2017-2018 E.J. Herrmann Scholarships Awarded
The East Utica Optimist Club is pleased to announce the recipients of the Edward J. Herrmann Scholarships for 2017-2018. The organization salutes the three individuals who are the most recent recipients of the E.J. Herrmann Scholarships. All are June 2018 graduates of their respective high schools. The three scholarship winners are superb harriers, accustomed to the rigors and challenges of academia, and have made an impact on their respective schools and communities. All have demonstrated the ability to overcome obstacles through determination, persistence, and intrepidness to attain noteworthy running achievement and academic success.
Samantha Fanion, Cooperstown Central School
Samantha Fanion is an athlete who competed in cross-country, track, swimming and NICA mountain biking. She is a three-time top-20 finisher in the NYSPHSAA State Meet. She captained both the Cooperstown Central cross-country and the track and field teams.
Veteran Hawkeye running coach Jessie Ravage describes Samantha as "one of the most talented athletes I've ever coached." Academically she is pursuing a Regents program; additionally, Samantha took classes at Herkimer Community College during the summer of 2017. Her senior profile includes thirty community service experiences.
Samantha spent 2015-2016 abroad in Paraguay as a Rotary Exchange student. Shortly after returning home she unfortunately tore an ACL. Surgery and a seven month recuperation precluded her from participating during the 2016 cross-country season. She joined the varsity swim team to aid in her recovery. Samantha describes the experience as "another wonderful time of learning, working hard, and meeting more people."
Her memberships in school activities include the National Honor Society, Leo Club, Leadership Training for Athletes, student council representative, and CFES Mentoring. She was a member of both the chorus and band. Samantha was in the school's production of Les Miserables.
She is fully engaged in a variety of volunteer programs at the school and in the community. Samantha was a volunteer with her church's "Living Waters for the World" mission to the Central American nation of Honduras. She helps with the Food Pantry. She has performed service with the American Heart Association, Harvest Summer, and LTA Appreciation Breakfast, and Pancake Breakfast. She helps elementary school students through the Book Talk program. Samantha is a member of the Leo Club, the youth group of Lions Clubs International.
Samantha plans to attend Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
She is the daughter of Holly and David Fanion. The family resides in Cooperstown, NY.
Her running coaches were Jessie Ravage, Connie Herzig, and Larry Smith.
Salvatore Latella, Sauquoit Valley Central School District
Salvatore Latella "has shown the ability to set and accomplish goals, manage pressure effectively, and demonstrated that he is eager to help others and get involved", according to his guidance counselor, Peter Scialdone. He is a member of the Sauquoit Valley cross-country team which won four CSC Division II titles and two NYSPHSAA Section III Class D championships. He is steadfast in his dedication to academia and community.
He is enrolled in the Mohawk Valley Community College Dual Credit and College Connection Program. Salvatore has already earned almost half the credits necessary for an Associate Degree. At Sauquoit Central and BOCES he successfully completed a career technology program in the field of electricity.
At the onset of his junior year at Sauquoit he joined the Clayville Volunteer Fire Department. Becoming a volunteer fire fighter has enabled Salvatore to enjoy helping others in need within his community. The experience has "opened my eyes to the great community I am a part of," according to Salvatore. He gives much credit to his chief and officers for teaching him the lessons and skills they have shared with him.
Salvatore will attend Mohawk Valley Community College.
He is the son of Marina and Michael Latella. The family lives in Clayville, NY.
Steve Philpotts and Scott Prichard coached Salvatore at Sauquoit.
Laura Levi, Town Of Webb Union Free School District
A talented athlete, Laura Levi set four school records in track at the Town of Webb Union Free School District. In Nordic skiing she had three top-ten finishes at the NYSPHSAA State meet; she also represented the region at the Junior Nationals in Lake Placid, NY, at the conclusion of the 2017 season. Laura was recognized for her 800 meter accomplishments at the inaugural Mohawk Valley All-Stars Banquet sponsored by the Observer Dispatch.
Her high school guidance counselor, Kandis Griffin, was impressed with her ability to meet challenges academically, athletically, and participate in community volunteerism. She successfully blended nonacademic activities with her high school and Advanced Placement dual enrollment workload. She is a member of the National Honor Society.
Laura volunteers with the Key Club at school, the Inlet Volunteer Junior Firefighters, and at the St. Luke's Hospital Imaging Center. She is most proud of her work with a charitable organization begun by one of her cousins. The non-profit charity is named Cousins that Care. In the brief time it has existed, Cousins that Care has raised over $50,000. All the money was returned to help the needy in the community.
She held an ESCO Internship at the Old Forge Health Center. She won a Babe Ruth Athletic Award, Yes I Can Award, and League All-Star Awards in cross-country, track, and soccer.
Laura is the daughter of Georgia and Dan Levi. The family resides in Inlet, NY.
Timothy Leach and Don Allen are the running coaches at the Town of Webb Union Free School District.
Past E. J. Herrmann Scholarship Winners
Greene, Megan Wakley
Roberts, Anna Marie