Andrew Wanzenried (photo above left) and Henry Burke (photo above right) are the valedictorian and salutatorian of the HF-L Class of 2024. Photos provided by Honeoye Falls-Lima High School

While they took different paths in terms of extracurricular activities in school, Andrew Wanzenried and Henry Burke both had the thirst for learning and that is what led them to the top of the Honeoye Falls-Lima Class of 2024 as the valedictorian and salutatorian respectively.

Wanzenried, the son of Jill and Rick Wanzenried, will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall. He has not declared a major but is thinking of finance or business. He also looked at the University of Maryland at College Park, University of Pittsburgh and University at Albany, which is where his older brother Mason will be a senior this fall.

“I thought I would enjoy the field and Mason is studying finance at Albany,” said Wanzenried during a phone interview last week. “I chose UConn because it is a perfect blend of the academics that I was looking at but also the college experience I was looking for and also its location. I just thought it would be a good match.”

Wanzenried carried a 4.196 grade point average. His courseload featured eight Advanced Placement courses: Macroeconomics, U.S. Government, Calculus AB, Biology, Psychology, English Language and Composition, World History and U.S. History. He also took a Personal and Business Law course and the French Honors course through Monroe Community College.

Aside from academics, Wanzenried was a member of National Honor Society. He played on the varsity football and baseball teams. Wanzenried competed on the football team for three years and was a captain of the team as a senior. A starter at wide receiver and defensive back, he led the team last fall with 33 catches for 501 yards and 10 touchdowns and contributed three tackles on defense despite missing the first two games due to injury. He holds the school record for most receiving yards in a season with 833 yards in 2022 and most career touchdown receptions with 22 and is tied for the most single season touchdown receptions with 10 (tied with Tyler Smith in 2000 and Paul Schirmer in 2007). Wanzenried played on the varsity baseball team for two years. A captain this past spring, he hit .324 (fourth on the team) with 22 hits, one double, 22 runs scored (led the team) and 12 runs batted in (fifth on the team). He will likely play a sport at the intramural level and possibly club level.

Outside of school, Wanzenried volunteered to help at the football and baseball camps and umpired for the 8U baseball tournaments. He also volunteered for Honor Flight Missions.

“I would be part of helping to welcome veterans back from the flight to Washington, D.C.,” Wanzenried said. “It was definitely a moving experience each time. It was important for me to go and recognize what they did for our country. My great-grandfather served during World War II in the Pacific.”

Wanzenried has received many honors and awards. As a junior, he earned the Clarkson University Achievement Award. This year, he received the Union Star Lodge 320 F&AM Award for Mathematics, an HF-L Sports Booster Award, a National Merit Scholarship Commended Students Award and a New York State Scholarship for Academic Excellence Award. Among his athletic awards are the Monroe County Scholar Athlete Award in football as a junior and as a senior, the Monroe County Scholar Athlete Award in baseball as a senior, Section V Class B 1st team honors in football as a junior and as a senior, All Greater Rochester 1st team honors in football as a junior and as a senior and New York State Class B 3rd team honors as a junior and as a senior.

There are many teachers and coaches whom Wanzenried says have been an inspiration to him.

“Coach Russ and Coach Hoyt both come to mind,” he said. “I have known coach Russ since Manor School physical education and his personal connection with team members is always encouraging. Coach Hoyt has been very encouraging as well and he instills commitment in his players. Madame Kukaj, my French teacher, would make every effort to insure that all of us were doing well. Mrs. DeFranco kept the content interesting and was committed to keeping everyone engaged in class. Mrs. Boldt always made sure to keep students engaged and was willing to help us. Mrs. Utegg was always available and willing to help you if you needed it. Mr. Higgins, whom I had as both a teacher and a coach, committed a lot of his time to us in and out of the classroom.”

Wanzenried said most of his favorite memories of high school revolved around his participation in football and baseball.

