Past Spotlights

Past Spotlights

2018-19 Spartan Spotlights

May 2019: Haley Ritter

NAME: Haley Ritter

AGE: 18

GRADE/SCHOOL: Senior, High School

SPOTLIGHT MOMENT:  Haley traveled to Haiti in June 2018 with Trinity Help Foundation to bring aid to the county’s citizens. She is preparing to return this June. Haley is among a group of volunteers from across the US who bring support to Haitians in order to improve their lives. So far the group has opened a school, sponsored an orphanage and developed a water filtration project. On her first visit, Haley delivered supplies and clothes, visited the school, and spent time with children in the orphanage. In June, Haley will help with construction of a new community center the group is sponsoring. 

“I think everyone deserves basic human rights,” said Haley. The ability to be successful, to have an education and to break the cycle of poverty should be available to everyone, she said. “I want to bring that means to others.”  She believes others deserve to have the same advantages that she has received in her life.


Hobbies/activities: Haley is a student in the Broome-Tioga BOCES New Visions Health Academy. She enjoys singing and playing the guitar and ukulele. She extends her volunteerism in our community at Mercy House and through the High School Key Club. During spring break, Haley traveled to France with some of her classmates and French teacher as part of a student exchange.

Favorite subjects: Science and French

Least favorite subject: Math

What she wants to be when she grows up: Haley will attend Queens University of Charlotte, NC, in the fall where she will study nursing. Her plan is to become a nurse practitioner.

April 2019: Ava Fiedler

Ava NAME: Ava Fiedler

AGE: 8

GRADE/SCHOOL: 3rd grade, Homer Brink

SPOTLIGHT MOMENT:  Ava donated her own money to support her friend Morgan and GiGi’s Playhouse. When the call went out for coins for her school’s Down Syndrome Awareness Day collection for GiGi’s, Ava selflessly donated her hard earned profits from babysitting jobs and chores as a way to help her classmate and friend Morgan, who has Down Syndrome. When asked why she donated all of her money, she replied, “Because I didn’t need it for anything and I wanted to give it to my friend Morgan.”

In fact, whenever Ava sees a classmate in need, she steps up right away to help. She is the first one to offer assistance to others when it comes to school work, and just recently she gave up her own playground time to help locate a friend’s missing coat, scouring the hallways until she finally found it. Her teachers say she is a leader and caregiver who always gives back to others, and she encourages, and inspires others. 


Hobbies/activities: Ava likes gymnastics, she likes to paint and she enjoys playing soccer.

Favorite subject: Science and math

Least favorite subject: None, she likes them all!

What she wants to be when she grows up: Ava wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

March 2019: Rocco Fabrizi

NAME: Rocco Fabrizi

AGE: 10

GRADE/SCHOOL: 4th grade, Homer Brink

SPOTLIGHT MOMENT:  Rocco is an online winner in the USA Hockey Magazine’s poster contest. Rocco’s winning drawing of Alex Tuch, forward with the Vegas Golden Knights professional hockey team, was voted on by readers and was featured in the magazine’s January 2019 edition.

Rocco has been playing hockey for 7 years and is currently a member of the Binghamton Jr. Devils 10UA travel team. He is a fan of Tuch’s and so his decision to draw him for the contest was an easy one. He even received a shout out from Tuch after a family friend let the hockey player know about Rocco’s drawing.  


Hobbies/activities: In addition to hockey, Rocco also enjoys playing baseball and football. He is a member of the Homer Brink Safety Patrol. 

Favorite subject: Math

Least favorite subject: Reading

What he wants to be when he grows up: Rocco wants to be a hockey player or sports announcer. 

Feb. 2019: Sarah Kumpon

NAME: Sarah Kumpon

AGE: 17

GRADE/SCHOOL: 11th Grade, High School
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT:  Sarah's Spotlight Moment came when she placed 3rd at the New York State Figure Skating Competition at the NYS Fair this past summer. 

Sarah has been a figure skater for the past 12 1/2 years. She trains with the Binghamton Figure Skating Club. In addition to the NYS competition, Sarah has competed and place at the Ice Sports Industry (ISI) World Figure Skating championships held in July. She has passed her novice moves and hopes to pass her junior moves in March. She currently shares her talents as a volunteer with her skating club, teaching the learn-to-skate program twice a week. She plans to become a USA Figure Skating Association coach this year and pass her senior moves test. This summer she will compete in the Golden Blades competition in Pittsburgh, with skaters at all skating levels and from around the country. Sarah said what she likes best about ice skating is competing and working to improve her technique.


Hobbies/activities: Sarah is a musician, playing flute and piccolo in the HS band, and she sings in chorus. She has participated in several New York State School Music Association festivals.  She plays volleyball and is a member of Key Club. 

Favorite subject: Math

Least favorite subject: Social Studies

What she wants to be when she grows up: Sarah said she will most likely pursue a career in the medical field and she will coach figure skating.

