Displaying items by tag: saratoga springs high school
The Top 10%; Last Year of Academic Recognition
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ms. Michelle Tsao, Principal of Saratoga Springs High School, announces that Jason Zheng has been named Valedictorian of the Class of 2021 and that Julian Silva-Forbes has been named Salutatorian of the Class of 2021 at Saratoga Springs High School.
Jason Zheng, son of Dun Ming and Mei Zheng of Saratoga Springs, will attend Yale University, and plans to pursue a career as a physician.
Julian Silva-Forbes, son of Keith and Sonia Silva of Saratoga Springs, will attend Columbia University and pursue a career in the media industry as a journalist or screenwriter.
Kara Hausam will attend Northeastern University and major in chemistry.
Raquel Cohen will attend Boston College and plans to become a doctor.
Jonathan D’Alonzo will attend the University of Notre Dame and plans to become a doctor.
Devon “Kale” Kimble-Lee
Devon “Kale” Kimble-Lee will attend Lesley College and plans to pursue a career in art illustration and secondarily as an art teacher.
Kai Farr will attend Boston University and plans to pursue a career as a film director.
Ava Herzog will attend RPI’s 7-year Accelerated Medical Program with Albany Medical College and plans to become a physician-scientist.
Jane Ginley will attend Boston College, where she was one of only 25 students selected to be part of its inaugural Human-Centered Engineering program.
Cristina DeMeo will attend Harvard University and plans to become a doctor.
Tyler Munter will attend Northeastern University and plans to pursue a career in Engineering.
Cole Zeh will attend Colgate University with a premedical path and plans to become a surgeon.
Last Year of Academic Recognition
Saratoga Springs High School has also announced that beginning with the Class of 2022, they will no longer be reporting the top students of the class, including a valedictorian and a salutatorian. They will start using only an unweighted Grade Point Average (GPA).
This decision was made by the Building Leadership Team (BLT), which is comprised of members in the school district: students, teachers, parents, school counselors, support staff, and building administration. The BLT presented this to the Board of Education in July 2019, and it was communicated to families the following month. The team used research from college admissions counselors, national organizations, the SSHS Graduation Committee, and other local high schools to form their decision. Student Council received input and feedback from the student body.
Student Council received input that if a weighted GPA is removed, so should the top rank, as the top rank creates division, anxiety and separation among peers.
The switch to use only the unweighted GPA was made because the BLT believes that the dual GPA system is not only confusing, but inconsistent when used to determine scholarships, merit awards, and rank. Therefore, they will no longer be reporting class rank on a student’s transcript.
The BLT believes that their decision will impact the school culture by fostering an environment in which students will place more importance on learning and personalizing their schedules. With the weighted GPA system, students are more likely to prioritize their grades over their interests, passions, and academically challenging themselves. College admissions counselors have reported they like to see students taking courses that are challenging, yet appropriate, for their
Zoey Goodness: Athlete of the Week
Congrats to Athlete of the Week – Zoey Goodness!
Zoey is a senior at Saratoga Springs High School and rows with the SRA (Saratoga Rowing Association). Some of her rowing accomplishments include placing third nationally at SRAA’s in the Women’s 2V8+ category as a sophomore in 2019, racing at the Head of the Charles in 2018 and 2019, and in 2020 receiving the Service Award from her rowing club, SRA.
“I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity to train and work with highly experienced coaches, including elite rowers who have competed at World Championships for the United States and those who will compete, or train in hopes to compete, at the Olympic level,” said Zoey.
Zoey has been an active member of Best Buddies at the high school for four years, and a Best Buddies Officer for the past three years. She is also involved in several other clubs in school that spread the same message and include people with IDD’s (Intellectual Developmental Disabilities) such as Unified Sports and Lions Club.
“Being inclusive is a big part of who I am,” said Zoey. “Whether that be at rowing, school, or wherever I may be.”
