Alumni Spotlight

  • David Cemini - MHS '83

    Posted by Methacton School District on 1/19/2023 8:00:00 AM

    david cemini

    David Cemini, a 1983 graduate of Methacton High School, comes from a family with strong Methacton roots. His mother was in the first graduating class. David’s wife Carol is a 1985 graduate of Methacton and they are proud parents to three children who are also Methacton graduates. He even has a grandson attending elementary school in Methacton.

    While David and his family are forever Methacton Warriors, he has also been a significant force in our community that goes beyond the school. David is recognized as one of the area’s foremost youth program leaders through his work with the Boy Scouts of America. David has been laser focused on character development and values-based leadership training for youth for more than 12 years. He recalls getting involved when his son became a scout and later took on a leadership role within the organization.

    “When they needed a leader, I stepped in. I served as an assistant Scoutmaster from 2010-11, and I’m currently serving as Scoutmaster of Scout Troop 313 of Audubon.”

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    (Photo credit: Lower Providence Township, 2019)

    David finds his work as a mentor and positive role model fulfilling. “I enjoy helping the scouts achieve their goals.” He is credited with helping 44 scouts reach the highest rank in scouting, Eagle Scout! In 2019, David was named Volunteer of the Year by Lower Providence Township. The award recognizes the inspiring efforts of an individual who continually gives of their time to support the Lower Providence community.

    Thinking back on his time as a student, David shares that one of his fondest Methacton memories was his time in Band. He played saxophone and served as band manager in his senior year. “Band kept me in school. It was something I enjoyed and it gave me a social life. There were 130 students in band at the time and it was a year round program so we spent a lot of time together.”

    David also received the John Philip Sousa award -- the highest honor in a high school band – which recognizes students with superior musicianship and outstanding dedication. He cited Jeffrey Twiford, teacher and Band Director, and Principal Aldo Benoni as his greatest influences because of the respect they showed to students. “They both treated you as an adult and not as a kid. When Mr. Benoni would see me in the hallway, he would always address me by name and shake my hand. He would talk to you like a regular person.”

    Upon graduation, David recalled his participation in a time-honored tradition. “I was selected to sign the honor book. I’m not sure why I was picked to do this, but it’s a lasting memory from my time at Methacton.”

    Today, David’s career in construction has led him to become a senior Project Manager for Gen3 Construction. He injects this simple, but direct advice into all that he does – “Work hard and play hard. You are only going to get out of life what you put into it. Do what you have to do to finish your day so tomorrow is not as difficult.”

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  • Lisa Larkin (Robbins) - MHS '95

    Posted by Methacton School District on 12/22/2022 4:00:00 PM

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    “Always be kind, always work hard and always have fun” is the recommendation to the Class of 2023 from Lisa Larkin (Robbins) – a Class of 1995 alumna who returned to her roots and never looked back.

    Once selected to sign the Methacton Honor Book, a long-standing tradition based on service and commitment to the graduating class, Ms. Larkin now upholds another long-standing tradition -- excellence in teaching at Methacton and commitment to all our students.

    She returned to Methacton after graduating from the University of Delaware in May of 1999 as a double major in Elementary Education and Special Education and took a position as an 8th grade learning support teacher. While Ms. Larkin has held several other positions, including 1st grade teacher, 6th grade teacher, and high school special education teacher. She is currently one of three Math Instructional Coaches in the district. Lisa focuses on K-4.

    Lisa teaching“My current mission is to create and deliver a math teaching and learning experience that supports growth and understanding for all students. Through the implementation of instructional best practices, I will seek to expand teacher capacity and engage students in mathematical thinking and skill development.”

    Ms. Larkin also holds a Master’s degree in Reading with a Reading Specialist Certification from Arcadia University and was awarded the prestigious Dr. Adeline W. Gomberg Scholarship in Reading.

