HVCHS athletes and academics recognized

Even while navigating the uncertainty of schools opening and closing during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hopewell Valley Central High School students continue to succeed both in sports and academically.

At the HVRSD Board of Education meeting Monday, student representative Sheila Garrity announced that three student athletes recently signed their National Letter of Intent. They are:

Franki Gomez: University of Rochester (basketball)
Bella DiNardo: Lock Haven University (field hockey)
Mari Kwak: University of Buffalo (diving)

Franki Gomez levitates over the competition with 1 second to go against Notre Dame in a game last season. (Photo by Paul Domboski)

Also at the meeting, CHS Principal Patricia Riley introduced this years’s National Merit Commended Scholars and National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars. Riley explained that the National Merit Scholarship began in 1955 as a competition among students who take the PSAT. This year, she said, there were 1.6 million entrants but only 34,000 chosen for recognition nationwide.

Riley continued: “Not only are these students incredibly bright, as you can see from their performance on the PSAT, but they’re well rounded as well. Among the students in this group, we have varsity athletes in wrestling, ice hockey, cross country, track, and soccer, talented musicians, student leaders, and activists. I asked the students to share some fun facts about themselves with me, and I learned that we also have a former child model, a piano player and composer, someone who was born just 15 minutes away from the hospital where LeBron James was born (in the same year that he got drafted), an award winning dancer, the defending Mercer County Wrestling Tournament champion, a world traveler who has been to four different continents, and a disproportionate number of varsity boys soccer players. Coach Gola is doing something great out there – a quarter of the people recognized tonight are on his team.”

Riley concluded by telling all the students that she is “incredibly honored” to be their principal.

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Amie Rukenstein
Amie Rukenstein is a very curious and enthusiastic resident of Hopewell Township who can never let a question go unanswered. Amie lives in Titusville with her husband, Ron, and numerous pets. She vastly enjoys frequent visits from her college-age children and their friends. In most aspects of her life, including with her new role at MercerMe, Amie is an organizer. With a full-time job and as a member of several non-profit organizations, she finds herself most often with her laptop open and excel and google on the screen. She does, however, leave the computer as often as possible to hike in Washington Crossing Park. Amie and Ron recently purchased what appears to be the oldest structure in Titusville. Known as The Titus Store at the corner of Church and River Drive and abandoned for 20 years, they look forward to restoring the building to its former glory.

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