Royalton Hartland class of 2016 valedictorian Benjamin Bacon and salutatorian Avery Green are excited to start their post-high school lives as they move away from the close-knit community they call home to further their education.
Bacon plans to attend Stony Brook University, on Long Island. There he will major in atmospheric science, the study of the Earth's atmosphere.
Stony Brook appealed to Bacon due to the advances that the school is planning for the program over the next few years. Having been interested in the field for a long time, he thought it would be "cool" to be there for the start of the program's growth.
“It's always been something that I had been interested in. Ever since I was a little kid, for as long as I can remember, it has always fascinated me, so I figured why not pursue it more?," he said.
Green enrolled at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he will will pursue an undeclared engineering major.
"I choose RIT because it's a reputable school ... and the engineering exploration program is a good thing," he said.
Although they look forward to what lies ahead, Bacon and Green both said they will always cherish their memories of high school.
Green said he will miss his friends when he moves away, but he'll look back fondly on the times they spent together. As a member of Roy Hart's cross country team, he was thrilled when he qualified for state competition with a time of 17:48 at sectionals, then shaved his time to 17:36 at states.
Bacon says he also will miss his friends, and the familiarity of high school and knowing what to expect. His fondest memories involve playing euchre with his friends in study hall.
Bacon, the son of Gerald and Anne Bacon, has been a member of Roy Hart's Scholastic Bowl Team and National Honor Society; participated in cross country and outdoor track and field; and played the trombone in the high school concert band.
Green, son of Jason and Tiffany Green, is the senior class president. He also was a member of the Scholastic Bowl team and the high school swim, track and cross country teams.