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2016Giddings Foundation
Scholarship Recipients

The Board of the Alice and Murray Giddings Foundation has awarded Giddings Foundation Scholarships to ten 2016 graduates of public high schools in Columbia County. Each recipient will receive a $5000 scholarship applicable to his or her post-secondary certificate or college degree program. The 2016 Giddings Scholarship recipients and their families were honored at a luncheon reception at the Winding Brook Country Club on Sunday, June 12, 2016, and attending recipients spoke about their anticipated plans for college. Some previous recipients of Giddings Scholarships also spoke to the audience, and updated the Board on their college activities. Like previous scholarship winners, the 2016 Giddings Scholars all demonstrate leadership, community service, and high academic standing.

Ryan Brophy

Ryan Brophy is a 2016 graduate of Germantown High School. He is the son of Thomas and Alecia Brophy. Over the course of his high school years, Ryan has earned many academic honors for class achievement. He has been a member of the National Honor Society for three years, served as President of that organization in his last year of high school, and earned the Choral Award for Excellent Section Leadership twice. He was selected for the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership program in his sophomore year. Ryan received the RIT Innovation & Creativity Award, the Elmira College Key Award, and the Rensselaer Medal in his junior year. Ryan was a member of the Soccer team for three of his high school years, and participated for four years on the JV and Varsity Basketball teams at Germantown. His strong interest in music is evidenced by his participation in the All County Band, the Concert Chorus, the Jazz Band, and the Concert Band. He was a member of the Drama Club throughout high school, and served as the Club's Vice President during his senior year. Ryan plans to attend Siena College.

Courtney Dearnley

Courtney Dearnley is the Valedictorian for the 2016 graduating class at Taconic Hills High School. She is the daughter of Rebecca Duksa. A member of the National Honor Society, she completed coursework in Macroeconomics and Retail and Business Management at Columbia Green Community College, and a Science Research Class through SUNY Albany on Growth in Pre-Weaned Jersey Calves on Milk Replacer. She received the 2015 Clarkson University High School Leadership Award and the 2015 Elmira College Key Award. She received multiple Outstanding Project Awards as a member of 4-H, and been a Master Dairy Show Person at the Columbia County Fair. She served as a junior member of the NYS Holstein Association, the ENY Holstein Club, the Farm Bureau, the NYS Dairy Leader Class, and the Columbia County Dairy Committee. She was an active member and served as the President of the Future Farmers of America at Taconic Hills. Courtney plans to attend the College of Agriculture and Life Science at Cornell University, and to pursue a major in Animal Science with a focus in Dairy and a minor in Agricultural Business.

Sheila M. De Jesus Pineda

Sheila M. De Jesus Pineda is a 2016 graduate of the Culinary Arts program at Questar III and Hudson High School. She is the daughter of Pedro and Yris De Jesus. Sheila served as Secretary in both Prostart Student Council and Skills USA Student Council. She participated in the Yearbook Committee, Art Club, and Tennis Club at Hudson High School. She was selected for the Journey for Junior Baking and Pastry Program in 2015, and awarded the Leadership Award for Excellence that same year. She received a Certificate of Selection Award for the National Academy of Youth. Sheila has participated in numerous Questar III events that have allowed her to demonstrate her expertise in Culinary Arts while serving the Questar community. Sheila worked at a local restaurant while completing her high school work. She completed an internship at the Sylvia Center Katchkie Farms, and participated as a staff for Hudson Promise Neighborhood. She plans to attend the Culinary Institute of America to pursue a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts Management.

Sadie Kratt

Sadie Kratt is a 2016 Graduate of Chatham High School, and is in the top 10% of her class. She is the daughter of Daniel Kratt and Stacey Hopkins. She completed a selective, demanding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this past year, and worked in an undergraduate research lab, in lieu of a typical senior schedule. Sadie has participated in the Ecology Club and Drama Club throughout her high school years, and has participated in the Newspaper Club, the Varsity Track Team, and the Pep band. Regularly on the honor roll, Sadie was a member of the Honor Society and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Her leadership was recognized by the Clarkson University Leadership Award, and her acceptance into New Visions STEM Program. Sadie was employed at a local bagel shop and as a babysitter during her high school years. Her volunteer work included weekly tutoring, assistance at Chatham Hunt Club events, and involvement with her local church group. Sadie plans to attend the Honors College at the University at Buffalo, where she will major in Chemical Engineering.

Kristyn Kreutziger

Kristyn Kreutziger is a 2016 graduate of New Lebanon Jr. /Sr. High School. She is the daughter of Jeff and Lisa Kreutziger. During her time in high school, Kristyn was a member of the Spirit Club and Students against Destructive Decisions (SADD). She was named the President of the National Honor Society. She volunteered for an hour a day, five days a week tutoring other students in her district after school. She also volunteered at the local food pantry worked after school at a local child care program. Kristyn was on the Prom Committee and volunteered at Becca's Closet, a dress drive to provide prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who could not afford to purchase them. Kristyn's academic grades place her in the top 25% of her class. She plans to attend Siena College this fall, with a major in Biochemistry.

