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By Matthew Peaslee

A special prayer breakfast is planned for Saturday, May 21, at 9:00 AM for the graduating senior class of Ringgold High School. Organized by Joe Ravasio, Dave Sarkus and Gen. Dave Papak, the event for the 176 seniors will be held at the Carrol Township Social Center.

The theme for the prayer breakfast is “faith over fear, victory over failure.”  The morning will feature a buffet breakfast, the national anthem sung by Monongahela Mayor Greg Garry, and all students will receive special gifts. Police officers from local communities will pass out American flags, every student will receive a copy of the United States Constitution, courtesy of Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughn, and two books will also be presented to the students.

One book is ‘Brothers Forever’ by Tom Manion and Tom Sileo and the other will be ‘Noble Knight’ by Scott Brown, which tells the courageous story of Dan Priatko, who will be one of the guest speakers at the event.

Ravasio is encouraged that at least 100 seniors will attend the prayer breakfast.  While all seniors are invited, there is no obligation to attend.

The three gentlemen organizing the event have met with RHS Principal Jason Minitti and activities director Natalie Hess, as well as the senior class in April. They held a special meeting with the four senior class officers — Ryleigh Simko, Kirra Gerard, Kelley Kulp, Ryan Guylloppi.

“After 38 years as a teacher and a coach, you become a pretty good judge of character,” Ravasio said. “I can say these are great kids, who were raised well and have a good head on their shoulders.”

“They were very receptive and encouraged and excited for us to do this for them and their senior class. They realize more than anybody that this has been a very difficult process. When you're a teenager, there's a lot of uphill battles. They need others to help them to get through the deep waters. Thank goodness for those that helped us through those situations.”

Ravasio’s heart goes out to the RHS seniors, as well as all students across the country, for the many hardships they have experienced since 2020. From navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, to virtual learning and school and social lockdowns. Plus, the peer pressures of growing up in the




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