SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Fred Kirijan, the first Abington Heights High School Class President, challenged current students to find their passion in life during a rededication ceremony of the school Friday, May 27.
“The preparation I received at Abington Heights was as fine as possible,” he said. “You have to prepare yourself, protect yourself and sell yourself. Don’t just chase your dreams, hunt them down and own them.”
The event was part of a weekend celebration that included a memory walk, oral history presentation, choir concert, art show and memorabilia display on Friday and an open house, featuring tours of the high school provided by students, on Saturday.
The program on Friday followed the same format as the original dedication of the Abington Heights Senior High School on Nov. 17, 1967. The cornerstone of the building was laid in 1966.
Lee Ann Theony, Abington Heights High School assistant principal and chair of the 50th Celebration Committee, thanked the individuals who followed through on a vision to build the school.
“Just over 50 years ago, an idea was pondered to open a new high school on Noble Road,” she said. “The small idea was met with both praise and criticism. Through the courageous efforts of leaders on both sides of the community among along with school leaders who believed so strongly in creating a place for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to further their education, we have the opportunity to reap the rewards.”
Rev. Msgr. Joseph Quinn, Pastor of Our Lady of the Snows in Clarks Summit, delivered the invocation.
“Memory lane can sometimes be a mysterious place, but it can also be a place for reflection,” Quinn said. “We celebrate the 50th anniversary of this building, Abington Heights High School, appropriately build on Noble Road, where noble dreams are shaped and life goals are formed.”
Members of the high school chorus sang the alma mater, written by Clara Winebrake Adcroft, who was in attendance while the chorus and orchestra quartet preformed the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Members of the Boy Scouts of America led the Pledge of Allegiance and the school’s band preformed the Star Spangled Banner.
Abington Heights Superintendent Michael Mahon believes the current students are honorably carrying on the traditions of the school.
“Abington Heights High School was built on hope and is fueled every day by action,” Mahon said. “The building is filled with acts of kindness, caring, compassion and service. Our students are amazing role models.”
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.