TIOGA CENTER — After a successful high school career as a member of the National Honor Society and dancer that competed at the national level, Tioga senior Taya Hagerich will graduate on Friday.
Hagerich has danced for the 14 years, including the last eight competitively.
“I danced 10 to 12 hours a week,” Hagerich said. “I’ve gone to many competitions and then nationals, and won awards.”
“I didn’t do sports because all I did was dance,” she added.
Despite not being on any sports teams at Tioga, Hagerich said she will remember the school spirit the student body had.
“It’s like a second family,” she said. “At Tioga, everyone is so full of school spirit. We could have made the best at prom and such.”
Missing prom was only a portion of a senior year that did not go as expected, but Hagerich maintained a positive outlook.
“I had a really good experience,” she said. “I wish I could have had my senior year because I know it would have been the best. But they’ve done everything possible to make it one of the best schools, and I’ve learned a lot from everyone.”
Hagerich said her teachers and Principal Josh Roe especially contributed to making the best of an unfortunate situation.
“Mr. Roe did (as much as) possible to stay in contact with funny videos and keep us connected with distance learning,” she said. “He did the most he could.”
After graduation, Hagerich will attend SUNY Cortland and study to be an athletic trainer, a career which she was inspired to pursue by the school spirit at Tioga.
“I always loved the passion everyone had,” she said. “So I want to work with athletes to have the experience of being at every game and helping them out.”
Hagerich also credited her physical education teacher, Kevin Evanek, for helping her find an affinity for sports.
“I never played sports, but (he) made me love every sport that we did in gym class.”