Congratulations to the Berlin Class of 2012
Berlin Scholarships & Awards
The Berlin Central School Staff/Student Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Berlin High School graduate who
has worked to the best of his/her ability and does not necessarily rank at the top of the graduating class; to a graduate who desires to further his/her education either academically or technically; and to a graduate who has been courteous and considerate of others. The 2012 recipient is Phillip Bruns
The Berlin Fire Department Frank Jones Memorial Scholarship was presented by Assistant Fire Chief William Osterhout to Marissa Sweener
The Berlin Jr./Sr. High School Dollars for Scholars Awards were presented by Steven Mellor to Adrianna Rizzo and Larry Oligny
The Berlin Jr/Sr High School PTO Awards are presented to graduates who have attended Berlin Jr/Sr High School for two years and participated in the Music Program, done community service work within the school or have been involved in the interscholastic sports program. The 2012 recipients are Kayleigh Corrado for Community Service, Rachel Ferris for Interscholastic Sports and Kathryn Amendolara for Music & Drama
✥ The Berlin Rescue Squad Wilma Anderson Memorial Scholarship was presented by Captain Tammy Osterhout to Marissa Sweener
The Blue Shield Scholar’s Award was presented to Kayleigh Corrado
The Lillis Bunce Memorial Award is given annually by the Grafton Community Library to encourage community service as exemplified by the life of Lillis Bunce. The 2012 recipient is Connor Hoyt
The Ruth B. Canfield Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a member of the graduating class who has achieved the highest grade point average and who is continuing his/her education. The 2012 recipient is Kathryn Amendolara
The Thomas Conklin Memorial Award is a monetary gift to a graduating senior from Grafton, continuing on to
college or military service. The 2012 recipient is Seth Hawk
The DAR Good Citizen Scholarship was presented to Kayleigh Corrado
The Dorothy I. Gutermuth Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Berlin High School graduate who is continuing his/her education and who demonstrates a strong work ethic. The 2012 recipient is Rachel Ferris
The Barbara Horton Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a current graduate of Berlin High School pursuing a career in the education field. The 2012 recipient is Ashlyn Hillis
The William J. Kinn Scholarship is awarded to the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the graduating class. The 2012 recipients are Kathryn Amendolara and Kayleigh Corrado
The Kjelsen (Kelson) Trust Fund Scholarship is awarded to a Berlin High School graduate entering a university within the State of New York. The 2012 recipient is Mihael Gerkman
The John Laws Memorial Scholarship commemorates one of Berlin Central School District’s outstanding faculty members. It is given to a student who is planning a career in teaching or human service. The 2012 recipient is Kazie Furcinite
The Norma Lewis Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Berlin High School graduates who have enrolled in an accredited college program. The 2012 recipient is Brittany Dickhaus
The NYS Attorney General’s Triple “C” Award was presented to Larry Oligny and Adriana Rizzo
The NYS Comptroller’s Achievement Award was presented to Kayleigh Corrado
The Frances Palmer Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Berlin High School graduate enrolled in a two or four year accredited college entering the education field, especially teaching. The 2012 recipient is Kazie Furcinite
The Questar III Construction Technology Achievement Award was presented to Byron Alderman
The Questar III Construction Technology Craftsmanship Award was presented to Scott Rokjer
The Questar III Information Technology Craftsmanship Award was presented to Justin Ryan
The Rensselaer County Cooperative Extension Scholarship was presented by 4-H Program Administrator Kandis Freer to Connor Hoyt
The Edith Grace Craig Reynolds Scholarship is awarded to a Berlin High School graduate who is pursuing higher education, has performed well academically, has a strong work ethic and is involved in community service. The 2012 recipient is Larry Oligny
The Lester T. Russell Scholarship is awarded to a graduating Senior living in the Berlin Central School District and enrolled in a two or four year accredited college in the field of engineering and/or business. The 2012 recipient is Larry Oligny
The School Systems Federal Credit Union Community Service Award was presented to Adriana Rizzo
The Ethel Simmons Memorial Award is given to a Grafton senior who submits the winning essay on Grafton
History. It is sponsored jointly by the Grafton Historical Society and the Grafton Community Library. The 2012 recipient is Connor Hoyt
The John Phillip Sousa Award was presented to Kathryn Amendolara
The Spirit of Science Award was presented to Isaac Coffie
The Taconic Valley Garden Club Scholarship is awarded to a graduate enrolled in a two or four year college with a major in Earth Science, Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation, Environmental Science, Farming or Biology. The 2012 recipient is Kayleigh Corrado
