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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 9, 2009

Liu and Jannesari head the class of 2009 at Voorheesville

By Saranac Hale Spencer

VOORHEESVILLE — Two members of Clayton A. Bouton High School’s tennis team are the top scholars of this year’s graduating class.

“They were great teammates,” said coach Tom Kurkjian of Fannie Liu, valedictorian, and Siana Jannesari, salutatorian.  They are “well-rounded kids who played tennis,” he said, and, with their academic success they “added a dimension to the team.”


Siana Jannesari spent most of her extra-curricular time working on her tennis game, she said.  The daughter of a tennis player, she and her father would play almost year-round.  “I started playing with him when I was little,” she said.

Off the court, Jannesari was the president of Voorheesville’s chapter of the National Honor Society, a member of the Model United Nations team, a Natural Helper, a member of student government, and a teen board member of the Ronald McDonald House.

As part of the school’s concert band and wind ensemble, Jannesari played the clarinet.  Since childhood, though, she’s played the piano and hopes this summer to learn Claire de, from Claude Debussy’s piano suite.

Also in the break between high school and college, Jannesari looks forward to reading unassigned books.  She likes gothic literature, she said, naming Wuthering Heights.  Of why she likes that style, Jannesari said, “It’s more elaborate.”

Jannesari will start Boston College in the fall and is unsure of what she will study — maybe economics, maybe pre-law.

“I like all my classes,” she said of high school schedule, but she favored her advanced placement chemistry class.  “I liked the problems that we solved,” she said.


Fannie Liu chose the University of Pennsylvania because of its digital media design program — she’s always been interested in art — but is now unsure of what she’ll study.

Psychology is interesting, she said; it’s “so intricate, so complex.”

Her favorite class at Voorheesville was French in her junior year, she said without hesitation.  It was small, with eight students, and she got to study language and culture, said Liu, the daughter of Taiwanese parents.

Inspired by her older sister, Anne, Liu founded the Student Health Outreach Team, which educates people about disease.  Last year she designed a T-shirt, with a Panda bear and a needle, and was able to donate $650 from the proceeds to amfAR, a foundation for AIDS research.

Liu worked on the school’s newspaper, The Helderbarker, as the assistant editor and the layout editor and she was a member of the history club.

Liu also studied the effects of iron on Parkinson’s disease pathology in the brain tissue of mice at the Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program and was a National Merit Scholarship commended student.

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