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Displaying items by tag: south glens falls

Thursday, 14 March 2019 12:39

Vincent Santilli: Athlete of the Week

Photos provided. 
SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Section 2 Champion wrestler Vincent Santilli demonstrates how values taught through sports transfer into everyday life.
Santilli, 17, is a senior three-season athlete at South Glens Falls High School. While he plays both soccer and lacrosse, this year he excelled in wrestling as he took home the gold at the Section 2 Division I tournament 1st.
Stacked against two previous competitors from Queensbury and Niskayuna, going into this match Santilli expressed, “I knew I had to do well, and that I had to wrestle my best ever."
Wrestle to his best he did as he won sectionals and progressed to state. Unfortunately, he did not make the top six at the podium.

This past season Santilli used his role as a team captain not only to help motivate his teammates but to instill a sense of team camaraderie in a sport that is heavily focused on the solo performance on the mat. Though a team player, Santilli's favorite aspect of wrestling is going solo to the mat, for the sense of accountability he embodies.
“When playing a team sport you have other people to rely on in a game and if you make a mistake, it might be made up for somewhere else, but in wrestling, it's all you,” said Santilli. “If I mess up it's only me and I have to make up for myself. It kind of helps me with my everyday life. Like in school or a job - I’ve got to be responsible.”
For most student athletes, being responsible means keeping your grades up and showing up to practice, but for a wrestler, making and keeping to your weight class is an additional task to take on.
"An hour before I had to wrestle at the state tournament, I had to lose two pounds...things like that are really tough. But It helps me stay disciplined not only at practice but at home."
In life, many things that are unexacting happen, and it’s an important value to take the obstacles and grow from them. Santilli thanks a minor injury for being a contributing factor in him winning sectionals.
"If I didn't hurt my pinky, I wouldn't have learned to wrestle intelligently and strategically. I don't think I would've won sectionals. I wouldn't have been as focused."
Focusing may be something that Santilli thinks he developed over the course of this season, but his condensed academic and extracurricular schedule shows that this is a skill he’s established through his high school career.
What many may not know is that during the week of states, Santilli was also one of eight student chairpersons for the South High Dance Marathon, which raised $837,859.97 for varying charities.
Santilli hopes to continue his development on and off the mat as he ventures to college. 
Published in Sports
Photos by SHMD Photos/GusCarayiannis.

South Glens Falls — For 42 years the South Glens Falls High School has hosted a Danceathon to raise money for charity organizations and individuals in need of assistance. This year, $837,859.97 was raised and will be distributed among 70 recipients.
 
Organizing the dance marathon is truly a school community effort, to say the least. The organizers consist of South Glens Falls High alumni, teachers and students. A lot of work is done outside of the regular school day regarding fiscal needs, registration, music, and decorations. However, the school has found ways to incorporate the dance marathon into the curriculum the week prior. Science classes teach tiedying, and the physical education classes aid in choreographing the closing dance.
 
The student body heavily influences the dance marathon from choosing the theme to selecting the recipients of the funds raised. This year’s Arcade theme idea came from student Olivia Barber. Everyone was encouraged to dress in vibrant colors and decorations complimented vibrant lighting, in an effort to simulate arcade video games and lights.
 
Over 200 applications from organizations and individuals were entered in order to receive aid from the funds raised at the danceathon. Who will receive aid is decided among students who voluntarily participate in these selections. The students spend time reading through several synopses on the applications and vote for the recipients.
 
There have only been two years in the history of the Danceathon where they did not raise more money than the previous year. Attempting to do so isn’t the overall goal of each year’s danceathon.
 
“We try to de-emphasize that (raising more money than the previous year) because the money is not what the important thing is,” said Thomas Myott, one of the event’s faculty coordinators.
 
Myott believes that “one of the things that makes this so successful is that the people who are involved are here for the right reasons.”
 
The fact that this dance marathon has been taking place for 42 years is a representation of not only the dedication to service that South Glens Falls High School possesses but how dedicated the community is to help serve each other.
 
South High Marathon Dance 2020 already has a date set. It will be held on March 6 and 7, 2020 for another year of community service. 
Published in Education
Thursday, 01 March 2018 13:12

South High Presents Ghost

[Photos by Laurenkeepstime Photography]

SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Stage 42 Drama Club presents Ghost, on Friday, March 16 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 17 in the high school auditorium. This will be the first regional theater company to produce Ghost in the entire Capital District, at 7 p.m.

