The Class of 2021 Graduation on June 26 was livestreamed, and a recording may be viewed at:
Reported by Brad Niles
Monday, June 7, 2021, was another banner day for the Fort Plain Track & Field Throwers. At the Section 2 Group 5 Field Event Championships held in Berlin, NY, three athletes won Sectional titles, as well as completing other podium worthy finishes. They have carried on the tradition of their predecessors in the throwing events.
In the previous five Track & Field Sectional competitions, there were six championships earned by Fort Plain Throwers. In 2014, Gabby Bridgewater won the girls Shot Put Competition. In 2015, Nate Florian won the boys Discus Title and finished as runner up in Shot Put.
In 2016, Nate Florian again won the Discus Title and was runner up in Shot Put. Rhyonn Ford claimed the girls Shot Put title in 2017 and finished third in Discus. That year Quinn Jones finished second in girls Discus.
2019 saw Hunter Logan sweep both the Shot Put and Discus competitions. Although there was no Sectional competition in 2020, Fort Plain throwers anxiously awaited their return in 2021.
For the 2021 Sectional Championships, Sarah Florian claimed the Discus title with a throw of 99 feet and 1 inch. She also finished 4th in the Shot Put event. Her teammate, Sarah Paradiso, claimed 5th in Discus and 1st in Shot Put. Her competition-winning throw was a career best 31 feet 4 inches. In the boys throwing events, Howie Kelley claimed second in the Boys Shot Put event with a career long throw of 39 feet 9.5 inches. He won the Boys Discus Title with a career best throw of 112 feet and 10 inches.
The Fort Plain Track & Field coaches are proud of these outstanding athletes, as well as all of the athletes on the Track team, both past and present. Everybody has worked to the best of their ability and the positive results speak for themselves. Although season’s ending can be sad, Sectional success makes it easier to wrap up the year!
In photo from left: Sarah Paradiso, Sarah Florian, Howie Kelley and Tyrell Martin
Personal induction ceremonies into the Junior National Honor Society (NHS) were held June 8-17 for 13 Fort Plain High School juniors and their families.
During each ceremony, readings focused on the Candle of Knowledge, which signifies a tradition of honor that passes along the pillars of leadership, character, scholarship and service. The students then lit candles to signify their commitment to knowledge and learning.
To finalize membership in the Junior NHS, students then recited the National Honor Society pledge, securing their membership. Congratulations to the following Junior NHS inductees:
As the school year comes to a close, Fort Plain bids farewell to 10 dedicated employees who are retiring from the district. Collectively, their time here adds up to more than 230 years of service to the school community. Staff and students alike will miss them. Congratulations and best wishes to Mike Cardamone, Nancy Cole, Jean Davis, Bonnie Hanifin, Carol Hecht, Cheryl Lamb, Mary McCall, Loren Miller, Lisa Petty, and Mary VanPatten.
Mike Cardamone joined the Fort Plain school community as a school bus driver in 2006. He has always demonstrated the highest degree of professionalism, and he takes great pride in his work. Mike has always been able to connect with students of all ages. Most particularly, he has been a positive role model for those high school students who attended HFM BOCES. Mike has delayed his plan to retire for the past several years now, mostly because he didn’t want to leave the students. However, the time has now come. In his retirement he will focus on his personal business and his family.
Nancy Cole has over 30 years of experience working in the cleaning industry. She has served Fort Plain Central School District since 2017. Nancy is known for her high cleaning standards and team leadership and for her outgoing personality. She has been a wonderful co-worker and friend to many members of the school community. Retirement will not slow her down. She plans to continue working for the town office, engaging in outdoor adventures and spending time with her family. Her positive attitude and high energy will be greatly missed here at Fort Plain.
Jean Davis is a Fort Plain graduate who has worked in the school for 30 years. Friendly, kind and always willing to help, Jean is the one who will try new recipes with the students in Mrs. Petty’s Life Skills class. She is best known for her creativity, whether it is making treats in the classroom or decorating the hallway with festive colorful displays. While Jean is a self-proclaimed homebody who enjoys gardening, she and her husband, Bob, recently bought a trailer. Their travel plans include some trips to Maine to visit their son and his family.
