GARDINER — Gardiner Area High School has announced its top 10 students in the class of 2012.

Autumn Ortiz, daughter of Cheryl and Eduardo Ortiz of Pittston, is valedictorian.

Ortiz is a Gardiner Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and a past Dirigo Girls State delegate. She has been a member of chorus throughout her high school, participating in the District III Honors Chorus Festival. She is a past member of the Math Team, attending the Summer Academy of Math and Science for two years and is a current member of the Civil Rights Team, Show Choir and Drama Technical Crew. Her awards include the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, the Wellesley College Book Award, the AP Scholar Award, the Honors Algebra I, Science, English, Geometry, World History and Algebra II Awards, the Latin Award, the Excellence in AP Language and Composition Award, the Pre-Calculus Award, the American Studies Award, the Film Studies Award and the Career & Technology Award. Ortiz has volunteered as a member of the United Way Allocations Committee, Meals on Wheels, Day of Caring, and the Thanksgiving Basket Project. She will attend Columbia University in the fall with a major in neuroscience.

Cody Whitcomb, son of Janie and Ron Whitcomb of Pittston, is salutatorian.

Whitcomb is a past Dirigo Boys State delegate, a Gardiner Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society, currently serving as president. He has been a member of the freshman and junior varsity basketball teams, junior varsity and varsity soccer teams and a varsity member of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams, serving as captain of both. He has been a member of the World Languages Club for two years, currently serving as a board member. He has written for the school newspaper throughout his high school, serving as editor for two years, and he was a member of both the Prom and Accreditation Committees. His awards include recognition as a Rensselaer Medalist, the Williams Book Award, the AP Scholar Award, the Health Award, the Wellness Award, the Journalism Award, the Career and Technology Award, the Math Award, the Life and Work Award, the Science Award, the English Award, the History Award, and the French Award. He was selected to attend the Mount Desert Island Summer Academy in Genomics. Whitcomb has volunteered at MaineGeneral Medical Center, youth basketball camps, middle school track and field and the high school’s concessions. He enjoys running, hiking and traveling. Whitcomb will attend Colby College in the fall with a major in biology.

Meryl Kus, daughter of Tina Wood and Robert Kus of Gardiner, is ranked third.

Kus is a member of the National Honor Society, a Gardiner Scholar, and a past Dirigo Girls State alternate. She has been a member of the varsity tennis, track and field, swimming and cross-country teams, serving as captain for three years on the cross-country team. She is member of the high school chorus, band, Jazz Band, Show Choir, and Band Board, serving as an officer for three years. She has been a member of the Civil Rights Team, the Health Team, and the World Languages Club, serving as an officer for two years. Her awards include the Pamela Manelick Award, the Intro to Art Award, the Honors Algebra II Award, the French II and IV Awards, and the American History Award. Kus has completed courses at Bates College, Boston University and the University of Maine at Augusta, receiving a 4.0 for each course. She also participated in the CIEE South Korea Educational Exchange her junior year. Kus has volunteered with the Maine Women’s Lobby, at Regional School Unit 2 elementary schools, blood drives, science fairs, the high school’s Music Department, and Prom Committee. She has been employed for four years as a student librarian with Gardiner Public Library and as a lifeguard at the YMCA. Kus will attend Brown University in the fall with a major in the area of biological sciences.

Annie Schide, daughter of Patricia Hart and John Schide of Gardiner, is ranked fourth. Schide is a member of the National Honor Society and a Gardiner Scholar. She has been a member of both the varsity track and field and cross-country teams, earning several awards. Track and field awards include the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference All-Conference Team, the New Balance National 1-Mile Racewalk All-American Distinction, the high school’s record holder for the 1600m Racewalk, and State Championship Finalist. Cross-country awards include Most Outstanding Female Runner, Individual Runner Qualification for Class B State Championship Race, the KVAC All-Conference Second Team, and the KVAC All-Academic Team. She has been a member of the high school band, Jazz Band, chorus, earning a place in the District III Chorus Festival, Show Choir, serving as choreography director, and Band Board, serving as both secretary and historian. She has also been a member of the Student Council, the Latin Club, the Drama Club, the Health Team, the World Languages Club, and has served as class vice president. Schide has participated in four high school musicals and is a founder and captain of the Dance Team. Her awards include the AP Biology Award, the Wellness I Award, the Career and Technology Award, the St. Anselm College Book Award, and the CIEE Korea Foundation Scholarship. She is involved with the Johnson Hall Center for Performing Arts, the Ampersand Academy of Dance & Performing Arts, and the Shenanigans Theater Camp. Schide will attend Brandeis University in the fall.

