Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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June 20, 2013

Newfane students prepare for next level

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — NEWFANE — The top two students in Newfane High School’s graduating class will attend colleges that have more students than their town has people.

Valedictorian Leah Platt will attend Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland while Salutatorian Claire Kilcullen will be going to Boston University in the fall. Case Western has close to 10,000 total students while Boston has almost 30,000.

Kilcullen returned this week from orientation at Boston. She said she liked the atmosphere of the school, as well as its location.

“I really wanted to be in the city,” Kilcullen said.

While at Newfane, Platt, 17, was on the swim team, in the National Honor Society and served as a tutor for the homework club. She hasn’t decided what she’ll study at Case Western, but it’s between biology and mathematics. Platt said she hadn’t decided if she still wants to get into the medical field.

But either way, Case Western is a good school and it was close to home, Platt said.

“I liked the personality of the school,” Platt said.

But what she’ll miss about Newfane is its small size.

“You can walk the halls and know everybody’s name,” Platt said.

That’s exactly what Kilcullen said she’ll miss about Newfane. It’ll be challenge going to a much larger school from a place where she knew everyone.

“We’ve been together since kindergarten,” Kilcullen said.

Kilcullen, 18, is the class vice president and participated in student senate and the school’s FIRST robotics team, the Circuit Stompers. She also played volleyball for Newfane.

For those starting high school in the fall, Kilcullen said getting involved is the way to get the most of the experience.

“Get involved in everything,” she said. “Even if it is something you may not like, you may end up liking it.”

Newfane’s graduation ceremony for the class of 2013 will be Saturday night at the University at Buffalo Fine Arts Center.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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