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The Class of 2019 Commencement Ceremony was held on Thursday evening at Ambridge Area High School, with 180 graduating seniors celebrating their success and expressing excitement for their next journey in life. Student speaker for the evening was Dalton Brandt, Senior Class President.
Superintendent Dr. Jo Welter introduced the new inductees. They are:
Dr. Dianne Kasnic Prinz – Class of 1956
The late Dr. Dianne Kasni Prinz was a 1956 alumnus. Dr. Prinz held a doctorate degree in physics from John Hopkins University and was a space scientist for the Naval Research Laboratory. In the 1970s, Dr. Prinz was the first woman selected to be trained as a payload specialist y NASA, and was scheduled to be sent into space. Her flight was cancelled following the 1986 Challenger explosion. She worked in a field dominated by men. In the early 1970s, when she was an official involved in a satellite launch at the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico, Dr. Prinz had to improvise, because there were no women’s restrooms at the site. She was the recipient of the Navy Award for Merit for Group Achievement, the NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award and the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Dr. Prinz volunteered for the Navy Community Outreach Program and gave lectures about space research at schools in the Washington, D.C. area.
Mr. Brandon Gulish - Class of 2003
Mr. Gulish is a 2003 alumnus. He graduated with honors from Temple University, with a degree in Film and Media Arts. In a very short period of time, he has made a mark on the field of Reality TV. Mr. Gulish is a sought-after producer and director, and has traveled to more than 40 countries. Some of his credits include producer/director of Weird But True (National Geography), The Great Human Race (National Geography) and co-executive producer of Uncommon Grounds (Travel Channel) and Dangerous Grounds. He received the 2019 Daytime Emmy award for his work as the Director of Weird But True. Through his work, he encountered some of the world’s most struggling countries and became determined to use his skills as a director and producer to give back. In 2018, Mr. Gulish traveled to Uganda with a team of filmmakers to document the South Sudanese refugee crisis and to raise awareness of the lack of education and clean water in this area of the world. Following his trip, he and his team raised thousands of dollars to help provide clean water in the Ugandan refugee camps. Heregularly volunteers for his church and is instrumental in producing footage for an annual fundraiser to provide meals for 10,000 families throughout the Philadelphia area.
Ms. Marita Grabiak – Class of 1976
Ms. Marita Grabiak is a 1976 alumnus. She attended Carnegie Mellon University and graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a bachelor’s degree in Motion Picture/Television and a minor in Art History. She is a veteran television director and writer, with 40 credits in episode television. Ms. Grabiak’s TV movies – both thrillers and romantic comedies – are highly rated on the Lifetime and Hallmark channels. A versatile director, she has worked with acclaimed actors such as Emma Stone, Kathy Bates, George Clooney and Sally Fields. With thousands of hours of film production experience, she moved to television directing on the long-running NBC series “ER” in 2001. She has been a financial supporter of the Laughlin Memorial Library, as well as a loyal patron. Ms. Grabiak was especially fond of a rare 1917 Fairyland map that was displayed in the children’s room. Upon discovery that this map was no longer in good condition, she went to great lengths to provide a restored copy that is now returned to its rightful spot in the library.
Information about the Hall of Honor is available here.
Congratulations and best wishes to our new graduates!