Skip to main content

Corey steals the show

06/25/2014 10:48AM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, Schools



Gallery: Avon Grove High School Graduation 2014 [5 Images] Click any image to expand.



By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer


For the first hour or so of Avon Grove High School's 86th annual commencement, held June 18 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, there was truly nothing out of the ordinary to distinguish much of it from any other graduation ceremony.

Image title

In row upon row on the floor of the arena, the gowns and mortar caps of each of the 442 graduates were, as always, maroon and gold, and above them, working cell phone cameras and applauding, were parents and loved ones. The Avon Grove High School Graduation Band, under the direction of Rebecca Staznik, played Elgar's “Pomp and Circumstance” when the graduates arrived, and at the podium, school principal Tom Alexander offered sincere congratulations to the graduating class, noting that the class had earned a total of $1.9 million in scholarship funds. Student addresses, some solemn and some humorous, followed Alexander, and when it came time to collect diplomas, Vice Principal Angela Houghton was the first to greet each graduating senior after their name was called by Senior Assistant Principal Gary Benasutti.

At a few minutes after eight, however, Benasutti called the name, “Corey Marie Beattie,” and 

Image title

suddenly, a sound like a thunderous wave shook the Bob Carpenter Center. From the podium to the farthest reaches of the arena, 4,000 students and guests stood and applauded as Beattie, maneuvering in a walker and assisted by her mother, Marie, gave a big kiss to the welcoming audience. Wearing her mortar cap, a graduating gown and a huge smile, Beattie fell into the arms of Alexander in a warm embrace.  

Ninety seconds later, after Beattie had finished crossing the stage, the applause finally subsided.

The crowd had special reason to stand.  

Image title

As the 2010 school year got underway, Beattie was an active senior at Avon Grove. She played softball, participated in track and field, was on the diving team and a member of a competitive cheerleading team. She loved music, and was a member of the choir and played the trumpet in the school band. After graduation, she intended to attend culinary school after graduation, when on Oct. 2, she suffered a broken neck and traumatic brain injury while a passenger in a car at the intersection of Routes 896 and 841. Since then, her mother and hundreds of others have spearheaded an initiative to persuade PennDOT to make the road safer. Through their efforts, an additional stop sign has been added to the intersection.       

During that time, Corey's recovery has been a slow but steady one, with rehabilitation and 

Image title

therapy an almost daily part of her life. 

Crossing the graduation stage, said her mother, is merely one of her many goals in life.

“It was a month into her senior year when she had the accident, and she wanted to go to 

culinary school, so we have been fighting to get her back to walking and talking and eating and speaking, and this is just one of the goals,” said Marie. “The next will be to get her back into a kitchen so that she can achieve her dream of being a chef.”

The goal is already underway. The Beattie family has found a local chef who has agreed to start working with Corey. Under his tutelage, she will learn the basics of  cutting and cooking, as well as become familiar with the tools a chef needs in a kitchen.

Image title

“We don't know whether or not she's going to get better, but we act as if she will,” Marie said. “You're afraid to hope but you want to, but you have to believe, otherwise you don't have hope. I have to tell you, this is a day we always hoped for, but I couldn't tell you that it would ever get here. Corey inspires more people, because she has this never-give-up, never-give-in attitude.”

In her written address to her fellow graduates, listed in the commencement program, Beattie encouraged students to not be afraid to fail. Quoting Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher, Beattie wrote, “Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose...”

“I don't consider myself a failure, I am just a human being learning some lessons from my 

Image title

challenge,” Beattie wrote. “I hope that we all keep failing so we can learn great things and hopefully inspire others to keep going when they think they've failed.”

Senior speaker Edgar Garcia Elizade kicked off the student speakers for the evening, which was followed by addresses by class salutatorian Ethan Phillips and class valedictorian Marcus Forst. After a performance of the Stephen Schwartz song, “For Good,” by Alexandra Taylor and Noah Mogaka and backed by the Senior Ensemble, graduates Maggie Winter and Kristian Grier delivered an amusing speech entitled, “We Have a Dream,” a cut-and-paste homage to some famous speeches. 