The Taylor Trust Fund Scholarship is awarded to a Berlin High School graduate entering a university within the State of New York. The 2012 recipient is Kazie Furcinite
The United States Air Force Excellence in Math and Science Award was presented to Kathryn Amendolara
The United States Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete Awards were presented to Kayleigh Corrado and Rocco Farano
The United States Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award was presented to Brittany Dickhaus and Scott Bamba
The United States Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award was presented to Kathryn Amendolara
The United States Marine Corps Semper Fidelis Award was presented to Erik Viner
The Perfect Attendance Award was presented to Kayleigh Corrado, Alex French, Brandon Gardy, Caitlyn Hungerford
Department Key Awards
Art Department Keys – Jamie Weir and Sarah Cooke
Business Department Keys – Jamie Weir and Marissa Sweener
Catering Class Department Keys – Ashlyn Hillis and Raquel Hillis
English Department Keys – Kayleigh Corrado, Kathryn Amendolara, Tonya Brock, Clara Riccardi and Jamie Weir
Family & Consumer Science Department Key – Courtny Bentley
Math Department Keys – Daniel von Schilgen and Kathryn Amendolara
Music Department Keys – Clara Riccardi and Caitlyn Hungerford
Physical Education Department Keys – Justin Jewett and Audrey Smith
Science Department Keys – Kathryn Amendolara and Kelsey O’Dell
Social Studies Department Keys – Maria Gordon and Clara Riccardi
Spanish Department Keys – Andrew Zlotnick and Maria Gordon
Technology Department Key – Isaac Coffie and Alex French
by Kathryn Amendolara
Before I begin, I would like to thank our families, our teachers, the members of the Board, Dr. Young and Dr. Allain for helping us get to this day and coming here to celebrate this achievement with us.
Now here goes: It’s a funny concept: group mentality. I’ve been thinking about it for a while, how this class seems to have one, how it has shaped us as people, and what exactly it is. So I researched the definition – I mean, I’m the valedictorian, what did you expect? Wilfred Bion, in his book Experiences in Groups, defines “group mentality” as “the mental activity that takes shape within a group based on the opinions, will and the unconscious, unanimous and anonymous desires of its members. It ensures that group life will correspond to the basic assumptions that determine its course.” Ok, I know it sounds like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel, but with us that is not the case. What formed these past 13 years – from kindergarten to this day – was something beautiful. We created this supportive community and our unconscious will and desire was to pull each other up, so that we may all be our best. And our “course” was to get to this day successfully, and beyond it.
And along the way, we’ve been the best people we can be. We’ve been the leaders of our peers, in athletics, academics, art and anything and everything else, not just this past year, but throughout high school. Of course, we owe so much of this success to our teachers and our families – I, for one, owe the world to my parents and my brother – but this class has some special, undefinable thing that has been recognized in us as far back as elementary school – although that recognition was always in hushed tones and followed with “But don’t tell the other classes I said this.” (You can all freely admit now that we’re the best.) How else could you explain that our class has so many bright minds and intellectual thinkers? The grade difference between the valedictorian and the salutatorian this year was less than a point, and I’m sure the other class standings were just as close.
And I can’t tell you how many lively and well-thought debates we’ve had between us, whether they were official or not. We’ve had arguments and discussions on everything from whether Lady Macbeth or Macbeth was more evil to whether or not turkeys can fly. We each look at the world in our own creative way, and that is a rare thing. Most don’t take the time to survey the world around them and question it, but we do – I think our teachers never had a class who asked ”But why?” more than we did. This is a class of diversely talented, creative, intelligent, hard-working people and I have no doubt that every single person on this stage is going to be successful in whatever they set out to do in their lives. Because ever since elementary school, this class – although ever changing and evolving – has laid us a sturdy foundation while we made a lot of good memories along the way.
We all have this profound support system in each other, and it has made us the fantastic people we are today. It has built all of us up to be leaders, so that we may continue on and continue to be the best we can be – which is pretty darn good. And even though we are leaving, I just know that we’ll still have each other to lean on, because that’s how this “group mentality” works. We’re still a group, no matter how many miles separate us, and our ingrained desire will still be to help each other. We’ve created something great, a community that we wi1l each be a part of for the rest of our lives.
