GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT

Andrew Waldron - Class of 2017

August 10, 2017

U.S. Naval Academy

Allentown Central Catholic echoes the motto: faith, tradition, and excellence.

 

But beyond its monthly mass, its state championship banners, and its academic reputation...ACCHS reveals the tough truths that no perfect system exists, that nothing is free, and alma mater matters.

 

ACCHS's urban environment shatters the sheltered, suburban ideal of public schools and prep schools. Rough around the edges, Center City Allentown gives students a vibrant community, a chance to serve, and new perspectives. Allentown's imperfections highlight life's entropy. They teach students to accept the uncontrollable and adapt in discomfort.

 

Free is just a politician's word for taxpayer money. While public school offers affordability, it requires zero skin in the game. Tuition incentivizes hard work. And at ACCHS, that hard work is recognizable on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.

 

Allentown Central Catholic students are proud to sing of good old student days and cheer the green and gold. Alumni connect to their alma mater and people recognize the ACCHS brand. But most importantly, Allentown Central Catholic is a maturing ground for life.

Margaret Fleck - Class of 2017

July 28, 2017

Attending Penn State University


When I arrived at Allentown Central Catholic, I knew six people out of a class of over two hundred freshmen. It was intimidating. Four years later, I can name almost everyone, and have made many close friendships and some awesome memories. I medaled in tennis tournaments, performed with the band in Walt Disney World, and Marched for Life in Washington, D.C. I traveled to Rome, served dinner to the homeless, and conquered calculus and physics.

 

One of the most unique experiences of my life was the direct result of the first ever computer programming class at ACCHS. With only three-quarters of the year under my belt, I entered a STEM challenge sponsored by Marvel Studios and — amazingly — became one of five national finalists. A simple computer program landed me in Hollywood at the world premiere of the newest Captain America movie. This once in a lifetime experience, coupled with the challenging but fun time I've had in Computer Programming 1 and 2, led me to major in Computer Science at Penn State University.

 

I have had so many opportunities to grow academically, athletically, musically, and spiritually. I owe them first of all to my parents for making the sacrifice to send me to ACCHS. However, ACCHS would be nothing without the incredible faculty and staff who give so much of themselves for their students, and I will always be grateful for the inspiration, entertainment, and knowledge they provided every single day.

William Gerlach - Class of 2017

July 20, 2017

Attending the University of Pittsburgh

During my time at Allentown Central Catholic, I experienced several successes and joys, as well as a few challenges and failures. Despite my shortcomings, I strongly believe that these experiences impacted my life in a positive manner.

 

As for the successes, I was a member of NHS, the tennis team, CYO basketball, and acted as a "big brother" in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. These activities, as well as many others, gave me much joy and greatly improved my overall high school experience.

 

The family environment cultivated at ACCHS is truly unlike any other high school. Classmates have your back whether you're best friends or someone you just met 5 minutes ago. It's an amazing thing that you have to experience to fully understand.

 

While I enjoyed my time at ACCHS, I did fail a few times throughout high school. I am a firm believer that we learn the most from our mistakes. For example, I decided to do track freshman year. I loved Mr. Ackerman, wanted to get involved, and had a few friends that joined the team too. After a few weeks, I quickly realized something: I hated running. I wanted to quit, but my friends, family, and teachers told me to continue and finish out the year. Two months later, the season finally came to a close. I made it out alive. After looking back on the season, I was thankful for the support of my Viking family. Although the season was difficult, it taught me an important life skill: perseverance.

 

My experience at Allentown Central Catholic is something I will always cherish and remember!

Olivia M. Dahlgren - Class of 2017

July 12, 2017

Attending Lehigh University


My time at Allentown Central Catholic has overall been enjoyable. Throughout the past four years, I have grown as a student, friend, and person. The teachers and academics have prepared me for college.

 

Coming in as a freshman, I thought school would be easy just like middle school. However, that wasn't the case. At ACCHS, you have to work for grades and earn them. They are not just given. But it's rewarding when you get into the college of your choice. Was I really up for wearing a uniform every day for four years? Yeah, it made my mornings easier! Those $1 dress down days were extra hype because who doesn't love wearing sweatpants on a Friday?

Being surrounded by good people helped make the experience easier. Not everyone is perfect, but at ACCHS we learn all of our differences and grow together. I have met people I will know forever and I know the kind of people I want to be friends with in the future. Getting involved in clubs and going to football games was a great way to establish friends and relationships.

