High academic standards combined with strong moral values is a clear-cut recipe for success.

Its ability to achieve superior marks in the classroom and display ethical behavior has resulted in heady praise for St. John Neumann Regional School.

Peter Kern, president of the Palmerton Area Chamber of Commerce, read a proclamation in recognition of the school Monday as part of Catholic Schools Week Jan. 30-Feb. 4.

Kern said that "in the more than 100 years since the founding of Palmerton there has been a constant woven into the fabric of the community; a commitment to the education of our children."

"In our early years, more than a dozen schools were constructed to address the needs of the town's rapidly growing population," Kern said. "The immigrants who helped build Palmerton were accorded equal educational opportunities and they took great pride in their achievements and those of their children."

Kern said the commitment toward the education of children along with their ability to make positive contributions in society remains at the root of today's educational process."Although today's educational system bears little resemblance to that of a century ago, the commitment to education has not changed," he said. "Whether it be through our public school system or in our parochial schools, we seek to have our children achieve academic success and to become exemplary members of society."

Kern said the chamber is "proud to have in our community an outstanding parochial school in St. John Neumann Regional School", and congratulated the school "for maintaining high academic standards supported by strong moral values."

"We are confident your students will continue to make admirable contributions to our American society in the future," he said. "Congratulations and best wishes for continued success."

Soon thereafter, Kern was then recognized by Mike Burke, president of the St. John Neumann Regional School Advisory Board.

Burke told Kern that just as the theme of this year's celebration is A+ For America Catholic Schools, Kern is an A+ as a citizen, leader, and mentor.

Cass Cheis, on behalf of local businesses in the downtown, thanked Kern for his service to area businesses.

Kern, who was then joined by his wife, Carol Kern, told those in attendance that while he resides in Monroe County, he loves Palmerton to the point where he considers it his home.

"I enjoy Palmerton, the people, and the commitment this community has made to excellence," he said. "I'm very proud to be a Palmertonian."

Also on Monday, there was a program: In Our Community, followed by an Open House Meet and Greet at both campuses, as well as a Scholastic Book Fair.

The celebration kicked off Sunday with a program: In Our Parish: Our Parish Liturgies.