Alumni Stories that Inspire

Accomplished. Inspiring. Trailblazers. The many career paths our alumni have taken represent and celebrate the diversity of our community. We are happy to share some of their inspiring stories that make us all BASD proud!

For one BASD Alum, a Chance to Make a Difference for the Planet

The evidence of climate change is clear: Our exponentially warming planet is careening toward a global catastrophe.

But Spencer Smith offers a glimmer of hope.

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Kate Kieres

Principal of Emmaus High School, Liberty Class of 1994

Dr. Kate Kieres has served as the Principal of Emmaus High School for the past four years. She is BASD proud, having attended Calypso Elementary and Nitschmann Middle School.

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Family of Alumni Donate Hammond Organ to Nitschmann Middle School

Fred M. Hageter, Liberty graduate of 1939, and Beatrice Hageter, Liberty graduate of 1941 owned a beautiful Hammond organ throughout their family life. Their daughter, Connie Raidline, Liberty graduate 1965, has fond memories of her dad playing the organ as a kid and was delighted that the organ found a new home at Nitschmann Middle School. Both her parents attended Nitshcmann Middle School! Connie, and her husband Rich, graciously donated the organ. Now at Nitschmann, the organ will be used by students and staff members for musical performances throughout the year. The theater group has already put it to use!

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Liberty Alum has been a Crossing Guard for 50 Years

The Lehigh University Police Department partnered with Bethlehem Police along with an anonymous donor to provide winter coats, hats, and gloves to the crossing guards throughout the Bethlehem area.

The departments also recognized Bethlehem resident Susan Schmidlie, who has been working as a crossing guard near Thomas Jefferson Elementary School on East North and Linden Street since 1972.

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Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Surprises Freedom Football Team

Dwayne Johnson, alongside Under Armour on behalf of his Project Rock clothing line, put together an incredible surprise for the football players at his former high school, Freedom High in Pennsylvania. Before their Homecoming game, Dwayne gifted each player with brand new Project Rock performance gear along with customized programming for athletes and coaches - all delivered with a special message from The Rock himself, hyping them up to go play their hearts out on the field. Stay tuned for part two...

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Liberty Welcomes Alumni Cheerleaders at BASD Stadium

Liberty High School welcomed back its Alumni Cheerleaders on October 2 at BASD Stadium.
Here is the video that played on the scoreboard during the game, listing the alumni who attended the event.
Thank you to all school district cheerleaders for their work and effort!!
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Helen Hsu

Management Consultant, Freedom Class of 2015

I graduated from Freedom High School in 2015 where I was a part of the golf and swim teams. I ended up continuing my swimming career at Cornell University. 

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Michael Harris

NFL Coach, Liberty Class of 2012

Mr. Mike Harris is a proud Hurricane from the class of 2012. He believes that the diverse student body at Liberty is a tremendous attribute and impacted him as a person.

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Matt Holt

NBA Senior Vice President, Liberty Class of 1999

Matt Holt Headshot

Matt Holt graduated from Liberty High School in 1999. He attended The George Washington University and majored in Business. After college Matt went in search of his passion in politics, the music industry, and then landed at the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) in Washington DC. 

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Kathryn McDermott, Ph.D.

Professor, Freedom Class of 1986

Kathryn McDermott Headshot

Dr. Kathryn (Katie) McDermott is Professor of Education and Public Policy and Chair of the Department of Educational Policy, Research, and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMASS).

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Robert McClarin

Developer of Five Star Heart Project, Liberty Class of 1999

Robert McClarin Headshot

Bobby McClarin was an outstanding student athlete, graduating from Liberty High School in 1999. He attended the United States Naval Academy, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. 

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A Conversation with Recently Retired Liberty High School Band Director, Kevin Long

Dr. Joseph Roy, Superintendent of Bethlehem Area School District has a conversation with Kevin Long, Liberty High School alum and Grenadier Band Director, who retired in June. 

Benjamin Hedrick

Mathematician, PhD Stanford, Freedom Class of 1995

Benjamin Hedrick Headshot

After graduating from Freedom High School in 1995, Ben attended Penn State University, graduating with honors with a BS in mathematics and statistics and a minor in Spanish. 

