A personality that ceases to disappoint



Known for his loud and outgoing personality, senior Johnny Purnell will be one student that Bellefonte High School will never forget.

Johnny is involved in a variety of in-school and out-of-school activities including: Boy Scouts of America, Choral, Concert Band, Concert Choir, Jazz Band, Marching Band, and Model UN. Most notably, he is the president of Drama Club. He has been in numerous school productions, with last spring’s production of Anything Goes being his favorite, in which he won an Isaac award for Best Actor.

“The show itself was really fun, but the people made it so much more. Not to mention all of the awards we won. Winning Best Actor was an amazing experience and was just the icing on the cake to an awesome show and an awesome experience,” Johnny said.

Johnny was also very excited when he was able to work as a lead role with some of last year’s seniors in their last show. BAHS graduate from the Class of 2018 Anna Yates felt the same way working with Johnny.

“Working with Johnny onstage and off was always incredibly entertaining. Beyond simply being ‘the best friend I ever had,’ he has an amazing talent which was always so fun to work with. Also, presenting Best Actor in a Leading Role to him for his role in Anything Goes is absolutely one of my personal highlights thus far,” Anna said.

Johnny has also been involved in band since his freshman year, and this year brought a change being that Mr. Jay Zimmerman retired and it was Mr. Caleb Rebarchak’s responsibility to take on his legacy.

“Mr. Zimmerman’s retirement definitely wasn’t something that I thought I would see in my high school career, but being able to help Mr. Rebarchak get settled into his new job allowed for him and his senior students to form a good relationship. I am more than grateful that I got to take his AP Music Theory class this year. It is by far my favorite class with one of my favorite teachers,” Johnny said.

Mr. Caleb Rebarchak stated how the senior class as a whole has made his first year easier for him, but Johnny especially was a pleasure for him to have in Concert Band, Jazz Band, Marching Band, and AP Music Theory.

“It really is great to see someone with such enjoyment in music. His personality as a whole stands out and he always comes in saying ‘hello Barchy’ or ‘good morning Barchy’ and it is something that I can’t forget. He was a part of the Gladiator quartett for Marching Band and he is just such a musically talented individual,” Mr. Rebarchak said.

Senior Hunter Bowser had a lot to say about his close friend Johnny; especially about the time they first met.

“We met in the eighth grade, we were in the same English class,” Hunter said. “I actually became friends with him through Aidan Praskovich because we were playing Minecraft over a Skype call. Johnny’s name was ‘Pigslayer.’”

Senior Aidan Praskovich recalled the time he first met Johnny as well.

“It was in 2012 at a Scout meeting. Three times we said the exact same thing and it is something we still continue to do today. We think very alike and that’s why we are so close of friends.”

Johnny has impacted both Hunter and Aidan’s life, as well as senior Mason Keeler’s too. Johnny provides Mason constant competition, he helped Hunter become a more outgoing person and gave him the ability to meet new people and make new friends, and he constantly encourages Adian to do his best and it helped Adian become more confident in himself.

After graduation, Johnny plans to attend either Drexel University or Temple University both in Philadelphia, or Bucknell University in Lewisburg. He plans to major in biology and eventually go on and study medicine.

History teacher Mr. Matthew Martin reflected on his time with Johnny in his class. He enjoyed having him and class and even said how well he did in his class.

“Johnny’s sense of humor was something that could make any situation more enjoyable in my class. We all laughed a lot because of Johnny. A lot of people have a bad day, but you’d never know if he was having a bad day. He always had a smile on his face and had a great attitude,” Mr. Martin said.

Johnny is going to miss the teachers the most here at Bellefonte but feels he has left a substantial impact that cannot be forgotten.

“I think my presence at BAHS has left a positive impact on all of the underclassmen that I have associated with. I believe the senior class, myself included, have set good examples for the future of Bellefonte’s Fine Arts program. I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have been given and for the people I have met along the way. I wish them all the best.”