“This show has been an enriching and meaningful experience for all involved. First off, we’re dedicating the show to the memory of former Drama Club president, Nick Heald, who lost his seven year battle with cancer just this past summer. This has certainly raised the emotional connectivity. Secondly, being one of the first high school troupes to produce this show really provides the opportunity to create a unique vision and tell a story that we feel will really impact audiences. I’ve really enjoyed working on a musical that has strong emotional content that has furthered the growth and range of our theatre students’ acting. This show also incorporates extensive stage combat which has provided new experiences for the students on stage,” said director Betsy Stambach-Fuller.

Featuring Brandon Sarti as Sam Wheat, Allison Hillebrandt as Molly Jensen, Kate Nelson as Oda Mae Brown, and Josh Daley as Carl Bruner. Ghost is written by Bruce Joel Rubin with music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard.

“This show really taught me the importance of living in the moment because you never know if and when it could be ripped away. As an actor, I’ve grown emotionally and really enjoyed exploring the real process involved with stage combat,” said leading man Brandon Sarti.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at www.sgfdrama.ticketleap.com.

Published in Education

SARATOGA SPRINGS – A director discusses the specifics of scene D-14 with his actors and crew, stressing that 5-6 shots will be needed. Meanwhile, a short ways away on the set, other actors patiently wait on their marks, going over their lines and directions for the upcoming shots. All the while, the cast and crew eagerly await the completion of the last few shots so that can finally take their lunch break for the day.

But this film set is not in Hollywood, or somewhere else far off. It’s right here at the Saratoga Springs Public Library (SSPL). And that cast and crew is not made up entirely of film industry professional. Rather, it is composed of local students, learning about film production for a good cause.

Filmmaker Mike Feurstein returned to the Saratoga Springs area for a five-day film residency as part of the Don’t Wait to UnMake a Bully program, a partnership between his How to UnMake a Bully program and Lisa Bradshaw’s Don’t Wait Project. Through the program, Feurstein works with students in districts nationwide, using roles on a film set to teach them about treating others with respect and how to avoid being a bully. After the in-class lessons, students take what they learn and use their new skills to help produce an anti-bullying PSA. This most recent residency ran from April 17-20, with filming at the library taking place in the last three days.

“We meet the classes for the first time on a Monday and talk about bullying, kindness, citizenship, digital citizenship, cyber security, and things like that for the first 45 minutes,” Feurstein said. “The second 45 minutes is learning how to make a movie, and we learn all the roles, and I tie the roles into civic responsibility. So the sound guy is a good listener, and the director is a good leader as well as a good listener. So we tie in the jobs of a movie set to how you should e behaving in a civilized society.”

This is Feurstein’s second time working with students on a project in the SSPL, having worked there for the first time two years ago. This year, he is working with students mostly from the Saratoga Springs City School District, as well a few from South Glens Falls and Burnt Hills. The short film that they came up with has an appropriately library-inspired theme, with villainous characters coming out of various books and possessing the bodies a various children, causing them to act like bully.

“The Queen of Hearts is acting all boisterous and bossy,” Feurstein said. “And the Wizard of Oz is acting boastful”

According to Youth Services librarian Kali Nagler, the film will premiere to the families of the students and the public in a special screening on June 15, and in the fall, they will feature the film as part of a planned anti-bullying awareness day alongside the first film produced in 2015. The film will also be shared on Feurstein’s YouTube channel, “Unmaker Mike.”

“I think a lot of them are learning that making a movie is hard work,” Feurstein said. “And it’s collaborative, they have to work together, they have to listen.”

All photos by www.photoandgraphic.com

Published in Education
Friday, 28 October 2016 16:37

Region Mourns Fallen Trooper

WILTON — The tragic loss of New York State Trooper Timothy Pratt, 55, on Wednesday, October 26, as a result of a traffic accident on Ballard Road in Wilton, has left a gaping hole in the hearts of the Capital Region. The shock and grief extended statewide as well as close to home. Governor Andrew Cuomo remembered Trooper Pratt leading last month’s 9/11 motorcade memorial, and he ordered all flags to half staff.

Wilton Town Board Councilman John Lant, a former fire chief, said he couldn’t believe it when he received the phone call with the news.

“I worked with him on many accidents and fires,” said Lant, his voice filled with emotion. “He was a good guy, an outstanding state trooper. I thought the world of that guy. Unbelievable. He’s a great loss.”

Art Johnson, Wilton Town Supervisor, said, “All the troopers in the town provide such a wonderful service and we appreciate all of them. Our thoughts and prayers go with the family.”

New York State Police Troop G Commander Major William Keeler described the incident at a press conference Wednesday, saying, “By all accounts, at 6:30 this morning, it was dark, and Trooper Pratt, beginning his patrol, observed a tractor trailer stopped in the median on Ballard Road just in front of the state police barracks in Wilton, and Trooper Pratt, being Trooper Pratt, immediately went to see if he could be of any assistance. He interviewed the driver and the driver told him that he had missed a turn at the Ace Hardware store, and Trooper Pratt was going to assist in getting the vehicle turned around. Trooper Pratt stepped down from the vehicle, stepped away from the vehicle, into the east bound lane and was struck.”

