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Penn College Sisters to Perform at Commencement Ceremonies

From left, Amy E. Way, %E2%80%9905%3B Anna K. Johnson, %E2%80%9902%3B and Harriet E. 'Betsy' Yoder, %E2%80%9907.Three Montoursville-raised sisters who have been singing together since they began to walk will open Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commencement ceremonies with the national anthem on May 19.

The youngest of the three, Harriet E. “Betsy” Yoder, plans to graduate Saturday with an associate degree in individual studies, while her two older sisters, Anna K. Johnson and Amy E. Way, are Penn College alumnae.

Johnson graduated in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration: marketing; Way graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration: management, with a minor in international business.

The women, the three oldest of nine children, began singing together while small they have videotapes of themselves setting up a stage in their home and performing for their parents but officially formed the singing trio “A.N.G.E.L.” about six years ago.

It was during Johnson’s college graduation that the sisters were surprised to hear a recording of the national anthem rather than live singers, and Way then decided to ask whether the group could perform at her own graduation in May 2005. It began what is becoming a tradition for the group. A.N.G.E.L. also sang during the December 2005 commencement, when Johnson’s now-husband, Louis, graduated.

Yoder, having already performed for her sister’s and her brother-in-law’s graduations, said she is excited to play a key role in her own commencement ceremony, and Way said the same about her own experience.

“It makes you feel like you’re not just in the crowd at graduation,” she said.

After graduation, Yoder plans to attend Temple University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mass media communication, with a minor in theater.

Johnson is the mother of two daughters, Kerrie, 2, and Liberty, 1. She has completed one year of law school at Roger Williams University and hopes to return to that pursuit later. Meanwhile, she is working toward a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University.

Way is the mother of 7-month old Elijah, works at Sovereign Bank and is worship leader at her church. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in human resources management. She and her husband, Brandon, continue to live in Montoursville, as does Johnson and her family.

In addition to Penn College commencement ceremonies, the group performed for Vice President Dick Cheney when he visited Williamsport in 2004 and has sung for many summer festivals and church events such as banquets, youth retreats and youth rallies.

Because Johnson and Way are both busy with their young families, the group performs less often now, but the sisters enjoy returning to sing for their alma mater’s commencement events.

While the three A.N.G.E.L. members have now finished their studies at Penn College, the family’s legacy at the institution is not yet done. Their younger sister plans to enroll in the fall to study architecture.

For more information about Penn College, call (570) 326-3761 or visit online .

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