    Lisa team  Lisa shares that homecoming was her favorite Methacton memory. “Grade level classes would decorate the school halls. Each class would be assigned a stretch of hallway, which was transformed into a thematic scene. A huge student pep rally would occur on Friday followed by a bonfire on school grounds to kick off the weekend. The homecoming football game was truly that - a homecoming of alumni and the community to crown the homecoming king and queen. The homecoming court would ride in convertibles around the track prior to the crowning. The football game would follow and then the dance in the gym. It was just a fun weekend filled with lasting memories”.

    Lisa credits Methacton Spanish teacher Peggy Nixon (now Swope) with being her greatest influence. “Thank you, Senora, for the impact you have had on my life.” She says Ms. Nixon encouraged her to continue studying Spanish into her college years and recalls what it was like to be in her class. “Senora always had a smile on her face and welcomed her students into her room each day ready to share her passion with enthusiasm and positivity. Senora took the time to know her students and would discover ways to facilitate learning to meet the needs of all of her students. She made learning fun and created a safe environment for students to be vulnerable. Learning a second language can be a challenge - different letters and sounds, unfamiliar dialogue, strange grammatical rules...everything!”

    Lisa FamilyToday, Lisa describes herself as a mom to two beautiful children, wife to a supportive husband, and educator who works full-time in a career that she loves. When reflecting on the people and things in her life, she wants others not to take these moments for granted and to recognize that time is a gift. “Life passes us by so quickly. Take the time to rediscover yourself and be present.”

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  • Ryann Hierholzer (Krais) - MHS '08

    Posted by Methacton School District on 11/21/2022

    Ryann Hierholzer (Krais) is a 2008 graduate of Methacton High School. She is one of the most widely recognized and highly celebrated student-athletes in Methacton School District history. “Eye of the Tiger” was her favorite song back then as it resonated with the strength of her work ethic and desire to win. And winning is exactly what she has done and has continued to do far beyond this windy hill.

    Having achieved national recognition as a high school sophomore in the Heptathlon event, Ryann found her way to UCLA and then to Kansas State on an athletic scholarship, where she continued to earn recognition and find success on and off the track.

    As a high school athlete, Ryann placed fifth in Track & Field News Athlete of the Year voting; was a Track & Field News All-American in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, and heptathlon; was a three-time USA Today All-American; competed at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 400m hurdles; was a nine-time outdoor state champion; a five-time indoor state champion; a three-time Pennsylvania Outdoor Athlete of the Year; was the 2007 Pennsylvania Gatorade Athlete of the Year; and earned gold at the sprint medley relay and bronze in the 400m hurdles at the World Youth Championships. 

    In addition, she competed at the World Junior Championships in 2008; set a state record in the 300m hurdles (41.2) and national class records in the heptathlon (sophomore/junior); ranked second all-time in the U.S. for the indoor pentathlon (3823); and ranked eighth all-time in the U.S Prep 400m hurdles (with a best of 57.2). In the 2008 prep rankings, Ryann was No. 1 in the heptathlon (5522), third in the U.S. in the 300m hurdles (41.20), and fifth in the 400m hurdles (58.96). In all, she was a 14-time state champion.

    As a collegiate hurdler and heptathlete, Ryann won the NCAA meet in the heptathlon and took 3rd in the hurdles, placed 2nd in 2011 for the heptathlon at the USA national championship, won the Elite 89 award for highest GPA at the NCAA meet in 2012, and finished 7th in the 2012 Olympic Trials.

    “Just like [on] social media, a collection of accolades can paint a more glorious picture of someone's life than reality,” Ryann said. “I remember looking up to my high school heroes and imagining that they had it all figured out. If I have the honor of being anyone's role model, I think it's important that they know my path was absolutely not without struggle. I didn't escape the self-doubt, fear of failure, heartbreaks, and loneliness that often accompanies the high school years (and I especially didn't escape it throughout college). I think what I really want any reader to know is that life doesn't have to be perfect to be meaningful. You don't need medals to have a platform. You don't even need a platform to make a difference. You are loved no matter what! Be good to others and give yourself grace."  

