VARDEN—Accolades aplenty were doled out Monday night at Western Wayne School District's first School Board of Directors business meeting in 2019.

Following tradition, two outstanding high school seniors, Jake Kunz and Melody Gershey, were recognized for their scholastic achievement throughout their time in the district.

Jake Kunz is the son of Chris and Donna Kunz of Hamlin.

Addressing the Board, Kunz stated, “I'd like to thank the Board for always working to improve the student experience here at Western Wayne. I'd say that overall, I've had a great educational experience.”

Kunz noted he has taken a total of 10 honors and advanced placement (AP) courses while at Western Wayne, “...which have challenged me to remain organized and diligent.”

“In addition to these,” said Kunz. “I've taken four business courses, which I never thought would interest me at first, but over time have brought me great experiences in the projects that we do and the field trips that we've taken.”

An exemplary pupil, Kunz made the Honor Roll every quarter of his high school career and has been a member of the National Honors Society (NHS) for three years.

“I would like to thank Mrs. Lubash and Mrs. Carey for always being supportive of me and teaching me important life skills,” said Kunz.

Academics aside, Kunz is also a two-year member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club at Western Wayne.

As an FLBA participant, “I placed eighth at States last year and I'm going to States again this year to compete at Hershey,” said Kunz.

Outside the classroom, Kunz has volunteered his assistance at the Steamtown Marathon.

Athletically, Kunz explained he was a member of the basketball team for three years and the football team for four, three of which he spent as a starter.

“I would like to thank all my coaches in football for instilling in me a great work ethic and important life lessons.”

Looking ahead, Kunz noted “My future plans are to attend a four-year university with a major in business management or marketing.”

Following Kunz, the Board recognized the achievements of Melody Gershey, daughter of Kathy Gershey of Honesdale and Justin Gershey of Lake Ariel.

“I would like to thank Mr. Gregorski and Mrs. Bradley,” said Gershey. “I'm honored to be here tonight.”

Gershey noted she has taken many of the high school's honors and AP courses, “...and maintained straight A's for four years.”

For her scholastic prowess, Gershey has earned a three-year membership in the NHS, as well as a spot on the Western Wayne Honor Roll.

Community mined, Gershey volunteered her time at the Hamlin Library, assisting with the Children's Summer Program.

A gifted artist, Gershey noted “I have been in National Art Honors Society for four years.”

During that time, she's aspired to the rank of President.

Her artistic merits extend to the Western Wayne musicals, for which she has been a member of the stage crew for two years working on sets and scenery.

She was also recently recognized as one of Western Wayne's Art Students of the Month.

“I would like to thank Mr. Hayden for offering so many contests and opportunities to win awards for my art and helping me excel,” said Gershey.

In addition to Hayden, Gershey thanked, “...all the teachers and the staff and the Board for having a wonderful school here and offering so many activities and opportunities for us to excel.”

She also thanked her family for their continuing support.

Looking ahead, Gershey plans to attend Empire Beauty School for Cosmetology.

Addressing both students, Board President Bernice Fiorella stated, “Great job! We wish you much success in the future.”

Board recognized

Monday's accolades were likewise extended to the Board itself.

Scott Smith, Western Wayne Student Body President, and Maya Black, Western Wayne Student Body Vice President, extended thanks and appreciation to the School Board of Directors with little gifts in honor of School Board Recognition Month.

“On behalf of the student body, we'd like to present you guys with the gifts in front of you,” said Smith.

Black added, “And on behalf of the student body we'd like to thank you for all the opportunities that you provide for us.”