Nominate a candidate for Eugene Policelli Service Award

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Wed., Jan. 30, 2013
Last year's winners of the Eugene Policelli Service Award, (front, l-r) Megan M. Gauer, Janki H. Viroja, Brigadier General (Retired) AUS James H. Throwe, Patricia Botteron and Cile Decker, are pictured with members of South Windsor public schools and the BOE. Courtesy photo by Curtis Benashski. - Contributed Photo

It's often been said that a town is only as good as its people. Since 2003, the Eugene Policelli Service Award has recognized some of the people that help make South Windsor the town that it is.

Dr. Eugene Policelli was a member of the South Windsor Board of Education from 1985 to 1998. He is remembered for his service and as an advocate for education and high standards.

“After his passing, they were looking for something to memorialize the work that he had done,” said Cindi Yakoubian, community resource coordinator for South Windsor public schools. “They decided that because he was such an avid volunteer, and believed so much in volunteering for your community, that we would create an award to give to a senior in high school and member of the community each year.” Since 2003, 17 students and 22 adults have been recognized.

Up to three seniors and three members of the community can be awarded per year. They must demonstrate a high degree of service and/or contribution to the town. “The standards are pretty high,” said Yakoubian. To qualify, South Windsor High School seniors must have at least a 2.0 GPA, have no expulsions or arrests to their name, and must have completed 100 hours of verified community service or Service Learning over the course of their high school career.

Adult members of the community must have lived in South Windsor for the past three years and have worked or volunteered in town for the past three years, be an “example of outstanding citizenship,” have made a significant contribution to the town and provided community service over the past three years.

Last year, three members of the community, Patricia Botteron, Cile Decker and Brigadier General (Retired) AUS James H. Throwe, and two seniors, Megan M. Gauer and Janki H. Viroja, were awarded.

Botteron was recognized for her work with the Mass Dispensing Agency and the American Red Cross, and for her leadership role as chair of the Open Space Task Force. Decker was awarded for her contribution to multiple town boards, committees and organizations, including the Interval House, the largest domestic violence organization in the state. Throwe, a past mayor and council member, was awarded for his many contributions to town and his service to the Rotary and Parallel Education Program.

Gauer was awarded for the more than 400 hours she dedicated to tutoring and volunteering at several organizations. Viroja was awarded for her volunteerism at St. Francis Hospital and her leadership roles in other organizations.

Nominations are due by Friday, March 1. Selected honorees will be notified by Friday, March 22. Honorees will be recognized at an award ceremony on Tuesday, May 7, at South Windsor High School. To apply online, visit and click on the “Board of Education” category. Hard copy applications are also available at the South Windsor Board of Education, the public library, the Chamber of Commerce, the Charles N. Enes Community Center or the school counseling office at South Windsor High School.  For more information, contact Yakoubian at 860-291-1256.

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