Eloise Harnett, daughter of Thom Harnett and Lisa Copenhaver of Gardiner, is ranked fifth. Harnett is a member of the National Honor Society, a Gardiner Scholar, and a Poetry Out Loud state finalist. She has been a member of the high school chorus, band, All-State Band, earning a place in the District III Honors Festival for four years, Show Choir, serving as choreographer, and Band Board, currently serving as president. She has been a member of the Drama Club, the Civil Rights Team, the World Languages Club, and the Health Team, currently serving as president. Harnett has had the lead role in all musicals and drama productions at the high school, and is a choreographer and founder of the Dance Team. Her awards include the Honors English and U.S. History Awards, the Career and Technology Award, the AP Language Award, the Beacon Award for Excellence in English, and the SAT Award. Harnett works with Johnson Hall as an art and acting student director, and with Ampersand Academy of Dance & Performing Arts as an assistant teacher. She will attend Tufts University in the fall with a major in international relations.

Olivia Reny, daughter of Kay and Peter Reny of Gardiner, is ranked sixth. Reny is a member of the National Honor Society and a Gardiner Scholar. She has a been a member of the varsity indoor and outdoor track teams, and the junior and varsity field hockey teams, serving as captain. Her sports awards include the Most Valuable Player Award, the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference All-Rookie Field Hockey Award, KVAC All-Conference Track Award, and the KVAC and Maine State All-Academic Team Awards. She has been a member of the high school chorus, band, Jazz Band, Show Choir, and Band Board, serving as treasurer and vice president. She has also been a member of the Class Council, Student Council, Drama Club, World Languages Club, and the Health Team. Reny has had a role in all school musicals and a drama production. She has volunteered with the sports boosters, youth field hockey, Big Cat Field Hockey Clinic, Girls Advisory Board at Hardy Girls Healthy Women, and Ampersand Academy Dance Camp. Reny will attend Trinity College in the fall as a member of the track and field team with a major in psychology.

Megan Dickey, daughter of Jon and Sara Dickey of Gardiner, is ranked seventh. Dickey is a member of the National Honor Society and a Gardiner Scholar. She has been a member of the high school band, Jazz Band, earning a place at the District III Festival, Band Board, Show Choir, and chorus, earning a place at the All-State Festival and District III Festival. She had a role in both a high school musical and drama production. She is a past member of the swim team. Her awards include the St. Michael’s Book Award, the Career and Technology Award, the Pre-Calculus Award and Keyboarding Award. She has volunteered at Laura E. Richards Elementary School and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is employed by the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Gardiner and enjoys watching movies and attending dances. Dickey will attend Brigham Young University in the fall with a major in elementary education.

Andrew Slade, son of Janet and Dan Slade of Gardiner, is ranked eighth. Slade is a member of the National Honor Society, a Gardiner Scholar and a past Dirigo Boys State delegate. He has been a member of the junior varsity and varsity baseball teams and the junior varsity and varsity soccer teams, serving as captain his senior year. He has been a member of the Health Team, the Accreditation Committee, the Prom Committee, Class Council, Project Graduation Committee, NHS Thanksgiving Basket Project, serving as chairperson, and also served as class secretary for two years. He has received the St. Michael’s Book Award, the French II Award, the AP U.S. History Award and the Biology Award. He has volunteered at Day of Caring, youth soccer, and helping neighbors with yard work. Slade will attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the fall with a major in marine engineering.

Hillary Owen, daughter of Jeffrey and Debra Owen of Pittston, is ranked ninth.

Owen is a member of the National Honor Society and a Gardiner Scholar. She has been a member of Student Council for four years, currently serving as president. She has been a member of the high school band, chorus, Show Choir, Band Board, and the Civil Rights Team. Owen has been a member of the junior varsity and varsity basketball teams, serving as captain of both teams. She has received the AP Scholar Award, the Youth Service Award, and the Elks Most Valuable Student Award. Owen has volunteered at area elementary schools, youth basketball, Modern Woodman Youth Service Club and the youth group at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She will attend Brigham Young University in the fall with a major in exercise science/pre-medicine.

Jenna Moore, daughter of Michelle VandenBosch of Gardiner, is ranked 10th.

Moore is a member of the National Honor Society and a Gardiner Scholar. She has been a member of the junior varsity and varsity field hockey teams, the varsity basketball team, and the varsity softball team. She has been a member of Class Council, Yearbook Staff, and Student Council, currently serving as treasurer. She has received the Science Award, the English Award, the Geometry Award, and the History Award. Moore volunteers at youth basketball, Biddie-Ball, youth field hockey, and community suppers. She will attend the University of Southern Maine in the fall with a major in nursing.


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