    Ryann says many Methacton teachers have influenced her but one person stands out for helping to nurture her talents. “Mr. Ronzano is a special person to me because of the time and energy he spent helping me reach my goals, but there have been many moments of impact from countless people that I still appreciate today.” She credits Mr. Merscher, Mr. McCann, Mr. Rice, and Mr. Ryan as some of the people who influenced her winning ways in the classroom, hallways, and on the track. 

    One of those influential teachers had this to say about Ryann: “She truly is a special kid (who may no longer be a kid, but always will be to me),” said Mr. Ronzano. “Ryann was never one that enjoyed the spotlight. When she would receive a State Medal (often times a "Gold"), she would come off the podium, wrap the ribbon around the medal and hand it to her parents. Although an incredibly gifted athlete, that is not what defines Ryann.  Methacton has always had the good fortune of having phenomenal student-athletes. Ryann was an exceptional student [and] one of the most decorated athletes in school history, but above everything else, she had the ability to bring out the best in everyone around her. In 2008, Ryann's senior year, the Girl's Track and Field Team won the PIAA State Championship. Throughout the meet and her entire high school career, the spotlight was on Ryann. When asked by the press, all she wanted to talk about was her teammates and what THEY had accomplished. She would be the last one to take the credit, but SHE is the one that elevated others to perform at a higher level than ever imagined. That's just who Ryann Krais Hierholzer has always been. She has been an inspiration to so many young women over the years.”

    Some of Ryann’s favorite memories are from when she was running relays with her high school track team and going to school dances. “I always felt very supported at Methacton, and that is thanks to the whole community.”

    She has taken her winning ways toward helping others. Ryann currently works as a certified health and wellness coach and is preparing to begin graduate school this winter to become a professional counselor. She also holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology.

    When asked what advice she would give to current Methacton students, Ryann emphatically said, “Be confident in the education you are receiving. When I first started at UCLA, I was concerned about the academic expectations. I soon discovered that Methacton had really prepared me for the next level of education.” 

    Ryann said that she is thankful for her high school experience. “I love getting the opportunity to visit home and reconnect with friends.”  

    These days, Ryann can be found in Austin, Texas caring for her two children and reveling in the great joy that her marriage and children bring. While she has retired from track, she remains an athlete in competitive soccer.

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  • George Croner - MHS '71

    Posted by Methacton School District on 10/20/2022

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    George Croner, Methacton High School Class of 1971, is a former principal litigation counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the National Security Agency (NSA), where he served following a long and exciting career that began with his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. Having graduated from the Navy with distinction in 1975, he served on an aircraft carrier for two years before being accepted into the Navy's Law Education Program and then graduating cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1980.

    Mr. Croner has had an extraordinary career. He is part of a Methacton legacy only surpassed by his father, William Croner, a teacher and administrator at Methacton from its opening in 1962 until he retired in 1982. George credits his father as the single greatest influence on his life and, he suspects, his father has influenced countless other Methacton graduates as well. When William passed away in 1994, George’s family created the William G. Croner Memorial Award, which has been presented to a worthy Methacton graduating senior each year for the past quarter century.

    George recalls that when he attended Methacton, the junior and senior high schools operated out of one building. He remembers being in that building for 6 years. Fifty years later, it is hard to nearly impossible for him to select a "favorite" memory, but George says he has indelible recollections of his entire family going to that one building every day because Methacton was truly the center of their universe. George is a proud graduate of Methacton High School and he asserts that it provided the foundation for all that has followed in his life.

    George worked as a Navy JAG both at NSA and in a variety of other legal capacities before leaving the Navy in 1988, and continuing in the private practice of law for the next 28 years. During his time in the NSA, he worked as NSA’s principal lawyer on several major espionage cases and as NSA's representative to the White House Iran-Contra interagency group. For his service related to the Iran-Contra matter, he received a letter of appreciation from President Ronald Reagan, and his 13 years of active-duty military service as a Navy lawyer landed him two Defense Meritorious Service Medals (DMSMs), a Meritorious Service Medal (MSM), and a Navy Commendation Medal (NCM).

