MAYVILLE - Chautauqua Lake Central School announces the Class of 2012 valedictorian and salutatorian.
Valedictorian Jessica Fortney is the daughter of June and Brian Fortney of Mayville. She is known throughout the state as the first runner-up in the New York State Distinguished Young Women competition (formerly Junior Miss), an honor she earned this year after being named the winner in the Lakewood Area contest.
Fortney was vice president of Student Administration during her senior year. With graduation, Fortney completes her service as vice president of the National Honor Society, to which she was inducted during her junior year. For the past year she was a student representative to the Secondary School Building Team.
For three years she competed on the High School Bowl academic team and represented Chautauqua Lake at the Envirothon environmental education competition, helping the team to a second-place finish. Fortney has been active in the Spanish Club. She has twice been named a Student of the Month. Fortney has been honored for excellence in math, social studies and Spanish, and last year she received a Rochester Institute of Technology Innovation and Creativity Award and the George Eastman Young Leaders Award.
Throughout high school, Fortney has competed on the varsity track team and the girls' varsity swimming team, for which she was named a CLCS Athlete of the Week. Fortney was also manager of the boys' varsity swimming team for three years.
Fortney has volunteered at Angel Food Ministries and with family members has helped feed the homeless in Phoenix, Ariz. She also volunteers every Sunday as a pianist at Community Bible Church. Fortney looks forward to studying at Grove City College to prepare for a career in engineering.
Salutatorian Rebecca Silliman is the daughter of Elizabeth Silliman of Dewittville and Rodney Silliman of Fredonia. She is a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship program and received an academic scholarship award in the Lakewood Area Distinguished Young Women competition. She participated in the Rotary International Outdoor Leadership Experience.
Throughout her high school years, Silliman has been a member of Student Administration and has competed on the High School Bowl team, representing CLCS in national competition in spring 2011. She has been active in the Spanish Club, the Class of 2012, and was secretary of the National Honor Society (NHS). She has been recognized with awards for academic excellence in English, Spanish and social studies, and for effort and achievement in math.
Silliman has competed for three years as a scholar-athlete on the varsity soccer team. She earned her varsity and academic letters in 2010 and her academic pin the following year. For two years she has been a peer educator and a peer tutor, has worked on the yearbook staff, and has been a writer for the student newspaper, Bird's Beak. She has been active in the Ski Club and the Beat Literature Book Club. Silliman has been a Student of the Month, and four times she represented CLCS in the Envirothon.
Silliman sang in the chorus and played trombone in the high school band. She also played in TUBA Christmas, in the 2012 All-County band, and for Memorial Day services. For 10 years she has studied tap dancing with Jill Keating at Pointe Chautauqua Dance, and in spring 2010 she danced in the secondary school musical, "Cinderella," and for two years she performed in the annual NHS Talent Show to raise money for charity.
Outside of school she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, photography, playing the harmonica, kayaking, weight lifting and baking. She enjoys travel and has visited Costa Rica, Germany and Washington, D.C.
She has helped with highway cleanup on Centralia-Hartfield Road, has rung the bell for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign, and serves as a Eucharistic minister at St. Mary of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Mayville. She has assisted with numerous other NHS, school and community service projects, including helping with Parent-Teacher Council and Thunderbird Athletic Club events, and took leadership roles in organizing several student service projects and events. During the summer months, Silliman works at Haff Acres Farm.
Silliman plans to attend Nazareth College in Rochester, after a year in Puebla, Mexico, as a Rotary International exchange student.
Both Fortney and Silliman have been named to the Jamestown Community College's Dean's List for dual-enrollment courses at CLCS, and both were presented with Ruth Barker Winch Scholarship awards. Each also received several other scholarships at Honor Night ceremonies in early June.