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Catholic school girls share special bond after 50 years

  • Attending a 50-year reunion at St. John Neumann Regional School in Palmerton, formerly Sacred Heart School, are, seated from left, Karen (Sorinsky) Pelc, Andrea (Tarnapolski) Zavilla, Irene (Matrision) Obrecht, Susan (Dempsey) Gursky, and Eleanor …
    Attending a 50-year reunion at St. John Neumann Regional School in Palmerton, formerly Sacred Heart School, are, seated from left, Karen (Sorinsky) Pelc, Andrea (Tarnapolski) Zavilla, Irene (Matrision) Obrecht, Susan (Dempsey) Gursky, and Eleanor (Papay) Gallagher. Standing, from left, Susan (Malik) Shinsky, Nancy (Plecavi) Kidwell, Susan (Bennett) Uhnak, Janet Kresge, Diane (Fabian) Miller, Joan (Stribrany) Denny, Linda (Gimbor) Patterson and Debbie (Heiney) Cebrosky.
Published August 12. 2013 05:04PM

At the small Catholic elementary school St. John Neumann Regional School in Palmerton, formerly Sacred Heart School, 13 former students bonded at a reunion on July 25. What makes this reunion so special is that there was 100 percent attendance, even after 50 years.

This event came to fruition last year when Susan Bennett Uhnak contacted 12 former classmates, and organized the affair, which included a visit to classmate Debbie Heiney Cebrosky's home for food and refreshments. The women enjoyed the time remembering their youth, friendship, and fun times at the Catholic elementary school. It was unanimously agreed that all would meet again this year for the 50th anniversary of their graduation from eighth grade.

This year's reunion included a tour of the school, organized by Sister Virginia Stephanie, principal; Teressa Schisler, and her daughter Eva, who is a current student. Eva was the tour guide and also entertained the group with a song that named all of the U.S. presidents.

The former classmates were greeted with a sign welcoming them, and each was presented with a red rose and gold pin. Cookies and punch were served, followed by a tour of the school.

The women noted that they were impressed by the advances made in a Catholic school education since 1963, including computer science and foreign language classes. They agreed that the greatest advantage is that classes are small enough for teachers to give students individual attention as well as maintain their Catholic faith.

The women, who a classmate has dubbed "The Lucky Thirteen," have decided to make the reunion an annual event.

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