On Monday, June 8, Wilton virtually recognized graduating seniors and current juniors for their academic and community accomplishments in the Wilton High School Virtual Academic Award Assembly.

The ceremony is a Wilton High School tradition, honoring graduating seniors and select juniors with awards in recognition of their academic achievement and community leadership in the 2019-2020 school year. As with other, in-person school events, this year’s ceremony went virtual with a pre-recorded compilation of awards bestowed via a YouTube video.

YouTube video

Though most of the awards are reserved for graduating seniors, the first round of awards, the College Book Awards, are presented to juniors. Local community organizations and businesses additionally presented awards and scholarships to deserving students. Awards were also given in memory of Wilton individuals, and in specific areas of study.

Some of the awards bestowed require excellent grades and community engagement, and some are awarded in recognition of the best-written essay. In particular, the National Merit Finalist Scholarship is awarded based on a high score on the PSAT exam.

Among the award recipients were:

COLLEGE BOOK AWARDS Presented to juniors who show outstanding academic promise.

Brandeis – outstanding student committed to social action and civic engagement – Alexander Cameron

Brown – combines academic excellence with clarity in written and spoken expression – Sophia Ramirez

Chicago, University of – outstanding student, visible in school and in community with a lively mind – Casey Shu

Columbia – outstanding academic achievement – Benjamin Kesselman

Columbia University School of Engineering – outstanding scholarship in math and science – Brycen Addison

Cornell – demonstrates the Cornell spirit by showing an awareness of cultural diversity while being an excellent student, good citizen and innovative thinker –  Nathan Wang

Dartmouth – outstanding academic scholarship, strong character and positive contributions to school community – Connor Allen

George Washington – embodies the GW drive and spirit, specifically with their academic excellence, leadership outside of the classroom, diversity of thought and ability to put knowledge into action – Jeremy Lucas

Gettysburg – academic achievement in American history – Michael Pien

Harvard – outstanding academic scholarship – Zachary Abud

Michigan, University of – outstanding achievement in creative writing – Matthew Koleszar

Mount Holyoke – outstanding academic scholarship – Bronwyn Walsh

Princeton Alumni Association of Fairfield County – outstanding academic scholarship – Jack Hall

Randolph – academic achievement and a leader outside of the classroom – Ashley Carbonier

Sacred Heart – academic achievement while contributing to one’s community – Sophia Flaim

St. Lawrence – academic achievement and significant commitment to community service – Ahrav Soi

Saint Michael’s – academic achievement with a social conscience – Melissa Arenas and Ryan McElroy

Smith – outstanding academic scholarship and commitment to making a difference – Anika Bhagavatula

Suffolk – exemplifies a commitment to education and school community – Cole Iannuzzi

Trinity – outstanding achievement in English – Sarah Bates

Tulane – embodies Tulane’s motto of “Not for one’s self, but for one’s own” and has a demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership and public service – Piper Chase

Virginia, University of – well-rounded student representing the Jeffersonian ideals of scholarship, leadership and citizenship – Everett Lee

Wellesley – exceptional academic scholarship and character while making significant contributions to school or community – Suhani Suneja

Yale – outstanding academic scholarship – Adarsh Varghese

2020 CONNECTICUT SCHOLARS Recognizes 22 academically talented high school juniors in the state of Connecticut. – Zachary Abud


LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS EDNA JONES MEMORIAL BOOK AWARD  Recognizing a female member of the junior class who has demonstrated interest in government.  – Isabel Cronin    

PTSA BOOK AWARDS  Presented to seniors who have demonstrated the highest quality of performance in specific subject areas.  

