Local students honored for their service

JOHNSTOWN – Seven Fulton County high school students were honored for service to their schools, families and community at the county Youth Bureau’s 2013 Youth Leading By Example Recognition Dinner Thursday night at the Johnstown Senior Citizens Center.

The event annually recognizes outstanding high school students for their school and community achievements.

Leading By Example Award plaque winners were initially nominated by officials from their schools, but the finalists are chosen by the bureau Advisory Board.

Attending were award recipients Michaela Hills, Maggie Pelosi, Hanna Cromie and Tiffany Gallt. Unable to attend were Cody Husek, Kyle Garguilo and Shelby Nichols.

“We have quite a few people here who are very special to honor,” said Fulton County Office for Aging/Youth Director Andrea Fettinger.

The keynote speaker was Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger, who told the students there are several ways to lead, but they are “leading by example.”

“I think that’s really the strongest way to lead,” Swanger said. “People see that, people admire that, people follow that.”

On the subject of leadership, Swanger also told the students, “Leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”

Presenting the awards to the students was bureau Advisory Board Chairman John Baker.

Descriptions of the recognized students follow:

– Cody Husek: A senior at Broadalbin-Perth High School, described by school counselor Jennifer Zimmerman as “hardworking, motivated, a leader with the best work ethic of any student I have encountered.” The bureau said he is a master fundraiser, a supportive son and brother and all-around great person.

Michaela Hills: A senior at Broadalbin-Perth High School, described by school counselor Charla Simonson this way: “Some students touch your heart in a special way; Michaela is one of those students for me.” The bureau said she is a tutor, precision foul shooter, community organizer, supportive daughter and sister.

– Kyle Garguilo: A senior at Gloversville High School. Teacher Susanne Fitzgerald stated he “constantly and consistently volunteers in and out of school, mentors students, volunteers with his church, helps at Sir William Johnson Hall.” He also sits on the Fulton County Youth Bureau Advisory Board.

– Maggie Pelosi: A junior at Johnstown High School. Spanish teacher JoAnn Smith said she volunteers with the Warren Street Elementary Fair, is involved with International Club and is a supportive daughter and sister.

– Hanna Cromie: A senior at Mayfield Central High School, described by Vice Principal Chris Wojeski this way: “She has been student rep to the Mayfield Board of Education, providing insight into the student perspective, active as president of Student Council and National Honor Society, and provided wise leadership. Kept up good grades through challenging times.”

– Shelby Nichols: A sophomore at Northville Central High School. Ashley Rickson said of the student, “Outstanding for many reasons, helps at family business, supports students academically, caring for her grandmother, being a supportive daughter and grand-daughter, is courageous and compassionate”

– Tiffany Gallt: A senior at Oppenheim-Ephratah Central High School, described this way by Principal Brett Barr: “Has taken a leadership role in her family, helping younger siblings, cares for grandparents, strong in challenging times.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.