Kelly Montanye, a Mayfield native, graduated from Mayfield Central School in 2013; the same school where her parents and grandparents graduated. Like many peers, Kelly chose to attend FM during her senior year of high school as part of the College’s Early Admission program.
“As an Early Admission student I couldn’t yet declare a major, but the experience definitely helped me solidify my decision to study business administration,” says Kelly. “FM is close to home and I could still participate in activities that my high school offered while participating in college events as well.”
Another benefit of taking part in the Early Admissions program for Kelly was the freedom to make her own class schedule. “I scheduled all of my classes in the morning, so I was done by noon every day! It was also nice to have a long winter break,” she says, pointing out that, “FM has the best faculty out there. Faculty (including Dr. Ted Marotta, Dr. Paula Brown-Weinstock, and Christie Crawford) went above and beyond for me while I was a student at FM. Whether I needed a letter of recommendation, help after class, or just some advice, they were always looking out for me.”
Kelly not only was a student, but a part-time employee at FM for doing something she enjoyed. “I made some money just by taking good notes,” she tells us. “After every class, I would scan my notes which would be sent (anonymously) to students with disabilities. If you have great attendance and take good notes, this is a wonderful opportunity to make extra money while simply doing what most students do in class – take notes.”
After spending her senior year at FM, Kelly transferred to Marist College in Poughkeepsie. “I spent one semester there and decided it just wasn’t the right fit. I ended up transferring to SUNY Albany and loved it,” says Kelly. “My only regret was not spending two years at FM.”
While in college, Kelly did an internship with the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce which serves as the primary link between schools and businesses to help identify career needs, develop career strategies, and provide experiences for students. The internship turned into a part-time job for her at first. After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree this past May, the job became full-time. Kelly is the Strategic Partnership Coordinator at the Chamber. “I spend my days working on the new and exciting education initiatives that are happening in our region, including the Tri-County Pathways program,” says Kelly.
In her spare time, Kelly enjoys boating on the Great Sacandaga Lake, skiing, and playing with her two dogs. “I’m also a member of the Fulton Montgomery Regional Professionals Network (FMYPN) which is an organization that aims to empower young professionals through networking, professional development, and civic engagement opportunities,” she says.
Kelly believes that if it weren’t for her start at FM, she may have limited opportunities for herself. She says, “FM and the Early Admission program really sets you apart, not to mention graduating high school with 30 college credits – that’ just incredible! I highly recommend this program to everyone.”
“I chose the Early Admission program at FM because I wanted to challenge myself. I only had two or three classes that I needed to complete during my Senior year at Broadalbin-Perth so I thought it would be better to come to college and start earning my degree early.”
Brittany Mullaney began her college education by taking college-credited coursework while still in High School through FM’s “College in the High School” program. By the time she was going into her senior year she had already earned 23 college credits. In the Fall of 2012 Brittany was accepted into FM’s Early Admission Program and she challenged herself by registering for some business courses over and above her high school requirements for graduation. She graduated from high school earlier than the rest of her class, in January 2013, and earned her Associate of Science in Business Administration from FM this past May of 2013. Brittany transferred to the University of Albany in the Fall of 2013, beginning her Bachelor’s degree in a business related field.
“I really enjoyed the Early Admit Program. It was exactly what I was hoping for my senior year. All of my professors were great and very helpful. In my classes, I actually felt like I was learning something useful, and they were just challenging enough to keep my interest without being too difficult.” Alysha Barker – Mayfield High School graduate 2011
Emily Spraggs is a 2014 graduate of both Broadalbin-Perth High School and Fulton-Montgomery Community College. She came to FM as an Early Admission student with no intentions on earning a degree from the College; however, once she realized she could earn enough credits to do so, she made a college degree her goal. She graduated this May with an A.A. degree in General Studies.
“I was fortunate to get to work with a good amount of faculty and staff,” says Emily. “Christie Crawford (Outreach and Support Representative) is exceptional! She helped make my FM experience great. She guided me to the right people and helped me make connections. She is the reason I came to FM in the first place. I worked for her at FM’s Summer Academy (kids’ camp) and she told me about the Early Admissions program. It sounded interesting and I was ready for a change. She got me excited about the program so I decided to try something new.”
