College Connections Yearbook 2017

2016-2017 Yearbook: College Connections Students of the Year

Each year, College Connections partner high schools select a junior and/or senior student who has embraced the added challenges of completing college-level work. These students have demonstrated perseverance, integrity, a positive attitude, and appreciated the importance of education. Congratulations to all!

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Sara Jean Miller

Junior/Allegany-Limestone High School

Activities in school: band, chorus, Friends of Rachel, multiple clubs

Activities out of school: music, dance, volunteering

Future plans: attend college to pursue foreign languages with a minor in journalism and communications

Parents/guardians: Susan Miller and Harry Miller

Sara’s Spanish instructor, Suzanne Charles, has said, “Sara is a model student who exemplifies the characteristics of a life-long learner and the qualities we look for in our College Connections students. She challenges herself daily in JCC Spanish, encourages others to think outside the box, and displays a positive attitude about learning.”

“My favorite course this year was JCC Spanish, because it has been something that has come naturally to me since I began learning the language. I hope to be able to go to college and perfect this language while learning others so I can work as a translator. I've been able to go further into learning a foreign language (Spanish) by taking a JCC course this year, and I plan to continue with the next course in my senior year. I have been able to complete some of my credits needed for college ahead of time, and will be able to complete school at a faster pace so I can begin my working career with a head start.”

Maria Wallace headshot
Maria Wallace

Senior/Allegany-Limestone High School

Activities in school: New Visions Health Professions, Student Council president, Spanish Club vice president, varsity soccer captain, National Honor Society, Natural Helpers

Activities out of school: Top Soccer volunteer, religious education instructor

Future plans: study biology at the University of Pittsburgh to earn a doctorate degree to become a physician

Parents/guardians: Daniel and Eileen Wallace

Great Gregory, Maria’s school counselor, has mentioned that, “Maria is a dedicated, driven young woman who has a zest and keen sense of interest in learning. She has a wonderful attitude, easy-going personality, and gets along extremely well with others.”

“Anatomy and Physiology was my favorite class because it was this class the assured me that I wanted to be in the medical field. I was constantly engaged in the class and was always interested in the quote from student on how CC course has helped prepare student for future. I have been able to take classes that give me a head start to my future. I was also able to experience more challenging classes that were more interesting and beneficial to me.”

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Courtney Rae Brisky

Junior/BOCES Olean CTE

Activities out of school: drawing

Future plans: go to college to get a major in graphic design or animation and work for a company such as Disney, Pixar, Bioware, or Ubisoft

Parents/guardians: Danielle and Mark Brisky

Ms. Christensen, Courtney’s media communications technology instructor, has noted that, “Courtney works hard on every project presented to her in class. She puts forth every creative effort and follows instructions thoroughly providing both details and creative ideas. Every project is taken on with enthusiasm and includes all of her effort. Courtney loves being in class. Her positive energy is a motivating factor for each student in class and her passion for her work is seen by all around her.”

“Taking a College Connections program has prepared me tremendously because everything I learn in my course prepares me for my career in the future. The course gives me insight into all aspects of my career choice. Media communications has been my favorite College Connections class because I have always been passionate about learning art. Also the atmosphere of the classroom is always engaging and my teacher is very attentive with helping me become a better artist.”

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Grace Emley

Senior/BOCES Olean CTE

Ms. Morgan, Grace’s medical professions instructor, has mentioned that, “Grace has successfully accepted the challenge of college course work while continuing to play an active role at her home school and extra-curricular activities. These activities include Skills USA, sports, science activities, and maintaining employment. Grace is always prepared for class and ready to take on the next challenge.

Grace exhibits the qualities of a leader. These qualities include being resourceful and persevering; this is evidenced by a science project that she developed using information that she had access to at BOCES. The project identified a relationship between ‘bone growth and the effects of second hand smoke.’ Her attitude is positive and she is willing to help those in need. She is a resource person for her classmates. Grace puts forth the extra effort to help other students and the patients that she cares for to understand the more difficult topics.

Grace has maintained high honor roll while in the program. This is verification that she has used the learning process to her advantage. Grace has identified the importance of higher education and the importance it plays in becoming a successful role model in the community. Her goals are to further her education in the healthcare field as well as to serve her country through ROTC. She recognizes the importance of good attendance as evidenced by earning perfect attendance awards.”

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Amber Stuck

Junior/Bolivar-Richburg High School

Activities in school: soccer, track, basketball

Activities out of school: travel soccer (Southern Tier Futbol Club and Bradford League), volunteering at the Richburg Free Library

Future plans: attend 4+ years of college

Parents/guardians: Shannon and Billi Jo Stuck

Amber’s English teacher, Deb Donahue, has said that, “Amber is a perfect example of a student who shines in the College Connections program. Despite her busy schedule, Amber conscientiously completes assignments on time and to the best of her ability. She has worked hard to improve her writing. She does not hesitate to ask questions and willingly accepts suggestions to make her work better. Her pleasant attitude is appreciated by her peers and adults in the building.”

“English 1510-allowed for a space to share thoughts and allow for me to interact with other students in a manner that my regular classes do not allow for…[it] allows me to see what is expect of me in college and what my class load will look like and allows for me to be able to know how much harder I will have to work in college.”

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Shayla Danae Adamic

Senior/Bolivar-Richburg High School

Activities in school: varsity cheerleading

Activities outside of school: employed at North Pro Hardware

 Future plans: obtain an associate degree in Human Services at Finger Lakes Community College

Parents/guardians: Jennifer and Jerry Adamic

Shayla’s sociology teacher, Mr. Baldwin, has mentioned that, “Shayla has embraced the challenges of college-level work with a strong work ethic and is eager to continue her education at the next level. In my eyes, she embodies the criteria for this award and is exactly the sort of student that the College Connections program was designed to reach. Throughout my sociology courses, she has demonstrated a strong curiosity for the course content. She regularly asked thoughtful and thought-provoking questions and participated in all class discussions and debates.”

