Top students who recently graduated from schools in The Daily Star coverage area are recognized here in part one of what will be a series.
Patrick Haynes, son of Paul and Pamela Haynes of Afton, is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Afton Central School. He maintained a seven-semester grade-point average of 98.42%.
He earned an associate degree in business from Tompkins Cortland Community College by taking college-level courses for three of his four years in high school. At SUNY Alfred, where he is going next, Haynes plans to earn an associate in occupational studies degree in heavy equipment operations.
Madison Baciuska, daughter of Lynn and Dawn Baciuska of Afton, is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Afton Central School. She maintained a seven-semester grade-point average of 97.148%.
She took college courses and participated at DCMO BOCES in the New Visions Allied Health program. Baciuska plans to major in health and exercise science at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where she will be a student athlete on its NCAA Division 1 field hockey team.
Michaela Valkavich, daughter of Peter and Lisa Valkavich of Andes is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Andes Central School. She participated in the BOCES New Visions Health Care Professions program as a senior along with serving in the role of class president. She plans to major in physical therapy at Manhattan College.
Falcon Thomas Melvin, son of Daniel and Grace Melvin, is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Andes Central School. He served his class as treasurer and participated in soccer and track. Melvin plans to further his education and will major in welding at SUNY Delhi.
Mackenzie Burnham, daughter of Steve and Theresa Burnham of Downsville, is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Downsville Central School. She served as an officer in numerous school organizations and was a Girls State delegate. She plans to study business management in the fall at Niagara University.
Emily Brown, daughter of Yancey and Sandra Brown of East Branch, is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Downsville Central School. She was a student director for the Catskill Area Student Study Council and Girls State delegate. Brown plans to study biology at the University at Albany while participating in Division 1 track and field.
Morgan Pierce, daughter of David and Christine Pierce of Oneonta, is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Charlotte Valley Central School. Class and band president were two of a number of leadership roles Pierce took on at Charlotte Valley in addition to participation in numerous clubs and organizations. She plans to study biology at St. Bonaventure University.
Gregory Zuill, son of Glenn and Karen Zuill of Schenevus, is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Charlotte Valley Central School. A four-sport athlete, Zuill also participated and had leadership roles in a number of school and community groups.
He plans to attend Siena College and has aspirations of becoming a secondary school math teacher.
Derek Lyon, son of Jay and Amy Lyon, is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Edmeston Central School. Lyon was a three-sport All-Star athlete who also volunteered as a youth basketball coach and referee. He plans to major in mechanical engineering at Syracuse University.
Annika DeVries, daughter of Michael and Jesica DeVries of Burlington Flats, is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Edmeston Central School. She participated in several school musicals, band and chorus among other extra-curricular activities. She will major in technical production at Nazareth College.
Natalie Pistor, daughter of Barbara and Ralph Pistor of Otego, is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School. She took classes at Tompkins Cortland Community College in accounting, chemistry and economics and government in her senior year. Among her extra-curricular activities was serving as treasurer and president of her class and vice president of Women for a Change. Pistor plans to study business at Manhattan College.
Hunter Christian, daughter of Diana and Anthony Christian of Mount Upton, is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School. She participated in the New Vision Allied Health program at DCMO BOCES, was a member of school’s Academic Team and Women for a Change. She will study nursing at Hartwick College in Oneonta.
Riley Ostrander, daughter of Eric and Tracie Ostrander of Hancock, is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Hancock Central School. She was an American Legion Auxiliary Empire Girls State delegate and served as president of Student Council. She also played versity tennis and soccer. She received the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. She plans on attending LeMoyne University and St. Joseph’s College of Nursing, both in Syracuse. Her goal is to become a doctor of nursing.
Erin Evanitsky, daughter of Randy and Bridget Evanitsky of Lakewood, Pennsylvania, is salutaorian of the Class of 2019 at Hancock Central School. She was an Amerian Legion Auxiliary Empire Girls State delegate and played field hockey and softball. She earned Scholar-Athlete honors from the Midstate Athletic Conference. The receipient of a Young Leader award, she was recognized for an essay she wrote called “What America Means to Me.” Evanitsky plans to join the United States Army and eventually wants to be an animal care specialist.
