Welcome to the 2020 Columbian Awards Ceremony! You can watch the entire virtual awards show below. The virtual ceremony is limited to senior recipients. A full list of award recipients, including underclassmen, can be found below the video. Congratulations!
2020 Columbian Awards
|Excellence in Art Award|
Awarded to seniors who have taken 4 or more Art courses including Advanced Art and maintained a 95+ average.
Awarded to seniors who demonstrated enthusiastic participation in the Arts at Columbia High School.
|Knights of Pythias Award|
Albany City Lodge No. 540 Knights of Pythias Achievement Award presented for extra-curricular activities and/or community endeavors.
|AAA (Hudson Valley) Driver Education Award|
Presented to two outstanding Driver Education students who distinguish themselves in the skills and attitudes that make a safe driver.
|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.
|Nicholas Daniel Morgan “You’re Important” Memorial Scholarship|
Nicholas was a person of great integrity and was always willing to help anyone in need. He cared deeply for others and acted as a beacon for those in dark places. He always had a genuine desire to help animals of all types and possessed a love of music, sports and creativity. His humor brought about his infectious laugh. People from all over the world migrated to Nicholas for comfort and support in which he was always willing to give. The scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior who exhibits many of the same characteristics that defined Nicholas: kindness, courage, humility and a strong commitment to helping others.
|Patsy Tirino Memorial Scholarship|
The scholarship is awarded to two graduating seniors who exhibit many of the same characteristics that defined Patsy: kind, polite, caring, athletic, positive, friendly, simple, and made people feel good about themselves .
Perfect Attendance – All Four Years of High School
Perfect Attendance – All 12 Years
|Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society||Paige Bencivenga|
|Participation in Government|
Volunteer with Distinction Award
|Distinction in Economics|
In recognition of their academic excellence in Economics.
| Elise Holmedal|
|Student Council Awards|
Constant Contributor Award
Making A Difference Award
| Lily Mahoney|
|The Key Club Award |
Best demonstrated the ideals of Key Club through service and leadership.
Awarded to two seniors who have displayed exceptional leadership qualities in club functions and meetings.
|Kelly Bryant |
|“Labyrinth” Award for Excellence in Literary Writing||Isabella Maguffin|
|Devil’s Advocate Award for Excellence in Journalism|
Outstanding Service Award for Layout and Design Editing
Award for Excellence in Journalism Certificate of Appreciation
Award for Excellence in Journalism
Award of Recognition for Contributing Copy Editor and Web Designer
Certificate of Appreciation Contributing Editor / Recognition of Editor
Columbia Tae Kwon Do
Awarded to the graduating senior in recognition of their excellence in community service and being a positive role model.
| Morgen Doyle|
| Literacy Achievement Award|
This award recognizes a senior who has consistently demonstrated commitment, perseverance, attendance and outstanding achievement in the Literacy Lab.
|Harvard University Book Award|
Presented to the junior student who has achieved excellence in academic studies while participating in worthwhile extra-curricular activities.
|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.
|Williams College Book Award|
To a junior in the top 5% of his class who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extra-curricular life of the school.
|Hudson Valley Community College Book Award|
Awarded to a senior who is chosen because of her hard work and individuality.
|Elmira College Key Award|
Awarded to a junior in recognition of high school achievement, leadership, citizenship and participation in extracurricular activities.
|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.
|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.
|Commitment to Advancement in English Language Arts Award|
Awarded to a student who has demonstrated a concerted effort in all English classes and has shown significant advancement in reading, writing and analytical skills.
|Student Sage College Scholarship|
Awarded to two juniors who exhibit characteristics of academic excellence, student leadership and community involvement.
|St. Michael’s College Book Award|
Awarded to a junior who exhibits both the characteristics of an ideal St. Michael student, based specifically on achievement in academics and community service and who has taken on leadership roles within their community service endeavors.
|Foreign Language Department Awards|
This award recognizes academic achievement in the study of a foreign language.
This award recognizes effort, commitment and enthusiasm to the study of a foreign language.
This award is presented to the most considerate senior in the graduating class.
|Faculty Service Award|
Awarded to the student who has shown significant assistance to Columbia staff.
|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.
|Columbia High School Future Business Leaders of America Leadership Award|
Awarded to students who have been active participants in Columbia’s chapter of FBLA
and have successfully led the members to reach the goals of this National Organization.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Dignum and Bame Insurance Agency Awards for Excellence in the Field of Business|
Excellence in Accounting
Excellence in Personal Finance
Most Improved Business Education Award
|New York State Capital District Society of Women Engineers|
For achievement in mathematics and science for engineering inspiration.
|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.
|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.
|Science Department Awards|
Cumulative Excellence in Science
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.
