The 2023-2024 GNA Homecoming Court. Pictured left to right: Claire Aufiero, Jenna Thomas, Isabella Dalmas, Ashley Sewald, and Lauren Youngblood.
The 2023-2024 GNA Homecoming Court. Pictured left to right: Claire Aufiero, Jenna Thomas, Isabella Dalmas, Ashley Sewald, and Lauren Youngblood.
Hannah Fink

Meet the 2023-2024 GNA Homecoming Court

GNA CAMPUS – Fleeting summer has quickly been replaced by crisp autumn mornings. As a blue-gray October sky covers much of the Northeast, the change in season serves as a stark reminder to everyone in Greater Nanticoke Area that a new school year has commenced and a special event was on the horizon. 

With each new academic year comes hope, optimism, and opportunity. As students, faculty, and staff returned to the classroom, work quickly began on one of the most popular and prideful weeks of the entire school year – homecoming.  

Homecoming, held during the week of October 2, is an annual week-long event at Greater Nanticoke Area put together by the Student Council and the senior class. Candice Muench and Julie Dalmas, advisors of the Student Council, along with Rachel Jeffries and Mike Zubritski, advisors of the senior class, seek to bring joy and spirit to the school and local community. On Monday, students at each grade level attended the Spirit Games where they competed against each other in a variety of team-building events. The following day, live music, carnival games, and food trucks were all gathered in the school parking lot for Trojan Spirit Fest, a new event introduced this year. Thursday was filled with pep rallies followed by a homecoming dance later that evening. Finally, the culmination of the week’s activities occurred Friday when the homecoming court was announced, and Miss GNA was crowned prior to the homecoming football game. 


Meet the 2023-2024 GNA Homecoming Court: 


Miss GNA, Isabella Dalmas, is the daughter of Dominic and Kelly Dalmas and was escorted by Patrick Remley.

When it was announced that Bella would be the next GNA Homecoming Queen, she reflected on her initial shock and overwhelming excitement. “My hands flew to my mouth. I almost didn’t believe it for a second,” she said. Bella largely anticipated the opportunity to be involved in the fun group activities associated with the homecoming experience like dancing and getting dressed up. She shared how proud she felt to be honored with the position by saying, “Being a part of the homecoming court means more than just being queen – to me, it means playing a big role in representing our school.”

Alongside being a member of the girls varsity soccer team, Isabella reminisced fondly on her high school experience with her friends. She expressed that she greatly appreciated the morning Dunkin run before or after a typical school day and her attendance at various GNA sporting events. Bella is especially grateful for her time spent teaching Mrs. Egenski’s kindergarten class twice each week. 

Bella takes a great deal of inspiration from her loving parents who have supported her and her mentality that, “You are only as good as you treat people.” She revealed that many people may not know of her allergy to cats, and she keeps it well hidden through her persistent desire to play with and entertain a cat whenever she encounters one.

After graduation, Isabella hopes to attend Misericordia University and enroll in the occupational therapy program where she will continue to build memories and drink Dr. Pepper.


Ashley Sewald is the daughter of Ryan and Renea Sewald and was escorted by Liam Mullery as part of the 2023-2024 GNA Homecoming Court.

Upon being selected to the court, Ashley reported her surprise amongst feelings of honor by saying, “Being part of the homecoming court is something that is respected and very special to me… I’m grateful to be a part of it.” Ashley values the importance of the homecoming court, not only at GNA, but also as a part of the entire community. She recounted the anticipation of having the other girls of the court beside her throughout the experience, and she hoped to build memories they could look back on as a meaningful part of their senior year. 

Throughout high school, Ashley was a dedicated member of the girls varsity soccer team. In accordance with her athletic interest, Ashley fondly recalled being a part of the student section at sporting events to support the players alongside her friends. 

Spending time with Ashley reveals her outgoing personality and kindness. She lives her life driven by determination, and under the motto that, “It is okay to make mistakes because you learn from them.” Ashley finds deep inspiration through the confidence of others, and she values those who always remain true to themselves. 

As Ashley moves forward in life with the goal of attending Luzerne County Community College after graduation, she will always cherish the close bond that she has with her sister. “I can always depend on her when I need her,” Ashley said.


Jenna Thomas is the daughter of Joshua and Lori Thomas and was escorted by Niko Butczynski as part of the 2023-2024 GNA Homecoming Court. 

