N I A G A R A G A Z E T T E niagara-gazette.comMay 2, 2010
NIAGARA FALLS — Eighteen of Niagara County’s top scholar-athletes
representing nine area high schools will be honored at the 45th Annual Thomas E.
Hewitt Sports Awards Dinner. The event, sponsored by the Board of Associates of
Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and health Center, will begin with a reception at 5
Former WIVB-TV Channel 4 sportscaster and current WGRZ-TV Channel 2 Account Executive Dennis Williams will be the guest speaker. Board of Associate Past President James Fernandez, president of George Optical Co., is chairman of the event and Ronald Villani of Villani Lawn and Landscape is Vice-Chair.
The dinner, named for the late city editor of the Niagara Gazette, will include the presentation of $2,000 scholarships to the top male and female candidates, as determined by a panel of judges. In addition, each student will receive a $100 award for their nomination. The panel of judges included Niagara Falls City Court Judge Mark Violante, Town of Lewiston Justice Hugh Gee and Peggy Allen of the Lockport Family YMCA. Judging is based on scholastic achievement, athletic achievement, school and community involvement, and a personal interview with the judges.
Maritina is the daughter of Athena and Ted Tsembelis. Maritina has earned a 3.8 non-weighted average. She is a member of the National Honor Society, earned a Scholar Athlete award, a PTSA Academic Award, and a Rotary/PTSA Student of the Month award. She was co-captain of the varsity cross country team, member of the indoor track team, and member of the track and field team. Maritina is a member of the DECA Club, Greenhouse Club, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and president of the Greek Orthodox Youth Association. She plans to attend Brown University and major in health Sciences. Her goal is to attend medical school and study issues associated with cancer at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Jenna is the daughter of the late Dr. Lance VanDusen, and Cyndi VanDusen Roemer and Lt. Col. Patrick Roemer. Jenna has earned a 104.951 weighted average. She is the Class Salutatorian, a member of the National Honor Society, president of the National Science Honor Society, earned a Harvard Book Award and earned a NYS Academic Excellence Scholarship. She was named 1st Team All-League in Varsity Soccer, is captain of the track and field team and holds the school record in the pole vault. She also participated in the Empire State Games in gymnastics and is a qualifier for the Junior Olympic National Championships. She is president of the Lancer Council, member of the Key Club and Class Historian. Jenna plans to attend Ithaca College and major in Biochemistry. Her goal is to attend medical school and become an orthopedic surgeon.
Kathryn is the daughter Anne and Joseph Whalen. Kathryn has earned a 99.79 weighted average. She is a member of the National Honor Society, earned a Williams College Book Award, earned a Lockport High School Quality Student Award, and was named to the All-WNY Scholar Athlete Team. She is co-captain of the swimming team, and member of the basketball team and lacrosse team. She is treasurer of the Wind Ensemble/Jazz Band, member of the Latin Club, co-president of the Wilderness Club, vice president of the Recycling Club, and a volunteer with Relay for Life. Kathryn plans to attend SUNY at Cortland and major in physical education and health education. Her goal is to become a physical education teacher.
Taraneh is the daughter of Laureen and Frank Jacobs. She has earned a 91.7 non-weighted average. She is a member of National Honor Society, earned Academic Excellence Awards in Math and Religion, earned a Presidential Scholarship from Daemen College, and Student of the Month Awards for 3 years. Taraneh is a member of the soccer team, member of the basketball team, member of the softball team, and a member of the cheerleading team. She was the recipient of the 2010 Leadership Niagara “Emerging Leader of the Year” award, participated in the Niagara University NU-STEP Program, is a member of the Key Club and Transplant Awareness Group, is a volunteer at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and the recipient of the Niagara PAL “Do the Right Thing” award. Taraneh plans to attend Daemen College in its physician assistant program. Her goal is to pursue a career in medicine and become a surgeon.
Kristen is the daughter of Mary and Richard Champoux. She has earned a 94.00 non-weighted average. Kristen is a member of the National Honor Society, earned a Russell Sage College Award and earned a Striving for Excellence Award. She is captain of the swimming team, a Section VI and NYS swimming finalist, member of the track team, and won a bronze medal in track at the Empire State Games. She is a member of the Wolverine Club, the school Athletic Advisory Council, the Leadership for Youth of Niagara, and a volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Kristen plans to attend SUNY at Fredonia and pursue a master’s degree in secondary education, specializing in history. Her goal is to become a teacher and coach.
Katherine is the daughter of Sandra and Ronald Kroening. She has earned a 100.26 weighted average. Katherine is Valedictorian of the senior class, a member of the National Honor Society, and has earned High Honor Roll for four years. She is co-captain of the basketball team and member of the soccer team. She is a member of the All-County Band, the All-County Orchestra, Pit Band, and a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and St. John’s Church. Katherine plans to attend either Clarkson University or Valparaiso University and study civil engineering. Her goal is to become involved in engineering and design.
Abbigal is the daughter of Ellyn and Arthur Doyle. She has earned a 95.3 weighted average. She is a member of the National Honor Society, earned Honor Roll Recognition for 4 years, member of the Academy of Finance, earned a Quality Student Award, and has been recognized by the National Society of High School Scholars. She was captain of the soccer team and co-captain of the basketball team, participated in AAU basketball and played indoor and outdoor travel soccer. Abbigal is treasurer of the Student Council, treasurer of the National Honor Society, member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council, and a volunteer at DeGraff Memorial Hospital and for Habitat for Humanity. She plans to attend Niagara University and enroll in the BBA/MBA accounting program. Her goal is to become a Certified Public Accountant and work in a global company.
Sydney is the daughter of Jeanne and Robert Palka. She has earned a 97.28 weighted average. Sydney has earned a full athletic scholarship to Canisius College for volleyball. She is a member of the National Honor Society, earned honor roll recognition for 4 years, is a Top 10 Scholar in the Senior Class, and has earned Student of the Month recognition. She was co-captain of the volleyball team and participated in the Empire State Games in volleyball. She is president of the Senior Class, member of the Varsity Club and the Lion’s Outstanding Youth Club and is the girl’s basketball announcer. Sydney plans to attend Canisius College and major in biology and pre-medicine. Her goal is to attend medical school and become a physician.
Jordynn is the daughter of Maureen and Henry Koroschetz. Jordynn has earned a 99.902 weighted average. She is her Class Salutatorian, member of the National Honor Society, earned a NYS Academic Excellence Award, is a NYS Scholar Athlete Award in volleyball, basketball and track and All-WNY, and is the recipient of a University of Rochester Susan B. Anthony Award. She was also named a scholar athlete in basketball. She is captain of the volleyball team, captain of the track team, and member of the basketball team. She is a member of the Business Club, the Model U.N., Global Awareness Club, Donate Life Club, school newspaper staff and is a volunteer at Stevenson Elementary. Jordynn plans to attend college and major in English, concentrating on creative writing. Her goal is to pursue a career that promotes environmental conservation.
Christopher is the son of Mary and Norman Stessing. Christopher has earned a 3.91 non-weighted average. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, earned an RIT Computing Medal, an AP Scholar Award, and was named a NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete. He is captain of soccer team, the indoor track team, sailing team and the track and field team. He is a member of the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and is the stage manager. He is also a volunteer with Relay for Life, the Youngstown Yacht Club Level Regatta, and a youth soccer coach. Christopher plans to attend college to study aerospace or mechanical engineering. He is currently considering Stanford, Notre Dame, Northwestern and Maryland. His goal is to be an aerospace engineer.
Matthew is the son of Maura and Matthew Cattarin. Matthew has earned a 99.87 weighted average. He is a member of the National Honor Society, member of the WNY All-Academic Football Team, and earned High Honor Roll recognition. He was co-captain of the football team and named 1st Team All-League quarterback in both 2008 and 2009 when he set five school passing records. He participated in Ralph Wilson Winter Passing League. Matt is co-captain of the baseball team and member of the basketball team. He is a volunteer at the Doris Jones Family Resource Center and Fairchild Manor Nursing Home. He is a member of the Varsity Club, the WNY Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and participated in the Sunrise Optimist Passing League. Matt plans to attend SUNY at Geneseo and major in physical therapy. His goal is to open his own physical therapy practice and specialize in sports injuries.
Andrew is the son Kim and Frank Perilli. Andrew has earned a 96.4 weighted average. He is a member of the National Honor Society, earned an Academic Letter and a Physics Award of Excellence, and was named to the High Honor Roll for 4 years. Andrew was captain of cross country team and member of the indoor and outdoor track teams. He is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, volunteer with Big Brothers Program, the Relay for Life, with the Lockport High School Food Drive and with the Catholic Charities Bowl-A-Thon. Andrew plans to attend Brown University and study Physics and Mathematics while participating in Division I cross country and track. His goal is to earn a degree to pursue a career in Engineering.
