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Scholars of the Month visit Westfield/Mayville Rotary

May 12, 2016
Westfield Republican

Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club March Scholars of the Month will graduate with high honors, each with his or her specific program mark of distinction.

Westfield Academy & Central

Gillian Belcher will graduate with 20 college credits from Jamestown Community College and 12 from SUNY Fredonia's 3-1-3 program.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Scholars of the Month visited Westfield/Mayville Rotary to tell about their current last days of school and what they plan for their future. They are, seated, Samuel Van Valkenburg, Sherman Central and Gillian Belcher, Westfield Academy & Central; standing are Dan Skinner, Brocton Central and Brianna Dudley, Chautauqua Lake Central.

A three-year member of Environmental Club at Westfield Academy, Gillian also served as treasurer. She was a member of the Sources of Strength Peer Advocacy Team and a participant in Spanish Club. She also was part of the 2015 Costa Rica trip.

In her sophomore year, Gillian was inducted into the National Honor Society. A member of Senior High Chorus during her first three years, she also was a Firecrackers member and participated in two musicals.

Gillian volunteers her time at the Ahira Hall Memorial Library, Holy Trinity Church and participated in the American Heart Association's Strides Walk and Habitat for Humanity. She has been employed at The Green Arch and Sullivan's Charbroil.

The daughter of Mark and Karen Belcher of Brocton, Gillian will attend Niagara University to pursue a degree in Social Work in the fall.

Sherman Central

Samuel Van Valkenburg - who likes to describe Sherman as a "booming metropolis where the cow population could very possibly be larger than the citizen's (population) of the town and village" - has been on the honor roll every quarter of his high school career and is a National Honor Society member.

A member of the football team, he served as its captain for the newly combined team consisting of Clymer, Sherman and Panama. In addition, he has received the Character Athlete of the Game Award numerous times. Samuel also played basketball for two years - captain this past year - and plays baseball this spring.

Sam was the Clymer bowling team captain during freshman/sophomore years, was involved in drama production and is a trombonist for the high school band and a bass in the choir.

Two farms - a horse boarding stable and Black Angus farm - are busy work places for Sam when not playing sports or studying. He is involved with the sound and lighting work at Sherman First Baptist Church and helps with Sherman food distribution. His favorite hobby is tinkering with small engines, especially his snowmobile.

The son of Roy and Becky Van Valkenburg, Sam plans to attend Alfred State College to study Mechanical Engineering Technology and be part of the football team. Further, he plans to use his Alfred State knowledge at Arctic Cat or Polaris to design engines or other mechanical components.

Chautauqua Lake


Brianna Dudley, a Student of the Month for two years and National Honor Society member, is a member of the Yearbook Club and Peer Tutoring. She is enrolled in upper level Honors and Advanced Placement courses.

Outside of school, Brianna has been involved with the Cheer Starz All Starz for the last four years and has volunteered for the Elementary Halloween Social. In addition, she has held summer jobs at The Boardwalk, Bellinger Hall and at The Lakeview/The Docks.

The daughter of Jason and Julie Dudley of Mayville, Brianna plans to attend a four-year college - perhaps University at Buffalo, SUNY Oswego or Kent State - to pursue a career in medicine as either a pediatrician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

Brocton Central

Dan Skinner, currently treasurer for the Brocton Central School chapter of the National Honor Society, has served two terms as class president.

His primary interests include, but are not limited to, soccer, the consumption of Butterfinger bars, soccer, long walks on the beach, hanging out with his friends, school musicals and soccer. Dan works odd jobs for his school and, occasionally ties grapes for various grape farmers.

The son of Allyn and Laurie Skinner, Dan plans to attend JCC for two years and join its soccer team. He also is a firm believer that "brevity is the soul of wit, and therefore bids everyone a good day," according to his Rotary presentation.



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