”Quaranteacher” winners announced

Three local teachers are among winners in a contest to find teachers who went “above and beyond”

to provide an outstanding educational experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contest, held by Mueller Family McDonalds, garnered nearly 350 nominated teachers across 60 school districts throughout Northeast Pennsylvania. Teachers were nominated by current and former students, peers, and members of their community. Each winner received a personalized gift basket along with free McCafe coffee for a year.

Local winners are:

  • Melissa Raniella, Lakeland.
  • Caroline Newcomb, Carbondale Area.
  • Corey Foote, Carbondale Area.

Physician assistant recognized

A physician assistant at Carbondale Family Health Center and the Honesdale Family Health Center has been named Marywood University Physician Assistant Program Preceptor of the Year.

Kenneth Bannon, PA-C, was nominated by senior physician assistant students and selected by a faculty committee. The honor was announced by Marie S. Bonavoglia, PhD, PA-C, clinical coordinator of the physician assistant program, Marywood University, via Facebook Watch in mid-May.

She described Bannon, who has been serving as a clinical faculty member for 17 years, as a “beloved preceptor” who is “invaluable to our program.”

Excerpts from student ballots highlighting their clinical rotation with Bannon include “Fantastic start to my clinical year and thoroughly covered various topics from pediatrics to geriatrics,” “He was an amazing preceptor. He was super patient with me yet pushed me past by limits so I could learn as much as possible,” “He was so great with the patients and went above and beyond to treat them. His experience in the field and love for his career was so evident every day. He taught me things he learned throughout his career that aren’t necessarily learned in the classroom or in books,” and “He’s an amazing teacher.”

Bannon was humbled by the honor.

:”Thank you to the students who nominated me, it is an honor to be recognized for the time I have spent helping Marywood PA students prepare for their career. It is very rewarding to pass on the skills and knowledge I have gained over the years to the next generation,” he said in a press release from Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers. “Practical real-world experience is the key to a successful start to their career.”

Normally, Preceptor of the Year is presented during Marywood University’s pinning ceremony, held a week prior to graduation. The COVID-19 pandemic canceled all such events. The university hopes to reschedule the ceremony for the fall.

Midvalley native joins Wright Center

Dickson City native Colleen Brown, Psy.D., recently returned to the area to join The Wright Center for Community Health as its first licensed psychologist.

Brown specializes in working with children, adolescents and adults with a variety of mental health issues, but has specialized training with children with severe mental illness as well as those who have experienced abuse or violence.

At the Wright Center, Brown will complete both therapy services and psychological assessments for patients of all ages.

Brown graduated from Mid Valley Secondary Center in Throop, and earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a master’s degree in general psychology from New York University, and graduated from La Salle University, Philadelphia, with master’s and doctorate degrees, both in clinical psychology.

For the past two years, Brown worked as an outpatient clinician at a private practice in the Cayman Islands. She has worked in a variety of settings in the United States, including community mental health clinics, day/partial hospitalization programming, crisis programming, residential settings, school settings and juvenile detention facilities in Pennsylvania, New York and Delaware.

Brown will see patients at the Wright Center’s Scranton Practice, 501 S. Washington Ave., on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and its Mid Valley Practice, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 570-230-0019.

Steamtown to remain closed

Steamtown National Historic Site remains temporarily closed and will cancel all planned railroad passenger excursions through Sept. 30 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the lead time needed to perform maintenance on our historic locomotives and vintage passenger cars that crews were not able to complete this spring, the postponed mandatory recertification training of train crews and concerns regarding the practicality of implementing CDC, state and local guidance regarding the coronavirus mitigations both on the trains and at the destination stations made the decision necessary but difficult, officials said in a statement.

Monitor the park website at www.nps.gov/stea for updates regarding the park opening and the status of fall and holiday excursions.

4-H offers virtual camp

Lackawanna County 4-H is offering a variety of summer programming projects in a virtual format.

“Our programming that traditionally takes place in a person to person format, cannot be done this summer,” said Sandi Graham of the Penn State Extension Office. “By offering virtual and/or pre-recorded lessons, we are able to offer Lackawanna County youth more variety in their project choices.”

Lackawanna County youth ages 8 to 18 can pick their projects. Youth can choose areas of interest or areas of learning they would like to explore. Virtual learning activities will have a flexible schedule so that youth and families can enjoy traditional summer activities and also be involved in 4-H programs.

The projects offered this summer are coding, kitchen chemistry, beginning engineering, electricity, interior design, photography, weaving, canvas designs, basic cross stitch, tie pillow, sew electric bookmark, pillowcase making and reading pillow construction.

Registration for these projects can be obtained from Sandi Graham, 4-H educator, at saa224@psu.edu or by calling the Extension office at 570-963-6842.

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