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Shining stars: Class of '12 Academic All-Stars

Through hard work, determination and perseverance, these Western New York teens from the Class of '12 have risen to the top.

On May 17, 246 high school seniors from the public, parochial and private schools of Erie and Niagara counties were honored at the 32nd annual Scholastic Achievement Recognition Dinner sponsored by the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association. The students honored were the top three academic scholars from each of 82 area high schools.

Former Buffalo Sabres all-star player Rene Robert was the keynote speaker at the dinner, which was held at the Buffalo Niagara Marriott in Amherst. The students each received a crystal bison to honor their accomplishments.

Here are this year's Academic All-Stars broken down by pages (PDF) as they appeared in Thursday's Next section:

Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | [email protected]


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | [email protected]


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | [email protected]


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | [email protected]

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