Class of 2021: Erik Payton – The Albany Academy

Erik Payton - The Albany Academy
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Erik Payton - The Albany Academy

The Albany Academy

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Erik Payton

Co-Salutatorian

Parents: Keith and Stephanie Payton

College or other plans: Cornell University

After college: Mechanical Engineering in Aerospace or Alternative Energy

What has been the hardest part of the last year of school, and the most rewarding: The hardest part was the periods of remote learning with little notice from quarantine. The most rewarding was getting into my top choice college despite the challenges from the pandemic.

What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic/how have you changed: I learned that despite being a total introvert, I really do rely on a small group of friends to keep me grounded, much more so that I realized before. I have changed and been able to become someone who is able to “roll with the punches” and adapt fairly easily.

What is the memory of high school you will never forget: I will never forget the Thanksgiving lunches with Mr. McIver’s Advising, and the group of classmates that I otherwise would not have become friends with.

What will you miss most about high school: I will miss Mr. Streifert’s Chamber singers’ class the most, I could always county on him and that class to make me laugh and brighten my day.

What’s in your music player: ‘80s — Queen, Billy Joel, Elton John, Eagles

Favorite book or author: Clive Cussler: Issac Bell Series

Best part about graduating: I am super excited to go to college in Ithaca where my dad grew up.

Who or what inspires you: My parents

More Class of 2021: Profiles of region’s top graduates

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Categories: Class of 2021, Life and Arts

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