Fermi High’s graduating seniors care about the community

By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Thu., Jun. 23, 2011
Bekki Bussen holds a planted sunflower given out at Family Science Night by Fermi High's Green Club. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

When Paul Newton, Enrico Fermi High School’s principal, remembers the Class of 2011, it is likely words like “selfless,” “altruistic” and “charitable” that will come to mind.

“The most memorable aspect of this class is their consideration of others and the things they have done to promote that,” said Newton.

From recycling initiatives, to Relay for Life, to volunteering at a local nursing home, Fermi seniors have been heavily involved in community service.

“Our class sees there are so many different ways they can be involved,” said Faye Koenigsmark. In addition to being valedictorian and class president, Koenigsmark is the president of the Leo Club, and she started a bottle raffle at the high school as an incentive for students to recycle.

Through the Leo Club, students volunteered at St. Joseph's Residence once a month, where they held activities for residents like cookie swaps, trivia games and chair volleyball.

“Lots of kids were skeptical at first,” Koenigsmark said. “Once they came, they realized [residents] are very vibrant and passionate, even though they’re older.”

Students in the Leo Club also participate in the Rays of Hope Walk for breast cancer each fall.

When Kathleen Kennedy transferred to Fermi her sophomore year, she did not find an environmental club, so she started the Green Club her junior year.

“Our generation is one of change,” Kennedy said. “We’re looking to improve what we’ve been passed down.”

During Kennedy’s junior year, the Green Club raised money to save land for peregrine falcons.

“This year we narrowed in on Fermi,” Kennedy said. To promote recycling, the Green Club held Milk Wars, an ongoing competition among the classes to see who could recycle the most milk cartons. Students from the winning class received free cookies from the cafeteria.

Relay for Life is also a big draw for the Class of 2011. Team captain Kayla Kamerer said that of the team’s 30 members, a third were seniors. The team held various fundraisers during the year, and according to Kamerer, raised $9,000. She agrees that her class looks to improve the world around them.

“We care about the community and want to make a difference,” Kamerer said. “When we leave the school, we want to show what we’ve done and not just help ourselves.”

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