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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 10, 2008


V’ville’s first students
Fried bound for Pomona, Klembczyk off to U of Virginia

By David S. Lewis

VOORHEESVILLE – Although the school district determines eligibility for its valedictorian and salutatorian on more than grades alone, the two titles were awarded this year to the students with the highest grade-point average.

Clara Fried, the valedictorian, with a 97.3 average, will be going to Pomona College, near Los Angeles, Calif.  She told The Enterprise that she would likely study science, but that her mind wasn't completely made up yet. 

“I like chemistry because there is more problem-solving and biology is interesting because it is not so abstract; you know what you're talking about,” she said.  “I'll see what happens.  I might like something else better.”

Also an athlete, Fried said she had run cross-country and track until her sophomore year, and that she still enjoys running.

The treasurer for Voorheesville's chapter of the National Honor Society, Fried was also heavily involved in the school's Key Club, of which she has been an officer.  She said the group had raised money by selling concessions at athletic events and had participated in a Habitat for Humanity volunteer day earlier in the year, as well as tutoring eight-graders in math.

“We also did things around town, like raking leaves for people,” she said.

Fried said that civic activities were important to her, and that she hoped to continue volunteer work in college.

She attributes her academic prowess to her parents, and to her own strong work ethic, as well as appreciation for school.

“I worked really hard, she said.  “I definitely spent lots of time studying for every test.  I cared a lot about school, more than most people, I think.”

“Both of my parents are college professors, and so education has been very important,” she said.  “And I wanted to get into a good college.”

Salutatorian

Kevin Klembczyk said he is not sad to be leaving the high school that has been his educational foundation for the last four years.

“I’m excited to move on,” he said.  “I’ve got lots of good memories, being with these kids for the last 13 years, but I’m not sad or anything.”

Klembczyk, who earned a 97 grade-point average, served as the president of the National Honor Society, and the vice president of the school's student government; he said that he helped organize several blood drives.  He also tutored younger students in math and earth-science studies, as well as participating in sports.  A varsity athlete, he lettered in soccer, basketball, and baseball.

Klembczyk said he plans to keep in touch with his friends, and noted that it would be easier with cell phones and the Internet.  He said that the last week of his final year had been the best, during which the senior class had traveled together to the Jersey shore.

“We had time to hang out by the ocean, and play Frisbee,” he said.  “It was a lot of fun.  I think everyone had a good time out there.”

He said that he had also enjoyed the last day of school, which included a Slip-N-Slide on the school grounds and a barbecue.

Klembczyk plans to attend the University of Virginia, where he will study bioengineering in an honors program.

“It takes care of pre-med, so I might go to medical school, or business, or continue studying engineering,” he said, noting that, although he had lots of opportunities, he had not yet made up his mind what he would finally choose.


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