Bonnie Hanifin is retiring after serving Harry Hoag Elementary School for over two decades. Bonnie is an outstanding educator whose contributions to the school community will never be forgotten. Most recently, she served as an interventionist in the area of mathematics. She worked with students of all ages to develop deeper understanding of math concepts and collaborated with her peers to integrate hands-on learning experiences into every classroom. Harry Hoag will miss Bonnie deeply, and we wish her health and happiness in retirement!
Carol Hecht has been with her Fort Plain family for 12 years. She started in food service, then became the friendly face that greeted everyone when they entered the building at the junior-senior high school. Her kind words, shy smile, patience and willingness to help everyone will be missed. Carol does not have a concrete retirement plan. Long term, she will probably sell her house. She has six children and figures she can stay with each of them for a while. Short term, she wants to visit her son, Joe, who is stationed in Maryland. Carol knew she had to make a change, and she says this is her start.
Cheryl Lamb is a Fort Plain graduate who has served the Fort Plan Central School District for more than 23 years. She has been a jack-of-all-trades working in the library, classroom, study hall, cafeteria and distance learning lab. Two years ago, Cheryl moved to Caroga Lake where she enjoys the beach life. She says she is still young enough to enjoy herself, and that is exactly what she plans to do. On her first day of retirement, Cheryl plans to take her coffee and chair by the water, dig her toes in the sand and simply enjoy the peace and quiet.
Mary McCall has been a teacher for 33 years. Besides teaching English, Mary is fluent and certified to teach Russian. We are glad she stuck with English because she has fostered a love of reading in her students, but the biggest lessons the students learn do not come from the books they read, but from the life lessons she instills in all of them. Mary teaches with kindness, wisdom and positivity. While Mary says she loves, loves, loves the kids, the COVID-19 pandemic did her in. She is ready for her next journey . . . which includes getting back to writing. Mary is a novelist, publishing her first book, “Secret Vows,” in 2001. She has written eight novels and already has ideas for her next book. Besides writing, Mary and her husband plan to move closer to Delmar to be near her precious granddaughters.
As a 28-year veteran, Loren Miller has served Fort Plain with great pride and honor. He has received several letters over the years commending him for his excellent work, safe driving skills and his ability to respond quickly and professionally in any situation. Not only has Loren built many relationships with Fort Plain students, after spending several years driving a school bus that traveled among various Amish school buildings, he is highly respected by the Amish community. In addition to being a school bus driver, Loren spent 15 years working as a member of the building and grounds team. Loren is known for his high cleaning standards and painting skills. In retirement he will enjoy spending time with his partner Sharon and their family.
Lisa Petty has been a special education teacher in our school for 25 years. Educators run in her family. In fact, this will be the first time in 54 years that there will not be a Petty (Stortecky) working in our district. Lisa’s influence on our school community has been profound. She and the students in her Life Skills classroom have taught us all valuable lessons of acceptance, kindness and giving. Upon retirement, Lisa wants to try to find a hobby, but if she doesn’t that is okay. She will be busy travelling, visiting her boys (especially her grandson) in Houston, Phoenix and Buffalo . . . and hopefully still baking us cookies! Lisa will enjoy her summer with family in South Carolina. She is a season ticketholder for St. Bonaventure athletics and, post pandemic, she is looking forward to going to some games.
Mary VanPatten has been our librarian for the past 21 years. Books have been her passion. Whenever anyone needed a book recommendation, Mary was always ready. Through Battle of the Books, she encouraged kids to not only read good books, but win a trophy or two along the way. Mary has created a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere for students, making the library feel like home. She also worked with teachers to create some amazing projects. While Mary does not have grand retirement plans, she is looking forward to quilting, gardening, sleeping late and spoiling her seven grandchildren. She also has 25 years of clutter to get rid of, so keep an eye on eBay for some bargains.
