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North Salem HS Senior Sydni Pakula Is Named 'Student Of Distinction'

North Salem High School senior Sydni Pekula with her Student of Distinction award.
North Salem High School senior Sydni Pekula with her Student of Distinction award. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- Praised for her leadership and academic performance, North Salem High School senior Sydni Pakula was named a Student of Distinction for December by Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.

Pakula's honor was announced at the North Salem Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, where she was presented with a medal.

BOCES officials praised Pakula, who is enrolled in its New Visions Environmental Science program.

James Bellucci, a career academy principal at BOCES, said “she has achieved excellence."

Deborah Ashley, a teacher in the program who works with Pakula, praised her for turning in her work on time and for her maturity.

“She is a lot of fun and she has great relationships,” Ashley said.

Speaking after the public presentation, Ashley described the program. She explained that people meet at the BOCES tech center in Yorktown and at Teatown Lake Reservation. She also noted at there is a lot of field work.

“We’re in nature a lot.”

In addition to including science research, according to Ashley, there is an internship component, which involves meeting twice a week during the second semester. She added that her student, who wants to become an elementary school teacher, will be meeting with four teachers for her internship.

Pakula explained that through the program she is receiving college-level credit for three courses, which cover topics ranging from government to economics.

Asked for a reaction to being honored, Pakula said she was excited that she was honored for her leadership skills.

“I’m just really happy about it."

Pakula has also been accepted, so far, to six colleges. They include the University of Vermont, the University of Massachusetts, Quinnipiac University and SUNY Cortland.

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