“My favorite College Connections class was Sociology. It opened my eyes to the world around me and gave me the chance to become close with an amazing teacher. It has prepared me for the type of work I will have to do in college and has given me the advantage of getting needed college classes done in high school.”

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JonnaMarie Grigelevich

Junior/Brocton High School

Activities in school: Art club, envirothon, French club, running club, National Honor Society

Parent/guardian: Jenean Roth

Mr. Wright, JonnaMarie’s school counselor, said, “She is a dedicated student with a great deal of ability in a wide variety of areas. JonnaMarie is an outstanding student in math, science, English, and social studies. She is a talented and dedicated artist as well. JonnaMarie was very recently names as student of the month by her teachers and she is an excellent citizen of her school and community.”

“My favorite College Connection courses this year have been English 1510 and English 1530. The English classes have proven to be extremely beneficial to my understanding and use of the language. Not only have I been pushed to go above and beyond, I have also gained so much knowledge and understanding throughout the course of this school year.” 

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Logan D. Kelley

Senior/ Brocton High School

Activities in school: softball, soccer, National Honor Society, Drama Club

Activities out of school: Rotary Interact Club

Future plans: attend JCC

Parent/guardian: Lynn M. Kelley

Mr. Wright, Logan’s school counselor, has said, “Logan Kelly is an outstanding student and an excellent citizen of her school and community. She has always taken a full schedule of the most challenging and interesting courses available to her and she has excelled. In addition to success in the classroom, Logan is involved in a healthy variety of positive activities both in and outside of school. Logan is an excellent student athlete, a member of the Rotary Interact Club and the National Honor Society, and has received numerous awards for character and sportsmanship. She has earned a USA Scholarship and plans to attend JCC next year.”

“College Connections has allowed me to see a little bit of what college classes are going to be like. It has also made me push myself harder to do better in classes and keep getting good grades. Accounting is my favorite class because it has taught me valuable information not only that I can use now, but in the future. I will be able to understand how to do my taxes in the future.”

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Cameryn Hawkins

Junior/ Chautauqua Lake High School

Activities in school: volleyball, softball, National Honor Society, language club, Envirothon

Activities out of school: Involved with church, play volleyball, babysit, employed at the ice cream shop, farmer’s daughter

Future plans: attend college to study science and/or math, maybe enter the medical field. I also would like to continue my volleyball career in college if possible.

Parents/guardians: Ryan Hawkins and Julianne Hawkins

Mrs. Cowan, Cameryn’s school counselor, has said that, “Cameryn always perseveres in her studies. She always has a positive attitude and has a dedication to learning.”

“College Connections courses have prepared me for my future plans in a multitude of ways. The extensive workload has embedded in me many qualities that will help in college. I have learned to stay focus and driven, especially when I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed. My favorite College Connections class would have to be the Trigonometry and Precalculus courses. Despite the difficult concepts and challenging tests, I love math and the process of solving the problems. I also enjoyed my Spanish 4 course. I find learning another language fascinating and it is so interesting to get a sneak peek at another culture.”

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Taylor Phelps

Senior/Chautauqua Lake High School

Activities in school: varsity basketball, varsity soccer, peer mentoring program, national honor society, Spanish club

Activities out of school: Travel basketball, Shooting Stars youth basketball program

 Future plans: start at JCC and pursue a degree in international business and marketing

Parents/guardians: William and Katie Phelps

Taylor’s school counselor, Mr. Richardson, has mentioned that, “Taylor is involved in many school and community activities, yet she consistently produces outstanding work. Taylor regularly demonstrates a positive attitude and displays integrity both in and out of the classroom.”

“Our Spanish class had many opportunities to experience the culture from around the world. This class has inspired me to pursue the opportunity to learn more languages.” 

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Elizabeth Brumagin

Junior/Clymer High School

Activities in school: National Honor Society, swim team, basketball team

Activities out of school: church youth group, snowmobiling, boating, swimming, traveling, lifeguarding

Future plans: I plan on going to Fredonia or JCC for childhood inclusive education.

Parents/guardians: Lex and Melissa Brumagin

Ms. Perry, Elizabeth’s business teacher, has mentioned that, “Elizabeth Brumagin has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the additional challenges of completing college-level work while still in high school. She is one of the hardest working students in my classroom who comes early or stays late to complete assignments or confirm her understanding of the material that has been presented. She truly cares not only about the quality of her own work, but of the quality of education that she receives. She is the student who encourages and motivates her teachers to always want to rise to higher standards of teaching. She is very considerate and always demonstrates a positive attitude and has a reputation for doing the right thing, even when it might not the most popular choice.”

“It really made me work a lot harder. It has also made me prepare for challenges regarding multi-tasking. Taking three college classes at the same time has been challenging, but it has helped me prepare for college life. I have also enjoyed being able to take classes that I can pick. ASL has been my favorite class because it's such a cool language. It really has taught me a lot about the Deaf culture. When I go to college I would like to take more ASL classes. I wish I would have also grew up learning ASL. I also like it because I hope that one day in my future career I might get to use ASL sometime.”

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Ashley-Lynn Beckwith

Senior/Clymer High School

Activities in school: National Honors Society, Environmental Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, senior play, varsity basketball, varsity track, varsity volleyball, varsity swimming

Activities out of school: Teens on Fire Youth Group, Chautauqua County Footsteps, National Society of High School Scholars

 Future plans: Penn State Behrend for a biochemistry degree, and then med/vet/dental school

Parents/guardians: Sherry and Jason Beckwith

Ashley-Lynn’s Spanish instructor, Ms. Shampoe, has stated, “Ashley Beckwith has fully embraced the opportunities that College Connections provides by taking as many JCC courses as she can fit in her schedule. She is hard working both in and out of the classroom; not only does she regularly participate in class discussions, but she also prepares herself before class even begins. Ashley is exactly the kind of student that the College Connections program was designed for.”

