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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."

 

2017-2018 SAAC Members

 

 

Section

 

Bio

I

 

Kiera Jackson

Kiera is currently a senior at New Rochelle High School and is a member of the cross country, indoor track/field, and lacrosse teams. Aside from sports and a rigorous academic schedule, Kiera also participates in an art program and debate club. In the future, Kiera hopes to attend a college and study engineering, while also participating in club and intramural sports. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Kiera said, “I hope that being a part of SAAC can help improve the athletic community in my school, as well as the athletic communities throughout the state.”

I

 

Matt Lucido

Matt is currently a senior at Clarkstown High School South and has been a member of the varsity basketball team since his freshman year and varsity baseball since his sophomore year. Matt has served as Class President for the past two years and is also a member of the Italian Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Matt said, “I believe it is important for student-athletes to maintain a balance between their academic workload and participation in athletics. Through this committee, I hope to brainstorm ideas to help student-athlete maintain that balance.”

2

 

Cameron Bleibtrey

Cameron is a senior at Queensbury High School and has been playing basketball since 7th grade. Cameron spends his free time as a counselor for co-ed youth basketball camps. He loves to help young athletes and is currently in the process of becoming a Big Brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Cameron hopes to pursue a career in coaching basketball at the collegiate level. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Cameron said, “I hope to assist in promoting sportsmanship throughout Section 2 and help improve the overall experience of all student athletes in New York State.” 

2

Grace Wysocki

Grace is a junior at Hoosick Falls Jr/Sr High School. She has played varsity lacrosse since freshman year and varsity soccer and basketball since sophomore year. In addition to athletics, she participates in Student Council, Key Club, Earth Club, National Junior Honor Society, and is the Treasurer of her class. When asked shwy she wanted to become a member of SAAC, Grace said, "Sports have given me so much in my life. Having the opportunity to be a part of this committee will allow me to give back so others are afforded the experiences I have had. By example and through my efforts in this committee, I would strive to show the value of hard work both in the classroom and on the playing field."
 

III

 

Jacob Geitner

Jake is currently a senior at G. Ray Bodley High School (Fulton) and is a captain for his baseball and soccer teams. Unfortunately, Jake has been sidelined the past two soccer seasons with two different breaks to his right leg. Despite the setback, Jake continues to support both of his teams. In the summer, Jake travels to national tournaments with his local baseball team, the Fulton Force, as the team’s catcher. He also takes part in his school’s Ski Club during the winter and enjoys skiing throughout the winter season. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Jake said, “I hope to expand my leadership skills to be a better leader on and off the field. I also want to be a strong representative of the ideals of Section III.”
 

III

 

Kathleen Starr

Kathleen is a senior at Cortland Jr/Sr High School and has been a member of the tennis, basketball, and lacrosse teams since her freshmen year. She is also involved in Student Council, as a committee chair, Link Crew, as a mentor, National Honor Society, and is the Vice President of her class.  When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Kathleen said, “I am very excited to be a part of SAAC and would like to make student-athletes more aware of all the association has to offer.”

IV

 

Jasper Koota

Jasper is a junior at Delaware Academy. He plays varsity soccer and tennis and in 2016/2017 was awarded All Conference and NYSPHSAA Individual Scholar Athlete honors for both sports.  Jasper currently serves as one of two youth board members on the Board of Directors of the Delaware County Youth Bureau.  At DA he is a student leader for the AVP (Alternatives to Violence) Program and the Olweus Bullying program and volunteers as a peer mentor. This past June, Jasper represented Delaware Academy at the NYS East  H.O.B.Y. Leadership conference and was selected 2017 recipient of the “Most Outstanding Future Leader” award. When asked why he wanted to be a member of the SAAC, Jasper said, “Athletics are one of the few opportunities in high school that require a diverse group of students to work together toward a common goal.  I’d like to work with my fellow student athletes across the state to see if we can help apply these same principals of respect and tolerance to better serve our schools and communities both on and off the field.”
 

IV

Lizzy Rayle

Lizzy is a senior at Ithaca Senior High School. She has been a member of the varsity cross country and track teams since 8th grade. She was named captain of the cross country and track teams for junior and senior year. Lizzy enjoys volunteering for class events and supporting other teams at her school. she one day hopes to study exercise science in college. When asked why she wanted to be a part of SAAC, Lizzy said, "Through this committee, I hope to improve the community of student-athletes in schools across New York State and work to encourage more people to participate in athletics in a meaningful way. I am excited to learn more about this association and to hear the opinions of other student-athletes. Together we can develop ideas to make high school athletics the best experience possible for all."
 

