Indiana, PA - Indiana County

UNITED: Outstanding seniors celebrated

by WILLIAM PIPER, Gazette Student News Reporter on May 04, 2012 1:15 AM

ARMAGH -- United High School's selected Seniors of the Month for April are Ryan Baird and Leah Skedel.

Baird said he felt "surprised to be selected as one of the seniors of the month." 

He feels he was chosen because he works hard to get good grades and is respectful to the staff.

Baird is involved in numerous activities throughout the school including track, Ski Club, Bible Club and Archery Club, and has also been a member of the United Front Youth Group since 2009. Last summer, he worked at O-Tex oil and gas pumping.

Math instructor Jennifer Buchkovich said "Ryan is a dedicated student and a hard worker. He always comes to class with his work complete and he is well-liked by classmates and teachers.

"His work ethic will help him succeed no matter where his future plans lead him." 

After graduation, Baird plans to attend Penn State Altoona to pursue a degree in engineering.

Like Baird, Skedel was surprised to receive the honor of senior of the month.

Skedel said, "It felt great to know that the hard work I have been putting in has paid off."

She believes she was chosen because she is a good student and is hardworking.

Skedel is involved in numerous activities in and out of school.

She has been a participant in the challenge program for 10 years, the Tri-M Music Honor Society, Spanish Club, varsity track and is a senior chorus member.

She is also part of the staff at Pennsylvania Christian Camp as well as a drama actor for reality tour which was sponsored by Indiana County Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center. Skedel is also involved with the Indiana County Relay For Life team as well as a choir and youth group member of the Brush Valley United Methodist Church and a part-time associate at T.J. Maxx.

Athletically, Skedel has excelled. She has been a district qualifier in track since 2009 in javelin, discus and shot put.

Last year, she went to the PIAA state meet and placed 11th in javelin, and is the United High School record holder for javelin as well as the 2011 Indiana County javelin champion.

She was also named the MVP field athlete at the Bellwood Invitational in 2011.

Spanish teacher Darla Kiefer said "she still manages to maintain fantastic grades and that deserves recognition."

After graduation, Skedel plans to attend St. Francis University and study to become a physician's assistant.

Skedel recently signed with the school and received an athletic scholarship.

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