Weekly Feature



2017-07-13 / Editorial

Class of 2017 excels for school district

Orchard Park Superintendent of Schools
MATTHEW MCGARRITY

Finally, summer is here, and I hope that everyone will have time to relax and spend time with friends and family.

Congratulations to the Orchard Park High School Class of 2017. This year, 374 students received their diplomas. Once again, we have an outstanding representation of students heading off to college this fall. Several students are volunteering to serve their country and have enlisted in the military. Members of the class of 2017 were accepted into local universities and colleges across New York State and the country, including Cornell, Clemson, Georgetown, Clarkson, Hofstra and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The class of 2017 earned more than $5 million in scholarships. This group of young men and women will go on to be leaders and role models in our community and communities across the country. We are very proud of all their accomplishments and wish them well in their future endeavors.

Many of our student clubs and activities had a great year this year. Thirteen students from the Orchard Park High School chapter of DECA were selected to attend the International Career Development Conference and Competition in Anaheim, California. Three of these outstanding students brought home awards for the Quakers. Tanner Probst and Emily Zhang earned top 10 honors for their comprehensive exams, and teammates Emily Henrich and Probst won second place in their event, travel and tourism team decision making. The Model United Nations team had an impressive season, earning the best delegation at multiple conferences.

In athletics, a large number of students signed letters of intent to attend and compete in Division I, II and III schools. Several teams and athletes were Section VI champions including: girls swimming, boys golf, girls ice hockey, boys swimming, boys tennis and boys lacrosse; girls tennis players Kristen Zablonski and Lauren Karoglan; swimmers Olivia Sapio, Isabel Sapio, Katrina Wardner, Marissa Carrig, Halle Dueringer, Riley McLaughlin, Alec Hoch, Joseph Blake and Drew Deren; indoor track runners Jenna Crean, Julia Griffen, Faith Hanlon, Sara Puskar, Cal Puskar, Thomas Flannery, Michael Totaro and William Graves; tennis players Noah Sayoc and Declan Watson; and in track and field, Jenna Crean, Cal Puskar,

Michael Totaro, Jack Heraty, Peyton Hillis, Cal Puskar and Michael Totaro. At the end of this past school year, we recognized and congratulated the newly tenured teachers and administrators. This year we had 10 employees who earned their tenure in the district.

We also bid farewell to 24 employees who retired from the district. Combined, the retiring teaching staff had more than 539 years of experience within our district. The dedication, service, knowledge and inspiring qualities of the retirees will not be easy to replace. We wish all the retirees a long, happy and healthy retirement.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our district, and have a wonderful, safe and fun-filled summer.

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