    Following 28 years of private law practice while serving as shareholder and director of a Philadelphia-based law firm, he retired in 2016 and returned to his NSA interests to write on foreign intelligence and national security matters. In 2017, he was invited to join the Foreign Policy Research Institute (fpri.org) as a Senior Fellow, and he has had over 50 articles published on a variety of media platforms addressing issues of national security, foreign intelligence and electronic surveillance with a particular focus on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  He also serves on the Advisory Council to the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law (CERL) at the University of Pennsylvania, he is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, and remains "Of Counsel" to his law firm as indicated on the law firm's website (www.kohnswift.com).

    George has a profound appreciation for his experience as a high school student. “The quality of your education impacts your future success more than, perhaps, any other single factor.” His advice to current Methacton HS students: “Take advantage of the opportunities that Methacton offers. I didn't fully appreciate this while I was attending Methacton but, when I started at the Naval Academy and was matriculating with people drawn from high schools all over the United States, I quickly came to recognize the quality of the education I had received at Methacton. The Naval Academy's academic standards were quite high but, after assessment testing, I validated an entire year of English, Spanish, and math that afforded me significant academic opportunities not available to others who didn’t have the more flexible curriculum created by those validations. I quickly recognized that the quality of the education I had received at Methacton represented the major difference in creating those academic opportunities.”

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  • Mark Constable - MHS '69

    Posted by Methacton School District on 9/15/2022

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    Mark Constable's first connection to "Methacton" goes back more than sixty years. It began one day in 1960 when he and his father explored numerous concrete footers that had been poured near the high point area where Germantown Pike and Kriebel Mill Road meet. Officially, that location was the joint secondary school construction site for Lower Providence and Worcester Townships. The footers were the foundation for what would become “Methacton Junior-Senior High School”, and it was the beginning of Mark's long history of experiences with and for Methacton.

    Mark said he still remembers the day during the 1960-61 school year when his Worcester Elementary School Principal, John Scholl, interrupted classes to make a special announcement over the school's PA system: “The results from community voters have been tabulated and the name of the new high school will be Methacton spelled M-E-T-H-A-C-T-O-N...a Native American word which means 'an evil or difficult to climb hill'. The school mascot will be a warrior and the school colors will be Dartmouth Green and white.”

    Methacton's first graduating class was the class of 1964. Mark noted that year (the 1963-64 school year) brought about several other firsts for Methacton as well. He said, “Being built as a school for grades 7 through 12, it was the first year we actually had students who were in 7th through 12th grades. The football team won their first game ever. It was the first year that there was a senior prom and it was the first year Methacton had an official yearbook. It was also the first year that my classmates (MHS Class of 69) attended Methacton.”

     
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    While at Methacton, Mark was on the football, basketball and track and field teams. He was also a member of student council and class congress. He enjoyed serving on prom and banquet committees along with his participation in the Varsity M Club and the Track and Field Club. He noted how the first generation of Methacton teachers supported student activities and events. “The faculty members really supported student activities and our sports teams. They served as our coaches, sponsors and chaperones. They also attended performances and competitions to support our efforts and to let us know they cared.”

    Many faculty members also participated during pep rallies and special events. “I can still see Mr. Bill Forsyth (biology) and Mr. Charlie Wisner (math) during a pep rally each leading their side of the gymnasium while trying to out cheer the other side. Faculty members would also dress up in funny outfits during faculty-student competitions and during the faculty follies assembly."

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    Mark said that he benefited greatly while being a student during Methacton's first generation. “Methacton was a brand-new, well-equipped school when we attended. I later learned from Mr. Vincent Farina (former Supervising Principal and Superintendent) how the faculty was put together to staff the new high school. There was a lot of thought and planning that went into the selection process. I really appreciated what Mr. Farina did for Methacton. I can also say that he had a positive influence on my experiences as a student, as an athlete, and as an educator at Methacton.”

