Notre Dame High School in Utica has named the two students that are atop its academic list for the Class of 2021, and both will be studying medicine.

Luke Putelo of New Hartford was named Valedictorian and Kristina Donets of Herkimer was named the Salutatorian. Putelo will be attending Dartmouth on a premed track and

Luke Putelo of New Hartford (Submitted photo)

Donets, will be attending SUNY Polytechnic Institute, majoring in nursing. Despite the stresses caused by the pandemic, both students say their goals are to help people through medicine.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit last spring, Putelo organized a fundraiser to deliver meals to frontline workers in the Utica area. He raised $1460, provided over 450 meals from local businesses & then joined forces with the Frontline Appreciation Group to coordinate & deliver snack boxes, feeding over 1000 healthcare workers. He also became certified as an EMT and is now also working as a Covid-19 vaccinator.

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Donets is an active member of Notre Dame's Campus Ministry, an integral part of Notre

Kristina Donets of Herkimer (Submitted photo)

Dame's core beliefs of faith formation and civic engagement. She says she "aspires to be the person that people can confidently turn-to for relief and answers, the person that helps others with their health." She says she is especially interested in neonatal nursing.

Both Putelo and Donets took advantage of Utica College's Anatomy and Physiology courses available at Notre Dame, which allowed them to earn college credits while in high school.

The rest of Notre Dame's Top Ten students for 2021 include: Jingyang Wei, Moriah Bushey, Kyra Warncke, Dominic Clark, Paul Zemanek, Gianna Talarico, Tricia Dietze, and Samantha Cresci.

Graduation is scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 11, at Notre Dame. An alternate date of June 12, has been set in the event that it rains.


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