All four years of high school she has been on the High Honor Roll, and her junior and senior year she has been a part of the National Honor Society. Zoey will be attending and rowing lightweight for Boston University while studying chemistry on a pre-med track.
“To be able to continue my rowing journey in college is a dream come true,” said Zoey. “Even now I hope to push my rowing abilities past college and possibly row at the elite level.”
Empire State Winter Games: Athlete of the Year
SARATOGA SPRINGS — A local high schooler is a finalist for the first annual Empire State Winter Games Athlete of the Year Award.
Hunter Goodwin is only a freshman at Saratoga Springs High School, but has already accomplished great things in his sport – ski cross.
Ski cross, as he describes it, is a mix of alpine and slope skiing. Four skiers start at the same time and compete on a course of rollers, jumps, and bank turns. Hunter’s mother, Nicole Goodwin, describes it as “roller derby on skis.”
Hunter started skiing around the age of three. His parents introduced it to him, and then put him into the Mountain Adventure program at Gore Mountain. It was after he tried out for the alpine team at West Mountain, that one of his coaches, Matt Lynn, told him about ski cross.
Hunter now trains through the NYSEF (New York Ski Educational Foundation) Freeride Program at Gore Mountain. When he races, he represents the Adirondack Series of the USASA (United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association). Hunter has already earned three back-to-back gold medals this year in USASA competitions at Gore and Whiteface. In a normal year, without COVID, he would have traveled to places like Vermont and Colorado to compete also.
The first annual Empire State Winter Games (ESWG) Athlete of the Year Award presented by BlueShield of Northeastern New York is their way of honoring winter sport athletes across New York State, in place of their typical event at the end of January. The qualifications are as follows, according to their website (www.empirestatewintergames.com): an athlete who (a) has participated in the Games before, or 2021 would have been their first year competing, and (b) exemplifies sportsmanship, leadership, community service, academic excellence, and overall, what it means to be an Empire State Winter Games Athlete. Coaches, parents, and peer athletes could submit nominations. One finalist is chosen from each sport by the respective ESWG Sport Coordinator. Finalists then submit a video for ESWG to share on social media, where the community will vote. The athlete with the most likes will win Athlete of the Year, announced on March 9.
“It was definitely a surprise,” said Hunter, about being nominated and winning the ski cross category. “I have been going to the Empire State Winter Games, this would have been my third year and the first two years I got gold in ski cross. It’s a cool thing knowing that people nominated me for ski cross, and I didn’t realize it would take me to the overall award.”
Hunter has been able to balance skiing and school easily, doing homework during the week and training on the weekends. For him, training consists of practicing his starts, full tucks, and absorption jumps on the course, or wide turns down the mountain. Hunter mainly focuses on skiing, but he also skateboards and trampolines. Despite all his success already, and at such a young age, Hunter has big goals for the future.
“I want to podium at nationals,” said Hunter. “And, my highest goal is to get to the Olympics.”
We wish you good luck Hunter!
Giving Back: Small Things Make a Big Difference
Being clean is a privilege some just can’t afford.
Since the pandemic, the importance of keeping germs at bay has become a priority for everyone, but some Saratoga children are going unwashed simply because basic hygiene products aren’t available for them to use at home.
Even before the current crisis, Grace Firehock, now a senior at Saratoga Springs High School, saw there were students in need. In the Spring of 2019, she started Toga Toiletries to provide access to toiletries and personal hygiene products to students in need.
“I just wanted all high schoolers to have basic toiletries and to have easy access to them,” she said.
Grace and her parents purchased supplies to fill a closet in the school guidance office. Then, she began sending out requests for others to help.
Grace’s efforts have resulted in donations from Billington Family Dentistry, Hannaford Supermarkets, Byrne Orthodontics, Arbonne, and numerous local families.
Now, Toga Toiletries are available to children throughout the Saratoga Springs City School District. Working with the Saratoga Food Pantry, Community Health Center, and SNACpack, they are also able to deliver toiletries to children.
