The Rotary Club of Wilton held its 38th annual Celebration Dinner last week, to celebrate both another year that the club contributed significant volunteer time and financial support to local organization as well the contributions of one community member in particular.

During the dinner, the club presented Wilton Public Schools‘ superintendent, Dr. Kevin Smith, with its Paul Harris Fellow Award, recognizing “the highest professional, ethical standards; service toward others; and goodwill toward mankind.”

Presenting the award to Smith was Carol Johnson, vice president and Wilton branch manager of Fairfield County Bank. She alluded to the pressure and attention Smith gets in his position, often facing criticism for one of the toughest jobs in Wilton.

“Our recipient of this year’s award demonstrates the very tenet of Service Above Self, which is the foundation of Rotary. His passion and energy, which are under constant microscopic scrutiny, are proof positive that his devotion to his work is not simply his vocation, but his avocation,” she said in her introduction.

Johnson added that Smith has had a “significant impact” on Wilton’s schools and community, and listed “a few” of his accomplishments since joining the district at the helm in 2014, on a list she said was “too long to enumerate”:

  • “reimagined the vision, and the strategic plan
  • “implemented shared service agreements with the Town of Wilton in Finance and Facilities
  • “implemented a ready-access 1-1 digital learning program
  • “added over 15 new courses at Wilton High School
  • “introduced a balanced scorecard to monitor achievement
  • “revamped curriculum and instructional support to raise achievement and to close the achievement gap
  • “implemented TV studios in all schools, and over the last two years Wilton Public Schools have earned 20 Area 9 Cable Council awards

“And in 2019, alone, Wilton Public Schools were:

  • “named Library Media Program of the Year
  • “honored with the Best Communities for Music Education Designation from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation
  • “Wilton High School was awarded the College Success Award by Great Schools, and was ranked 9th out of 228 high schools in Connecticut, according to U.S. News and World report
  • “And Dr. Smith was awarded the Connecticut Association of School Librarians’ “Administrator of the Year” award for his outstanding support of Library Learning.”

She added that Smith “constantly strives to provide the highest quality programs, which make our Wilton Schools the cornerstone of our community.”

The Rotary Club of Wilton is one of the most generous service organizations in Wilton. Since 1982, Wilton Rotary has raised and returned over $750,000 to the Wilton community and outside organizations.

Carol Johnson was also awarded for significant contributions to Rotary Club.

During the dinner, the club also installed new officers, as outgoing president Christene Freedman passed the gavel to incoming president Pam Brown. Other officers include the president-elect, Susan Goldman; secretary, Carol Johnson; and Andy Mais as treasurer.