Onteora’s Simon Rands and Lucciana Robertson Named

MHAL Senior Scholar-Athletes

 

Simon Rands and Lucciana Robertson were named this year’s Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) Senior Scholar-Athlete Award recipients for Onteora High School.  

Simon, who is Valedictorian of Onteora’s Class of 2021, was a member of the Varsity Soccer, Tennis, and Track & Field teams. His athletic accomplishments include serving as captain of the Varsity Soccer team since his sophomore year, being honored as Athlete of the Month in September 2019, and being named to the Section IX, Class B Soccer All-Star Team in 2019.

Simon’s extracurricular activities include serving as vice president of the National Honor Society and copy editor of the school newspaper (The Talon), participating in Science Olympiad, and volunteering for the Ulster Immigrant Defense Network.

Simon will be attending Tufts University, where he plans to focus on Environmental Studies.

Lucciana, who has accepted an athletic scholarship from SUNY Binghamton, is ranked 32nd in her class. Onteora’s school record holder in the High Jump, Lucciana qualified for the New York State (NYS) Championships in that event three times, twice for Spring Track (2018 and 2019) and once for Winter Track (2020). She jumped to a second-place finish in the State meet in 2019, earning a trip to Nationals. At the 2020 NYS Winter Track championships, she came in third, again qualifying for Nationals.

Lucciana’s additional athletic accomplishments include making three trips to States with Onteora’s Cross-Country team, running with Onteora’s 4 by 8 relay team at the 2018 NYS Track & Field Championships, being named to the 2019-2020 All Star Team in Girls Basketball, and being honored with one of this year’s Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) Senior Scholar-Athlete Awards.

Lucciana has also excelled outside of sports, qualifying for New York State’s Seal of Biliteracy, serving as a member of the National Honor Society, and holding down a part-time job at Dietz Stadium Diner in Kingston.

 

Onteora Senior Wins State Culinary Competition, Qualifies for Nationals

  Onteora senior Stefan Frasca of Olivebridge, a second-year student in the Ulster BOCES Culinary Arts Program, came in first place in the Culinary Arts   category at the New York State SkillsUSA championships. The event was held on April 14 via livestream in front of four judges.

  For winning first place in the New York State SkillsUSA’s Culinary Arts competition, he will be receiving $3,000 a year towards his tuition at the Culinary    Institute of America (CIA), an amount that is renewable as long as he maintains a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher at the CIA. His first-place win also qualifies him to compete for additional scholarship money at the upcoming National SkillsUSA Culinary Arts competition, which will take place (again via livestream) on June 24.

The State championships, explained Ulster BOCES Culinary Arts instructor Irene Powell, featured 16 contestants competing in knife cuts, chicken fabrication, and the preparation of a soup, an appetizer, and an entrée. “Contestants were scored on sanitation, safety, knife skills, cooking methods, technique, creative plating, tasting, and proper uniform,” she said.

            Discussing the State and national events, Stefan said, “I am excited to be representing New York State at nationals, and happy that my parents got to see me win the New York competition.”

According to Powell, “Stefan is a leader among his fellow culinary students. They all look up to him as someone who is driven in his culinary ambition.” Stefan already demonstrates the skill set and aptitude to be successful in the culinary field, she believes. “He is extremely focused on his career but most importantly, his genuine kindness toward others and his need to assist fellow classmates will take him a long way in this industry,” she said.

Stefan, who aspires to become a chef and a restaurant owner, currently holds a job at Tetta’s Market and Pizzeria in Olivebridge. “We make our own sauce and our own dough, and we use fresh ingredients,” he observed.

Stefan appreciates the specialized, career-oriented education he has been receiving through Ulster BOCES, and credits the Culinary Arts Program’s chef/instructors and his various culinary mentors with helping him to be accepted by the CIA. “Ulster BOCES has definitely jump-started my career in the culinary arts,” he declared. “I want to thank all of my chefs, as well as my co-workers at Tetta’s.”

Speaking on behalf of herself and fellow Culinary Arts Program instructors Justin Nahow and Elise Macur as well as Chef/Culinary Consultant John Griffin (Stefan’s mentor for the SkillsUSA competition), Powell said, “We are proud to work with Stefan to help him in his culinary journey.”

SkillsUSA brings together students, teachers, and industry professionals with the aim of ensuring that the United States has a skilled workforce. For more information on SkillsUSA, visit https://www.skillsusa.org/

 

 

Onteora High Jumper Signs National Letter of Intent to
Attend SUNY Binghamton

 

 

BOICEVILLE—Onteora High School Grade 12 student Lucciana Robertson has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend SUNY Binghamton, a Division 1 school, on an athletic scholarship. Lucciana, who was recruited to compete in the High Jump, signed the letter on April 29 during a festive ceremony attended by family members as well as Onteora teammates, coaches, teachers, administrators, and staff.

Although a number of Division I schools expressed interest in recruiting Lucciana, she was particularly impressed by the Track & Field program at SUNY Binghamton. “I like the motivation that everyone has on the team, and how dedicated the coach is,” she explained. 

Speaking before the signing ceremony, Kim Pilla, Onteora’s Director of Physical Education, Athletics, and Health and Dean of Students, shared a few words about the student-athlete. “Lucciana is kind, compassionate, tenacious, and has an incredible work ethic,” she said. “She is a true leader, and she is super cool. We are all going to miss her!”

Physical Education teacher and Head Varsity Track Coach Patrick Burkhardt, who coached Lucciana in Cross-Country, noted that Lucciana’s personal best for the High Jump (5 feet, 6 inches) shattered the previous school record, which had stood for more than 25 years. “She is the fourth Onteora track kid to go to SUNY Binghamton to compete in Track & Field,” he added.

Lucciana, the daughter of Brian Robertson and Onteora Math teacher Jessica Morra, qualified for the New York State (NYS) Championships in High Jump three times, twice for Spring Track (2018 and 2019) and once for Winter Track (2020). She jumped to second place in the State meet in 2019, earning a trip to Nationals. At the 2020 NYS Winter Track championships, she came in third, qualifying for the National competition, which was ultimately cancelled due to COVID-19.

Lucciana’s additional athletic accomplishments include making three trips to States with Onteora’s Cross-Country team, running with Onteora’s 4 by 8 relay team at the 2018 NYS Track & Field Championships, being named to the 2019-2020 All Star Team in Girls Basketball, and being honored with one of this year’s Mid-Hudson Athletic League (MHAL) Senior Scholar-Athlete Awards.

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