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Student Achievement

Hewes Educational Center Holds Senior Awards Night

Justin Saunders of Jamestown is presented with a stole from his father after becoming a National Technical Honor Society member.

FALCONER — Student achievement was on full display as the Hewes Educational Center recently held its first-ever Senior Awards Night. Hosted at Falconer Central School, the event included a National Technical Honor Society induction ceremony and the presentation of 25 awards and scholarships.

Paul Mihalko, Hewes Educational Center principal, said increased enrollment in Career & Technical Education programs through Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES led to the decision to hold the awards ceremony separate from the traditional Senior Recognition ceremony at Chautauqua Institution. Doing so, Mihalko told parents, students, and staff in attendance, also allowed Hewes to “take some time to celebrate the accomplishments of our students in a smaller setting.”

Mihalko thanked Falconer Central School officials for providing space for the event. Future awards nights will be held at supporting districts, he said.

“With the increased enrollment and the number of supporting community internship stakeholders, we decided to do something a little different and a little more special this year by celebrating all the good things tonight, together with all of you,” the principal said.

The “Angel on Her Shoulder” award is given to Cosmetology students at Hewes. Recipients are provided a New York State Cosmetology Practical/Professional Test Kit to be used in taking their state cosmetology licensure practical exam.

Natalya Scoma of Southwestern Central School was presented with the Rebecca Ann Capitano Award. Scoma is pictured with Angela and Paul Capitano. Submitted photos

Recipients of the “Angel on Her Shoulder” Award, presented by Cosmetology instructors Kara Rusco and Kyla Rodriguez, were Reiley Kolstee, Addison Pierce, and Mallissa Carlson.

Angela and Paul Capitano presented the Rebecca Ann Capitano Award. Natalya Scoma was named the winner.

The Casella Waste Systems — Power of Hard Work Scholarship was presented by William Devlin and Kevin Lindvay of Casella Waste Systems. Brogan Egan and Benjamin Gifford were recipients of the scholarships.

The Chautauqua County School Board Association and Far West Council of Superintendents Award was presented by Paul Mihalko. Frankie Gonzalez-Trejo and Laken Chopra were named the winners.

The Far West Council Scholarship recognizes the top two academically achieving students in each district in Chautauqua County. For public school districts, it is the valedictorian and salutatorian. The Hewes and LoGuidice educational center also awards the top two academically achieving students.

Frankie Gonzalez-Trejo and Laken Chopra received the scholarships.

Dan Crandall and the Southern Tier Classic Chevy Car Club award scholarships to students in the Automotive Body Repair and Automotive Technology programs. The club was established in 1991, and membership is open to all makes, models, and years of automobile enthusiasts.

Ashlynn Weaver and Jadon Nelson received the Chevy Car Club scholarships.

The Sally DiPietro Award is given to a senior who completes the Cosmetology program and has a strong desire to pursue a career in Cosmetology. Mallissa Carlson was presented with the award by Rusco and Rodriguez.

The Dru Cole Award is given in memory of Dru Cole, a passionate consultant teacher for most of her career.

“She cared about the academic success of each of her students,” said Jordin Smith, a consultant teacher at Hewes. “But, even more importantly to her, was their well-being beyond academics. Dru had a special place in her heart for students who showed resilience in the face of adversity.”

The Dru Cole Award was presented to Brenna Phelix and Hannah Walters.

The Kip Feinen Memorial Scholarship was presented by Jordan Fienen, whose father was the principal at Hewes. Each year, a scholarship in Fienen’s memory is given to a senior who displays strong character traits such as leadership and a great work ethic.

This year, the scholarship went to Austin McKotch.

The Ryan Howard Memorial Scholarship is available to CTE students with the “right attitude, attendance, dedication, and work ethic,” as Howard did.

Presented by Christie Asel and Benjamin Howard, recipients this year were Aziriel Rivera, Mallissa Carlson, Justin Saunders, Zachary Kimber, Ashlynn Weaver, Morgan Maloney, Carisa DePasquale, Stephanie Orton, Frankie Gonzalez-Trejo, and McKenna Cuifolo.

The JBC — Bryant & Stratton Entrepreneurship Award was presented by Jordan Kolstee. Winners were Yaritza Hernandez, Austin Smith, and Emalie Kleinfelder.

The Principal’s Award is given to a student who has excellent communication skills and a great work ethic. Winners also must go above and beyond the normal call of duty on more than one occasion.

The Principal’s Award was presented to Addison Pierce.

The Tops Friendly Markets/Taste of Buffalo Scholarship was presented by Chef Burke Lindquist. The Taste of Buffalo is the nation’s largest two-day food festival that aids local charities in addition to scholarships awarded annually to local high school seniors pursuing a culinary or hospitality-related degree.

This year, the Tops Friendly Markets/Taste of Buffalo Scholarship went to Justin Saunders.

The Tri-County BOCES Education Association — Leadership Award is in remembrance of Catherine “Katie” Gorbett by the Tri-County BOCES Education Association. Gorbett was the first president of the Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES Teachers Union.

The Leadership Award, presented by Nicole Terry, was given to Stephen Hallberg.

Afterward, Terry recognized Mihalko, who was named Secondary School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State. He received his award during a ceremony on May 16 in Buffalo.

For more information on Career and Technical Education programs at Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, visit e2ccb.org.

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