Victoria Janis, daughter of Agineszka and Zbig Janis of Highmount, is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Margaretville Central School. A regionally recognized student athelete in skiing and tennis, she recently received the only DCMO BOCES Scholar Recognition award presented to her class. She will study aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Buffalo.
Cruz B. Garcia, son of Briceyda Luis-Romero and Cruz Garcia of Fleischmanns, is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Margaretville Central School. He received a Regents diploma with advanced designation with honors and mastery in math and science. He serves his community as a student representative on the Fairview Public Library Board. Garcia will study computer science at the University of Rochester.
Victorian Mann, daughter of Yesmin Garcia and Edgard Marin of Fleischmanns, is laureate of the Class of 2019 at Margaretville Central School. A scholar-athelete in soccer, basketball and tennis, she plans to attend SUNY Oneonta but has yet to declare a major.
Taylor Hanson is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Norwich High School. She participated in basketball, soccer and track and field and is credited with leading the Tornado varsity girls baskebtall team to the Southern Tier Athletic Conference and Section 4, Class B championship last winter. She served as class secretary all through high school. She was a member of the Pep Club the school’s mentoring program. She was received the 2019 DCMO BOCES Scholar Recognition award. In pusuit of a biology degree, Hanson plans to attend SUNY Geneseo.
Hannah Klockowski is salutatorian of the class of 2019 at Norwich High School. In addition to taking advanced placement courses, she also took courses at SUNY Morrisville. She was president of her class and participated ion soccer and track and field. A member of the school orchestra since the fourth grade, Klockowski also particiated in student government and attend the Rotary Youth Leaders Awards conference. She will study neuroscience or biology at the University of Rochester with the goal of becoming a doctor and conduct research.
Mekenzi Morris is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Schenevus Central School. She received the highest grade in her class on the global studies and English Regents exams. Among the activities she participated in were music and drama groups, 4-H and soccer. She has six college courses to her credit on her way to majoring in psychology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, this fall.
Madisyn Massucci is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Schenevus Central School. She participated in a unmanned aerial systems course in her senior year where she learned about drones. She received the highest grade in her class on the United States history Regents examination. She plans to major in business at LeMoyne College in Syracuse in the fall.
Derek Stahl, son of Dean and Kimberly Stahl is valedictorian of the Class of 2019 at Stamford Central School. During his senior year he worked as a teacher’s aide tutoring students in calculus I, a college-level course. He attended the National Youth Leadership Forum for engineering and technology at Olin College in Needham, Massachuseets and two Congress of Future Sciences and Techology Leaders seminars. He was honored by BOCES as a Student Scholar at the Scholar Recognition banquet in May. He has received multiple awards for academics and athletics. He plans to major in aerospace engineering at Embry Riddle Aeronatical Univeristy in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Brent Ogborn, son of Karl and Karen Ogborn of Hobart is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Stamford Central School. He served as president of his class for three years and was active in school sports as a team player as well as a member of the Outdoor and Varisty clubs. He attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on engineering and technology. He was awarded the Clarkson University Award and Scholarship and will major in engineering and management there.
Olivia Harby, daughter of Jay and Amy Harby is valdictorian of the Class of 2019 at Walton Central School. She is credited with scoring 100% on three Regents examinations and her 1,000th point during basketball season. She was a Midstate Athletic Conference All-Star in basketball and soccer. She plans to attend Boston College.
Vincent Escobar is salutatorian of the Class of 2019 at Walton Central School. He is the son of Kathleen Cuomo. He is a National Hispanic Recognition Program scholar and Questbridge National College math scholar. He has a purple belt in Tae-Kwon-Doe and played on the soccer and wrestling teams, earning the MAC scholar-athlete award in each sport. He plans on to major in mathematics and minor in finance at Princeton University.