FULTON – G. Ray Bodley High School’s Class of 2018 valedictorian and salutatorian are as humble as they are driven.
The combination of modesty, dedication and consistency has afforded Jacob Geitner and Madison Lang with the honor of being named the top two students of their graduating class.
While the road hadn’t always come easy, valedictorian Geitner and salutatorian Lang had become laser-focused their junior year when they realized that honor was attainable.
“I tried to get good grades because colleges that I wanted to get into were rigorous,” Lang said. “Try your hardest on everything and enjoy learning.”
Geitner echoed that sentiment and encouraged GRB underclassmen to enjoy the high school ride.
Finding Raider pride and being social while maintaining studies requires balance, he said, and embodying school spirit will only enhance the overall GRB experience. Never be afraid to ask for, or accept, GRB’s many available resources which may allow for even greater success, he said.
Spoken with experiences, Geitner credited his overall weighted grade point average of 102.405 to his academic adherence and the compassion, patience and understanding from GRB staff members. Teachers who helped paved the way for him, he said, included: Susan Dauphin, Dan Mainville and Danielle Florio.
FCSD staff members, coupled with the support of family: father, Matt; mother, Geri; and sister, Hannah, all “blazed a path” for Geitner.
Lang said those same three teachers also had an impact on her life because they pushed her beyond what she thought were her maximum capabilities. She credited her work ethic to her parents, Terry and Mary Lang, who have always encouraged her to set and reach goals.
Her overall weighted grade point average of 102.056 came with some challenges, but finding a balance of school, sports, clubs, employment, volunteering and a social life, has been worthwhile, she said.
Lang has been a member of the Varsity Girls’ soccer and track and field teams, math club, technology honor society, National Honor Society, student senate, a Class of 2018 officer and about six music ensembles.
Geitner’s experiences have included: Varsity Boys’ soccer and baseball, National Honor Society, a Class of 2018 officer, student senate, ski club, environment club, volunteering, employment and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s student-athlete advisory committee.
The valedictorian and salutatorian alike have also received numerous academic awards and scholarships.
Both Lang and Geitner said their athletic coaches have also inspired them grow beyond athletics and stay as determined in the classroom.
Everyone at GRB and throughout the Fulton City School District, they said, have become a part of their educational family and for that, both are forever thankful.
Their teammates and friends have accompanied them on their journey, but both Geitner and Lang are ready for the next phase of their educational paths.
Geitner will attend Cornell University in the fall where he will study landscape architecture.
He has aimed to relocate to a warmer climate after he receives his degree. His ultimate goal is to work as a landscape architect at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Lang, however, will remain closer to home, as she will attend the University of Rochester where she may major in biology as she will work toward her ultimate goal of becoming a biomedical engineer or enter the research field.
Bodley’s top two seniors will join the rest of the Class of 2018 on June 23 at the Fulton War Memorial, where they will walk across the stage and accept their diplomas, which will signify the end of their time with the Fulton City School District.
The pair then hopes to find a harmony of work and relaxation before they begin their post-secondary education.