The Times-Tribune Honors 2019 Scholastic Superstar Team

May 16, 2019 GMT

Within the next month, 4,500 students will graduate from high schools in Northeast Pennsylvania. Twenty-five of those students stand out for excelling in their classrooms, leading their peers and making a difference in their communities.

Those students speak multiple languages, lead marching bands, excel on the tennis court, make arguments for mock trial competitions — and comprise the 25th class of The Times-Tribune’s Scholastic Superstar team.

Members of this year’s team, along with their families and educators, were honored Wednesday at a ceremony at the Scranton Times building in downtown Scranton.


The 2019 Scholastic Superstar team is: Jacob Adams, Honesdale High School; Taylor Boyle, Valley View High School; Kevin Connor, Riverside Junior-Senior High School; Richard Fried, Abington Heights High School; Kelsey Kline, North Pocono High School; Caroline Kranick, Holy Cross High School; Evan Krysko, West Scranton High School; Brandon Lawson, Honesdale High School; Esther Lee, Delaware Valley High School; Sean MacCallum, Mid Valley Secondary Center; Mackenzie Meagher, Honesdale High School; Maureen Nole, Scranton Preparatory School; Ericka Pica, Holy Cross High School; Katie Puterbaugh, Montrose Area Junior-Senior High School; Dylan Rowland, Carbondale Area Junior-Senior High School; Chiara Ruggiero, Delaware Valley High School; Matthew Schwarztrauber, Mountain View High School; Claire Sunday, Scranton Preparatory School; Bryce Urian, Western Wayne High School; Jacob Vituszynski, Mid Valley Secondary Center; Gabrielle Wassel, Pittston Area High School; Jonathan Yudhistira, Scranton High School; Ryan Zalewski, Tunkhannock Area High School; Olivia Zehel, Holy Cross High School; and Daniel Zych, Scranton Preparatory School.

Those students join 600 others to earn the honor in the last 25 years. More than 100 family members and educators attended Wednesday’s ceremony and gave this year’s team a standing ovation after learning of the students’ accomplishments and future plans.

Don Farley, publisher of The Times-Tribune and president of Times-Shamrock Communications, told students other Superstars have gone onto become doctors, lawyers, professors and even a Tony Award-winning playwright. He encouraged the students to be active members of their communities and continue to make a difference.

“We ask that you come home and share your success,” he said. “Make our community a better place to live... or take Northeast Pennsylvania out into the world.”


Alana Roberts, regional affairs director for PPL Electric Utilities, the sponsor of this year’s program, spoke about the company’s education programs and congratulated the Superstars and their families.

This year’s team was selected from more than 70 nominees from more than two dozen Northeast Pennsylvania high schools. The newspaper invited schools to nominate up to three seniors who excel in academic performance, school activities and community service.

The team was selected by a panel of judges made up of administrators and representatives of local colleges and universities, including: Fran Calpin, Keystone College senior director of college relations; Lois Draina, Marywood University retired dean; Sandra Feather, Penn State Scranton director of enrollment management; Frank Goskowski, Lackawanna College retired academic dean; Ritch Kelley, Clarks Summit University education department dean; Joseph Roback, University of Scranton associate vice provost for admissions and enrollment; and Sean Ann Kelly, Johnson College associate director of communications. Team members are selected without judges knowing nominees’ names or schools.

The newspaper will feature a profile of each Superstar, in alphabetical order, on page A2. Adams’ profile appears today.

Contact the writer: shofius@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9133; @hofiushallTT on Twitter

The nominees

Each year, The Times-Tribune invites local high schools to each nominate up to three graduating seniors to the Scholastic Superstar team. This year, high schools nominated more than 70 students, with the judges picking this year’s team of 25 without knowing students’ names or schools.


Abington Heights: Richard Fried, Ryan Siebecker and Katerina Williams

Blue Ridge: Daniel Tierney and Luis Tobon

Carbondale Area: Kristina Gorel, Madison Hayner and Dylan Rowland

Delaware Valley: Esther Lee, David Marcial and Chiara Ruggiero

Dunmore: Kaitlin Ahern, Emma Coar and Gia Occhipinti

Forest City Regional: AnQi Chen, Jordan Coles and Elizabeth Mayers

Holy Cross: Caroline Kranick, Ericka Pica and Olivia Zehel

Honesdale: Jacob Adams, Brandon Lawson and Mackenzie Meagher

Lackawanna Trail: Kiana Grella and Lili Martin

Lakeland: James Lewis, Adam Retzbach and Emily Seamans

Mid Valley: Marissa Angelo, Sean MacCallum and Jacob Vituszynski

Montrose Area: Katie Puterbaugh, Lacey Sanguinito and Colin Spellman

Mountain View: Lena Penny, Matthew Schwarztrauber and Lily Virbitsky

North Pocono: Kelsey Kline and Ashley Santaneillo

Old Forge: Corianne Holzman and Anna Kuckla

Pittston Area: Joseph Jones, Joseph Keska and Gabrielle Wassel

Riverside: Kevin Connor, Elizabeth Keegan and Morgan McGuire

Scranton: Claire Dunleavy, Claudia Pitts and Jonathan Yudhistira

Scranton Prep: Maureen Nole, Claire Sunday and Daniel Zych

Susquehanna Community: Bethany Maby, Chloe Tinklepaugh and Ashley Wallace

Tunkhannock Area: Jared Fernandez, Regan Kenia and Ryan Zalewski

Valley View: Taylor Boyle, Allison Xau Jun Giombetti and Amanda Sakulich

Wallenpaupack Area: Phoebe Cykosky, Rachael Tirjan and Tyler Wirth

West Scranton: Emilia Doda, Madolyn Emick and Evan Krysko

Western Wayne: Allison Mattern, Vaeda Pontosky and Bryce Urian.