Dolores A. Fenix Sapienza ‘51
INSPIRATION came to me while attending Shamokin High School (1947-1951). MY life would not have been the same without the intellectual push I received at S. H. S. sixty-six years ago.
My closest friend (who shall remain unnamed) was 5th Honor Student academically in our graduating class. Only 1st to 5th were listed in the Commencement program. Acknowledged as 8th in my class, I was “out in the cold.”
However, I was noted in the program for my role as Editor-in-Chief of The High-Lighter, the student newspaper.
Incidentally, the publication was printed in Kulpmont, PA. Around publication time, I could skip classes, legally. (That, too, was inspirational to a young senior student.)
But real inspiration came when I was accepted as a Journalism/Sociology major at Syracuse University, class of 1955. It was a way to show off my Journalism chops.
Even more inspiring was my first job as a star-struck journalist at The Lancaster News. On The New Era, the afternoon paper, was the prize-winning reporter, Jerry Sapienza. I married him in 1958, the real inspiration of my life.
I credit S. H. S., the faculty, and The High-Lighter for influencing my intellect and emotions.
The late Jerry Sapienza became Press Secretary to Delaware Governor Russell W. Peterson. His wife, Dolores Fenix Sapienza—me—completed her Master’s degree in 1977 in Community Education at Indiana University of PA and Doctoral Studies (CAGS) at Virginia Tech. I retired from Delaware State University in 1996 as Vice President of Continuing Education.
Lastly, after eight years as Innkeeper of the Old (1832) Farm House Bed and Breakfast (Rehoboth Beach, DE), I live on Rehoboth Bay with my 15-year-old, blind and deaf Shih Tzu/Poodle, “Fu Man Chu.”
I have four adult children, 12 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Thomas Donohue ‘51
I opted for the vocational courses (Electric Shop) in high school. My teacher, Stephen G. Kwartek, was a life altering person for me. In 1950, he suggested I contact IBM for machine information so I could read up on their equipment and possibly gain employment after high school. He gave me their address, 590 Madison Ave., NYC. Who ever heard of IBM in Shamokin back then?
I hand wrote a note on 5"x9" piece of paper and mailed it in. Soon after, I received a letter stating that I had a draft commitment to the military and to contact IBM when that was satisfied. In 1957, after 4 years in the Navy, I wrote to them. I was asked to go to Philadelphia for an interview, all expenses paid. WOW. I was living in Lakehurst, NJ - 50 miles away.
I went there, had an interview and was given a 150 question timed test. I aced it, 149 out of 150 correct. I was offered a job @ $82.50 per week. I asked why not $80 or $85 and was told IBM had a 4 1/2 week month so this was $350 per month. WOW, at that time.
I retired 34 years later, 25 years ago. As you can see, Steve Kwartek was a life altering person in my case.