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Dedication ceremony marks Liberty HS’s 100th anniversary

At Liberty HS’s 100th anniversary dedication ceremony June 5, Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Dr. Joseph Roy intoned a quote by Winston Churchill: “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.” Truer words couldn’t have been said about the venerable high school at the ceremony, which was attended by Liberty students, staff and alumni, BASD staff and board directors, as well as state and local elected officials and area residents.

The 2021-22 school year has featured a number of 100th anniversary activities, ending with the dedication event.

Building tours kicked off the day’s festivities, followed by the dedication ceremony and later in the day an alumni band and chorus performance in BASD Stadium.

“I understand now why this school is so dear to this community,” said Principal Dr. Harrison Bailey III, who was joined by former principals Thomas Dalousio, William Burkhardt, JoAnn Durante and Dr. Dean Donaher in attendance.

Elected officials present included State Senator Lisa Boscola, State Representative Steve Samuelson, a Liberty alumnus, and Bethlehem Mayor J. William Reynolds, also a Liberty alumnus, who delivered a proclamation declaring it Liberty HS Day in Bethlehem. “Liberty is both inspirational and aspirational,” Reynolds said.

BASD Foundation vice president John Callahan revealed that a Steinway piano had been presented to Liberty as a 100th anniversary gift, the culmination of a year-long fundraising effort.

Four additional individuals - Murray Goodman, Carolyn Latanision, Dominic Villani and Muriel Wilson – were announced as the newest members of the Liberty HS Hall of Distinction, and Arthur and Mary Guerrieri were recognized as the ‘legendary couple of Liberty.”

Alumni and students representing different eras at Liberty spoke about their experiences as students at Liberty. Alumni William Burkhardt, Dr. Jack Silva and Jazlee Figueroa, and students Addison Collins and Abby Omwega recounted how Liberty had helped them find their passion and purpose. Collins and Omwega also cut the official dedication ribbon.

The Liberty Grenadier Band, 1st Company and Liberty A Cappela Singers provided musical accompaniment, performing the National Anthem and Alma Mater, among several selections.

Liberty athletic director Fred Harris summed up the year-long celebration, saying, “This high school is the center of our community.”

Several antique and classic cars were parked in front of Liberty to mark different eras of the school's history. Above: Attendees admire a 1928 Ford Model A and a 1914 Ford model T.
Three former Liberty principals, Thomas Dalousio, Dr. Dean Donaher and William Burkhardt, along with Dalousio's wife Marilyn, chat at the 100th anniversary celebration. A fourth former principal, JoAnn Durante, also attended.
The Liberty HS A Capella Singers perform the National Anthem at the start of the ceremony.
“The legendary couple of Liberty,” Mary and Arthur Guerrieri, are recognized by Principal Dr. Harrison Baily III. She was the Liberty Class of 1950 valedictorian and he graduated from Liberty in 1949.
A scale model of Liberty HS was on display at the dedication ceremony. Many current Liberty students were involved in the design and construction, with 3D pieces donated by the Northampton Community College Fab Lab. Funding was provided by the BASD Foundation.
“Today you will be reminded of the incredible history of Liberty High School,” said Principal Dr. Harrison Bailey III.
press photos by dana grubb Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent. Dr. Joseph Roy watches as Liberty students Addison Collins and Abby Omwega cut the 100th anniversary ribbon.
The Liberty HS Grenadier Band's 1st Company performs the Alma Mater.