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Several community members were honored for their contributions to the Niagara County and Western New York communities at the Heroes of Niagara awards dinner held Dec. 5 at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.

Honorees include: Gary Hall, president/CEO, Waste Technology Service, Philanthropy Award; Reeds-Jenss & Zimmer Family, Business Leader Award; Gary Strenkoski, Strenkoski Brothers Construction, Volunteer Award; and Lisa Tribunella, Inspiration Award.

All proceeds benefited the Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara Foundation, whose mission is to create a long-term funding source to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities served by Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, the Niagara County Chapter of NYSARC Inc.

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Two past Starpoint scholars, Dr. Denise (Bishop) Giessert, and Maj. Brian E. Neubauer, along with 121 present Starpoint scholars were honored at the 30th annual Starpoint Scholars Program held Nov. 26 in the Starpoint High School Auditorium.

The program highlighted the academic achievements of the students and provided an opportunity for them to visualize the possibilities of their future. To earn a Starpoint Scholars Award, a student must maintain a 93 percent or higher academic average in each of the four marking periods of the previous school year.

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Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association held its 2013 coronation ceremony and testimony dinner in September at the J.W. Jones Hall in Caledonia.

Shelby Siegmann, 14, daughter of firefighter Darren and Lori Siegmann of Lockport, was crowned queen. Shelby is a ninth-grade student at Starpoint High School.

Hallie Dworzanski, 12, daughter of firefighter Ron and Debbie Dworzanski of North Tonawanda, was crown princess. She is an eight-grade student at Niagara Wheatfield Middle School.

Kylee Jones, 6, daughter of Thadis Jones and Laura Walker, was crown little lady. Kylee is the niece of incoming Western New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association president Wendi Walker and granddaughter of past president Robert Walker. Kylee is a student at West Street Elementary School.

The 2013 royalty represents the St. Johnsburg Fire Company in Wheatfield.

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The New York State Council of School Superintendents named Clark J. Godshall the 2014 New York State School Superintendent of the Year. He is district superintendent for Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) since 2000.

“Dr. Godshall is a role model for all educational leaders. His expertise, talent and creativity are examples to other educators, parents, community members and students. Dr. Godshall has served as the district superintendent of the Orleans/Niagara BOCES for the past 14 years, having a total service of 24 years at BOCES. During his tenure as our educational leader, Clark has always far exceeded expectations in all of his responsibilities. He is a superintendent’s superintendent,” stated Becky Albright, Orleans/Niagara BOCES school board president, who nominated Godshall.

Godshall has received numerous recognitions including the 2007 Niagara University Administrator of the Year; commander with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons.

Godshall is a graduate of St. John Fisher College and received his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Rochester with advance designations from Cornell University.

As the NYS Superintendent of the Year, Godshall becomes New York’s candidate for national superintendent of the year, to be awarded at the American Association of School Administrators National Conference on Education February 2014 in Nashville, Tenn.

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Several military personnel have graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

Air Force Airman 1st Class David C. Scott-Gaughan is the son of Tracey and Charles Gaughan of Youngstown. He is a 2012 graduate of Lewiston-Porter High School, Youngstown.

Air Force Airman Douglas M. Waz is the son of Jill Waz of Lockport. He is a 2012 graduate of Lockport High School.

Air Force Airman Joshua J. Lindsley is the son of Amy Lombardo of Lockport. He is a 2012 graduate of Starpoint High School, Pendleton.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

email: citydesk@buffnews.com