On Thursday morning, May 26, Wilton High School recognized several students for their academic achievements and community contributions during the annual Academic Awards Ceremony.

For the most part, the Academic Awards Ceremony focuses primarily on graduating seniors. There are juniors who win the first set of College Book Awards, but the majority of the ceremony recognizes seniors. Among the awards and scholarships are those bestowed by various Wilton businesses and service organizations, as well as those given in memory of Wilton individuals. There are also commendations for excellence in areas of study.

Eligibility for some of the awards often requires good grades and extracurricular participation as well as the submission of a well-written essay. The National Merit Finalists Scholarship winners are recognized for their high scores on the PSAT exams.

Among the award recipients were:

COLLEGE BOOK AWARDS:  Presented to juniors who show outstanding academic promise. (Presented by Bob O’Donnell)

  • Brandeis – outstanding student committed to social action and civic engagement:  Emma Braten
  • Brown – exhibits excellent verbal and written communication skills:  Isabel Bouvier
  • Columbia – outstanding academic achievement  (Presented by Don Schels):  Elizabeth Healy
  • Columbia University School of Engineering – outstanding scholarship in math and science:  Ravi Siripuram
  • Cornell – demonstrates the Cornell spirit by showing an awareness of cultural diversity and being an excellent student, good citizen and innovative thinker  (Presented by Matt Hepfer):  Shreyas Iyengar
  • Dartmouth – outstanding academic scholarship, strong character and positive contributions to school community:  Victoria Koenigsberger
  • Denison – proven record of academic achievement and an interest in pursuing the study of English literature, creative writing or poetry, and committed to service within the school and community:  Erin Bronner
  • Fairfield – outstanding scholarship with concern for others and a commitment to school and community  (Presented by Chip Gawle):  Elizabeth Kenneally
  • Gettysburg – academic achievement in American history:  Perry Seelert
  • Harvard – outstanding academic scholarship  (Presented by Freda Boguchwal):  Brandon Zheng
  • College of Holy Cross – exceptional academic achievement:  William Heffernan
  • Mount Holyoke – outstanding academic scholarship  (Presented by Marie Aspinwall) Nickia Muraskin
  • Oberlin – outstanding achievement in English:  Rachel Waters
  • Princeton Alumni Association of Fairfield County – outstanding academic scholarship  (Presented by Freda Boguchwal):  Vedika Karandikar
  • Randolph – academic achievement and a leader outside of the classroom:  Mackenzie Holmgren
  • St. Lawrence – academic achievement and significant commitment to community service:  Jessica Wiener 
  • Saint Michael’s – academic achievement with a social conscience:  Paige Gladstein and Carsten Langholm
  • Smith – outstanding academic scholarship and commitment to making a difference:  Adrienne Coslick 
  • Trinity – outstanding achievement in English  (Presented by Steve Sobolewski):  Michaela Avallone    
  • Vassar – demonstrated excellence in the humanities:  Grace Schaller
  • Wellesley – exceptional academic scholarship, character and made significant contributions to school or community     (Presented by Laura Schwemm):  Alida Schefers
  • Yale – outstanding academic scholarship:  Stephanie Xie 
  • University of Chicago – outstanding student, visible in school and in community with a lively mind:  Jackson Walker
  • University of Michigan – outstanding achievement in creative writing:  Julia Vitarelli
  • University of Virginia – well rounded student representing the Jeffersonian ideals of scholarship, leadership and citizenship:  Ryan Carlson

DELTA KAPPA GAMMA BOOK AWARD  Presented to a junior looking toward pursuing a degree in education.  (Presented by Rich Sanzo)Lauren Hanny

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS EDNA JONES MEMORIAL BOOK AWARD  Recognizing a female member of the junior class who has demonstrated interest in government.  (Presented by Heather Wilcauskas)Rebecca Wistreich    

PTSA BOOK AWARDS  Presented to seniors who have demonstrated the highest quality of performance in specific subject areas.  (Presented by PTSA President Shamala Fazio, Rich Sanzo and the Instructional Leaders)

  • English – Margaret Collias   
  • Business & Tech EdBusiness/Bianca DiIorio, Computers/Ashley Li and Ryan Walsh, Video/Quentin Burns
  • Family & Consumer ScienceChild Development/Eilis Garcia, Culinary/Joseph Wallace and Benjamin Zucker
  • Reading – Isabella Sheppard-Pantoliano
  • World LanguagesFrench/Mariana Lebrija, Spanish/Jessica Kobsa, German/Lauren Wyman, Latin/Ashley Li, Greek/Katherine Kenneally
  • Mathematics – Rachel Pak
  • Theatre Arts & Public SpeakingTheatre Arts/Daniel Glynn, Public Speaking/Bridget Dwyer and Caleb LeVance
  • Science – Ashley Li, James Mortensen and Matthew Ravichandran
  • Social Studies – Caraline Higgins, Taylor Ingerman, Jillian Lauricella and Patrick Moore
  • Music – Band/James Mortensen and Timothy Sullivan, Choir/Caraline Higgins, Orchestra/Shannon Murphy
  • Art – Drawing/Sarah Perry, Computer Graphics/Natalie Schiavone, Photography/Sarah Moore
  • Library Learning Commons – Katherine Kenneally  
  • Physical Education/Health – Patrick Moore and Ryan Moore
  • Support Services – Chloe Kouvaris
  • School Counseling for Citizenship & Character – Chloe Kouvaris