  • English:  Madeline Pennino  
  • Applied Arts/Business & Tech Ed
    • Business:  James Wright
    • Technology:  Michael Cassara
  • Applied Arts/Family & Consumer Science 
    • Child Development:  Anastasia Schroeder 
    • Culinary Arts:  William Trentos
    • Interior Design:  Zoia Agoeva
  • World Languages 
    • French:  Justin Lipper
    • Spanish:  Paul Martines
    • German:  Nicholas Ivanov
    • Latin:  Thomas Czick
    • Greek:  Alexander Koutsoukos 
  • Mathematics:  Ashleigh Coltman and Larry Huang
  • Theater Arts:  Christina Henesy and Peyton Matik
  • Public Speaking:  Nicholas Ivanov and Isabel Klink
  • Science:    Ellen Holmquist and Alexander Koutsoukos
  • Social Studies:  Alexander Koutsoukos, Niamh McCarthy and Andrew Smith
  • Music 
    • Band:  Sara Schneidman
    • Choral:  Rachel Nadel
    • Orchestra:  Thomas Czick and Navod Jayawardhane
  • Art
    • Ceramics:  Griffin Morris
    • Photography:  Lilly Sciarretta
    • Sculpture:  Jack Santomero
    • Painting:  Niamh McCarthy
    • Drawing:  Kathleen Quinlan
    • Computer Graphics:  Alexander Stepnowsky
  • Library Learning Commons:  Madeline Pennino
  • Physical Education/Health
    • PE:  Maxwell Downing
    • Health:  Caroline Hess and Cole Stefan
  • Support Services:  Connor McCabe
  • School Counseling for Citizenship & Character:  Madeline Pennino 

SCIENCE AWARDS  Presented for distinguished contributions and accomplishments in the field of science.  

  • W. Gehret Kleinspehn Science Award Presented to a senior showing strong interest, achievement, and enthusiasm in all of the sciences and humanities – Andrew Harris Patnaik
  • Society of Women Engineers  Presented for academic achievement in science and mathematics with an interest in pursuing engineering – Ashleigh Coltman and Justin Lipper
  • The Wilton Land Conservation Trust Scholarship in memory of Dan Cappel  Presented to a senior that has demonstrated a commitment to the environment, extracurricular activities, community service and academics – Brett Gilman 
  • The Wilton Land Conservation Trust Book Award – Eli Grass 
  • The Renewable Energy Environmental Science Scholarship Award  Awarded to a senior who through their classwork has studied and communicated the benefits of renewable energy generation as an alternative to today’s carbon-emitting energy sources and their adverse environmental impact – Emma Babashak 
  • Wilton Garden Club Marybeth Wheeler Memorial Scholarship Award  Presented to a senior who has shown an interest and achievement in nature, horticulture, botany or ecology – Brett Gilman


  • Math Contest Honorees:  
    • AMC 12 WHS Top Scorer – Larry Huang 
    • AMC 10 Certificate of Distinction, WHS Top Scorer and AIME qualifier Sean Meng
  • Fairfield County Math League Top Performers – Jeffrey Huang, Larry Huang, Alexander Koutsoukos, Sean Meng, Michael Pien, Rishabh Raniwala, Anjo Therattil and Adarsh Varghese
  •  WHS Top ScorerSean Meng


  • World Language Scholar Award  To a senior who has studied and gained proficiency in three languages at Wilton High School, understands and appreciates cultural differences, demonstrates a sincere passion for languages and cultures of the world, and plans to utilize several languages on a professional level – Alexander Koutsoukos 
  • Association of American Teachers of French  For outstanding senior in French – Patricia Dineen
  • German Consulate of Federal Republic of Germany  For outstanding achievement in the study of German language and literature – Hector Melesio Rodriguez
  • National German Exam Gold MedalsCameron Cagenello, Nicholas Ivanov, Everett Lee and Lukas Witzke        
  • National Latin Examination Gold Medals
    • Latin I:  Matthew Ferencz and Avery Schestag
    • Latin II:  Alexandra Fordsman
  • National Greek Examination  
    • Introductory Attic Greek:  Lukas Koutsoukos (perfect score), Sophia Flaim (high honors) and Justin Rosenthal (high honors)
    • Beginning Attic Greek:  High Honors/Bronwyn Walsh
    • Homeric Odyssey:  High Honors/Thomas Czick and Alexander Koutsoukos
    • Homeric Iliad:  High Honors/Alexander Koutsoukos

CAREER PRACTICUM AWARD  To a senior who has shown outstanding achievement in Career Practicum – Cassandra Foley  


  • Adam Smith Division (AP) – Individual Scores of High Distinction:  Andrew Smith (perfect score) and Maden Herve
  • Individual Scores of Distinction:  Rishabh Raniwala and Cole Stephenson