“My favorite College Connections class was JCC English 1530 because even though I am not taking English courses in college, I learned how to actually write a college level piece of work. I have learned how to prioritize, manage time, and work to the fullest of my potential.”

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Josue Rosario

Junior/Dunkirk High School

Activities in school: golf, soccer, National Honor Society (secretary) and class officer (president)

Activities out of school: Chautauqua Hurricanes, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, The Salvation Army

Future plans: attend college and study to become a Mechanical Engineer

Parents/guardians: Nancy Rosario, Sixto Rosario

Josue’s math instructor, Mr. Pietro, has said that, “College level work while still in HS. Advance placement classes. Very positive young man with attitude and learning. - A great student academically and personally!”

“College Connection has prepared me for my future by allowing having access to certain classes I will need for my Degree such as Calculus I and II. My favorite college class is JCC Precalculus because the class challenges me along with having fun learning new mathematical techniques. I also enjoy Biology; A Molecular Approach because it brings me into a deeper look into cells both in animals and plants.”

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Joshua R. Saye

Senior/Dunkirk High School

Activities in school: valedictorian, Physics Club treasurer, Student Council treasurer, National Honor Society treasurer, French Club historian, varsity boys' swimming, varsity boys' tennis, varsity cross country

Activities out of school: T.I.E.S. and USA Swimming (Hammerheads)

Future plans: study physics and mathematics at Notre Dame

Parents/guardians: Allie and Steve Saye

Mr. Pietro, Joshua’s math teacher, has said, “How does he not embody the criteria!! Josh is a wonderful student both academically and personally. Josh is a very kind young man. He is a quality person.”

“My favorite CC class was Calculus IandII. Part of the reason was the teacher, who was phenomenal. The other part was that this was the first course to ever truly challenge me academically, and I enjoyed the challenge. To succeed in a CC course, you have to be willing to put in a lot of work outside the regular school day. I really learned the value of Time Management, which will help me be all the more successful at Notre Dame.”

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Kourtney Robinson

Junior/ Ellicottville High School

Mrs. Eddy, Kourtney’s school counselor, noted that, “Kourtney is a highly motivated student who had demonstrated the ability to balance a challenging academic curriculum while being involved in various activities. Kourtney values the opportunities that College Connections has offered her as a junior and she also plans to continue to take additional courses as a senior.”

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Shelby Imhoff

Senior/Ellicotville High School

Activities in school: varsity soccer, varsity softball, varsity basketball, National Honor Society, class vice president, ESPRA, Student Council, yearbook, peer tutoring, Spanish Club

Activities out of school: soccer player, referee, and coach

Future plans: I will be attending Union College in Schenectady, New York in the fall. I plan to study biology and eventually become an orthodontist. I also plan to continue to be involved in soccer, whether it be playing, coaching, or refereeing.

Parents/guardians: Edward and Norene Imhoff

Shelby’s school counselor, Mrs. Eddy, said,” Shelby is a very hard working student that has embraced the opportunities that the College Connections program has offered her. Shelby appreciates the value that these courses offer her to help prepare her for college in the fall.”

“I have been able to take math courses that will help me transition into the college environment. I will be taking a lot of math and science classes so the College Connections courses have helped get some of those classes out of the way in high school. My favorite class was pre-calculus. I am very interested in math so I really liked this course. I learned a lot from the class and I enjoyed taking it.”

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Kathryn Jaroszynski

Junior/ Falconer High School

Activities in school: treasurer of SADD and the class of 2018, student council, math club, senior choir, Envirothon, Honor Society, varsity soccer

Activities out of school: dance at Tiffany Wakeley's Academy of Dance, help out there with the younger age classes

Future plans: attend college to pursue a career in mathematical engineering

Parents/guardians: Jim and Sally Jaroszynski

Mrs. Duliba, Kathryn’s school counselor, has mentioned that, “Currently, Valedictorian of the Class of 2018, at end of her junior year she will have completed 11 college credits in Calculus I and II and Elementary Statistics, District nominee for Girls State Falconer Varsity Soccer, Falconer Honor Society, and School Musicals Chorus.”

“Taking a College Connections course has prepared me immensely for my years of study that lie ahead. Being in a college course has taught me discipline and has increased my work ethic. The challenges this course has given me have not only prepared me for college but also shaped me into a hardworking student. Since the course I have been participating in is math, it has also given me a head start in pursuing a career related to mathematics. My favorite College Connections class I have taken is Calculus I. This course was challenging, but it captivated my interest and pushed me to do my best. I have always been exceptional at math, and the Calculus I curriculum was enjoyable for me, and I learned things that will be useful to me in my future studies.”

Alexandra J. Rickard
Alexandra J. Rickard

Senior/Falconer High School

Activities in school: National Honor Society

Activities out of school: I love art including drawing, ceramics, and painting with a variety of mediums along with other activities. I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses and spend a lot of time studying with this.

Future plans: I have decided to go into the Radiology program offered through JCC and minor in art.

Parents/guardians: Ronnie Rickard and Lisa Rickard

Alexandra’s school counselor, Mrs. Duliba, has said that, “At the end of her senior year she will have earned 23 college credits from JCC. Honest, kind, and respectful.”

“The college classes I have taken and am in now have prepared me for the future as to what to expect with the curriculum and the effort that is needed to be successful. My favorite college class would probably be Algebra Trig being that the class is very interactive and allows you to think in-depth for an answer to the problem. It encourages creative thinking.”