Class president Nathaniel Howard rounded out the addresses with his speech, “Rise Above.” 


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline



graduation avon grove high school avon grove high school graduation commencement graduation 2014


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/07/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    02/07/2016
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • A World Beneath Our Feet

    02/07/2016
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    One single teaspoon of soil contains more beneficial microorganisms than there are people living ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/09/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/11/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    02/11/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/12/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Wee Build Block Party

    02/12/2016
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Come to the Oxford Library for a Block Party! Children of all ages are welcome to bring their ima...


  • Parents Night Out: Natural Valentines

    02/12/2016
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Make a special valentine for our sweet marsh animals. Friday, February 12, 6:30 - 8:30pm Memb...


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/13/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • ASTON, PA DATA DESTRUCTION EVENT

    02/13/2016
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    This event will be held at our secure location at Elwyn Industries Warehouse, 1 Judy Way, Aston, ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/13/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Feed the Birds

    02/13/2016
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    We all love the colorful winter birds! Come take a family hike and visit the Ashland feeders! P...


  • Ready to Read

    02/13/2016
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Ready to Read: Fizz, Boom, Read! STEAM Saturdays! Saturday, January 16 – Saturday, April 30 from...


  • Archery in Amish Country

    02/13/2016
    12:30PM — 07:00PM

    Spend an afternoon shooting bows and arrows at Lancaster Archery Supply the world’s largest arc...


  • Mammals of Southeastern Pennsylvania

    02/13/2016
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Learn about the different mammals that live in Southeastern Pennsylvania by examining skulls, pel...


  • Teen Drawing Class with Louise Vinueza at Chester Springs Studio, Chester Springs Ages: 13 t...


  • Teen Drawing Class at Chester Springs Studio

    02/13/2016
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    Ideal for teens who want to further their drawing skills. In this 8-week Teen Drawing Class stud...


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/07/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    02/07/2016
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • A World Beneath Our Feet

    02/07/2016
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    One single teaspoon of soil contains more beneficial microorganisms than there are people living ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/08/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Creative Clay Ages: 6 to 8 Instructor: Jessica Greet Length: 8 Weeks Start Date: Mondays, Jan...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    02/08/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/09/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/10/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Great pottery class for 9 to 12 year olds. Register now to reserve you place in the class! Stu...


  • Watercolor: An Exploration Level: Some experience required, Limit 10 students Instructor: Mick ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/11/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    02/11/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/12/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Wee Build Block Party

    02/12/2016
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Come to the Oxford Library for a Block Party! Children of all ages are welcome to bring their ima...


  • Parents Night Out: Natural Valentines

    02/12/2016
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Make a special valentine for our sweet marsh animals. Friday, February 12, 6:30 - 8:30pm Memb...


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/13/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • ASTON, PA DATA DESTRUCTION EVENT

    02/13/2016
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    This event will be held at our secure location at Elwyn Industries Warehouse, 1 Judy Way, Aston, ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/13/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Feed the Birds

    02/13/2016
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    We all love the colorful winter birds! Come take a family hike and visit the Ashland feeders! P...


  • Ready to Read

    02/13/2016
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Ready to Read: Fizz, Boom, Read! STEAM Saturdays! Saturday, January 16 – Saturday, April 30 from...


  • Archery in Amish Country

    02/13/2016
    12:30PM — 07:00PM

    Spend an afternoon shooting bows and arrows at Lancaster Archery Supply the world’s largest arc...


  • Mammals of Southeastern Pennsylvania

    02/13/2016
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Learn about the different mammals that live in Southeastern Pennsylvania by examining skulls, pel...


  • Teen Drawing Class with Louise Vinueza at Chester Springs Studio, Chester Springs Ages: 13 t...


  • Teen Drawing Class at Chester Springs Studio

    02/13/2016
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    Ideal for teens who want to further their drawing skills. In this 8-week Teen Drawing Class stud...


