earn diplomas at O-M
June 27 -- A total of 56 seniors were presented diplomas Friday night
at the 2015 Odessa-Montour High School commencement ceremony, held before
a capacity crowd in the school's Fetter-Brown Auditorium.
The Graduation Address was presented by Andrew Learn, a
1996 O-M graduate and now a licensed professional engineer living in the
eastern end of New York State.
Learn told graduates to "be persistent" in seeking
to attain their goals, and to adopt a timeline for those goals "to
motivate you." If a goal appears difficult, he said, "figure
out how to" attain it "if it's something you want to do... The
key is knowing what you want and going after it."
The class Salutatorian was Hailie Searles. The Valedictorian
was Meghan Coates, who in a spirited speech told the graduates that they
are part of the "most knowledge-seeking generation in history,"
with "an entrepreneurial drive to succeed ... We have the power to
achieve our dreams, and I know we will, you will...The world is yours
to take, and for the next generation, to protect."
The Class of 2015:
Alexis Michelle Austin
Victoria Lynn Ayers
William A. Bacon, Jr.
Richard C. Brown
Noah Chandler Bruno
Meghan Diana Coates
Brooke Elizabeth Collins
Cody Joseph Daugherty
Thomas Jay Doan
Marissa J. Ferguson
Tamariah Lynn Gallow
Hannah M. Gardner
Manley Thomas Gavich
Andrew N. Goldman
Zackary Robert Griswold
Ashley Caroline Hickey
Jeremiah A. J. Holley
Timothy Michael Hornick
Samantha Ann House
Francis Jordan III
Omni Elaine Kleist
Ryan M. Lambert
Caitlyn Ann Lawton
Nina Ann Linton
Ryan J. Marsh
Brandon Ray McCormick
Brian McLean, Jr.
Sarah Elizabeth Norton
Lidia Adrianna Olmedo
Zachary Tyler Pyhtila
Trenton T. Randall
Joseph D. Raymond
Adrianna Leigh Rhodes
Dana Jocelyn Roberts
Joseph Michael Rorick, Jr.
Kate Ashley Ross
Makayla M. Rought
Gage D. Sayre
Hailie Elizabeth Searles
Charles Paul Sidle
Alexis Ann Skinner
Shane A. Smith
Tailith Jay Smith
Callie A. Stillman
Brianna C. Struble
Chad H. Sykes, Jr.
Autumn Brooke Taylor
Jamee Lynn Wade
Bryan James Ward
Tela Louise Wittig
Frank A. Wood
Joseph K. Wright
Casey S. Zimmer
Photos in text:
From the top: Valedictorian
Meghan Coates, Salutatorian Hailie Searles, Brooke Collins receives her
diploma from School Board President Robert Halpin, and Addi Rhodes receives
Awards presented at O-M's
2015 graduation ceremony
ODESSA, June 27 -- Awards and scholarships were announced
and presented as part of Friday night's graduation ceremony in the Fetter-Brown
Auditorium at Odessa-Montour High School.
They were as follows:
THE WATKINS MONTOUR ROTARY SCHOLARSHIP
This $1,000 scholarship is given to a senior who has displayed high standards
of character and academic achievement. The winner in 2015, chosen by a
committee of the Rotary Club, is
2. THE NORTHRUP FOUNDATION AWARD
This award, in the amount of $1000, is given annually to the senior who
has achieved the highest score on the college entrance examination. Meghan
3. THE FRANCIS C. WARD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
This $200 award, made possible by Peter Ward and many friends of Dr. Ward,
goes to a student who will pursue a career in the medical field. The winner
is Ashley Hickey.
4. THE ODESSA-MONTOUR CLERICAL STAFF AWARD
The dedicated and efficient clerical staff at Odessa-Montour offers a
$100 award to a student who plans to further his/her education in business
or a related field. This year’s winner is Zackary
5. THE ODESSA-MONTOUR TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
The teachers’ association annually presents two $350 awards to seniors
who plan to study education. The winners are:
Samantha House and Dana Roberts.
6. THE ODESSA-MONTOUR TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
The OMTA also presents $350 awards to the two seniors who have maintained
a high average while attaining a large number of high school credits.
The winners are Manley Gavich and Hailie
THE J. EDWARD AND THELMA DOLAN SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship was developed as a legacy to two highly regarded teachers.
It is a perpetual memorial to Mr. and Mrs. Dolan. Mr. Dolan taught math
for 41 years and Mrs. Dolan taught third grade for 46 years. In 2015 the
award is given to a graduate entering higher education to study a math
related field: Frank Wood.
8. LAKE COUNTRY PLAYERS AWARD: Manley
9. LAKE COUNTRY PLAYERS CHARLIE STAMP
AWARD: Meghan Coates.
