CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. — At Abington Heights High School near Clark Summit, the class of 2020 practiced for graduation. It's the final chance for these seniors to celebrate their high school accomplishments.
In March, senior Nina Sampogne received a college scholarship from Coca Cola. Now Nina has said thank you by surprising her guidance counselor Susan Corwin with an award of her own.
"I would never be where I was without Mrs. Corwin, and the amount of hours that she spent helping me get scholarships, helping me fill out applications, the so many letters of recommendation that she filled out for me, it would never be possible for me to be anywhere without her."
Nina won the $20,000 Coca Cola Scholarship and was able to choose the educator of her choice. She chose Mrs. Corwin and chose to do it on Wednesday at graduation practice.
The tricky part was getting Mrs. Corwin to graduation practice. Nina enlisted Abington Heights Principal Andrew Snyder for that part.
"I didn't see this coming. I just thought I was here to help out. I figured with the volume of students, and with everything going on that maybe he just needed some extra help. So, very surprised," said Abington Heights High School guidance counselor Susan Corwin.
The Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction Award from Coca Cola is a national award, and Nina wanted to bestow that honor on someone who made a difference in her life.
"I wanted to show her how special she is to me, how important she is, and I wanted to give her something that she could remember forever to know that she was so important in my life, and just make her feel as special as I felt when I became a Coca Cola scholar," Nina said.
Corwin has been a counselor at Abington Heights for 17 years.
"When you're working with them one on one, you get to see their personalities and how nice they are. They're just sweet kids, and, you know, I just like helping them through this whole journey of high school," Corwin said.
Corwin will see this class of seniors off at their official graduation ceremony on Friday at PNC Field in Moosic.