The Saugerties High School class of 2012’s valedictorian and salutatorian may be going into completely different fields, but Katharine Greco and Alexa Abrams are two friends driven by a similar enthusiasm for learning and the allure of combining academic interests in their college courses of study.
During her time at Saugerties High, Valedictorian Katharine Greco earned a cumulative 101.196 grade point average. She’s been a member of Key Club, the National Honor Society, Chess Club, Eco Club and was an actress in the senior class production of “30 Reasons Not to Be in a Play.” Greco was a member of the scholastic and club volleyball teams, the travel and scholastic basketball teams, played the trumpet in the school band and was an active participant in All-County Band from freshman through senior years. She will head off to UMass Amherst in the fall to study chemical engineering, a course of study she will likely follow in grad school as well.
“We’ll see if I’m sick of school after four years,” Greco said. “I really love chemistry, and I like to solve and reason through problems. I haven’t been able to take any engineering classes yet, but I think I like the idea of engineering, so I’ll give it a try.”
Greco said she considers herself “passionate about the environment.”
“I’m the person who will walk into the room and shut the lights out on you because I don’t want to waste electricity,” she said, adding that while her chosen focus in college offers a wide range of career possibilities, she plans to opt for something to help rather than harm the earth.
“Petroleum engineering is a kind of chemical engineering, but I’m not interested in that,” she said. “I want to research different alternative sources. I’m really interested in solar energy, and I’d like to create a more affordable solar panel or something along those lines.”
Greco, the daughter of John and Lisa Greco, grew up in Saugerties. She recently spoke at the sixth grade graduation ceremony at her old elementary school, Charles M. Riccardi. It was one of three speeches she’s had to prepare over the past few weeks. In addition to the Riccardi speech, Greco also spoke at the recent seventh and eighth grade awards ceremony. Her final speech as a high school student will be as the class of 2012’s valedictorian during the high school’s 116th commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 23 at 10:00 a.m.
It’s fitting Riccardi served as a springboard for Greco’s high school speech, as the elementary school also helped stoke her academic fires before she moved up to junior and senior high. At the time, she was enthusiastic but unfocused.