Comparison of Carbon and Boron Fibers in Composite Materials
Are YAP and TAZ Essential in Oligodendrocyte-Mediated Myelination?
The Impact of Social Media Use on Adolescent School Connectedness
The Effect of Oxybenzone of Freshwater Daphnia
The Influence of The APOE Gene and Traumatic Brain Injury on The Frequency of LOAD
The Correlation Between Age of Gonadectomy and Behavioral Issues in Dogs
|Musical Theatre Awards|
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Outstanding Achievement in Stage Management
|US Air Force Excellence in Math and Science Award|
| Austin Ernst|
|St. Lawrence University Book Award|
Awarded to a high school junior who has displayed a significant commitment to community service.
|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.
|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.
|PTSO Award – Outstanding Students||Amanda Palma|
|Operation Graduation – Awarded to the hardest working student with the best attendance and most positive attitude.||Arazelis Palacios|
|CAP Achievement Award|
Presented to the student who has shown excellence in academics, citizenship and exemplifies kindness to others.
|Christopher McAfee Memorial Scholarship|
Given to a student who will attend college and has an outgoing personality and a drive to succeed in all of life’s ventures and challenges.
|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.
|Daughters of the American Revolution Award|
This award is presented for achievement in American History.
|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.
|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.||Logan Brisson|
Awarded to two students who have demonstrated proficiency in the study of U.S. History and understanding of its Constitution.
Performance by CHS Chamber Singers
|University of Rochester Bausch and Lomb Medal for Excellence|
Presented to a student who, at the end of their junior year, has obtained the highest academic average in the sciences.
|George Eastman Young Leaders Award |
Awarded to the student who has shown strong leadership, high grades with challenging courses and extensive involvement in extracurricular activities. The award recognizes future leaders who may have an impact on our world.
|Xerox Award – University of Rochester|
Presented to a member of the junior class who shares in the pursuit of innovative approaches and appreciation for the possibilities of technology.
|Board of Education Pepsi Awards|
Seniors demonstrating academic excellence and exemplary citizenship in the high school community and who are interested in pursuing post-secondary education in one of the designated areas.
|Career and Technical Education/Business||Lily Mahoney|
|Timothy J. Murphy Foundation Scholarship|
Awarded to a student who is either a child or grandchild of a public safety officer or pursuing a career in law enforcement in honor of Police Detective Timothy J. Murphy of the Albany Police Department.
|NYS Comptroller Achievement Award|
Student who has excelled academically and shown leadership potential by volunteering time to serve the school or community.
|Mr. Terrance L. Brewer Scholarship Award|
In recognition for promoting tolerance, endorsing diversity and demonstrating friendship to a fellow student in a recognized and responsible manner.
|NYS Attorney General Triple “C” Awards|
Recognizes students who, by their character, courage and commitment, reflect the highest values in their school and the community.
|Assemblyman Ashby Service in Action Award|
To recognize students who demonstrate a commitment to volunteering and are actively serving their community with their time and talents. We honor these students who exhibit sustained commitment to service to their community.
|EGCSD Education Foundation Awards |
Awarded for academic achievement and community service.
|Live Outstanding and Achieve Fearlessly – LOAF|
Nathan Terry is a loveable, energetic and fun boy who happens to have Down Syndrome. He has been receiving therapy services since 5-weeks old, so we have the utmost respect and admiration for all the amazing people who have helped and supported him along his journey. Without the unconditional love and support of those who enter into the world of special needs, life for Nathan and so many others would be very different. Therefore, we wanted to honor his ‘A-Team’ of specialists and all those with the compassion and drive to help families/children with special needs by creating this award.
|The Keara Elizabeth Kelley Memorial Scholarship|
The scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior who exhibits many of the same characteristics that defined Keara: kindness, courage, and commitment to help others.
|Christopher Bascom Memorial Scholarship|
Established in 2004 to commemorate Christopher’s life that was taken away so tragically by a hit and run driver. To honor and perpetuate Christopher’s memory, financial assistance will be awarded to deserving seniors who possess and exhibit many of the same qualities that made Chris such a special and fine young man. His spirit, which truly defined him, was his compassion and willingness to help others; his enthusiasm, delightful sense of humor and fun loving personality; his motivation that brought out the best in others; his love of history and great interest in sports and most importantly his loyalty, love and devotion to his family and friends.
|Alan G. Hall Outstanding Business Leader Award|
Presented to two seniors who demonstrate an outstanding work ethic, motivation to excel, personal integrity, compassion for others, and a strong interest in business or science.