V

 

Alana Kornaker

Alana is a senior at Wayne Central High School and has been a member of the varsity basketball and softball teams since her freshman year. In addition to athletics, she is also very involved in her school community. Alana is Class President and is working towards receiving an International Baccalaureate diploma upon graduation from high school. Additionally, she is a member of the National Honor Society, the Future Business Leaders of America, as well as the Math Team; all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Her hobbies include adventuring the outdoors, cooking, and working out. In college, she intends on majoring in International Relations and aspires to change the world someday.
 

V

 

Payton Powers

Payton is a junior at Dalton-Nunda High School. She has been a member of the varsity soccer and basketball team since 8th grade. Payton has served as Class President since freshman year and Key Club Treasurer since sophomore year. She is also a member of the Student Council and National Honor Society. In addition to school activities, Payton is a member of the Rochester Futbol Club traveling soccer team. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Payton said, “My goal is to provide representation for small school athletics and to collaborate with other representatives from across the state on issues facing student athletes."
 

VI

 

Clayton Osborne

Clayton is a junior at Williamsville East High School. He is a member of the varsity lacrosse and football teams and has played on school teams since junior high. In his spare time, Clayton coaches youth lacrosse, all the while maintaining an A average while taking advanced courses. He is active in his school participating in programs such as Future Business Leaders of America. Clayton’s desire to be a member of the SAAC came from his belief that, “Safety, sportsmanship, and leadership are key elements of ensuring a positive athletic experience. If any of these elements are missing, we run the risk of injury, or a poor athletic experience.”
 

VI

 

Lillian Wozniak

Lillian is a senior at Orchard Park High School. She has been a member of the JV volleyball team, Varsity basketball team, JV and Varsity softball teams, as well  Varsity Cross Country team. Lillian is also President of Varsity Club and works with fellow athletes to bring about camaraderie within the interscholastic atmosphere. In her free time, Lillian takes part in Youth Court, where she takes on actual cases of adolescents between the ages 7-17 who have broken the law. She then helps negotiate community service hours for the defendant to perform as a way to repay the community for their wrong-doing. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Lillian said, " I feel that it is vital to speak with fellow student-athletes across New York State in order to promote a more enthusiastic and supportive atmosphere. As a member, I would advocate for a greater balance between academics and athletics, with an emphasis of placing school first. I wish to give back to the athletic community which has shaped me into the young adult I am today by assisting student-athletes reach their goals both in the classroom, and in their sport.
 

VII

 

Paul Fine-Lease

Paul is a senior at Willsboro Central School and is a member of the soccer, ice hockey, and golf teams. Paul is also a captain of the soccer team and has also been the President of the National Junior Honor Society for the past two years. Paul is also involved in Student Council and CFES, as he was the Treasurer and Secretary. In his spare time, Paul mentors struggling elementary students. When asked why he wanted to be a member of SAAC, Paul said, “I feel it is important to have insight from active participants of high school sports. It is important to me that I share my ideas with others to help better communities around New York State.”

VII

 

Allison Post

Allison is a junior this year at Peru Secondary School. She is a member of the varsity soccer, basketball, and track team.  Ally has been a part of the Positive School Environment Team at her school for the past two years and is also a part of Science National Honors Society.  She also participates on a travel soccer team and a travel basketball team during her off season.  When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Ally said "Being a student athlete is something that I enjoy immensely.  I am excited to bring forth ideas that may help to create an environment that is beneficial to all students across New York State."

VIII

Olivia Rodriguez

Olivia is a junior at South Side High School. She has been a member of varsity soccer, winter track and field, and spring track and field teams since her freshman year. Olivia is also a member of Athletes Helping Athletes and her school’s Chamber Singers ensemble. Outside of school, Olivia is a officer for Youth Council, a volunteer with TOP soccer and a volunteer at a children's rehabilitative hospital. She is also working towards an International Baccalaureate Diploma. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Olivia said, “I am very interested in protecting the athletic/academic balance in order to promote a blended experience for every student athlete in New York State.”
 

