It’s graduation time.
High school students in the Class of 2021 have been through a lot: remote learning; being required to wear masks; shortening or cancelling sports seasons, musicals and concerts; and a whole lot of uncertainty. They have had to distance themselves from their friends and teachers for months.
Even through all that, they’ve done what’s required to make it through to the end of the school year.
To celebrate the Class of 2021, we are publishing lists of the graduates from more than 60 schools across Central New York.
We will report who is the valedictorian and salutatorian (or in some cases alternates) and give them a chance to share some thoughts about school, the pandemic, family and life. This school’s valedictorian and salutatorian are below the list of graduates.
The Post-Standard will publish a keepsake high school graduation section on Sunday, June 28. If you wish, you can place a congratulations ad for a graduate you’d like to honor in the section. The section will include lists of 2021 graduates from Onondaga County schools, Q&As with each school’s valedictorian and salutatorian, and more. Businesses also have the opportunity to advertise in the graduation section. You can reach us at this email and we will get back to you.
The ceremony graduating seniors of Christian Brothers Academy is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday, June 6, 2021, on the school’s football field.
Candidates for Graduation
Nolan Van Scoter
2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Christian Brothers Academy
Name: Rena Steele
Parents: Jeffrey and Rachel Steele
My plans for the next few years: I will be attending the University of Notre Dame as a computer science major.
My career plans: I plan to pursue a career in software development in the areas of artificial intelligence and economic theory.
The highlight of my senior year: The highlight of my senior year was the last two weeks of school. Attending school full time and having the chance to see all of my classmates every day was a great way to end senior year.
The person who inspired me the most: In my life, my mom has inspired me the most. She has always been my biggest supporter, and she has taught me the meaning of dedication and putting my whole heart into everything I do.
What I do to unwind or relax: To relax, I usually like to read a good book or play piano. During my time at CBA, I was on the math team, participated in Peer Ministry, and had the chance to found my own club, Brothers Tutor Others.
The word or phrase best that best describes my personality: Dedicated
My advice to our graduating class: Always work hard to achieve your goals, but never forget to stop and appreciate how far you’ve already come and the people who have helped you to get there.
The best part about social distancing: The best part of social distancing has been that it has given me the chance to spend quality time with my family.
The biggest impact of the pandemic on my senior year: The pandemic limited my ability to spend time and make memories with my classmates during our senior year. The bright side to this was that this lost time made the last two weeks memorable and special, as I was thankful for the time I did have with them.
The one thing I hope to accomplish in my lifetime: In my lifetime, I hope to have an impact on many people through technology. There’s so much opportunity for advancement in all areas of society with technology, and I hope to be a part of this future of change.
Christian Brothers Academy
Name: Rachel Farella
Parents: John Farella and Barbara Panko
My plans for the next few years: For the next four years I will be attending Baylor University as a biology major on a pre-dental track with a minor in business. Following my undergraduate studies I hope to attend dental school through Baylor University as well.
My career plans: Following my undergraduate and graduate studies I hope to become an orthodontist.
The highlight of my senior year: The highlight of my senior year had to be Founder’s Day at CBA, which is a day that not only celebrates our founder, St. John Baptist de la Salle, but is the final day for seniors as well. One of my favorite moments throughout my entire high school career has to be saying goodbye to all of my classmates and receiving heartfelt notes from them that I will be able to cherish forever.
The person who inspired me the most: My mother has inspired me the most because she is a dentist and has shown me her career that has sparked my interest and passion in dentistry. She also always taught me how far hard work can take you, which I believe has been a major contributor in getting me to where I am today.
What I do to unwind or relax: Some of my favorite activities to unwind and relax are reading and seeing my friends. Some of my extracurricular activities while I’ve attended CBA have been varsity bowling, varsity cheerleading, varsity cross country, Peer Ministry, and LaSallian Youth.
The word or phrase best that best describes my personality: Unique
My advice to our graduating class: You can beat the odds and do anything you aspire to do or be. I just want to remind every individual you are special and you will do great things in life.
The best part about social distancing: Though many would say that social distancing and the pandemic have ruined many things, I still believe there are some positives to come from it. At least for myself, social distancing allowed me to have some sort of a break at times from the hustle and craziness of everyday life, and although it ruined many fun potential memories for the senior classes, I believe it made us that much more grateful for all of the memories and times we did have together over the years.
The biggest impact of the pandemic on my senior year: The biggest impact of the pandemic on my senior year was missing out on some of the “normal” traditions all seniors usually get at CBA. We didn’t get to have a final homecoming game or dance, a semi-formal, or even a normal everyday schedule for most of the year. It was hard in the beginning, but I am happy to say that we all got to come together in our final few months and we did get to experience a semi-normal end of the school year that I think we could all appreciate.
The one thing I hope to accomplish in my lifetime: If nothing else, I wish to be happy in my lifetime. It may sound corny, but in all reality I do not believe that any amount of money or success defines anyone. If for some reason any of my future endeavors do not work out for me, all I hope is that I can find peace and happiness wherever I end up, and that I will have some amazing people by my side through it all.
Other thoughts: I would just like to say a final thank you and congratulations to everyone graduating this year. It was hard, but we all made it!