    After graduating from Methacton, Mark attended Bloomsburg University where he was a member of the Husky Football and Track and Field teams. He served as a member of the Student/Faculty Senate and the Inter-fraternity Council. He was also a Resident Advisor for men and a Fraternity House Manager. He majored in Social Sciences and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1973.

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    Mark returned to Methacton in 1973 to teach fourth grade at Audubon Elementary School. He also coached football at the high school. He became Methacton School District’s first Professional Development Coordinator in 1984. His role primarily included providing needs-based staff development opportunities and follow-up support for Methacton educators. He also created Methacton's continuing professional development plans and assessed progress. Mark recalled how beneficial it was for him to also be able to observe and learn from others while he was in his professional development role. Interestingly, at times, he was tasked with providing professional development for educators who had once taught him when he was in school at Methacton.

     
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    Mark returned to teaching in the regular classroom during the 2001-2002 school year when he joined the Explorers Team to teach 6th grade Geography at Arcola. He enjoyed the opportunity to apply much of what he had learned and observed as a staff developer. He also realized how much he missed teaching and coaching the “kids”. Mark retired from teaching in 2008. He continued to coach the Methacton Track and Field team until 2013.
     
     
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    Mark credits Methacton's first generation of teachers, along with his father (Joe Constable) and his uncle (Richard Constable), for helping to drive his love for teaching, coaching and professional development.

     
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    Those who know Mark would not only say what an outstanding individual he is, but how passionate he is about all things Methacton. Mark has been actively involved in many influential roles at Methacton. He was a student, an athlete, a teacher, a coach, a mentor, a role model and a professional development coordinator. He has also been a member of the Methacton Schoolmen's Club since 1973, serving many years as the club's president and treasurer.
     
     
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    In 2009, Mark helped to establish what has become the Methacton Education Foundation. He served as the Foundation president for six years. He continues to support the foundation. Over the years, he has also been involved with many Methacton Alumni activities, including reunions, homecoming events, the 50th anniversary graduation walks, tours, alumni and friends golf outings and more.
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    Today, you can often find Mark in the press box, on the field or in the gym during Methacton events. He enjoys spending time and riding bikes with his wife of 47 years, Nancy. He also enjoys reconnecting with former Methacton classmates, alumni and colleagues.
     
    Although Mark retired from Methacton as an employee in 2008, he has never retired from his unofficial role as “Mr. Methacton”.

     

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  • Kevin Kochka MHS '06

    Posted by Methacton School District on 5/26/2022

    kevin kochka

    The breadth of accomplishments and occupations of our Methacton graduates is astounding. This month we not only share the success of another graduate with you, but emphasize our appreciation for what he has done in helping to protect and serve others.

    Kevin Kochka is a 2006 graduate of Methacton High School and currently serves as a Community Services Officer as well as Public Information Officer with the Pennsylvania State Police. Kevin attended Lock Haven University, where he walked on to the baseball team as a three-year starter and graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice. Having seen his career develop over the years from a Correctional Officer to a West Chester Borough Police Dispatcher and through his appointment to the State Police Academy in 2015, Kevin has always served to protect others.

    It’s no secret that Methacton has a strong history of having great teachers. Kevin shared that Jamie Sabella Gravinese had the greatest impact on him. “She continued to be invested not only in my education before and after having her class, but […] invested her time in my family's life. She listened to me when I needed to vent, she consistently followed up with me to ensure [that] I continued to succeed, and for those reasons, I will be forever grateful and still continue to stay in touch with her to this day.” Kevin praised all of Methacton’s teachers for being strong educators who prepare students for their future endeavors.

    Playing baseball and golf as a Warrior was another highlight of Kevin’s high school career. He received the Schoolman's Award for overall character and contributions to the community as a senior. He also received the Coach's Award for best all-around work ethic and attitude and was the recipient of the Lions Club Award.

