LORETTO - Scott Ranck of Revloc said coming to Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in his junior year was "the best decision of my life." He had nothing but praise for his 38 fellow classmates who graduated with him Wednesday night during ceremonies at St. Francis University.
"Everybody is so easy to get along with, I really made a lot of friends,'' said Ranck, who is the son of Jerry and Joanne Ranck.
Ranck said the students and faculty made him feel welcome from the moment he walked in the doors as a new student two years ago. He also had praise for his basketball coach because he's felt comfortable on the court, too.
Photo for the Mirror by Matthew Callan
From left, Sarah Kochara of Gallitzin, Kristen Albright of Ebensburg and Veronica Poole of Ebensburg take a few minutes to chat before they attend their graduation ceremony for Bishop Carroll Catholic High School on Wednesday.
"There's so much you can do at the school, so many opportunities," said Ranck, who plans to major in safety science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. That's a path that could lead to a career as an inspector of oil rigs, he said.
Ranck won the Guy G. Monica Memorial Scholarship, which was named after a longtime area coach, said school English teacher and public relations director Joseph Skura.
The award is given to a student for dedication and commitment to his team while representing the school both on and off the court.
Skura said he and school Principal Lorie Ratchford are very proud of the graduating class, citing the group's many civic achievements, including its donations to local and national charities.
"Their work has influenced other students in our building and community in a very positive light,'' said Skura, who is also assistant athletic director, student council adviser and head girls volleyball coach.
Ratchford told the audience at the graduation ceremony that the seniors were "witnesses'' to their Catholic faith in their service to others.
"We are having such a great year,'' Ratchford said she has told people throughout the year, adding a note to the parents in the audience, "your children made it such as great year.''
Salutatorian Eileen Shoemaker recalled that Bishop Carroll has twice been named one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the country and spoke of her fellow classmates' "God-given skills'' and newly developed talents.
Valedictorian Matthew Deskevich also encouraged his peers to continue to "go hard,'' as one teacher advised them in school.
"I never stopped learning at Bishop Carroll, and I do not plan on stopping any time soon,'' he said.