Junior A.J. Moncman proves there are no excuses


Marissa Werkheiser

AJ is a talented percussionist in the marching band and enjoys performing the field show as part of the team of snare drummers, as well as cheering on the football team from the stands.

Arden Glad, Sports Editor

Strong both mentally and physically, junior A.J. Moncman was born blind with a congenital condition known as Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, but that doesn’t stop him from being one of the most high-spirited students at Southern Lehigh. Moncman always gives his all and never backs down from a challenge. 

Everyday is a new learning experience for A.J. as he maneuvers through the halls of Southern Lehigh High School with his head held high. When coming into the high school as a ninth grader, A.J. wasn’t nervous at all, but some of his teachers were.

“I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to help him,” social studies teacher Mrs. Jennifer Wlodek said, “but the day he came into my class and sat down, I knew I had nothing to worry about”.

A.J. has a Braille reader that he uses in and out of school to be able to feel words and numbers. 

“When Aj showed me his braille reader I was in awe,” high school principal Mrs. Beth Guarriello said. “It was just so neat to watch him feel out the words and understand them.”

Everyone faces challenges in their lives and they all deal with them differently. A.J. is so thankful to have his family and friends supporting and inspiring him from the very beginning. 

I would say my parents and my sister from the time I was born, they just pushed me and never let me avoid challenges,” Moncman said.

The truth is, you don’t need to treat A.J. any differently because he has shown everyone repeatedly that he can take care of himself. 

One thing about A.J. Moncman, is that he loves to be involved any way he can. He competes in wrestling and powerlifting, and plays drums in the concert and marching bands. 

A.J. has hopes of continuing his education at Northwestern or Syracuse University with a goal of becoming a professional sports broadcaster. He has been to every single basketball game this past season, where he sits and listens to where the ball is and what is happening during the game. He then interviews the top players on the team as the D11SPORTS student reporter and uploads it onto his twitter page (@aj_m711).

“[A.J.] goes out of his way to make people comfortable,” Mrs. Guarriello said. “As a student, he’s brilliant, hard working and funny. He’s involved in so many things around the school; he just tries everything.”

Mrs. Guarriello has watched A.J. grow up, and she couldn’t be prouder of the person he is becoming. 

“As a mom I get protective of all the students, but I get a little more protective over A.J.,” she said, “and showed me he can totally take care of himself.”  

A.J. has single-handedly proven that there really are no excuses when you want to accomplish something.