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Student-athlete advisory committee (saac)
MISSION STATEMENT

"Our goal is to dedicate efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, leadership (in the classroom and athletic arena), and positive relationships with coaches, administrators and other student-athletes. We work to represent the perspective of all NYSPHSAA student-athletes by presenting their concerns to the NYSPHSAA, thereby developing initiatives for future improvement of all NYSPHSAA member schools and communities."

 

2019-2020 SAAC Members

 

 

Section

 

Bio

I

 

 

Aiden Riebe

Aiden is a junior at New Rochelle High School and a member of the baseball team. He has participated in a baseball exchange program in the Dominican Republic, been a member of the Model UN and participated in various community service projects. Aiden is excited to join the SAAC to help represent student-athletes across New York State.

I

 

 

Jessica Polvino

Jessica is a senior and a three-sport varsity athlete at Clarkstown High School North. She has been a member of soccer, skiing, and outdoor track & field teams since her freshman year. She was awarded Rockland County Skier of the Year her sophomore year and is a certified level 9 soccer referee. Aside from athletics, Jessica volunteers in Buddy Ball and the Helping Little Hands Club at her school, both programs helping younger children. She is also a member of the Math Honors Society, Spanish club, and Student Advisory Council. Jessica expressed a strong passion for her fellow peers and said, “Being a student-athlete can be an overwhelming challenge to some and I want to advocate for the best possible life balance between academics and athletics,” when asked why she wanted to be a part of the SAAC.

2

 

 

Toussaint Santicola Jones

Toussaint is a senior at Albany High School, plays on the boys’ lacrosse and soccer teams, and has served as captain for each. He also plays saxophone in the Jazz and Wind Ensembles, and is a singer and actor in local musical theater productions. When asked why he wanted to become a member of the SAAC, Toussaint said, “I hope to bring my experiences with the difficulties of building a new athletic program, so that I may advocate for struggling teams. I also hope to address the needs of scholar-athletes."

2


Devon Wagner

Devon is a junior at Stillwater Middle/High High School. She is a member of the varsity girls soccer team that won a NYSPHSAA Class C state championship in 2018. Devon is very active in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and cancer research, a cause that is very important to her and her family. She has been involved in the National Junior Honor Society, Colonie Senior Services and Unity House. In addition to soccer, she was a member of the Stillwater varsity track and field team as well.

III

 

 

Katherine Capelletti

Katherine is a senior at Jamesville-Dewitt High Schoolland has been a member of the J-D varsity soccer team since she was in the 8th grade.
She is a member of the Leadership Academy and has been since her freshman year. In addition Katherine has been listed on the High Honor Roll, is apart of the Autism Awareness Club, volunteers at a local soup kitchen and numerous other community service projects.

III


 

Zackary Durr

Zackary is at junior at Oneida Senior High School. Zack is a three-sport student-athlete at Oneida, he plays Football, Baseball, and Indoor Track and Field. He was the vice president of his sophomore class and an officer on the Oneida Student Athletic Council. He represented the district at the Tri-Valley league Youth Activation Summit. 

IV


 

Gavin Bonczkowski

Gavin is a junior at Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Junior/Senior High School. Gavin is a three-sport standout playing Baseball, Basketball and Soccer. He has also been the President of the Leadership Club, a class representative of the high school Student Council and the treasurer of the high school chorus. He is the team captain of the varsity soccer and basketball teams. Gavin is also active in his local boy scout troop 44. He’s a member of the national honor society, the high school band, the drama club and the Gilbertsville Baptist Church.

IV


Alli Miller

Alli is a senior at Bainbridge-Guilford High School. She is a member of the badminton, basketball, and softball teams. Off the field, Alli is the treasurer of student council, jazz band, chorus, and the National Junior Honor Society. She is also a lifeguard and swim instructor. When asked why she wanted to be a member of the SAAC she said, “I have a passion for sports and want to make everyone’s high school sports career one to remember. I am from a smaller school and community and want to be a part of this bigger experience and bring back inspiration in athletics to my section.”

V

 

 

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan is a senior at Canaseraga High School and is on the baseball, basketball, and soccer teams. He is involved in local community programs at the modified and youth levels coaching and mentoring young athletes. He is a member of the National Honor Society and volunteers in various community service programs through his school. Ryan expressed great positivity when asked why he wanted to become a member of the SAAC saying, “It gives me an opportunity with the other student to represent our sections. By voicing my opinions and hearing others, I believe that we can improve athletics for the future.”

V


 

 

Norah Czajka

Norah is a jujior at Penfield High School. Norah is a four-sport student-athlete at Penfield. She is a member of the cross-country team, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and on the ski team as well. In addition, she has been a math tutor, the Secretary of the Class Council of 2021, a Caring Community Ambassador and participated in the Western New York HOBY Leadership Conference. Norah is also a cellist and violist.

VI

 

 

Nicholas Kramer

Nicholas is a junior at WIlliamsville North High School. Nicholas plays three sport at Williamsville North golf, hockey and lacrosse and has been since his freshman year. He is active with his travel teams as well and has leadership roles on both his lacrosse and hockey travel teams. His community service work includes volunteering at St. Lukes Mission, Amberleigh senior living and the Ride for Roswell.

