(TIOGA COUNTY, NY) — Four Tioga County high school seniors from Tioga Central, Candor, Waverly, and Spencer Van-Etten schools, were recognized recently as “Akshar’s All-Stars.” The student recognition program founded by Sen. Fred Akshar (R-Tioga and Broome) is in its fourth year of recognizing students selected by school districts in the 52nd Senate District who have shown great leadership, compassion, school spirit or improvement among their peers.
At Tioga Central High School, Sen. Akshar recognized senior Molly Bombard for her incredible compassion, outstanding leadership among her peers, and excellence both in and out of the classroom. Achieving a nearly 100 overall grade-point-average, she is class president, president of the National Honor Society and an amazing athlete. She also runs Molly’s Sugar Shop – her own baking business, which she has run since she was in middle school. Molly’s smile and attitude is said to light up a room, and she continues to spread hope and positivity throughout her school and community.
From Candor High School, Sen. Akshar recognized senior Shelby Swartz for being a true leader in the classroom, on the athletic field, and out in the community. She has maintained a 4.0 grade-point-average while taking over 20 college credits this semester alone. A three-sport Varsity athlete participating in volleyball, softball and basketball, Shelby is also the president of the Key Club, a member of the National Honors Society, the Culture Club, band, and both the Section IV and the NYSPHSAA SAACs (Student Athlete Advisory Committee). She is also a community volunteer. Shelby has earned numerous academic and athletic awards including the RPI Medal for academic excellence, RIT Innovation award, Wilkes College award for academic achievement and leadership, the U.S. Air Force scholar-athlete award, the local high school Heisman award, and several additional local and regional athletic awards.
At Waverly High School, Sen. Akshar recognized senior Tyler Courson for his outstanding determination, leadership, and improvement during his four years of high school. Tyler transferred to Waverly High school his ninth-grade year after attending a BOCES special programs classroom in Elmira. While at Waverly, Tyler has become a valued asset to his school and community because of his hard work and willingness to help others in his class. Tyler’s greatest quality is his loyalty to friends while also being inclusive to all students regardless of his relationship with them. He’s scheduled to graduate with a certificate from the Conservation Program from Waverly’s BOCES Technical School.
At Spencer-Van Etten High School, Sen. Akshar recognized senior Harley White for her incredible character as well as bringing patience, compassion, and eagerness to making a difference in the lives of those around her. Her school describes her as someone who continually strives to make the world a better place, volunteering time to spread kindness throughout a classroom and the school, and who, despite personal challenges, never hesitates to help others in need. Providing service to others within and outside her peer group, Harley is observant and fulfills unmet needs proactively. For example, when she has free time, Harley spends it supporting students with differing abilities in their classroom. Harley also looks out for her friends and family. More than once she has brought to the school counselor a friend who needed support while going through a rough situation. A thoughtful advocate who never passes judgement and is always respectful, Harley is also a hard worker who challenges herself academically and always aspires to reach higher. Even though she will receive a senior English credit through her BOCES program, she still chose to enroll in college level English at her school. Simply put, Harley serves as a bright spot for teachers, classmates, and her community.
Since starting the program, Sen. Akshar has recognized over 90 students across school districts in Broome, Tioga, Chenango, and Delaware counties.