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Class of 2013 Valedictorian & Salutatorian share thoughts

Adam Forti and Michaela Fisher, BKW's Class of 2013 valedictorian and salutatorian, share their plans and memories with us:

Q: What will you be studying in college? If unknown, what are a few areas you'll explore?

Adam: Next year I will be attending Union College to pursue mechanical engineering, but I hope to look into chemical engineering and materials engineering further down the road.

Michaela: I will be attending Northland College and double majoring in Natural Resources with an emphasis in Wildlife Management, as well as Writing.


Q: What were your favorite classes/subjects in high school and what did you like about them in particular?

Adam: My favorite classes were my hardest ones, AP Chem and AP Calc. They really made me think every day, presenting a challenge, but the excellent teachers were always able to point us students in the right direction to solve the task at hand. I especially enjoyed the last few classes of AP Chemistry, where we tried to identify a mystery chemical and ended up accidentally creating what appears to be glitter.

Another favorite class this year was architectural drawing, where I found the entire process to be incredibly interesting. It was a great way to start the day and wonderfully calming.

Michaela: My favorite classes were my history classes including AP World and AP Government. I love learning about other people’s cultures and way of life. The rise and fall of civilizations is also really fascinating to me. I also really enjoyed all my English and writing classes, because I enjoy writing essays and analyzing literary works. One of my dreams is to become an author, so I take a considerable interest in my writing ability.


Q: What clubs/activities were you involved with? Which did you enjoy most and why?

Adam: I was involved so many activities it's hard to keep track of them all. I just love to stay busy. It helps me focus.

I was active in track and field, cross country, soccer, Boy Scouts, National Honor Society, Key Club, the (informal) senior lounge chess club, every school musical I could take part in, from "The Wizard of Oz" to "Oklahoma," Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County Government Internship Program, band, chorus, Chamber Singers, 4-H, and student government (Class Treasurer).

I most enjoyed the musicals, because they brought together, for several months, some of the most extraordinary people with unexpectedly diverse interests. I am very happy to say that taking part in the musicals helped me learn to devote myself entirely to the project before me. Every year, I will definitely be doing whatever I can to watch the production.

Michaela: I was involved in varsity soccer, Student Senate, National Honor Society, Chamber Singers, Class Officers, 4-H, our school musical, DA Soars Albany County Youth Advisory Board, Teen Action Group, and horse back Riding.

I really enjoy competing in horse shows because I have grown up around horses and feel a very close bond with them. Winning with them brings me a great feeling of satisfaction. I also loved being in the Musical this year because it gave me confidence to express myself. I am also a huge fan of reading and writing.


Q: What was your best high school memory?

Adam: I have so many great memories of high school and growing up in the BKW community. One of my favorites is from a recent trip to Lake Placid with the cross country team, where we bonded tighter than ever before. It made me realize how much I would miss my teammates come June and how much I would miss my community when I graduated.

Michaela: The best summer I ever had was when I attended a summer camp my junior year at the Huyck Preserve for three weeks. During those three weeks I worked with twelve other students and learned about a wide variety of environmental, biological, and ecological subjects. I learned how to set mist nets up to capture birds, how to identify species of fungi, and how to capture small rodents. It was a really enlightening experience that helped kindle my desire to pursue my studies of wildlife in college.

My other favorite High School Memory was during my senior year this April. I performed in my school’s Musical Oklahoma, and played a major role. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I had so many laughs with my friends, and gained a lot of self-confidence. It really helped me be myself, and I loved the feeling of unity amongst the cast.


Q: What advice would you give to the incoming seniors as they head into senior year?

Adam: Class of 2014... I don't doubt for a moment that you will have an astounding senior year. You are all slightly insane, I think, but in a good way and you seem to make it work. Don't forget how much time you have already put into this whole high school thing; senior year is easy to enjoy as long as you don't completely lose track of everything. Stay interesting!

Also, I would like to add a thank you to the entire community for supporting so many diverse and very, very important programs at BKW. The students here don't just learn in the classroom, we learn from example, and this environment has provided us a chance at an excellent, well-rounded education.

Michaela: Look, look, look! Look at a ton of different colleges, and don’t just confine your search to your own state. You never know what college is out there that might be right for you. I applied to Northland College in Wisconsin on a total whim, but now I’m so glad I did! I love the campus and program that it provides! So don’t be stuck on just one college, because you might change your mind. Apply to a variety of community and private colleges, and then visit them to make your final decision.


Congratualtions to the entire class of 2013. You did it!

Read more about the graduating class in this year's graduation newsletter [PDF]