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West Valley senior recognized

[photo1]WEST VALLEY — According to Business First’s 2013 All-Western New York Academic Team, Jessica Baker qualified for this year’s list of the “100 most outstanding high school seniors, in the eight-county region.”

Winners were chosen, based on their academic records, school leadership and community involvement. The top 25 were named to the first team; 25 runners-up were placed on the second team and another 50 were put on the special mention list.

“This is an extremely exclusive award,” said Jack Connors, president and publisher of Business First. “There are roughly 20,000 seniors in Western New York’s high schools and we’ve selected only 100, for this year’s academic team. That’s the upper one half of 1 percent. They’re truly the best and brightest students, anywhere in our region.”

Schools throughout the eight-county area were asked to nominate students for consideration by an eight-member committee, which included six admissions directors at area colleges and two Business First editors. A total of 121 schools responded, with 437 nominees. Each school was limited to four candidates.

The complete list of 100 honorees, along with their photos and profiles, will be published in Business First’s 2013-2014 Guide to Western New York Schools, which will hit newsstands on June 14.

In addition, Dr. Anthony Evans, executive director of the Cattaraugus County Youth Bureau, announced that Baker is a featured Youth Citizenship Award winner.

Baker has volunteered at the City Mission in Buffalo and has been a member of the school’s mentoring program for two years. She has been a member of 4-H for three years and participates in Students Against Destructive Decision and with Red Cross blood drives.

The honoree is a member of the International Connections Club, for which she served as president, for two years.

Baker plays varsity soccer and basketball at West Valley Central School and was on the school’s varsity track team. She plays alto saxophone in the school band and has participated in all county and all state music festivals.

She is a member of the National Honor Society and has received an Excellence in Chemistry Award.

Baker said that she plans to join the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps and obtain a degree in engineering, following graduation.

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