Sixth grade students from each of the town’s three elementary schools were recognized with Superintendent Awards at the Board of Education’s May meeting. The award is based on community service, service to others and academic prowess in relation to ability and leadership service to the school community, according to Superintendent of Schools Vince Scarpetti.
“It’s no small feat, all of the work you put in over the course of the year. We’re all really proud of you and we want to acknowledge you with this recognition,” said Race Brook School Principal Mike Gray as he introduced his awardees. “Caitlyn Smith is a well-liked girl who swims and dives for ARAC, plays softball for the town and made the all-star team last season. She is an active member of choir, orchestra and student council,” he said.
Gray described Frankie Cavallaro as a conscientious individual who always strives to better himself and those around him. “His positive outlook and involvement both inside and outside of school have instilled the very qualities and values that are embraced at Race Brook School,” Gray said, continuing, “Frankie’s expectations for himself and his community have earned him multiple academic and character recognitions this year and help make him a sympathetic and empathetic citizen in the community.”
Grace Carrington is described as a hard-working and determined young lady. “Throughout her school day, she works hard to be organized and successful. Grace has participated in student council, the school orchestra, safety patrol and the boys and girls choir.”
Last, but not least, Gray introduced Emily Barretta as a student who shines every day as a student with a heart of gold and a smile on her face. “Her service to the community extends to donating time and goods to the animal shelter and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. She is active in dance, tennis, volleyball and piano and loves to read and play with her dog.”
Sharon Weirsman, interim principal at Turkey Hill School, said, “On behalf of Denise Arterbery and the Turkey Hill School community, congratulations to all of our recipients.”
She introduced Jessa Bohan as a hard worker who is kind and always a friend to others. Jessa has been on the honor roll since third grade. She participates in the Turkey Hill morning broadcast and the drama club. She’s a member of the safety patrol, plays violin and especially enjoys soccer.
Weirsman introduced Nicholas DiGiovanni as a very strong student academically and an excellent role model to his classmates. He has been on the honor roll and also participates in the morning broadcast. Nicholas has been on the student council for two years and he enjoys playing basketball and taking golf lessons. “He told me he likes campaigning for his aunt, who is a mayor. He might like to be a lawyer someday,” Weirsman said.
Gavin Storz is described by his teachers as being strong academically and very hard-working. He participates in Turkey Hill’s morning broadcast and is a member of the school’s safety patrol, helping with the kindergarten bus. He plays violin in the Turkey Hill orchestra and he enjoys playing basketball and soccer. He enjoys walks and scavenger hunts with his family.
Peck Place Principal Eric Carbone describes awardee Millie Fuller as a well-rounded student who exemplifies the best that Peck Place has to offer. “She has represented our school in the town-wide spelling bee for several years, participated in Battle of the Books, has won Paws and Character Education awards and was selected to the Connecticut Honors Chorus in sixth grade.
“As good of a student as she is, she is a better person,” Carbone said. Millie is on the student council, is a library and art helper and a bus helper. She plays soccer, lacrosse and piano.
Si Ru Liang is a creative and diligent Peck Place student who gives her best effort in school and during all extracurricular activities. “In school, she excels in every academic area and is part of the library’s Multi-millionaire Club, meaning she has read well over one million words in a particular school year,” said Carbone. She plays the trumpet and was selected recently to the Southern Middle School Regional Band. Si Ru has given back to the community by participating in clothing and food drives and as serving as a library and bus helper. When not in school, she is taking Kung Fu, piano, ice skating, art or classes in Chinese.
Carbone describes Holly Thorndike as an energetic student who has met with much success academically. “She was in Battle of the Books, and has been recognized with school-based art awards and not one, but two Orange Country Fair Art Contest awards. Holly knows the importance of giving to others and has been a bus helper, a member of student council, an art room and library helper and is a member of the yearbook sales staff, Carbone said. She has been a Girl Scout for six years and donated candy to troops and food for the Milford Food Pantry. Holly dances and plays the guitar and when she gets older, she wants to be an actress.
Mark Vanshay is a hard working student who gives his best every day, according to Carbone. Mark loves math and reading and has been a member of the library’s Millionaire’s club. Mark is known as a kind friend and has been the recipient of Paws and Character Education awards. In addition, he has donated to several of the Ambassador Drives and has assisted with the Meals on Wheels program. Outside of school, Mark plays the violin and is an avid Tai Kwon Do student and is a first degree Black Belt.