Students of the Month announced by Chautauqua Lake Central School

MAYVILLE — Students of the Month at Chautauqua Lake Central School, honored for December and January achievements are Taylor Phelps, Thomas Gurga, Katelyn Fardink, Betty Sue Hamrick, Hannah Weise, and Jeffrey Bajdo. The student recognition program honors students in grades 7 through 12 whose classroom performance, attitude toward learning, work ethic and extra-curricular activities set them apart.

Senior Taylor Phelps is the daughter of Bill and Katie Phelps of Ashville. Mandarin Chinese and human anatomy are her favorite classes this year. Taylor has been an active student athlete since her freshman year, competing on the school soccer and basketball teams throughout her high school career. She is a member of the National Honor Society and, as a senior, she has also become more involved in other school activities, participating in Language Club, Student Administration, and Peer Mentoring. As a junior she participated in the Rotary International SLAPSHOT Leadership program and was honored with the University of Rochester Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award and the Clarkson University School Scholar Award.

Outside of school, Taylor enjoys playing AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) travel basketball and participating in volunteer work. When asked what historical person she admires, Taylor selected Susan B. Anthony, “because she fought for what she thought was right.” If Taylor could be another person for a day, she would be the First Lady, “so I could see what goes on in the White House.” She plans to earn an international business degree at a four-year college.

Thomas E. Gurga, son of Jen Brooks of Ripley and Stephen Gurga of Erie, Pennsylvania, is a junior who names U.S. history as his favorite class. Tom has competed on the varsity golf team since freshman year. Outside of school, he enjoys playing golf, off-roading and target shooting. Tom admires Gandhi as a historical figure because “he peacefully got independence from the British Empire for all the people in India.” When asked if he would want to be another person for a day, Tom responded, “If you can’t be the person you wish to be as yourself, then what’s the point of being Student of the Month?” After high school, Tom plans to pursue a career in the military.

Sophomore Katelyn Fardink, daughter of Stacey and Tom Fardink of Ashville, selects Global Studies, geometry, and Spanish as her favorite subjects. In school, Katelyn has competed on the soccer, basketball, and softball teams, earning Offensive Player of the Year awards in 2015 for basketball and in 2016 for soccer. Also in basketball, she was a tourney player in the Jamestown showcase game. Outside of school, Katelyn likes to play travel basketball. When asked what historical person she admires, Katelyn chose Elizabeth Cady Stanton because she “fought for women’s rights.” If she could be another person for a day, she would like to be a dolphin trainer; she explained, “I would love to work and swim with dolphins because they are an awesome animal.” Katelyn looks forward to attending college.

Betty Sue Hamrick, a freshman, is the daughter of Donnie and Sue Hamrick of Ripley. Math and science are her favorite subjects. She has competed on the wrestling team since eighth grade. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her sister, walking with her cousin, and being with her family. When asked what person she admires, Betty remarked, “I admire teachers because they teach me all I know.” For a day, she would like to be the president, “so I can help others.” She plans to attend college and looks forward to a career as a mechanic.

Eighth grader Hannah Noelle Weise is the daughter of Tamara and Ezra Weise, both of Mayville. Her favorite classes this year are algebra and English. Hannah was on the modified basketball and softball teams last year; as an eighth grader, she now competes in the same sports on the JV teams. Last spring she was recognized for outstanding academic achievement in English, advanced math, health, and technology. She has also been on the high honor roll every quarter. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her little brother. Hannah admires “Susan B. Anthony (and anyone else who was a women’s rights activist) because she fought for gender equality and rights that otherwise may not exist today.” She would like to be Elizabeth Blackwell for a day because “although she is no longer living, she was the first woman doctor in the U.S., which would be a very important role to have.” Hannah plans to continue playing sports and keeping up with her academic studies.

Seventh grader Jeffrey Tyler Bajdo is the son of Phil and Christine Bajdo of Mayville. His favorite classes are gym, math, and science. At school, Jeffrey participates in soccer and Ski Club. Outside of school, he is an active Boy Scout and enjoys skiing, snowmobiling, biking, camping and 4-wheeling. Jeffrey admires the Bo Duke character from The Dukes of Hazzard because “he acts friendly, takes care of others, has an awesome car, and is fair to everyone.” When asked who he would like to be for a day, Jeffrey chose “a semi-truck driver to see the country first-hand. I always thought it would be cool!” Jeffrey would like to become a mechanic and start his own shop.

Teachers Amy Redman and Tara Reyda coordinate the Student of the Month recognition program in the secondary school.