The Academy at Maple Avenue lauds first graduates

Submitted Photo Students from the inaugural graduating class from the Academy at Maple Avenue in Cassadaga are pictured after commencement. Front row: Nathan Giordano, Kaitlyn Michael, Ericka Farnham, Breanna Smith, Alysson Caron, and Seth Munson. Back row: Tylar Grimes, Anthony Mueller, Karli Campaign, Nathaniel Briggs, Cheyanne Barrington, Alan Abbey, Armando Arce, and Collin Bailey. Not pictured: Jay Cerrie, Nathan Rhodes and Jacob Steves.

CASSADAGA — The very first graduating class at The Academy at Maple Avenue, an Alternative Education school of the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, marked a milestone and celebrated their achievements on Thursday, June 22 during a Senior Recognition ceremony held at Jefferson Hall, the former Cassadaga Community Baptist Church.

The students donned caps and gowns and participated in the processional to the delight of proud families, friends, E2CCB teachers, staff and administrators.

Principal Kevin Bourgoine heaped praise on the seniors, encouraging them to pursue their dreams and thanking all those in attendance.

“This is a celebration of the hard work and dedication of the students seated before you,” said Bourgoine, who went on to note that the Class of 2017 was instrumental in selecting the new student body’s mascot of a grizzly bear. “The grizzly represents family, tenacity, fierceness and a steadfast resolve. These are all characteristics that our students possess and demonstrate as they travel their pathway to academic success.”

Several seniors were recognized and presented with awards. Teacher Jill Patterson presented the Diane Potter Memorial Scholarship for $100 to Karli Campaign from Forestville Central School. Teacher Gregg Guichard and instructor Frances Guichard presented the Guichard Alternative Education Scholarship for $200 to Tylar Grimes from Southwestern Central School. Bourgoine presented the Robert Guiffreda Memorial Scholarship for $500 to Nathan Giordano from Fredonia Central School.

The presentation of certificates was helmed by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Danielle O’Connor, Director of Alternative Education Jennifer Saboda, and Assistant Director of Alternative Education Robin Brown.

The Class of 2017 comprises Alan Abbey from Brocton Central School; Armando Arce, Collin Bailey, Cheyanne Barrington, Nathaniel Briggs, Alysson Caron, Seth Munson and Breanna Smith from Chautauqua Lake Central School; Karli Campaign from Forestville Central School; Jay Cerrie and Nathan Giordano from Fredonia Central School; Ericka Farnham, Anthony Mueller and Jacob Steves from Pine Valley Central School; Tylar Grimes and Kaitlyn Michael from Southwestern Central School; and Nathan Rhodes from Frewsburg Central School.

After the Class of 2017 adjusted the tassels on their caps from right to left, a reception with cake and light refreshments was enjoyed by those in attendance.