Stauder signs with Penn State
TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS Palmerton Area High School senior Kassidy Stauder (front row, second from right) is flanked by her parents, Kim and Bill Stauder, grandmother Barbara Meinhart, (back row, l-r) Kathy Egan, high school principal, William Congdon, athletic director, and Vicki McHugh, guidance counselor, as she signs her letter of intent to attend Penn State University on a full scholarship for gymnastics.
She's flexible, agile, and electricity personified in the sport of gymnastics.
Through a combination of her acrobatic feats and academic prowess, Kassidy Stauder was able to tumble her way toward a full scholarship to Penn State University.
Surrounded by family and administrators, the Palmerton Area High School senior on Wednesday signed her letter of intent to attend PSU on a full scholarship for gymnastics.
"I feel amazing, like my hard work is paying off and there's a great future for me," Stauder said. "It's like a chip off my shoulder."
All it took was one visit to PSU, and it was a match made in heaven, according to Stauder.
"As soon as I stepped on the [PSU] campus, I knew it was the place to be," she said.
Stauder, who said she'll begin workouts with the team in August, plans to specialize in the vault events.
"I was recruited for the vault," she said. "But, I can also do the bars, beam and floor."
Ever the enthusiast, Stauder already has her eyes set on a lofty goal.
"I would like to carry my team to the NCAA's," she said.
Athletic director Bill Congdon said what makes the signing even more special is the fact that the district doesn't sponsor the sport.
"It's really nice of them to allow us to share in this moment with them," Congdon said. "The smile on her face says it all."
Kassidy said she began her foray into gymnastics when she was eight years old.
It's safe to say that decision has paid leaps and bounds for her.
Since then, Kassidy has competed in various state, regional and national competitions throughout the country.
"My mom put me in summer camp at my first gym, because I was always flipping around," she said. "I just fell in love with it, and I love it always."
Kassidy specifically signaled out the work of coach Solomon Kahn.
"He created my gymnastics for many years," she said. "He was one of my favorite coaches."
The daughter of Bill and Kim Stauder, Kassidy lauded the coaches from the Lehigh Valley Sports Academy, as well as her family, for their dedication to the sport she loves.
"Gymnastics has taught me discipline, determination, and I had to sacrifice a lot," she said. "My parents, brother Kutty Stauder, and my nana have definitely been a big part of it."
Kim Stauder said she couldn't be more delighted with her daughter.
"We're very proud of her because she's worked very hard," Kim Stauder said. "She's dedicated a lot of time."
Bill Stauder said his daughter earned every ounce of her scholarship.
"This is the culmination of a lot of days, a lot of time," Bill Stauder said. "We're very blessed to have a hardworking girl in both her athletic and academic pursuit."