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Members of the O-M Class of 2020 gather for a group photo on the school track.

O-M graduates 52 in outdoor ceremony

SCHUYLER COUNTY, June 27, 2020 -- The Odessa-Montour High School Class of 2020 graduated Friday evening -- a sunny evening out on the school athletic field.

The event -- limited in attendance by a regulation issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo that capped participation at 150 persons -- saw speeches by co-Valedictorians Derrick Lewis and Brooke Sikora.

Each graduate had entered the seating area after walking along the school track with their parents or other representatives. As each made that march, his or her individual accomplishments were announced, including scholarships won. Those scholarships were being revealed for the first time, bringing some smiles and looks of surprise to a recipient's face.

After speeches, diplomas were distributed, each graduate called forward to receive his or hers from School Superintendent Chris Wood.

In his speech, Lewis had a long list of people he wanted to thank, from specific teachers who had encouraged him to pursue his goal of engineering, to his many friends, to his family.

While he said his speech "feels like the end of an era," he said he looked forward to the future -- but as for the present, "I couldn't be prouder standing here representing this class."

Sikora expressed regret that some friends and family were kept out of the ceremony by the governor's regulation, and that "we missed so much this year -- the Senior Trip, Prom, Skip Day, and pranks we might have pulled" on teachers and other students. On the plus side, she said, the pandemic "allowed us extra time with family."

Of her fellow students, she said she was amazed by "how much talent there is in this class," and said "I hope to see some of you down the road."

After the dipomas were dispensed, the Class of 2020 adjourned, making its way toward the student parking lot, where friends and family members who couldn't attend the ceremony were waiting to congratulate the new graduates.

Photos in text: Co-Valedictorians Derrick Lewis and Brooke Sikora.

Odessa-Montour 2020 graduates

Marissa Alton
Justin Andrews
Gage Arcangeli
Arron Arnold
Kaelyn Arnold
Shania Austin
Isabella Bond
Micah Brewster
Mason Bruce
Hayley Burke
Hannah Chapman
Jazmin Crout
Destiny Daugherty
Karlee Dudgeon
Samantha Dudgeon
Sara Gardner
Tassia Garrison
Ryan Griswold
Paden Grover
Preston Harris
Noah Hollenbeck
Hunter Holley
Dylan Holton
Bailey Hornbrook
Pepsi James
John Jelliff
Deshawn Johnson
Derrick Lewis -- co-Valedictorian
Lydia Lynch
Benjamin Mathews
Jacob Mayette
JoLynn Minnier
Ashley Monroe
MacKenzie Monroe
Alicia Nelson
Kiara Ordway
Julia Mia Paulisczak
Elyssa Pratt
Kara Reese
Eric Rumsey
Johnathan Sanders
Autumn Shaul
Brooke Sikora -- co-Valedictorian
Rhys Stermer
Faith Switzer
Caleb Thomas
Jordan Thompson
Grace Vondracek-- Salutatorian
Dylan VonNeida
Brett Walters
Cheianne Webster
Rebecca Wolfe

Photos in text: From top: Sara Gardner, Kiara Ordway

Odessa-Montour scholarship winners

ODESSA, June 27, 2020 -- The following scholarships were announced at Friday's graduation ceremony.

Watkins Rotary Scholarship:
Derrick Lewis
Northrup Foundation Award: Brooke Sikora
Francis C. Ward Memorial Scholarship: Tassia Garrison
Odessa-Montour Clerical Staff Award: Caleb Thomas
O-M Teachers Association Educators Awards: Marisa Alton, JoLynn Minnier
O-M Teachers Association Academic Awards: Hannah Chapman, Derrick Lewis
J. Edward and Thelma Dolan Scholarship: Isabella Bond
Colin D. O’Neil Memorial Scholarship: Kara Reese, Derrick Lewis
Alice LoPresti Nursing Award: Samantha Dudgeon
Gerard Crosley Senior Award: Tassia Garrison
Robert Collins Memorial Scholarship: Julia Paulisczak
Walter Baird Engineering Award: Derrick Lewis
OMCS Superintendent’s Scholarship: Kara Reese
Gary T. Brown Memorial Scholarship: Samantha Dudgeon
Frank Mudrak Scholarship: Hannah Chapman
Kimble Scholarship: Kara Reese
Schuyler County Highway Association Scholarship: Eric Rumsey
Odessa-Montour Administrators’ Scholarship: Derrick Lewis, Brooke Sikora, Grace Vondracek, Tassia Garrison, Brett Walters
McGarry Scholarship: JoLynn Minnier
Sammy Warren Award for Sustainability Studies: Kara Reese
SCDL Excellence in Math Award: Derrick Lewis
Gabriel Scholarship: Caleb Thomas, Sara Gardner
Belle Cornell Zonta Award:Grace Vondracek
Francis VanBilliard Zonta Award: Shania Austin
Cummings Family Memorial Award: Deshawn Johnson
Vera Davis Farnsworth Scholarship: Grace Vondracek
Edward A. Wood Memorial Scholarship: Marisa Alton, Samantha Dudgeon, Grace Vondracek
Maurice Costa Scholarship: Eric Rumsey, Kiara Ordway
Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary Health Care Scholarship: Samantha Dudgeon
Military Enlistment Appreciation Award: John Jelliff, Destiny Daugherty
Donald K. Forrest Memorial Scholarship: Ashley Monroe
Ladies Wednesday Afternoon Club Award: Marisa Alton
National Honor Society Dollars for Scholars Award: Samantha Dudgeon
Mike Evans Trade School Scholarship: Gage Arcangeli
Ryan Pruitt “24” Scholarship: Sara Gardner
Schuyler County Youth Football Award: Derrick Lewis
Lake Country Players Award: Rhys Stermer
Debra Harrington Scholarship: Derrick Lewis

Photos in text: From top: Kara Reese and Eric Rumsey


Photos from the ceremony:

Left: Shania Austin. Right: Micah Brewster with parents Melinda and Burton.

From left: Cheianne Webster, Brett Walters and Isabella Bond.

Left: John Charles Jelliff. Right: JoLynn Minnier.

From left: Marisa Alton, Caleb Thomas and Julia Paulisczak.

Left: Jazmin Crout. Right: Salutatorian Grace Vondracek.

Left: From left, O-M alum Kennedey Heichel and O-M students Autumn Garrison and Hannah Nolan, who were waiting outside the ceremony grounds to congratulate the graduates. Right: Rhys Stermer.

From left: Preston Harris, Hannah Chapman and Rebecca Wolfe.

From left: Bailey Hornbrook, Hunter Holley and Deshawn Johnson.

Left: Tassia Garrison. Right: Lydia Lynch.

From left: Faith Switzer, Paden Grover and MacKenzie Monroe.

From left: Ryan Griswold, Hayley Burke and Noah Hollenbeck.


© The Odessa File 2020
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869