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Eight more students at Seven Valleys commit to "service above self"


Eight more students at Seven Valleys New Tech Academy commit to “service above self”

Posted May 3, 2022

Cortland Breakfast Rotary Club President Peter Williams addresses the new
inductees during a ceremony on April 29, 2022, at the Cortlandville Campus.

The Rotary Interact Club at Seven Valleys New Tech Academy grew to 31 participants last week after eight new students were inducted into the Cortland-area community service organization.

Students in the club pledge to follow the Rotary motto, “service above self,” and regularly volunteer for community service projects through a partnership with the Cortland Rotary Breakfast Club.

On April 29, the eight newest members received certificates, encouragement, and words of gratitude from current student officers, OCM BOCES administrators, and the president of the Cortland Breakfast Rotary Club, Peter Williams.

The induction ceremony at the OCM BOCES Cortlandville Campus was kicked off by Eric Comtois, another Cortland Breakfast Rotary Club member who serves as director of OCM BOCES Career & Technical Education and Innovation Education programs. Seven Valleys Principal Amy Drumluk emceed the event.

Club Advisor and Seven Valleys Facilitator Maria Claudia Gimma shakes
hands with Brynn Theriot, a Cortland junior and new Interact Club member.

Earlier this year, students in the Rotary Interact Club jumped into community service projects such as scouring for trash along the muddy shores of the Tioughnioga River, clanging bells for the Salvation Army, and volunteering at local festivals.

Students are currently helping with a project to ship bilingual children's books to Truxton Charter School, an orphanage in Puerto Rico, and Cornell University's Latin American Studies Program. Each book will feature a basic recipe and short story about the geographical and cultural features of the country it came from.

Seven Valleys Facilitator Maria Claudia Gimma, the Rotary Interact advisor, launched the club in the fall of 2018 because Rotary holds a special place in her heart. The organization helped her in a life-changing way after she came to the United States as a 12-year-old girl from Colombia. Rotary bought her equipment to help her with her dyslexia, sponsored her as an exchange student to France, and provided her with a grant for college. That generosity, she explained to the inductees, led to her success as a teacher and sparked her interest in helping others through Rotary.

“It made me who I am today,” she said.

Students received their pins and certificates from OCM BOCES District Superintendent Matt Cook, Ed.D., and Deputy Superintendent Colleen Viggiano

Rotary members pose for a photo after the induction ceremony.

Congratulations to all of the new Rotary Interact Club inductees:

  • Alan Borst, Cortland
  • Rachel Fish, Homer
  • Nathan Hardesty, Cortland
  • Alexis Jackson, Cortland
  • Alainna Lotz, Cincinnatus
  • Jessica O’Mara, Cortland
  • Claudia Saddlemire, Cortland
  • Brynn Theriot, Cortland

Current Rotary Interact members include:

  • Maddox Albro, Tully
  • Rheona Allen, Cortland
  • Jessy Ashley, DeRuyter
  • Cebastian Bell, Homer
  • Charles Bibik, Tully
  • Gabriella Cherry, Cortland
  • Bailey Cole, Cortland
  • Brigid Comerford, Cortland
  • Kennith Craft, Cincinnatus
  • Justin Dermott, Homer
  • Madelynn Dermott, Homer
  • Kaitlyn Egolf, Cortland
  • Seth Faircloth, Cortland
  • Alexandria Janeski, Cincinnatus
  • Carrick Knarr, Homer
  • Allison O’Mara, Cortland
  • Jules Porter, Homer
  • Paris Rosario-Dube, Cortland
  • Cassandra Snyder, Cortland
  • Taylor Tinker, Cortland
  • Ethan Westbrook, Homer
  • Dylan Wood, Homer