Books, books and more books. When Fort Plain’s Class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian weren’t busy with their studies or playing sports, free time would find them both indulging in their common passion: reading.
“I love to research global history,” Valedictorian Seth Wintermute said. “I’ll read for hours for pleasure about how economics has shaped history in America and Europe. My love for history started when I read one of my mom’s books about the holocaust, ‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel, and I became interested in learning different perspectives of different authors. I’m always reading, even as I walk down the hallways in school.”
“If I had the time, I’d spend days on end at Barnes & Noble reading critical essays, or about nature, the Adirondacks, biographies, history, and or the ‘Midnight Sun’ sequel to ‘Twilight’,” said Salutatorian Sarah Paradiso. “I can’t put a book down, no matter how long it is.”
While they love books, Seth and Sarah were involved in Fort Plain athletics. Seth ran with the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. He enjoys running during his free time as well, preferably during colder weather. Sarah also ran on the Track and Field team and played on the Volleyball team, a sport she signed a commitment to play at Keuka College. She also played on the Basketball, Softball and Bowling teams.
Seth and Sarah were involved in many high school activities. Seth was active in Class Council, the Environmental Study Team, Prom Committee and National Honor Society. Sarah was also involved in Class Council, Environmental Study Team and National Honor Society, as well as Drama Club, Band, Chorus, Mock Trial, Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) organization, and in Girls State and her church choir.
At Keuka College, Sarah will study adolescent education, with a major in History and minor in English. She’s looking forward to the many internship experiences the college offers, and she is also interested in pre-law and political science – and perhaps running for office one day. Becoming an educator may come first, however. “I have a family history of history teachers!” she noted.
Seth will attend Syracuse University in the fall to pursue a double major in Political Science and Political Philosophy. He also has his eye on pre-law studies and law school, and he has a future goal of working in political analysis.
When asked to describe something unusual about himself, Seth said that once he became a senior in high school, he “became very vocal about everything, and when I wasn’t in class, they missed me.
“I’ve been opinionated since birth,” Seth added, “but I didn’t begin speaking up until this year. You need to get your opinion out, because no one will ask for it.”
Sarah’s unique enjoyment is “writing creatively. I have three novellas in the works, and I also like to write historical fiction,” she said. “My brain never stops; once I get started writing, I hate to stop.”
Sarah writes mostly at home, but also enjoys “writing in a coffee shop, or I could write anywhere. I’ll get abstract thoughts in my brain and take down memos. I’ve done some of my most creative writing in the shower or just before bedtime,” she said.
Sarah and Seth both enjoy country music, have happy memories of their time as Fort Plain students, and thank their teachers for all of their support and encouragement. Both said they missed interacting with fellow students and teachers during the pandemic.
Each offered advice for their younger peers.
“Stay ahead of your work,” Seth advised. “Don’t let yourself fall behind.”
“Make sure you find balance in your life,” said Sarah. “Have fun while you can; go to that basketball game!”
Congratulations to the Fort Plain High School Top Ten students for the Class of 2021. We are proud of your achievements and wish you well in all that lies ahead.
#10 Rachel Zuppardi
#9 Troy Butler
#8 Molli Bates
#7 Howie Kelley
#6 Olivia Kennedy
#5 Evan Crouse
#4 Zavia Allen
#3 Grace Hoffman
#2 Sarah Paradiso, Salutatorian
#1 Seth Wintermute, Valedictorian
Read more about our students
Visit our Senior Spotlight page to read more about all of our students in the Class of 2021
Job safety for teens was the focus of a work-based learning internship recently completed by Fort Plain senior Justin Schumacher and junior Nicholas Blowers.
The students created job safety graphics after learning about the number of teens injured on the job each year and the importance of workplace safety awareness for teens. Their project is now educating others in their school.
