Central Square School District named two valedictorians for the 2016 graduating class: Natalie Guzelak and Brianna Grimes tied with a final GPA of 101.57.
Guzelak of Brewerton, is the daughter of Andrew and Olga, and she has two older sisters: Stephanie and Andriana. Guzelak .
She plans to attend St. John Fisher for Biology (pre-medical) with hopes of becoming a radiologic specialist.
Gozelak has enjoyed playing sports during her high school career, including tennis, basketball and track. She said she will always have fond memories of her friends, joking around with teachers and participating in school events.
To unwind and relax, Guzelak likes listening to music and spending time with her yellow Labrador retriever, Daisy.
In addition to being selected as valedictorian, Guzelak considers one of her greatest achievements in high school as having perfect attendance for all four years.
Throughout her time at Central Square, she has participated in National Honor Society, the character education committee and the math team. She was also the class treasurer and a junior volunteer at Crouse Hospital, where she was able to shadow health professionals that helped her decide on a career in the medical field.
Guzelak said her favorite quote is by Charles Bukowski, “We are here to laugh at the odds, and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us.”
Guzelak said that teachers Brian Frear and Patricia Devivo-Beers and basketball coach Joe Straub have been a tremendous influence on her life as well as both of her sisters. She hopes that her classmates will remember her as hardworking, witty and an overall good person.
Her advice to them is, “Be humble, hardworking and honest, and good things will come your way.”
Grimes of Brewerton, is an only child of John and Moira. Grimes plans on attending Coastal Carolina University as a double major in marine science and biology.
She hopes to continue on to pursue a master’s degree and perhaps advocate for government policy one day.
Grimes said what she has enjoyed most of her high school experience is sporting events, dances and being with classmates. She enjoys music, reading, tennis and hanging out with friends to relax.
Grimes’ greatest high school achievement is receiving the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, for which she earned a gold level, putting in more than 600 hours. Grimes also participated in track, the student leadership task force, student government, math team, foreign language club, peer tutoring and Big Brothers Big Sisters in addition to being the National Honor Society treasurer.
Grimes said she lives by one of her favorite quotes said by Audrey Hepburn, “The past I think has helped me appreciate the present, and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”
Grimes credits her parents for being a positive influence, mentioning their qualities of hard work and dedication.
She hopes that she herself was a positive influence on Paul V. Moore High School, even in just a small way. She advises the graduating class to enjoy its time and take advantage of every opportunity it’s given.