District News

Meet the Class of 2017 valedictorian and salutatorian

photo of Cassidy and AustinCanajoharie Central School announces its two top scholars for the Class of 2017. Austin Countryman is the valedictorian and Cassidy Ferguson is the salutatorian.

Austin Countryman has pursued a wide range of academic and extracurricular activities throughout his high school career. He has been a member of the band, jazz band, choir, and chamber choir, serving as officer in the band. He has also been a member of Science Club and National Honor Society. He served as an officer in Student Council and History Club. He played JV basketball and baseball. He skied varsity cross-country, earning Rookie of the Year honors as a sophomore. He was a standout member of the varsity golf team, leading the team in points for three years and carrying the lowest average his senior year. He was selected to attend the WAC Leadership Conference, the NYS Student Council Leadership Conference, and Boys State.

Outside of school, Austin earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He volunteered with the annual Route 5S cleanup, Wintergreen Park cleanup, and Adirondack hiking trail cleanup. He assisted with eight Boy Scout Eagle projects, volunteered at Ames Firehouse Pancake Breakfasts, as well as helped with various church events, blood drives, food drives, and car washes. He is an avid sportsman who was a three-year champion at the Sprout Brook Rod and Gun Club’s Archery 3-D Competition. He has also worked as a Boy Scout Camp Counselor, a lifeguard at the Canajoharie School’s Nellis Pool, and a clerk at Sunnycrest Orchards in Sharon Springs.

Austin will attend Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall where he will major in Statistics and Actuarial Science. He is the son of Barry and Patricia Countryman of Fort Plain.

Cassidy Ferguson has been active inside and outside the high school classroom. She has been a member of the band, jazz band, orchestra, and handbell choir. She played soccer for four seasons and was named a team captain as a senior. She also ran track and skied cross-county for two years. She has served as secretary and vice-president of Student Council. She was a member of the International Club, Ski Club, History Club, Science Club, SADD, NADA, National Honor Society, Yearbook Committee, and Athletic Association. She was selected to attend the WAC Leadership Conference. She earned the Elmira College’s Key Award as an outstanding high school junior.

Outside of school, Cassidy has been active in her church. She has been a member of the LDS Young Women and LDS Stake Youth Planning Committee. She has served in multiple leadership positions in the LDS Mia Maids and Laurels classes. Through church and community, she helped restore a cemetery and cleared the grounds of a church, the Capital Region Food Bank, a church camp, and a town park. She has made blankets for the needy, cleaned her church, and volunteered at seminary. She also helped at multiple car washes, McDonald’s nights, and blood drives. She has worked for Upstate Professional Cleaning Company of Canajoharie and as a server at The Olde Tater Barn in Central Bridge.

Cassidy will attend Cazenovia College in September with plans to pursue photography. She is the daughter of Scott and Carrie Ferguson of Canajoharie.