I truly feel privileged to have been a part of this amazing group of people. It has been a privilege to grow up with all of you and to share all those memories with you. Like being in our first-grade play about a trip around the world where some people had to eat freezing cold spaghetti and the guys struggled to remember the lyrics to the Beatles’ “She Loves You” while the girls were backstage mouthing the words. And recently in Virginia on our senior trip, when we all ran out to catch the ice cream truck, and when we were way better dancers than the other schools on the dinner cruise. It has been a privilege to share all of that with all of you. It has been a privilege to spend my childhood and adolescence learning from all of you. You have shaped the way I see the world and how I think about the things around me. I will carry a part of all of you in my heart, and in my mind, for the rest of my life. Thank you.
by Kayleigh Corrado
I can remember walking to school the first day of sixth grade and thinking to myself, “I can’t believe I will be coming here seven more years; I’ll never graduate.” Then I blinked, and now here we all are, the last day we will ever spend in this school as students. As a class we were amazing in every available avenue: we have the athletes, the scholars, the musicians, the artists, the actors, etc. More than that, however, we have an amazing group of individuals, and because our class is so remarkably remarkable, I want to do something special and different.
• Kathy – You have an amazing, multifaceted mind. Keep sparkling and shining in all you do.
• Tyler Bacon – Your personality is so stable and friendly. I’m very glad I was able to get closer to you this year.
• Orlando – I see you riding your bike all the time, and if you pursue it I know you’ll go far.
• Scotty – You should sell your hugs; you’d be a millionaire.
• Jeremy Bell – I’m sure glad we had you on our defensive line for soccer.
• Courtney – You were one of my closest friends in kindergarten, and I will always remember you.
• Chelsea – It’s very refreshing to see a girl who is so confident.
• Rachael Bly – You are an incredibly strong person, physically and mentally. Never back down. Not that you would.
• Tonya – You have an amazing gift in that you make friends wherever you go.
• Phil – We became close this year, and I’ll always remember our time together on Senior Trip.
• Colleen – You look so nice all the time. You definitely deserve Best Dressed.
• Sasha – Every blood drive I ran you were there willing to donate, so thank you.
• Tyler Burdick – I wish I’d gotten to know you better over the years because I remember how close we all were as kids.
• Devin – Thank you for spicing up A.P. Chemistry.
• Jeremy Chaudoin – Whenever I was goalie in gym you were the only one who didn’t try and kill me with the ball, so thank you.
• Jacob – You will go far in life because everyone who meets you can’t help but like you.
• Isaac – Thank you for always being a gentleman and a scholar and, of course, a hero.
• Sarah – You have real skill with photography – keep it up.
• Harvest – We haven’t had many classes together, but I can tell that you’re a very genuine girl.
• Bret – The world always needs another philosopher, and I’m glad you’re it.
• Brittany – It amazed me how quickly you became an integral part of our cross country family; within a second we all loved you.
• D.J. – I’m sorry we didn’t talk much, but it’s obvious you’re a really nice guy.
• Rocco – You’re one classy gent; Bennington won’t know what hit it.
• Rachel Ferris – You’re an outstanding athlete, and there is no limit to what you can do.
• Alex – Don’t try and be like Sawyer or Captain Hammer; you’re better.
• Kazie – Congrats on getting it all done so early.
• Brandon Gardy – When you’re not sleeping you seem like a stand-up guy.
• Mihael – You’re the most honest and just person I know – the world is lucky to have you.
• Zach – Every time you see me in the hall you say hi, and it makes my day.
• Seth – Whatever college basketball team gets you is lucky.
• Justin Hayes – Congrats on winning that arm wrestling tournament; it’s very impressive.
• Ashlyn – My years on track would never have been as fun if you weren’t there.
• Raquel – You know what you want and that is why you will be happy no matter what you do in life.
• Mikey – It’s no wonder that you won every prom/homecoming crown – it’s because you shine.
• Brandi – Whenever you walk into a room you light it up, and you do the same for whomever is near you.
• Tyler Hoffman – No matter what, you should always know that your hair is the best. And we know that gingers do have souls.
• Connor – I know that because of you the environment will always have a chance.
• Cait – You are beautiful in every single way, and you will be the Aunt Laurie to my kids one day.
• Justin Jewett – From watching your volleyball games I learned that it is possible to be modest and a champion.
• Idina – You are you and no one else. Always stay that way.
• Nicole – I wish I could make my hair look as nice as yours does all the time.
• Sam – You may be small but you will do big things.
• Cole – You’ve always been a gentleman, and it turns out you’re Captain America too.
• Ally – You truly have an amazing smile.
