Valedictorians and salutatorians celebrated for their successes

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  • George F. Baker High School Valedictorian Justin Luna and Salutatorian Heidi Willins, center, share a moment for the camera with their parents and school administrators at the Orange-Ulster BOCES celebration of academically outstanding students from public and private high schools.

  • Monroe-Woodbury High School Valedictorian Kathleen Riegner and Salutatorian Shannon Hiner, center, together with their parents and school administrators at the Orange-Ulster BOCES celebration of academically outstanding students from public and private high schools.

— Local education and the business community joined to celebrate the valedictorians and salutatorians from each of the school districts in the Orange-Ulster Supervisory District last month.

This event, coordinated by the Orange-Ulster BOCES Division of Instructional Support Services, highlighted the accomplishments and promising futures of these academically outstanding students from public and private high schools.

George F. Baker High SchoolValedictorian: Justin Luna

Justin Luna is an avid beekeeper who will continue his studies in beekeeping through Cornell University’s entomology program in Ithaca.

Justin currently operates a company that produces organic, sustainable cosmetics produced with bee byproducts.

This year he will be engaging in bee genetic and treatment research with the goal of isolating certain traits and chemicals that can be utilized to enable increased bee survival.

Justin holds multiple certifications from both New York and New Jersey that enable him to operate and sell bees.

In addition, he has received several scholarships to recognize both his academic and beekeeping expertise. Most notably he has received the EAS Mann Lake Youth Scholarship, which is designed to enable youth beekeepers that demonstrate their beekeeping potential to other master beekeepers.

Salutatorian: Heidi Willins

Heidi Willins will be attending Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., majoring in business, and hopes to continue her education in graduate school. She also plans to participate 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 Award recipient, varsity volleyball co-captain, alto section leader, a member of jazz club, a member of the band and choir, the Humanities Award recipient, scholar athlete recipient, sportsmanship award recipient for state final four volleyball tournament.

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.

She has also been on high honor roll countless times.

Heidi has done community outreach throughout high school including providing children’s books to local shelters, and helps her school coordinate drives such as food drives, blood drives, toiletry drives and toy drives.

Monroe-Woodbury High SchoolValedictorian: Kathleen Riegner

Kathleen Riegner will be attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., majoring in chemical engineering.

Kathleen has been a member of the varsity volleyball team for three years, and captain of the team for two years. She has participated in the Leadership, Empowerment, Advocacy, Dedication (LEAD) Program, and is an active member of the Interact Club.

She serves as the treasurer of a local Student’s for Life group.

Kathleen volunteers at Craigville Bible Church as a nursery worker, children’s church teacher and a worship leader.

Salutatorian: Shannon Hiner

Shannon Hiner will be attending the Honors College at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. She is the recipient of the Rutger’s University Presidential Scholarship. She plans to major in biotechnology and hopes to continue her studies in graduate school.

Shannon has participated in many clubs during her high school years. She is a member of Interact, a community service club; Leadership, Empowerment, Advocacy, Dedication (LEAD) Program, a freshman mentoring club; and is currently the secretary of STARS, a club that creates and shares valuable health lessons to other students.

Shannon is also a part of the wind ensemble where she plays the flute.

For the past two years, she has been a member of both the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society.

For the last three years, Shannon was a member of the varsity volleyball team, where she was named to the Varsity 845 All-Star Teams in her junior and senior year.

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