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41 Receive Diplomas at Ellicottville Central

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By Louisa Benatovich

ECS Student Reporter

To the regal tune of “Pomp and Circumstance,” 41 students walked across the newly-named Ward Athletic and Arts Facility to receive their diplomas last week Friday. Though Ellicottville’s 124th commencement, the unique character and personality of the Class of 2018 made this June 22 event truly memorable.

Kourtney Robinson, Ellicottville’s valedictorian, used her time to impart lasting wisdom onto the classmates and friends she’d known for 14 years. Quoting Kanye West, she said: “I’m only comfortable when I’m in a place where I’m constantly learning and growing.” She encouraged her classmates to explore, travel, and experience new things in this world. Robinson urged her peers to resist complacency, to not be “comfortable with comfort.” “Believe it or not,” she said, “Western New York is not the center of the universe.”

Lisa Krotz, class salutatorian, spoke of success and its varying definitions. For her, and, she hopes, her fellow graduates, success means doing something that makes you happy and keeps you healthy. Life isn’t something you can map out, so holding onto this principle will help to achieve any goal. “Remember that you only get one life,” said Krotz, “and you should make the most of that, whatever that means to you.”

Noah Stuve, class president, empowered his classmates with a rousing speech about the power of this generation. “You are the generation that will take technology to new dimensions,” he said. “You are the ones that will bring solutions to many world problems.” Take risks and set goals, he continued, because we live in a free society where we can worship, gather, and love as we please.

“I challenge you,” said Stuve to his fellow graduates, “to take that enthusiasm that surrounds you tonight…and use it to obtain your goals.”

“Wherever the next chapters in your life story may take you,” he finished, “make sure the journey includes joy.”

As the Class of 2018 exited the stage, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” echoed in the Ward. Amidst the tears of proud family members and parting friends, a new generation of individuals stepped out into the world, ready to make a difference.

Graduates

Rylie Aldrich, Kailin Auman, Vaughn Bomberry, Tomara Bowen-Collateta, Griffin Chudy, Evelyn Cortez, MacKenzie Czapla, Hannah DeChane, Ices Decker, Emilee Delity, Emily Durandetto, Seth Epps, Lucas Foster, Zachary Golley, Austin Grinols, Elizabeth Jacobson-Coolidge, Kirkland Kaleta, Lisa Krotz, Zachary Kurtis, Deric Leiper, Joran Lyford, Halie Mowery, Frank Neff, Robert Neumann Jr., Hunter O’Stricker, Evan Palmatier, Alex Pangborn, Evan Quinn, Allison Raecher, Parker Rieman, Samuel Riley, Kourtney Robinson, Ashlee Ruiz, Mitchell Sexton, Janel Stuve, Noah Stuve, Daniel Tupchik, Deni Whitmore, Andelain Wilson and Walter Woodarek

Scholarships & Awards

Tomara Bowen-Collateta — Board of Education English Award

Griffin Chudy — Ellicottville Sports Boosters Award

Evelyn Cortez — Dale E. Golley Memorial Scholarship

MacKenzie Czapla — Elisa B. Hughey Scholarship for the Arts; Ellicottville Teachers Association Award; Mary Kay McCord Memorial Scholarship

Hannah DeChane — Board of Education Award for Academic Excellence: Rank Fourth; Board of Education Art Award; Ellicottville Central School Related Professional Association Award; Ellicottville Rotary Club Foundation for Youth Scholarship; Holiday Valley Scholarship

Emilee Delity — Francis C. Andera Memorial Award

Emily Durandetto — Board of Education Technology Award; Elisa B. Hughey Scholarship for the Arts; Ellicottville Rotary Club Foundation for Youth Scholarship

Lucas Foster — Great Valley Volunteer Fire Company Award

Zachary Golley — Ellicottville Fire Department Award

Elizabeth Jacobson-Coolidge — Ellicottville Sportsmen’s Club Award; Holiday Valley Scholarship; Jean W. Fitzpatrick Memorial Award

Kirkland Kaleta — Board of Education Award for Academic Excellence: Rank Fifth; Board of Education Mathematics Award; Joseph F. Ward Memorial Scholarship; Paul & Mary Janowicz Memorial Scholarship; Salamanca Kiwanis Scholarship

Lisa Krotz — Board of Education Salutatorian Award for Academic Scholarship; Arion Award; Ellicottville Rotary Club Foundation for Youth Scholarship; Ellicottville Teachers Association Award; Kristen Hintz Memorial Award; Virginia Hughey Memorial Scholarship

Frank Neff — American Legion Leslie I. Dunkleman Memorial Award

Hunter O’Stricker — Humphrey Fire Department Award

Evan Palmatier — Ellicottville Sports Boosters Award; Jodie Dawn Watkins Memorial Award;

Evan Quinn — Michael Chapman Memorial Award

Parker Rieman — Board of Education Social Studies Award; Ed Szpaicher Memorial Award; Ellicottville Teachers Association Award

Kourtney Robinson — Board of Education Valedictorian Award for Academic Scholarship; Board of Education French Award; Board of Education Science Award; American Legion History Award; Ellicottville Alumni Association Scholarship; Ellicottville Sports Boosters Award; Ellicottville Teachers Association Award; Harmon Scholarship; Humphrey Fire Department Award; John Philip Sousa Award; United Church of Ellicottville Memorial Award

Mitchell Sexton — American Legion Post 659 Memorial Award; Daniel A. Sirianni Scholarship; Ed Szpaicher Memorial Award; Ellicottville Sports Boosters Award

Noah Stuve — Board of Education Physical Education Award; Donald Chapman Memorial Award; Ken Brown 700 Club Award

Daniel Tupchik — American Legion Post 659 Memorial Award; American Legion Gregg Smith Memorial Award

Andelain Wilson — Board of Education Award for Academic Excellence: Rank Third; Board of Education Spanish Award; Cattaraugus County Bank Business Award; Ellicottville Alumni Association Scholarship; Ellicottville Rotary Club Foundation for Youth Scholarship; Holiday Valley Scholarship

Walter Woodarek — Board of Education Music Award; Ellicottville Rotary Club Foundation for Youth Scholarship; Kirk Rowland “Cornfed” Memorial Scholarship

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