2022 Student Stars

 2022 Student Star Character Awards Dinner

Each year we team up with our local schools and businesses to celebrate local students who actively demonstrate some of the following qualities:

Citizenship | Communication Courage | Fairness | Generosity | Honesty | Leadership | Respect | Responsibility | Patriotism | Volunteerism

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Student Star 2022 will offer students gift cards from our local businesses in lieu of a dinner gathering this year. 

Your sponsorship allows the honored students gift cards from our local businesses!

Thank you in advance for your support and commitment to our next generation of professionals!


Thank You to all our generous community sponsors
for supporting the 2022 Student Stars!

Access of WNY
Bevo Construction
Britt Fitness
Budget Blinds, Ray Machlowski
Brunner’s Eatery
Cathy Rybcznski, Hamburg Town Clerk
Century 21 Ganey-Bob Ganey
Century 21 Ganey-Mike Kaney
Cloverbank Country Club
Constellation Energy
Corto’s Salon & Spas
Davis Financial – Joe Gunning
D’Amorie Construction
Elizabeth Farrell, Hamburg Councilperson
Flicker Gifts & Inspiration
FMV Tax Professionals
Great Erie Federal Credit Union
Hamburg Accounting & Tax Services
Hamburg Sunrise Rotary
Hilbert College
Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant & Banquet Facility
Jeff Leyonmark – Wolf Agency
Jerold Bastedo – Consulting Geologist
JP Fitzgerald’s
Kirst Construction
La Galleria Events
Lutz’s Touchless Car Washes
National Fuel
Parent Child Connection
Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve
Picture Your Walls
Sans Furniture
Sinatra & Co.
Sixt Gerhard & Associates CPAs
Southtown Audio Video
Switzer Manufacturing
The Hamburg SUN
Town of Hamburg Department of Youth, Recreation, & Senior Services
Wesolowski Law Group



Congratulations to Our 2022 Student Star Dinner Winners

Maram Algawani
Global Concepts Charter School

Maram has forged a unique path of engagement all her own. She has clearly demonstrated responsibility, courage, citizenship, and leadership in her school and in our community; mindful of the positive impact both locally and globally. This is evident with peers in her academic leadership at Global Concepts and her leading her WNY Youth Muslim Basketball League team to a championship as team captain, while also encouraging girls in her community to be more active in a way in which they can be comfortable. She has also helped our regional community including Maram’s volunteering and active civic engagement in a spectrum of activities from cultural festivals and community cleanups to “Get Out the Vote” calling campaigns and marching for human justice issues here and abroad. Maram has made a good start down her path to making a positive impact in her life and our community in the years to come.


Ella Ballowe
Hamburg High School

Ella always goes above and beyond in everything she is involved in. Whether it is school work or extracurricular. She exemplifies a positive, respectful, responsible student and young citizen with an impressive work ethic who above all is very kind.

Brendon Busch
Frontier High School

Kind is the first word that comes to mind when asked to describe Brendon.  One of his classmates recently remarked that everyone likes Brendon because he is so nice and never says a bad word about anyone.  He is the type of person that sees only the best in others.

Molly Connolly
Hamburg High School

Molly is an individual of exceptional character and integrity. She is dependable, reliable, and trustworthy. Whenever Hamburg High is in need of a student to represent us, Molly is the first choice. We can always be assured that she will be responsible and respectful of others. Molly is a kind, caring, and compassionate young lady. Random-acts-of-kindness are a regular occurrence with Molly as she consistently looks out for others well being. She is a leader in the High Schools’ Character Club and due to her commitment and involvement the Thanksgiving Drive has been an annual success.

Sneha D’Andrea
Lake Shore High School

Sneha demonstrates exceptional leadership by participating in countless clubs and student government, she also spearheaded the Peer Tutoring program. She communicates well, is kind, honest, and generous. She has challenged herself mathematically by doubling up in math and taking Algebra 2 and Calculus simultaneously so that she could take AP Calculus while at Lake Shore. She is a true asset to our building and our department and exemplifies what a star student should be.

Josephine DeJoy
Lake Shore High School

She is a wonderful student who always comes to class with a smile on her face. Josephine epitomizes the qualities Lake Shore is looking for with this nomination. When I think of words like Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, Generosity, Honesty, Fairness, Volunteerism, and Citizenship I think of Josephine DeJoy.

