Honoring Amsterdam’s Best Students of All-Time!

ValOne of the things that has always puzzled me is why communities like Amsterdam have little problem recognizing and paying tribute to outstanding scholastic sports achievements while at the same time, pretty much ignoring outstanding achievement in the classroom. For example, go up to Amsterdam High School and take a look at the trophy case. Sports-related awards and tributes dominate the glass enclosed displays. Now look for similar tributes to student academic excellence. You’ll find a few but not many.


Why, for example isn’t there a permanent recognition of the Valedictorian and Salutatorian for each year’s graduating class? Once the public announcement takes place, the local newspaper shows up to take a picture and the two students honored get to make a speech at their graduation ceremony. After that it’s pretty much a “forget about them as quickly as possible” sort of recognition. It always bewildered me that students who put forth outstanding efforts in sports get their names or uniform numbers forever memorialized in impressive trophy cases that remain in place at the school just about forever so that future generations of students can be inspired by their accomplishments, while those who put forth outstanding efforts in the classroom receive no such lasting recognition. It’s backwards folks!

So I’m thinking of ways to formally memorialize the top two academic students of each graduating class in Amsterdam High School’s long history (perhaps SMI’s and Scully’s too). The first thing I need to do is complete my list of students who have been so honored, beginning with Amsterdam High School. My in-progress list appears below. As you can see there are a few holes in it and I’m asking for your help.

If any of the readers of this blog have AHS Yearbooks from 1998, 1996, 1990, 1989, 1987 or 1980, I believe the Valedictorian and Salutatorian winners for those years are included in them. Please use the comments feature of this blog to inform me of students I am missing. I also have blanks for 1979, 1975, 1924 and 1921 preventing me from having a century’s worth of the schools top students identified, so if you happen to have information for those years I’d greatly appreciate hearing from you.

