Four Class of 2020 seniors recognized by Orange-Ulster BOCES

Each year, Orange-Ulster BOCES recognizes high school seniors from 23 regional public and private high schools with two awards of distinction: the Outstanding Student Award and the Senior Scholar Humanities Awards.

Outstanding Student Honorees

Goshen High School seniors Emma Finkelstein and Anya Malhotra were honored as 2020 Outstanding Students by Orange-Ulster BOCES. This award is given to high school seniors who have demonstrated excellence in academic achievement. Traditionally, the honorees are recognized during a celebratory dinner with their families and district officials. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, students were honored with an inspirational and congratulatory video celebration shared on the Orange-Ulster BOCES website. Each honoree received an official certificate and lawn sign that was delivered to their home.

Emma Finkelstein

Smiling teenage girl with brown hair
Emma Finkelstein, Orange-Ulster BOCES Outstanding Student Honoree

Emma Finkelstein, valedictorian, will be attending Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, this fall, majoring in either political science or legal studies with a Spanish minor. She hopes to become a lawyer. Emma is currently president of the World Language Honor Society and captain of the girls’ varsity tennis team, where she was a team member throughout high school. Emma competed in Odyssey of the Mind for seven years, advancing to the World Championships at Iowa State University in Ames, IA as an eighth grader, placing fifth out of 48 teams. Emma went on to create Goshen’s first ever primary level Odyssey of the Mind team at Scotchtown Elementary School and has served as the coach for the last three years. In her spare time, she loves to volunteer with her certified therapy dog, Cody, at various organizations throughout the Hudson Valley.

Anya Malhotra

Smiling teenage girl with long dark hair
Anya Malhotra, Orange-Ulster BOCES Outstanding Student Honoree

Anya Malhotra, salutatorian, will be attending Northwestern University this fall in Evanston, IL. She plans on majoring in biomedical engineering and then continuing her education in graduate school. Anya is the founder and president of the school newspaper, The Gladiator. She is the secretary of the National Honor Society, and secretary of the student government for the Class of 2020. During her four years in high school, Anya participated in numerous mock trial and Science Olympiad competitions, and has reached the state level for both. She has also been a part of the cultural diversity club, the varsity soccer and track teams, and has volunteered through the interact club. She also spent a summer learning biomedical engineering at Columbia University. She loves to do volunteer work throughout her high school community, from being involved in the Goshen Blood Drive to organizing events where the proceeds are donated to charity.

Senior Scholar Humanities Honorees

Goshen High School seniors Kelsey Lindeman and Conor Thornton were honored as 2020 Senior Scholar Humanities Honorees by Orange-Ulster BOCES. This award is given to high school seniors who have distinguished themselves in the arts and humanities (fine arts, theater, music, fashion, and jewelry design) during their high school careers. Although the annual congratulatory breakfast was not held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were honored with a presentation highlighting their achievements on the Orange-Ulster BOCES website. Students also received a star award, lawn sign, and certificate of achievement.

Kelsey Lindeman

Smiling teenage girl with curly light brown hair
Kelsey Lindeman, Orange-Ulster BOCES Senior Scholar Humanities Honoree

Kelsey Lindeman will attend either SUNY Oneonta or SUNY Oswego this fall. She plans on majoring in media studies with hopes of becoming either a television or video producer or broadcaster. Kelsey is currently president of the drama club as well as president of all her school’s music departments’ choirs. She belongs to the jazz voices, varsity choir, concert choir, and is also a member of the National Honor Society. During her four years in high school, she has performed with the drama club, in the spring musicals, and she has been chosen to sing with choirs in two All-County and two Jazz All-County festivals.

Conor Thornton

Smiling teenage boy in a suit
Conor Thornton, Senior Scholar Humanities Honoree

Conor Thornton’s career in music began in the fourth grade, with his spark for learning being cast by his private trombone instructor, Mrs. Ellen Dickinson. Since then, he’s learned to play more than 10 other instruments, has participated in numerous All-County festivals, and joined as many band ensembles throughout his school career as possible. He also participated in the chamber orchestra and jazz voices choir starting his senior year as a way to broaden his musical experiences. Conor is also the student technical director of the tage crew for the musicals. He was named the assistant senior patrol leader of his Boy Scout Troop, Troop 62. As an Eagle Scout, he is currently working on his Eagle Scout project, which consists of collecting donated instruments and distributing them to charities. Aside from those activities, Conor also participated in varsity track & field for two years during his high school career.