Student Spotlight: Sydney Lemelin

Niskayuna senior, Sydney Lemelin poses with the Niskyauna high school yearbook mock-up. Friday, May 13, 2016.INDIANA NASH/GAZETTE REPORTER Niskayuna senior, Sydney Lemelin poses with the Niskyauna high school yearbook mock-up. Friday, May 13, 2016.

Gazette Reporter
NISKAYUNA — High school senior Sydney Lemelin seems to be in a near-constant state of motion.
On the Friday morning of this interview, Lemelin is carrying a backpack which looks to be stuffed with books and binders, holding a cup of coffee along with the last remains of a late breakfast, and clutching the mock-up of this year’s Niskayuna High School yearbook.
When asked what her ideal of a perfect day would be, Lemelin admits that it would be one where “I could look back on it and see how much I was able to get done and how much progress I could make.”
Lemelin is one of the head editors of the school’s yearbook club. Since the school year started in September 2015, she has been working with the other editors and club members to catalogue and cover some of the most memorable events of the past year at the high school.
“I remember looking through the high school’s yearbook when I was in middle school and thinking that it only seemed like the popular kids were included. I wanted to make it relevant and inclusive,” said Lemelin.
In order to fulfill this idea of an all-inclusive yearbook, Lemelin worked with other club members to ensure that every student was identified and included in the yearbook in some way.
“We did an A-Z feature where we have something like ‘A is for Apple’ but we’ll have a student whose name begins with an A holding an apple or something,” said Lemelin.
Jill Fountain, a teacher at Niskayuna High School who oversees the yearbook club, said that it can be hard to get students excited about yearbooks now due to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
“This year, the yearbook is based around the show “Ned’s Declassified” because it appealed to a lot of students and it’s a show most of us grew up with,” said Lemelin.
Over the past school year, Fountain estimates that Lemelin and other yearbook club editors have worked hundreds of hours to put everything together.
“We have a system for photos and you can see how long other people have been working on it. [Lemelin] would put in sometimes around 40 hours online alone,” said Fountain.
With the yearbook set to come out within the first week of June, most of the hardest work is out of the way for the club. Now they just have to play the waiting game.
“We get really nervous before it comes out and we pore over it for hours after we get the first copy,” said Lemelin.
But beyond yearbook, Lemelin is an avid dancer. “I used to dance when I was a little kid, but I stopped for some reason. When I was in ninth grade I picked it up again, which is really late for a dancer,” she said.
Despite the later start, Lemelin has worked to catch up in modern and ballet classes at Meyers Dance Studio and Modern Dance with Ginny Martin. She has taught a few classes to younger dancers as well.
In the fall, Lemelin plans on going to the University of Maryland for dance and computer science.
“I love dance but I like computer science too … it’s kinda like a puzzle,” she said.
One person who has really inspired Lemelin to take on all the projects she does is her mom, Kristina Lee. “She’s a stay at home mom and there are stereotypes behind that but she is like a professional volunteer. She’s really involved in St. Baldrick’s and has shaved her head for the past five years for it and this year she was able to raise $5,000,” said Lemelin.
Her mom, along with her brother, Christopher, her sister, Grace, and her father, Jon, help to support her in her various ventures.