Six Wolverines honored as Mark Twain scholars

Pictured, from left, are Waverly Mark Twain Scholars Kiara Babcock, Stephanie Hyland, Lilian Keefer, Hailey Onofre, Faith Svaboda, and Dylan Ward.

Six Waverly High School students were recently recognized as Mark Twain scholars during the annual Mark Twain Scholars Banquet at Elmira College.

Valedictorian Faith Svaboda, Salutatorian Stephanie Hyland, Kiara Babcock, Lillian Keefer, Dylan Ward and Hailey Onofre from Waverly joined others making up the top 5 percent of their graduating classes from across the GST BOCES region in receiving the honor.

The first Mark Twain Scholars Banquet was organized by businessman Manny Panosian in 1984 as a way to recognize the area’s heritage and “wished to give public recognition for young achievers,” according to a press release.

Brandon Frisbie, a 2006 Horseheads graduate, current PhD student, and Panosian’s grandson, served as guest speaker for this year’s event. He urged students to follow their passions and to maintain a strong work/life balance.

Quoting Twain, Frisbie added, “The two most important days in a person’s life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”