canandaigua city school district

New Inductees for the Graduates of Distinction

Since 1994, the Canandaigua City School District has recognized the lifetime achievements of distinguished alumni and named them Graduates of Distinction. Eighty-five graduates have been recognized previously and five additional alumni will be named Graduates of Distinction in September.

This year’s honorees are

Joseph Delforte ‘76,

Mandy Friend Gigliotti ‘05,

Richard Hermann ‘64,

Clifford Kubiak ‘71, and

the Honorable Jacqueline Sisson ‘78.


  • The ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at
  • The Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, formerly Canandaigua Academy
    20 Fort Hill Ave.
    Canandaigua, NY.
  • The induction ceremony at 7 pm is open to all
  • The reception, beginning at 6 pm, is $25 per person

If you are interested in attending, please contact Deb Sundlov, District Clerk at (585) 396-3710 or

  • The Graduates of Distinction will also be honored at halftime of the Homecoming football game.

The four-time defending Section V champions host East High/ World of Inquiry

on Friday, September 22
7 pm at the Canandaigua Academy Stadium
joseph delforte

Joseph L. Delforte

Canandaigua Academy Class of 1976

Upon graduation from Canandaigua Academy, Joe Delforte enrolled at the Rochester Institute of Technology and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in 1980. He had a distinguished career overseeing the budget and finances as the Controller for Finger Lakes Community College. Mr. Delforte has been a dedicated volunteer in the Canandaigua community. He is the past president of the Canandaigua Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He coached many youth sports and is the treasurer of the Scott Delforte Foundation. Additionally, he served for eleven years on the Canandaigua City School District Board of Education, has been on the Board of Directors of the Canandaigua Country Club, a member of the Canandaigua Town Finance Committee, and is President of the Granger Homestead Board of Trustees.

mandy friend gigliotti

Mandy Friend Gigliotti

Canandaigua Academy Class of 2005

A member of the Canandaigua Academy Class of 2005, Mandy Friend Gigliotti graduated from Canandaigua Academy with an International Baccalaureate diploma. She attended the University of Richmond and earned a bachelor’s degree in Leadership Studies and played four years of lacrosse. She remains the all-time leading scorer for the Spiders. She also played in the women’s lacrosse world cup in 2009 and 2013 for team Canada. Upon graduating college, she has led a successful real estate team and has been an advocate for professional women and for the balance of career and family. Mrs. Friend Gigliotti has served on many boards including the Rochester Young Professionals, Professional Women of the Finger Lakes, Thompson Foundation Board, Ontario ARC Community Board, and the Leadership Ontario Steering Committee. She has been a featured presentation speaker, hosted a podcast, and is the mother of five, including three foster children.

richard l. hermann

Richard L. Hermann

Canandaigua Academy Class of 1964

Richard Hermann graduated from Canandaigua Academy in 1964, earned his BA from Yale in 1968, an MA from the New School University in 1971 and a JD from Cornell Law School in 1974. Following Yale, he served in a U.S. Army nuclear weapons unit in Germany. After Cornell Law School, he was an Honors Graduate of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School. He served as an attorney at the Pentagon and as a consultant for a number of U.S. government agencies including the Justice Department. He founded Federal Reports Inc., the leading provider of career information and transition counseling services to the U.S. legal community. His volunteer service includes pro bono legal work, volunteering with the American Red Cross, and co-hosting the talk show, “Law and Disability” for a nationally syndicated radio reading service for the visually impaired. Additionally, he has taught law at Concord Law School, commented on Supreme Court cases for National Public Radio (NPR) and has authored 16 books on law, business and history.

clifford kubiak

Clifford P. Kubiak

Canandaigua Academy Class of 1971

Cliff Kubiak graduated from Canandaigua Academy in 1971 and earned his Bachelor’s of Science from Brown University in 1975. He went on to earn his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Rochester and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his extensive scientific career, Dr. Kubiak has been a leading investigator of artificial photosynthesis from carbon dioxide and sunlight and is also credited as the discoverer of picosecond electron transfer in chemical systems at equilibrium. He has been a professor of chemistry for over forty years, first at Purdue University and presently at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). He has taught chemistry to thousands of undergraduates and over sixty students have received their PhDs under Kubiak’s direction. At UCSD, he is the faculty athletics representative to the NCAA. Dr. Kubiak was elected a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in 2020 and as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. He was a founding investigator at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis which has led groundbreaking research in solar fuels.

jacqueline sisson

Jacqueline Sisson

Canandaigua Academy Class of 1978

Jacqueline Sisson graduated from Canandaigua Academy in 1978 and earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University at Albany in 1982. She went on to the University of Buffalo School of Law, earning her Juris Doctor degree in 1985. The Honorable Judge Sisson is the first ever elected woman judge in the City of Canandaigua and was elected in 2018. She presides over city court and is an acting county court and family court judge. Prior to her service on the bench, Judge Sisson served as a court attorney in Ontario County Court, the New York State Supreme Court, and Wayne County Court for twenty-four years. She was also in private practice from 1986 to 1994.  She previously served as the President of the Literacy Volunteers of Ontario County.