 

As for my future, the teachers in the science department really made my high school years enjoyable. My major at Lehigh University will be Biochemistry. Mrs. O'Neill, Mrs. Scialla and Mrs. Winchilla helped me to learn what I want to do with the rest of my life. Having classes like theirs really gave me a mindset for a career. 

 

Catholic school is a lifestyle. The question is: "is it worth it?" And in my opinion, "yes!" You get to practice your faith, grow with it, grow as a person, challenge your mind in academics, and save money on clothes...so it's a win win!

Joshua F. Ruszas - Class of 2017

July 07, 2017

Attending Duquesne University

Although my time at Allentown Central Catholic High School has come to a close after four very short years, I look back and appreciate how much this school (family) has made such a positive impact on my life and my future. There had been some challenges, but always with the presence of joy in the end. ACCHS has built the foundation for my future and has put me in a position to be successful.

 

As a senior, it was really easy to get off track and become unfocused in school. In combination with being the ultimate procrastinator, working hard in the last few months was a huge challenge for me. I needed a way to overcome this. My teachers, who I can now call friends, have ingrained in me to never give up, that everything taught to me will matter at some point in life. I’ve taken this and applied it to my future endeavors. I can’t thank them enough.

I can honestly say being at ACCHS was a genuine joy in my life. I’ve met lifelong friends and developed into the person I am today. ACCHS has helped me to discover my true worth. Most importantly, I have had awesome experiences with the people I love most. Also, having teachers that you know are always there for you is a real plus in my eyes (that sometimes you can take for granted!)

 

After graduation, I will be attending Duquesne University, to study Health Management Systems with a Pre-Health Track. I plan on going to Medical School to become a physician. I’ve always had a passion for healing and medicine.

    

Thanks to ACCHS, I’ve become the person I am today. That sounds pretty typical to say, but it’s true. I really appreciate everyone — friends, teachers, and staff — for contributing to me. I wouldn’t have chosen any other high school!

Cecelia L. Tabor - Class of 2017

June 29, 2017

Attending Cedar Crest College

 

In traversing the winding steps of the Atrium at Allentown Central Catholic, they remind one much of the journey up from the closeness of earth at birth and the climb to see the sky; so of course, the challenges met along the stairs shaped me as a person. Throughout my journey here through the classrooms and hallways, I've learned to be the true me that resides within the deep-seated dwelling of my soul, that any other representation of myself would be a false one. I've gained pride in the fact that, though I may not know who I truly am right now, ACCHS has led me to uncover a lot of myself. In relation to that, the classes themselves evoked a want to discover more and uncover the secrets of the world that the earth has long kept hidden. My time here has influenced me greatly to be true to myself; to explore and capture the beauty of the life around us. 

Mitchell A. Dobbs - Class of 2017

June 23, 2017

Attending Penn State University

As a senior transfer, my time on North Fourth and Chew was limited. However, the opportunities I had, and the relationships I was able to craft, were just the opposite — limitless. In just one school term, my relationship with Christ, my world view, and my ability to think critically were transformed. Having been in a giant public school district for the previous twelve years of my education, I can guarantee you that the aforementioned opportunities are truly unique to this small, Christ-centered school — Allentown Central Catholic High School.

 

Perhaps it is not until we graduate that we are able to appreciate the various people, classes, and experiences that shaped our high school experiences. Looking back, at just under two hundred days wearing green and gold, I encountered individuals who will be by my side for life, classes that transformed the way I view the world, and most importantly, an unshakeable relationship with Christ. As a Viking, your chaplain is truly one-of-a-kind. If you choose to participate in the Mass, the retreats, and listen in your theology classes, I can assure you that your faith will indeed grow.

 

Granted, I did not grow up in Catholic school, and I am the first in my family to attend a private educational institution. My faith was not forced upon me. Allentown Central Catholic gives you the opportunity to challenge various preconceived notions regarding your faith. The staff wants you to grow in mind, body, and spirit, which will never occur without challenges on various fronts. Confront these challenges head on, and your experience in the green and gold will be truly unique. Open your heart and your mind, and you will not be disappointed. Even as a non-Catholic senior transfer, I certainly was not.

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ALLENTOWN CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL

CATHOLIC EDUCATION IN THE HEART OF ALLENTOWN SINCE 1926