Lackawanna Trail High School honored approximately 140 students in grades 7-12 on Friday morning, April 12, at the annual Good Guys breakfast program.
Students were nominated for recognition for having displayed good character, work ethic, and positive attitudes.
The program recognizes about 25 percent of the student body. It also features a breakfast for all nominees, faculty, and staff, and music by the school’s jazz ensemble.
Principal Mark Murphy said the program this year lifted up Muhammed Ali, one of the greatest boxers ever.
“When life seemed to beat him down, he hit back,” noted Murphy who said it was Ali’s determination he admired.
This year’s featured alumnus and guest speaker was Matthew Spott, a graduate whose mother Sandy Spott is well known at Trail.
He graduated from Lackawanna Trail in 2003, later earning his undergraduate degree in management from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration from Wilkes University.
He once lived in Arizona but came back East where his heart was. He works in the pharmaceutical division of Conduent: Digital Platforms for Business and Government.
“Being a good guy and gal is a choice, and I applaud all of you for having made it,” Spott said.
He noted that people change as they get older.
He said that someone he knew was once a happy person, but around tenth grade that all changed.
Spott shared how he was that person and in tenth grade he was bullied “and the way I was treated by other students changed my life.”
He grinned at the audience and said, “I think the only persons who liked me were my parents.”
Spott acknowledged that the faculty and staff, though, “were good and encouraged me forward along the way.”
He said that about the time he was 25 was when he decided to take a deep look at himself and make a change.
He went to graduate school “and met my wonderful wife who instilled in me a self-confidence to be a better person.”
“When you display good character, it says something about you, and never forget that,” he said.
Spott acknowledged that some high school students believe you have to be altogether at age 15, but if not, it’s not the end of the world.
“What is important is that you recognize the value
in building each other up,” he said.