“Baseball last year when I was a junior was really fun because we won sectionals,” he said. “But, also the bus rides home from games were always great.”
Asked about his experience as part of the “COVID” class, Wanzenried said it was different.

“Our freshman year introduction to high school was different,” he said. “It was a delayed “normal” high school experience because we were with only half our classmates that fall. It got back on track once we were all together.

That freshman year with half the time being remote made me more focused and accountable, but I really missed the social interaction.”

Burke, the son of Zak Burke and Jennifer Frese, will be attending Bowdoin College in Maine to study biochemistry. He also considered William & Mary or Cornell University.

“I chose Bowdoin because it is a small university where I think a student can form closer connections with professors,” said Burke during a phone interview. “It is also a nice location with a lot of hiking trails and not too far from the ocean. I am looking at biochemistry because for both AP Physics and AP Chemistry I had labs two times a week and I liked doing things in the labs. Also my mother is a family physician.”

Burke held a 4.19 grade point average. His courseload consisted of a number of Advanced Placement classes: Physics, Chemistry, Government, English Literature and Composition, Macroeconomics, Calculus AB, Computer Science A, World History, U.S. History and English Language and Composition.

A wide range of extracurricular activities filled Burke’s time out of the classroom. He was a member of National Honor Society, serving as Vice President of community service, a member of the Math Club, the Green Team and Link Crew (helping freshmen students made a smooth transition to high school). He was in the school musical this year, playing the role of Pepper in Mamma Mia!. Burke played trumpet in the Wind Ensemble for four years and trumpet in the Jazz Ensemble for four years. A three-sport athlete, he competed on the cross country running team for four years. He was 31st in 17 minutes, 18.2 seconds at the Section V Class B1 Championship last fall.

Burke was on the varsity Nordic ski team for four years. He placed third (22:27.7) at the Section V Championship and 29th (23:35.6) at the state championship. He finished four years on the varsity track team. A captain this spring, he won the Section V Class B1 3000 meter steeplechase event (10:24.66) and took third in the 400 hurdles (59.87). He was part of the group that won the 3200 relay at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division 2 championships. He will likely not compete in a varsity sport, at least his first year, but may pursue Nordic skiing or a club sport in college.

Outside of school, Burke worked at Lighthouse Farms for a year and has been a camp counselor at Camp Arrowhead for two years. He is also part of a jazz combo which has played at Flaherty’s and at Okay Bowling.

Burke has received a number of awards and honors, including the Dollard Foundation Scholarship, the Charles H. and Sally S. Meisenzahl Coaches Award, National Merit Scholarship Commended Student and a New York State Scholarship for Academic Excellence Award. For athletics, he was an All-League 2nd team selection in cross country last fall, an All-League 1st team and All Greater Rochester 1st team selection in Nordic Skiing this past winter and an All League 2nd team selection in track this past spring.

Like Wanzenried, Burke says there are many teachers and coaches who have inspired him.

“Mark Armbruster, the Nordic ski coach inspired me because he believes in the potential of each athlete and he is encouraging,” Burke said. “Nolan Hoh, the cross country running and track coach, puts a lot of effort into coaching and goes above and beyond to help you race your best and made me the best person and athlete I can be. Mrs. Boldt and Mrs. Utegg are both very good teachers and not only made their classes fun but really engaged me as a student. Dr. Kreuzer makes himself be the best director possible and that makes me work hard to reach my full potential as a musician and as a student and he furthered my love for music.”
Burke said three things stood out as far as his best memories of high school.

“The first is being part of jazz band and going to the Rochester Jazz Festival the last couple of years (the band also went this year),” he said. “Another is the Nordic Ski team trips to Gore Mountain and Lake Placid so we could ski because we haven’t had much snow here the past two years. A third one is physics class where Amer (Armbruster) and I made a kite out of straws and tissue; it was a pyramid of prisms and it flew. Mr. Somers, another of my favorite teachers, helped us with that.”

©2024 Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel

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