Meet the Boyertown Citizen of the Year Senior Student: Samantha Jo Dolansky


by Lesley Misko,  Lindsey Riegner

During a Super Bowl party at her home, Samantha Jo Dolansky was informed that she has been selected as the Boyertown Area Senior Student of the Year.

After graduation she will be heading to the University of Southern Florida, where she plans to study architecture, focusing on “summer homes,” with the goal of eventually owning her own firm. Samantha credits her membership in the school’s Technology Student Association (TSA) and an interior design class that she took with inspiring her plans. Her love for math—“I like problem solving and how there’s a correct answer”—will be helpful in her chosen career.

Prior to high school, Samantha attended Colebrookdale Elementary and Junior High West, and throughout her school years she demonstrated an enthusiasm for volunteerism in school and in the community.

Her school volunteer activities include setting up and running game stations for special needs children as part of the National Honor Society’s BASH Bear Challenge, serving on Link Crew, an orientation program for incoming freshmen, and Green Cord, a group of students who commit to providing 100 hours of school and community service.

One of the experiences that is most special to Samantha was serving as General Session Chair when Boyertown’s Student Council hosted the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils State Conference in fall 2022. “We planned that event for two years, working with all the students and reaching out. The teamwork was amazing, and the outcome of those days was so special. All the work came to life; problems got solved and we helped each other out to create a great event,” Samantha recalls.

Turning to community service, Samantha has volunteered for the Boyertown Community Library, and has been involved in several contexts with the United Way, where she serves on the Board as student representative from the senior high. St. John Hill Church has also benefitted from Samantha’s eagerness to help: she serves the annual turkey dinner and assists at the Easter egg hunts. With her mother, she helps with the Wreaths Across America project: “My mom and I began to volunteer years ago; we go out in the winter and put wreathes on soldier’s graves and then clean them up when the weather warms.” A big fan of the cancer fundraising activity, “Relay for Life,” Samantha and her mother have helped to run refreshment stands at the event. “Walking around the track, seeing the lantern lighting at night was very inspiring,” Samantha recalls.

Amassing sufficient course credits needed for graduation, Samantha leaves school by 11:00 AM which enables her to work at three parttime jobs: Doc’s Irish Pub, Rally House, and Michael Kors. She explains that she is working “to be financially prepared” for her time in Florida.

When she has free time, Samantha enjoys riding four-wheelers, playing cards, and having campfires at the family’s cabin in Potter County. She also loves volleyball.

In closing, Samantha expresses appreciation for the “wide variety of courses” that the school offers. If she could change something about school, she would recommend “better advertising of available clubs and opportunities so that students are aware of everything out there. There were things I wish I had known about,” she says. To students, Samantha offers this advice, “Definitely stay focused. Eleventh grade was the hardest year and I slacked. I wish I had been more focused so my grades would have been better,” she concludes. However, given all that Samantha has achieved, it is difficult to imagine anyone being more focused.

Lindsey Riegner Mason is a 2001 alum of Boyertown Area Senior High. Lindsey served as Director of the Boyertown Community Library from 2012-2015 when she became a librarian in the Reading School District. Since 2021, she has held the position of Southern Middle School Librarian in the Wilson School District. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Lindsey was named the 66th Annual Boyertown Area Citizen of the Year, and honored in a "virtual ceremony." She lives with her husband, Corey, and has four stepchildren. She is active on the fundraising committee of the Boyertown Community Library and the conference committee for the Pennsylvania School Library Association.

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