State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II added, “He was a 30-year trooper who still had the fire in him. He enjoyed doing the job, and died the way he lived, helping people.”

Trooper Pratt was initially treated at Saratoga Hospital, and was airlifted to Albany Medical Center where he died at approximately 9:30 a.m. Trooper Mark Cepiel, public information officer for Troop G, confirmed charges were unlikely, but the investigation is not closed. He said a collision reconstruction unit with investigators trained beyond normal investigation techniques will continue looking at the evidence.

The fact that one simple act, done a thousand times over a career, could be the last one, is a danger faced every day by traffic duty and highway patrol law enforcement.

Beach said at the press conference that Trooper Pratt had more than 25 years of experience working the highway unit on the Northway. “It’s probably some of the most dangerous work that our troopers do,” said Beach. “It’s almost inconceivable to us that Tim could spend that much time working in such a dangerous situation and have a tragedy like this happen. It’s difficult to process.” Beach went on to confirm that most of the on-duty deaths in last 10 years have been traffic accidents.

“I’d like to thank the EMS responders and people who rendered aid to Tim, and the staffs at the hospitals in both Saratoga and Albany who did everything they could,” said Beach.

Beach also confirmed that Trooper Pratt’s family would become members of the greater New York State family. “Never alone,” said Beach before he left the podium Wednesday.

Trooper Pratt joined the New York State Police on March 30, 1987, after serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1979 to 1986. Trooper Pratt was assigned to the Traffic Incident Management unit at the State Police station in Wilton. He served his entire career with the State Police in Troop G.

The Honorable David Towne, Wilton Town Justice, had served in law enforcement over 30 years and knew Trooper Pratt well.

“He was a great guy, a credit to law enforcement,” said Towne. He said people who were ticketed by Pratt often went out of their way to write about the positive interaction they had with him in the space for comments on the back of traffic citations.

“It’s shocking when you know someone fairly well,” said Towne. “Law enforcement is a unique brotherhood. I know they are going through tough times right now and doing what they can for each other to make it through. He perished doing what he was made to do, lending a hand.”

The Honorable Gerald A. Worth, Wilton Town Justice, said it’s difficult for them in the court, too. “We dealt with him for so long, and he was always in a good mood, laughing, joking around. There’s going to be thousands of people wanting to pay their respects.”

Trooper Cepiel said Trooper Pratt was involved heavily in the community, especially at South Glens Falls High School.

“He worked the dance they have there every year, except for those years he was in the military,” said Cepiel. “It is great way to remember him for things like that he did. It’ll be tough for the community because he was integrated so much. People can take solace in the fact that this is what he loved to do.”

Lant remembered being at a banquet at the fire department, sitting with his wife and mother, when Trooper Pratt walked up to him and said, “Okay, you’re going with me.”

“Then he took his handcuffs out. You should have seen my mother’s eyes,” Lant laughed. “I had tears running down. First time I ever met him, he put out a fire and I told him that was our job, not his, and I’d start giving out speeding ticket. That’s how we became friends.”

Lant was quiet a moment, and then said, his voice choking, “An outstanding trooper. An outstanding friend. It’s everybody’s loss. The people of the State – everyone.”

On Wednesday evening, October 26, the trooper’s body was transported by hearse from Albany Medical Center to M.B. Kilmer Funeral Home in South Glens Falls. About a hundred police cars followed in the procession, which passed beneath an American flag hanging between two fire truck ladders. A crowd had gathered as the procession turned into the funeral home, and police and fire personnel stood in the street, honoring their fallen comrade.

Details of the line-of-duty funeral arrangements were not available by print time, but the office of the Village of South Glens Falls confirmed a candle light vigil will be held on Sunday, October 30, at the gazebo in Cooper’s Cave Park in the village. Speakers and bagpipes are planned to honor Trooper Pratt, and although there will be some candles; it is recommended people bring their own.

South Glens Falls Mayor Joe Orlow said the fire department did a great job Wednesday night, honoring the fallen trooper during transport, and added, “We are a caring community, and I hope to see everyone come out Sunday night to pay their respects for this gentleman who gave so much to the community.”

Published in News
Thursday, 02 May 2013 14:50

Wilton's Empty Bowls a Huge Success

WILTON – Senior volunteers from the Wilton Food Pantry (WFP) worked alongside Girl Scout Troop #3555 washing bowls created by Skidmore ceramics students, during the EMPTY BOWLS fundraising event on Sunday, April 14 at the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Lodge #161. 

Published in News