BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) - Schools across all of the WNY region were invited to nominate their smartest and most accomplished seniors for evaluation by a nine-member panel of Business First editors and college admissions directors.
A total of 117 schools responded, submitting 415 names for consideration.
Both figures are record highs for the Academic Team program, which was launched in 2008. (Each school was limited to four nominations.)
This year's 100 honorees are divided into three groups. The First Team consists of the 25 students who, in the panel's opinion, have the strongest records of academic excellence, school leadership and community involvement.
Twenty-five runners-up constitute the Second Team, and the remaining 50 hold Special Mention designations.
The members of the 2012 Academic Team have demonstrated their superiority in a variety of ways:
Class rank: Fifty-two are valedictorians. The remaining 48 sit in the top five percent of their graduating classes.
Courseload: The typical honoree took seven college-level courses in high school. Twenty-three members enrolled in 10 advanced courses or more.
Regents tests: Ninety-three winners attend schools that are on the Regents track. Their average score on the full battery of Regents exams is 96.5.
College admissions tests: The 25 First Teamers carry median scores of 2,240 (out of 2,400) on the SAT and 34 (out of 36) on the ACT. Both figures rank in the top one percent of all scores nationwide.
Awards: Twenty-one of this year's winners are among 15,000 U.S. seniors who have been chosen as National Merit Scholar finalists or National Achievement Scholarship recipients.
Leadership: The 2012 honorees include 14 editors of school newspapers or yearbooks, 19 presidents of classes or student bodies, 35 members of all-county or all-state bands or choruses, 43 captains of sports teams and 59 heads of student clubs and organizations.
Seventy-three schools are represented on this year's Academic Team, led by five schools with three members each: Canisius, Clarence, Nichols, Williamsville East and Williamsville North.
The following are the nine committee members who selected 2012's top 100
-- Donna Collins, senior editor, Business First
-- Christopher Dearth, director of admissions, SUNY Fredonia
-- Kandi Geibel, associate director of admissions, Alfred State College
-- Harry Gong, director of admissions, Niagara University
-- Dean Reinhart, associate director of admissions, Buffalo State College
-- Jennifer Rossolo-Meyers, assistant director of undergraduate admissions, University at Buffalo
-- Kathleen Saunders, director of admissions, Niagara County Community College
-- Donna Shaffner, dean of admissions, Canisius College
-- Jeff Wright, editor, Business First
Panelists cast their votes after reviewing summaries of official transcripts, test scores, awards and activities. The selection process was blind, with each senior identified solely by a number. Nominees' names and schools were removed from all forms.
2012 ALL-WESTERN NEW YORK ACADEMIC TEAM
(EACH HONOREE IS FOLLOWED BY HIS OR HER SCHOOL)
Enzo Benfanti (Clarence)
David Bianchi (St. Joseph's)
Drew Blasius (Southwestern)
Ben Brucker (Hamburg)
Corrine Casal (Lewiston-Porter)
Brett Christensen (Iroquois)
Sarah DiBacco (Batavia)
Niamh Durfee (City Honors)
Charley Falletta (Williamsville South)
Emily Frost (Orchard Park)
Julietta Gervase (Nardin)
Liam Greeson (Royalton-Hartland)
Casidhe Holland (Medina)
Luka Jankovic (Williamsville North)
Lara Karaaslan (Alfred-Almond)
Stephanie Kong (Clarence)
Anna Malone (Newfane)
Paul Meosky (Williamsville East)
Erynn Motak (Eden)
Tyler Newton (Bolivar-Richburg)
Noah Rankin (Fredonia)
Sameer Singhal (Williamsville East)
Kimberly Sklener (Allegany-Limestone)
Alisha Sojar (Williamsville North)
Justin Watt (Lancaster)
Nicholas Danyluk (Canisius)
Stephanie Denzler (Akron)
Aaron Dietrich (Amherst)
Collin Everett (Falconer)
Madeline Haas (Tonawanda)
Alyssa Henline (Williamsville South)
Sarah Hill (Pembroke)
Megan Karpie (Grand Island)
Hijab Khan (Nichols)
Brian Kiel (Hamburg)
Claire Kirby (Mount St. Mary)
Kristen Klemmer (Orchard Park)
Nate Larson (Jamestown)
Kaylee Mathews (Pine Valley)
Michaela Olin (Perry)
Mitch Pawlak (Clarence)
Jake Prindle-Cassidy (Maple Grove)
Minerva Ringland (City Honors)
Victoria Riso (Mount Mercy)
Emma Seager (Wilson)
Nicholas Shea (Nichols)
Zachary Steever (Gowanda)
Jacob Vasbinder (East Aurora)
Eric Wilson (North Tonawanda)
Amanda Wolf (Depew)
Alyssa Aldridge (Nardin)
Rachel Anderson (Barker)
Natalie Borga (Niagara-Wheatfield)
Hillary Chiarella (Sacred Heart)
Alyssa Cizdziel (West Valley)
Josh Dempsey (St. Francis)
Arianna Desnoes (Leonardo Da Vinci)
Caroline Dillabaugh (Amherst)
Jonathan Eagan (St. Francis)
Carolyn Engelhardt (Griffith Institute)
Lauren Evans (Niagara Falls)
Nick Filippini (Starpoint)
Inbal Fischer (Williamsville East)
Courtney Flynn (Cleveland Hill)
Taylor Flynn (Royalton-Hartland)
Gabriela Garver (Falconer)
Jessica Jolley (Kenmore West)
Lemoine Joseph Jr. (Canisius)
Gretel Kauffman (Elba)
Christopher Klocke (East Aurora)
Alex Loftus (Lancaster)
Molly Mackenzie (Niagara Falls)
Jackie Madejski (Charles D'Amico)
Jen Maguder (West Seneca West)
Emily Makowski (Maryvale)
Mitchell Maloy (Holland)
Alexandra Marrone (Iroquois)
Sarah McMahon (West Seneca East)
Mandi Moon (Frewsburg)
Shannon Nachreiner (Nichols)
Anthony Nichols (Fillmore)
Molly Nicol (Frontier)
Brittany Perzia (Notre Dame)
Dennis Posheluk (Kenmore East)
Jake ReQua (Kendall)
Michele Said (Sweet Home)
Nick Sam (Canisius)
Samantha Saye (Dunkirk)
Ethan Schrodt (Alden)
Sarah Shafik (Buffalo Seminary)
Elijah Simon (L.A. Webber)
Naomi Soman (Williamsville North)
Nicole Sova (Olean)
Emily Staebell (Depew)
Gina Surita (Alfred-Almond)
Claire Webster (Southwestern)
Josh Werner (Attica)
Korry Wirth (St. Mary's)
Liesel Zimmerman (Starpoint)
Madeline Zuchlewski (Holy Angels)
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