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Albion honor grads feted at convocation dinner

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Elijah Martin shakes hands with members of the Albion Board of Education during Monday night’s academic honors convocation dinner, when 33 students were recogizned for graduating with grade point averages at 90 or higher.

Each honor grad received a certificate noting their achievement.

HOLLEY – Albion Central School honored 33 students who will graduating with cumulative grade point averages at 90 percent or higher. The students and their families were treated to dinner on Monday at Hickory Ridge Country Club.

Bill Lattin, an Albion graduate and a former Albion art teacher, was picked to address the students. Lattin recently retired as county historian. He did that job for 36 years and also worked 40 years as the part-time curator at the Cobblestone Museum.

Lattin urged the students to have open minds and not let differences get in the way of their work and service.

“Don’t be rigid in your thoughts,” Lattin said. “Let your mind be expansive.”

Bill Lattin addresses the honor grads during Monday’s program.

He urged the students to take time to enjoy simple pleasures in life, which could be smelling the peonies flowers.

When Lattin worked at the Cobblestone Museum, the organization held several ribbon-cutting ceremonies for buildings that were rededicated or relocated and saved. Lattin always invited Congressman John LaFalce. There was at least one Republican on the Cobblestone Board who didn’t want to see LaFalce, a Democrat, invited to the ceremonies. But Lattin insisted the congressman be welcomed.

LaFalce attended the celebrations. In 1993, the Cobblestone Musuem tried to get the Cobblestone Universalist Church from 1834, a central point of the museum, declared a National Historic Landmark. State officials said the museum would need the support of its congressman. Lattin made a call and LaFalce backed the effort. The Cobblestone Church is the lone National Historic Landmark in the county.

“Don’t burn your bridges,” was Lattin’s advice to the students. “Don’t be afraid especially in politics to reach across the aisle. We need more of that today.”

Nita Bela, one of the honor grads, is congratulated by Michael Bonnewell, superintendent of Albion Central School.

Lattin was thanked by Margy Brown, the Board of Education president, for working with students though the years on many service learning projects.

The students were praised for their years of hard work in the classroom. Many juggled their school work with busy schedules with extracurricular activities and part-time jobs.

Kyler McQuillan is graduating number 3 in the class. He is thankful he doesn’t have to give a speech at commencement. Kyler’s advice to students: “Do your work.”

Kyler McQuillan is congratulated by his parents, Brenda and Sean McQuillan. Mrs. McQuillan presents her son with his honor cord.

Kyler often stayed up late to get his homework done and to study, often after soccer and tennis matches. He insisted on getting enough sleep so his body wouldn’t wear down.

He will major in chemical engineering at the University at Buffalo this fall. He said Albion offers rigorous courses that helped him gain acceptance at UB’s engineering program.

Kyler took advanced placement classes in calculus, chemistry and physics at Albion, classes he needed to get into the UB program.

Dyer Benjovsky kept up his grades while playing golf, hockey and tennis. He took AP classes and also earned 38 college credits while in high school.

His advice to students: “Do your homework.”

He said the honors students had a friendly rivalry, pushing each other to excel in the classroom. He is headed to UB to study aerospace engineering.

Morgan Seielstad is congratulated by Albion Board of Education members Dean Dibley, Margy Brown and Marie Snyder, left.

Students who are graduating with a cumulative grade point average at 90 percent or higher include:

Andrea Aman, Drake Arnold, Jayne Bannister, Nita Bela, Monica Benjovsky, Theodore “Dyer” Benjovsky, Alex Bison, Mallory Broda, Adryan Cheeseboro, Peiyi “Aaron” Chen, Madyson Coville, Amanda Covis, Nicholas Ettinger, Morgan Ferris, Laura Flanagan, Brittany Francis, Elijah Martin, Sara Maxon, Kyler McQuillan, Sara Millspaugh, Dakota Monno, Justice Nauden, Kellie O’Hearn, Charlyne Olick, Carol Pritchard, Cristal Quintana Aragon, Ryan Reed, Kerry Rice, Morgan Seielstad, Jacob Squicciarini, Gabriell Struble, Benjamin Vanacore and Crystal Zayac.