The January Kiwanis Students of the Month are Melissa Smith and Cassidy Vianese.
Melissa Elizabeth Smith is the daughter of Brenda A. Smith of Fredonia and Brian Smith of Brandon, Fla. She is a senior at Fredonia High School as well as a freshman at the State University of New York College at Fredonia. She has been awarded the Principal's Award every quarter, many times with distinction, receiving the Fredonia High School Award of Academic Excellence. Her schedule has been full of advanced courses in English and history since her freshman year, in addition to being accelerated in mathematics.
Thanks to Advanced Placement classes and other college credit earning courses through Jamestown Community College and Fredonia State, she has obtained a year's worth of credit hours prior to her graduation. She will be receiving an Advanced Regents Diploma with Honors.
Melissa received her varsity letter swimming for the Fredonia Froggies. She has also participated in basketball, softball, and volleyball.
Extracurricular activities have played a big role in her school career. For four years, she accompanied school choirs on the piano. She also joined the yearbook staff her sophomore year and has taken part in creating award winning books. This year, she advanced to Co-Editor-inChief. In addition to taking challenging Spanish classes, she joined the Foreign Language Club to fulfill her interest in other cultures. She aspires to travel around the world; she had the opportunity to tour France and Spain and she is expected to visit Italy and Greece this upcoming April.
As part of community service, she has volunteered many hours to Christmas charity drives and religious fundraising at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Dunkirk. Melissa has also dedicated time to the Salvation Army with holiday bell ringing, and participated in events such as the Memorial Day Parade in Dunkirk, living history presentations at Fredonia Central Schools, and reenactments of the Battle of Gettysburg with the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Furthermore, Melissa has been employed at Bob Evans Restaurants for the past two years. She began her work with Bob Evans as a hostess, and presently she works as a server.
Following graduation, Melissa has chosen to continue attending the State University of New York College at Fredonia.
Cassidy Vianese is the daughter of Wendy Patterson and Todd Vianese. She is currently a senior at Fredonia High School and is extremely excited for the years to come, as she will begin her future. Cassidy has been on the honor roll all four years of her high school career and is currently enrolled in two AP classes, AP English 12 and AP Calculus. She has also taken three years of advanced English and one year of Advanced Global (grade 10). In June, Cassidy will graduate with an Advanced Regents Diploma.
Cassidy participated on the JV softball team sophomore year and the Varsity softball team last year, receiving both her JV and Varsity letters. Outside of school she has participated on a sailing racing team in Buffalo. This year she and her sister discovered the Buffalo High School Sailing program and raced 420's (a two-person racing boat) together from the beginning of the school year through November. They will race again beginning this coming March. She attended a sailing camp every year in Sodus and is now a counselor. She hopes to continue being a counselor every summer during college.
Cassidy has also been very involved with music throughout high school. She has been a member of the symphonic band all four years of high school. Cassidy started playing clarinet in fifth grade and has been playing ever since. She also became a member of the jazz band in eighth grade and plays the piano. Her junior year, she switched to playing saxophone in jazz band. She has been a member of chorus since third grade and became a part of Madrigals (a select choir group) last year. She has been taking voice lessons at the college for three years, along with one year of guitar lessons and five years of piano lessons. She attended All-County in the spring for choir her eighth and ninth grade years and her sophomore year she participated in the band, playing clarinet. She still plays the piano and guitar on her own and occasionally writes songs. She has also been in the past four musicals at Fredonia as a member of the general, featured, and principal casts.
During summers, since she was eight, she has been involved in a sailing camp called Sodus Bay Junior Sailing Association near Rochester. Cassidy has been a member of the camp for five years before becoming a racer for three more. During her final year of racing she received the Instructor's Award, which helped her to realize how much she had improved since she first began sailing. This past summer she was a counselor in training and this coming summer she hopes to be a counselor. Cassidy will teach kids, for six weeks, how to sail and race sailboats. Besides sailing and music, she also enjoys skiing, attempting to snow board, archery, and hunting.
Next year, Cassidy will be exchanging as a Rotary exchange student for 10 months. She is so excited to learn about another culture and see what it is like to live in another part of the world. Throughout her exchange she hopes to become more independent and self-confident before college. Upon her return next summer, she would like to attend Crane School of Music in Potsdam to major in music theory. She has been accepted to both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Fredonia, but still has to audition to get into the music schools.