MMI Preparatory School in Freeland conducted its 126th Commencement Exercises on Thursday, May 24, as seniors were awarded diplomas by John H. Hersker ’76, chairman of MMI’s Board of Directors.
This year’s graduating class of 38 seniors amassed more than $8.1 million in merit scholarships and awards. The 2018 graduating class also attained an average score of 1225 on the Redesigned SAT. The Class of 2018’s average ACT score is 25.
Members of the Class of 2018 were accepted at over 73% of the colleges they applied to and will attend 27 different colleges and universities this fall.
Mallory Brown ’02, Principal at Egon Zehnder in Germany, delivered the Founder’s Day Address. She spoke about moments that will push the new graduates to the limit. She said, “When confronted with the enormous pressure of life, you need to consider how you want to respond to it. Never let challenges or difficulties define you.” She encouraged the class to accept that success does not come overnight nor in the way you would expect.
During commencement exercises, valedictorian Gabriella Kupsho spoke to the class about being OK with the unknown and how hard it is to simply say “I don’t know” when asked questions. Her advice to the class was “Don’t be afraid of change and don’t be afraid because you don’t know what happens next. I don’t know either, but now is the time to find yourself, to find what makes you happy.”
Salutatorian Aaron Harman talked about how the class should make a commitment to remain close to the MMI family even after graduation. “Soon we will all have a change of perspective, the move from high school to college, and it’s important we don’t forget our time here at MMI, and the people who helped us through it.” He also said, “All you need to do is make an effort to stay connected. We all know how important networking is in college, and the beginning of your network could be your high school friends.”
Class President Stephanie Zellner told the class, “I have always been more of a quiet shoulder for anyone who needed a friend, so I now look to those who have inspired me through the years to tell you exactly what I wish to say to you now, just a bit more eloquently.” She then quoted Robin Williams, reminding the class that life is fleeting and encouraged all not to worry so much about what the future holds but to live life to the fullest.
Members of MMI’s Class of 2018, their parents and their hometowns are as follows: Angelica Azcueta Alday, the daughter of Dr. Senen Alday and Dr. Milagros Azcueta-Alday of Mountaintop; Lauren Tess Babinetz, the daughter of Michael and Patricia Babinetz of Jim Thorpe; Michael Anthony Badamo, the son of Anthony and Jessica Badamo of Sugarloaf; Lauryn Elizabeth Banyas, the daughter of Dr. Joseph and Joan Banyas of Freeland; Jaclyn Jiangpei Braunstein, the daughter of Dr. Larry and Kimberly Braunstein of Mountaintop; Merci Centrella, the daughter of Lorenzo and Josephine Centrella of Weatherly; Jett Chen, the son of Cui Min Gao of Freeland; Nicolo Mariano Cottone, the son of Nicolino and Milenka Cottone of Hazleton; Aine Nadine Durako, the daughter of Dr. Robert and Margaret Durako of Drums; Kyle Robert Falatko, the son of Robert Falatko and Christine Falatko of Freeland; Lauren Elizabeth Freeman, the daughter of Marisa Freeman of Freeland and the late John P. Freeman; Zachary Ryan Gera, the son of George and Lee Ann Gera of Freeland; Anna Elizabeth Haber, the daughter of Dr. John and Cathryn Haber of Tresckow; Aaron Michael Ralph Harman, the son of Ronald and Yvonne Harman of Drums; Gunner Lee Jankouskas, the son of Terry Jankouskas and Aprilaurie Whitley of Sugarloaf; Joshua Scott Kalada-Kania, the son of Kevin Kania and Susan Kalada of Drums; Sydney Ann Karpowich, the daughter of Atty. Donald Karpowich and Tracy Gallagher of Sugarloaf; Caitlyn Marie Kline, the daughter of Dr. John and Dr. June Kline of Mountaintop; Chava Bracha Eve Kornblatt, the daughter of Joseph and Georgia Kornblatt of Kingston; Gabriella Marie Kupsho, the daughter of Dr. Robert and Diane Kupsho of Drums; James Ritchie Lambert, the son of James and Kate Lambert of Blakeslee; Benjamin Michael Lloyd, the son of Kevin Lloyd of White Haven and Stephanie and Christopher Uricheck of Freeland; Marc Christian Lobitz, the son of Dr. Mark and Stephanie Lobitz of Hazleton; Talia Elizabeth Logerfo, the daughter of John and Diane Logerfo of Sugarloaf; John Michael Malay, III, the son of John and Kathryn Malay of Jim Thorpe; Daniel Thomas McBride, the son of Thomas and Debbe McBride of Hazle Township; Caelyn Rose McGran, the daughter of John and Barbara McGran of Drums; Mahad Muhammad, the daughter of Ikram and Alia Muhammad of Mountaintop; Robert Matthew Murphy Hosler, the son of Lynda Murphy and John Jasinsky of Sybertsville; Hunter Steven O’Clair, the son of Timothy and Candice O’Clair of Drums; George Francis Palermo, the son of Mary Kelly Palermo of Sugarloaf and George Palermo of Hoboken, NJ; Abigail Mae Paul, the daughter of Rustin and Cynthia Paul of Jim Thorpe; Madison Rae Perchak, the daughter of Michael and Eileen Perchak of Hazle Township; Jakob Reid Schwabe, the son of Marybeth Hayden of Hazle Township and Scott Schwabe of New York, NY; Mark Louis Sitch, the son of Mark and Rosemarie Sitch of Weatherly; Julia Ailse Snyder, the daughter of Dr. Christopher and Dr. Jill Snyder of Sugarloaf; Cole Anthony Wenner, the son of Darren and Tracy Wenner of Lehighton, and Stephanie Rose Zellner, the daughter of Stephen and Theresa Zellner of Drums.