By Abby Sonnenberg
ECS Student Reporter
As the school year winds to a close, it comes time for the annual ECS Academic Awards banquet. This is a time for all invited to enjoy some food prepared by the staff and be recognized for their achievements in the 2017-18 academic year. It’s a time of excitement for many, to be called out on stage and formally acknowledged for the effort put into one’s academics throughout the year.
Scholarships and awards were awarded to juniors and seniors, and were given by many different colleges, all the way from Keuka to the Rochester Institute of Technology. Meganne Chapman, a junior at ECS, was one of the recipients. “I was awarded a scholarship to the University of Rochester. I was thrilled to receive this because I was being recognized for what I always strive to be: a leader in my school and community. Overall, I was thankful for this award and for the recognition it brought,” she said. This scholarship was one of many, but it’s easy to see how each award affected the person receiving it.
Another scholarship recipient was Logan Knab, a junior with hopes to go into a career in computer sciences. “I received a $48,000 scholarship to Clarkson and a $40,000 scholarship to the University of Rochester. I was awestruck getting the first one, even more so when I got the second.”
Seniors, having already had the opportunity to receive these scholarships, earned different awards. One of these was the 2018 ECS Board of Education Department Award in Spanish, earned by Ande Wilson. “It meant a lot to me because I went from knowing nothing to feeling really confident in a second language, thanks to an awesome teacher,” Wilson said, in reference to Mrs. Jamie Edwards, the Spanish teacher at ECS.
Emily Durandetto, another senior, received several awards at the banquet. “I have to say, the Chorus Director’s Award was the one that I especially appreciated. Ms. Waldron has made such an impact on my life, and it was an honor to have been deserving of the award.” Durandetto was also the recipient of her honor cord, which a student received when they achieve high honors for at least six quarters, and a Board of Education Department Award in the field of technology.
While there were no scholarships or specific awards given to them, students from lower grade levels shared the same enthusiasm about the banquet. A sophomore, Megan Hartsell, said, “It was really great to receive recognition for the things that we, as students, have accomplished. Our hard work over the course of the school year really pays off in the long run, and the awards banquet each year reminds us of that.”
Of course, there was a bittersweet feeling among the seniors at the aspect of this being their last awards banquet at ECS. “I’m sad about it,” said Evan Quinn, a senior at ECS, “but at the same time I can only describe it as bliss. I’ll definitely look forward to seeing my younger sister beat my awards during her time in high school.” Like most seniors, Quinn is ready for the coming of summer and the quickly approaching start of college.
The night was a joyous and eventful one for everyone involved, even the parents. All around were smiling faces and cameras when someone’s child was called up, and often the cheers of one’s friends could be heard as they approached the stage. Here and there was even a bit of crying as parents shed tears of pride for their children.
Without a doubt, the annual ECS awards banquet is a good time for everyone involved. There’s always a note of excitement when students receive their invitations, knowing their hard work for the year did indeed pay off. As a junior this year, I know in the next I’ll be among the seniors with that same bittersweet feeling next year, but I do believe that the high schoolers at ECS are all excited to see what next year brings.