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Noah Schwenzfeier named Salutatorian by Columbia Principal John Sawchuk

Noah Schwenzfeier named Salutatorian by Columbia Principal John Sawchuk

Seniors Parth Bhide and Noah Schwenzfeier highlighted the 2016 Columbian Awards on Thursday morning as they were named valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. Both students have had accomplished high school careers, including weighted GPAs over 100.

Bhide is a member of the Science Olympiad team, attending three straight National Championships. He participates in Masterminds, the Math League and Columbia’s Science Research Program. He will study engineering at RPI in the fall.

Schwenzfeier is a member of the Science Olympiad team, Math League and the varsity basketball team. He is a National Honor Society inductee and was named an AP Scholar with Honor by the College Board. Schwenzfeier will study international business at Northeastern University in the fall.

More than 60 other awards were handed out to students for excellence in academic subject areas, performing arts, clubs and service.

Students emceed the program and performed songs throughout the event.

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


Julia Abbott
Alexander Bauer
Meghan Farley
Ashley Hyde
Christopher Morash
Heidi Quattrocchi
Hannah Tremblay
Hannah Wheeler
Columbia High School Yearbook Publishing Award
Dedication and Excellence in Yearbook Publishing – Senior
Dedication and Excellence in Yearbook Publishing – Underclassman
Samantha Nunziata
Lillian Hutton
Perfect Attendance
Perfect Attendance – All Four Years of High School




Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Scholarship
Presented based on a combination of academics, community service, financial need and personal interview.

Austin Baggetta
Christina Buffaline
Marissa DeMarco
Michael File
Kevin Phoenix
David Sills
James Wright

Taylor Johnson

Outstanding Key Clubber Award
In recognition of your enthusiastic commitment to Key Club.
McKenna Erwell
The Key Club Award
In recognition of your dedication to Key Club during your high school career.
Carly Smith
Peer Leadership Outstanding Service Award
Awarded to a student who has proven to be a positive role model.
William Lindemann
Columbia Idol Winner: Laura Haney singing “When We Were Young” 
“Labyrinth” Awards for Excellence in Literary Writing

Editor Appreciation Award:
Written Expression Award:


Delilah Abraham
Merrin Sardi

Devil’s Advocate Awards of Recognition
Award of Appreciation


Excellence in Journalism/Outstanding Service for Layout and Design

Excellence in Journalism/Contributing Writer

Erik Ferrari
Emma Letzelter
Anastacia Lewandusky
David Sills

Erik Ferrari

Leif Haley

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.
Ronald Shuhart
Harvard University Book Award
Presented to a junior boy or girl who has achieved excellence in academic studies while participating in worthwhile extracurricular activities.
Olivia Godell
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.
Gianna Fiacco
Elmira College Key Award
Awarded to a junior in recognition of high school achievement, leadership, citizenship and participation in extra-curricular activities.

Suzanne Clarke

Hudson Valley Community College Book Award
Recipient is chosen because of his/her hard work and individuality.
Jesse Seibert
Shakespearean Drama Award
Awarded to a student who has contributed significantly to an understanding of and love for Shakespeare and dramatic traditions within our school community.

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.

Lindsay Heck


Erik Ferrari

Student Sage College Scholarship
Awarded to a junior who exhibit characteristics of academic excellence, student leadership and community involvement.
Gabrielle Daigneault
Bridget Maloney
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.
Joseph Blackburn
Olivia Godell
Foreign Language Department Awards
This award recognizes academic achievement in the study of a foreign language.

Highest Achievement in German
Highest Achievement in Spanish

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

Prize for French Studies
Prize for Hispanic Studies

David Sills
Lindsay Heck


Yohann Monpoeho
Jaime Kendrick

Chamber Singers: “Gonna Get Over You” featuring Olivia Lopez 


Service Award
Awarded to the student who has shown significant assistance to Columbia staff.
David Meister
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
Achievement Award


Gianna Fiacco
Henry Klee

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.
Kelsey O’Brien
Curtis Lumber Award
To a senior pursuing a career in the building/architectural field with an average of B+ or better.


Shane Barney
New York State Youth Leadership Recognition Award – honoring New York’s Future LeadersLydia Clemente
Andrew Harris
Caitlin McHugh
Stephen Reilly
Estelle Yedynak
Capital District School Boards Association Student Volunteer Community Service Award
Given to one graduating senior who is making a difference through exceptional volunteer community service.
Caitlin McHugh



Business and Marketing Honor Society Award Inductee
This student has demonstrated high academic achievement in business courses.  In addition, has proven good character, leadership, and service in business education.
Jesse Pferr


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.
Jillian Leggiero
Dignum 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
Excellence in Marketing
Excellence in Computer Applications



Justin Luther
Sydney Wojeski
Justine Valenti

Outstanding Character, Academics and Ethics in Business EducationMichael Ruth
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.


Erin Condo
NYS Mathematics League Award for Excellence
Columbia High School has participated in the NYS Mathematic League for more than 20 years.  There are six contests during the school year which draw problems from a wide range of high school topics.  Out of more than 120 Columbia students who participated, this student achieved the highest score.
Marc Roizman






Science Department Awards

Earth Science Award
Environmental Award
Biology Award
Chemistry Award


McKenna Erwell
Lyana Geng
Samuel Koblensky
Natasha Montiel
Connor Roizman

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 laboratory setting.  The following four seniors have stood the test of time and completed the three year program in grand fashion:

“Self-Healing Polymer: Poly (ethylene-co-methacrylic acid)”
“The Genetics of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease among African Americans and Latinos”
“The Effect of Early Morning Start Times on High School Adolescents”
“The Effect of Pressure on PP32 Protein”







Kara Blakeman
Erin Condo
Brennan Regensberger
Morgan Torre

Chamber Singers featuring Justin Dessureau singing “Smiling Face” 
Musical Theatre Awards Columbia Players

Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress


Justin Dessureau
Olivia Lopez
Soren Correia
Rachel Morris

US Air Force Excellence in Math and Science Award



Samuel Koblensky
Connor Roizman

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


Megan Fey




PTSO Award – Outstanding Students


Brittany Palmer
Kylie Cotugno
Operation Graduation Most Improved StudentHeather Rudolph
Operation Graduation Best CitizenshipPatrick Conners
Ashley Williams
Operation Graduation Exceptional Attendance



Brennon Barnes
Tyler Wagner
Operation Graduation Award for Kindness and CompassionCelina Ciccarone
Christopher McAfee Memorial Scholarship
Given to a student who will attend college majoring in criminal justice and/or who exhibits qualities of an outgoing personality and sense of humor.
James Wright
Student Council Leadership Award
Presented to a Student Council member who has demonstrated exceptional leadership for all four years of high school.
Stephen Reilly
Red Cross Community Service Award
Presented to a student member of the blood drive recruitment team for his or her dedication and hard work in assisting Columbia with its blood drive goal for the 2015-16 school year.
Caitlin McHugh
Ethnic Coalition Inclusion Award
Presented to a junior or senior who demonstrates an overwhelming desire to promote equality, acceptance and respect for all within our school community.
Jared Milford



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


Mayflower Award
Awarded for demonstrated proficiency in the study of U.S. History and understanding of its Constitution.
David Sills
Estelle Yedynak
Principal’s Leadership Award
Awarded to students the Principal recognizes for outstanding community service and leadership throughout their years at Columbia.       
Erin Condo
Salutatorian      Noah Schwenzfeier
Valedictorian    Parth Bhide
Talent Show Winners: Not My Forte singing “Acapella Medley”