Community celebrates Future City winners

By on March 13, 2019

Was that Lady Gaga or Ariana Grande spotted at Rock Lititz on Saturday?

Not quite. But Lititz’s newest rock stars were celebrating in style at Rock Lititz with a community-wide party on March 9. The big bash honored the 25 Warwick Middle School students who took home the grand prize in the 2019 Future City Competition on Feb. 19 in Washington, D.C.

And they were having a party.

The fun event marked the first time the Future City team beat out teams from across the U.S., Canada, and China, taking home the top prize. A who’s who list of Warwick School District officials attended, including Superintendent April Hershey, Assistant Superintendent Melanie Calender, Warwick Middle School Assistant Principal Michelle Harris, teacher and Future Team advisor Michael Smith, and families and friends.

The super stars, of course, were the 25 Future City team members, who were Grace Kegel, Lauren Matt, Xavier Flaiz, Matthew Bacon, Joseph Conrad, Carter Hain, Connor Henry, Paige Misavage, Ivan Tejeda, Liam Zee, Jonah Ahlers, Olivia Boland, Zoe Buchanan, Kyle Charles, Ben Cosmore, Marin Davis, Carolyn Eisenbach, Nate Hovan, Thomas Jeanes, Caden Lausch, Elena Smith, Aiden Troop, Rebekah Trovinger, Maggie Turner, and Nate Wenger.

Warwick Middle School Assistant Principal Michelle Harris hands out ribbons. Photos by Laura Knowles.

There were quite a few families on hand to celebrate the occasion. Several of them proved that winning Future City is often a family affair. Eighth grader Grace Kegel’s brother Christian, a Warwick High School ninth grader, had been on the Future City team when he was in seventh and eighth grade. This year, he served as a volunteer mentor to the team. Their parents, Robert and Stephanie Kegel, couldn’t be prouder.

Seventh grader Nathan Wenger and his sister Alexa Wenger, now a Warwick High School ninth grader, showed that Future City was all in the family. Alexa was on the Future City team when she was in seventh and eighth grade.

“We were so excited when the team won this year. We are so proud of all the kids,” said dad Eric Wenger, who was joined by his wife, Kristin. “This is quite a party.”

Eric Wenger, Nathan Wenger, Alexa Wenger, Kristin Wenger at the Future City event at Rock Lititz on Saturday.

The party was hosted by Tracy and Adam Davis, who wanted to celebrate the big win with Marin’s team. Adam Davis works at Tait Towers and asked Smith if it was OK to have a party at Rock Lititz.

“It was a great idea,” said Smith, who was thrilled to share the Future City victory with the community.

It was the 13th time that Warwick Middle School’s team of seventh and eighth graders had participated in the annual Future City engineering competition, and the eighth time they had made it to the National Future City competition in Washington, which was held Feb.16-19, 2019.

The party was rockin’ too, with everything 13- and 14-year-olds love, like ping pong, foosball, rock music, and a huge buffet spread with chips, assorted dips, and cake. There were caricatures of many of the team members lining the buffet table.

A family affair at the Future City celebration, (from left to right) Robert Kegel, Grace Kegel, Christian Kegel, and Stephanie Kegel.

Assistant Principal Harris handed out ribbons to each of the winners. Even U.S. Congressman Lloyd Smucker sent his congratulations to Warwick Middle School by video.

“I think this is something Warwick really needed after a difficult year,” said Smith. “I am so proud of them. They really are rock stars.”

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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