Eric Tismark Boham, of Valatie, is the salutatorian of the class of 2021 at Ichabod Crane High School. His parents are Eric and Elizabeth Boham. During his high school years, he served as the alternate student representative on the Board of Education, presenting to the board at their monthly meetings. Tismark was named an AP (Advanced Placement) Scholar, and was awarded the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. He was selected for the Colonial Council Indoor Track and Field All-Star Team. Tismark competed on the school’s track and field team since 2018 and was a member of the Varsity Golf team since 2017. As captain, he led the golf team to sectional and championship titles. He served as president of the Varsity Club, where one of his responsibilities was planning athletic fundraisers and organizing events. Tismark volunteered at Albany Medical Center for the summer of 2019, and had a paid internship at Kinderhook Toyota the following summer, to learn about car mechanics as a part of his engineering education. He was accepted early decision to the engineering school at Cornell University for the fall.
Winter J. Exley, of East Nassau, is a senior at New Lebanon Junior / Senior High School. His parents are Beryl and Joseph Exley. Winter served as student representative on the Board of Education since 9th grade, and was valued as both a peer and a leader in the high school. He received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and the Academic Excellence Award. Winter brought enthusiasm and talent to his involvement in the music program at NLHS. As a member of the swim and soccer team, he was awarded Most Tenacious (swimming) and the Coaches Award (soccer). He led practices in both sports and trained new players. Winter was president of the Outspoken Club, which was formed to bring awareness to bullying and encourage students to speak out. A certified Water Safety Instructor, Winter taught swimming lessons locally. He worked at a local restaurant throughout his high school years. He plans to study Business Administration at Russell Sage College.
Riley Gibbons is the salutatorian for the 2021 Class at Germantown High School. She is the daughter of Heather and Jim Gibbons of Elizaville. During her four years at GHS, Riley was president of both the National Junior Honor and National Honor Society, and served as Class President for four years. She starred athletically as well, being on the varsity basketball team, club soccer and team captain of varsity soccer. She was awarded team MVP, All Star and CHV League MVP in both sports. She participated in NYSMAA and the All County Chorus, and was a member of the All State Band, the NYSBDA Band, Jazz Band and A Capella group. Riley’s interest in storytelling and social change found a voice during her senior year at Germantown, when she joined efforts for structural change related to racism and police reform through the TMI Project / Black Stories Matter project based in Kingston NY. Riley independently organized a fundraiser for the group, and then joined their fundraising committee. She obtained an internship with the program to continue her contributions to their work. Riley previously worked as a babysitter and cashier at a local farm store. She plans to study the social sciences, pursuing education that revolves around social change and creativity, at SUNY New Paltz.
Taylor Shackelton will graduate in 2021 with a Regents diploma from Taconic Hills High School and credentials as a Construction Technology from Questar III, where he ranked #1 in his class. His mother is Amy Shackelton of Copake. Taylor is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, and a SKillsUSA Member. He earned the Junior Achievement Award in Construction Technology and the Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology. Taylor was a Youth League Bowler, participated on the THHS varsity bowling team and earned the 2020 MVP award. He also served as co-captain of the JV soccer team at Taconic Hills. He served as an Explorer Team member of the Copake Fire Company since 2017. Taylor also worked at Sky Farm Horse Farm in Copake in various capacities, and was named employee of the month in March 2020, when he was cited for his reliability, loyalty and trustworthiness. He plans to pursue an Associate Degree in Construction Technology from SUNY Delhi.
Jaden Tompkins is the valedictorian of the class of 2021 at New Lebanon Junior / Senior High School. His parents are Peter and Jennifer Tompkins of East Nassau. Jaden is a member of the National Honor Society and attended the HOBY (Hugh O'Brian Youth) Leadership Conference in 2019. He also participated in the Future Cities national competition for middle school students for two years, making it to the finals in Washington DC with his team both years. Jaden was an honor roll student. He was a member of the Technology and Archery clubs, and was on the Varsity Volleyball team. He participated in the All County Choir and the All County Jazz Choir. Jaden spent the summers of 2018 and 2019 as a camp counselor at the New Lebanon Youth Program. More recently, he worked at Blueberry Hill Market and Café in New Lebanon. He plans to study engineering in the fall.
Brittani Dauley is the valedictorian of the class of 2021 at Germantown High School. She is the daughter of Nancy Dauley of Germantown and her late father Robert Dauley of Red Hook. Brittani is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and the National Honor Society, and won awards for outstanding achievement in all of her classes. Early in her high school career, Brittani participated in Odyssey of the Mind, which she credits with developing her intellectual, interpersonal, and practical skills. Brittani participated in modified soccer and softball and was on the Varsity Cheerleading Squad. Her extracurricular interest in dance allowed her to participate in a week long Disney performance in Florida, and in the annual Philadelphia Parade. Her volunteer work included several rounds at the annual Halloween Event for school, providing assistance with reading, writing, and fun projects with community children at the Town Library, and work with the local garden club. She worked at several local businesses, including Rose Hill Farm and Livingston Nursing Home. Brittani plans study Biology at SUNY Cortland.