The SNACpack Program (Saratoga Nutrition Assistance for Children) is seeing more children than ever in need of food and essential care items.
“Toga Toiletries is providing a wonderful, much-needed service for children and families! During this very difficult time where many families have lost income, toiletries have truly become a luxury that many cannot afford,” said SNACpack’s founder Karey Trimmings.
FINDING TIME TO BE KIND
Grace Firehock finds time to package hygiene products for Toga Toiletries in between her already busy schedule, which also includes playing varsity tennis, Irish step and piano classes, skiing, and her other volunteer efforts.
“Grace has always had a very philanthropic attitude. She took an idea and found a way to bring it to life. Her work has allowed families in the community to save money on expensive hygiene and toiletry products, which became especially helpful during the pandemic as some households struggle to pay bills due to lost employment,” said school counselor, Siobahn LaMar.
“This endeavor hasn’t just benefited people in the community, it has also had a tremendous impact on Grace. A bit quiet and shy by nature, this experience has pushed her out of her comfort zone needing to ask strangers for donations. Her confidence has grown, along with her presentation skills. Grace is a great role model to her peers and younger siblings, and we hope to see the community continue to benefit from her efforts after she graduates,” she continued.
The benefits of helping others are especially poignant for Grace when she receives emails from recipients expressing their gratitude and accompanied by photos of the children she is helping.
“It has an impact. It feels amazing to know I’ve helped people at this time,” said Grace.
Grace’s younger siblings have been helping package items and her sister, Caroline Firehock, a sophomore, will inherit Toga Toiletries when Grace graduates to ensure its continuation for years to come.
Local High Schools Surprise Seniors with Signs
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Thursday, May 7, staff from Saratoga Springs High School (SSHS) surprised their senior students with lawn signs. On Friday, May 8, Saratoga Central Catholic (Spa Catholic) did the same.
SSHS’ leadership team came up with the idea to drop off the lawn signs to the seniors. The signs feature the names of all seniors in the class.
Principal Michelle Tsao said: “This collaborative effort to recognize the Class of 2020 would not have happened without the dedicated staff of our school and district. We were happy to see students and their smiling faces throughout the day!”
Shrek The Musical at Saratoga Springs High School
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Spring High School Drama Club will present Shrek the Musical on Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m., Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday March 14 at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The performances will be held in the Loewenberg Auditorium at Saratoga Springs High School.
Based on the Oscar-winning animation film, Shrek the Musical is a Tony-award-winning fairytale adventure, featuring all the beloved characters you know from the film. Shrek is a musical joy children and adults will love.
Ticket prices are $15 for reserved seats, $12 for adult general seating, and $7 for students and senior general seating. Seats are available online starting March 1 at brownpapertickets.com or at the door one-hour before the performance. Reserved seating is only available online.
“Rehearsals are going great! It’s a wonderful show about acceptance and accepting people for who they are. The musical itself is a great musical,” said director Bob Berenis.
Berenis has directed for Saratoga Springs Drama Club for the last 21 years.
“When I announced the show, I was a little ambivalent, I thought some kids would like it and some wouldn’t, but they screamed so loudly I had to cover my ears. They were so excited,” he laughed.
Parents and community members have been on hand to help build the sets, which are massive.
