The Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School District is proud to announce the top five academic students in its Class of 2020.
GMU’s graduating class is led by Valedictorian Sadra Smith and Salutatorian Sawyer Hinman. Vanessa Nelson, Ethan Charron and Ethan Newman round out GMU’s top five seniors, who will be formally recognized for their academic excellence during the 2019-2020 school year at a later date.
Valedictorian Sadra Smith
The daughter of Claudette Newman and Larry Smith of Gilbertsville, GMU Class of 2020 Valedictorian Sadra Smith is an outstanding and hardworking young woman who is responsible, driven, and empathetic. She has participated in Student Council, Mock Trial, Varsity Soccer and the National Honor Society at GMU, holding leadership positions such as Soccer Team Captain and NHS Vice President.
GMU’s Senior of the Month in October 2019, Sadra always takes the extra step to help others and thrives in everything she does. She is an exemplary Peer Mentor who stands out as a positive role model. Academically, she has taken several Tompkins Cortland Community College courses, such as TC3 Precalculus, TC3 Accounting, TC3 Biology, and TC3 Spanish.
Sadra’s work ethic, patience and determination are unparalleled. Her highly developed skillset is the reason she excels in academics, extracurricular activities and at Muddy River Dairy, LLC, where she has worked for the last two years.
Sadra plans to study Agriculture in the fall at a college to be determined. We are confident that Sadra will make a tremendous impact after graduation and wish her nothing but the best.
Salutatorian Sawyer Hinman
The son of Mark Hinman and Lavonne Warner of Mount Upton, GMU Class of 2020 Salutatorian Sawyer Hinman is an exceptional young man who is kind, helpful and detail-oriented. In addition to attaining the second-highest academic average at GMU, Sawyer has been involved with Spanish Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Band, Jazz Band, and Chorus.
Sawyer is also very passionate about volunteering for his church and has worked its fair booth for the past three summers. His work ethic and compassion have grown as a result of simply helping others.
Academically, Sawyer has excelled in a variety of challenging advanced and college-level courses, giving him a well-rounded high school experience.
He plans to study Computer Engineering at Binghamton University and hopes to become a computer engineer. We have no doubt that Sawyer will be very successful in his future endeavors.
The daughter of Jay Reach of Mount Upton and Tanya Nelson of Otego, Vanessa Nelson ranks third academically at GMU, where she has served as President of Language Club, Vice President of Student Council, Symphonic Band and the Class of 2020, and Secretary of Student Council and National Honor Society.
She is a remarkable, creative, caring, and compassionate young woman who plays three musical instruments: clarinet, trump, and saxophone. GMU’s Senior of the Month in February 2020, Vanessa also has played junior varsity, varsity, and summer-league basketball and has participated in SADD and Mock Trial.
Vanessa has challenged herself academically throughout high school by taking numerous advanced and college-level courses. Additionally, she passed along her patience, love, and acceptance to children as a Summer Recreation Counselor last summer.
With ambitions to help the less fortunate, provide justice, and spread kindness, profound success is surely in her future. Her path will continue this fall as a student at Valencia College in Central Florida.
The son of Charlene and Alfred Charron III of Mount Upton, Ethan Charron has the fourth-highest average in the Class of 2020 and continuously exemplifies perseverance and ambition. The Student Council President has been part of National Honor Society, Spanish Club, New York State School Music Association, and All County. He also earned Senior of the Month honors in May 2020.
Ethan has dedicated time to his church as well, attending classes, writing to the Bishop and volunteering in completing the Confirmation process. A team player who gained valuable work experience this past summer at GMU, Ethan has formed strong, meaningful relationships while making a positive impact in the community.
Several TC3 advanced and college-level courses have prepared Ethan to take on an even greater challenge as a Computer Science major at Clarkson University this fall. We believe it’s evident that this hardworking, determined individual has everything required to make it big.
The son of Claudette Newman and Larry Smith of Gilbertsville, Ethan Newman closes GMU’s top-five seniors list as a kind, responsible, and determined young man who exemplifies integrity.
Named Senior of the Month in January 2020, Ethan has expanded his education through a plethora of extracurricular opportunities – Mock Trial, National Honor Society, Varsity Basketball and Varsity Soccer, to name a few. He also has completed many advanced and college-level courses to ensure a well-rounded educational experience.
Ethan’s commitment to community service is clear through his volunteer work with the local Baptist Church, which included a mission trip to Honduras. We are confident Ethan will continue to make enormous strides in his education, which will continue this fall as a Business major at the University at Albany.