HANNIBAL - Hannibal High School has announced the Class of 2019 valedictorian and salutatorian
Sean Mason’s dedication to his coursework, coupled with some friendly sibling rivalry, helped propel him to the top of Hannibal High School’s Class of 2019.
Mason, who watched as his brother Liam crossed the stage as the salutatorian in 2015, used that as motivation and set the bar high as he began his high school career. His leadership, commitment to his coursework and high standards fueled his efforts, earning the title of this year’s valedictorian.
“I think it’s important to set goals with everything you do in life, and work hard to accomplish them,” Mason said.
While he has already achieved many of his goals, he is beginning to look ahead and map out his future. In the fall, he will begin his first semester at Clarkson University to major in chemical engineering and minor in environmental engineering. Eventually, he is hoping to use his education to pursue a career working in the environment.
His passion for environmental science was sparked by his involvement in Hannibal’s Environment Club. He also participated in SADD Club, Key Club, National Honor Society, Student Council, Oswego County Academic Youth League, Varsity Club, band, cross-country, basketball and track.
For Mason, although one chapter of his life is drawing to a close, he said he’s thankful for his experiences as a Warrior.
“I will miss my friends and the Hannibal community,” Mason said. “This community really wants you to succeed and do well in life, and everyone has given me the tools needed to be successful. I’d like to thank my parents, Bill and Lisa, and I’m looking forward to the future.”
For Hannibal High School salutatorian Velvet Howland, academics were just a small portion of the high school experience.
Howland, an athlete and active participant in a variety of school clubs and organizations, said she enjoyed participating in as many activities as she was able to fit into her schedule. She played volleyball and ran indoor and outdoor track. She was also a member of SADD Club, Key Club, National Honor Society, Oswego County Academic Youth League, Purple Gallery, Varsity Club, Environment Club, band and chorus.
Amid the sea of extracurricular activities, Howland said she found her true passion in the classroom, where an American Sign Language course proved to be a life-altering experience. The course, she said, inspired her to pursue a degree in American Sign Language interpretation from Rochester Institute of Technology.
“Once you start doing sign language, it just clicks, and you forget that you’re even signing,” Howland said. “Once I immerse myself in the deaf community at RIT, I will have a better idea as to what I ultimately want to do. I would like to be an interpreter at first, but we’ll see what happens.”
While Howland is already looking toward the future, she took some time to reflect on her experience as a Hannibal Warrior. She noted her best memories include participating in SUNY Oswego’s Drama Fest and spending time with her classmates.
“My teachers, friends and community have all helped me push myself to be the best version of me and achieve my potential,” Howland said. “They all helped shape me into the person I am today.”
Howland also thanked her parents, Jeffrey and Brandee Howland, for their constant support.