Albion recognizes honor graduates

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 May 2013 at 12:00 am

Aaron Kirby, 2009 graduate and PhD student in physics, gives keynote address

Photos by Tom Rivers – Aaron Kirby, a 2009 Albion graduate, addresses Albion honor graduates during the Academic Honors Convocation Dinner tonight at Hickory Ridge Country Club.

Faith Bentley is congratulated by Albion High School Principal Leslie Stauss and Superintendent of Schools Michael Bonnewell during a dinner for honor grads.

ALBION – While growing up in Albion, 22-year-old Aaron Kirby said he learned life is often what you make of it.

He was a top student in the classroom, and was active in the music and sports programs. He was an Eagle Scout who enjoyed time on the farm. His parents, Dennis and Wendy Kirby, sponsored two families from war-torn Kosovo, families that moved to Albion.

“There’s tons of stuff going on in Albion,” Kirby told Albion honor graduates tonight. “You just have to find it.”

Kirby was picked as the keynote speaker for the 38 students with cumulative grade point averages at 90 percent or higher. He graduated May 12 from the University at Buffalo with a mathematics and physics major. He is now a doctoral student at UB in physics.

Kirby heaped praise on his upbringing and the opportunities at Albion.

Aaron Kirby, a doctoral student in physics at the University at Buffalo, urged Albion graduates to have confidence and take the important first step.

“Albion has given me the tools and allowed me to have exceptionally varied experiences,” he told more than 200 people at the Academic Honors Convocation Dinner at Hickory Ridge Country Club.

Kirby has recently taken up rock climbing, a sport that requires patience, efficiency and passion. It also demands confidence.

“You have to take the first step,” he said.

He urged graduates to strike the right balance of confidence. Too little is fear and too much is arrogance.

Board of Education members took turns at the podium with Kevin Doherty closing the two-hour event.

“Albion has tried to help you to be the very highest you,” Doherty told the honor grads. “Be the highest and best you.”

Thirty-eight students who will graduate with cumulative grade point averages at 90 percent or higher are pictured for a group photo.

The honor grads include: Kyle Appleman, Brooke Bensley, Faith Bentley, Carly Burris, Ryan Castrechino, Samantha Covis, Brandon Doyle, Erika Edwards, Rebecca Flanagan, Alissa Francis, William Grimble, Trevor Hadick, Jackson Hamilton, Hannah Hapeman, Xiao Mei He, Brandon Hennekey, Samantha Johnson, Joyce LaLonde, Julia Lawrence, Kirsten Liddle, Sili Lin, Dustin Lockwood, Mary Martin, Cady Messmer, Tanisha Moyer, Tyler Neilans, Alison O’Hearn, Sarah Papponetti, Michael Patterson, Alan Quintana Aragon, Christopher Reed, Alessaundra Rivera, Roland Sanford, Gretta Smith, Taylor Soule, Tiffany Standish, Abigail Thaine and Jacob Tynan.