Class of 2012’s top two students

Nathaniel Hawthorne and Rachel Gernsey have been named the Class of 2012’s valedictorian and salutatorian at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton. Hawthorne will be attending Union College while Guernsey will be attending University at Albany.

by Nicole Reitz

Nathaniel Hawthorne and Rachel Gernsey have been named the Class of 2012’s valedictorian and salutatorian at G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton.

Hawthorne is the son of Dennis and Lucy Hawthorne of Fulton. He will graduate in June with a grade point average of 102.9, having taken six advanced placement courses.

Hawthorne is president of National Honor Society and is a member of the Math Club, chorus, mock trial and Model UN.

He also plays tennis and is actively involved in Quirk’s Players. Hawthorne has been with the high school drama club since the eighth grade. Drama club is where Hawthorne’s fondest memories lie. He said he will always remember the weeks leading up to the school’s musical, the long five to six hour rehearsals, and friends who turned into a family.

“You get really close to people in that time frame because you’re pretty much living with them for a week and a half,” the valedictorian said.

Hawthorne has learned a lot about time management in his senior year since he also works at Struppler’s Shurfine Market for 20 hours a week. He believes that organizing the time that he has will be an important lesson to take with him to college.

Hawthorne will attend Union College in Schenectady and major in chemistry.

He applied to eight schools but chose Union because the students he met seemed to enjoy learning there.

An overnight orientation at Union sealed the deal. “Union is close enough to still get care packages and come home, but far enough that my parents can’t drop in for unexpected visits,” Hawthorne  said.

Hawthorne is excited to meet new people and getting involved in some of the research projects available in the science department.

He plans to join the all-male a cappella group and hopes that the college offers a humans versus zombies team.

He looks forward to having more freedom when it comes to class selection and setting his own schedule. “I do look forward not having to wake up at 6:30 every morning for college. Eight a.m. sounds better,” quipped Hawthorne.

He credits his success in his high school career to his parents’ attitude towards learning and his favorite teachers: Susan Ryan, Robert Morse and Jon Fasulo.

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