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Julia Burgos

Junior/Forestville High School

Activities in school: Spanish Club, Student Council, Christian Character Club, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, class treasurer

Activities out of school: I teach Bible class to 3rd and 5th grades.

Future plans: I plan to further my education by going to college.

Parents/guardians: Jose Burgos and Judith Burgos

Mr. Prinzi, Julia’s English instructor, has said that, “Julia exemplifies academic excellence and integrity. Her schoolwork is consistently of the highest quality. Julia’s fresh approach to problem solving and her deep desire for learning make her an outstanding nominee for student of the year. Julia is an intelligent, diligent, and affable student. She has a peaceful demeanor and an inner spirit that is marked with a positive zeal that is evident in all of her pursuits.”

 “Taking College Connections Courses have allowed me to see a glimpse of the college life and its standard. I feel more prepared and educated on the aspects of college classes. My favorite College Connection Class would be English 1510. I found it challenging and it pushed me to be a better writer. I was constantly evaluating my skills in order to make them better.”

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Joshua Ellis

Senior/ Forestville High School

Joshua’s English instructor, Mr. Prinzi, has stated that, “In all contexts I have always found Josh to be a student with a great hunger for knowledge and an industrious imagination. Josh’s intelligence, imagination, and superior work ethic make him an outstanding candidate for student of the year. Josh is extremely skilled and accomplished in every aspect of his education – the consummate student and learner.”

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Grace Pucciarelli

Junior/ Fredonia High School

Grace’s teacher, Mrs. Pacos, has mentioned that, “Grace is an exceptional student. Grace puts forth her very best effort and continues to challenge herself academically. She is very successful in balancing all of her extra- curricular activities, sports, and academics. Grace clearly knows the importance of education and will clearly continue to be successful in her future endeavors.”

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Amanda Childs

Senior/ Fredonia High School

Activities outside of school: martial arts- taekwondo, Kempo karate

Future plans: I plan to attend Jamestown Business College, majoring in Accounting, on an award/scholarship. After I achieve my associate's degree, I plan to continue my education at the University of Buffalo while pursuing a career in accounting.

Parents/guardians: Cathrine and Stanley Childs

Amanda’s business teacher, Mrs. DePue has noted that, “Amanda has consistently done a great job in both of the College Connections classes that I have her in, accounting and personal finance. She always displays a positive attitude and a true desire to learn. She participates in class activities and discussions and she is kind, friendly and helpful to her peers. She is respectful, a hard worker and she always has a positive attitude. I have truly enjoyed having Amanda Childs in all of my business classes this year!”

“I feel as though I am more prepared to start my college career. I also feel as though I have learned a lot about myself and what I would like to do in my future. It wasn't until my Accounting course that I wanted to pursue a career in Accounting. The Personal Finance course I also took really opened my eyes financially. I enjoyed learning the financial knowledge of the world, how credit works, mortgages, loans, and things of the sort, but I also appreciate the fact that I can apply these lessons to present and future plans. My favorite College Connections course I completed is Personal Finance. I enjoyed the challenge of the course and being able to apply what I learned in the classroom outside of school. I feel better prepared for the future, and have since set some long terms goals that I wouldn't have considered had I not taken this course.”

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Kelsey Wolfe

Junior/Frewsburg High School

Activities in school: soccer, track, Pep Club, Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Students, National Honor Society

Activities out of school: active Junior Church Leader teaching children from Pre-K to third grade, writing, spending time with friends, swimming, biking, and running.

Future plans: My future plans are to become a high school teacher with a pre-masters in chemistry, focusing on high school sciences.

Parents/guardians: Roger and Marci Wolfe

Kelsey’s school counselor, Mr. Sitler, has mentioned that, “Kelsey received overwhelming support from her teachers for being nominated junior student of the year. She has been described as being very dedicated, confident, curious and eager to learn. Kelsey's creativity and ability to look outside the box sets her apart from her peers. Kelsey has the ability to turn in class work that is above what is expected. She shows her commitment and maturity to the challenge of college-level work. Kelsey exemplifies the College Connections student who recognize the importance of the JCC classes and will use the opportunity to her advantage. She is most deserving of this award.”

“My favorite College Connections class I took was Problem Solving because the course was challenging but enjoyable. The course pushed me to test my limits and to become more analytical with my thinking. The course helped me prepare for the SAT as well. College Connections courses have prepared me for my future plans by expanding my opportunity to "get ahead" so I will have broader knowledge on challenging courses as I enter college.”

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Aurora Treacy

Senior/Frewsburg High School

Mr. Sitler, Aurora’s school counselor, has mentioned that, “Aurora is a friendly, vibrant, and positive individual. What I most appreciate about Aurora is that she is a self-driven, persistent goal oriented person. She is proactive, not reactive. She has excellent time management skills. She admits to enjoying planning and organizing her school work and personal time. In doing so, she always has her course assignment completed ahead of the due date. Aurora is a hard worker; however, she doesn’t look at the demands of taking a full schedule of advanced classes as hard work. She views this as a task; she gets down to work without choosing the emotional drag of why things are hard. Outside of school Aurora carries over her diligence and dedication to her job and competition cheerleading team. For the past five years, she has participated in competitive cheerleading. When she is not practicing cheer, she is employed as a sales associate at Rue 21.  Aurora is the type of person who makes the most out of her opportunities and has fun doing so.”

