Three Niskayuna High School students were recognized for their actions with
their peers and in the community at a YMCA awards breakfast on Wednesday, April
1, where school Principal John Rickert was named the organization's 2015
"Educator of the Year" for the county.
Recipients of that award are honored for "their effectiveness in working with students, their impact on community development, their leadership qualities and community service."
Niskayuna High School students Sara Bobok, Daniel Goldfarb, and Amanda Mullaney were among the 52 nominees from Schenectady County school districts for this year's Outstanding Student Award. Students were selected and honored for their "actions with their peers and other members of our community, the Y's core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility."
Scroll down for the descriptions of Mr. Rickert and our three students that appeared in the event program. Congratulations to each of them!
This year marked the 28th awards breakfast held by the county's Y branches. Elected officials addressed the honorees and their guests, and Schenectady City Mission Executive Director Mike Saccocio was the guest speaker.
Mr. Rickert was the 8th Niskayuna High School teacher or administrator to be named the Outstanding Educator in the history of the awards.
John started his career as a special education teacher and then as a high school social studies teacher and coach at Niskayuna High School. He is currently the principal at the high school. John's leadership qualities have made him a critical resource within the school, district and community for problem solving, the most challenging distraction to the true work of a great high school. John has given endless hours to giving back to his community through the Giving Tree Project, Food Drives, Suburban Scholastic Council and much more.
Sara is a senior at Niskayuna High School. During her time in high school, she has completed an internship with the European Union, served as a translator to British members of the government while visiting Transylvania, and has helped a number of orphaned children in Hungary feel safe and loved. Sara is someone who genuinely cares about the welfare of others.
For the past two years, Daniel has volunteered at the YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter in Schenectady. Twice a week, he would read for an hour to the kids. Throughout his experience he appreciated sharing with kids the magic of reading; a skill that they will use for the rest of their lives. He was able to improve his public speaking abilities while working with the children.
Amanda spent a week with Habitat for Humanity. She had heard about the organization through her parish and thought it would be a perfect way to give back to the community. During the week, she worked along with others to pain, clean, ripping up floors, and much more. Through this experience, Amanda grew stronger as an individual, team member, and a leader.