparatory School students advanced to compete at the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) State Leadership Conference April 11-13 in Hershey after qualifying during the FBLA Region 16 Leadership Conference held recently in Wilkes-Barre.

Seven students received first place awards in their respective categories at the regional conference. Allison McGeehan finished first in Business Law, Elizabeth Borchick was tops in Graphic Design, Alyssa Sweda led the field in Introduction to Business, Chava Kornblatt brought home top honors in Introduction to Business Communication and Joey Kress, Joshua Narrow and Nicholas Young all came in first in Marketing.

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Four MMI students win awards at Mock Trial district competition

MMI Preparatory School juniors Allison McGeehan and Kevin Cibak and sophomores John Malay and Mahad Muhammad each won awards during the Pennsylvania Bar Association Mock Trial district competition at the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.

McGeehan, the daughter of Thomas and Sandra McGeehan of Drums, and Cibak, the son of James and Deidre Cibak of Sugarloaf, both won best advocate awards. Malay, the son of John and Kathryn Malay of Jim Thorpe, and Muhammad, the son of Ikram and Alia Muhammad of Mountaintop, were each crowned best witness. The winners were chosen by the opposing team.

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