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Whitesboro High School Student awarded Kathleen Clements Scholarship

By WKTV News

WHITESBORO, N.Y. - Whitesboro High School senior Katherine K. Purtell was awarded the fourth annual Kathleen A. Clements Scholarship from the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES School and Business Alliance on June 6, 2012.

The $500 award was given to Purtell based on her hard work, participation in the School and Business Alliance program, commitment to learning, letter of recommendation and an ongoing desire to be of help to the community.

Purtell’s first experience with the School and Business Alliance program was during her sophomore year, when she shadowed with Dr. Mark Tardugno’s dental office in Rome. The experience encouraged Purtell to apply to participate in the Regional Program for Excellence. She has since interned at two dentist offices, reaffirming her interest in dentistry and orthodontics.

“Having been through many of the procedures myself, with three stints wearing braces, I felt a good understanding of the procedures,” Purtell said. “It was reassuring that I could watch extractions and implants being done without feeling squeamish.”

With a goal to become fluent in Spanish, Purtell will be volunteering in Argentina for a month this summer, working with impoverished Spanish speaking children and assisting them with reading skills. She has independently organized fundraisers to raise the $4,000 required for the volunteer trip.

Purtell also has worked two part-time jobs for the past year, while maintaining a 93.05 grade point average with a rigorous academic schedule.

Community involvement is also very important to Purtell. She is a regular volunteer for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and has volunteered for the Humane Society and Abraham House.

This fall, Purtell will be attending St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y., where she plans to double major in biology and Spanish. She expects to continue her graduate studies at the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

The Kathleen A. Clements Scholarship was founded in 2008 to honor the memory of Kay Clements, former School and Business Alliance director at the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES. Clements served this position from 1991 through 2008 and dedicated herself to two concepts: showing students they could go further than they originally thought they could, and demonstrating that school and business partnerships are the most effective way to ensure the Mohawk Valley has a talented pool of qualified professionals.

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