Year Valedictorian Salutatorian
2018 Molly Monge Kaylee Cappuccio
2017 Jessica Gardinier Tazdyn Francisco
2016 Meagan Brodie Adam Tatun
2015 Kristie Kaczmarek Corey Tambasco
2014 Maxine Petrosino Rebekah Izzo
2013 Lukas Brower Benjamin Patrick
2012 Vincent Sobkowicz Nicholas Bielawa
2011 Toni Tiemann Erica Tuttle
2010 Paige Archinal Kelsey McDermott
2009 Michael Natole Alicia Roux
2008 Alexandra Petitti Daniel Peter
2007 Deeanna Russell Daniel Roginski
2006 Tiffany Petrosino Andrew Gillis
2005 Victoria Petrosino Timothy Gaugler
2004 Sam Pepe Margaret Lyford
2003 Matthew Tobey Ashleigh Simeon
2002 Matthew Korchinski
2001 Elizabeth Sise Jamie Walrath
2000 Peter Bryce Jessica Sawicki
1999 Tom Adamson Cassandra Reese
1997 Malinda Reynolds Erin DeRose
1996 Andrew Bryce
1995 Courtney Redmond Brett Riccio
1994 Robert Chan Mark Vertucci
1993 Sarah Brownell William Barbato
1992 Kristen Smrtic Erin McKay
1991 Christina Beardsley Ishmael Ortiz
1990 John Pawlowski
1988 Suzanne Marie Mucilli James Teresco
1986 Amy Rigatti Michael Sinicropi
1985 Rick Sorbero Liz Tse
1984 Jim Burch Pam Dzikowicz
1982 Felix Riccio Tom Catena
1981 Bill Ziskin Vincent Mautone
1980 Rob Kowalski
1978 Debra Swinarski, Sharon Flint, Bill Motyl,  John Banta, Pamela Kenyon
1977 Carole Reinig, Kathy Wawrzonek, Janice Bienek
1976 Kevin Christian, Timothy Hawkins, Mark Siudy, Derek Snyder
1975 Lori St Amour
1974 Joseh Cappuccio, Sharon Curtis, Frederick Perillo
1973 John Kadyszewski Michael Wojnar
1972 Gerald Snyder Susan Chriss
1971 Janet Urbelis Linda Prymas
1970 Mary Ellen Lessick, Joan Lieckfeldt
1969 Lynn Marcucci Frances Perillo
1968 Deborah Ann Grzywacz Ellen Christine Zyzes
1967 Donald Raila Diane Gordon, Evelyn Riccio
1966 Judy Kupferberg Walter Gavry
1965 James Wojcicki Christina Zawisza
1964 Carolyn Ferris Rae Rogers
1963 Bob Cudmore S. Hayden Anderson
1962 Leonard W Silver Keith L Smith
1961 William Bohlke Charlotte E Sitrin
1960 Peter Orr Patricia Robotham
1959 Edward Tyndall Patricia Podolec
1958 Irvng Olender Pamela Dillon
1957 Elliot Saroff Lewis Corvene
1956 John Krawczuk Walter Kolpakas
1955 Carl Robert Bahn Marilyn Januszewski
1954 Joanne Mary Fratianni Carol Howitt
1953 Jo Ann Tokarczyk Lou Ann MacNaughton
1952 Beatrice E Cunniff Walter J Rew
1951 Ambrose Krupczak Jr. Sherwood Lasher
1950 Irene H Cerserlitch Ann Frascatore
1949 Janet I Wells Nancy Ann Aulisi
1948 Myron Komarzanski Margaret DeGroff
1947 Marion Brennan Goldie Breuer
1946 Ronald Hirschfeld Mary Frances Kinsman
1945 Alfred Mockus Burrell Pennings
1944 Winifred Rothmeyer Mary Verde
1943 Robert Brennan Rocco Petrone
1942 Helen DeGroff Marjorie Kerbelis
1941 Leon Henry Huston Thornton Lauber
1940 Angela Wierzbowski Gwelda McPhee
1939 Vivian Solomon George Douglass
1938 Sadye Zilinskas Sanford Thompson
1937 Maria D’Arienzo Marion Klappmeier
1936 Lewis Hallenbeck Alvin Gallen
1935 Ruth Brodie Douglas Rector
1934 Helen Goldmeer Harriet Conant
1933 Raymond Griffiths Bertha Kubas
1932 Betsy Conant Dorothy Hughes
1931 Oscar Lurie Hilda Locklin
1930 Matilda Dzikowacz Evelyn Wells
1929 Leon Elwell Ruth Perry
1928 Rodney Reston Frank Skrzynecki
1927 Elizabeth C. McElwain Hazel B. Cooper
1926 Rose Handler Joseph Conrad
1925 William Sullivan Herminie Williams
1924 Dorothy Lane
1923 Mildred E. Currie Helen M Purdy
1922 Ella Sullivan Esther Gray
1920 Sarah Gray John C Ruback
1919 Putnam F. Jones Elmina C. Currie
1918 Mary Lindsay Hazlett Hubbs
1917 Dorothy B DeGraff Margaret Kreisel
1916 Jerome S Lovenheim Catherine Waterstreet
1915 Maria P. Dybdahl Ellen M Scott
1914 Lillian Battenfield Thomas David King
1913 Beatrce Lane
1912 Charles McClumpha Lottie Webb
1911 Edna Rivenburgh
1910 Ruby Davis Elizabeth Betz
1909 Elsa Lindsay Edna Lindsay
1908 Elizabeth N. Clark Mary E Clark
1907 William Inman Marie Billington
1906 Stanley Hutchinson Earl Smith
1905 J. Potter Hallenbeck John B. Bostwick
1904 Walter Elwood Lillian Waldron
1903 Ethel McCrossen Boyd McCleary

7 thoughts on “Honoring Amsterdam’s Best Students of All-Time!

  1. Hi Mike,
    Thought I’d fill in a few blanks for you. More when I get a few spare minutes (LOL)
    1904 – Walter Elwood (V) and Lillian Waldron (S) – Amsterdam Recorder June 23, 1904
    1907 – William Inman (V) and Marie Billington (S) – Amsterdam Recorder June 28, 1907
    1909 – unable to find (yet)
    1911 – Edna Rivenburgh (V), no Salutatorian shown in photos or listed in awards – Amsterdam Recorder June 23, 1911
    1919 – Putnam F. Jones (V) and Elmina C. Currie – Amsterdam Recorder June 27, 1919


  2. Hi Mike,
    Found some information on Class of 1909 in the June Recorders from that year. None of the articles specifically list a student as Valedictorian or Salutatorian in the sense of academic standing. The graduation program listing does however identify who delivered the Salutatory (Elsie Lindsay) and the Valedictory (Edna Lindsay) speeches. I’ll send you a copy of that by E-mail. Don’t know if that equates to Valedictorian and Salutatorian in terms of class ranking.


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