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/14/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • Seasonal Farm Fun & Food: Farm Valentines

    02/14/2016
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    The Coverdale Farm animals are awaiting Valentine's Day to see who will show them some love! Wi...


  • Wizards and Lizards Overnight

    02/14/2016
    03:00PM

    Pack your wands and your sleeping bags! Join us for this classic wintry Wizardry event! Spooky ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/15/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Creative Clay Ages: 6 to 8 Instructor: Jessica Greet Length: 8 Weeks Start Date: Mondays, Jan...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    02/15/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/16/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    02/16/2016
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • Kids Book Club

    02/16/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Join us at the Chester Springs Library on Tuesday, January 19 from 6 – 7 PM for Kids Book Club. ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/17/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Native Evergreens

    02/17/2016
    10:00AM — 12:30PM

    Evergreens form the backbone of winter landscapes as well as provide shelter and food sources for...


  • Native Evergreens

    02/17/2016
    10:00AM — 12:30PM

    Evergreens form the backbone of winter landscapes as well as provide shelter and food sources for...


  • Great pottery class for 9 to 12 year olds. Register now to reserve you place in the class! Stu...


  • Watercolor: An Exploration Level: Some experience required, Limit 10 students Instructor: Mick ...


  • SCCCC Annual Meeting Breakfast

    02/18/2016
    07:30AM — 10:00AM

    The Annual Meeting is the official introduction of the Chamber's Board of Directors. The Chairman...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/18/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    02/18/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Teen Book Club

    02/18/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Join us at the Chester Springs Library on Thursday, January 21 from 6 – 7 PM for Teen Book Club! ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/19/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Green by Nature Preschool: Wonders of Winter

    02/19/2016
    09:30AM — 11:00AM

    Wake up hibernating senses as we use sleepy eyes, ears, and noses in the crisp winter air. Smel...


  • An evening of Jazz performances with over 200 students from 10 area schools. Food and drink will...


  • Freud's Last Session

    02/19/2016
    08:00PM

    Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmun...


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/20/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • ASTON, PA DATA DESTRUCTION EVENT

    02/20/2016
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    This event will be held at our secure location at Elwyn Industries Warehouse, 1 Judy Way, Aston, ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/20/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Ready to Read

    02/20/2016
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Ready to Read: Fizz, Boom, Read! STEAM Saturdays! Saturday, January 16 – Saturday, April 30 from...


  • Bird Box Building For Families

    02/20/2016
    12:30PM — 04:00PM

    Spring is coming and bluebirds and wrens will soon be house hunting! Give these gorgeous birds a ...


  • Marvels of Migration

    02/20/2016
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Whether traveling alone or in flocks, by day or by night, searching for prey or avoiding becoming...


  • Landscape for Life

    02/20/2016
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Create healthy, beautiful landscapes using a toolkit of basic skills that work in harmony with na...


  • Wildlife in Winter

    02/20/2016
    01:00PM — 02:30PM

    Return to Bucktoe for part II of the nature walk series focused on camouflage and other methods o...


  • Marvels of Migration

    02/20/2016
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Whether traveling alone or in flocks, by day or by night, searching for prey or avoiding becoming...


  • Landscape for Life

    02/20/2016
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Create healthy, beautiful landscapes using a toolkit of basic skills that work in harmony with na...


  • Teen Drawing Class with Louise Vinueza at Chester Springs Studio, Chester Springs Ages: 13 t...


  • Teen Drawing Class at Chester Springs Studio

    02/20/2016
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    Ideal for teens who want to further their drawing skills. In this 8-week Teen Drawing Class stud...


  • Newark Symphony Chamber Concert

    02/20/2016
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    NEWARK SYMPHONY 2015-16 CHAMBER CONCERT Simeone Tartaglione, Music Director Ryan Tibbetts, Ass...


  • Freud's Last Session

    02/20/2016
    08:00PM

    Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmun...


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/21/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    02/21/2016
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • Owl and Raptor Fest

    02/21/2016
    02:00PM — 04:30PM

    Join us for an afternoon of having fun learning about owls and other raptors. This program is f...