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Krista Evans

Director of Admissions at Kutztown University, Liberty Class of 1995

Krista Evans Headshot

Krista (Roche) Evans graduated from Liberty High School in 1995. She attended Penn State University, where she received a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Business. 

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Broughal Alum, Ms. Kari Bennett to join the Broughal Middle School Family

A huge Welcome (and welcome back) to Ms. Kari Bennett to the Broughal Family as the new Broughal Technology Education Teacher! Ms. Bennett attended Broughal 20 years ago and is even replacing Mr. Neveling who was her Tech Ed Teacher! 🚀💫

Liberty’s 1961 Baseball Team Remembers it's Finest Season

60 years later, Liberty’s 1961 baseball team remembers school’s finest season! Nat “Junior” Gencarelli insists the record was 18-0. Several of his teammates argue it was 17-0, a fact backed up by Liberty High School’s yearbook.

17-0, 18-0, it doesn’t matter.

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L. Ryan Storms

Author, Freedom Class of 1997

L. Ryan Storms Headshot

Young Adult Fantasy author L. Ryan Storms graduated from Freedom High School in 1997 as Lorraine Longo. Writing was always a passion of hers all throughout her college experience. 

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Brendan Van Ackeren

Associate Director of Athletics at Princeton University, Liberty Class of 2005

Brendan Van Ackeren Headshot

A native of Bethlehem, Brendan Van Ackeren graduated from Liberty High School in 2005 where he participated in football, basketball and baseball and was President of the National Honors Society. 

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"Built by Bethlehem" Freedom High School Teachers and Staff

The Freedom staff knows about hard work, loyalty, cooperation and lots of other "building blocks".  We ask a few of them what it means to be #BuiltbyBethlehem, and this is what they showed us.




"Built by Bethlehem" Liberty High School Teachers and Staff

There are more than 70 teachers or staff at Liberty High School who attended Bethlehem Area School District schools in their lifetime. We asked a few of them what #BuiltbyBethlehem means to them.




Samantha Stever, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor at Okayama University, Liberty Class of 2005

Samantha Stever Headshot

Dr. Samantha Stever graduated from Liberty High School in 2005, and spent her entire childhood in Bethlehem. Five years after graduation, she moved to the UK to study physics at Cardiff University, eventually obtaining a Masters degree. 

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Dean E. Murphy

New York Times Journalist, Freedom Class of 1976

Dean Murphy Headshot

Dean E. Murphy is an award-winning journalist at The New York Times, where he is currently the newspaper’s associate masthead editor for investigations. 

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Lisa M. Boscola

Pennsylvania State Senator from the 18th District, Freedom Class of 1980

Lisa Boscola Headshot

State Senator Lisa M. Boscola has spent the majority of her professional career working to improve the lives of Lehigh Valley residents. Born in Bethlehem, Senator Boscola is the proud daughter of a steel worker and life-long resident of the Lehigh Valley.

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Michael Benitez Jr., Ph.D.

VP for Diversity and Inclusion at Metropolitan State University, Liberty Class of 1995

Michael Benitez

Dr. Michael Benitez is employed by Metropolitan State University of Denver as vice president for Diversity and Inclusion. 

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Rebecca Shiner, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist and Professor in New York, Freedom Class of 1986

Rebecca Shiner Headshot

Rebecca Shiner (Becky Mitchell during her time in the BASD) is Professor of Psychological Science at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. She is a clinical psychologist. 

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Rev. Kevin Lamár Peterman

PhD Candidate Howard University, Liberty Class of 2011

Kevin Lamar Headshot

Rev. Kevin Lamár Peterman is an outstanding alumni of the class of 2011. Although he has attended numerous universities since leaving high school, Kevin sees Liberty as a truly unique place. 

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Michele Moser Deegan, Ph.D.

Dean of Academic Life at Muhlenberg College, Liberty Class of 1984

Michele Moser Deegan

Michele Moser Deegan is the Dean of Academic Life at Muhlenberg College and Professor of Political Science. She is a 1984 graduate of Liberty High School. 

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Don Cunningham

CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp and former Mayor of Bethlehem, Freedom Class of 1983

Don Cunningham Headshot

Don Cunningham has been president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation since July 2012. He was twice-elected Mayor of Bethlehem, twice-elected Lehigh County Executive, and the appointed Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of General Services in Governor Ed Rendell's administration. 

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