Kennedy O'Donnell, Ashley, was recently crowned Baby Miss Talent Olympics after competing in the 2-4 year-old-age division at the Talent Olympics held in the Poconos. She won first place in gown wear, sports wear and bathing suit attire. O'Donnell received her crown from Kaitlyn Miller, 2012 Miss Pennsylvania's Outstanding Teen. She is the daughter of Kasey and David O'Donnell and attends the David Blight School of Dance, Wilkes-Barre.
Millie Symbula, Drums, a student at St. Jude School, Mountain Top, was a finalist in the First National Community Bank's inaugural Piggy Bank Pageant. Symbula's bank was a cow called Moo La made from paper mache. She won $25 as the winner from the Wilkes-Barre branch.
Connor McGowan, Pittston, an eighth-grade student at Wyoming Seminary Lower School, survived eight rounds of competition to win the school's annual spelling bee. McGowan is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jay McGowan. Runner-up was Kyle Hromisin, Dallas, a sixth-grade student. Elizabeth O'Malley, sixth-grade English teacher, served as moderator.
Emily Gabriel, Forty Fort, a sophomore at Wyoming Seminary Upper School, has been selected to serve as the school's representative to the annual Hugh O'Brian Youth Foundation Leadership Seminar (HOBY) to be held next spring at Millersville University. Sophomore Qianyi Cheng of Shanghai, China, P.R.C. was chosen as the alternate representative. Gabriel, daughter of Francine Gabriel and Theresa Baseski, is active in Blue Key, Media Club, Peer Group, Student Activities Committee and Baking Club. She also competes on the cross-country, basketball and lacrosse teams and has performed more than 120 hours of community service as a volunteer at Camp St. Andrew.
Madison Simmermon, Henryville, has been hired as the mid-school guidance counselor at MMI Preparatory School, Freeland. Simmermon will oversee guidance for sixth- to ninth-grade students. She earned a Master of Science degree in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and medical humanities from the University of Richmond. She was a learning specialist at St. Paul's School, Brooklandville, Md. Simmermon has experience in providing learning services, academic resources and individual coaching to students and creating learning support plans based on psychological evaluations.