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The Odessa-Montour Class of 2017 poses in the O-M gym before Commencement.
earn diplomas at O-M
June 23, 2017 -- A total of 42 seniors were presented diplomas Friday night
at the 2017 Odessa-Montour High School commencement ceremony, held before
a capacity crowd in the school's Fetter-Brown Auditorium.
The class Salutatorian was Madison Morse. The Valedictorian
was Emelia Paulisczak, who in a speech urged the graduates not to be afraid to make mistakes, "for if you do, it means you're trying new things." And she told them that "the greatest things in life are the ones you have to work the hardest to achieve."
High School Principal Almon "Skip" McCarty was the emcee, telling the graduates: "As Superintendent Chris Wood told you at graduation practice, O-M will always be here for you."
The Graduation Address was presented by Charlie Wood, brother of the superintendent, a 1993 graduate of O-M and a 1997 graduate of SUNY Oswego with a degree in Business Administration. He is currently a partner in a cyber security consulting firm based out of Rochester that helps large companies defend themselves from hackers and cyber terrorists.
He noted that technology "has drastically changed from when I was in high school" -- but that the massive changes in internet access and the fact that "you can get anything you want off your phone" come with problems.
Newspapers have dwindled, he noted, and with them has come unemployment and a drop in lumber and paper production. Working at home impacts the auto industry (no driving to work), the clothing industry (no new dress clothes for the office) and maintenance employment (with offices closed).
He told the graduates that they are an important generation that must figure out "where we will get jobs" as those that previously existed "go away."
After monetary awards and scholarships were presented, diplomas were presented to the 42 O-M graduates.
The Class of 2017:
Garrett H. Allen
Jonathan M. Andrews
Nickolas A. Angle
Carolyn Diane Arias
Breeana E. Bentley
James A. Bergen
Haley M. Biddle
Ryan Matthew Bishop
Paxtyn Marie Brown
Cameron Daniel Bryington
Tyler J. Bump
Alyssa Marie Crout
Simonne Ruth DeWalt
Andrew M. Doan
Grace L. Edger
Ethan G. Fellwock
Kyle Robert Frasier
Andrew Hardy Fudala
Sage Hunter Garrison
Marcus Lawrence Getman
Joseph Glosenger Jr.
Alexander J. Grady
Dasia A. Herrmann
Angela Rose Hess
Amanda T. Jones
John M. Kuparinen
Kayla Elizabeth Loney
Madison K. Morse
Courtney Cara Mundt
Shelby Lynn Newport
Emelia May Paulisczak
Collin James Povoski
Alex V. Repass
Edward I. Ross
Mitchell Christopher Scata
Nicholas Paul Sgrecci
Andrew J. Stevenson
Taylor Michelle Sykes
Gage A. VanEtten
Britney A. Visscher
Photos in text: From the top: Dasia Herrmann receives her diplomas from O-M School Board President Rob Halpin; speaker Charlie Wood; graduates toss their caps; valedictorian Emelia Paulisczak presents her speech.
Awards presented at O-M's
2017 graduation ceremony
ODESSA, June 23, 2017 -- 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.
1. THE WATKINS MONTOUR ROTARY SCHOLARSHIP
This $1000 scholarship is given to a senior who has displayed high standards of character and academic achievement. The winner in 2017, chosen by a committee of the Rotary Club, is: Paxtyn Brown
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: Ethan Fellwock
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: Sage Garrison
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: Angela Hess
5. THE ODESSA-MONTOUR TEACHERS ASSOCIATION EDUCATORS AWARD
The teachers’ association annually presents two $400 awards to seniors who plan to study education. The winners are: Simonne DeWalt and Amanda Jones
6. THE ODESSA-MONTOUR TEACHERS ASSOCIATION ACADEMIC AWARDS
The OMTA also presents $400 awards to the two seniors who have maintained a high average while attaining a large number of high school credits. The winners are: Emelia Paulisczak and Paxtyn Brown
7. 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 2017 the award is given to a graduate entering higher education to study elementary education or a closely related field. The award goes to: Cameron Bryington
8. 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 2016 is: Breeana Bentley
9. 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 2017 is: Paxtyn Brown
10. 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: Alex Grady
11. OMCS SUPERINTENDENT’S SCHOLARSHIP
Odessa-Montour Superintendent Chris Wood developed this scholarship for a college or career-bound senior to enhance technological creativity and innovation. The 2017 winner of a laptop computer is: Emelia Paulisczak
12. 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 2017 the awards are given to: Cameron Bryington, James Bergen, Alex Grady, Amanda Jones, Collin Povoski, Andrew Stevenson
13. NYS EDUCATION DEPT. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE SCHOLARSHIPS
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: Emelia Paulisczak, Cameron Bryington and Ethan Fellwock
14. FRANK MUDRAK SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship was created in loving memory of Frank Mudrak, who was a science teacher at O-M for 29 years. The award is given to a senior who has demonstrated interest in, understanding of and capability in using the methods and concepts of scientific inquiry toward solving real world problems. The winner of this $300 award is: Emelia Paulisczak
15. THE SENKA AGENCY BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AWARD
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: Angela Hess
16. THE ODESSA-MONTOUR FINE ARTS BOOSTERS SCHOLARSHIPS
The Fine Arts Boosters recognize students who will enter college to study in the fine arts field. The winners fr 2017 are: Simonne DeWalt and Madison Morse.