Elayna DiPasqua
Frontier High School

One of the first things I noticed about Elayna is that she seems to experience learning new content with a genuine sense of wonder – you can almost see a light in her eyes as she learns something new, or she thinks of a new way to connect content. Not only is she a great student who genuinely enjoys learning and who applies herself to her coursework with hard work and determination, but she is also an incredibly kind person. Elayna is always one of the first to check in on someone and offer help, along with being eager to stick up for and advocate for others, even if she doesn’t know them.


Hannah Dunmire
Lake Shore High School

Hannah and her family were new to our school last year. She wasted no time getting involved and making an impression on her teachers and peers. She is multi-talented, extremely hard working, very organized, never misses anything, is a top student, a top musician, involved in several activities in addition to her Honors and AP Courses, and simply is a wonderfully respectful and genuine young lady. She embodies everything one would consider as a Student Star!!! Music could go on and on about her, but we will say this, she is one of the best students we have had here in years, and we’ve had some good ones! Her selection DOES put a needed Star on Lake Shore – she is that wonderful.

Gerard Eberl
St. Francis High School

Gerard Eberl is a Student Star in every way. He can put a smile on anyone’s face, no matter what kind of day they’re having. He knows the meaning of hard work and is dedicated to his academics and our school community. Gerry is a member of both the indoor and outdoor track and field teams, and is currently co-captain of the varsity bowling team. He is also part of Yearbook, Mundi Eventus, and Spanish club. He has learned to balance all of his school commitments while also working for a landscaping company. Gerry is caring, compassionate, down-to-earth, and a true Student Star.

Ghada Kaid
Lackawanna High School

Ghada Kaid has earned the #3 spot in our Class of 2022 at Lackawanna High School. She has worked hard throughout her tenure, taking challenging college and AP level courses, and setting goals that she has gone on to achieve. Ghada is a member of Yearbook Club, Student Council, and a Senior Class Officer. Outside of school, she is an astounding member of our community. She participates in a book club and tutors Arabic classes through her Mosque. Ghada also has volunteered at Truman Elementary School, AABA, and the Lackawanna Public Library. Ghada plans to spend next year traveling, visiting family overseas, and will then attend college.

Madelyn Harrison
Hamburg High School

Madelyn Harrison is an outstanding student. Maddy excels at anything she puts her mind to. She has been actively involved in both the school and community. Maddy takes on a leadership role when she is captain for both the volleyball and basketball high school teams. She has taken on a lot of responsibility both inside and outside of school. Maddy takes AP classes, helps other students and volunteers with coaching kids the sports she loves. Madelyn’s integrity, honesty, respect, leadership, and responsibility will take her far in lie. I am proud to have known her and taught her.

Jenna Jablonski
Hamburg High School

Jenna Jablonski is a kind and caring individual. Jenna continually puts others’ needs before her own. She holds a leadership position in the school’s Character education Club. She is respected not only by her classmates but also the staff and administration at the high school staff. Jenna is dedicated and committed to assisting those less fortunate. She gives unselfishly to assist those in need on a daily basis. She is admitted for her kind, caring and empathic disposition.

Gracie Joyce
Frontier High School

Gracie quietly, but significantly, impacts our school community every day. Gracie literally personifies good character. Gracie shows respect for all individuals in the building, students, and faculty alike. She is courteous in conversation and in action. When having class discussions, she listens and offers counterpoints with respectful and introspective dialogue. Gracie is truly a team player, always helping and sharing encouraging words. I have never met a student that was more present in every moment, big and small. Ultimately though, the character traits that are most visibly demonstrable are (quiet) leadership and courage. Gracie approaches life with a smile and a positive attitude that should serve as an example for us all. She is literally a ray of sunshine everywhere she goes. She is self-directed, accomplished, self-regulating, and personally accountable. Gracie courageously faces obstacles, both personal and universal, with optimism and confidence.

Nathaniel Kaizer
Randolph Academy

As a senior at Randolph Academy, Nathaniel embodies the school’s norms of respect, responsibility, safety, keeping the classroom sacred, and goal direction. Nate’s greatest strength is his commitment to academic excellence; he strives for perfection on every assignment, and his genuine curiosity and love of learning contribute to this. Nate has maintained over a 95% average throughout his four years at Randolph, while fulfilling community service and leadership activities as a Pathfinder, Randolph’s highest behavioral status, and this year, while maintaining a part-time job. Nate is clearly a “Student Star” and there is no doubt his academic aptitude, hard work, and astute sense of citizenship will contribute to him becoming a valued member of society.