CAPTAIN SAM POLIS AMERICAN LEGION POST 86 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP  In recognition of academic achievement by a senior pursuing a technical career –  Caleb Forland   

THE JAMES B. WHIPPLE AMERICAN LEGION POST 86 STUDENT AWARDS  Presented to two seniors who possess those high qualities of Courage, Honor, Leadership, Patriotism, Scholarship, and Service along with a willingness to help others on their own initiative –    Jack Savarese and Sara Schneidman

FAIRFIELD COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP Presented to a senior who exemplifies excellence in education, demonstrates leadership and is involved in extracurricular activities, including community service – Nishant Wangneo 


  • Peer Outreach Leadership Award  Presented to an outstanding senior whose efforts in peer outreach have made a significant impact on making the high school a more caring environment – Isabel Klink
  • Wilton Youth Council Award  Presented to a graduating senior who has demonstrated a genuine respect and sensitivity for others that reaches above and beyond the norm – Jake Zeyher  

HUGH O’BRIAN (HOBY) FOUNDATION AWARD  Presented to a sophomore demonstrating leadership and scholarship potential Kathryn Stein

“YOUNG AMERICAN” LEADERSHIP AWARD  Presented to a senior for outstanding citizenship and academic excellence – Zachary Muraskin 

DAR GOOD CITIZEN AWARD  Presented to a senior for exemplary citizenship and service to school and community – Josh Darkwah 

WALTER R.T. SMITH STUDENT HISTORIAN AWARD given by The Wilton Historical Society  Presented to a senior for outstanding achievement and interest in history and a record of community service – Dalton DiCamillo    

FAIRFIELD COUNTY BANK SCHOLARSHIP AWARD  Presented to a senior whose good character is exemplified by service to the community – Nicholas Sheehan      

WILTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SCHOLARSHIP AWARD Presented to a senior who demonstrates academic achievement and community service – Maden Herve

GREGORY AND ADAMS AWARD  Presented to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, character, and achievement in the WHS Mock Trial Club – Sadie Farnworth

ROTARY CLUB OF WILTON “SERVICE ABOVE SELF” AWARDS Presented to two seniors who have reached out to help other students or the greater community  Megha Gupta and Rishabh Raniwala     

KIWANIS CLUB OF WILTON COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD Presented to the graduating WHS Key Club member who best exemplifies the core values, mission, and character of the Kiwanis and Key Club International organizations, as a leader and example of selfless service to their school and broader Wilton community – Megha Gupta     

GEORGETOWN LIONS CLUB FRANK A. CLARK SCHOLARSHIP Presented to a senior who is engaged in community service and will attend a college or university in Connecticut  – Anna Sherman

WILTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT JOHN J. CAHILL AWARD  Presented for outstanding community service – Megha Gupta  

WILTON WOMAN’S CLUB ELIZABETH STERNAD SCHOLARSHIP Presented for outstanding community service, strong character, and leadership – Kelsey Rhodes  

THE WILTON FAMILY YMCA AWARD  Presented to seniors who have demonstrated values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility to young people  Katherine Ginsburg, Maden Herve, John Kauffman, Ryan Kauffman, Nicole Saxon, Carter Siegel and Dante Stella 

WILTON REPUBLICAN TOWN COMMITTEE LINCOLN SCHOLARSHIP  To the graduating senior who wrote the most compelling essay in response to this year’s essay question, “What Does it Mean to be a Wiltonian?” – Emma Babashak

THE CANNONDALE CAMPUS SCHOLARSHIP AWARD  For two seniors who plan to pursue an advanced degree in nursing and who possess an innate passion for serving others – Brynn Burke and Teagan Sullivan      

MID-FAIRFIELD COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS SCHOLARSHIP  Presented to a senior for service to the greater community – Erik Lebek   

AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP AWARD  Recognizes seniors who participate in school and community service, show a positive attitude, possess strength of character, and promote citizenship through school and community activities – Alexandra Bartels, Jake Farnworth, Brett Gilman, Amanda Heffernan, Alexander Koutsoukos, Benjamin Leung, Claudia Nanez, Teresa Nobles, James O’Brien, Paula Perez Pelaez, Cole Stephenson, Vignesh Subramanian and Olivia Vitarelli