|US Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete Award|
US Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award
US Marine Semper Fidelis Award for Musical
Anthony J. Cozzy
|American Legion School Award Medal Melvin Roads Post #1231|
Senior boy and girl who are outstanding in qualities of honor, courage, scholarship, leadership, and service.
|Van Rensselaer Star Chapter No. 256 Order of the Eastern Star State of NY|
Awarded to a senior girl who exhibits charity, truth and loving kindness.
|Amato Wealth Management Science Award|
Presented to a Senior who is a leader on the Science Olympiad team.
|Julia O. Wells Memorial Award|
The Foundation offers a monetary award to be given to a senior who plans to pursue a career in professional nursing and has participated in school activities.
|Walter J. Frietag Memorial Scholarship|
This scholarship is awarded to a student accepted to a college and major in an engineering field, who demonstrates high academic achievement, exhibits community involvement/volunteerism and is civic-minded.
|The Ruth Hurr Memorial Scholarship|
Awarded to a senior who has demonstrated academic excellence in social studies using effective writing and research as well as showing civic responsibility and good citizenship.
|VFW Post #7338 Award|
To a senior whose parent has been deployed and who demonstrates excellence in the patriotic principles of the VFW, leadership and love of country.
|Christine Wurstlin, M.D. Memorial Science Award|
Presented to a student who has achieved outstanding accomplishments in the field of science and has demonstrated exceptional scientific curiosity or potential.
|Wurstlin Family Memorial Science Scholarship|
Awarded to a sophomore who has maintained a strong academic record in the sciences during the first two years of high school.
| Jean M. Tracy Memorial English Department Award for Excellence|
To a senior who has consistently demonstrated excellence in English expression combined with a deep respect for the traditions of literature.
|Susan Smetana Award|
Awarded to an English 9R or 11R student who demonstrated high academic standards and a strong background in community service.
|East Greenbush Teachers’ Association Awards|
4 year – Student enrolled in a 4 year program leading to a teaching certificate.
2 year – Student enrolled in a 2 year program leading to an associates degree.
| Michael Digman|
|C.T. Male Associates|
Certificate of Excellence recognizing academic achievement, service in the community and interest in pursuing a career in Engineering.
|Farnan Family Award|
Presented to a senior who is entering the business or communication fields, who has shown commitment to volunteerism, and who has displayed extraordinary teamwork and dedication in athletics or other extracurricular activities. Presented by Ryan Farnan and family who are grateful for the support, lessons and friendships received as part of the East Greenbush community.
| Dr. Lori A. Farnan Award|
Presented to a senior who plans on entering the field of medicine and who has displayed exceptional academic ability and community service
|CASDA Scholars Recognition|
Honors outstanding scholastic achievement by members of the graduating class of schools in the Capital District. The program also honors those teachers nominated by each student scholar for having had a significant and beneficial influence on his or her education.
|Rotary Club Citizenship Award|
Awarded to a student who excelled academically and volunteered in the community.
Performance by a select group from Once Upon a Stage
CLASS OF 2020 HONOR GRADUATES
VALEDICTORIAN: OWEN BALL
SALUTATORIAN: NINA TEDESCHI
SUMMA CUM LAUDE
With Highest Honor
|OWEN BALL||JARED MEISEL|
|JAMISON BURKE||NOAH MILLAN|
|LINDSEY CONBOY||ALEXIS O’BRIEN|
|TAYLOR DEMERS||CHESNEY ROMER|
|TRICIA GARDY||NIDHI SHAH|
|ALEXANDER GORE||TARYN STEWART|
|CHARLEIGH KILGALLON||NINA TEDESCHI|
MAGNA CUM LAUDE
With High Honor
|RYAN ALLEN||BRIANA FIGGS|
|MEAGHAN ALMON||EMILY HAWKINS|
|JULIA BARITEAU||COLLEEN MCHUGH|
|KELLY BRYANT||KENDRA PHOENIX|
|ELLA CONWAY||KYRA RUSSO|
|GRACE DAVIS||CONNOR SEE|
|KATHERINE DUDA||STEFANIE SIMKINS|
|TIMOTHY BAKER||OLIVER OLDS|
|GRACE BRODY||ADDISON PHOENIX|
|JUSTINE FOURNIER||JULIA POITRAS|
|NICHOLAS GABRIEL||GABRIELLA PUGLIESE|
|SPENCER GALLAGHER||LIAT RADETSKY|
|CONNOR HURLEY||AURIA REDICK|
|LILY MAHONEY||BETUL YUCEDAL|