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2018 Columbian AwardsSeniors Natasha Montiel and Jonathan Sills highlighted the 2018 Columbian Awards on Friday as they were named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. Both students have had accomplished high school careers, including weighted GPAs over 103.

Natasha Montiel and Jonathan Sills

Valedictorian Natasha Montiel and Salutatorian Jonathan Sills.

Ms. Montiel will attend Princeton University in the fall where she plans to major in bio-molecular engineering. She is an accomplished member of Columbia High School’s championship Science Olympiad Team and the ‘Les Savants’ chapter of the National Honor Society. Ms. Montiel has attended the People to People Leadership Forum hosted at Harvard University and has participated in the Congress of Future Medical Leaders hosted by the University of Massachusetts.

Mr. Sills will attend Hamilton College in the fall where he will major in biology. He is a member of the Columbia Jazz Ensemble, German National Honor Society, the Mock Trial team and was named Most Valuable Player of the Capital Region MasterMinds league.

More than 170 awards were handed out to students for excellence in academic subject areas, performing arts, clubs and community service. Congratulations!

Principal’s Courage Award

  • Derek Murphy

Art Department Award for Excellence
To the students who have demonstrated consummate skill in art and a strong sense of community spirit.

  • Ruby Abraham
  • Amber Brown
  • Briana Blair
  • Erika Canero
  • Alycia Johnson Dardiz
  • Angelene Eriole
  • Caitlin Lallier
  • Manuela Martinez
  • Sarah Steele
  • Skyler Williams

AAA (Hudson Valley) Driver Education Award
Presented to an outstanding Driver Education student who distinguishes themselves in the skills and attitudes that make a safe driver.

  • Corey Curran
  • Madison Washock

Edward L. Witko Scholarship
Edward Witko lived for his family, friends and chosen profession. In his ten year career in law enforcement, he served with honesty, integrity and loyalty and was admired by all. He trained with an intensity that gave all who knew him comfort in knowing that he was part of us. In August of 2010, Officer Edward L. Witko died tragically while participating in a motorcycle benefit run for Combat Veterans. This scholarship will be dedicated to the memory of Edward Witko, #29.

  • Mark Bodner

Perfect Attendance
Perfect Attendance – All Four Years of High School

  • Victoria Hamilton
  • Kaden Laurilla
  • Aviraj Mukherjee

Participation in Government
Volunteer with Distinction Award

  • Zachary Ahearn
  • Paige Alaxanian
  • Chase Albert
  • Emma Barton-Schwartz
  • Connor Bradt
  • Bailey Campbell
  • Erika Canero
  • Nia Cohen
  • William Tyler Giles
  • Jared Haberland
  • Victoria Hamilton
  • Cort Hartzell
  • Loren Heck
  • Megan Hurley
  • Lillian Hutton
  • Lauren Kelly
  • Colleen Kennedy
  • Julia Lettrick
  • Emily Mann
  • Kevin McCarty
  • Aleah Menges
  • Alexandria Menges
  • John Michoian
  • Taylor Milkiewicz
  • Rachel Morris
  • Morgan Murray
  • Gwendolyn O’ Malley
  • Tyler Piel
  • Abigail Radin
  • Allison Radin
  • Connor Roizman
  • Mah Rukh
  • Nicolas Russo
  • Peter Sergay
  • Bryan Serian
  • Carly Smith
  • Madison Washock
  • Daniel Watson
  • Bryel Weinlein
  • Catherine Weitzel
  • Jessica Winter
  • Raven Wong

The Key Club Award
In recognition of your dedication to Key Club during your high school career.

  • Emily Mann
  • Carly Smith

Peer Leadership
Awarded to a senior who has displayed exceptional leadership qualitiesin club functions and meetings.

  • Charles Nelson
  • Alyssa Schweigert

“Labyrinth” Awards for Excellence in Literary Writing

  • Pleasing Poetry Award: Rachel Weissman
  • Amazing Art Award: Bailey Tator

Devil’s Advocate Awards of Recognition

  • Outstanding Service – Copy Editor: Leif Haley
  • Outstanding Service – Layout & Design: Brianna Bujak and Morgen Doyle
  • Award of Appreciation: Katherine Asenbauer, Madeline Ingoldsby, Angela Le, Cheyenne Lentz, Emily Olds, Joseph Vitali

Literacy Achievement Award
This award recognizes a junior or senior student who has consistently demonstrated commitment, perseverance, attendance and outstanding achievement in the Literacy Lab.

  • Donato Nunziata

Harvard University Book Award
Presented to a junior boy or girl who has achieved excellence in academic studies while participating in worthwhile extracurricular activities.