Katelin Kerl
Frontier High School

Katie exemplifies every single one of the character traits that is required to win this prestigious award. She is smart, determined, dedicated, a hard worker, caring, a leader in school and the community, and extremely generous of her time and energy. She isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right, she radiates nothing but kindness, patience, positivity, is respectful, and always has a smile on her face. Katie has been and continues to be a shining light in a world that needs some brightness in it. This young lady is simply amazing. Frontier is lucky to have her.

Colin Kusz
St. Francis High School

Colin Kusz proves he is a Student Star every day at SFHS through leadership, character, and determination. He is a high achieving, hardworking individual who is dedicated to his academics and to our school community. Colin is a member of the National Honor Society, as well as our Paduan Honors Program. He is a talented athlete on both the varsity hockey and lacrosse teams. He is also involved with Spanish club, Franciscan Youth Ministry, and Yearbook. He does all of this while also holding a part time job and volunteering within the community. He’s a leader through and through. Colin has made quite the impact at SFHS and why he deserves to be named a Student Star.

Ethan Leone
Lackawanna High School

Ethan Leone has earned the esteemed position of Valedictorian of the Class of 2022 at Lackawanna High School. Not only has Ethan excelled academically, but he is an integral member of our school and community. Ethan has continuously challenged himself, taking rigorous coursework and exceeding expectations. He is also involved in Band, Jazz Band, National Honor Society, and Martial Arts. Ethan has also demonstrated excellent civility as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and Martin Road Elementary School in a 3rd grade classroom. Ethan has outstanding character; He is kind, respectful, and driven. He plans to attend RIT next year and study Mechanical Engineering.

Ayden Link
Hamburg High School

Ayden is clearly one of those people who models great citizenship. He volunteers his time and energy to work with other students after school and on weekend to do academic tutoring, beach clean up, and other environmental volunteering. He is always seeking out new opportunities to include and encourage others to a life of service. He organizes others and helps them rise to achieve more. His dedication to service is impressive! He is also positive, friendly, responsible, and generous.

Ella Melcher
Hamburg High School

Ella is an incredibly friendly and hard working leader. Her honest, open-minded willingness to learn about new things is refreshing and is a great model to others in the classroom. She is always respectful of others and recognizes the importance of a diverse world. Her work in extracurricular clubs and activities is also admirable.


Charles Moore
St. Francis High School

Charles “CJ” Moore is the very definition of a Student Star. He leads by example on a daily basis and is always striving to be the best student, athlete, and person he can be. CJ is a member of National Honor Society and Alverna, our select peer ministry group that volunteers within the school and the local community. He is also a talented athlete on the varsity basketball team, and outside of school he competes on the AAU basketball team. And through it all, he is an outstanding student, maintaining high grades. CJ is a true Student Star at St. Francis High School.

Gretchen Newell
Frontier High School

Gretchen Newell stands out! She is involved in the NHS, she is always looking to help others, she is respectful and kind, and shows incredible maturity. There are times that a student just stands out due to their kindness and hardworking behaviors and Gretchen is one of those students. Gretchen is one of the sweetest people I know. She is patient, courteous, and caring. She always finds a way to include everyone in whatever she is organizing. She is helpful and incredibly organized. Not only is she the manager for the bookstore, she is also the community service coordinator for the Frontier Chapter of the National Honor Society.

Delaney O’Brien
Hamburg High School

Delaney cares about the world around her and has a way of making life more beautiful. She values learning, helping others, and the arts, and has made a variety of contributions to our school and community. She has demonstrated leadership as president of the Health Science Academy and as a dance assistant at her studio. She has been a valued member of Band and Jazz Ensemble, National Honor Society, and the soccer team, and dance. She has also coached for “soccer-roos” and was a peer helper on the Unified basketball team. She is a talented artist and contributor to yearbook club, and has even channeled her photography skills into a business venture – “Laney’s Lenses”-having taken senior and family portraits for her peers. And a shining example of school spirit – Delaney has been our bulldog mascot for the past four years! She has a bright future ahead!

Nash Osinski
St. Francis High School

Nash Osinski is a Student Star every day at St. Francis High School. He is one of the hardest working students I’ve encountered both in and out of the classroom. Nash is a member of Alverna, our select peer ministry group that volunteers within the school and the local community, and a talented athlete on the varsity soccer team. He is quite the entrepreneur – he owns and operates his own honey bee and maple syrup farm, and started a driveway sealing business last year! Nash is extremely hardworking in every aspect of his life, and dedicates his full self to every activity he chooses to put his time towards. He never gives less than 110%. Nash is an ideal candidate for the Student Star Award.