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Rachel Christopher

Junior/Gowanda High School

Activities in school: softball, volleyball, Prom Committee

Activities out of school: running, reading, writing, fishing

Future plans: attend college right out of high school and pursuing a career in childhood education

Parents/guardians: Scott and Karen Christopher

Mrs. Prop, Rachel’s English instructor, has said, “Rachel Christopher is a young lady who has mastered the ability to complete challenging college-level work while still in high school. This year she has gone above and beyond in her creative projects for class, she has read arduous pieces of text; yet continually turns in first class written assignments and is willing to offer her ideas during class discussions. Rachel has the ability to ask intelligent questions for clarification on assignments or the literature we may be reading. I look forward to continuing my work with her this year and on to next year as well.”

“My favorite College Connections course I took was JCC 1510 because of my teacher. Mrs. Propp is always pushing us to do our best. She gives us different projects or papers at the end of units so it isn't the same boring finish to every unit. It is something new to experience every day in class. When reading Shakespeare Mrs. Propp reads with such enthusiasm that makes the words jump right off the pages and it gives us the courage to read with the same enthusiasm. Every day is something new and fun in JCC 1510 and as students we never know what to expect.” 

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Jack VanWey

Senior/ Gowanda High School

Mr. Reeves, Jack’s math instructor, has mentioned that, “Jack has demonstrated excellent effort and achievement in JCC Calculus, maintaining a 97 average through three quarters. He always completes assigned work on time, and with great attention to detail. Jack is not satisfied simply with the mechanics of a problems solution, but endeavors to understand alternate methods of solution, and the application of knowledge to solve authentic problems. After he is sure he understands a concept, he helps the other students in the class with similar problems. Jack is a great student and a leader in JCC Calculus.”

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Mallory Drews

Junior/ Holland High School

Ms. Patterson, Mallory’s biology instructor, has mentioned that, “In Biology: A Molecular Approach, Mallory is without question the most dedicated student in the class. She is consistently the top scorer on class tests and her lab notebook recording JCC research is exceptional. She has embraced the lab research and content beyond anyone else and is thoroughly enjoying learning about molecular biology and mosquitos. Her interest in this class has motivated her to apply for a summer research internship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, apply for additional biology summer courses at Genesee Community College, volunteer to be on a local climate change committee for students, and sign up for a field trip to a local college to tour their biology labs. Mallory consistently asks thought provoking questions about our research and always asks if I need help when we have extra time in class. She and her lab partner were one of the first groups to successfully complete the rigorous lab requirements for BAMA. In lecture, my students regularly prepare stop motion videos and models of complex molecular biology concepts. Mallory’s projects have demonstrated exceptional understanding of these concepts and have earned accolades from her peers during her class presentations. Earlier in the year, she prepared a presentation to our school board about BAMA and its progress. At the meeting, Mallory’s mom shared with me that “all she talks about at home” is mosquito research.”

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Michael Quigley

Junior/Jamestown High School

Activities in school: Jamestown High School Acapella Choir, Chautauqua Striders mentoring program

Activities out of school: art, drawing, creative writing, front end coordinator at Wegmans

Future plans: go to college to either be an art therapist and study art history and psychology, or major in business and marketing design

Parent/guardian: Kelly Sabatino

Michael’s art instructor, Mrs. Fuller, has mentioned that, “Michael always goes above and beyond. He would work beyond what was expected, worked outside the box to push his creative skills to the next level. He was the only junior in his class and put in as much extra time as possible since he works many hours at his part time job outside of school. Michael demonstrates true perseverance and passion.”

“My favorite College Connections class would have to be drawing, of which I took in the fall, because my teacher, Mrs. Fuller, taught me so much in such a short amount of time. She motivated me and pushed me to my limits, and when I began to fall, she made sure that I stayed on track. In that class, I further developed my skills and used different drawing mediums, most of which I soon began to love. Overall, I enjoyed the atmosphere of the classroom. It has helped me immensely in developing my skills, strengths, and learning new ways to expand my knowledge. It has also allowed me to prepare for my future by knowing what I want to do with my life, how to build a good foundation for myself, and how to avoid mistakes.”

Nathalie Elizabeth Eckstrom
Nathalie Eckstrom

Senior/Jamestown High School

Activities in school: Key Club, Honor Society

Activities out of school: Pittsfield Bronc Busters 4-H Club

Future plans: attend JCC in the fall for the nursing program then pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner

Parents/guardians: Anna McArthur, William McArthur, Nathan Dallas

Mr. Propheter, Nathalie’s physics instructor, has said that, “Nathalie has done very well in PHY 1610 and PHY 1620 this year. She has taken the time in and out of class to understand the complex ideas in Physics. She is a very positive student who takes great care in completing her assignments and isn't afraid to seek extra help. She has used all of the resources provided and really understands what she needs to do to succeed. She is very successful in my class because of her attitude and effort.”

“Calculus provided me with a great challenge and tapped into my true potential. Taking classes, such as English, has allowed me to take classes I will need for my career in high school, allowing me to enter the nursing program straight out of high school. I will then be able to further my career at a much younger age.”

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Natalie Sova

Junior/Olean High School

Activities in school: DECA, Zonta Club, Model United Nations, Interact Club, Principal's Advisory Board, Student Government, TV Studio, Science Club, band, orchestra, select chorus, volleyball, track and field, tennis.

Activities out of school:  Olean Area Youth Court and Olean Area Federal Credit Union Youth Advisory Board, Olean Theater Workshop

Future plans: become a hospital administrator and incorporate my passion for healthcare and business. I will begin this pursuit by participating in New Visions next year.

Parents/guardians: Wayne and Joy Sova

Mrs. Ventura, Natalie’s English instructor, has mentioned that, “Natalie embraces challenges; she is not deterred by obstacles. Her interest in education is genuine, not motivated by grades.

Natalie's commitment to social justice issues demonstrates an awareness of the connection between education and civic responsibility.”