The best part about FM for Emily was meeting new people. “There are so many international students as well as students from the City, it is not the typical community college,” she says. “From high school, where we have been with the same students everyday for the past decade, it was refreshing to be able to work with so many different people. I really enjoyed talking to others and hearing the stories from such a variety of walks of life. The faculty is great as well. They really care about the students, and develop an atmosphere where we can have fun while learning in class. Also, Zumba is pretty awesome there, too.”
While at FM, Emily was vice president of the Community Outreach Club and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. At high school, Emily was in the drama program, Odyssey of the Mind, STEM club, and National Honor Society. From the three year science research course at BP, she discovered she wanted to pursue the medical field.
“Integrating traditional medicine in western medicine is interesting as well as third world medicine or public health,” says Emily. “I will be attending Hobart and William Smith College this fall as a transfer student instead of a freshman, which is very cool.” She will major in biology in the pre-health studies.
Emily lives in Gloversville, with her parents, Beth and Jeremy. Jeremy is an Instructor at FM and was fortunate to hand Emily her diploma at this year’s Commencement. “It was an honor to present Emily’s diploma to her,” says Jeremy. “Broadalbin-Perth gave her the opportunity to take courses for college credit while FM gave her the opportunity to be an Early Admission student. FM opened so many doors for her to experience different activities and build relationships with people with such a variety of backgrounds. Emily worked hard, made some great friends at FM (both students and staff), and she made a lot of people proud!”
“The Early Admission program is a great way to change things up and kind of step into college,” says Emily. “I think it is very smart to get a degree from FM and then transfer to a four-year institution. Financially you save a lot, and it lets you explore different areas to study. We are fortunate to have FM in our area.”
Early Admissions Program Inspires FM Grad’s Career Choice by Amy Radik
Courtney Egelston grew up in Glen, NY on her family’s dairy farm. She attended FM as an Early Admission student while a senior at Fonda-Fultonville High School.
“I took basic college requirements at FM to get those classes out of the way before transferring,” says Courtney. After graduation, Courtney earned a B.A. in Magazine Journalism and a B.S. in Political Science from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University (SU). She is currently finishing a Master’s in Education with a specialization in Urban Leadership from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she resides.
“I would never have been able to afford tuition at SU if it weren’t for FM’s Early Admission program, enabling me to take classes while still in high school for a fraction of the cost of the bigger institutions,” Courtney says. “In addition, taking courses early at FM helped me speed up my Bachelor’s process; I graduated from college at the age of 20 and immediately started work. Without FM, I may have needed to wait to do these things.”
During the last few years, Courtney’s career goals have changed. “During my time at FM and Syracuse, I wanted to be a journalist. Upon graduation from SU, I joined Teach for America (Dallas-Fort Worth) and started teaching English I in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). After several years in the classroom, I transitioned into school leadership,” she says.
Courtney is a Personalized Learning Manager to develop a new, personalized learning high school in Dallas ISD. “I’m funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DISD to work full-time on the creation and implementation of a school that will tailor students’ instruction individually to them, slated to open fall 2015,” Courtney explains. “The Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA) would focus on using competency-based learning so that students progress through courses based on mastery – not seat time, creating applied learning opportunities through community partnerships and an internship program, and developing the values-based skills students need for post-collegiate success. Our school will focus on developing innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit in students. By personalizing learning, we ensure our school doesn’t give a one-size-fits-all education to one-of-a-kind kids.”
Courtney says both her high school experience and the ability to enroll at FM as a 16-year-old were what inspired her current work; providing choice options for high school students, ensuring kids can earn college credit when they’re ready and helping guide students through the post-graduation world.
“Both my older sister and younger brother attended FM as Early Admission students. Because of this, all three of us were able to graduate college early and start our career paths,” she says.
When asked why FM would be a good choice for others, Courtney had this to say, “FM is a great, cost-effective, local option for college students who are getting started. Classes are engaging, rigorous, and affordable, which makes FM a great place to begin a college degree. I thoroughly enjoyed my classes at FM, especially English and Political Science, which sparked great discussions and introduced me to new ideas. For one assignment, the English professor had us read a short story, Joyas Voladoras by Brian Doyle. To this day, it is still my favorite piece; I re-read it a few times a month.”