Secondary school principal Josh Liddell has announced the top students in the Chautauqua Lake Central School Class of 2014, Emilie Christie, Eve Taft, Destiny Safford and Megan Stahlsmith.
For this, the first year during which students from Ripley were tuitioned to Chautauqua Lake in grades 7-12, two valedictorians and two salutatorians were selected, one from each community. Each of the four honored students has earned a gold honor pin, reflecting a grade point average of 94.5 percent or higher.
Co-valedictorian Emilie Christie is the daughter of Frances and Jeffrey Christie of Mayville. Throughout her high school career, Emilie has competed on the High School Bowl academic team, playing as a starter for two years. This spring she traveled to the national competition in Washington, D.C. as a member of the regional championship team. Emilie has been elected to Student Administration each of year high school, serving as class secretary and president and, this year, as student body president. A two-year member of National Honor Society, Emilie was elected vice president this year, and she has served as president of the Rotary Interact Club since its inception during her junior year. She has been an active member of the Spanish Club, in which she served as both secretary and president. A three-time Student of the Month, she has also been active in the Impact Christian Fellowship and Shin Gi Tai Judo Club.
Emilie sang in the select chorale and played first chair clarinet in the band, for which she was recognized last year as Most Improved Woodwind Player. She performed in the secondary school musicals Happy Days, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and The Wizard of Oz. She competed in varsity tennis throughout high school, earning her varsity letter as a freshman and serving as team captain during her senior year.
Emilie earned her academic letter as a sophomore, academic pin as a junior, and academic pullover as a senior. Last year Jamestown Community College named her College Connections Student of the Year, and she was on the Dean's List as a JCC part-time student. She also received the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service Mathematics & Science Award and the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award. This year Buffalo's Business First magazine named Emilie to the All Western New York Academic Team, recognizing her academic excellence, school leadership and community involvement. She was honored by the Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club as a Rotary Student of the Month and by the New York State Senate with a Youth Leadership Recognition Award. Emilie was named a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program, among the top 34,000 high performers of over 1.5 million who took the qualifying test in Fall 2012.
She recently received a Chautauqua Lake Academic Excellence Award, a Ruth Barker Winch Scholarship, a FairPoint Communications Scholarship, a Thunderbird Athletic Club Award, the Wesley W. Weise Jr. VFW Post 8647 Scholarship, an Ordence Knowlton Scholarship Grant, and a CLCS Student Administration Student of the Year Award. She was honored for exemplary literary insight in Advanced Placement English 12 and for excellence in Advanced Placement Environmental Science and in Spanish 5, a Jamestown Community College course taught at Chautauqua Lake.
Emilie has logged over 45 hours of community service. She is active at Saint Mary of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, where she was active in the youth group for several years and now in the young adult group, Friends in Lourdes Places. For two years she has served as a Lector at Sunday mass. For four years Emilie has worked as a cashier at Bemus Point Market.
Emilie participated in two European study tours: last year to Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, and this year to Italy and Greece. She looks forward to additional study abroad and cultural immersion experiences. She will attend John Carroll University as an Arrupe Scholar to pursue an undergraduate degree in International Business with Language and Culture, along with a five-year master's program in business administration. Emilie hopes to be a leader in worldwide business and economic affairs.
Co-valedictorian Eve Taft is the daughter of Suzan Ulrich and William Taft of Ripley. Last year she served as secretary of her class, and she was on the yearbook staff. This year she has been active in the National Honor Society, and she performed in the secondary school musical, The Wizard of Oz.
Eve was honored with the Susan B. Anthony and Fredrick Douglas Humanities Award and has repeatedly achieved honor roll status throughout her high school career. She won second place in the Voice of Democracy contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. This spring she was honored for exemplary literary insight in Advanced Placement English 12, and she received the Ripley Women's Club English Award.
Throughout high school Eve has been a soloist, choreographer and head costumer at the North Coast Dance Ballet Company in Erie, Pennsylvania. Last year Eve volunteered at the Westfield stray cat shelter. She has logged over 30 community service hours, earning a blue award.
Eve plans to attend Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and looks forward to serving in the Peace Corps and challenging society's ideals.
Co-salutatorian Destiny Safford is the daughter of Jennifer Hawkins of Ripley and William Safford of Findley Lake. A National Honor Society member since her sophomore year, she has served as president and vice president of her class and this year was a student representative to the Building Team. Last year Destiny was active in Key Club, on Student Council, and as yearbook treasurer. This year she was co-president of Student Administration, worked on the stage crew for the school musical, The Wizard of Oz, and was active in Sources of Strength as a Peer Educator.
Last year Destiny was recognized with the Elmira Key Award and the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award. This year Elmira College recognized her with a Presidential Honor Scholarship, and she was awarded the Orris C. Hirtzel & Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation Scholarship, a CLCS Student Administration Student of the Year Award, the Ripley Grange #65 Community Scholarship, and the Summit Lodge #219 Free and Accepted Masons of Westfield Award.
Destiny helps at Girl Scouts meetings, baked cookies during her sophomore and junior years for Project Love, and for three years helped teach younger students about mathematical concepts on Pi Day. For two years she has taught Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church of Ripley. She has logged over 15 hours of community service, earning a maroon award.
This fall Destiny will attend Elmira College to major in psychology, with pre-law advising.
Co-Salutatorian Megan Stahlsmith is the daughter of Dennie Stahlsmith of Mayville and Brian Stahlsmith of Stedman. Megan competed on the varsity tennis team, was the editor of the yearbook, was secretary of both the senior class and National Honor Society. She was the student director of the secondary school musical, The Wizard of Oz.
She has been a Peer Educator and for two years was active in Sources of Strength and as a peer tutor. She has been active in the Rotary Interact Club since its inception during her junior year, and this year the Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club recognized her as a Rotary Student of the Month. As a senior she served in Student Administration. For two years Megan has been an active member of the Spanish Club. She participated in last year's study tour to Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic and this year's study tour to Italy and Greece.
Megan has annually been named a Student of the Month. She has been recognized for academic achievement in global studies, Advanced Placement U.S. History, Holocaust studies, and pre-calculus; for academic excellence in English and Spanish; and for the highest grade point average in earth science, chemistry, physics, geometry and studio art. Her English teachers recognized Megan for creative excellence and insight in creative writing and the Myths and Legends class.
Last year she was honored with the Student Sage Scholar Award, was recognized by Jamestown Business College as a Scholar of Excellence, and was named to the Jamestown Community College Dean's List for part-time students. This year she earned her academic pin and was honored with an American Legion History Award, a Ruth Barker Winch Scholarship, the Chautauqua County Counselors' Association Scholarship, the Chautauqua Lake Associated Support Staff "CLASS" Award, a CLCS Teachers' Association Scholarship, the JoAnn Gleason Scholarship Award, the Jonathan E. Long Memorial Scholarships, the Daphna Peterson Art Award, a Kristie Ward Memorial Scholarship, and the Gail E. Whiteman Scholarship. Buffalo's Business First magazine awarded Megan a scholarship as a 2014 Community All-Star. Her teachers recognized her this spring with an award for her art portfolio and for excellence in Advanced Placement Environmental Science and in English 12.
Megan has logged 45 hours of community service. Throughout high school she has been active in the Impact Christian Fellowship. She participates in Chautauqua County Footsteps and in the Hurlbut Memorial Community Church youth group, Meal Ministry and Nurture Committee. She has twice participated in the Powderpuff Football game to benefit the senior class.
Megan will attend Miami University of Ohio to major in social work. After college she would like to join the Peace Corps and eventually be a high school guidance counselor.