Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Lockport and Newfane High School’s robotics teams have students named as finalists for the 2014 FIRST Dean’s List award, the highest honor a single student can receive through the FIRST program.
Michael Primerano of Lockport’s 1507 Warlocks team was awarded the distinction at the Buckeye Regionals in Cleveland Ohio two weeks ago, and Ryan Driscoll of Newfane’s 378 Circuit Stompers was presented with the award last weekend at the Finger Lakes Regionals at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Both finalists have been on the high school robotics team since their freshman years.
Students are nominated for the award by their team mentors. Each competing team may nominate two students, and two students are selected from the pool of nominees at each regional competition to be named finalists.
According to the FIRST website, the Dean’s List Award “celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.”
This is the first time for a student from either school to win the finalist distinction — an award in and of itself, which was instituted in 2010.
“My heart literally sank. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Primerano said of receiving the finalist award in Cleveland. “When they announce the award, they run through background information about the award and then they start listing things about the winner. I started hearing things from my resume and interview.”
Driscoll said he was equally surprised to be named a finalist.
“I didn’t know what to think,” Driscoll said. “I texted my mother in all capital letters saying ‘I won the Dean’s List award!”
Both teams will be traveling to compete in the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis, Mo. Out of all the finalists named at regional competition, 10 will be awarded the Dean’s List Award during a special award ceremony.