When Unadilla Valley High School senior Hank deGlee takes the stake at his June graduation, it will be the second time this season that he receives a diploma.
DeGlee, 18, of South New Berlin, is receiving his associate degree in agricultural business Saturday from State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Morrisville.
DeGlee recalled Thursday that he started attending SUNY Morrisville’s Norwich campus because his mother wanted him to study English there.
Anna deGlee is a science teacher at Unadilla Valley and she saw the classes as a more constructive use of her son’s time. She didn’t want him to sit idle, she said. After that “he picked up the ball” when he saw he can do it. She drove him to classes until he was old enough to drive.
“I’m pretty proud of him,” she said.
DeGlee said he credits Morrisville’s faculty and staff, particularly then dean Marsha L. Cornelius, for helping make it possible. When he got started, “it gave me something to do. It’s a really good feeling to think I have two years behind me.”
He comes from a family that has spent generations in the dairy industry. The family farm was started by his grandfather in the 1960’s.
He was homeschooled by his mother in 6th and 7th grades.
“She wanted to challenge me,” he said. “I was exposed to many different things, he added, saying it was fun not being stuck in a specific routine.
However, he returned to Unadilla Valley because he missed his friends and he wanted to play high school sports.
He is on the school’s varsity football, basketball and track teams and is a member of the National Honor Society, among other activities.
It can be hard to find free time, but when he does, he likes farm work, hunting and being with friends. “There is always something to do,” he said.
When he gets to his June graduation, deGlee said that he may feel like “I’ve already done this.” But he has enjoyed his experience at both schools. “It has helped prepare him for the next stage of life.”
He has been accepted at Cornell University, where he will be studying agriculture and playing football.
He sees the farm in his future plans, but he is not sure what path that might take, he said. “I am excited to be going to Cornell.”