  • Freud's Last Session

    02/21/2016
    08:00PM

    Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmun...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/22/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Creative Clay Ages: 6 to 8 Instructor: Jessica Greet Length: 8 Weeks Start Date: Mondays, Jan...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    02/22/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/23/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/24/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Great pottery class for 9 to 12 year olds. Register now to reserve you place in the class! Stu...


  • Cultivars, Roadside Restorations, and More

    02/24/2016
    06:00PM — 07:30PM

    Two questions are common among native plant enthusiasts: “Do cultivars of native plants provide t...


  • Cultivars, Roadside Restorations, and More

    02/24/2016
    06:00PM — 07:30PM

    Two questions are common among native plant enthusiasts: “Do cultivars of native plants provide t...


  • Watercolor: An Exploration Level: Some experience required, Limit 10 students Instructor: Mick ...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/25/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Fundamentals of Pruning

    02/25/2016
    10:00AM — 02:30PM

    Proper pruning of shrubs and trees improves their structure and health while enhancing their appe...


  • Fundamentals of Pruning

    02/25/2016
    10:00AM — 02:30PM

    Proper pruning of shrubs and trees improves their structure and health while enhancing their appe...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    02/25/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Freud's Last Session

    02/25/2016
    08:00PM

    Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmun...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/26/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Green by Nature: DEEC's Winter Wonderland

    02/26/2016
    09:30AM — 11:00AM

    What animals use the pond in winter? Discover animal tracks in the snow and touch real animal fur...


  • Wee Build Block Party

    02/26/2016
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Come to the Oxford Library for a Block Party! Children of all ages are welcome to bring their ima...


  • Classical Guitar and Wine

    02/26/2016
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    Brad Rau will be performing Classical Guitar Saturday February 26th 2016 from 7-10 pm at the Kreu...


  • "Dixie Swim Club"

    02/26/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    A hilarious, all female cast that consists of five southern women, whose friendships began many y...


  • Freud's Last Session

    02/26/2016
    08:00PM

    Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmun...


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/27/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • Children’s I-Spy Birding

    02/27/2016
    09:00AM — 10:30AM

    The last Saturday of the month from 9am-10:30am. Join local birding expert and environmental edu...


  • Children's I-Spy Birding

    02/27/2016
    09:00AM — 10:30AM

    Join us as we look and listen for the common (and uncommon) birds of Bucktoe. We will be taking s...


  • Give the Gift of Creativity!

    02/27/2016
    09:30AM — 06:30PM

    This holiday season give the gift of creativity! Historic Yellow Springs offers classes in fine a...


  • Maple Sugaring and Pancake Breakfast

    02/27/2016
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Work up an appetite while walking to our maple trees to learn how Native Americans developed th...


  • Get ready for a unique event: a live session, open to the public, combining ballet dancers and ar...


  • Ready to Read

    02/27/2016
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Ready to Read: Fizz, Boom, Read! STEAM Saturdays! Saturday, January 16 – Saturday, April 30 from...


  • Teen Drawing Class with Louise Vinueza at Chester Springs Studio, Chester Springs Ages: 13 t...


  • Teen Drawing Class at Chester Springs Studio

    02/27/2016
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    Ideal for teens who want to further their drawing skills. In this 8-week Teen Drawing Class stud...


  • "Dixie Swim Club"

    02/27/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    A hilarious, all female cast that consists of five southern women, whose friendships began many y...


  • Freud's Last Session

    02/27/2016
    08:00PM

    Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmun...


  • Arts Leadership Class for Teens

    02/28/2016
    12:00AM

    The Teen Arts Council of PA is excited to invite Chester County Teens to a free program combing t...


  • "Dixie Swim Club"

    02/28/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    A hilarious, all female cast that consists of five southern women, whose friendships began many y...


  • Freud's Last Session

    02/28/2016
    08:00PM

    Freud’s Last Session centers on a hypothetical meeting between legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmun...


 

 

 

Chester County High School Sports