Each winter, recent alumni of Chautauqua Lake Central School return to speak with current juniors and seniors about their experiences starting college or entering the military. A new twist on the annual event featured 2013 graduate Mary Schmitz in a live video teleconference from Arlon, Belgium, where she is an exchange student sponsored by the Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club. Shown on the big screen, Mary chatted with current students about learning to live in a different culture. Other 2013 graduates talked about what they faced as they transitioned to college, including culture shock, dorm living and roommates, college workload and reading. The alumni panel also discussed the importance of making friends, getting involved on campus, communicating with parents and time management as well as what they missed about CLCS.
From left are Jeremy Lesniowski, representing New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he majors in film and television studies; Jeremy Gilbert, University at Buffalo; Sam Snyder, Middlebury College, Vermont; Jessica Latimer, University of Denver; Erica Homme, SUNY Geneseo; Hannah Rauh, Penn State; and Luciana Sena, Jamestown Community College. Sena will study in Spain next semester. Many had earned enough college credits while still in high school to be nearing the end of their sophomore studies. To spur interest in college planning, many secondary school teachers wore sweatshirts representing their alma maters or posted pennants on their classroom doors. The event is organized by guidance counselors Jason Richardson and Jessica Cowan, with support from guidance secretary Wanda Latimer.