‘Continue to grow’: Poland celebrates Class of 2023 at commencement
The Poland Central School District celebrated 43 graduates at the Class of 2023 commencement on June 23.
The potential weather forced the 89th commencement inside but spirits were not dampened as a crowd packed the gymnasium to celebrate the senior class.
Poland PreK-12 Principal Greg Cuthbertson welcomed the students and attendees and highlighted the accomplishments of the class.
His advice for the graduates included valuing relationships and time.
"Continue to grow and be the best version of yourself," said Cuthbertson.
Class of 2023 salutatorian Seth Walther said the Class was fortuitous to be together.
"We must take our good fortune as the Class of 2023 and do good in the world," Walther told his classmates.
Class of 2023 valedictorian Natalie Hobin said she is thankful for her time at PCS and trusts there are new memories ahead for all.
“I believe everyone in this class has the potential to create happy and successful futures for themselves," Hobin said in her address.
James Kattato ‘17, a sports anchor and reporter at WAVY in Virginia, gave the commencement address. He talked about taking advantage of any opportunity and to chase one’s dreams.
"Everyone has one thing they adore more than anything in the world," said Kattato.
"If you don't know yet, that's OK. Have fun!" Kattato advised.
Cuthbertson, along with class advisors Jan Kochan and Theresa Zuchowski, helped present dozens of scholarships.
The Class of 2023 officers announced the class gifts of a student section sign for the gymnasium and a new Tornado mascot costume.
Poland Superintendent Laura Dutton then presented the Class of 2023, students received their diplomas and a traditional turning of the tassels took place.
Students tossed their caps in the air to celebrate.
Additional content celebrating the Class of 2023 will be posted next week.
The stream of the commencement can be found below, along with photos and a full list of graduates.
Graduating Class of 2023
Jerry Tucker Almas ****
Logan Michael Walter Anna *
Kody Michael Aserian *
Catalina Raimalen Batista Lienqueo ***
Owen Lance Bennett *
Hannah M Carnright *
Hunter Conklin *
Logan Isabella Cookinham *******
Brett James Dutcher, Jr. **
Stefania Marie Grimaldi *
Shelbi Rose Hagues *****
Natalie Renay Hobin *******
Austin Bentley Huckabone **
Mark Addison Hulbert **
Gavin James Krauciunas ****
Blake Dallas Leigh *
Lizbeth Luna ***
Jolene Lee Manipole **
Forest Mitchell Martin ***
Mason James Morganstern **
Dylan J. Oldfield **
Ella Esperanza Ortiz *
Angelea Jaelee Phillips ***
Aaron Michael Pope, Jr. **
Morgan Joan Potter ***
Jace Michael Reel **
Chloe Jae Roark ***
Nicholas Westeley Robinson *
Jake Stanley Shannon **
John Gage Smith **
Brandon Anthoney Sorce **
Sydney Darlene Stewart *
Sidney Kathryn Tabor *
Jackson Luke Vail **
Laila Mulvina Vauruk *******
Maya Rose Virgil *******
Seth Michael Walther *******
Neal James Waterman *
Morgan Hope Weigand *
Quintin Thomas Weigand *******
Karlee Marie Yost **
Sarah Mae Zuchowski ******
* Regents Diploma
** Regents Diploma with CTE
*** Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation
**** Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation Mastery in Science
***** Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Mastery in Math & Science
****** Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Honors with Mastery in Science
******* Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation with Honors with Mastery in Math & Science
Graduation award winners
Association of Poland Teachers' Scholarships
$1,500 - Natalie Hobin
$1,250 - Laila Varuk
$750 - Sarah Zuchowski
$500 Shelbi Hughes
Linda Trzepacz Memorial Award - Logan Cookinham
Todd Tatham Memorial Award - Stefania Grimaldi
Ellen Griffin Memorial Award - Aaron Pope, Jr.