Justin and Nick drafted a map of the hazards in a grocery store. Upon finishing the draft map, Nick completed the layout of the grocery store using Google Slides and color coded the hazards that each identified.
To share this concept and importance with classmates, Justin and Nick developed the grocery store hazard map and related materials into graphics that are on display in the hall at the Jr./Sr. High School for their schoolmates to view.
Common jobs for today’s teen might include working in a grocery store, bagging groceries or selecting items for the customer to pick up. To address this need, Justin worked to develop graphics to share with his schoolmates that demonstrate proper ways to pack groceries in order to prevent damage, preserve freshness, prevent spoilage and reduce the chance of cross-contamination.
The students also hosted a special guest, HFM BOCES Transition Specialist Scott Iovinella, with whom they proudly shared their work.
Below are some statistics that Justin and Nick learned while reviewing the workplace safety curriculum:
- Approximately 1.6 million teens (age 15–17) in the United States work. About 50% of 10th graders and 75% of 12th graders have jobs.
- Many youths are injured on the job.
- On average, each year;
- 59,800 workers younger than 18 are sent to the ER for job-related injuries, but actual injury statistics are much higher.
- 37 workers younger than 18 die on the job.
- Young workers are twice as likely to be injured than adult workers.
View more photos on the Fort Plain CSD Facebook page.
Congratulations to the following Fort Plain students who were honored on June 14 for their achievements at the Undergraduate Awards Ceremony.
Listed by Award, Sponsor: Recipient
- 21st Century Leadership Award, Wells College: Kasidy Rouse
- 21st Century Leadership Award, Wells College: Tucker Jones
- Award in Memory of Clara Kilpatrick (boy), Clara Kilpatrick Scholarship Fund: Devan Sanders
- Award in Memory of Clara Kilpatrick (girl), Clara Kilpatrick Scholarship Fund: Marionna Stephens
- Bausch & Lomb Science Award, University of Rochester: Robert Jordan
- Citizenship Award, Mrs. Deborah Waner: Clayton Welch
- Citizenship Award, Mrs. Deb Waner: Griffin MaGinnis
- Citizenship Award, Mohawk Valley VFW Post 3275 Aux: Marionna Stephens
- Clarkson Leadership Award, Clarkson University: Sarah Florian
- Clarkson University Achievement Award, Clarkson University: Hailey Hogan
- Computing Medal & Scholarship Program Award, Rochester Institute of Technology: Levi Thomas
- Computing Medal & Scholarship Program Award, Rochester Institute of Technology: Erin Crouse
- Diligence and Dedication in PreCalculus, Mr. Lucas Santiago: Sarah Florian
- Elmira College Key Award, Elmira College: Elizabeth VanDycke
- Excellence in Creative Writing (Grade 10) from Mary Reed McCall, Mrs. Mary Reed McCall: Joseph Stinebrickner
- Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award in Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Rochester: Talia Narzymski
- George Eastman Young Leaders Award, University of Rochester: Emma Oldick
- GFWC Mohawk Valley Women’s Club Award, GFWC Mohawk Valley Women’s Club: Gracelynn Rice
- Highest Average in AP Biology, Mr. Jay D. Jarabek: Robert Jordan
Highest Average in the 10th Grade After 3 Quarters, Fort Plain Teachers’ Association: Alex Rivkowich
- Highest Average in the 11th Grade After 3 Quarters, Fort Plain Teachers’ Association: Robert Jordan
- Highest Average in the 9th Grade After 3 Quarters, Fort Plain Teachers’ Association: Brady Keane
- Interest and Effort in Geometry, Mr. Lucas Santiago: VanDwane Tulabing
- J.D.J. Above and Beyond Award, Mr. Jay D. Jarabek: Natalie Thibodeau
- J.D.J. Above and Beyond Award, Mr. Jay D. Jarabek: Erin Crouse
- J.D.J. Above and Beyond Award, Mr. Jay D. Jarabek: Ethan Kilmartin
- J.D.J. Above and Beyond Award, Mr. Jay D. Jarabek: Sarah Florian
- Julia Inella Memorial Award, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Bleichner: Keagen Ford