  • Leif Haley

Smith College Book Award
Given by The Smith College Club of Albany to an outstanding junior who exemplifies academic achievement, leadership qualities and concern for others.

  • McKenna Erwell

Williams College Book Award
To a junior in the top 5% of his or her class who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extra-curricular life of the school.

  • Samuel Koblensky

Elmira College Key Award
Awarded to a junior in recognition of high school achievement, leadership, citizenship and participation in extracurricular activities.

  • Jamie Davis

The Traditions of Drama Award
Awarded to a senior who has contributed significantly to an understanding of a love for dramatic works within our school and/or community.

  • Olivia Lopez

English Department Distinguished Scholar Award
Awarded to the senior who has consistently demonstrated a passion for the English Language and achieved excellence within English studies for four years.

  • Morgan Donovan

Student Sage College Scholarship
Awarded to two juniors who exhibit characteristics of academic excellence, student leadership and community involvement.

  • Molly DeMarco
  • Nicole Presti

St. Michael’s College Book Award
This is awarded to students who exhibit the characteristics of an ideal St. Michael student, based specifically on achievement in academics and community service. One to the top junior male and female student who have taken on leadership roles within their community service endeavors.

  • Sydney Beattie
  • Joshua Thompson

Foreign Language Department Awards
This award recognizes academic achievement in the study of a foreign language.

  • Highest Achievement in French: Albert Chang
  • Highest Achievement in German: Jonathan Sills
  • Highest Achievement in Spanish: Natasha Montiel

This award recognizes effort, commitment and enthusiasm to the study of a foreign language.

  • Prize for French Studies: Aviraj Mukherjee
  • Prize for German Studies/GAPP: Lauren Kelly
  • Prize for Hispanic Studies: John Michoian

Faculty Consideration
This award is presented to the most considerate senior in the graduating class.

  • Albert Chang

Faculty Service Award
Awarded to the student who has shown significant assistance to Columbia staff.

  • Peter Tedeschi

Clarkson University High School Awards
Presented to members of the junior class who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and have made positive contributions to both school and community. They will qualify for a tuition scholarship should they choose to enroll at Clarkson University.

  • Leadership Award: Emma Rainville
  • Achievement Award: Samuel Koblensky

Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award
Each year a distinguished group of students are selected and recognized by Wells College for their leadership ability, community involvement and academic excellence. This award honors commitment to academics and student leadership. This program is designed to honor these students who embody the spirit, integrity and intellectual qualities of a strong leader.

  • Mckenna Erwell

Business and Marketing Honor Society Award Inductees
The following students have demonstrated high academic achievement in business courses. In addition, these students have proven good character, leadership, and service in business education.

  • Christian Davis
  • Matthew LaHera
  • Olivia Massey
  • Brandon Ostiguy
  • Justin Pangburn
  • Abigail Ray
  • Alexander Raymond
  • Daniel Watson
  • Mark Webb
  • Emily Zeyak

SRP Outstanding Business Student Award
Given to a senior business student who has excelled in Business education in memory of all departed members of the East Greenbush School Related Personnel support staff.

  • Daniel Watson
  • Mark Webb

Dignum and Bame Insurance Agency Awards for Excellence in the Field of Business
Presented to three Business Education students for their outstanding achievements in the fields of Accounting, Marketing and Computer Technology:

  • Excellence in Accounting: Kaden Laurilla
  • Excellence in Marketing: Olivia Massey
  • Excellence in Computer Applications: Madison Washock

BlueShield Scholar
For pursuing studies in health or human services and representing BlueShield of NENY core values: teamwork, integrity, passion, personal responsibility, excellence and respect.

  • Katherine Hayes

New York State Capital District Society of Women Engineers
For achievement in mathematics and science for engineering inspiration.

  • Kelly Nagel
  • Michaela Davis Pedlar

NYS Mathematics League Award for Excellence
Columbia High School has participated in the NYS Mathematics League for more than 25 years. There are six contests during the school year which draw problems from a wide range of high school topics. Out of more than 140 Columbia students who participated, this student achieved the highest score.

  • Samuel Koblensky

RPI Math/Science Award for Excellence
To recognize the superlative academic achievement of young men and women as well as promising juniors who have distinguished themselves in mathematics and science.