Daniel is the son of Patricia and Dr. Joseph Bax. Daniel has earned a 96.01 non-weighted average. He is Valedictorian of the senior class, member of the National Honor Society, earned High Honor Roll for 4 years, and is the recipient of a Bausch & Lomb Science Award. Daniel is captain of the baseball team, named the baseball team MVP in 2009, and was a member of the basketball and golf teams. He is president of the Senior Class, Head Attorney with the Mock Trial Club, member of the Student Council, a HANCI Senior Prom Volunteer, and volunteer at the St. Francis Center and the Venture Forth Brain Injury Center. Daniel plans to attend college and major in Biology/Pre-Med. His goal is to attend medical school and become a physician or surgeon.
Joseph is the son of Lynda and Mark Grozio. He has earned a 93.0 non-weighted average. Joseph is a member of the National Honor Society, has earned Honor Roll recognition all 4 years, earned NYS Scholar Athlete recognition for 4 years, is a Salutatory Honors Graduate and recipient of a NYS Regents Scholarship. He is assistant captain of the hockey team, former captain of North Buffalo Bisons hockey organization, and a member of the baseball team. Joseph has been honored with the Hobey Baker High School Character Award and named WNY Varsity Hockey All-Star Federation Division I Honorable Mention. Joseph has served as treasurer of the junior class, volunteered with the Niagara Police Athletic League, at Heart & Soul Soup Kitchen, at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, and at Vacation Bible School. He recently attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in Boston, Mass. He plans to attend SUNY at Buffalo. Joseph’s goal is to become a mechanical engineer.
Joseph is the son of Ann and Joseph Ditto. He has earned a 95.04 weighted average. Joseph has earned NYS Regents Honors recognition, a Scholar Athlete Award, and a President’s Award. He is a member of the lacrosse team and football team. He is a member of the Native American Club, the 701 Jazz Band, and volunteers at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, with the Holy Family Parish Food Drive, and the WNY Riverkeeper Beach Cleanup. Joseph plans to attend Niagara County Community College to earn an associate’s degree in math and science. His goal is to pursue education at St. John Fisher College and earn a degree in secondary education and a coaching certificate. His career goal is to become a math teacher and coach high school lacrosse.
Michael Tuzzo IV
Michael is the son of Kimberly and Michael Tuzzo III. Michael has earned a 96.72 weighted average. He is a member of the National Honor Society, earned a Great American Rivalry Series Scholarship, was named to the All-WNY Academic Team in Football and earned the highest GPA on the football team. He is co-captain of the football team, captain of the baseball team, and member of the powerlifting team. He was named Class AA North Offensive Player of the Year, 1st Team Class AA North, a Connolly Cup Nominee, and All-WNY Honorable Mention in Football. He is a member of the Academy of Engineering and Architecture, participated in the Science Olympiad, is a member of the Technology Club, president of the Powerlifting Club, and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Michael plans to attend either Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute or the University of Notre Dame and study in the field of architecture. His goal is to own his own architectural firm.
John is the son of Mary and Gary Billingsley. He has earned a 98.51 weighted average. John is Salutatorian of the Senior Class, a member of the National Honor Society, was named to the All-WNY Academic Scholar Athlete Team, earned an AP Scholar Award, was recognized as a 2009 volleyball Scholar Athlete, and earned Honor Roll recognition for 4 years. He is co-captain of the tennis team and co-captain of the volleyball team. John is president of the Student Council, treasurer of the Senior Class, volunteer with Niagara Hospice and Habitat for Humanity and a member of the Foreign Language Club. He plans to attend SUNY at Buffalo and earn a degree in Engineering. His goal is to pursue a career involved in the development of technology.
Collin is the son of Tanya and Joseph Okoniewski. He has earned a 95.457 weighted average. Collin is president of the National Honor Society and the Student Council, earned High Honor Roll recognition (4 years), and recipient of the University of Rochester George Eastman Leadership Award. He was named to the All-WNY Scholar Athlete Team and is a NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete. He is co-captain of the soccer team, co-captain of the basketball team, and co-captain of the baseball team. Collin is a member of the Scholastic Bowl team and Model UN. He is also a member of the Men’s Choir, Show Choir, Chamber Choir and Drama Club. He is a volunteer at events of the Wilson Fire Company and the WNY Food Bank and initiated the Kan-Jam Tournament to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Collin plans to attend college and earn a degree in political science/history education. His goal is to become a teacher and coach.