- LeMoyne College Heights Program, LeMoyne College: Sarah Florian
- Loyal Order of the Moose Art Award, Canajoharie Lodge 853: Nura Handy
- Mayflower Society Awards, Society of Mayflower Descendants: Robert Jordan
- Mayflower Society Awards, Society of Mayflower Descendants: Talia Narzymski
- Michael Hazzard Memorial Award, Family & Friends of Michael Hazzard: Ethan Kilmartin
- Most Improved Student in Grade 10 History, Mohawk Valley VFW Post 3275 Aux: Jacen Grassel
- Most Improved Student in Grade 11 History, Mohawk Valley VFW Post 3275 Aux: Cheyanne Wahl
- Most Improved Student in Grade 9 History, Mohawk Valley VFW Post 3275 Aux: Amelia Cruger
- Most Outstanding English Student in Grade 11, Mr. David O. Matt: Sarah Florian
- Outstanding Achievement in Pre-Calculus, Mr. Lucas Santiago: Robert Jordan
- Outstanding Achievement in Spanish II Award, Mrs. Patti Jarabek: Brady Keane
- Outstanding Achievement in Spanish III Award, Mrs. Patti Jarabek: Mayreni Quiroz-Romero
- Outstanding Achievement in Spanish III Award, Mrs. Patti Jarabek: Kristin Sanders
- Outstanding Achievement in Spanish IV Award, Mrs. Patti Jarabek: Keagen Ford
- Outstanding Achievement in Spanish IV Award, Mrs. Patti Jarabek: Erin Crouse
- Rensselaer Medal Award, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Robert Jordan
- RIT Innovation & Creativity Award, Rochester Institute of Technology: Keagen Ford
- RIT Innovation & Creativity Award, Rochester Institute of Technology: Talia Narzymski
- Student Sage Scholar, The Sage Colleges: Cheyanne Wahl
- The Evadean Handy Mathematics Award, Board of Education: Estee Smith
- Triple “C” Award, State of New York Office of the Attorney General: Brady Keane
- Triple “C” Award, State of New York Office of the Attorney General: Marionna Stephens
- Undergraduate Student of the Year Award, Elementary Student Council: Talia Narzymski
- Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology, University of Rochester: Seth Rivkowich
Over the week of June 7th, 2021, the Fort Plain – OESJ boys track and field team ran, jumped and threw their way to a fourth place finish at Sectionals. They competed against 13 other teams and scored a total of 54 points.
The scoring of points came from a variety of different places. For team running events, the 4 x 800 team of Clayton Welch, Armand Root, Michael Harris and Michael Green finished fourth. The 4 x 400 team of Estee Smith, Armand Root, Clayton Welch and Seth Richardson finished third.
Individual running events saw several standout performances. Armand Root finished third in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.92. Clayton Welch ran the 400 meter dash in 53.37 seconds and was crowned Sectional Champion in that event.
The Fort Plain field event athletes also had their share of success. Seth Richardson won the pole vault competition. Howie Kelley threw the shot put 39 feet 9.5 inches and took second place. His personal best throw was less than three inches away from the first place competitor. Kelley also became a Sectional champion with a discus throw of 112 feet and 10 inches.
The track coaches congratulate all of their athletes on a job well done this season. In a less-than-normal year, these athletes worked hard and stayed focused. Their success was evident at Sectionals!
-submitted by Brad Niles
Personal induction ceremonies into the National Honor Society (NHS) were held at the end of May and beginning of June for 11 Fort Plain High School seniors and their families.
During each ceremony, readings focused on the Candle of Knowledge, which signifies a tradition of honor that passes along the pillars of leadership, character, scholarship and service. The students lit candles to signify their commitment to knowledge and learning.
To finalize membership in the NHS, students then recited the National Honor Society pledge, securing their membership. Congratulations to the following NHS inductees: