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14 students commit to ‘service above self’ through Rotary Interact Club at Seven Valleys New Tech Academy



14 students commit to 'service above self' through Rotary Interact Club at Seven Valleys

May 24, 2024

Fourteen students at Seven Valleys New Tech Academy in Cortland vowed to put “service above self” and volunteer for their community as part of their induction into the Rotary Interact Club on May 23 at the OCM BOCES Cortlandville Campus.

The new inductees joined 23 classmates already participating in the club, which partners with the the Cortland Breakfast Rotary Club. During the ceremony, students shared a slide show of this year’s activities, which included the following activities and more:

  • Raking leaves and doing other yard work this spring for older residents
  • Ringing bells for the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign
  • Face-painting at the Great Cortland Pumpkinfest
  • Participating in the annual Tioughnioga River cleanup
  • Helping with the “Loaves and Fishes” food giveaway
  • Volunteering at a chicken barbecue
A record 20 students helped the Cortland Breakfast Rotary Club during the spring yard cleanup effort, which happened to fall on a cold, rainy day. Rotary Interact Advisor Tammy Zimmerman said students “never uttered a complaint” despite the rain. Similarly, during a Salvation Army “Dollar Drive” around the holidays, they braved bitter cold without complaint.

Zimmerman said Interact students have realized that even the smallest volunteer tasks can greatly impact their community.

“Be proud of being an Interact member because it says a lot about you as a person,” she said.

Don Richards, president of the Cortland Breakfast Rotary Club, spoke at the ceremony with Jackie Burke, the club’s president-elect and chair of the Interact Club.

“I’m very grateful and very thankful they are involved with us,” Richards told the crowd of family, friends, students, district administrators, Board of Education members and other community leaders. “Every project we do, they are eager to help.”

Burke said Cortland Breakfast Rotary Club members serve as “mentors and guides” for the students, with the goal of shaping them into effective community leaders once they graduate from high school. She thanked Zimmerman and Seven Valleys Principal Christine Alexander for “recognizing the importance” of the club and handling the logistics.

Later, current student officers from the Rotary Interact Club shared information about the club and its activities.

Afterward, Zimmerman, Burke, OCM BOCES District Superintendent Matt Cook, Ed.D., and Deputy Superintendent Colleen Viggiano joined the inductees on the stage to give the students pins, certificates, and congratulatory handshakes.

The newly inducted members included:

Lacey Albro — Homer
Katelyn Bibik — Tully
Caitlyn Bragg — Marathon
Olivia Clark — Marathon
MacKenzie Golden — Homer
Edyn Marshall — Marathon
Cameron Merrill — Homer
Peyton Morgan — Homer
Noah Niles — Onondaga (in bottom photo)
Matthew O’Mara — Cortland
Ella Riotto — Cortland
Joslyn Vosburgh — Homer
Aidine Woodward — Cortland
Javier Younis — Cortland

Returning Interact Club members:
*Cub Officers

Cloey Allen — Cortland
Alan Borst — Cortland
Sydney Brewer — Cortland
Anthony Buscemi — Cincinnatus
Caitlyn Burlingame — Cortland
Hannah Cortez* — Marathon
Alessia Davis — Cincinnatus
Emma Dermott* — Homer
Madelynn Dermott* — Homer
Rachel Fish* — Homer
Sam Heller — Homer
Desiree Hurd — Cortland
Alexis Jackson — Cortland
Jayden Irish — Homer
Megan Marks — Cortland
Alannah McMahon — Onondaga (in bottom photo)
Jessica O’Mara — Cortland
Grace Pealo — Cortland
Madison Phillips* — Homer
Arwen Rice — Cincinnatus
Rebecca Upson — Cortland
Dylan Waite — Homer
Serenity Wolf — Cortland