Top Yough students to address graduates at ceremony
Yough High School has announced the names of its valedictorian and salutatorian. The top two students of the Class of 2014 along with the senior class president will address their fellow graduates during commencement exercises that take place Friday.
Valedictorian is Michael Babilya. He is the son of Colleen and Jeffrey Babilya of West Newton.
Babilya has received academic four-year scholarship awards from the West Newton Rotary Club and the West Newton Lions Club. He received the Excellence in Physics award, Distinction in AP Chemistry award and the Alan C. Smith math award, and was named an AP Scholar. He was also named a West Newton Rotary Club Student of the Month.
He was a captain of the soccer team and also ran track. Babilya was active in Badminton Club, Science Bowl team and student council. He was National Honor Society vice president, senior class vice president and a senior mentor.
Outside of school, Babilya is a lifeguard at West Newton Community Pool and enjoys juggling, unicycling, Rubik's cube and playing the piano.
His future plans include attending Penn State, University Park campus, in the fall to major in aerospace engineering.
Salutatorian is Joshua Belko. His parents are Keith and Tammy Belko of Ruffsdale.
He has been named West Newton Rotary Club's Student of the Month and has received the Distinction in AP Chemistry award.
He is also a scholar athlete, having been a captain of the soccer team and the track team.
Belko has been active as president of National Honor Society, member of student council and as a senior mentor.
He plans to attend University of Pittsburgh in the fall to major in engineering.
The senior class president is Joshua Markle. He is the son of Melanie Markle of West Newton.
He has received the Yough Cougar Leadership award, English award and Westinghouse Challenge Program award for academic improvement. He was also named a West Newton Rotary Club Student of the Month.
Markle has been active in National Honor Society, student council, senior committee and as a senior mentor.
He plans to pursue a degree in political science at Duquesne University and possibly attend law school.
In addition to Babilya, Belko and Markle, other speakers slated to address the Class of 2014 include Principal Earl Thompson and Superintendent Janet Sardon. There will also be a musical selections by the chamber choir and band.