AllentownSchool District

You are the Light - January Celebration

You are the Light - January Celebration
Posted on 01/19/2024

Congratulations to our December You Are The Light! recipients of the 2023-2024 school year! On Wednesday, January 17, 2024, more than 50 members of our learning community were recognized for their contributions to their school and classrooms as Trendsetters, Classroom/Community Catalysts, or Quiet Heroes. We also recognized William Allen High School Alumni Paul Williams, for his dedication and commitment to Allentown students. Attendees were treated to fantastic performances by the William Allen High School Soul Dance Club, NJROTC and Union Terrace Elementary School Dance Team! 

Please help us celebrate & congratulate:  


  • Jeff Penizotto, Dieruff High School 
  • Zeanab Ali-Warmkessel, Dodd Elementary School 
  • Enilda Valdez, Facilities Department 
  • Jennifer Graham  Harrison Morton Middle School 
  • Skylar Koehler, Harrison Morton Middle School 
  • Gloria Gonzalez, Jackson Early Childhood Center
  • Colleen Radocha, Jefferson Elementary School 
  • Melissa Weierbach, Lehigh Parkway  Elementary School 
  • Brandy Rentko  , Raub Middle School
  • Tanya Adams, Union Terrace Elementary School 
  • Katherine Antonson, Washington Elementary School 
  •  Daniela Pacheco Correa , William Allen High School 
  • Danielle Zeda, William Penn

These trendsetters are members of the Allentown School District’s Learning Community who utilizes opportunities to create new paths for self, peers, colleagues or members of the ASD community; Contributes to the development and/or improvement of programs, services, or curriculum; Fosters staff and student growth, effectiveness, or professional development; Student trendsetters are people who demonstrate leadership within their schools/classroom to collaborate with administrators and staff to improve student experiences in ASD.


 Classroom / Community Catalysts

  • Jaime Cavouto, Central Elementary School 
  • Kirk Kressley, Facilities Department 
  • Jhoanny Lizardo, K-6 Newcomer Academy 
  • Jerison Pineda Garcia, Mosser Elementary School 
  • Darlene Rei Jiménez, Muhlenberg Elementary School 
  • Sarah Cummings,  Ritter Elementary School 
  • Lana Severino, Secondary Newcomer Academy 
  • Cindy Ilgenfritz, Sheridan Elementary School 
  • Chelsea Bastista, Sheridan Elementary School 
  • Michaela Madaio, South Mountain Middle School 
  • Lakana Long, Union Terrace Elementary School 
  • Jahnine Pierre, Washington Elementary School 
  • Marques Grundy, William Allen High School 
  • Antonio Rodriguez, William Penn 

 These individuals continue to champion change in their classrooms, school, and community. Contributes to student success by closing achievement gaps, measuring progress/using assessments, implementing interventions, or student engagement. Student Classroom/Community Catalysts advocate for their peers by using their voices and talents to create change within their school communities. This may or may not be through the creation of or participation in student government, clubs, athletics, the arts, etc.


 Quiet Heroes / Heroines

  • Maritza Cartagena, Building 21
  • Promyse Swift-Ford, Building 21
  • Matthew Perez, Central Elementary School 
  • Te'Myah Corporan, Dieruff High School 
  • Nhu Y Mai, Dodd Elementary School 
  • Adolfo Arocho, Facilities Department 
  • Melanie McBride, Hays  Elementary School 
  • Adrian Blythe, Hays Elementary School 
  • Nashla Batista Casado, Jackson Early Childhood Center
  • Hunter DeRemer, Jefferson Elementary School 
  • Altagracia Ferreira Florentino , K-6 Newcomer Academy 
  • Aaron Urena Pena, Lehigh Parkway Elementary School 
  • Danielle Jones, Mosser Elementary School 
  • Stacey Toman, Muhlenberg Elementary School 
  • Enmanuel Estrella Amarante, Ramos Elementary School 
  • Lynn Bacon, Ramos Elementary School 
  • Derrick Ortiz, Raub Middle School 
  • Bryant Rivera, Ritter Elementary School 
  • Maritsa Grotenhuis, Roosevelt Elementary School 
  • Dylan Ruiz Rodriguez, Roosevelt Elementary School 
  • Ercida Duarte, Secondary Newcomer Academy 
  • Emmanuel Quinones, South Mountain Middle School 
  • Rebecca Hann, Trexler Middle School
  • Renee O'Neil, Trexler Middle School
  • Jermaine Roberts, Trexler Middle School
  • Darlin Santana, Virtual Campus
  • Dana Cohen, Virtual Campus
  • Laura Bowman, Food Service Department


 These individuals might not live in the spotlight, but they are members of the Allentown School District’s Learning Community who continues to nurture those within their schools and departments. Staff Quiet Heroes develop successful partnerships and outreach to parents, businesses, or neighborhoods; provide community services or service-learning projects; display outstanding responsiveness, customer service, or customer satisfaction. Student Quiet Heroes contribute to the culture and climate of their school/community by supporting other students, staff, and families as a role model of active kindness, cooperation, and teamwork.