GREAT VALLEY — Forty-seven students walked across the stage Friday night at Ellicottville Central School and received their diplomas as graduates of the Class of 2013.
Class President William Murphy began the evening’s student addresses by noting he and his classmates do not leave Ellicottville empty handed. Instead, they leave with not only the physical objects like a diploma and scholarships, but with lasting friendships and memories.
“When we were at our best we cheered each other on, while at the worst of times we picked each other up,” he said.
Salutatorian Caitlin Toth took a different approach to her speech, basing it on her classmates’ responses to what they felt they should remember as they leave Ellicottville Central.
The final point — to “be grateful to the people who make you happy, for they are the charming gardeners who make your soul blossom” — she said really stuck with her, and she proceeded to thank several people at the school on behalf of her class who made a difference in their school careers.
Although the valedictorian, Rachel McMahon-Eagan, admitted she wasn’t sure what to speak about on commencement night, she decided to take on the topic of fear in her address.
She spoke of personal brief moments of panic, including the anxiety of touring Westminster College, where she’ll be headed following graduation. She said she had been “banking” on the school and stayed up late the night before her tour at a nearby hotel worried about the possibility the school wouldn’t live up to her expectations.
“We seniors are all at a point in our lives where we’re about to take a big, scary jump into uncharted waters, whether it’s college or careers or the military or something else entirely,” she said. She later added, “each and every one of these options can be pretty terrifying, if you sit down and think about it by yourself in a creepy hotel room, like I made the mistake of doing.
“But it’s also great, being on the cusp of something new and unpredictable. Our lives are about to transform in a million different, amazing ways, and fearing the future is only going to keep us from experiencing these changes.”
Mary Abbinanti, Courtney Bradley, Breanna Coolidge, Alyssa Costello, Nicholas DeChane, Tessa Emke, Thomas Good, Jonah Goode, Taylor Grinols, Grace Hall, Janae Hamilton, Carl Herman, Cheyanne Hurley, Alticiae Kelley, Marissa Kent, Trevor Kilby, Gregory Knier, Nicholas LaCroix, Rachel McMahon-Eagan, Patrick Morton, Alexander Murphy, William Murphy, Cam Musall, Eric Oliverio, Ciara Peters, Jake Rinko, Lindsey Roblee, Konnor Sanders, Kristopher Sanders, Danna Scharf, Thomas Schena, Benjamin Scott, Charles Scott, Kate Seiflein, Patrick Snyder, Amelia Squires, Alex Steinbroner, Jacob Stoll, Madison Szpaicher, Caitlin Toth, Rachel Welch, Liza Wienk, Ashley Wilson, Shannon Wilson, Storm Wilson, Rachel Woodin, Luke Zlockie
Scholarships and Awards
Mary Abbinanti — Board of Education Award - Attendance
Courtney Bradley — Great Valley Volunteer Fire Department Award
Breanna Coolidge — American Legion History Award
Alyssa Costello — Civil Service Employee Association (CSEA) Award; Leland Arthur Eastman Memorial Award
Nicholas DeChane — American Legion Post 659 Memorial Award; Board of Education Award - Technology; Holiday Valley Scholarship
Thomas Good — Humphrey Fire Department Award
Taylor Grinols — American Legion Leslie I. Dunkleman Memorial Award; Great Valley Volunteer Fire Department Award
Grace Hall — Kathy Musall Memorial Scholarship
Janae Hamilton — Ellicottville Rotary Club Foundation for Youth Award
Cheyanne Hurley — Ellicottville Central School Related Professional Association Award
Alticiae Kelley — Board of Education Award - Attendance
Marissa Kent — Jason Wogick Memorial Scholarship
Rachel McMahon-Eagan — American Legion Auxiliary Unit 659 Memorial Award; Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Scholarship; Board of Education Award - English; Board of Education Award - French; Board of Education Valedictorian Award for Academic Scholarship; Harmon Scholarship
Patrick Morton — Humphrey Fire Department Award
Alexander Murphy — Board of Education Award - Attendance; Donald Chapman Memorial Award
William Murphy — American Legion Post 659 Memorial Award; Board of Education Award - Art; Ellicottville Central School Alumni Association Scholarship; Ellicottville Teachers Association Award; Jamestown Community College USA Scholarship
Cam Musall — Board of Education Award for Academic Excellence: Ranked 5th in Class of 2013; Ellicottville Teachers Association Award; Jodie Dawn Watkins Memorial Award; Kristen Hintz Memorial Award
Eric Oliverio — American Legion Post 659 Memorial Award; Board of Education Award - Music; Jean W. Fitzpatrick Memorial Award
Ciara Peters — Arion Award; Holiday Valley Scholarship
Danna Scharf — Michael Chapman Memorial Award
Thomas Schena — American Legion Gregg Smith Memorial Award; Francis C. Andera Memorial Award; Joseph F. Ward Memorial Scholarship
Benjamin Scott — Humphrey Fire Department Award
Charles Scott — Board of Education Award - Physical Education; Humphrey Fire Department Award
Kate Seiflein — Ellicottville Teachers Association Award
Patrick Snyder — John Philip Sousa Award
Alex Steinbroner — American Legion Post 659 Memorial Award; Salamanca Kiwanis Scholarship; United States Army Reserve Officers Training Corps Scholarship
Madison Szpaicher — Cattaraugus County Bank Commercial Award; Daniel A. Sirianni Scholarship; Ed Szpaicher Memorial Scholarship; Visionary Award
Caitlin Toth — Board of Education Award - Science; Board of Education Salutatorian Award for Academic Scholarship; Ed Szpaicher Memorial Scholarship; Hughey Memorial Scholarship
Rachel Welch — American Red Cross Award; Board of Education Award for Academic Excellence: Ranked 3rd in Class of 2013; Board of Education Award - Mathematics; Jamestown Community College USA Scholarship
Liza Wienk — Donald Chapman Memorial Award; Jamestown Business College Academic Progress Award
Shannon Wilson — Board of Education Award for Academic Excellence: Ranked 4th in Class of 2013; Board of Education Award - Social Studies; Board of Education Award - Spanish; Ellicottville Central School Alumni Association Scholarship; Ellicottville Teachers Association Award; Holiday Valley Scholarship; Hughey Memorial Scholarship; Marcia Slater Memorial Scholarship; Visionary Award
Rachel Woodin — Ellicottville Fire Department Award
Luke Zlockie — Jamestown Business College Academic Progress Award
(This story appeared in the June 27, 2013 edition of The Salamanca Press.)