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Dana West High School Celebrates Class of 2024 Valedictorian and Salutatorian 

Gillespie and Powers

In a culmination of years of hard work and dedication, the Port Byron Central School District proudly announced Madison Gillespie and Amelia Powers as the valedictorian and salutatorian respectively for the Class of 2024.

Gillespie, known for her consistent top-ranking since 7th grade, has exemplified academic excellence through her relentless commitment to academics. Powers has also consistently demonstrated outstanding scholastic performance and dedication.

Despite the competitive academic environment, Madison and Amelia have maintained a close friendship throughout their high school journey, emphasizing support over rivalry. Both recognize the value of striving for personal bests and achieving academic success for their own fulfillment.

Gillespie’s and Powers’ academic aptitude is reflected in their rigorous course loads, including college-level courses in subjects ranging from English and Spanish to Mathematics and Government. Both will be graduating with more than 30 college credits, giving them an immediate boost when they get to college.

For Gillespie, she intends to pursue a major in Psychology at St. John Fisher College in the fall with aspirations of becoming a psychologist or a therapist. Powers plans to study Biology, though she remains undecided on her choice of college between Brockport, Cortland, and St. John Fisher.

Beyond academics, both Gillespie and Powers have been actively involved in extracurricular activities at Port Byron, including field hockey, volleyball, and track, as well as student government, yearbook club, environmental club, and the Panther Press live team. Powers is also the Treasurer for the Class of 2024.

Both Gillespie and Powers carry many fond memories of their educational journey at Port Byron.

Madison will always remember her trip to the NYS Field Hockey championship game and their class trip to Washington, DC, along with the day-to-day classes and interactions with teachers and classmates. 

“Going to Port Byron, it’s a small school, and we have a tight-knit community, so I know that I will miss that a lot,” Gillespie said.

Powers agrees, also adding the enjoyment of attending sporting events at the school.

“Just the feeling of going to a Friday night football game is something that I hope everyone would experience. It’s just so fun to sit down and support your peers, and it gives us something to look forward to,” Powers said.

As they bid farewell to Port Byron Central School, Gillespie and Powers express gratitude to their teachers, family, and close friends for their unwavering support. They reflect fondly on the tight-knit community and the camaraderie fostered through shared experiences.

Looking ahead, both Gillespie and Powers embark on their summer plans with a mix of excitement and nervousness. While they anticipate the next chapter of their lives with eagerness, they acknowledge the bittersweet sentiment of leaving behind the familiarity of their high school years.