As the homecoming court was announced and Jenna heard her name, she expressed her surprise by stating, “The biggest smile appeared on my face, and I sat there in shock.” Jenna was ecstatic to be a part of the court and shared that she had been looking up to other girls since she was young. Now, as a senior, she is excited to fill that role herself. “I’ve wanted to be a part of the court since I was in middle school, and now being on it, it means a lot to me,” Jenna claimed. Her favorite part of homecoming is “getting all dolled up.” 

Jenna is a part of the girls varsity soccer team and enjoys supporting the other athletic teams at GNA. Her favorite memories at school are “being in the football and basketball student sections and participating in sports.” Alongside her love for athletics, Jenna has a great appreciation for her teachers at GNA.

As she’s given this opportunity to be on the court, Jenna is thankful for her father, Joshua Thomas, who she says is her biggest inspiration. Jenna reflected that the best advice that drives her to do better is, “Don’t live your life trying to make someone else happy.” As she pushes her way through the rest of her high school career, Jenna said she wouldn’t be able to do so without her kitten, Peach.

Post-graduation, Jenna aspires to attend Misericordia University for two years before transferring to Florida State University. While attending college, she would like to major in Marine Biology as she advances through these stages of her life.


Claire Aufiero is the daughter of Matthew and Kristin Aufiero and was escorted by Jaidyn Johnson as part of the 2023-2024 GNA Homecoming Court. 

When the announcement echoed throughout each classroom and she heard her name, Claire was beyond excited. She had been looking forward to this moment for years as a student at GNA. Claire relayed that it was something that meant a lot to her, and she was thrilled to be a member of the homecoming court. 

Claire is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities such as Student Council, National Honor Society, girls varsity basketball, and girls varsity volleyball. Her favorite memories as a student include being in the student section at basketball and football games.

As Claire reflected on her senior year and what it meant to be selected to the homecoming court, she stated that she was extremely thankful for her sister, who is “her biggest role model.” Claire explained, “My sister’s passion and work ethic helped create the perfect role model for me.” While sharing some things people might not know about her, Claire shared that she, “likes to bake and decorate cakes.” She lives every day by the motto, “Be the reason someone believes in good people.” However, all things considered, she says she wouldn’t be able to do it all without her closest friends and family. 

After graduating from GNA, Claire would like to follow in her mother’s footsteps and major in early childhood education. 


Lauren Youngblood is the daughter of Larry and MaryJo Youngblood and was escorted by Ryan Wiaterowski as part of the 2023-2024 GNA Homecoming Court. 

As her name was called over the loud-speaker, Lauren was astonished and could not believe that she had actually been selected, reporting, “I had to ask my friend Niko if my name was actually announced. After it sunk in, I was so excited; I could not stop smiling.” Once out of class, the first thing she did was call her mom. She had been dreaming of this moment since she was a little girl. She is honored to take the position of the girls she had been in awe of her entire adolescence. Lauren shared her love for homecoming saying, “This is the time of year everyone looks forward to,” which she anticipates spending with all of her classmates. 

Lauren is a varsity cheer captain and has been involved in National Honor Society, Student Council, class office, dual enrollment at LCCC, and ballet at the Wilkes Conservatory, which she has participated in for 12 years. Lauren reflected fondly on her memories of spikeball in the parking lot, each year of spirit week, and “bringing lawn chairs to gym class and playing hot potato to annoy Mr. Manley.” She also greatly appreciates the bonds and connections she was able to make with fellow students and staff. 

In life, Lauren has valued the advice, “The biggest mistake you can make in life is always fearing you will make one.” This is something she has exemplified throughout her high school career that is, in part, driven by the inspiration she gains from her older brother Larry, who she says, “…is so hardworking and gives his all to everything he does. He is the person I strive to be someday.” A more personal perspective may reveal that Lauren writes with her right hand, but does everything else with her left. She will always remember her time in high school and on the homecoming court, but she will especially never forget her devoted trips to Dunkin and Starbucks with her closest friends that she simply could not live without. 

After Lauren graduates, she plans on attending Penn State in the fall of 2024 with a major in Political Science in hopes of becoming a lawyer. 


Congratulations again to the 2023-2024 Homecoming Court and best wishes for the rest of your senior year at GNA!

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