South Hills Press Release
STATE COLLEGE, PA – South Hills School of Business & Technology held its fall commencement ceremony for the graduating class of September 2019 at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center on Monday, September 23. The President’s Hall was filled with family and friends who came to congratulate the graduates as they crossed the stage to receive their specialized associate degrees.
The keynote speaker was David Mazza, Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of NBC Sports Group and NBC Olympics. David is the son of South Hills founders, Maralyn and the late S. Paul Mazza Jr., and brother to South Hills President, S. Paul Mazza III.
Class of 2019 speakers, Maher “Omar” Brown, Chase Brown, and Roman Nekrasov, were chosen to represent each of the South Hills campuses. Photos of the ceremony may be viewed on the school's official Facebook page.
The Kristi Joann Taylor Memorial Award is given to the Administrative Professional graduate with the highest academic standing in the class.
The Earl P. Strong Memorial Award was established to recognize academic achievement in the Business Administration–Management & Marketing program.
The Terry J. French Memorial Award was established for the Information Technology program. The following graduates were selected:
South Hills School of Business & Technology Award – Engineering Technology
South Hills School of Business & Technology Award – Graphic Arts
The Ray Houseman Memorial Award is presented to a student from the Altoona Campus who displays Ray Houseman’s best qualities: his dependability, his friendly & cheerful personality, and most of all his willingness to help.
The Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce Community Award is presented to a student from the Lewistown Campus who has volunteered their time and knowledge to positively impact the overall quality of the community.
The JoAnn M. Bonfatto Memorial Award is presented to a student at the State College Main Campus that typifies the following attributes: enthusiasm, willingness to help others, friendly and cheerful personality, dependability, and initiative.
The Founder's Award was created in memory of S. Paul Mazza Jr., the founder of South Hills School of Business & Technology. It is presented to a student from each of our school locations who exemplifies the core values of the school’s founder: kindness to others, integrity, school involvement, and strong academic standing. The following graduates were selected:
CentreREADY, a workforce preparedness initiative established in 2019 in conjunction with Centre County’s Chamber of Business & Industry (CBICC), is a “seal of approval” designed to show that students have learned about and demonstrated an understanding of the 21st-century workforce skills that local employers find most essential. The following graduates obtained the CentreREADY Designation:
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.