  • Samuel Koblensky

Science Department Awards

  • Earth Science Award: Keelin Needham and Matthew Strodl
  • Environmental Award: Cameron Masiello
  • Biology Award: Ekansh Agrawal and Heather Bryant
  • Chemistry Award: Lindsey Conboy and Nina Tedeschi
  • Physics Award: Connor Roizman and Peter Sergay
  • Cumulative Excellence in Science: Alexandra Bellisario, Neil Laya, Cameron Masiello, Natasha Montiel, Cameron Plowinske, Abigail Radin and Peter Sergay
  • Forensics: Mark Bodner and Rihanna Martin

Science Research
A three year course which by the end, students must create and perform in an authentic research experiment under the direction of a supervising scientist. A rigorous program which requires time management skills, presentation and writing skills, and research skills in both publication format to develop the experimental question and original hypothesis and also in a laboratory setting. The following seniors have stood the test of time and completed the three year program in grand fashion:

  • “The Effects of Valgus Loading on the Q-angle”: Katherine Blake
  • “The Relationship Between Age and Online Comfortability”: Stephen Blydenburgh
  • “Perceived Stress as Related to Voluntary and Forced Exercise”: Gabriella Broga
  • “Jute and Hemp Fiber Reinforced Concrete”: Albert Chang
  • “Societal Factors that Impact Health-Seeking Behaviors”: Aviraj Murkerjee
  • “The Effects of Bovine Serum Albumin on Calcium Oxalate Crystallization” and “An Investigation of Emergency Room Shifts for Doctors”: Kristin Nadareski
  • “Phylogenetic Epigenetics in the CLOCK and ARNTL Genes”: Cameron Plowinske
  • “The Effect of Dietary Compounds on the Regulation of HER-2”: Veda Sripada

Musical Theatre Awards Columbia Players

  • Best Actor: Brandon Smith
  • Best Actress: Olivia Lopez
  • Best Supporting Actor: Eli Wein
  • Best Supporting Actress: Meaghan Almon
  • Most Valuable Ensemble Member: Tyler Piel
  • Most Valuable Crew Member: Cort Hartzell

US Air Force Excellence in Math and Science Award

  • Freshman: Simon O’Connor
  • Sophomore: Owen Ball
  • Junior: Troy Krug
  • Senior: Connor Roizman

St. Lawrence University Book Award
Awarded to a high school junior who has displayed a significant commitment to community service.

  • Sydney Lemire

RIT Creativity and Innovation Award
This award recognizes high school juniors who have distinguished themselves academically, are active and involved members of their school and community, and demonstrate outstanding achievement in innovation, creativity or entrepreneurship.

  • Rachel Haney
  • Justin O’Dell

RIT Computing Medal Award
This award recognizes high school juniors who have distinguished themselves academically, are active and involved members of their school and community and demonstrates interest and ability in computing.

  • Alex Adams
  • Sydney Sills

Capital District School Boards Association Annual Student Volunteer Community Service Award
Presented in appreciation for the many hours of community service you performed.

  • Bryel Weinlein

PTSO Award – Outstanding Students 

  • Jared Haberland
  • Manuella Martinez
  • Erin Spencer

Operation Graduation

  • Most Improved: Lindsay Davis
  • Best Attendance: Sean Freehill
  • Most Dedicated: Alex Salzer

Christopher McAfee Memorial Scholarship
Given to a student who will attend college who has an outgoing personality and a drive to succeed in all of life’s ventures and challenges.

  • Sara Cuttler

Student Council Leadership Award
Presented to a Student Council member who has demonstrated exceptional leadership for all four years of high school.

  • Lillian Hutton

Student Council Advisor’s Award
Presented to an active Student Council member who has extraordinary dedication to the school community above and beyond her peers.

  • Jessica Winter

Ethnic Coalition Inclusion Award
Presented to a senior who demonstrates an overwhelming desire to promote equality, acceptance and respect for all within our school community.

  • Bailey Campbell

Daughters of the American Revolution Award
This award is presented for achievement in American History.

  • Allison Radin

Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award
To a student who possesses an outstanding degree of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

  • Natasha Montiel

Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award
Awarded to a student who has demonstrated commitment to understanding and addressing difficult social issues as well as showing leadership and a dedication to community action. Strong grades and rigorous courses taken throughout their years in the humanities and social sciences.

  • Katerina Nelson

Len Michon Memorial Social Studies Department Award
Honors the memory of Leonard Michon who was a beloved teacher and Supervisor of Social Studies in East Greenbush for many years. Given to the student who has demonstrated outstanding character, scholarship, leadership and service.

  • Madison Washock

Mayflower Award
Awarded to two students who have demonstrated proficiency in the study of U.S. History and understanding of its Constitution.

  • Colleen Kennedy
  • Natasha Montiel

Schodack Republican Club Award
Given to a Schodack student who has demonstrated an appreciation of the principles of government and citizenship from the studying of social studies.

  • Ashley Peter

Salutatorian

  • Jonathan Sills

Valedictorian

  • Natasha Montiel