Shrek – Kai Farr
Donkey – Spencer Boyce
Fiona – Katy Hawthorne
Lord Farquaad – Liam Epstein
Pinocchio – Phineas Goodman
Gingy/Sugarplum Fairy – Maria Sablich
Dragon – Tessa Rivenburg
Dragon at Saturday Matinee - Sarah Trimmings
Young Fiona – Ainsley Martell
Teenage Fiona – Mira DeGregory
Young Shrek/Dwarf - Kylee Martin
Papa Ogre – Teddy Vandeven
Mama Ogre – Maddy Mergl
King Harold – Ethan Crowley
Queen Lillian – Tessa Rivenburg
Wolf – Ethan Crowley
3 Blind Mice – Sarah Trimmings, Mira DeGregory, Maddy Mergl
Ugly Duckling – Molly Egan
Fairy Godmother – Margaret Scala
Humpty Dumpty – Skye Vilca
Wicked Witch – Izzy Pipino
Mama Bear – Grace Davis
Papa Bear – Teddy Vandeven
Baby Bear – Sabrina Martin
Mad Hatter – Alex Lippincott
3 Pigs – Ainsley Martell, Maddie Cook, Sofia Bolier
Elf – Lucas Pelletier
Peter Pan – Eli Jaques
Bishop – Max Novik
Pied Piper/Dance Captain – Sophia Sulkin
Thelonius – Amelie Przedwiecki
Captain – Siobhan Rogers-Harrigton
Athlete of the Week: Ava Dallas
SARATOGA SPRINGS — “Gymnastics has made me strong. I feel like it broke me down to my lowest point, but at the same time, it has given me the greatest strength anyone could ask for.” – Olympian Shawn Johnson.
Ava Dallas is a record-breaking 17-year-old junior at Saratoga Springs High School with a passion for gymnastics that she pursues, regardless of the injuries or other things she sacrifices to succeed.
“I started when I was really little, around two years old, and I stopped for a while but then I started to get serious about it when I was 10,” she explained.
“Just watching college gymnastics on TV and the summer Olympics, I got really inspired and then I started taking classes at the Y and then I joined the team there.”
Dallas then switched to a club team which was more serious and eventually made the choice to join the school’s team full time. She was with Stepping Star for three years and then switched to the high school team because she wanted something more team oriented and with less hours in the gym. From November to the end of February, the gym is where you can find her.
"Right after the season is over, we have about a month and a half off and then we go back to practicing on Sundays and then when it gets into the summer, we practice twice a week,” Dallas specified.
Dallas currently holds the Section II record for vaulting, which is 9.475.
"My freshmen year on the team, I broke the record for the first time and then last year I broke it once in the beginning of the year and then once again at the end of the year at the state meet,” she explained.
However, she is still recovering from a stress fracture in her back from over the summer.
“It was very hard for me to do anything because it was so painful. When I went to the doctor, he advised that I slow down and possibly stop to prevent any further injury. I didn't want to do that and compromise my junior season so I modified my routines to do skills that didn't hurt me and now I’m building back all of my skills and all of my routines to get back to where I want to be,” Dallas said.
Dallas also coaches the little girls the basics of gymnastics at the Wilton YMCA.
"Coaching the little girls definitely provides a different perspective on the sport. As a coach, you have to think about putting the skill into words that the little kids would understand and sometimes it takes multiple times to explain things so it really makes you think about every single little part of each skill that you do. Also, to see them enjoy it as much as they do, it really brings a new enjoyment for me,” she mused.
Her family supports one another tremendously. Her sister cheers at Syracuse and the family goes to watch her games whenever they can.
She cites her father as her biggest fan: "it means a lot, I can always look over and see him cheering for me… He's like my number one fan," she laughed.
Saratoga Basketball Senior Night
SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Friday, January 24, Saratoga Springs high school celebrated their six senior boys on the varsity basketball team; Aidan Holmes, Bryce Emery, Garrett Myers, Grayson Dumortier, Dan Spillane, and Aidan Dagostino. The team is coached by Matt Usher and assistant coached by Geoff Loiacono.
The team played Bethlehem in a rematch from last year’s Sectional Championship, which the Blue Streaks won.
“It was a tight game to the end. Blue Streaks were down 58-56 with 7 seconds left when Luke Britton hit a 3-point shot on a pass from Aidan Holmes for the win,” Alicia Holmes, a booster club member, explained.
The final score was 59-58.
