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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Class of 2014 vals and sals honored for years of hard work

  • Ask any valedictorian or salutatorian what earned them their prestigious honor and two words quickly come to mind: hard work.
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  • Ask any valedictorian or salutatorian what earned them their prestigious honor and two words quickly come to mind: hard work.
    That’s what 51 local students credited for their success at Wednesday evening’s seventh annual Southern Tier Scholars Recognition Ceremony, honoring the valedictorians and salutatorians from 21 school districts in the Greater Southern Tier BOCES region.
    The event, held at Campbell-Savona High School, gave the young scholars to mingle with their counterparts from other schools, something that doesn’t happen very often, said Campbell-Savona Superintendent Kathleen Hagenbuch.
    “We like to give them a chance to come together as a whole,” Hagenbuch said.
    Today’s graduating classes grew up having everything just a mouse-click away, which can often lead to distraction, Hagenbuch said. But not for this group of students.
    “These are the kids who have put aside the short term gratification of all the distractions: Instagram, texting, Facebook; for the long-term rewards of stellar scholarships,” Hagenbuch said. “They are our future and we are so incredibly proud of them and their accomplishments.”
    Despite the distraction it may cause, Corning West High School’s co-salutatorian David Gu hopes to one day work with the technologies he’s grown up with. He plans to study computer engineering at Cornell University in the fall.
    Gu says his recognition as co-salutatorian is less about the title and more about the journey it took to get there.
    “I didn’t really care too much about the ranking,” Gu said. “I just wanted to get the hardest classes so I could get the most out of high school, so getting salutatorian wasn’t my biggest goal.”
    Lindsey Prutsman, Corning East’s salutatorian, agrees. She didn’t aim for her title.
    “I didn’t really think about this,” Prutman said. “It wasn’t like I planned for it or really tried for it; I just worked hard, did what I had to do and it happened.”
    Working hard was what earned Juliet Downie the title of Corning West’s valedicitorian, too. The dancer and flutist, who will attend the College of William and Mary in the fall, also credited her success to diligence and not making excuses.
    Sarah Wright, co-valedictorian for Bath Haverling High School, also believes hard work lent a hand to her honor, but is convinced that the good times in high school were just as important as academics, listing the school’s music festivals as some of her favorite memories.
    “Naturally, it was hard work,” Wright said. “But there was also a lot of laughter from friends to keep things lighthearted and a lot of support and teamwork.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Wednesday night’s valedictorians and salutatorians will be honored among all of their peers during graduation ceremonies this weekend. For more information, check out Friday’s special Class of 2014 section in The Leader.

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