VIII

 

Kathryn Rosshirt

Kathryn is a senior at South Side High School. She has member of the varsity cheerleading team since her freshman year and the varsity gymnastics team since her sophomore year. In addition to athletics and a rigorous academic schedule, Kathryn is also very involved in her school’s community. She is Vice President of the RVC Youth Court, a member of Athletes Helping Athletes and the Well-Being Club. Additionally, she is a member of the National, Math, Science and Spanish Honor Societies.  In her spare time, she created and is the chief designer for her own jewelry business and over the past two summers has shadowed an orthopedic surgeon at NYC’s Hospital for Special Surgery in their Academic Observation Program.  When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Kathryn said “I want to help children understand the importance of becoming good people, good students, and good athletes – to teach them fair play and sportsmanship, to improve their teamwork, and to encourage them to show respect for themselves and for others.”
 

IX

Deeya Modhwadiya

Deeya is a junior at Newburgh Free Academy. She has been a member of the girls varsity tennis team since her freshman year. Aside from tennis, Deeya is the Vice President of the Key Club and a member of National Science Honor Society. She also partakes in student government as a senator of her class. In her freetime, Deeya volunteers at the local hospital and spends time teaching tennis to children 12 and under. After high school, Deeya hopes to pursue a career in pediatric oncology. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Deeya said, "We are all one association, therefore all of us need the ability to increase communication and familiarity by coming together. Change can be for the better or worse, I want to change our already great high school athletics program and make it from great to phenomenal."
 

IX

 

Andrew Strobach

Andrew is a senior at Wallkill Senior High School. He is a member of the varsity football and baseball teams. Andrew is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Student-Athlete Leadership Team (S.A.L.T.), where he visits local elementary schools to speak with children about motivation, sportsmanship, and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. In his spare time, Andrew is a junior volunteer firefighter and enjoys outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, and cliff jumping. Andrew is currently pursuing an ROTC scholarship at a 4-year college. 
 

X

 

Claire Donaldson

Claire is a senior at Lisbon Central School. Claire has been a member of the varsity softball and soccer teams since 8th grade and was named the captain of the soccer team. Claire is involved in National Honor Society and the Interact Community Service club. She is also the Treasurer of her class and the Athletic Advisory Committee at her high school. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Claire said, “I hope to be a voice for student-athletes throughout New York and make their experience as positive and rewarding as possible.” 

X

 

Alexandra Steele

Alex is a senior at Heuvelton Central School and is a member of the soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams. Alex understands the importance of sportsmanship towards other players, officials, teammates, and coaches. As a result, she has been a recipient of the NYSPHSAA Sportsmanship Award at state championships two years in a row. When asked why she wanted to be a member of SAAC, Alex said, “I want to help tackle the issues that affect student-athletes throughout New York State.” 

XI

Amanda DiDonato 

Amanda is a senior at Mt. Sinai High School. She has been a member of Varsity Winter and Spring Track since her freshman year, where she has excelled as a Racewalker. She is a member of the Varsity soccer team and has previously been captain of the JV Soccer team and participated in Varsity Cross Country. Scholastically, Amanda is an outstanding student who has successfully completed multiple AP classes and college courses and earned the distinction of Superintendent's List recognition every semester of high school. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is also involved in Best Buddies, S.A.D.D, Peer Support clubs and the Homecoming and Prom committees. After high school Amanda plans to attend college and pursues a career in the field of medicine.

 

XI

Matt Weltmann

Matt is junior this year at Half Hollow Hills High School - East. He has been a member of his school’s soccer and swim teams for the past four years. In addition to athletics, Matthew strongly supports his school and community through his involvement in student council, speech and debate, adaptive swimming, and independent language studies. Matthew’s executive positions include Class President and Chief of Staff, he is a state quarter finalist in extemporaneous speech, and he maintains a rigorous academic schedule, which includes multiple AP and honors courses. When asked why he wanted to become a member of the SAAC, Matthew said, “Each day, I am positively affected by the contributions the NYSPHSAA has had on my life, and it would be an honor for me to give back by providing my input on key issues, acting as a role model to my peers, and representing student athletes all across Section XI and New York State in order to better their academic and athletic careers and experiences.”

SAAC Students needed for 2018-2019
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. 
 

 

Application Closed until 2018
 

 

*Rising junior = Sophomore as of March 2018
*Rising senior = Junior as of March 2018

 

Section Rising Junior Rising Senior
I 1 1
2 1 0
III 1 1
IV 1 0
V 1 0
VI 1 0
VII 1 0
VIII 1 0
IX 1 0
X 1 1
XI 1 0