FONDA — Throughout her time at Fonda-Fultonville High School, Shey Sanges’ schedule has been packed. But from Key Club to Student Government to a variety of music ensembles, there is one common thread between the numerous activities of this valedictorian: helping the community.
“I’ve grown up here for 12, 13 years at this point and I’m just so thankful for everyone here,” said 18-year-old Sanges.
She will be graduating this month as the number one ranked student in her class, an accomplishment she says she is incredibly proud of. She lives in Gloversville but, thanks to her mother’s teaching position, she has attended Fonda-Fultonville Central Schools since kindergarten, and there is no question that she has made her mark in the community.
Since the beginning of her high school career, Sanges has been involved in a number of clubs and organizations around the school, most with an emphasis on school and community support. Her desire to advocate for her school has earned her the roles of Class of 2022’s treasurer and Board of Education representative since her freshman year. More recently, she became a member of the district’s Parent Teacher Student Association.
“The students, and particularly my classmates, drive me to do whatever I can for the school to make it a better place,” said Sanges.
She has also worked as the treasurer and secretary for Yellow Roses, a feminist organization at the school that works with local businesses, and is an active volunteer with the Fonda-Fultonville Community Foundation, a community-based group that hosts events like chicken barbecues in order to raise money for grants to gift to local organizations and donate to the school district.
Sanges will be attending Hamilton College this fall with a double concentration in Spanish and psychology, a subject that instantly captivated her when she took her first psychology class last fall.
“Within a few weeks of starting the school year, I just fell in love with it,” said Sanges. Given her track record of supporting the school and community, it is perhaps unsurprising that she is drawn to the career’s component of helping others. “That’s also a big passion of mine: helping people.”
But one of her other major passions is music. She began learning the saxophone in 5th grade and taught herself the piano in middle school with a particular love for playing Broadway showtunes, “Dear Evan Hansen” being her favorite. In recent years, she has even dabbled in composition, an outlet for her to express her every emotion.
“I love the emotion behind it — whatever you’re feeling, you can always compose based on that feeling,” she said.
And, of course, her love for music has been another way in which she has left her print on the community. In addition to participating in multiple school music ensembles, like All-County Band, Select Choir, and Marching Band, Sanges’ talent has found its way outside of the school’s practice rooms. She and a close friend created the duo “Delaney + Shey,” for which she has been in charge of arranging the music and playing piano. The two have played at local open mic nights and even at a Battle of the Bands competition.
Since freshman year, Sanges has also been designated as the school DJ, in charge of energizing the crowd at pep rallies through playlists that she compiles. She also plays in a couple of community music groups with a dedication that her instrumental music teacher, Charles Lenig, does not usually see from students.
“She definitely likes to perform in the community… I think they mean a little bit more to her than they mean to some of the other students,” said Lenig. “She likes to perform for community members, it means a lot to her.”
Sanges says that, through the years, music has been the most impactful element in her life. In college, she hopes to continue her musical passion and is considering joining an a cappella group. But her biggest sights are now set on psychology.
“I think I definitely want to be a clinical psychologist for students at school, or children, adolescents who might need some support — that’s my ultimate dream,” she said.
And while she is sad to leave Fonda-Fultonville Central Schools, a place where she can hug her mom in her classroom after a long day, watch students relax in the lounge that she and the other Student Government members advocated to the Board for, and guest conduct the younger music ensembles, her mind is filled not with sadness but with gratitude.
“If there was one thing I had to tell people, it would just be thank you,” said Sanges.
Categories: Life and Arts