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Tribute to dedicated teachers: Miss Iap and Paul Link honored by former student Bob Eyer

Updated: Dec 26, 2022


Miss Catherine Iapalucci, Bob Eyer, and Paul Link


Bob Eyer has become a very successful business leader in Johnstown and Cambria County over the past four decades, but he never forgot the role of two teachers who laid the foundation in the 1960s for his business acumen and accomplishments.


A native of Ashville in northern Cambria County, Eyer graduated from Cresson Joint High School in 1963, and while he did not initiate his accomplishments in the business world until later, he still remembers two very dedicated business education teachers who made a positive impact on him in his youth.


Now retired as president and managing partner of Wessel & Company in Johnstown, he had a burning desire to help young people earn scholarship money while honoring the legacy of those two teachers. He came across a way to combine the two into a wonderful project.

Scholarship


The scholarship is named the Iapalucci and Link Business Scholarship in honor of Catherine Iapalucci and Paul Link who collectively taught for 76 years in the Cresson and later the Penn Cambria school districts.


“They are two influential teachers who dedicated their lives to teaching high school students,” Eyer said in a telephone interview from his Johnstown office. “They were two people who had tremendous respect for students and had great dedication to their profession.”

The scholarship is administered through the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies scholarship program. The award is described on its website in this way,


This award was created to honor Catherine Iapalucci and Paul Link. Provides an award to a graduating senior at Penn Cambria High School who will be pursuing either a two- or four-year degree in a business-related program.


Community Foundation


Did not appreciate their influence until later


Bob Eyer eventually earned an accounting degree and became a CPA and moved back to his home area after leaving high school. However, he acknowledges that he did not fully appreciate the contribution of these two teachers who at the time made up the entire business education department at Cresson,

As a student in high school, I was too immature to recognize their dedication and how much influence they had with me. I was not a very good student and probably at times, as I reflect back on it, made their teaching lives terrible because I was not a serious student. I probably put my share of white hairs on them.


Interview with Bob Eyer


However, the seeds that those two business teachers nurtured in the young man eventually came to fruition because of some of his life experiences after his high school days,


I served in the infantry in Vietnam in the 1960s, and those experiences have an impact on you. I thought during my service tours that I would make something of my life in honor of the others who did not have a chance to do so, and so I threw myself into doing that.

Interview with Bob Eyer


Miss Iap was an energetic teacher who motivated many students over her 41 years of teaching. Paul Link was a different personality over his 35 years, but he was also a high-energy teacher who taught the typing and shorthand and other business courses at Cresson and Penn Cambria.


While Bob Eyer did not immediately benefit from these two teachers’ prowess and effort, he did later,


I probably did not learn those lessons that they taught until 20 years later, but I would like to say that they motivated me and gave me inspiration, even if I was too bull-headed to let it sink in then.


It took my time in the military and in real life to learn those lessons.

Interview with Bob Eyer

For those who would like to donate to the scholarship, which gives a $1,000 stipend to a graduating Penn Cambria student, here is the link to the Community Foundation website,



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