Holmes scored 11 points; Emery had five points; Myers had four points; Dumortier had three points; Spillane and Dagostino each had two points. Luke Britton, junior, had a team high of 19 points.
Blue Streaks Hall of Fame 2019 Inductees
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Friday, October 11, the Teaching Auditorium of Saratoga Springs High School was filled with Blue Streak students, athletes, parents and local supporters as six alumni were inducted into the Blue Streaks’ Hall of Fame.
Newly appointed athletic director Nicholas McPartland and second term superintendent Mike Patton acknowledged not only the athletes for their tremendous contributions to athletics both while they were students and for their careers beyond, but the families and local community supporters for their continuous support.
The inductees were introduced by varying members of the community including Rich Johns, of Act with Respect Always, Mitch Snyder, teacher and coach at SSHS and former superintendent Dr. MacFadden.
Though each inductee was unique in what made their Blue Streaks career outstanding, and their post high school career paths differed, they all had a prominent similarity in who they attribute their successes to; their family, and the community of Saratoga Springs they love so much.
Read below for a list and description of the newest Blue Streak Hall of Fame members:
ANTHONY (TONY) DEMATTEO
Class of 1974. Football, Basketball and Baseball
Before owning Saratoga Physical Therapy, where he often tends to local athletes, DeMatteo was a notable athlete for SSHS. During his graduating year he was President of the Boys’ Varsity Club and was named MVP for his football successes.
DeMatteo continues to be involved with Saratoga Springs High School coaches and student -athletes through his development of a program to bring the first Certified Athletic Trainers to the school.
Class of 1989. Basketball
During his junior year, Parker led Saratoga to a final four appearance in the NYSPHSAA Championships. Parker placed fourth in Section 2 history when he scored over 1900 career points and was later the all – time leading scorer within Section 2 basketball.
Parker received a full scholarship to Providence College of the Big East, the premier NCAA league at that time. He left Providence and attended Champlain Community College. While attending Champlain, the basketball team was ranked #3 nationally and #1 in the northeast among junior colleges.
Class 2004. Basketball
Hopkins received the Scholar-Athlete Award for boys’ basketball and the Vince DeGregory Basketball award in 2004.
He continued on to Amherst College where he was named a top five all-time at Amherst College in field goal percentage, blocked shots, and total points.
After college, Hopkins played professional basketball in Germany for two years before returning to Amherst College where he was the assistant coach for two seasons. While coaching, he earned a master’s degree in Sports Management.
Now, Hopkins is continuing his coaching career, as he was named Head Coach at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania.
Class of 2009. Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Track
Stevens’ varsity career began when he was just an eighth grader, when he joined both the basketball and baseball varsity teams. Stevens lettered that year in baseball. Later on, Stevens lettered in both volleyball and track. Before graduating, Stevens was named a three-time All-State selection, and was named Suburban Council Player of the Year 2006 through 2009.
Stevens attended college at Holy Cross, where he played basketball all four years. Over his collegiate career, he appeared in over 100 games, totaled 518 points, 207 rebounds and 149 assists. He won the Richard J. Maloney Award for spirit and energy as a loyal contributor to the Holy Cross basketball program.
Class of 1999. Basketball and Baseball
Hoover was named “Most Outstanding Player” at the 1998 baseball sports awards banquet in 1998 and received the Benny Fasulo Memorial Award in 1999.
He attended The College of St Rose and was part of their baseball team who won the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.
Athletics has continued to be a prominent part in Hoover’s life as he coached the Lake George High School Varsity Baseball team for over 10 years and has won more than 100 games. In 2018, the team won the Section 2 Class CC Championship.
Class of 2005. Football
Tim Bush is most known for playing in the Indoor Football League for the West Texas Roughnecks in 2010 and the New Mexico Stars in 2011. His football notoriety began when he was a member of the 2004 Class AA Super Champion team. He was later named a Section 2 All-Star and finished high school with career stats of 70 receptions, 838 yards and five touchdowns. Bush was later named to the First Team All-Northeast Conference at Hudson Valley Community College before attending University at Albany. There, he was a letter winner from 2007 to 2009 and was named “Male Athlete of the Year” and “Team MVP” in 2009.
