On June 10, faculty, staff and administrators from the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES and several of its component school districts throughout southern and central Chautauqua County honored 14 graduating high school seniors enrolled in E2CCB Alternative and Special Education programs housed at the Hewes Educational Center in Ashville and Chautauqua Lake Central School in Mayville.
The senior recognition ceremony took place at the Hewes Center, and the room was packed with guests including many members of the students' families and representatives from their home school districts. Presiding over the ceremony was Adam Padd, alternative and special education supervisor at the Hewes Center. In addition to Padd; Kevin Bourgoine, E2CCB special education supervisor at the Chautauqua Lake site; and Suzette Benson, E2CCB assistant superintendent for curriculum and instructional services, as well as individual school district representatives, assisted in honoring each graduate. Graduating senior Jenavin Wappat from the Chautauqua Lake Central School District served as the student speaker.
"This was a wonderful celebration," said Bourgoine. "All of the students have worked so hard to reach this milestone. This event recognizes the courage, perseverance and hard work of not only the students, but also of the teachers, classroom support staff, counselors and related service providers."
Jenavin Wappat, a graduating senior from the Chautauqua Lake Central School District who participated in instructional programs at the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Hewes Educational Center in Ashville, addresses members of the Class of 2013 during a graduation ceremony on June 10.
Three students were given special recognition during the ceremony. John Hogan from the Ripley Central School District and Nicholas Zentz from Chautauqua Lake Central School District received the Tri-County BOCES Education Association Citizenship Award, And Jenavin Wappat from the Chautauqua Lake Central School District received the Optimist Award through the Jamestown Boys & Girls Club
"One of the critical components with the success of our Alternative Education and Special Education programs is the interwoven connection between the students, staff, families and districts," Padd said. "The ability of BOCES to coordinate skills and efforts between all entities for the good of the child is a key factor to student success."
The graduates were able to attend E2CCB Alternative and Special Education programs through the participation of their home school districts: Chautauqua Lake, Falconer, Frewsburg, Jamestown, Ripley, Sherman and Southwestern, all of which are component school districts of the E2CC BOCES, as well as Cattaraugus-Little Valley.
"This has been an extraordinary senior class," said Alycia Lacki, school counselor. "They have exemplified compassion, personal growth and perseverance. As students, peer mentors, club advisor, and role models, alternative education has flourished under their wing. It is with this leadership that they have set the stage for our up and coming students to continue on. This program has grown so much in such a short time and that is credit to the innovative ideas and planning to make a program that works to meet the needs of our unique students. While there are big shoes to fill, the seniors have well prepared their fellow peers in rising to the challenge."
Graduates are as follows, broken down by school district:
Cattaraugus-Little Valley: MacKenzie Kuhn
Chautauqua Lake: Allyson Lawson, Jenavin Wappat and Nicholas Zentz
Falconer: Timothy Lawson
Frewsburg: Jeremy Fish
Jamestown: William Seignious and Blaine Wescott
Ripley: John Hogan and Steven Sebring
Sherman: Makala Persons
Southwestern: Brendan Farver, Karly Gadra and Joniel Olivencia