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MILLERSBURG -- A pair of highly competitive, driven students are West Holmes High School Teens of the Month. Katy Vaccariello of Millersburg and Matt Chanay of Killbuck are two students who are active in many different activities, yet still find time to study and compete in sports.
Both Chanay and Vaccariello are two-year members of the National Honor Society who hope to pursue professional careers after attending college.
Chanay is looking to become an engineer, pursuing a degree at either Ohio University or Mount Union.
"I'd like to be a civil or construction engineer," Chanay said. "I've wanted to be an engineer since I was a lot younger. I always thought bridges were cool, how they're put together. I loved playing with LEGOs when I was growing up. I remember going to the LEGO camp.
"My plan is to attend college," Vaccariello said.
She is undecided between Kent State and Mercyhurst. "I'm looking to go for a major in fashion merchandising, kind of the background to the fashion world. Ultimately, I'd like to be a buyer working for a a large fashion company, traveling around the world, attending fashion shows.
"The traveling, intrigues me," she continued. "Ever since I was younger, I've always had an interest in the clothes aspect, picking out outfits. I've watched shows with my mom like "What Not to Wear" and I've always had an interest in looking at and working with clothing."
Finding free time to relax and chill with friends is no easy task when involvement in organizations both in and out of school require so much time.
"I like to go hunting, being outside and hanging out with friends," Chanay said. "Being involved in sports and exercising is a nice way to relieve stress.
"I've played a lot of sports. I ran track, cross country up 'til this year and then I played football," Chanay added. "Every week we went out and did our best, and that's all we can ask for. The experience made the whole season worthwhile."
Between sports, marching band, student council, NHS, Share-A-Christmas and other community activities, Vaccariello says it is hard to find time to relax.
"It's definitely hard to find free time now being senior year and getting ready for college," she said.
"But when I do have the time, I like to just relax, hang out with friends, watch some TV, and I like to read when I have the chance. I enjoy fantasy, love stories and historical fiction."
Vaccariello said her two older brothers helped toughen her up, which she credits to helping her earn All-Ohio honors this year in soccer.
"I've always loved soccer, watching my brothers play and the teammates I've had helped make it fun," she said.
She also is a speedster on the track, competing in sprints, while Chanay excels in distance and hurdles.
No one teacher has played a major role in the direction these two outstanding students have chosen.
"I've had so many people supporting me and the decisions I've made, the choices I've made, and the goals I have set for myself," Vaccariello said.
"Everybody's always supported me and been there to listen to me and help me along with whatever troubles I face.
"I love art, because I love to be able to express myself. I love drawing and I enjoy working with different mediums, but I also find math is my favorite subject," Vaccariello continued.
"I've always understood it, and I've been able to work well with the teachers I've had have helped with my love for the subject. I like the precision and measurements of drawing."
Chanay agrees, noting that he's taken something from all his teachers.
"All the teachers I've had growing up have helped me along the way, answering the questions I've had," he said.
Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.