• Tessa – It’s always a lot of fun to talk to you.
• Larry – It is already apparent that you will be incredibly successful in life.
• Jon – I remember when we played soccer together, back in the TVSC days; good times.
• Dylan – It is so rare to meet someone who is so remarkably intelligent and kind.
• Brandon Rathbun – I don’t hunt, but you seem to enjoy it, so be safe.
• Clara – Getting to know you is one of the most worthwhile endeavors anyone can do. I’m glad I did.
• Adriana – Your smile is infectious, and you are one of the most fun people to be with.
• Scott Rokjer – I wish my brother was as impressed with my paintballing skills as he is with yours.
• Liz – You are so easy to love and so dang hilarious.
• Tegan – You’re lucky in that you have great passion in all that you do.
• Audrey – You have the best personality of anyone I know, and I am so grateful you came to our school.
• Marissa – You are a very open and friendly person and have a lovely smile.
• James – you are a pretty funny guy with good taste in music.
• Ashley – I remember playing soccer with you years ago, and what a good goalie you were.
• Erik – You are the king of trivia and will be an amazing history teacher.
• Jamie – I’ve never met anybody sweeter than you and doubt I ever will.
Life is an amazing gift, and when we walk down the aisle from this gymnasium we will be entering life in a way we never have before. No matter where you all go in life remember where you’ve been. Every moment here wasn’t perfect, nothing ever is, yet every second has helped us grow into who we are today, and because of that I have no regrets, and I hope none of you do either.
There are too many things to say, and I’ve already been talking for a while, but I just want to say one more thing – thank you, all of you, for being in my life.
Berlin Class of 2012 – Where Are They Going?
Kathryn Amendolara – College of St. Rose
Tyler Bacon – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Orlando Balls-Suarez – Workforce
Scott Bamba – Hudson Valley Community College
Jeremy Bell – Hudson Valley Community College
Courtny Bentley – Mildred Elley
Chelsea Bierwirth – Southern Vermont College
Rachel Bly – Elmira College
Tonya Brock – Workforce
Phillip Bruns – Hudson Valley Community College
Colleen Bullard – Workforce
Sasha Burch – Workforce
Tylor Burdick – Workforce
Devin Cerniglia – Hudson Valley Community College
Jeremy Chaudoin – Workforce
Jacob Church – Hudson Valley Community College
Isaac Coffie – SUNY Potsdam
Sarah Cooke – SUNY Cobleskill
Kayleigh Corrado – Union College
Harvest Moon’s Dancer – SUNY Cobleskill
Bret Derby – Hudson Valley Community College
Brittany Dickhaus – Western New England University
Corey Doughty – Workforce
David Dwyer – Hudson Valley Community College
Rocco Farano – Bennington College
Rachel Ferris – Assumption College
Alex French – Hudson Valley Community College
Kazie Furcinite – Hudson Valley Community College
Brandon Gardy – Workforce
Mihael Gerkman – SUNY Potsdam
James Grenier – Workforce
Zachary Hall – Workforce – Labor Union
Gunnar Hanson – Workforce
Seth Hawk – Utica College
Justin Hayes – Hudson Valley Community College
John Hendricks II – Workforce
Ashlyn Hillis – Hudson Valley Community College
Raquel Hillis – Hudson Valley Community College
Michaela Hindes – SUNY Potsdam
Brandi Hoffman – Hudson Valley Community College
Tyler Hoffman – Hudson Valley Community College
Connor Hoyt – SUNY Cortland
Caitlyn Hungerford – SUNY Potsdam
Justin Jewett – Hudson Valley Community College
Idina Koruz – Dog Grooming School
Nicole Lichty – Workforce
Samantha Macey – Hudson Valley Community College EOC
Cole MacVeigh – Hudson Valley Community College
Allyson Monk – Bryant and Stratton
Tessa New – Workforce
Larry Oligny – RPI
Jonathon Oswald – Workforce
Dylan Overholt – SUNY Potsdam
Brandon Rathbun – Workforce
Clara Riccardi – SUNY Geneseo
Adriana Rizzo – SUNY Potsdam
Scott Rokjer – Hudson Valley Community College
Elizabeth Sheehy – Hudson Valley Community College
Brett Sheldon – Workforce
Tegan Shumway – Utica College
Audrey Smith – Hudson Valley Community College
Marissa Sweener – SUNY Potsdam
Erik Viner – SUNY Potsdam
Jamie Weir – Mildred Elley