Ellsworth G. Buck Memorial Award - Logan Cookinham
APT/NYSUT Award - Sarah Zuchowski
Tom Welch Teaching Award - Catalina Batista Lienqueo
Janine M. Walker Scholarship Award - Natalie Hobin
David Sellars Memorial Award - Jolene Manipole & Jace Reel
Marian Jones Award - Logan Cookinham
Mildred Dygert Memorial Award - Morgan Weigand
Margaret Echtermann 9/11 Memorial Award - Shelbi Hagues
Russell Humiston Memorial Award - Morgan Potter
KVAC Dominick DeSiato II Memorial Award - Ella Ortiz
HCCA School Counselor Scholarship - Maya Virgil
HCMEA Vocal Award - Hannah Carnright
Coach Barry Shufelt Memorial Scholarship - Logan Cookinham & Shelbi Hagues
Connor’s Way Arthur Lynskey Memorial Athletic/Character Award - Logan Cookinham
Connor’s Way Arthur Lynskey Memorial Academic Award - Jerry Almas
Ronald Burlingame Memorial Scholarship - Seth Walther
David A. Moran Citizenship Award - Maya Virgil
Lucy Weakley Memorial Award - Catalina Batista & Stefania Grimaldi
Poland Booster Club Awards & Scholarships - Natalie Hobin & Seth Walther
Athlete Award - Logan Cookinham
Newport Telephone Company Award - Nicholas Robinson
Kuyahoora Valley Rotary Club Awards Given by Michael Chauvin
Arthur Whaley Academic Achievement Award - Jerry Almas
Kenneth Young Effort Award - Shelbi Hagues
Richard Rasch Service Award - Sarah Zuchowski
Kuyahoora Valley Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Award - Shelbi Hagues
Adirondack Post 1118, Legion, Cold Brook - Chloe Roark & Jerry Almas
Adirondack Post 1118, Auxiliary - Chloe Roark & Jerry Almas
Poland Fire Company Award - Gavin Krauciunas
Herkimer County Conference of Mayors Awards - Jake Shannon & Laila Vauruk
David A. Tilly Medical Award picked by Board Members - Jerry Almas
M & T Bank Spirit Awards - Forest Martin & Neal Waterman
Poland Alumni Association Award - Jerry Almas
Poland Alumni Association Vocational Award for the Class of 1957 - Hannah Carnright
Moore Trust Fund Award - Jake Shannon
William Welch Award - Seth Walther
James Hane Mathematics Award - Seth Walther
Kristen Haver Memorial - Sarah Zuchowski
Michele Theresa Kraeger Award - Ella Ortiz
Kuyahoora Valley Foundation Scholarships - Sarah Zuchowski & Forest Martin
The Poland High School Scholarship - Quintin Weigand
Utica Dollars for Scholars MELE Award - Natalie Hobin
Utica University - Owen Bennett & Nicholas Robinson
Scholarship for Academic Excellence Award
Mildred Seavey Carney Music Award - Hannah Carnright & Kody Aserian
Truman Excellence in Education Scholarship - Logan Cookinham
Parker Huckabone Scholarship Soccer Award - Owen Bennett
Parker Huckabone Scholarship Band Award - Sydney Stewart
Alex Batson Award - John Gage Smith
Tom Flansburg Memorial Award - Sarah Zuchowski
Thomas A. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship - Morgan Weigand
Mohawk Valley IEEE Section STROM - Natalie Hobin & Seth Walther
First Responders Scholarship - Chloe Roark
HCC Hope Scholarship - Hannah Carnright
Regional Program for Excellence Participants
Jerry Almas – Upstate Family Health Care
Catalina Batista Lienqueo – Utica University
Shelbi Hagues – Dodge/Jeep/Ram Dealership, Indium & St. E’s
Natalie Hobin – Natural Resources Conservation Services & NUAIR
Gavin Krauciunas – Oneida County Assistant DA
Lizbeth Luna – Slocum Dickson
Morgan Potter – Rome Police Department
Laila Vauruk – VanMeter & VanMeter, LLC
Maya Virgil – j. liam & ADHD Autism
Seth Walther – AFRL
Quintin Weigand – AFRL
Sarah Zuchowski – Bassett Healthcare
NYS Career & Technical Endorsement
Brett Dutcher Austin Huckabone Jackson Vail
Dylan Oldfield Mark Hulbert
Jake Shannon Brandon Sorce
Aaron Pope, Jr. Jolene Manipole
Jace Reel John Gage Smith