“College Connections has provided me with the opportunity to prepare for college in a high school setting. The courses have served as a stepping-stone between high school and college. My favorite College Connections class is English Composition I. The course served as a creative outlet and allowed me to develop my communication skills, an asset to both professional and personal endeavors.”

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Lauryn Jodush

Senior/Olean High School

Activities in school: Bowling, track and field

Activities out of school: Running and sports

Future plans: go to college for sports communications and get a good job with a pro sports team

Parents/guardians: Amy and Larry Jodush

Ms. Stavish, Lauryn’s business instructor has mentioned that, “Lauryn certainly embodies the criteria of this award. No matter what challenges are there for Lauryn, she continues to come to class in a positive manner. She is completing a portfolio at this time that embraces her positive attitude and extra activities she has completed to provide more positive, learning experiences. Lauryn took it upon herself to research her best route to succeed in high school and continue her education. Lauryn's plans are to attend Jamestown Community College and then transfer to SUNY Brockport.”

“Computer applications it showed me how to write papers and use important programs...It has gotten me prepared and I know what to expect at college.”

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Chloe Petry

Junior/ Panama High School

Activities in school: school musical, tennis, National Honor Society, Student Council, Mathletes, band, chorus, class secretary, seven-year vocal participant in NYSSMA, All-county, All-state

Activities out of school: volunteer at Audubon Community Nature Center, church youth-group, playing piano for eight years, avid reader

Future plans: I would like to study biology and environmental science, or music in the future. I would like to travel and experience new cultures and people. I will continue to learn all my life and I am very excited for what the future holds for me.

Parents/guardians: Krista and Eric Petry

Mr. Simmons, Chloe’s school counselor, has mentioned that, “Chloe Petry is extremely bright, personable and she has boundless curiosity and enthusiasm. Chloe is invariably the most involved student in the classroom. She is an active listener that continually contributes to classroom discussions. Chloe is no wallflower. She is wildly extroverted and unafraid to participate in debates and make her opinions and feelings known. She's an ideal student in every conceivable way. Chloe is a joy to teach because you can see in her eyes that she's always engaged and her wheels are always spinning.”

“College Connections has prepared me for the future by integrating college classes to prepare me for real life work and difficulties. I have really enjoyed JCC English this year because it has given me the opportunity to write papers on subjects that I am interested in. It has also revealed new ways of writing and researching that will be very useful in my future.”

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Kaitleigh Longoria

Senior/Panama High School

Activities in school: swimming, Student Bowl, Mock Trial, musical, tennis, Student Council, National Honor Society, band, chorus, Mathletes

Future plans: Canisius College, majoring in Biology (pre-med)

Parent/guardian: Bobbie Longoria

Mr. Simmons, Kaitleigh’s school counselor, has said that, “Kaitleigh Longoria is talented, extremely witty and an absolute joy to have in class. She'll never shy away from a rollicking classroom discussion or debate and she's confidant and assured in her opinions. Kaitleigh is the most active participant in our College Connections offerings. She contributes, asks questions and is always present both physically and mentally. Kaitleigh is a brilliant communicator. She writes beautifully and she's articulate and engaging. She's the perfect college student.”

“My College Connections courses have given me a head start towards my goal. Pre-calculus was my favorite course because my teacher was very helpful and had prepared me for math I may need in the future.”

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Megan Stefanik

Junior/Pine Valley High School

Activities in school: Student Council treasurer, class treasurer, band treasurer

Activities out of school: Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet

Future plans: I would like to pursue a major in dance with a possible minor in the sciences.

Parents/guardians: Ryan and Lynn Stefanik

Megan’s chemistry teacher, Ms. Miley, has said that, “Megan Stefanik is the epitome of a student that demonstrates integrity, perseverance, and the most positive attitude of all; these traits are consistent through all that Megan is involved in, both in and out of the classroom. The amount of value that Megan places on education is above all; she has embraced each opportunity with the College Connections program and appreciates having the chance to successfully complete higher education courses. With a heavy school course load, involvement in extracurricular school/community activities (in which she holds leadership positions), and the countless hours she spends practicing and performing ballet, Megan is always sure to "give her all" towards each aforementioned task and/or activity. Being successful in anything she is partakes in is, and always will be, a top priority for this young woman. I highly recommend Megan Stefanik for the College Connections Student of the Year Award and wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors, in which she will, without a doubt, excel at.”

“Taking a College Connections course has prepared me for my future plans by introducing me to what a college classroom may be like. It has also allowed me to get ahead with college credits. My favorite College Connections class was Intro to Chemistry because it was a new area of the sciences for me, and it could be connected to my everyday life.”

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Chloe Sophia Dunn

Senior/Portville High School

Activities in school: Basketball

Future plans: attend Daemen College to pursue nursing

Parents/guardians: Pat and Laurie Dunn

Cloe’s teacher, Mr. Matz, has said that, “Chloe is confident, intelligent, creative and hard-working. She does not make excuses, and is sure of herself in all situations. I also firmly believe that Chloe will be the kind of young woman who sets the bar for others to reach. She truly is a role model for younger students.”

“Taking a College Connections course has prepared me for my future plans by showing me what a college level course is like and how to be successful in it. French is my favorite class because I am spending the summer in France and taking the class has prepared me for being able to communicate there.”

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Savannah Wujastyk

Junior/Salamanca High School

Activities in school: tennis, Key Club, class treasurer, National Honor Society

Activities out of school: dancer, teacher, and personal assistant at Salamanca Dance Center

Ms. Hanson, Savannah’s English teacher, has said that, “Salamanca’s CC instructors have unanimously nominated Savannah. Savannah has a gift for mathematics. She not only has an understanding of the subject, but she enjoys math as well. She is an outstanding student in more than just math. In English, she also excels. Although sometimes outside her comfort zone, she is an eager participant, with a love of learning, and a wry wit. She receives incredible grades in all of her classes, and is willing to work towards perfection.”

