By Duncan Campbell

For Granville High School student Jack Farrell, clubs and organizations played a huge role in his life for the past

Jack Farrell

four years. He said participating in these clubs and organizations helped prepare him for the next chapter in his life and feels that they are crucial for all students.

“I think it’s very important that individuals who are planning to go on to further education understand the importance of high school and performing well in high school and being dedicated to their schools,” he said.

Farrell is the valedictorian for the Class of 2020. He said that this achievement made his time and dedication throughout high school worth it.

“It just feels very refreshing after all the years of hard work that I put into school,” he said. “I was very glad that I was able to achieve the title.”

Among the extracurriculars he was involved in are tennis, the National Honor Society, the Spanish Club, the Senior Band and Jazz Ensemble, the prom committee, Math and Drama Clubs, and chorus. He also served as treasurer and vice president for both the Senior High Student Council and the Spanish Club and was treasurer for the Class of 2020 his junior and senior years. Furthermore, he took first place in the NYS Capital Region among Senior Individual Research Websites as a part of the National History Day Competition.

He said being on student council was his favorite.

“We got to plan a lot of school activities for the students, which was very nice to see the students enjoy after we were able to accommodate their interests and all that,” he said.

In addition, Farrell’s volunteer work is just as impressive. It includes Trek for Hope, the Slate Valley Museum, the PTO Trunk or Treat, Granville Youth Basketball, and the GES Math/English Family Night. He also worked at the concession stand for JV and varsity basketball games and completed a summer internship at the Slate Valley Museum.

Outside of school and community service, Farrell enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking, as well as photography.

Farrell admitted that the transition to online learning due to COVID-19 was challenging at times. He explained that online learning makes sense in order to protect individuals but noted that some students faced difficulties with scheduling and access to technology.

“I would say that the traditional classroom environment has proven time and again more beneficial for students,” he said.

Furthermore, as a graduating senior, Farrell appreciates everything that the school and community have done for his class in accommodating for the situation, and although he did not experience the graduation he expected in June, he remains optimistic about receiving something close to it in the future as restrictions are lifted in New York.

“We should be thankful that our school and our community have supported in allowing us to have a televised graduation ceremony and also continuing to have hope to have a ceremony later on in the summer, although its not going to be exactly how we would have imagined it,” he said.

Farrell will be attending SUNY-Adirondack, followed by Siena College in Loudonville, where he is planning on studying mathematics with a focus in adolescent education. To underclassmen, he stressed the importance of focusing on schoolwork and maintaining high involvement in their school and their community.

“Even though it may be difficult sometimes, I think that at the end of the day, it can be truly rewarding looking back at all your hard work,” he said.

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