Four seniors honored as Westfield-Mayville Rotary Scholars of the Month
By Sue Hammond
On Feb. 25 four high school seniors were recognized as “Scholars of the Month” by the Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville during a program held at the Lakeshore Assembly of God Church in Westfield.
These outstanding seniors and their respective schools were McKayla Wolfe, Westfield Academy and Central School; Liam Thompson, Chautauqua Lake Central School; Blaise Miller II, Brocton Central School (for the month of Jan.); and Jadniel Varela, Brocton Central School (Feb.).
John Hamels, Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club President, welcomed the honorees, their parents and relatives, school officials, guests and Rotarians to the session. Then Rotarians Dan Smith, Sheila Chapman, Barbara Fay and Luci Petrella took turns introducing each of the scholars and announcing some of their many academic, athletic and extracurricular achievements, as well as their volunteer efforts. Each student stated his/her post-secondary plans, and each received a framed certificate.
McKayla Wolfe, a Westfield Academy and Central School senior, is the daughter of Jason Wolfe and Amanda Ross of Westfield. In addition to her high school classes, Wolfe enrolled in various Jamestown Community College (JCC) courses. At the end of her high school career, Wolfe will have earned 24 JCC credits. She will graduate in June with a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation.
She has been honored with several awards. Wolfe has earned the WACS Academic Achievement Honors Patch, the Academic Achievement Academics Pin No. 1, and the Academic All-Star Pin. She is an integral member of several varsity athletic teams. She played junior varsity and varsity basketball and varsity soccer, and she ran on the varsity track and field, cross-country, and indoor track and field teams.
Also, Wolfe has participated in a variety of extracurricular programs, including ski club and environmental club. She has held employment at the Bemus Point Inn, Hazen Manor and Webb’s Cottage Collection. She volunteered at the Patterson Library and also during an internship at her school.
In the fall of 2020, Wolfe will pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and enroll in the Pre-Law Program of Study at St. John Fisher College.
Liam Thompson, a Chautauqua Lake Central School senior, is the son of William and Lorraine Stroup of Mayville. This scholar has taken advantage of the college level courses that are available at his high school. He has earned college credits from JCC and the Rochester Institute of Technology for classes in math, science and technology. He will graduate in June with an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors with the Science endorsement, and in the top 15% of his class.
Thompson has consistently earned a spot on the CLCS Honor and High Honor Rolls, and he was recognized as CLCS Student of the Month. This past summer he was named as a delegate to the NY American Legion Boys’ State at SUNY Morrisville. He has been a member of the track and field team.
Also, this scholar has been the Chautauqua County Footsteps Captain since Nov. of 2018. He has volunteered at the Jamestown Soup Kitchen and for the Legos for Drake program. He has been employed by Webb’s Captain’s Table since July of 2017. After graduation, Thompson is considering one of two paths. He will either attend Alfred University and pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, or he will enlist in the U.S. Army to become a Practical Nursing Specialist.
Blaise Miller II, a Brocton Central School senior and January Scholar of the Month, is the son of Blaise and Cathy Miller of Portland. With a current cumulative average of 95.271, he is academically ranked fourth in his class. He has regularly achieved honor roll status. By the time he graduates from high school, Miller will have earned 24 JCC college credits.
During his junior year, this scholar received the Rochester Institute of Technology Computing Medal and Scholarship Award. He has served as the BCS Class of 2020 Treasurer for the past three years. Miller has been involved in many sports teams, such as junior varsity football, modified and junior varsity basketball, and modified and varsity baseball.
Miller has been performing community service acts from a young age. He has helped with numerous Brocton-Portland Little League cleanups, as well as spaghetti dinners held by the St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church. This instilled in him a desire to serve his community, which led to his involvement in the Interact Rotary Club and the Honor Society.
In 2018, Miller participated in a Missions of Helping Hands project. He and a team of volunteers traveled to Katy, Texas to help families recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. During the one week he and the team spent there, Miller helped to rebuild four houses and completed tasks from finish work to demolition.
When not participating in volunteer service or sports, and not completing academic work, Miller enjoys weightlifting, being outdoors, and hanging out with friends. Also, he has held a part-time position at the Brocton Fitness Center for the past three years. Miller plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree at either Penn State Behrend or the Rochester Institute of Technology. Since he is interested in math and science, he plans to major in either Mechanical Engineering or Industrial Systems Engineering.
Jadniel Varela, a Brocton Central School senior and February Scholar of the Month, is the son of Hector and Glory Aponte of Portland. With a current cumulative average of 98.17, Varela is as of now in a very close competition to claim the top spot and be academically ranked first in his class.
At the end of his sophomore year, this scholar was given senior status and permission to graduate early from high school. He has taken JCC courses since his sophomore year, and when he graduates in June, he will have earned 28 JCC credits and his Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors.
During his 10th grade year, Varela became involved with the BCS Envirothon Team, specializing in soils. This team competed in the 2019 Chautauqua County Envirothon, where he and the team members narrowly lost first place in the soil competition. That same year, he joined his school’s Running Club, which prepared him to run in a 5k race and in which he took third place. In the spring of 2019, Varela participated in the SUNY Fredonia High School Math and Science Challenge. He was also recognized that year as the Junior JCC College Connections Student of the Year, while being a sophomore.
At the start of his senior year, Varela joined the student council and actively promoted school spirit during Homecoming week. He also helped with holiday activities, like collecting food donations for local families during Thanksgiving and gathering gift donations as requested by local children of financially disadvantaged families.
Outside of school, Varela enjoys public speaking, especially when it deals with government and politics. He recently participated in the 2020 American Legion Oratorical Contest that was sponsored by the American Legion John W. Dill Post 434. He tied for first place at the county level and then took third place at the district level. This outstanding scholar plans to attend Johns Hopkins University to major in Neuroscience. He intends to have a career as a doctor.
The Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville proudly congratulates McKayla Wolfe, Liam Thompson, Blaise Miller II and Jadniel Varela for their many outstanding academic, athletic and extracurricular achievements and for their volunteer service efforts. It wishes them continued success after high school.