Jahed Miah

Jahed Miah, son of Tossir Miah and Jomila Jasmin, is a 2016 graduate of Hudson High School. His past community service included volunteer work at the Hudson Children's Book Festival, the Annual Black Arts and Cultural Festival, Bangladeshi Cultural Fair, Special Olympics Bocce Tournament, Red Cross Blood Drive, and Hudson City School District Capital Project. Jahed was a founding member of My Brothers, and organized weekly meetings for a youth group at a local mosque and led religious scholarly discussions. Jahed's extracurricular activities over the last four years included his role as Vice President of Student Council during his senior year; and his participation in National Honor Society, Varsity Club, Scrub Club, the Hudson High School Writing Center and Poetry Café. He was a member of the school's Varsity Track, Tennis and Soccer teams. Jahed was the recipient of the AP Scholar Academic Achievement Award and was chosen for Boy's State in 2015. He will attend the Honors Program at SUNY New Paltz for a Pre-Med major with the goal of becoming an osteopathic physician.

Emily Ooms

Emily Ooms is a 2016 graduate of Chatham High School. She is the daughter of Timothy and Kristine Ooms of Valatie. Emily has worked on her family's dairy farm from a young age, and has consistently demonstrated a strong interest in the field of agriculture. Emily was active in 4-H for over ten years, and participated in Dairy Visions and Junior Dairy Leaders for several years. After serving for 6 years as a County Dairy Ambassador, she was named Dairy Princess for Columbia County in 2015, and NYS Dairy Princess in 2016. She was named the NY Holstein Extemporaneous Speech Winner, and was involved in annual Dairy Quiz Bowls. She completed an internship at the Lely Center in 2016, helping to train cows and farmers on the use of robots. At Chatham High School, she was a member of the National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society. She received academic awards in Accounting and Principles of Computers; she graduated in the top 25% of her class. She will be attending Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science with a focus in Dairy and a minor in Agricultural Business.

Jillian Smollar

Jillian Smollar is a 2016 graduate of Ichabod Crane High School. She is the daughter of Kimberly Gray and Michael Smollar. Jillian was a consistently good student, as evidenced by her designation as an Honor Roll student for four years, and her academic rank in the top 5% of her graduating class. Jillian played on the JV and Varsity Volleyball teams and was Captain of the team for the 2015 season. She was a member of the JV and Varsity Basketball teams throughout her high school years. She was recognized as a Scholar Athlete and was the Colonial Council Offensive Player of the Year in volleyball in 2015. She served as Treasurer on the Girls' Athletic Council., Jillian also served as the vice-president of the National Honor Society and vice-president of the Spanish Club. Her community service included volunteering at the Kinderhook Elks' annual "Breakfast with Santa", weekly volunteering at her local parish, tutoring students in the Ichabod Crane Primary School, fundraising for a local charity, and service at the Capital District Rescue Mission. She plans to major in Biomedical Engineering at Binghamton University

Ramisa Tasnim

Ramisa Tasnim a 2016 graduate of Hudson High School. She is the daughter of Mohammed M. Ali and Sayeda P. Akhter. She was involved in numerous extracurricular activities, community service events, and has received several awards over the last four years. She was the President of her class throughout high school and served as President of National Honor Society during her senior year. Some of her other extracurricular activities included participation in Student Council, The Owl, Environmental Club, Envirothon, Multicultural Day, Scrub Club, Bangladeshi Cultural Festival, and Poetry Café. She served as a student assistant for the Hudson High School writing center. Her volunteer work included involvement in the Hudson Children's Book Festival, Salvation Army, and the Community Hospice in Catskill. She participated in many fundraising and hands-to-work projects in the City of Hudson, with organizations such as the Dollars for Scholars, Operation Unite, and the Hudson Opera House. Ramisa was a recipient of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, Operation Unite Youth Leader Award, AP Scholar Award, and Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. She is graduating in the top 5% of her class and plans to attend Hamilton College in the fall.

Samuel Waite

Samuel Waite is a 2016 graduate of Questar III and Taconic High School. He is the son of Robert and Tracey Waite. Samuel's early passion for working with computers led him to seek out information and resources to self-teach computer repair, and then to pursue college coursework and certifications while enrolled at Questar. During his high school years, he completed three years of internships with the Taconic Hills CSD Informational Technology (IT) department; and completed an internship with the IT department of the Air Force National Guard in Schenectady, NY. He was recognized by the Commanding Officer for his expertise and hard work, and was invited to assist in future IT network upgrades at the AFNG. He participated in the Robotic Arm Challenge and the local Skills USA/Questar Networking competition, where he was awarded second place during his first year as an IT student. His interest and skills in computer skills include building computers and repairing mobile devices. Samuel plans to attend Hudson Valley Community College for a degree in Computer Science.

Awards Reception
2016 GIDDINGS SCHOLARS

RECIPIENTS of  20182017201620152014201320122011201020092000-08