Article and Photo by Terry Duffy
The Lewiston-Porter High School Academy of Business and Finance held its 11th annual graduation ceremony this week on the campus grounds.
Presenters at Wednesday’s program included Joann Allender; Fred Press, manager, Business Academy development, NAF Be Future Ready; and Paul Casseri, Lew-Port superintendent.
In his remarks to graduates, Casseri called the Business Academy experience a “sharpening of saws” as youth move on to future endeavors. “Students need to have something; they need to do well in your classes, but you need to be excited about coming to school. You need to be excited to be part of something; forming relationships – relationships which you’ll have for the rest of your life.
“The Academy was the up-growth of that idea. We created this Academy program and I’m so glad of its success, that we have this graduating class.”
Recalling the numerous challenges students and Business Academy officials contended with through the pandemic and beyond, Casseri continued, “It’s been exceedingly difficult, but you stayed the course, and now you’re going on to some wonderful things. I do hope that all the experiences you had at the Academy will impact you for the rest of your life.
“But you should always try to sharpen that saw.”
2023 Academy graduates include Rebecca Hoffman, who intends to pursue early childhood education at Roberts Wesleyan College; Cole Norman, history, University at Buffalo; Rocco Randazzo, mathematics, Flagler College; Natalie Sharer, biomedical sciences, Roberts Wesleyan College; Sarah Streb, biological sciences, Binghamton University; Brynn Townsend, CLEG (communications, legal institutions, economics and government), American University; and David Whyte, mathematics, Niagara University.
A business-oriented learning experience offered at the high school since 2006, the Business Academy is open to all eligible Lewiston-Porter students from sophomore level to seniors. It functions as a member of NAF Be Future Ready – a “national network of education, business and community leaders who work together to ensure high school students are college, career and future ready.” Curricula and instruction are “focused on preparing students for college and career success.”
Lew-Port Academy students participate in “career-focused courses in conjunction with their general requirements, coupled with work-based learning activities that provide practical learning experiences that complement the academic leaning structure.”
The Lew-Port Academy operates under the direction of Allender, the high school business department and district administration.
In addition to Lewiston-Porter, participating NAF Be Future Ready districts include Clarence, Depew, Grand Island, Lancaster, Maryvale, Orchard Park, North Tonawanda, West Seneca, Williamsville and Wilson.