Jan. 2019 Spartan Spotlight: Ada Chamleunsouk

Ada NAME: Ada Chamleunsouk

AGE: 10

GRADE/SCHOOL: 4th Grade, Homer Brink
SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Ada's spotlight moment came in November when her original artwork was selected as a Broome County winning poster in the YES Safe Choices Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest. 

Ada loves to sketch, especially Anime. This fall she created her winning entry by combined her artistry with an important message about living a healthy lifestyle. Ada consulted with her family members, including her little sister Ila, before submitting her design. The main character is based on girls in some of her favorite video games.  
Ada and the other winning artists were honored at a reception and dinner at the Binghamton Arena Club on Dec. 8 followed by attending that evening's Binghamton Devils hockey game.


Hobbies/activities: Art, reading, playing video games, field hockey and playing with her friends

Favorite subject: Math

Least favorite subject: Writing

What she wants to be when she grows up: Ada wants to be an artist when she grows up!  


Amelia Curtis
NAME: Amelia Curtis

AGE: 10

GRADE/SCHOOL: 5th Grade, Maine Memorial

SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Amelia’s spotlight moment came this fall when she earned her black belt in karate.

Amelia has been studying karate at Tri City Karate Academy for four years. To earn her black belt, Amelia demonstrated her skills in a two-part test of her form, knowledge of terminology and sparring technique. Amelia will now be part of the Tri City Karate demo team. She will demonstrate her skills in public at community events. She will also help her karate classmates of all ages as they work toward developing their own skills. Amelia said the best part of earning her black belt is that now she has the confidence to protect herself in any situation.


Hobbies/activities: Amelia enjoys art and crafting and is a member of her school’s art club. She also plays the ukulele. 

Favorite subject: Science and Math

Least favorite subject: Social Studies

What she wants to be when she grows up: Amelia would like to care for animals, possibly as a veterinarian, or at a zoo.  

November 2018 Spartan Spotlight: Mia Gravelding

NAME: Mia Gravelding

AGE: 17

GRADE/SCHOOL: 11th grade, High School

SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Mia's spotlight moment came in August when she performed an original song, written by the loved one of a person lost to overdose, at the Truth Pharm, "Trail of Truth" event.
Mia has been singing her whole life, but didn't share her talents in public until she took the stage during the Homer Brink talent show in fifth grade. That was just the first of many public performances for this talented vocalist. In addition to her moving performance at the Truth Pharm event (one that she describes as very emotional), Mia can be heard singing the National Anthem at varsity football, field hockey, and girls basketball games, and she performs at other local venues and events. She's also joined her father, singer and songwriter Nick Gravelding, on a single from his album. The song, "Drives the Heart Away,." and the album are now on iTunes. 

Hobbies/activities: Mia is a member of the girls varsity basketball team, and the HS's International Club and SADD Club. She is a summer volunteer with the district's Summer Enrichment Program and has volunteered at baskteball camps as a mentor for younger players. 

Favorite subject: History

Least favorite subject: Math

What she wants to be when he grows up: Although she's not sure of the career she will pursue, Mia has an interest in photography, and interior and fashion design. And, she will continue to sing. 

October 2018 Spartan Spotlight: Seth Zacharias

Seth Zacharias NAME: Seth Zacharias

AGE: 13

GRADE/SCHOOL: 8th grade, Middle School

SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Seth's spotlight moment came when he won the 2017 Bandelier Bandit championship at the Chemung Speedrome. 
Seth's carSeth is only 13, but for nine years of his young life, he’s felt the need for speed! Seth is a race car driver. He races bandelero cars, a type of small, light stock car. When the 2018 summer/fall season begins, Seth will move up to a different age group and the dirt sportsman race category.


Hobbies/activities: Fixing electronics 

Favorite subject: Science

Least favorite subject: Math

What he wants to be when he grows up: Seth plans to attend the University of Buffalo and pursue a career in technology engineering. 

September 2018 Spartan Spotlight: Josie Darling

NAME: Josie Darling

AGE: 16

GRADE/SCHOOL: Junior, High School

SPOTLIGHT MOMENT: Josie’s spotlight moment came when she became a championship barrel racer, winning the  2017 NYS Barrel Racing Championships (1D).
Josie has been barrel racing for five years. Atop her horse Big Red, Josie clocked the fastest time for riders under 18 at the state competition. She continues to compete several times a month during the racing season. Josie enjoys the people in the racing community that’s she’s met along the competition circuit. And then there’s the excitement. “When you get off the horse after a run—there’s nothing like the excitement.” Working with different horses can be challenging. Through her experiences Josie has learned to never give up, and that everything happens for a reason.


Hobbies/activities (in and out of school): In addition to riding horses, Josie helps her father tend to the indoor horse arena where she rides. 

Favorite subject: Science

Least favorite subject: Math

What do you want to be: She’s undecided, but knows she will continue to barrel race.
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