The Connellsville Area High School class of 2019 will receive diplomas in a commencement ceremony slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. June 7.

The valedictorian and salutatorian of the senior class is Rachel Bittner and Ryan Brown, respectively.

Bittner is a daughter of Don and Liana Bittner of Bullskin.

Her school activities include president of the History Club, vice president of the National Spanish Honor Society, captain of the Reading Competition Team and founder of Book Talk. In addition, she is a member of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science, National Honor Society, Senior Peer Mentor and Congress for Future Medical Leaders.

Bittner is the recipient of the Margd Trimble Scholarship, Eleanor E. Roland Scholarship, Academic Excellence School Gold Award, Challenge Program Award for STEM, Rotary Club’s Student of the Month Award, President’s Education Award, AP Scholar award and is a member of the Penn State 4.0 Club.

In the fall, Bittner will attend the University of Pittsburgh, dual-majoring in neuroscience and psychology. She intends to pursue a career in neurosurgery.

Brown is a son of Julie and Ray Brown of Connellsville.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and Student Council, serving as Senior Class Treasurer and as a Peer Mentor.

An Academic All-Star, Brown served as assistant captain of the Falcons varsity ice hockey team. He received a High School All-American Award for ice hockey.

Outside of Connellsville, Brown served as assistant captain of the Pittsburgh Predators 18U Tier 1 AAA club hockey team. He earned a spot on the Team Pittsburgh all-star team both his junior and senior years.

This fall, Brown will play Junior A ice hockey in the Ontario Junior Hockey League with the Trenton Golden Hawks, based in Trenton, Ontario, Canada. His future plans include attending college to study business.

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