Fifty students honored with Superintendents' Awards

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Mon., Dec. 10, 2012
(L-r) Killingly Superintendent Kevin Farr poses with Killingly eighth-grader Cameron Chahanovich and KIS Principal Steven Roux. Photos by D. Coffey.
(L-r) Killingly Superintendent Kevin Farr poses with Killingly eighth-grader Cameron Chahanovich and KIS Principal Steven Roux. Photos by D. Coffey.

Killingly High School hosted the Superintendent/Student Awards Program on Dec. 3. Fifty students representing 12 school districts in northeastern Connecticut were presented with the awards by their respective superintendents. The students were chosen on the basis of academic success, school leadership and community service.

The awards recognize students in the exit years of their schooling. Sixteen seniors, 17 eighth-graders, two seventh-graders, one sixth-grader, five fifth-graders, and nine fourth-graders were chosen from schools in Brooklyn, Canterbury, Eastford, Killingly, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Sterling, Thompson and Woodstock.

“You always have a large number of students you want to recognize, and you would love to take them all,” said Plainfield Superintendent Ken DiPietro. In many towns the faculty is asked to identify those students deemed most worthy of the award. “You're looking at kids who are doing well academically, who are participating in sports and fundraising, and are involved in the community,” DiPietro said. “They represent the whole school. You try to do the best you can and pick two, not that there aren't another five or 10 that you would like to recognize as well.”

Each school system in the state is eligible to participate in the recognition program. Awards are based on the size of the school district. Each district can present one award for every 250 students enrolled.

Those students honored were Allison Crescimanno, Alesandra Purcell, Thomas Nurse, Paige Stuyniski, Casey Allen, Carly DeLuca, Aidan Croteau, Emma McMillan, Amber Buell, Daniel Amerante, Cheyenne Mullin, Serena Berry, Cameron Chahanovich, Sarah Roberts, Madelyn Sumner, Adrianna Bessenaire, Ronald Faria, Hollis Smith, Jared Verville, Brody Allen, Cassandra Carleson, Ashlyn Hart, Abigail Burdick, Noah Fields, Jason Meier, Ryan Black, Jacqueline Wedegis, Samantha Barylski, Cedar Hayes, Krystina Lewis, Zachary Cutler, Jozzlyn Lewis, Morgan Toutant, Benjamin Leach, Morgan Sauvegeau, Lauren Biernacki, Kevin Poitras, Avery Zanauskas, Cole Coderre, Sara Watson, Evan Zanauskas, Rebecca Feldman, David Redfield, Ann-Marie Hebert, Nan Chen, Konner Filchak, Kathryn Lusa, Ian Converse, Samantha Geddes and Rachel Orlomoski.

Brooklyn Superintendent Dr. Louise Berry leaves it to her faculty to come up with the eligible students. “I need to have the student names by the middle of October,” Berry said, “that's why it's important that all the staff be involved. We concentrate on the middle school because those students have enough time to demonstrate something that relates to all the various qualifications. And students in pre-K through grade eight are all on the same site, so our staff knows each other quite well. And it's very easy for one staff member to talk with another about how well a youngster functioned. We leave it to the middle school staff to make the final decision.”

But different towns have different grade configurations. Plainfield, Killingly, Putnam, Thompson and Woodstock have high schools, so some of their Superintendent Awards went to members of the senior class.

Canterbury Superintendent Richard Paskiewicz gave awards to two fourth-grade students and two eighth-grade students from his district. “It's nights like this that make us realize why we do our job,” he told the audience.

Eastford Superintendent Linda Loretz said, “We're proud of all of our students, but it's a pleasure to recognize those students considered to be great by all the teachers.”

Woodstock Academy Headmaster Kim Caron gave six awards to seniors from Brooklyn, Canterbury, Eastford, Pomfret and Woodstock. Senior Nan Chen from the People's Republic of China was also recognized for his academic success, community involvement and leadership qualities.

Farr ended the ceremony by inviting all those in attendance to a reception in the dining commons. “The future looks very bright in the last green valley,” he said.

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