SARATOGA SPRINGS — Allison Motler enjoys a balanced life: sports, school, community volunteer, and a little adventure. The result? Salutatorian for her Saratoga Central Catholic High School Class of 2022 and a happy outlook.
How did she manage this?
Much of her attitude comes from her parents: Christopher, who has his own general contracting firm, and her mother, Pamela, a middle school teacher in the district who also heads the district’s Human Resources department. Initially, she said, they helped with her homework. But then her father began doing a lot of community service projects, especially with the school.
“I’d go on them and then a group of my friends would get together and go and we’d have fun,” she said. “I’m pretty independent.”
Among the volunteer groups she has participated with are for Equinox to deliver Thankgiving dinners; done the Lake George Polar Plunge; served at the Chowder Fests, at Good Shepherd; put up meals at soup kitchens and for the Knights of Columbus and bridal shows with the National Racing Museum.
Then she discovered sports. Over the years, Motler has participated in volleyball, softball, track and field, basketball and golf, and most of them in competition. Only skiing was done non-competitively. Even more, her dad got each game’s equipment and she’d practice with him.
“Dad loved coming to all my games — and there were a lot of them,” she said laughing. “And my sister, too. It was really nice.”
Along the way, Motler became captain of several of her teams and received several awards for superior skills as well as being noted as a top scholar/athlete. She also learned life lessons, she said, such as how to handle injuries, not to get frustrated and how to talk to coaches.
While all this extra-curricular activity took time, Motler applied herself to school. Besides having perfect attendance in her sophomore year, she worked on the school newspaper, received an English Certificate of Merit for chemistry, a Women in Engineering Certifical of Merit, and got involved in student government, often serving in an officer’s position over a five-year period, and still find time to get part-time jobs.
“I was 16, got my license and wanted my own money,” she said.
Currently she’s working about three days a week at Walgreen’s in Ballston Lake and as a hostess at a local golf course restaurant.
“I’ve learned diverse skills and how to balance my time — a very big lesson,” Motler said.
She also took a step a bit onto the wild side last year. Her sister, Caroline, who is about 18 months older than her, asked her to do a tap dance for the show “Anything Goes.” But the pandemic canceled the show and her routine.
“It’s the only time I’ve ever done anything like that,” she said.
Her sister is currently in college in Rhode Island, studying to become a high school English teacher.
What has influenced her the most, however, is going on jobs with her father. For years, she’s painted on some of his projects, such as a kitchen remodel or even a tree house.
“I like building things. It’s pretty interesting,” she said. “I like that it’s not just math, and I’ve done 3-D projects for school.”
This led to an interest in architecture.
“I’m in art class now. I do architecture on my own. But I didn’t want just engineering. I wanted math and science. And to see how lighting and sound all work together.”
After checking engineering schools in Rochester, she applied to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and was accepted into the five-year architecture program. And already has lofty goals.
“People always ask if I want to design houses, but I’d like to so something bigger,” she said.
Something like RPI’s own Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center?
“Ohhhh, yes,” she said.