17. SCHUYLER COUNTY ITALIAN AMERICAN FESTIVAL FRANK CHIACCHIERINI COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
A $1000 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: Simonne DeWalt
18. ODESSA-MONTOUR ADMINISTRATORS’ SCHOLARSHIP
This $50 award honors the top four students of the class of 2017. The awards for 2017 are given to: Emelia Paulisczak, Madison Morse, Nick Sgrecci and Sage Garrison
19. 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 2017 is: Grace Edger
20. 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: Paxtyn Brown
21. SAMMY M. WARREN AWARD FOR SUSTAINABILITY STUDIES
This award is given in memory of Sammy Warren, who was a member of the class of 1970. Selection of the recipient is based on scholastic and personal achievements and community involvement. The participant must demonstrate a personal interest in sustainability or the environment. The winner of this $300 award is: Kyle Frasier
22. 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: Nick Sgrecci
23. 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 a medical-related field. This year’s winner will be working with animals studying vet technology: Sage Garrison
24. 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 is: Angela Hess
25. 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 who has supported athletics while in high school. The award was made possible through donations made in Mr. Beebe’s name to the O-M Sports Boosters. The winner, chosen by the presenters, is: Paxtyn Brown
26. CUMMINGS FAMILY MEMORIAL AWARD
This award is given by Lisa Frost and her siblings in memory of their parents. The award is presented to: Andrew Stevenson
27. 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. Her daughters, Nancy Downs and Kathy Farnsworth, give this $1000 scholarship in her loving memory. The winner for 2017 is: Emelia Paulisczak
28. EDWARD A. WOOD MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
This annual scholarship goes in 2017 to: Collin Povoski
29. SCHUYLER HOSPITAL AUXILIARY HEALTH CARE SCHOLARSHIP
The Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary presents a $1000 scholarship to a deserving Schuyler County high school graduate who will be entering the health care field. The winner chosen by a committee from the hospital auxiliary is: Paxtyn Brown
30. MAURICE COSTA SCHOLARSHIP
In her will, Theresa Costa directed that a scholarship be set up in honor of her husband, Maurice Costa. This scholarship is awarded to a student who will continue studies in the “manual trades.” In 2017 two scholarships are being awarded in the amount of $7,250 each to: Dasia Herrmann
31. WATKINS GLEN ELKS LODGE 1546 SCHOLARSHIP
This $1500 scholarship is presented to a deserving senior attending college. Selection is based on academics, community service and athletics. The winner, chosen by the Watkins Glen Elks Lodge Scholarship Committee, is: Collin Povoski
32. 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: Alyssa Crout
33. 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 Engineer, starting at Corning Community College: Madison Morse
34. THE LADIES’ WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON CLUB AWARD
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 worked very hard and has shown marked improvement in English Class throughout high school, and who is planning to attend college. In 2017 this $150 award goes to: Andy Fudala
35. NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY DOLLARS FOR SCHOLARS AWARD
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 in 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 2017, chosen by the faculty, is: Sage Garrison
Photos in text:
From the top:
Alyssa Crout, Breeana Bentley, Kyle Frasier and Jon Andrews are congratulated by Superintendent Chris Wood; Paxtyn Brown delivers introductory remarks as president of the Senior Class; Angelika Friis and Simonne DeWalt receive diplomas from School Board President Rob Halpin; Amanda Jones marches across the stage to receive her diploma; Taylor Sykes receives her diploma from Board President Halpin; Salutatorian Madison Morse is congratulated by High School Principal Almon McCarty.
Left: Valedictorian Emelia Paulisczak with Superintendent Chris Wood before the Commencement ceremony. Right: High School Principal Almon "Skip" McCarty at the podium.
Music was provided by the High School Chorus (above) and the High School Band.