Roger Wyatt: Exploring the 'Conceptual Edge'
"I was five," he says. "It changed the way I saw the world."
Up to that point, Wyatt would produce drawings of peaceful pastoral scenes, his mother told him. "After that, she said, “my drawings were full of explosions and soldiers on the move. Something about film clearly spoke to me at an early age."
Seventy or so years later, it still does. Wyatt describes himself as "a maker of handmade media in a mass media world." He's not only a filmmaker, but also a writer and photographer. Over the course of his long career, he also has been a professor, a university administrator, and a consultant.
"All of my life, I've sensed that the really important events and people emerged seemingly from out of nowhere," he says.
"While the things I've planned were often important, it's the unplanned things that have emerged seemingly out of nowhere that have really shifted my direction. I went to Columbia intending to be a historian and came out a filmmaker."
Wyatt started in radio, when a friend asked him to discuss military history on the Columbia student radio station, WKCR.
"From the moment the red recording light went on in the studio, I was swept away into a new world. It changed my life."
Amazed by the technological marvel of the radio and all the bells and whistles that accompanied it, Wyatt became a self-defined reporter. Over the course of his career he has covered Beatles and Rolling Stones press conferences to interviewing George Lucas. By the time graduation arrived, he was heading into filmmaking. He liked the creative atmosphere offered at universities, and so he went the academic route through several positions including William Paterson College, Teachers College, Columbia University, and the library school at Queens College before joining the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University.
In the 15 years he spent there, Wyatt established a reputation for forging new paths with innovative media projects. One was a video satellite course on information technology that featured national leaders in information technology as faculty. Another was the staging of a live two-way intercontinental webcast between Warsaw and several sites in the Midwest.
"We do these routinely today -with apps on our phones- but back in the 1990s this was like crossing a talk radio show with a missile launch."
Wyatt kept following his curiosity until a clear vision and path appeared. Moving to the Saratoga area in 1998, he established BBH Digital Film Productions. Coming out of a period of great reflection after the death of his second wife in 2009 he started making films that spoke to his own sense of artistry rather than the communications needs of clients. Throughout his career he has had an extensive freelance production consultancy that has included filming for a month in a Buddhist monastery on the coast of Ireland, and making films celebrating the works of Puccini and Mozart.
Since 2011, Wyatt has been developing a micro-budget feature and streaming series he has titled, Life on the Run. It asks the question: Why do art?
"The short answer is that you must, but that’s easier said than done because you will be reinvented by means of a journey through fear, uncertainty, and doubt," he says. He describes the work as a "guided improv performance filmed with cinema vérité techniques" that's "filled with magical reality and enigmas."
“I just really wanted to make a film about something that mattered to me," he says. He has shot scenes at the Emma Willard School, Caffe Lena, The Egg, and an alley in Glens Falls, among other locations locally as well as nationally including NPR studios in Washington, DC and Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
"I seek the extraordinary in the ordinary," he adds.
As a director, Wyatt's approach is to explain to his actors what the scene is about and how they should feel, and then just let his multiple cameras roll. Despite a battle with cancer that started in 2015 and the loss of vision in his right eye, Wyatt is still going strong and says he'll soon be able to share a rough cut with friends and the community of actors and others he has engaged with in the film's production.
“Life On the Run” is a "research project," he says, explaining his concept of paradigms and how he's waiting for the next big shift to occur in his relationship with art or for another crazy technological light bulb to pop into his head.
"I have an open heart and high tolerance for ambiguity," he says. "They serve me well as an interdisciplinary border-crosser and seeker of innovation. I'm more comfortable on the conceptual edge than in the dogmatic center.”