EXCELLENCE IN EXTRACURRICULARS (EXEC)  Presented to two seniors for their outstanding impact on extracurricular clubs at Wilton High School with their leadership, achievement, and mentorship in their clubs – Jeffrey Huang and Larry Huang

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS PRUDENTIAL SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARD  Presented to a senior who celebrates the spirit of volunteerism both in school and in the community – Jake Zeyher

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS HERFF JONES LEADERSHIP AWARD  Presented to a senior who demonstrates outstanding leadership skills – Sean Purdy

CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS “LEADERSHIP AWARD”  Presented to two seniors for outstanding leadership at Wilton High School – Patrick Burke and Ashleigh Coltman

THE FAIRFIELD COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS “SCHOLAR-LEADER AWARD”  Presented to two seniors who demonstrate excellent scholarship and leadership – Madeline Pennino and Rishabh Raniwala       

CAPSS/SUPERINTENDENT’S AWARD  Presented to two seniors for community service, academic ability, and leadership services to the school and community – Dineth Karunamuni and Niamh McCarthy       

CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF BOARDS OF EDUCATION “STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD”  Presented to two seniors who are recognized leaders at Wilton High School   Emma Kantor and Nishant Wangneo

NICK D. ZINICOLA SCHOLARSHIP  Awarded to a senior who captures the essence of Nick’s spirit and values – Nicholas Sheehan

ROBERT J. JACOBS MEMORIAL AWARD  In appreciation of students who “left their mark” for others to see 

  • Organic Garden ClubEmma Cassell, Sadie Farnworth, Brett Gilman, Alexander Koutsoukos, Anastasia Schroeder, Nishant Wangneo, Eli Grass, Jaime von Bartheld, Christopher Calderone, Drew Clune, Nathaniel DeFeo, Ryan Gilman, Caelah Kennedy, Margaret Palma, Seiji Sahay, Leeland Wilf and Graham Wayland
  • Morning Warrior – Michael Cassara, Josh Darkwah, William Maggio, Jack Mariani, Zachary Muraskin, Brandon Vitarelli, Olivia Vitarelli, Zara Wiest, Jacob Arnowitz, Alexander Cocoros, Kathryn Corrigan, Sebastian Hunt, Michael Lamond, Kevin Latt, Matteo Morello, Ryan Siegel, Luke Barbieri, Joseph Eustace, Ryan Giancola, Jordan Huff, Luke Medalla, Seiji Sahay, Luke Schwartz and Zachary Schwartz  

THE “JACK” AWARD  Given in memory of John A. Sussenguth to a graduating young man and woman who combine scholarship with leadership, who give of self with warmth and friendship, who are accomplished in the arts or athletics and who fulfill these ideals with a joy and zest for life – Connor Burke and Isabel Klink  

THE MELISSA McFADDEN MEMORIAL FUND SCHOLARSHIP    Presented to two seniors who have successfully worked with children with disabilities and intend to pursue this field in the future – Maden Herve and Nicole Saxon 

WHITNEY SHERMAN MEMORIAL AWARD  Presented to a senior who has faced extraordinary challenges with courage and determination, yet maintained a positive outlook and is an inspiration to all – Trisha Mhatre      

MATTHEW M. SHAW MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP  Awarded to a senior who has demonstrated the highest levels of integrity, selflessness and empathy combined with a positive attitude and sincere desire to be helpful to his or her peers – Jake Zeyher  


  • National Merit Commended Students Emma Babashak, Katherine Buse, Devan Flores, Isabel Gouveia, Larry Huang, Navod Jayawardhane, Dineth Karunamuni, Jackson Lent, Justin Lipper, Wictoria Matuk, Zachary Muraskin, Claudia Nanez, Noah Sackowitz, Avi Sardana, Alexander Schestag and Nishant Wangneo
  • National Merit Finalists – Ashleigh Coltman, Maden Herve, Jeffrey Huang, Alexander Koutsoukos, Rishabh Raniwala and Vignesh Subramanian
  • National Merit Scholarship – Rishabh Raniwala