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The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

The Voice of the Tyrone Area High School

Tyrone Eagle Eye News

Three Added to TASD Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame

The Tyrone Area School District added three new names to its Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame this fall.

Award winners John W. Pavone and Kelly Crain Wike visited the Tyrone Area School District on September 22, 2023, to receive their awards and speak to students, faculty, and alumni.

Also receiving recognition was Mr. William Neil, who is also a member of the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Class, but could not attend the in-person events.

The Distinguished Alumni Recognition program was established in 2002 by former Tyrone Superintendent William Miller and honors Tyrone Area High School graduates who have made significant contributions within their professional lives and/or in their community.

Inductees are honored with a portrait plaque displayed in the TAHS main corridor, across from the auditorium.

Having been put on hold since 2017 due to a number of factors, 2023 facilitates the first new honorees to be added in six years.

The alumni were welcomed to TAHS early Friday morning with a breakfast in the library.

Superintendent Leslie Estep formally introduced Mr. Pavone and Ms. Wike to some of the district’s staff, including the principals of each school. Brief presentations about the buildings and faculty were given to the alumni before they were escorted to various classrooms during the second, third, and fourth periods to present to current classes.

There was undoubtedly much to learn from both visiting alumni. Each honoree showcased their unique and inspiring personality within their conversations with students.

It was interesting to escort the alumni and fun to listen to them tell their stories. I enjoyed the breakfast getting to talk to both Mr. Pavone and Ms. Wike and learning things about our school.

— Rylee Fleck

Kelly “Kel” Crain Wike was the valedictorian of her 1969 class and spent her entire professional career in the areas of education and insurance. Wike was a lifelong member of the Tyrone community, where he has been active in many community organizations, especially the Rotary.

Wike settled quite quickly in front of her designated groups of students.

Wike had a comfortable mixture of formality and inspiration while in the classrooms, likely established by her 13-year teaching career, most of which was at the Tyrone Area High School.

Wike held the students’ interest with photos of her trips to India with the Rotary, where she made a life-saving effort to immunize children against Polio and aided in dam-building for better irrigation in Indian communities.

She provided many details from her travels and discussed her years of hard work within the education, insurance, and Rotary fields. Wike left students with many questions about her encounters, which she was quick and enthusiastic about answering.

Senior Rylee Fleck escorted Wike throughout the duration of the morning. She reflected on the experience by expressing her interest in learning about both graduates.

“It was interesting to escort the alumni and fun to listen to them tell their stories,” Fleck said, “I enjoyed the breakfast getting to talk to both Mr. Pavone and Ms. Wike and learning things about
our school.”

Class of 1957 graduate Mr. John Pavone took a more casual approach to his conversations with students.

Pavone is a storyteller by nature, and his recollections of his time in the Air Force had his audiences hooked from beginning to end. Pavone is an accomplished world traveler and reflected on his many travels across the world with students, emphasizing his journeys through Germany as some of his favorites.

Mr. Pavone was very humble about his accomplishments in meteorology in support of the Air Force and organizations such as the National Hurricane Center, having coordinated winter storm missions that had the potential of saving thousands of lives.

His unit was able to increase the rate of aircraft data flow thirty times over, which is certainly no easy feat. For such a distinguished and high-achieving man, Mr. Pavone’s most notable qualities truly were the kindness and humor that he radiated throughout his time visiting the school.

The final recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award was Mr. William Neil, organist and harpsichordist of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Neil was not able to attend this year’s honoree visit, but he sent his well wishes to his alma mater.

Neil graduated in 1962, going on to complete his bachelor’s degree in Organ Performance at Penn State University. He has since made himself quite prominent in the musical world, having played in world-famous venues such as the Kennedy Center, the Meyerson Center, and the Kimmel Center.

Neil is an organist on Grammy Award-winning CDs and is highly acclaimed by publications such as the Washington Post. He is one of the nation’s most sought-after organists, his achievements unmistakable to any consumer of his work.

“I was honored to have Mr. Pavone visit the Eagle Eye classroom and share some of his stories with the students. I think this is a great program and I know the students enjoyed here from them as well,” said Eagle Eye adviser Todd Cammarata.

In the coming weeks, the Eagle Eye will publish more in-depth profiles on each of these individuals, including more about their personalities, experiences, and advice for students.

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About the Contributors
Bekah Sprankle, Editor-In-Chief
Rebekah Sprankle, better known as Bekah or Beks, is a Tyrone senior and Editor-in-Chief of the Eagle Eye staff. She is also the president of POPS Extension and an active member of the Drama Club, NHS, YAN, and Student Council. If you're looking for a way to kill time, just get Bekah to talk about music, breakfast foods, or astrology, and the hours will tick by. In her day-to-day life, Bekah loves to sing, bake, act, listen to music, and write. Bekah hopes to step out of her comfort zone for her senior year. She seeks to express her creativity, insight, and passions in ways that make a difference as a part of the Eagle Eye team and to continue to do so beyond her high school years!
Alivia Anderson, Photo Editor
Alivia Anderson is a Junior and in her 3rd year of Eagle Eye. When not at school or with friends, she's at the dance studio. Alivia's been dancing for 13 years and competing for 11. She hopes to continue her dance career in college while also pursuing a career in the medical field. Dance stories are, of course, some of her favorite things to write about. She also likes to write about school events, community news, and student groups. On top of writing stories, Alivia's favorite thing to do is take pictures for the Eagle Eye. Alivia is involved with different clubs, such as YAN, Student Council, Golden Revolution, Yearbook, National Honor Society, and Prom Committee. Alivia hopes that this year will be another awesome year in the Eagle Eye!

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