    In terms of advice for current students, Kevin suggests the following mantra: “Tough times don't last, but tough people do". He uses this quote regularly and believes it serves as a reminder that “whatever you are going through, WE will get you through it TOGETHER.”

    Kevin resides in West Grove with his wife, two daughters and dog Beau and enjoys golf and slow pitch softball among spending time with his family.

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  • Karen Pflug-felder - MHS ' 67

    Posted by Methacton School District on 4/29/2022

    karen pflug-felder

    Karen Pflug-felder is a 1967 graduate of Methacton High School and taught at her alma mater from 1972-2005. Karen attended Dickinson College for undergrad and obtained her Master’s degree in education from Arcadia University (then known as Beaver College).  She was one of the founding members of the Methacton Education Foundation and served as Board secretary. Karen has amassed outstanding achievements during her career. She was inducted into the Dickinson College Sports Hall of Fame and was nominated for Who's Who Among America's Teachers. She was also the first recipient of the Warrior Legacy Award.

    Karen has very positive memories of her time as a Methacton student. “Some of my best friends were made at Methacton and we still remain friends after 50 plus years.” She was very involved in extra-curricular activities and sports. She enjoyed playing field hockey, basketball and lacrosse and being part of Student Council and Student Congress. Academically, Karen was a star student, having graduated third in her class. She also shined as an athlete, receiving the WNAR Sports award and an award for Most Outstanding Female Athlete. While all of Karen’s teachers helped prepare her for college, she credits former Methacton teachers Bill Forsyth and Janet Geatens as her greatest influences.  “Their excellent teaching encouraged me to major in and teach biology.”

    Karen shares that some of her very best memories of Methacton are from her days of teaching. “I can truly say that I enjoyed every day I spent in the classroom.” She taught biology, A.P. biology, applied science, and environmental science and was Department Chair from 1982 until 2005. After school, Karen coached girl’s basketball, girl’s softball and girl’s lacrosse. She also sponsored the Classes of 1975, 1989 and 1996.

    Karen had this to say in terms of advice for current students: “Take your high school education seriously, but also have fun!”

    Karen is keeping busy in her retirement and still enjoys sports, hiking, bicycling, golfing, and coaching an adult softball league.

    We salute Karen Pflug-felder as an alumni who continues to make us Methacton PROUD.

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  • Karthik Yegnesh – MHS ‘18

    Posted by Methacton School District on 3/30/2022 6:00:00 PM

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    Karthik Yegnesh is grateful to be a part of the Methacton community. It served as the foundation that allowed him to achieve tremendous success in the subject of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) long before earning his diploma at Methacton High School in 2018. Karthik won first place in the mathematics category at the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) during his junior year. His award winning submission was titled, “The Homotopy Theory of Parametrized Objects”.

    Additionally, Karthik was among 80 of the world’s most accomplished high school students to earn a spot at MIT’s Research Science Institute (RSI). RSI is a summer science and engineering program that combines on-campus course work in scientific theory with off-campus work in science and technology research.

    Methacton High School science teacher, Mr. Helm, is credited with fostering opportunities for Karthik and his fellow classmates. “Mr. Helm’s work clearly supports the scientific research community and encourages students to be involved”.

    Karthik’s S.T.E.M ambitions have only grown stronger as he studies Applied Math and Economics at Harvard College. The senior spent this past summer as an intern with Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. He also published a paper that focuses on applying pure mathematics to understanding network science.

    Karthik suggests that current Methacton students should always find ways to challenge themselves. “Take risks. Don't be afraid to put a lot of time into things you are passionate about, even if it's different from what other people are doing.”

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  • Matthew Michaels - MHS '11

    Posted by Methacton School District on 2/25/2022 6:00:00 PM

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    Our next alumni spotlight features a Temple Owl that you may have heard on the radio.

