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Five FFCS students recognized as “outstanding seniors”

Four students stand with three adults
From left Dr. Swanger, Mitchell Araya, Taylor Etherton Nathanial Colletti, Makenna Grady, FFHS Principal Aaron Grady and Dr. Hohenforst. Not pictured Massimo DiCaprio.

Fulton-Montgomery Community College and Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES hosted the Fourth Annual Student Recognition Dinner Monday, June 3 honoring nearly 60 outstanding seniors from area high schools.

Five FFCS  students were among those recognized.

Honorees were selected to attend the awards dinner to recognize their academic and personal achievements during high school.

Having been continually impressed by the academic and extracurricular excellence seen in the region’s students, FMCC and HFM BOCES work together to host the annual event to recognize graduating seniors of distinction.

During the event, each student was individually recognized and awarded a certificate before an audience of school representatives, family members and other guests. FFCS students recognized include:


Mitchell Araya, the son of Dr. Michael and Carrie Araya, is ranked ninth in his class and is enrolled in the HFM Career and Technical Center’s New Visions Health program. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, Student Government, Skype Club, and is the class president and the Board of Education student representative. He’s played basketball and was the soccer team captain, earning second team All Star honors, and played in the Exceptional Senior basketball game. He’s been on the Principal’s List each quarter of high school. Mitchell will attend Binghamton University to
study biology.


For the last two years, Nate Colletti has attended the HFM Career and Technical Center’s Environmental Conservation program, concentrating on heavy equipment operation. Nate is also the treasurer of his CTC program. He is a member of National Honor Society and the National Technical Honor Society and has performed more than 300 hours of community service. He has been on High Honor Roll or Principal’s List every quarter in high school. Nate balances academic work with employment, having held positions both at school and at local restaurants. Nate will attend SUNY Cobleskill and has a goal to become an environmental conservation officer.


Massimo DiCaprio, the son of David and Michayla DiCaprio, has earned the number one ranking in the Class of 2019. This year he also attended the New Visions Health program at the HFM Career and Technical Center. He is a member of Superintendent Ciaccio’s Cabinet, Skype Club, National Honor Society, and the
National Technical Honor Society. In addition, he was captain of the varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams. His awards include the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete, the NewsChannel 13 Section 2 Western Athletic Conference and Class B Basketball Scholar Athlete Award, the Doug Dickinson Memorial Award for Schola Athlete, the 2018 NYSHSFCA Class C Scholar Athlete of the Year, the National Academy of Future Physicians Medical Scientists Award of Excellence, the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award, and he was a CASDA student scholar. Massimo will attend the University of Notre Dame to study biology.


Taylor Etherton, the daughter of Jason and Meredith Etherton, earned the second highest ranking in the Class of 2019 and participated in the HFM Career and Technical Center’s New Visions Health program this year. She’s the National Honor Society treasurer, Student Government vice president, class secretary and a member of the National Technical Honor Society. Taylor participated in volleyball and received the Most Improved award and the Coach’s award. She has been on the Principal’s List every quarter in high school, is a scholar athlete, a Brave Strong award winner, and has earned awards for highest cumulative average. Taylor will attend Stony Brook to study biology.


Makenna Grady, the daughter of Aaron and Amy Grady, is an early admit student at Fulton-Montgomery Community College and a student at the HFM Career and  Technical Center’s New Visions Health program. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society and Superintendent Ciaccio’s Cabinet. She’s president of Yellow Roses and has served as a Skype Club ambassador, class treasurer, vice president of Character Council, and a member of Student Government Association and Medical Explorers. At FMCC, she’s in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and was on the Dean’s List. She also earned the 2019 Blue Cross Scholarship and the Hudson Mohawk-AHEC 2019 Healthcare Career Scholarship. She has been accepted into Radiologic Technology program at FMCC.