By David Mazzenga
HONESDALE—The Wayne Highlands School District (WHSD) Board of Directors recognized the achievements of four outstanding seniors Tuesday night.
Recognized first, Lauren Kutch is the daughter of Jason and Kristan Kutch of Lebanon Township.
Kutch's commitment to academics has seen her risen to the top 15 percent of her class, achieve Honor Roll on numerous occasions, and be seated on the National Honors Society (NHS) where she serves as Blood Drive Committee Chair.
The young scholar has also made a name for herself musically, serving as the Drumline Section Leader for the Honesdale High School (HHS) marching band and playing in the Wind Ensemble.
Kutch has also utilized her musical talents in the pit band for the HHS musical, Music Man.
She was also on the make-up crew for the production.
Extra-curricularly, Kutch has served her school as a Student Council Member-at-large.
She is a slo a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA).
Athletically, Kutch has participated in the district junior high track and varsity track & field teams.
She plans to achieve a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Hartwick College.
“As a senior here at Honesdale High School, I feel as though we have a phenomenal environment,” said Kutch, noting she always feels safe and well-provided for at school.
Grateful to the science department, Kutch thanked her teachers for their guidance and instruction.
“These teachers have encouraged me to pursue my future in the medical field and have helped me develop a true passion for all areas of science.”
She added, “I appreciate all the amazing opportunities I've had here at Honesdale, and all my clubs, marching band and chorus. These experiences will be taken with me for the rest of my life.”
Extending a greater thank you to the whole of the district, her family and friends, Kutch closed with a quote from Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Second recognized was Nicholas Theobald, son of Joseph and Misty Theobald of Cherry Ridge.
Likewise a scholar, Theobald is also among the top 15 percent of his class and has received accolades on the Honor Roll and as a member of the NHS.
Theobald serves on Student Council as Class Treasurer, and has participated in the All-school musicals for the last four years.
Spreading his musicality elsewhere, Theobald sings as part of the school Chamber Choir.
Theobald is also a dedicated athlete, playing on the soccer and varsity tennis teams, the latter of which he was awarded three letters and serves as captain.
Post graduation, Theobald plans to further his education at Kutztown University where he will major in Elementary Education.
The teacher-in-training hopes to eventually teach at the elementary or middle school level, grades four through eight.
Thanking the board and congratulating his fellow students, Theobald stated, “This is a great honor to me and I am very appreciative for the invitation.”
Theobald noted HHS taught him many valuable ideals including hard work, team work, persistence, intelligence and creativity.
With heartfelt jocularity, Theobald recited a series of personal thanks to the teachers, staff, friends and family that helped him along his high school journey.
“Thank you again for allowing me to be here tonight and for making my high school education a valuable and enjoyable experience.”
Third recognized was Heather Welsh, daughter of Kipp and Carol Welsh of Honesdale.
Her scholastic achievement has similarly won her a seat on the NHS where she also serves as Blood Drive Committee Chair.
Welsh has also been featured on the Honor Roll and is among the top 15 percent of her class in academic rank.
Academics aside, Welsh has also achieved renown as a member of the varsity track and soccer teams, on the latter of which she has aspired to the rank of captain and has earned three letters.
Welsh is also an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and serves on its Leadership Team.
In service to her school, Welsh is a member-at-large of the Student Council, and she is also a member of the Interact Club.
Her future plans include attending Penn Tech to study Radiology.
Thanking the board for the opportunity to be there that evening, Welsh stated she was originally surprised to learn of her recommendation: “I'm going to be honest and say that school is not my favorite place to spend my time, but it goes to show that hard work and perseverance really does pay off in the end.”
Welsh commended and thanked her teachers for their guidance and compassion.
“I'm thankful for all the extracurricular activities our school offers,” she said. “Being a part of the girl's varsity soccer team has been a great joy.”
Welsh explained being on the team helped her form many lasting friendship and learn “how to work as a team for one common goal, how to communicate with one another and how to problem solve.”
The young athlete likewise lauded the school class trip as a unique experience well worth having because of the chance it provides students to connect with each other and their teachers, and also because of the inherent trust the district puts in its students to represent it well.
“Many of my best high school memories were made on this trip,” she said.
Welsh closed with abundant thanks to her family and the district.
Fourth recognized Tuesday evening was 2018 Prom King, Alex Jachens.
Jachens is the son of Steve Jachens of Honesdale.
Reading a list of the young royal's achievements, HHS Principal Chris Pietraszewski stated, “Alex loves talking to his friends and teachers. He loves helping others in any way that he can.”
Pietraszewski further noted Jachens is “... kind, compassionate and genuinely cares for everyone in Honesdale High School.”
Attesting to Jachens' “heart of gold,” Pietraszewski noted he participates with the school's coffee cart and recycling programs, in the Class of 2018 activities, and the HHS Special Olympics.
Post graduation, Jachens plans to enter into the work force.
Jachens stood and thanked the board for their recognition of he and his fellow students, as well as the teachers at HHS, “... for taking care of me.”
The young king stated he would miss everyone upon graduation, stating “I am going to remember being a member of the coffee cart program, and doing recycling, and taking care of my friends, playing in spirit games and being crowned prom king.”
Before concluding, Jachens extended a heartfelt thanks to his family for all their love and support.
When all students had been recognized, Board Director Gina Pritchard said a few words on behalf of the board, encouraging the students to keep striving and working hard in life.
Likewise, district Superintendent Greg Frigoletto also commended the students and parents both for their great accomplishments.