With new strategy, Pennsylvania State Police graduates large cadet class | TribLIVE.com

With new strategy, Pennsylvania State Police graduates large cadet class

Stephen Huba

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania State Police is graduating one of its larger classes, and it might be because of an effort to get prospective cadets accustomed beforehand to what 27 challenging weeks of academy training is like.

The agency graduated 103 cadets in the 155th graduating cadet class Friday.

A spokesman says graduating classes are typically between 90 or 95 cadets, as the agency races to fill positions vacated by retiring troopers.

Starting with this class, the recruitment services section tried something new to help cadets avoid washing out of training.

Recruiters invited prospective cadets for a “cadet life tour” a few weeks before they reported. Spokesman Ryan Tarkowski says it gives prospective cadets a look at academy life and a chance to build friendships with fellow recruits that can help them succeed.

The following cadets received awards at the ceremony:

  • American Legion Award, for most outstanding cadet — Andrew W. Reid, Mifflin County.
  • Col. Ronald L. Sharpe Award, for qualities of leadership — Ryan M. Cordingly, Lackawanna County.
  • Col. John K. Schafer Award, for highest combined score on a series of physical skills tests — Conner T. DeGusipe, Fayette County.
  • Commissioner Daniel F. Dunn Award, for highest level of academic achievement in the class — Austin T. Weaver, Allegheny County.
  • Col. Paul J. Chylak Award, for highest proficiency in driver safety training — Andrew L. Harriger, Venango County.
  • Sgt. Charles B. Gesford Award, for highest score on the department’s pistol qualification course — Cory E. Elliott, Westmoreland County.

Graduates, along with their home county, assigned to troops in Southwestern Pennsylvania area as follows:


Jeffrey D. Callihan (Somerset)

Zachary L. Chamblee (Westmoreland)

Matthew D. Cunningham (Allegheny)

Antony M. Direnzo (Somerset)

Cory E. Elliott (Westmoreland)

Tristan M. Tappe (Westmoreland)

Zachary S. Wolford (Westmoreland)


Benjamin J. Clauto (Cambria)

Henry W. Field (Westmoreland)

Shelby L. Loughner (Westmoreland)

Antonio S. Moffa (Westmoreland)

Tyler J. Prisk (Blair)


Justin M. Maloney (Westmoreland)


Nathan A. Ellwood (Westmoreland)

Matthew R. Timko (Westmoreland)


Samuel J. Jenesky Jr. (Allegheny)

Austin T. Weaver (Jefferson)


Brock C. Bonadio (Fayette)

Conner T. Degusipe (Fayette)

Joshua J. Humphrey (Westmoreland)

Adam D. Miller (Cambria)

Alexander S. Ruffing (Washington)

Zachary D. Santoro (Fayette)

Joshua Vazquez (Allegheny)

Brandon R. Wright (Allegheny)


Zachary M. Barravecch (Allegheny)

Kendra R. Folnsbee (Allegheny)

Gregory S. Gutta Jr. (Monongalia County, W.Va.)


Sean J. Gercken (Butler)

Phillip P. Schneider (Allegheny)


Darren J. Rice (Westmoreland)

Trent J. Viccari (Allegheny)

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: News | Pennsylvania
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