    Matthew Michaels has been queuing up some of Philly’s Relaxing Hits as a Digital Program Director for iHeartMedia/iHeartRadio. It is a career that requires him to wear many hats – with responsibilities on air and behind the scenes. He relishes the challenge that comes with his work. Matthew earned this opportunity shortly after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies and Production at Temple University.

    “I was able to be on morning radio just a year out of college!” For the past five years, Matthew has had his own on air slot. You can hear him on 106.1 The Breeze on Sunday nights from 7p-12a.

    Before radio became his passion, Matthew’s high school experience focused on building great relationships with friends and teachers. One teacher who had a profound impact on his career as a student was his English teacher, Ms. Meanix. Matthew took her class as a freshman and as a senior. He remembers enjoying her style of teaching. Another teacher who had a great influence on Matthew was his father, Bryan Michaels, who taught in the Methacton School District for more than 20 years.

    In terms of experiences, the Class of 2011 graduate admittedly wishes that he had been involved in more of the available extra-curricular opportunities.

    “It's okay to get involved in activities and clubs, but even if you're not, I wouldn't worry about it. There's always time to branch out more in college”.

    There is one activity that Matthew is glad he didn’t miss out on – Post Prom. He remembers it being a ton of fun.

    “I was always amazed at the work that went into the Post Prom by volunteers and staff – they made it such a great time for everyone.”

    Although he graduated a decade ago, Matthew believes the following advice will serve us well at any age. “Always stay true to yourself, be humble, and always be willing to learn more.”

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  • Bill Covaleski - MHS '81

    Posted by Methacton School District on 11/22/2021

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    Bill Covaleski is the Co-Founder and Brewmaster of Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Chester County. Long before Bill’s business became a household name and giant in the global craft beer industry, he was a Methacton High School student who played ice hockey and even earned the title of ‘Most Artistic’ in the Class of 1981 yearbook. Bill recalls his high school experience as being one of great fulfillment.

    “My favorite Methacton memory was graduation as the day was full of promise for the future. I believe that my friends and I felt that we were exiting high school well-prepared for exciting futures of our own choosing.”

    Bill went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Temple University’s Tyler of School of Art & Architecture with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He also earned a certificate for Brewing Studies at the Doemens Institute in Munich, Germany.

    He points to his Methacton art teacher, Pam Johnson, as the educator who had the most influence on his life as a student.

    “There are two reasons why I feel she made a great impact on my future. First, she taught a thorough range of materials, methods and techniques so that a young artist was exposed to many channels for their creative expression to flow into. Additionally, she also made time to convey the less tangible aspects of art by offering historical context and inspiring concepts. As an example of this second point, she once made the statement 'the mind is like a compost pile so expect to dig deep for the richest material.' That has always resonated with me in my pursuit of solutions and directly in my business.”

    Bill and his business partner, Ron Barchet, were best friends through their high school years. The pair used that time together to inspire and challenge one another to work harder.

    “We often selected differing classes and compared notes on what we were learning and experiencing. A short thirteen years after graduating we found ourselves writing our business plan for a brewery as we had both gathered diverse experience that one another could benefit from in a business mode. Our strength was that of a team, not as two isolated individuals.”

     

    bill and ronBill (left) and business partner Ron Barchet in 1995 when brewing equipment was delivered to Downingtown, PA location.

    Today -- their teamwork is paying dividends as evidenced by the success of Victory Brewing Company. Just last year, Bill and Ron were inducted into the Chester County Business Hall of Fame. The award recognizes an individual’s outstanding achievements and contributions within the local business community. They are also recipients of the Clayton M. Hoff Award from the Brandywine Valley Association for their environmental stewardship.

    Bill currently serves as a board member with the Chester County Agricultural Land Preservation, the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau, and Downingtown Main Street Association. He has also served as the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association and as President of the Brewers of Pennsylvania.

    Bill and his family

    When he’s not leading Victory Brewing Company’s marketing team, Bill enjoys traveling with his family.

    We salute Bill Covaleski as an alumni who continues to make us Methacton PROUD!

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