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Poland announces Class of 2019 valedictorian, salutatorian

June 5, 2019

A photo of Kyle Delano on the left and Chloe Lawson on the right

Poland Class of 2019 valedictorian Kyle Delano (left) and Poland Class of 2019 salutatorian Chloe Lawson (right).

POLAND – Poland Central School District Class of 2019 valedictorian Kyle Delano and salutatorian Chloe Lawson mentioned a variety of factors in their success such as hard work, time, concentration and support from Poland teachers and staff.

“I focused on my own personal achievement and just always tried to do my best work,” Delano said.

Delano, 17, earned a 98.91 grade-point average and will graduate with 28.5 credits. He will receive an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors, Mastery in Science. Lawson, 18, earned a 98.83 GPA and will graduate with 30.5 credits. She will receive an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors, Mastery in Science.

The valedictorian and salutatorian will give speeches at the Class of 2019 graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 28.


Delano is the son of Kay and Ray Delano, of the town of Ohio.

He felt excited when he found out he was named the valedictorian.

“I put a lot of work into it, and I was proud to receive it,” he said.

Delano said becoming valedictorian wasn’t the main focus for him.

“I don’t know if it was a goal,” he said. “I thought wherever I end up, I end up. I tried my best, and that’s what matters to me.”

Delano took 35 College Now credits through the following College Now courses: French, statistics, psychology, sociology, geology, pre-calculus, calculus, writing, literature and public speaking.

Some of his favorite classes included English, social studies, psychology and sociology, he said.

His extracurricular activities include National Honor Society, Student Council, Rotary Interact Club and indoor and outdoor track for three years each. He also served as the student representative on the Poland Board of Education.

Delano will be going to Le Moyne College for political science.

“I’m excited for it,” he said. “It will be a new experience.”

He plans to later apply to law school and become a criminal law attorney. His interest in that career path started during high school social studies classes and was cemented during a Regional Program for Excellence internship at the Oneida County Combined Court.

“That really showed me that’s the path I want to take,” he said.

During the internship, the ability to observe court and see a variety of cases made a difference, he said.

Delano believes his Poland teachers – and his College Now classes and internship – prepared him for his college and career plans.

“They provided a variety of classes that interested me,” he said. “They’ve always been very supportive – all the teachers and staff.”

One thing that’s up next on his agenda: writing his speech for graduation.

“I certainly want to give a good speech, and I guess just kind of show the impact Poland Central School has had on all of us students in the Class of 2019,” he said.


Lawson is the daughter of Patrick Lawson and Mi Lawson, of Cold Brook.

She said she was happy when she heard she was the salutatorian.

“It’s a great achievement,” she said. “I’m glad.”

Not just hard work – but also planning – goes into academic success, she said.

“I would say just a lot of time and effort – and time management,” she said, noting that many students are involved in a variety of activities. “If you don’t really plan ahead, it can be overwhelming. I think it’s good for the mind to be prepared.”

Lawson took 35 College Now credits through the following College Now courses: Spanish, statistics, psychology, sociology, geology, fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology, pre-calculus, calculus, writing and literature.

Calculus and chemistry were among her favorite classes, she said.

Her extracurricular activities include National Honor Society, Rotary Interact Club, Spanish Club (also serving as club vice president), Peer Leadership Club and participating in four years on varsity tennis.

Lawson will be studying biochemistry at Binghamton University.

“I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “It’s a new chapter for me. I think I’m ready for it.”

Lawson plans to become an orthopedic physician. She learned about this career in eighth grade and became interested. She did an internship this school year through the Regional Program for Excellence at the Mohawk Valley Health System Orthopedic Group with Dr. Meira Yeger-McKeever.

“After the internship, it definitely solidified my choice,” Lawson said. “I really feel confident that this is what I want to do – try to do at least.”

Lawson said she feels well prepared for her future plans from her experience at Poland.

 “The College Now classes have definitely helped,” she said. “Without taking the anatomy and physiology class with Mrs. Meyer, I don’t think I would have been ready for even the internship. Wonderful staff and teachers definitely helped prepare me.”

She has some final tasks to accomplish before the end of the year, and one that she is really focused on is writing her speech for graduation.

“I want to send the Class of 2019 off on a good note, so I want to give the best speech I can,” she said.