10. ALICE LOPRESTI NURSING AWARD
This special nursing award in the amount of $1,000 is presented by the
LoPresti family in memory of Alice LoPresti, who worked at Schuyler Hospital
for many years. It is awarded to a senior who will continue education
in the nursing field. The winner for 2015 is: Ashley
11. THE GERARD CROSLEY SENIOR AWARD
This $400 award is considered by many to be the outstanding prize of the
year because the winner is chosen by the members of the Senior Class.
The senior who has been selected to best represent the class of 2015 is:
12. THE WALTER BAIRD ENGINEERING AWARD
The scholarship was instituted by Mrs. Elizabeth Baird to honor the memory
of her late husband. It is presented to a student entering the field of
engineering or who has excelled in math and science courses in high school.
The winner this year is: Frank Wood.
This $50 award honors the top four students of the class of 2015. The
awards are given to:
Meghan Coates, Hailie Searles, Kate Ross
and Autumn Taylor.
14. SCT COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION SCHOLARSHIP
The SCT Counselors Association annually presents a college day at the
Arnot Mall. The proceeds from this are presented to outstanding seniors
throughout the Twin Tiers. In 2015 the awards in the amount of $200 each
are given to: Richard Brown, Andrew Goldman,
Makayla Rought and Jamee Wade.
15. NYS EDUCATION DEPT. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
The State Of New York awards academic excellence scholarships to seniors
who have achieved the highest average on selected Regents examinations.
This year’s winners are:
Hailie Searles, Autumn Taylor and Meghan
16. ELIZABETH AMISANO OVARIAN CANCER EDUCATION
This scholarship was created in loving memory of Elizabeth Amisano who,
after a courageous battle against ovarian cancer, passed away at the age
of 20. Liz put others before herself and wanted to help them in any way
she could. She had an infectious sense of humor. It is in this spirit
that The Live Like Liz organization and scholarship were developed. The
winner of this $1500 award is: Hailie Searles.
17. THE SENKA AGENCY BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
This award is given annually to a senior who plans to attend college,
has strong academic ability and who will study business in college. The
winner is: Zackary Griswold.
18. THE ODESSA-MONTOUR FINE ARTS BOOSTERS
The Fine Arts Boosters recognize students who will enter college to study
in the fine arts field. The winners of the $250 award for 2015 are: Meghan
Coates and Manley Gavich.
SCHUYLER COUNTY ITALIAN AMERICAN FESTIVAL FRANK CHIACCHIERINI COMMUNITY
A $1,000 award is provided from the proceeds from The Italian-American
Festival in Watkins Glen. The scholarship is given in honor of Frank Chiacchierini,
who was instrumental in the founding of the Italian American Festival.
The selection is based on high standards of character, self-determination,
and school and community service. The winner chosen by a committee of
the scholarship presenters is: Hailie Searles.
20. SOUTHERN FINGER LAKES WOMEN SCHOLARSHIP
This $500 scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding students from
Schuyler County. The scholarships are awarded to students entering a four-year
college, a two-year college or a business, vocational, or technical school.
The winner from Odessa-Montour, chosen by the presenters, is: Meghan
21. McGARRY SCHOLARSHIP
This award is given by the McGarry Family in memory of their son Danny,
who graduated from Odessa-Montour in 1994. The award is presented to a
senior who has been an inspiration to others. The winner for 2015 is:
22. WATKINS GLEN-MONTOUR FALLS LIONS CLUB
COOK/WARNER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
This $1,000 scholarship is presented annually to at least two Schuyler
County residents who plan to further their education. Selection is based
on academics, extracurricular activities, leadership, honors, common sense,
decision making, community work experience, and application presentation,
which includes an essay and interview. The winner, chosen by the presenters,
23. LEONARD FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP
The intention of this $500 scholarship is to recognize the student, who,
over time, has persevered, improved, grown personally, academically, and
socially, handled responsibility, and whose hard work, desire and dedication
may have quietly provided an inspiration to others in the class to strive
for excellence. The scholarship winner is: Kate
SAM WARREN SCHOLARSHIP FOR SUSTAINABILITY STUDIES: Marissa
25. SCDL EXCELLENCE IN MATH AWARD
This $200 award is presented to a graduating senior who has shown excellence
in math. The winner this year is: Hailie
26. BELLE CORNELL ZONTA AWARD
The Watkins Glen-Montour Falls Zonta Club presents a $250 award to a graduating
senior who will enter school working toward a degree in the medical field.
The winner: Adrianna Rhodes
27. FRANCES VanBILLIARD ZONTA AWARD
The Watkins Glen-Montour Falls Zonta Club presents a $250 award to a graduating
senior who will enter college and major in business or a related field.
This year’s winner: Brianna Struble.
28. SPIRIT OF SCHUYLER SCHOLARSHIP
The Spirit of Schuyler is awarding a scholarship in the amount of $1,000
to a deserving Schuyler County student who is pursuing further education
in the Arts. This year’s winner, chosen by a committee of the presenters,
is: Sarah Norton.
29. NELSON BEEBE SCHOLARSHIP
This $200 award is given in memory of Nelson Beebe. He was an outstanding
community member and educator, and supported athletics programs at Odessa-Montour
throughout his life. It is given to a graduating senior going into the
field of education and one who has supported athletics while in high school.
