Orange-Ulster BOCES honors regional arts and humanities achievement

Students from George F. Baker and Monroe-Woodbury high schools among those honored


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  • Samantha Castricone from George F. Baker High School in Tuxedo with William J. Hecht, OU BOCES district superintendent.




  • Photos courtesy of Orange Ulster BOCES Angela Prictoe from Monroe-Woodbury High School with William J. Hecht, OU BOCES district superintendent.




  • Heidi Willins from George F. Baker High School in Tuxedo with William J. Hecht, OU BOCES district superintendent.




  • John Uhelsky from Monroe-Woodbury High School with William J. Hecht, OU BOCES district superintendent.




— On Thursday, April 26, 32 high school seniors who have distinguished themselves in the arts and humanities during their high school careers were honored for their significant achievement.

Students from school districts in the Orange-Ulster BOCES region were feted at the fifth annual Senior Scholar Humanities Breakfast held at Kuhl’s Highland House in Middletown.

The Senior Scholar Humanities Breakfast is coordinated each year by the Orange-Ulster BOCES Division of Instructional Support. The students, their parents, teachers, high school principals, superintendents and BOCES administration were invited to celebrate the students’ outstanding accomplishments in the fine arts, theater, music, fashion and jewelry design.

The keynote speaker for the event was Nick Zungoli, an internationally recognized Hudson Valley landscape photographer whose work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times and Popular Photography.

Among the 32 honorees were Christian Deas and Theresa Bailey from the S.S. Seward Institute in Florida and Max Von der Horst and Chloe Borthwick from Warwick Valley High School.

Here’s a summary of their accomplishments:

Among the 32 honorees were Heidi Willins and Samantha Castricone from George F. Baker High School in Tuxedo and John Uhelsky and Angela Prictoe from Monroe-Woodbury High School.

Here’s a summary of their accomplishments:

Heidi Willins, George F. Baker High SchoolHeidi will be attending Fairfield University in Connecticut this fall. She plans on majoring in business then continuing her education in graduate school. She also plans on participating in the Glee Club and the A Cappella Club at the University.

Heidi is currently vice president of the National Honor Society, a Girl Scout Gold recipient, varsity volleyball co-captain, alto section leader, a member of Jazz Club and Salutatorian.

During her four years in high school, Heidi has held lead roles in her school musicals as well as many performances including All-County Choir, Jazz All-County Choir and Honors Choir.

Samantha Castricone, George F. Baker High SchoolSamantha has not decided which college she plans to attend, but she plans to pursue either a health-related or educational career.

She participates in her high school band, chorus, jazz band and drama club.

Sam has completed six NYSSMA vocal solos, was a member of a competitive honor choir and was accepted into the Rockland All-County Chorus. Sam has been in five high school musicals and four private musical productions.

She is a member of George F. Baker High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society. She has played both varsity softball and volleyball. She is an active member of her church’s youth ministry, as well as serving her church as cantor for a year and participating in many community service projects.

John Uhelsky, Monroe-Woodbury High SchoolJohn Uhelsky will be attending Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass., in the fall. He plans to pursue both a major in illustration and a minor in creative writing.

John Uhelsky is an art major at Monroe-Woodbury High School. He is currently a member of the National Art Honor Society and is a prior member of Pendragon and the Yearbook team.

During his senior year, John has displayed his work in the “Artist’s Response to Human Rights” and “All-County High School Musical & Art Display” art exhibits.

Angela Prictoe, Monroe-Woodbury High SchoolAngela Prictoe will be attending the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in the Fall. She will be majoring in trombone performance.

At Monroe-Woodbury, Angela is president of both the Spanish Honor Society and the MWHS Wind Ensemble. She has sat at the principal desk in every school ensemble she has participated with, including Central Valley Elementary Band, the Middle School Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble and currently the High School Wind Ensemble. She also performs with the MWHS Jazz Ensemble, Brass Choir and Pit Orchestra.

Each Saturday, Angela attends the Juilliard Pre-College Program. She was also accepted into and sat Principal Chair at national, state and regional festival ensembles including: the Zone 9 Area All-State Orchestra, the Orange County Music Educators’ Association High School Orchestra, the NAfME All-National Symphony Orchestra and the New York State School Music Association Conference All State.






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