Wilkes-Barre area high schools graduate for last time before consolidation


WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — For thousands of students across the commonwealth, Graduation Day signifies change and the start of a new chapter in their lives. But for three high schools in Luzerne County, it marks the end of an era.

Elizabeth Zoeller’s high school Graduation Day will go down in history.

“I’m the last person to ever graduate from Coughlin High School until they merge into Wilkes-Barre Area, so I’m really excited about that,” Zoeller said.

She was the last Coughlin High School senior to be handed her diploma at Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday. It’s ahead of the consolidation with G.A.R. and Meyers High Schools in the fall.

The 2021 senior classes from Elmer L. Meyers, G.A.R. and Coughlin High Schools are the last to graduate from their respective schools.

“It being the last year is just so difficult to comprehend, because I’ve seen so many friends and family graduate before me, and I’m just grateful to be part of the last class for sure,” Meyers High School Class of 2021 graduate Megan Gallagher said.

Coughlin, the largest of the three, held its graduation ceremony at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Thursday afternoon. This institution has a rich history in the community, being a staple in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District for over 100 years.

G.A.R. and Meyers High Schools held their graduations Thursday morning. It’s a bittersweet time for students and parents saying goodbye to these institutions that have been part of the Wilkes-Barre area community for nine decades combined.

“I feel like it’s an honor because I’ve had many family, like generations of my family come here and it’s sad but it’s exciting to graduate on the stage that they have as well,” said Emily Engle, G.A.R. class of 2021.

Each school held its own celebrations to commemorate the day. G.A.R. alumni held a special gathering to commemorate their beloved high school experiences that will never be forgotten, a shining example for the Class of 2021 leaving behind a legacy.

“Most of us here are class of ’72. We loved going to G.A.R we have G.A.R. pride, we’ll always be Grenadiers in our heart,” said Bob Manfre, G.A.R. class of ’72.

The brand new Wilkes-Barre Area High School is located in Plains Township and will welcome students to class in the fall.

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