The award was made possible through donations made in Mr. Beebe’s
name to the OM Sports Boosters. The winner, chosen by the presenters,
is: Dana Roberts.
30. CUMMINGS FAMILY MEMORIAL AWARD
This award is given by Lisa Frost and her siblings in memory of their
parents. The award is presented to: Marissa
31. VERA DAVIS FARNSWORTH SCHOLARSHIP
Vera Davis Farnsworth was the valedictorian of the class
of 1933 and graduated from Elmira College in 1938. She returned to Odessa
to teach history. Mrs. Farnsworth left Odessa when her husband, a co-teacher
at Odessa, was drafted into the Army. Mrs. Farnsworth taught history and
English in several Western New York schools and retired from Wellsville
Central School. After retiring she went to work for Congressman Lundine
in Washington, D.C. Her daughters, Nancy Downs and Kathy Farnsworth, give
this $1,000 scholarship in her living memory. The winner for 2015 is:
32. AMERICAN RED CROSS AWARD
This $400 Award is presented by The American Red Cross to an Odessa-Montour
senior who volunteered for the betterment of the community. The winner
is: Brooke Collins.
JOANNE S. HAYES MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
This $1,000 scholarship, presented by the Arc of Schuyler, is dedicated
in honor of the memory of Joanne S. Hayes. Mrs. Hayes dedicated her life
to helping individuals with developmental disabilities lead more fulfilling,
rewarding lives. She was past a board member and president of The Arc
of Schuyler. This award is given to graduating seniors in Schuyler County
who plan to purse their education in the field of special education or
a related clinical area. Scholarship funds will be awarded after the successful
completion of the first semester of college. Hailie
34. SCHUYLER HOSPITAL AUXILIARY HEALTH
The Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary presents a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving
Schuyler County high school graduate who will be entering the health care
field. The winners chosen by a committee from the hospital auxiliary are:
Hailie Searles and Callie Stillman.
35. MAURICE COSTA SCHOLARSHIP
In her will, Theresa Costa directed that a scholarship be set up in honor
of her husband, Maurice Costa. This scholarship in the amount of $7,250
is awarded to a student who will continue his or her studies of the “manual
trades.” The 2015 winner is: Hannah
36. DR. TJ LOVE/BILL MEEHAN SCHOLARSHIP
This $500 scholarship is presented by the Watkins Glen Elks Lodge to a
deserving student majoring in agriculture, veterinary medicine or related
studies. The winner, chosen by a committee of the presenters, is: Marissa
37. VANBUSKIRK MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
The VanBuskirk Memorial Scholarship is offered to a senior who is industrious,
participated in high school activities, and will continue his or her education.
The award was originally made possible through the generosity of the family
and friends of George VanBuskirk and most recently through many donations
made in memory of Roger and Dolores VanBuskirk. The winner of this year’s
$500 award is: Callie Stillman.
THE DONALD K. FORREST MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship is given to honor the memory of Donald K. Forrest. It
is presented to a senior who will continue his or her education in the
arts or engineering. This year’s winner will study theater at Potsdam:
39. LYNN COLLIER MEMORIAL BUSINESS SCHOLARSHIP
The Chemung/Schuyler Municipal Clerks Association gives this scholarship,
in the amount of $500, in memory of Lynn Collier, who was Catlin’s
Town Clerk for 22 years. Two Scholarships are given each year, one to
a Chemung County resident and one to a Schuyler County resident. The 2015
winner for Schuyler County is: Zackary Griswold.
40. THE LADIES’ WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON
The Burdett Ladies Wednesday Afternoon Club was established in September
1895. It was formed as a literary society fostering culture in the area.
A fund was set up to present an award to the high school senior who has
made excellent progress in the literary field. This $100 award goes to:
41. NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY DOLLARS FOR
The Odessa-Montour chapter of the National Honor Society offers this $200
scholarship to a senior member who is enrolled full-time in a college,
university or technical institute the fall semester immediately following
graduation. The recipient must be a member in good standing who demonstrates
the characteristics of scholarship, service, leadership and character.
The winner for 2015, chosen by the faculty, is: Hailie
42. SCHUYLER COUNTY RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
SCHOLARSHIP: Samantha House.
43. HECTOR PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH MEMORIAL
This award in the amount of $1,000 is presented to a senior
who has shown scholastic achievement and community involvement. The winner,
chosen by a church committee, is:
Photos in text:
From the top:
O-M Interim Principal Mike Johnston, who announced the award and scholarship
winners; Richard Brown receives his diploma from School Board President
Robert Halpin; Nina Linton receives her diploma; Dana Roberts receives
her diploma from her mother, Damita Chamberlain, a member of the School
Board; Tailith Smith, a member of the Marines since completing his course
work in January, receives his diploma; and Kate Ross and Manley Gavich
receive their diplomas.