VARDEN—Students Jason Telese and Bailey Walck were honored Monday night in front of friends, family, and the general public at the Western Wayne School Board meeting.

Telese is the son of David and Valerie Telese of Hawley.

A devoted academic, Telese has dedicated his studies to numerous honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in subjects spanning core disciplines English, history, math and science.

For his academic rigor, Telese has made honor roll all four years of high school.

A leader both within and without the classroom, Telese has been a member of the National Honors Society (NHS) for three years, achieving the rank of President, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club for two years, reaching the rank of Junior Vice President, and on student council for two years, where he served as both Junior Class President and Student Body President.

“With four years on the volleyball team, NHS President, Junior Class President and Student Body President under my belt, I've learned a lot about responsibility and what it means to be a leader and I really look forward to taking that with me into the real world,” said Telese.

Outside of school, Telese has volunteered for two years at the Steamtown Marathon and the district's recent Stuff the Truck event.

He has also served as a counselor at the Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center Summer Camp.

Telese plans to major in English at a four-year university before moving on to law school for his Masters degree.

His goals include eventually working in either civil rights or a court of law.

“Everything I've accomplished I owe to Western Wayne,” said Telese, thanking the school board and the administration for their service to the district.

“I'd like to thank my parents for always being so supportive throughout my school career and pushing me to be my absolute best,” he added.

Following Telese's speech, Bailey Walck, son of Scott and Linda Walck of Hamlin, presented himself to the board.

“I would like to thank you for recognizing me and inviting me here today. I would also like to thank the board for everything that's done for us … to help us better our campus and bring the pride back into Western Wayne.”

Academically, Walck's dedication to his studies has won him a place on the honor roll for four years.

“I'd also like to thank our teachers who are outstanding and every one of them has pushed us to become better students and better leaders in this world,” he said.

Walck has been a member of the FBLA club for one year and sat on Student Council for one year, reigning as Senior Class President.

Athletically, Walck has shone on the varsity football field for three years, earning his place as team captain.

He has also participated in Wildcat varsity track and field and varsity baseball, each for one year.

Thanking his coaches for the impact they've had on his life and the lives of his team members, Walck stated, “We have outstanding coaches that really make us … respectful young men.”

Walck has volunteered as a member of the Sons of the American Legion for seven years, as well as offering his services at the Julia Ribaudo Nursing Home.

His future plans include attendance at a four year college and the State Police Academy.

Acknowledging the efforts put forth by his parents, Walck stated, “I'd also like to give a lot of thanks to my parents who have done everything for me and molded me into the person I am today.”

Hearkening back to Walck's statement about bringing the pride back to the district, Western Wayne Superintendent Matthew Barrett stated to both students, “... you're the reason why we have the pride back.

“It's students like you, your parents, the teachers … that make this place great and you guys represent it so well. You're well rounded, well spoken, you have a bright future and we wish you the best of luck.”