Bemus Point Valedictorian To Attend Canisius, Pursue Dentistry

ELLERY-W. Benton Swanson has a lot to show for his academic prowess.

Last month, Ben graduated from the Bemus Point Central School district as valedictorian of the district’s class of 2013.

In his studies, Ben said he has a tendency to gravitate toward the subjects of math and science.

“I have parents in the manufacturing industry, so I’ve always been fascinated with how things work. And I’ve always been comfortable with the subjects, and excelled in them,” he said.

Ben’s aptitude in math and science has allowed him to be successful in taking every college level and Advanced Placement course offered at Maple Grove.

“I hope to go into sciences (for college),” he said.

In the fall, Ben will begin pursuing a biology degree from Canisius College through the honors program. He is also enrolled in a seven-year combined degree Bachelor of Science/DDS program with the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, which will earn him a doctorate degree in dentistry.

“At that point, I might want to specialize. But I want to go into dentistry,” he said.

In addition to taking all of the advanced courses offered at Maple Grove, Ben was also involved in the College Connections program through Jamestown Community College. This undertaking resulted in his obtainment of 53 college credits by his high school graduation.

These credits were accrued through his enrollment in: keyboarding, accounting fundamentals, Spanish 4 and 5, AP chemistry, English, calculus 1 and 2, elementary statistics, public speaking, problem solving with mathematics, biology, financial accounting, managerial accounting and U.S. history.

His fruitful involvement in the College Connections program also earned him an award through JCC earlier this month, along with 44 other area students. The award was given to students who had embraced the challenges of completing college-level coursework while in high school, and demonstrating resourcefulness, integrity and dedication. He was also named the JCC College Connections’ Student of the Year.

He received the Penn-York Chemical Society excellence in chemistry award.

He has also been a consistent honor roll student.

His extracurricular participation within the school district extended to student council, in which he was student representative, and National Honor Society.

Outside of school, he breeds and shows Australian shepherds with his family-an endeavor in which he has also seen success. He has traveled to New York City and Orlando, Fla., to participate at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the Eukanuba National Championship, respectively. Ben and his sister, Mandy, were invited as two of 84 dog handlers throughout the country to compete in Junior Showmanship at the Westminster Dog Show.

Additionally, he has recently received the American Kennel Club’s 2013 Junior Scholarship. The scholarships, which range from $1,000 to $2,000, are offered annually to high school, college and graduate school students. He will be applying the scholarship earnings toward his college education.