VI

Mindy Doktor

Mindy is a senior at Akron High School and participates in outdoor track and field, soccer, and swimming and diving. She is also involved in student government. Mindy is the class treasurer and an active member of student government. She has earned the Bronze Award for a book drive at a local church and a Silver Award for making cancer care packages for local children’s hospitals. Additionally, she is a peer tutor and is part of the Interact Club and a member of the National Junior Honor Society. When asked why she wanted to be on the committee she said, “The SAAC goals are important to me. I strive to have positive relationships with my teachers, coaches, and peers. With the competitiveness of sports, it is important to always be encouraging of others. I want a chance to work with the committee to encourage greater sportsmanship amongst all involved in athletics.”

VII

 

 

Terrence Benedict

Terrence is a senior at Ticonderoga Senior High School and is a member of the basketball, baseball, and football teams. Beyond athletics, he participates in student council, Boy Scouts, key club, jazz band, and the National Honor Society. He also enjoys volunteering in local community service projects in his free time. When asked why he wanted to be a part of the SAAC Terrence said, “I am interested in making Ticonderoga and neighboring schools places where athletics are part of a positive experience with schools. Being a part of a large organization like the SAAC will help my community and area which will allow me to bring fresh ideas to benefit and enhance our section and SAAC.”

VII

 

 

Abrielle Racine

Abrielle is a junior at Norheastern Clinton Senior High School. She plays basketball, soccer and outdoor track and field. She’s been a varsity student-athlete since the 8th grade and says athletics have helped her stay focused, driven and how to work with others.  Abrielle is a member of the model UN, the French Club, volunteers at her local church and volunteered at the Holiday Hospice fundraiser with the varsity basketball team.

VIII


Jenna Halpin

Jenna is a junior at Locust Valley High School. She is the class treasurer, a member of the student council and part of a group called Athletes Helping Athletes. Jenna plays Field Hockey and Lacrosse at Locust Valley High School.

VIII

Kevin Carratu

Kevin is a senior at Manhasset Secondary School and runs varsity cross country, indoor, and outdoor track and field. With a heavy background in running, he was awarded the NYS Scholar Athlete Award in 9th grade. He is also a member of the Manhasset Science Research Program and participates in competitive science fairs. This past summer, Kevin attended a Foundation Running Camp and worked with other athletes to improve running skills and techniques and volunteers at numerous races. When asked why he wanted to be on the SAAC he said, “A sports team is a diverse group of individuals that each share the same goal which is to help improve each other’s athletic abilities. Ever since my first race, I have been motivated to be a part of my team by leading my teammates in the right direction and help them to perform to their full potential. I am determined to help communities across New York State reach their potentials and become better leaders.”

IX


Dolcé McPherson

Dolcé is a junior at Fallsburg Junior/Senior High School. She plays three sports at Fallsburg, volleyball, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. She is active in the student government, the future problem solvers club and a member of the National Honor Society.

IX

 

 

Ryan Strobach

Ryan is a senior at Wallkill Senior High School. Ryan plays football and baseball and is a captain of his football team. He is also an active member of his school’s Student Athlete Leadership Team and Football Leadership Council. Outside of school, Ryan helps out at his town’s local fire department in fundraisers and social events. He also volunteeres at a local youth football clinic teaching young athletes sportsmanship lessons.  When asked why he wanted to be a member of the committee Ryan said, “I would like to bring new and positive ideas back to my school and section.”

X

 

 

Andy Downs

Andy is a senior at H C Williams Senior High School. He plays basketball, golf, and soccer. Andy has been awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Career and Finance Management and takes part in organizing fundraisers for his basketball teams. When asked why he wanted to on the SAAC he said, “At my school I want to make a difference, so I make sure to use my voice to be heard. I hope to be a voice for a variety of students. Being a part of the NYSPHSAA SAAC would allow me to express my opinion about these topics.”

X


 

Olivia McLear

Olivia is a junior at Lisbon Central School. She is a three-sport standout at Lisbon, she plays basketball, soccer and softball. Olivia was selected captain of her basketball team and chosen to be part of the Section 10 Leadership Conference. In additon, she also volunteers to umpire and referee youth sports in her community.

XI

Erin Holler

Erin is a senior at Smithtown High School – East and is a member of the girls swimming and diving team. She is the Treasurer of her class and is an active member of student council. Erin is a group leader of Athletes Helping Athletes, a member of Family, Career, and Community of Leaders of America, and a Hugh Brian Youth Leader school representative. She is in the National Math Honor Society and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society. Erin is also an elementary math fair mentor, a swim instructor at the Hauppauge Swim Clinic, and an assistant coach to Great Hollow Science Olympiad. When asked why she wanted to be a member of the SAAC Erin replied, “I want to be a part of a team of student-athletes working to make positive changes throughout NYSPHSAA. I would like to promote good sportsmanship and playing clean throughout the state. As student-athletes, I feel as though we are in a unique position to make positive changes in our communities.”

 

XI


Benjamin Glazebnik

Benjamin is a junior at Half Hollow Hills High School East. He is a member of the swimming and diving team and had participated in a charity program called Swim Across America for a number of years. Benjamin also plays the piano and violin.

The SAAC was developed to give student-athletes a voice within the NYSPHSAA. Over the course of the school year, the committee will discuss topics relevant to high school student-athletes and develop ways to maintain a positive athletic experience.
Each committee member is expected to exemplify leadership while providing feedback of NYSPHSAA special programs including, but not limited to, Scholar-Athlete, Sportsmanship, Life of an Athlete, Student Leadership, and Community Service. Two student-athletes from each of the 11 sections are selected each year and serve a one year term. Juniors have the option to serve a two-year term.