Albion honors 38 soon-to-be-grads with GPAs at 90 or higher

Photo courtesy of Albion Central School: The group of honor grads are pictured in the high school gym after a dinner catered by Zambistro in Medina. This is the first time the event was held at the gym. Previously it was at Hickory Ridge Country Club in Holley.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 13 May 2022 at 5:14 pm

ALBION – The district honored soon-to-be graduates on Thursday who have attained grade point averages at 90 percent or higher during the four years of high school. The students were recognized at the annual Academic Honors Convocation Dinner.

The event is normally held at Hickory Ridge Country Club but this time was held in a transformed high school gym with food catered by Zambistro in Medina.

There are 38 seniors at a 90 percent GPA or higher, including: Alicia Allen, Carson Bader, James Beach, Katelyn Beach, Valentina Beato Herrera, Olivia Bieber, Lauren Brooks, Elisa Bropst, Jeffrey Brown, Collin Capurso, Hannah Coolbaugh, Nicolina Creasey, Angel Cruz Cruz, Ann Faery, Ethan Ferchen, Jacob Foote, Rowan Ford, Tyler Gibson, Emily Graham, Kenzi Hapeman, Emily Harling, Samantha Johnson, Leah Kania, Adrian Kingdollar, Alyson Knaak, Kyle Kuehne, Charley London, Allison Mathes, Sydney Mulka, Hannah Papponetti, Leah Pritchard, Reuben Rivers, Belen Rosario Soto, Aurora Serafin, Aidan Smith, Paris Smith, Presley Smith and Colleen Usselman.

Photos by Tom Rivers: Valentina Beato Herrera, one of the honor grads, is congratulated by Board of Education member David Sidari. Other board members from left include Margy Brown, Kathy Harling and Kurt Schmitt.

The gym turned into a venue for the meal and awards presentation.

Greg Madejski, Ph.D, the Class of 2006 valedictorian at Albion, gives the keynote message to this year’s honor grads advice on Thursday during an Academic Honors Convocation Dinner. Madejski urged the group to be problem solvers and make a plan for action.

The keynote speaker for the event was Class of 2006 valedictorian Greg Madejski, who works on biomedical problems.

He earned a degree in microelectronic engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2010 and earned his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Rochester in 2018.

He is a laboratory engineer for the Integrated Nano Systems Center at the University of Rochester.

Madejski also is the co-founder and CEO of Parverio, a company focused on combating nanoplastic contamination. That company researches detecting microplastics in water.

Madejski enjoys climbing, singing with the Rochester Oratorio Society and is a cantor at the Holy Family Parish in Albion.

He urged the honor grads to be problem solvers.

“I encourage you to not rest on your laurels because there’s so many interesting problems out there, and we need your help,” Madejski said.

A key component of being a problem solver: curiosity. “How does this thing work? What does this one thing do when I change inputs?” he said. “How can this be done better?”

He shared how he was working in a research lab and accidentally breathed on a chip when it was close to his face. He wouldn’t recommend that.

It was a humid that day. His breath opened a new fabrication strategy and that process went on to detect over a million pieces of DNA in a row, a record for the time. He learned to observe and make changes in a process.

Madejski said being a problem solver means taking care of yourself – and being honest with yourself. He said at times he has struggled with anxiety and depression. He focuses his time on activities that bring him joy.

He recommended to the grads they have a plan, and ask for help when they need it.

He urged them to run the risk of being wrong and of being unpopular.

“I can say without reservation that the education I received here allowed me to navigate college, graduate school and studies abroad in another culture,” Madejski said. “You have a fine quality of education to compete and excel in a variety of settings. What you do with your well-earned knowledge and learning will matter more than simply gaining it. I challenge you to be an active problem solver wherever they arise in your lives and for our community.”

Emily Harling shakes hands with board member Wayne Wadhams after receiving a certificate for earning a GPA at 90 percent or higher. Parents of the graduates then presented them with their honor cords.

The seniors have fun singing Albion’s alma mater. The Class of 2022 is set to graduate with an outdoor ceremony at the football field on June 24 with June 25 reserved as a rain date.

The four other districts in Orleans County – Holley, Kendall, Lyndonville and Medina – will honor their top 10 graduates during a program on June 14 at the White Birch Golf Course in Lyndonville.