Sydney Kiernan graduated as a member of the 2021 class at Taconic Hills High School. She is the daughter of Susan and David Kiernan of Copake. Sydney is a member of the Honor Society. She accumulated many honors for her academic work and leadership activities, including the Clarkson University High School Leadership Award, Congress of Future Medical Leaders Award of Excellence, Scholar Athlete awards for all active sports seasons, and recognition for outstanding performance and commitment at the Colleges United Field Hockey Camp. Sydney participated in the field hockey and track and field teams throughout high school, and on the swim team since her junior year. A member of the school band since 5th grade, she participated in NYSSMA and All County as a saxophonist. Sydney’s ten years as a 4H member led her to develop skills in public speaking, team membership, and leadership roles. Sydney always worked at her family’s dairy business and farm, Walt’s Dairy, an experience she credits with teaching her life lessons of responsibility and determination. She plans to study Biology or Health Sciences at Purdue University.
Melina Jeune graduated with the class of 2021 at Hudson High School with an Advanced Regents Diploma. She is the daughter of Tanya Mays and Pierre Jeune. Melina pursued a rigorous course of study including Advanced Placement Courses in Environmental Science, US History and Biology, as well as college level courses in Calculus, English and Spanish. A member of the National Honor Society, Melina was active in the Student Council, Multicultural Club, and Rising Places Youth Advisory Board in addition to other activities with the Class of 2021. Melina won the MVP Award for both varsity tennis and soccer, participated in varsity track and swimming, and was awarded the NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete Award. Melina played the lead snare drum for the Hudson High School Marching Band. Her volunteer activities included Salvation Army Bell Ringer, Gospel Lighthouse Church member, and staff volunteer at the Kite’s Nest Animation Camp. Under the auspices of the Social Justice Leadership Academy, she organized and participated in a Housing Rights March that led to the extension of the eviction moratorium in Hudson during the pandemic. Melina was a Youth in Action Member of Operation Unite Educational and Cultural Arts Center and a garden collaborator at the River City Community Garden. She plans to attend Binghamton University with a major in biological sciences on a pre-veterinary track.
Noshin Tasnim, daughter of Mohammed M. Ali and Sayeda P. Akther, graduated with the class of 2021 from Hudson High School with an Advanced Regents Diploma. Noshin excelled in academics with advanced courses in History, Environmental Science, Biology, English, Spanish and Calculus. Noshin served as Class President for all four years of high school, Student Council Vice President in her junior year, and Student Council President for her senior year. During the pandemic, Noshin held weekly virtual student council meetings and planned successful events. She was involved with the Robotics Club, Varsity Club, and Yearbook Club. She participated on many Varsity sports teams including soccer, track, swimming and cheerleading. Noshin is a member of the National Honor Society, a recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and an AP Scholar. Outside of school, Noshin was a counselor in training at the Hudson After School Program, a Youth in Action Member of Operation Unite Educational & Cultural Arts Center, and a server at The Maker in Hudson. She volunteered with the Salvation Army, the Second Show Thrift Store, the Annual Bangladeshi Cultural Festival, and the Hudson Muslim Youth. During the pandemic she worked with Hudson Shared Streets to provide safer walking streets for pedestrians. Noshin plans to study engineering at Hamilton College.
Sonam Verma is salutatorian of the Chatham High School Class of 2021. She is the daughter of Daljeet Singh and Ranjana Kumari. Sonam achieved an outstanding academic record including Advanced Placement courses in English, US History, Calculus and Biology. Throughout high school she was actively involved in Model Congress. Sonam founded the first medical club at Chatham High and served as president. While serving as president of student government, Sonam worked to create a better environment for students. She was an active member of Students Against Destructive Decisions and a volunteer for Sean’s Run. Sonam was a member of the varsity tennis team, and served as team captain. She represented Chatham High School at the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference and the Columbia Greene Community College Junior Career Institute. Outside of school, Sonam was involved with the local chapter of Zonta International, participating in community service projects and supporting international girls’ organizations. During the pandemic, Sonam started her own podcast, 5 Minute Think, which had over 300 listeners in more than 5 different countries as of mid-2021. Sonam is a member of the National Honor Society, Art Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars and the National Business and Marketing Society. She plans to attend Stony Brook University to pursue a career in Public Health.