Voice Recognition

Sidney Central School District News Article

Class of 2024 valedictorian, salutatorian honored

Sidney CSD Class of 2024 valedictorian and salutatorianSidney CSD honored its valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2024 on Wednesday afternoon. 
The valedictorian is Megan Lewis, and the salutatorian is Elaina Neubert. They were each presented with a certificate and a gift during the celebration event. Each student will also speak at graduation, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 29 at the Transportation Center. 
During the celebration, school counselor Jody Gravelin, and technology teacher Christine Race spoke about each student. Their words are below. 
Elaina Neubert
Words from Jody Gravelin: 

Our first honoree is an outstanding student who excels in many areas. She is a very bright, conscientious, and intuitive student who is extremely hard working, and takes her academics very seriously. She makes sure that everything she does is to the best of her ability. She is a curious learner, always looking to dig deeper into the subject and gets excited to make connections. 
She lives by the philosophy that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. This is evident in everything that she does, however, she is both talented and hard working! 
She balances her life well with her academics, sports, clubs, volunteer work, employment, and family. She is a five-sport athlete, participating in soccer, indoor track, outdoor track, badminton and table tennis. As her school counselor and coach, I have had the privilege of watching her remarkable talent, determination, and character both in the classroom and on the field. Speaking captain of the soccer team this year, she is someone who was looked up to for her athleticism, leadership and sportsmanship. She has always been one of my hardest working athletes, and one of the most respectful players I know. 
She is a talented musician and has participated in All-County and Area All-State concert band. She is vice-president of the National Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society, and has participated in the Flood Monitoring Program. 
She has committed to making a positive impact on her school and community by volunteering for highway cleanup, pancake breakfasts, safe Halloween, Molly’s Garden, blood drives, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, and serving dinner at church. She has worked as a lifeguard at the Franklin town pool, and the Sidney community pool. As if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she loves spending time outdoors hiking, camping and traveling with her family.
In all that she does, this young lady carries herself with quiet confidence, drive and determination. Next year, she plans to attend SUNY Brockport to major in Water Resources. It is my distinct honor to introduce the Salutatorian of the Class of 2024, Elaina Neubert. 
Words from Christine Race: 
I think we can all agree that Elaina is brilliant.  I’d like to take a moment to share with you more than just Elaina’s transcript and resume.   
In 2018, Dave Perry of APL associates spoke of the 4 most important 21st Century Skills:
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Teamwork
  • Communication skills, and
  • Work Ethic
When I referenced the letter or recommendation that I have written (and modified) for Elaina over the past three years, it pleased me to see that the yes, while I had introduced Elaina as one of the most academically gifted students I have had the honor to teach, most of the emphasis was on Elaina’s ability to achieve content mastery through diligence in the classroom: work ethic.   
Elaina is definition of a hard worker. While there are topics that are easy for Elaina to learn, many topics are mastered through her studying habits and deeper comprehensive thought process. Elaina as a freshman taking DDP in the hybrid model of education, was a student on her at home learning days would review the assignment, email for clarification, complete the task, submit the work, and email to make sure it was done correctly. We didn’t have to worry about having the family change the Netflix password for this young lady. 
But more importantly, with Elaina, it isn’t always about getting the right answer, although- let’s be honest, she kind of does…, it’s about understanding the complexities related to establishing the best answer. Nothing is better than seeing Elaina’s facial expression when the lightbulb clicks on.    
This has been a joy for me to witness.  
Elaina is clever, creative, compassionate and capable and, I promise you, she will be in charge of a major STEM research lab.  Elaina, whatever degree or degrees you end up having on your future resume, you will make a positive impact on the world - as you have been a positive role model in my classroom for years.  
Megan Lewis
Words from Jody Gravelin: 
Our next honoree is driven, dedicated and intelligent. She is a determined to be the best that she can be in all that she does. She picks up on information quickly and is open to new ideas. She is inquisitive, asking questions until she fully understands a topic. She has been committed to expanding her knowledge by taking the most rigorous high school courses we offer. She is an effective leader, speaking with conviction as she communicates her viewpoint and can successfully delegate duties to serve her team. She lives by the philosophy that it is better to be known well by a few than a vague presence to all … believe me, I am not sure this young lady is a vague presence to anyone! 
She has received many academic awards, including the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, the RPI Medal and Clarkson Leadership Awards. She was also selected among her peers to attend RYLA. 
Outside the school day, she partakes in sports, clubs, and volunteering. She is a three-sport athlete, participating in soccer, indoor and outdoor track. She is president of Student Council, SSADD and Tri-M, treasurer of Interact, and stage manager of Drama Club. She is a member of National Honor Society and has been a part of the Flood Monitoring Program and Teen Institute. She works part time at the BOCES print shop, and works as a lifeguard. 
She is also committed to making a positive impact on her school and community and has volunteered working at Breakfast for Santa, Elfing, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, Molly’s Garden, pancake breakfasts, safe Halloween, and library clean-up. If this doesn’t keep her busy enough, in addition, she likes to listen to and play music, read books, and learn more about topics that interest her.  
She is dependable and levelheaded and is seen as a leader among her peers. She is kind and caring and fun to be around. In the fall she plans to attend Binghamton University to study Biological Anthropology.  It is my distinct honor to introduce the Valedictorian of the Class of 2024, Megan Lewis.
Words from Christine Race: 
In addition to her stellar resume, Megan’s character, work ethic, and overall personality make her a ‘top of the class’ candidate for any college or university. I have been blown away by both the quality of work she has been able to produce and the quality of person she is.
While Megan will not be pursuing engineering next year, she did not shy away from taking the more rigorous and challenging coursework offered. Not only did she challenge herself during the school day, Megan would also take advantage of coding camps and additional coursework on her free or fun time. Her love of reading, learning and doing have provided her a framework to be successful in multiple venues. 
However, it is Megan’s academic aptitude and her 21st-century skills, such as teamwork, leadership and project management that stand out more so than her perfect GPA. Megan is a solid leader and team player. She enjoys being in a project engineer role and has found a solid management style that allows others to succeed in their roles. 
Whether composing an email to request a period zero… It was Megan that first began the official, “Period Zero,” or developing a website for her engineering class projects, Megan’s ability to compose messages, essays and technical documents is beyond any typical high school student and would rival most college students. In over 26 years of education, I have never seen a student so well versed in all aspects of ‘owning her education.’ 
Megan’s unique blend of character and work ethic allows her to be a scientist, an athlete, a musician, and already, a valued member in her community.  And, I am still living in denial, as I cannot fathom a school year without you and Elaina in my classroom.  Although, let’s be honest, your work will continue to be used as an exemplar for years to come! 

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