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The Newest Members of the Inner Circle
One of the newest members of the Inner Circle is Jason Grusky. Jason and his wife, Holly, are happily married with three children. Jason is a math teacher at the Punxsutawney Area High School. At PAHS he also coaches Football and Track & Field. Jason is a high school graduate of PAHS. He received a degree in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon and worked as a Civil Engineer before returning to Indiana University of Pennsylvania for Secondary Education.
Jason has been a long time friend of the Cooper family. With the help of the past President Bill Cooper, Jason was able to assist with club activities that helped maintain Gobblers Knob. He still however stated that he is shocked how much work the Inner Circle does and that, “There is a ‘blue collar’ attitude to this group and I love it”. Jason describes himself as a team player, hard worker, and is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He is very proud of his town and loves its traditions.
Jason is seen as an asset to the group. As Ron Ploucha moved to the position as one of the Handlers, there was a need for a teacher to take over his old duties. Jason aspires to expand the exposure of Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day to schools worldwide. Jason stated, “We have an amazing tradition here and we can help sustain that through a ‘grass roots’ effort of getting today’s students excited about the holiday”. He is looking forward to bringing fresh ideas to help Groundhog Day and sharing the stage with Phil on Groundhog Day for many years to come.
Jon Johnston, a general dentist born and raised in Punxsutawney, is also one of the newest members of the Groundhog Club Inner Circle. Jon is a high school graduate of Punxsutawney Area School District, as well as a graduate from Grove City College and the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Dental Medicine. Jon is happily married to Peggy, and has a daughter, Anna.
Jon’s father, Paul “Rusty” Johnston, was a member of the Inner Circle for 49 years. Jon has always thought being a part of the Groundhog Club Inner Circle would be a great way to participate in the community in a positive way. Regarding the Inner Circle, Jon stated, “I think it’s a great organization with a fun, interesting, and important mission”. Jon does a lot of traveling with the American and Pennsylvanian Dental Association where he meets many intrigued people that are excited to hear about Punxsutawney and the tradition Groundhog Day. Jon is looking forward to being a productive member of the Inner Circle.
Jon has enthusiasm for the tradition and is looking forward to spreading Groundhog Day nationwide as well as locally.