“College Connections has taught me key essentials to be successful in the classes I will experience in college. My favorite class was Zoology due to the learning about our environment and the insects, mammals, and birds that inhibit it. I have learned so many new things that I never would have known otherwise.”

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Tiffany Nary

Senior/Salamanca High School

Ms. Hanson, Tiffany’s English instructor has said that, “Salamanca’s CC instructors have unanimously nominated Tiffany. Tiffany has an extraordinary ability in math. She has a clear understanding of the material and is always willing to work through a problem without asking for help – until she has tried everything she knows. In English, she has stretched her personality to be a bit more outspoken in class, for discussion. Her peer editing is sought-after, as she is thorough, analytical, and kind. Tiffany is a wonderful student to have in class. She has gone out of her way to take college-level courses, even when she is the only student in a distance learning class. We have had the opportunity to work with Tiffany over the last few years and it has been a pleasure.”

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Robert E. P. Martin

Junior/ Sherman High School

Activities in school: High School Bowl, Math Club, track, cross country, National Honor Society

Activities out of school: kayaking, camping

Future plans: attend college to obtain a bachelor's degree in actuarial science, then settle down and start a family

Parents/guardians: Mandy Lilley, Eric Lilley

Robert’s school counselor, Mr. Minton, has said that, “As a grade 11 student, Robert has enrolled in six different JCC College Connections courses. He has achieved strong grades in all of those courses as well as all of his other academics through his first three years of high school. Robert is well focused on his career goal to become an actuary and has thoroughly enjoyed taking a variety JCC Math courses.”

“ I will be at least halfway done with my freshman year once I attend college. It has helped me realize the type of work college requires. Business 1510 is my favorite class because the teacher keeps the material interesting. The class has greatly increased my understanding of the business world.”

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Dara Lynn Oberlander

Senior/Sherman High School

Activities in school: National Honor Society, cross country, track, choir

Future plans: earn a master’s degree in accounting from St. Bonaventure University

Parents/guardians: Andrew and Jennifer Eshelman

Mr. Minton, Dara’s school counselor, has said that, "Dara has taken seven different JCC College Connections courses for a total of 22 college credits. She is well on her way toward a college degree in Accounting. She has been actively involved in a variety of sports and clubs throughout her high school career and always achieves high grades in her classes."

"These courses has given me a head start and more challenging classes to take while still in high school. My favorite College Connections class that I took was problem solving with math. I enjoyed this class the most because it was both fun and challenging."

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Emma Pryll

Junior/Silver Creek High School

Activities in school: Knight of the Month for Generosity, treasurer of the Gay Straight Alliance, junior class treasurer, Quiz Bowl, National Honor Society, school photography

Activities out of school: youth group, donate to Silver Creek Food Pantry on behalf of class can drive

Parent/guardian: Karyn McBride

Ms. Randolph, Emma’s math teacher, has mentioned that, “She is an outstanding student in all aspects. She especially embodies the characteristic of work ethic. Emma works diligently in school and out of school. I highly recommend her for this wonderful award.”

Future plans: In the future I would like to go to college to become an OBGYN.

“Taking multiple College Connections courses has greatly prepared me for my future plans by allowing me to mature and develop skills in ways I didn't know I could. Gaining this type of experience to college eased my nerves on what it would be like and what I could expect. Although I enjoyed all of my College Connections classes and the experiences they granted me my favorite College Connections class I took was JCC English 1510 and 1530. Having strict deadlines and multiple assignments due at a time gave me the opportunity to learn and improve not only my writing skills, but time management and responsibility. In this class I also had the opportunity to be a part of class debates and gain leadership skills through this section of the course. Having a strict yet supportive instructor allowed me to truly feel like I was learning and excelling in this class. Overall these English courses were my favorite classes due to the experiences and skills I gained from being involved.”

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Kaitlyn Huffman

Senior/Silver Creek High School

Activities in school: multiple AP and college level courses

Activities out of school: Silver Creek Pool League

Future plans: go to SUNY Fredonia and major in English Adolescence Education

Parents/guardians: Gina Love and Dutch Huffman

Mr. Rice, Kaitlyn’s English teacher, has said that, “Kaitlin embodies all that the College Connections stands for. She is a bright, articulate and dedicated student who demonstrates a passion for all that she does.”

 “I now know what to expect from my future college courses and definitely feel well prepared to handle the workload. My favorite class I took is English 1540 because I loved having to go beyond the surface of the stories and find deeper meanings within them. The class discussions were always interesting and thoughtful. I was impressed by how many different thoughts and ideas could come from the same passage of a story. The best part of this is the fact that none of us are wrong in our answers; as long as it can be supported in some way by the text, an idea or response to a question is never wrong and it is this that makes me love English more than any of my other classes. 1540 definitely had a huge influence in my choosing to major in English Education, as it made me realize that being able to teach a course is like this is something that I could be good at doing and enjoy it as well.”

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Mikayla Nuesch-Brock

Junior/Southwestern High School

Activities in school: treasurer of the Spanish Club, school musical, National Honor Society

Activities out of school: student dance teacher, competitive hip-hop dancer, employed at Wegmans

Future plans: enroll in college and go into the communications field

Parents/guardians: Jacob Brock, Heather Brock

Mrs. Winchester, Mikayla’s school counselor, has mentioned that, “Mikayla is a student who, daily, shows a passion for learning. While taking three College Connections courses this school year, she has demonstrated positive contributions to classroom discussions and contributed to the overall integrity and enthusiasm of each classroom setting. Mikayla sees great value in taking college level courses while in high school and values the rigor each course has offered. Her keen insight, strong work ethic, and drive for success has led her to become an excellent ambassador for the College Connections program.”

