Alex Rodriguez: I'm an International Sales Manager at All Traffic Solutions in charge of networking to find new pipeline routes to grow our bottom line and expand our international market share. I also take charge in developing incentive programs to motivate our distributors to sell our goods effectively in their respective countries. I also travel constantly with my distributors to train their sales staff to sell our products.
Alex: If it weren't for South Hills I wouldn't be where I am today. They taught me the basics ranging from how to properly write a sentence to learning how to deal with difficult situations and conflict to time management and effective scheduling. All these things prepared me to be where I am today.
Alex: Immediately after I graduated from South Hills, I took a job at First Quality Baby Products in Lewistown. I began working there as a temporary employee and, worked my way to being hired permanently and ultimately was promoted to a line leader position. After that, I went to work at Bonney Forge Corporation in 2013. I worked there for almost two years as an International Sales Representative and developed my current skill set. Again, thanks to South Hills I was able to implement everything I learned at that job which helped me get promoted. After my successful tenure at Bonney Forge, I was hired by All Traffic Solutions, which is where I'm at today. I started as an Inside Sales Representative; but, due to my skill set and track record, I progressed and moved up to the position of the Accounts Manager and eventually, I was promoted to become our company’s first-ever International Sales Manager.
Alex: I chose South Hills because of their reputation. They are a well-known commodity for giving you the right education and the tools needed to succeed in life. When I decided to go to school, I needed to go somewhere where I could trust their full program and that they had what it takes to prepare me for success. South Hills fit that criterion.
Alex: The most valuable lesson I learned was that you should stay true to your values. Stay true to who you are and develop a path based on what you're interested in and what you're good at and are passionate about, and expand on those things as you move forward with your education.
Alex: I did my internship at QWiK Rock radio station (Magnum Broadcasting). My most valuable internship experience was learning to work in marketing and dealing with several different projects all at once. I also learned to be prepared for the unexpected. It was a great way for me to get my feet wet.
Alex: The best advice that I can give anybody is to be positive, grind it out, and believe in yourself. If you are in school, there’s a reason you're there. Use that reason as your motivator, day in and day out. My reason was my family because everything I do is done for them. That's my passion, and that's what carried me through the tough times. Being aware of your purpose will take you to the next level.
Alex: My best South Hills memory was participating with my teammates in the business plan project, a required part of the BAMM program. It was quite an interesting experience. We did a lot of running around looking for information and research involved. We worked together as a team and depended on each other to get the job done. Making our final business plan presentation in front of our teachers was also a unique experience for me, and I will never forget it.
Alex: I would describe South Hills as ethical, exceptional, and unique. “Ethical” because they teach you to understand what being ethical really is, as they teach you what's right and what's wrong. “Unique” because there is nobody like South Hills and “exceptional” because, well, they're just exceptional.
Alex: Just go after your dreams, and don't make excuses. My recommendation is to just go for it. You can always have a million excuses why not to do something. Just make up your mind, stick to it, and you will make it.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.