Mileah Pinelli
Lake Shore High School

Mileah is a kind, fair, and well-rounded young lady, with an enthusiastic demeanor. She comes to school each day with a great attitude and a smile on her face. She constantly gives 100% in everything she does.

Jackson Radomski
Frontier High School

Jackson has been an extremely hardworking working student throughout his four years in the High School Band Department.  He enjoys taking part in everything that is offered musically at Frontier and is a member of several of the music ensembles at Frontier.  In addition, he has been selected to several honor ensembles such as All-County, Area All-State and the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra.  Jackson is highly involved in sports as well.  He has made the music department at Frontier very proud of all he has accomplished in his four years at Frontier.

Raymond Robinson
Lackawanna High School

Salutatorian for the Class of 2022. While staying on top of his academics, Raymond is part of the Stage Crew Club, National Honor Society, and UNYTS Club. Raymond is employed at Empire Strategics, volunteers at his church, and is a student technology assistant at his high school. After graduation, Raymond plans to attend the University of Buffalo for Pre-Medicine and then continuing to medical school to pursue Anesthesiology

Madelyn Ventre
Frontier High School

Madelyn Ventre is a senior at Frontier High School and plans on studying multimedia/strategic communications. Madelyn is extremely active in the arts, athletics and community service. She has served on the music team as a vocalist for our local campus and has been a part of hosting events. Her greatest joy over the past two years has been in city and global outreach. She served on a team serving the city of Buffalo for a weeklong event as well as traveling to China, El Salvador and most recently Africa. In China she was a part of a team that fit and distributed wheelchairs to an under-resourced population. In El Salvador she worked in a medical clinic and helped to build up the community. Most recently in Zambia, Africa she participated in an event called “Love Choma” that served the city and its hospitals, orphanages, government, local schools, churches and empowered 4 specific folks to create sustaining businesses. Madelyn is a compassionate, caring, and talented young woman.

Victor Wong
Frontier High School

Victor is an excellent student not only academically, but through his outstanding character. He is currently a candidate for the Air Force Academy in which cadets receive a world class education that prepares them for careers working for the most advanced air and space forces in the world. Victor attended their summer seminar this past summer. This gives students the opportunity to experience life on campus firsthand. Victor is also the Student Government treasurer, a member of the wind ensemble, and is currently enrolled in many AP courses. Victor displays great communication skills, leadership skills and is extremely respectful to students and staff.

Bryce Zeltman
Hamburg High School

Bryce serves as a positive role model for the students of Hamburg High School. He is well admired by his peers and teachers due to his self motivation, maturity, and character. Bryce participates in the aviation technology program through Harkness, working towards his goal of becoming an aviation machinist in the Navy after graduation. This clearly demonstrates his ability to set obtainable goals and utilize the resources available in the community to make it happen! He has contributed positively to our local community working towards the rank of Eagle Scout, planning, creating, and building a memorial to honor the fallen firefighters from Woodlawn Fire Hall. What an act of both patriotism and respect for our local heroes! Finally, Bryce maintains a health balance of academics, Scouts, and athletics as a member of both the Hamburg High School Varsity Swim Team and the competitive TWST swim club. Bryce is overall an amazing example of a dedicated and responsible youth in our community.

Brooke Zimmer
Hamburg High School

Brooke is such a positive influence at Hamburg High School. She always has a smile on her face and is always willing to help when needed. She is co-president of the Hamburg Academy of Finance program and has done an outstanding job in this role. Brooke leads by example as she is extremely respectful, kind, motivating, and she has an amazing work ethic. In addition to AOF, Brooke is a member of Character Club, Student Government, Key Club, and National Honor Society. All organizations that prioritize community service which is clearly very important to Brooke. She is a STAR!

Ethan Zydel
Frontier High School

Ethan Zydel embodies so many traits of a Student Star.  I was mostly impressed during our hybrid and virtual teaching how Ethan was never afraid to participate in class, take risks, and continue to get the most out of his education.  He is caring, respectful, generous, responsible, and his communication skills and self-awareness are to be commended.  He works in the bookstore, writes for InFlight, but beyond his dedication to his school at large, every day I am impressed in class as he makes sure that all those around him are doing well, having a great day, and is the first to help when others need it.  I have never met a more selfless and generous student.