“I have learned so much from all of the courses I have taken. Some have shown me how much I love a certain subject; and then there are others that I'm so grateful to have a background in understanding the fundamentals. My favorite College Connections Course I have taken is Communications 1630. This class really opened my eyes to how much I enjoy public speaking, writing speeches, and listening to how other people speak.”

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Janie Adam

Senior/Southwestern High School

Activities in school: stage manager for the musical's tech crew, vice president of Art Club, member of National Honor Society

Activities out of school: work at Wegmans and Chautauqua Chemical Finishing Supply

Future plans: go to JCC to get my associate's degree and then transfer to Edinboro to get my bachelor's and master's degrees in Speech and language pathology

Parents/guardians: Timothy Adam and Amy Adam

Mr. Putney, Janie’s math instructor, has said that, “Although Janie will be graduating this year she has decided to fully embrace her high school education to the very last day. Janie is a hard worker who completes every homework assignment and takes the time to prepare for all assessments. She is an active learner and although she is a soft-spoken student, she always asks questions if something doesn’t make sense. In addition, Janie is not only concerned about herself. During group work or even if a peer just has a question, she is always willing to lend a hand to a student in need. This makes Janie the complete student who I know will do great things as she leaves Southwestern High School.”

“I've taken many JCC English courses and the rigor of those classes has prepared me for what my college classes will be like. Along with that, the credits I've gained from taking so many college classes will help me to complete my degrees faster. My favorite College Connections class I've taken is between AP Photography and Elementary Statistics. I love photography and enjoy exploring all of the different forms of photos I can take. Statistics is an interesting but challenging course that is made fun and exciting by my teacher, Mr. Putney. He's always keeping us on our toes.”

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Andrew Lazarus

Junior/ Springville Griffith Institute High School

Ms. Brown, Andrew’s French teacher, has said that, “I have had the privilege of teaching Andrew Lazarus in French for the past three years and this year in French IV. Andrew is a motivated and enthusiastic student. He is truly a pleasure to teach because he is an exceptional student who is curious, eager to learn and to participate in class discussions. His work is consistently of the highest quality. He takes his academics seriously, which is evident from his accomplishments in advanced classes. Andrew’s work is always exemplary, whether the assignment is to write a composition or create a simple conversation; his motivation and enthusiasm never waver. His positive attitude is not only an asset in a classroom but it will help him to succeed in whatever endeavors he chooses to undertake in the future.”

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Alex Wittmer

Senior/Springville Griffith Institute High School

Alex’s French instructor, Ms. Brown, has noted that, “I have had the privilege of teaching Alex Wittmer in French for the past four years and this year in French V. Alex is a motivated and enthusiastic student. He is truly a pleasure to teach because he is an exceptional student who is curious, eager to learn and to participate in class discussions. His work is consistently of the highest quality. He takes his academics seriously, which is evident from his accomplishments in advanced classes. Alex’s work is always exemplary, whether the assignment is to write a composition or create a simple conversation; his motivation and enthusiasm never waver. His positive attitude is not only an asset in a classroom but it will help him to succeed in whatever endeavors he chooses to undertake in the future.”

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Sarah Sheffield

Junior/West Valley High School

Ms. Spencer, Sarah’s math instructor has said that, “She is a hard-working and dedicated individual. In the past five years, I have always known her to have an optimistic outlook on her academics and on life. Teachers and fellow classmates perceive Sarah as a student who is not discouraged by a challenging situation. An example of this is her ability to manage a rigorous course schedule. When I first began working with Sarah, I immediately noticed that she possessed a mature attitude when interacting with others. She is a pleasure to work with because she has a positive, reassuring and confident attitude. Sarah’s personality and work ethic will continue to assist her in all future endeavors. Sarah’s desire to succeed is also displayed by her leadership through our: National Junior/Senior Honor Society, and volunteering for our Red Cross Blood Drives Mentoring and Service Learning Program, and Yearbook Club. She is unafraid of any challenge in or out of the classroom - rising above all obstacles because of her healthy and encouraging attitude towards her teammates. When I talk about someone with character, Sarah comes to mind. Her desire to improve her varsity skills each year is something worth noticing. I have been extremely proud of Sarah’s tenacity and continual efforts to motivate her team members. I feel that this inner strength is due to her familial influence, and desire to be a positive role model for all students at West Valley Central School. Lastly, on a personal note, Sarah is one of the most kind and respectful young adults I have had the privilege to encounter in my 18 years at West Valley. I hope when my children reach high school they display as much reverence towards adults as Sarah does.”

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Jacob Richard Kearney

Senior/ West Valley High School

Activities in school: National Honor Society, band and marching band, school mentor, PARP, Yearbook Club, Art Alive, basketball, track, bowling, soccer

Activities out of school: photography, outdoor activities, volunteering, involved with church

Future plans: My future plans are to attend The College at Brockport, SUNY, to obtain a bachelor of science degree in environmental science/conservation biology.

Parents/guardians: Donald and Lori-Anne Kearney

Jacob’s math instructor, Ms. Spencer, has said that, “Teachers and fellow classmates perceive Jacob as a student who is not discouraged by a challenging situation. He is a pleasure to work with because he has a positive, reassuring and confident attitude. Jacob’s personality and work ethic will continue to assist him in all future endeavors. I know that he will have many successes in college as well as in his chosen career in Environmental Science. Jacob has taken the initiative to research various college interests, narrow his choices, and select the best colleges to fit his needs. I feel that this inner strength is due to his familial influence, and desire to be a positive role-model for all students at West Valley Central School.”

“Taking the various College Connections courses this year has really prepared me for the workload that I will encounter in college. I have learned to manage my time more efficiently and not wait until the last minute to do all my homework or study for exams.”

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