SCIENCE AWARDS  Presented for distinguished contributions and accomplishments in the field of science.  (Presented by Jim Lucey)

  • Gehret Kleinspehn Science Award Presented to a senior showing strong interest, achievement and enthusiasm in all of the sciences and humanities:  Ilana Olin
  • Society of Women Engineers  Presented for academic achievement in science and mathematics and interest in pursuing engineering:  Jessica Huffman and Joseph Saldutti
  • The Wilton Conservation Land 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.  (Presented by Bruce Beebe):  Celine Orabi
  • The Wilton Conservation Land Trust Book Award  (Presented by Bruce Beebe):  Emma Helman
  • The Renewable Energy Environmental Science Scholarship Award  Awarded to a senior who through their class work 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.  (Presented by Ron French):  Alexandra Troy
  • 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.  (Presented by Nan Merolla):  Jessica Kobsa


Math Contest Honorees  (Presented by Stephen Bell)

  • Brandon Zheng – AMC 12
  • Duncan Vogel – AMC 10
  • Fairfield County Math League Top Performers  (Presented by Melissa Giovanniello and Christian Willaum) Vedika Karandikar, Charles Li, Charles Owens, Rachel Pak, Randolph Ramirez, Ravi Siripuram and Brandon Zheng

WORLD LANGUAGE AWARDS  (Presented by Scott Webster)

  • International Club Award  For outstanding service to the International Club and for helping to bring cultural diversity and understanding to the students of WHS:  Shayna Goldberg
  • Northeast Conference Awards  For excellence in the study of a World Language:  French/Grace Kelleher, Spanish/Ilana Olin, German/Benjamin Allbee, Latin/Jessica Kobsa, Greek/Mary Lynch
  • CT COLT Poetry Contest Gold Medals – Ancient Greek 2/Erin Bronner, Japanese 1/Alida Schefers, American Sign Language/Alida Schefers   
  • Association of American Teachers of French  For outstanding senior in French:  Elliot Connors
  • German National Exam Gold Medals – Cristiana Burger, Davis Johnson, Alex Killian and Anna Maria Onnerud    
  • National Latin Examination Gold Medals – Latin I/Mia Ruefenacht, Latin III/Erin Bronner and William Heffernan, Latin IV/Katherine Kenneally and Jessica Kobsa
  • National Greek Examination High Honors – Beginning Attic Greek/Michael McElroy, Intermediate Attic Greek/Michael Wallace, Homeric Greek/Michael Wallace
  • Medusa Mythology Exam Gold Medal – Albert Cai

BUSINESS – CSCPA AWARD  To a senior who has excelled in accounting.  (Presented by Amy Korn)Bianca DiIorio

NATIONAL ECONOMICS CHALLENGE, David Ricardo Division, 2nd Place, Connecticut  (Presented by Freda Boguchwal) Nikhil Fazio, Katherine Kirchof and Isaac Satterwhite

REYNOLDS & ROWELLA “STRENGTH IN NUMBERS” SCHOLARSHIP  Presented for excellence in the study of accounting.  (Presented by Gregory Pepin):  Bianca DiIorio and John Gedney  

CAPTAIN SAM POLIS AMERICAN LEGION POST 86 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP  In recognition of academic achievement among seniors pursuing a technical career.  (Presented by Post 86 Adjutant Thomas Moore) Millennia Figueroa    

FAIRFIELD COUNTY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARD   Presented to a senior who exemplifies excellence in education, demonstrates leadership and is involved in extracurricular activities, including community service.  (Presented by Rich Sanzo):   Grace Kelleher


  • Peer Outreach Leadership Award  Presented to two outstanding seniors whose efforts in peer outreach have made a significant impact on making the high school a more caring environment:  Victoria Baggio and Ilana Olin
  • 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:  Alexandra Troy      

HUGH O’BRIEN FOUNDATION AWARD  Presented to a sophomore demonstrating leadership and scholarship potential.  (Presented by Rich Sanzo)Cameron Berg    

“YOUNG AMERICAN” LEADERSHIP AWARD  Presented to a senior for demonstrated outstanding citizenship and academic excellence.  (Presented by Captain William Glass, US Navy Reserve (ret.)):  Maya Seshan 

DAR GOOD CITIZEN AWARD  Presented to a senior for exemplary citizenship and service to school and community.  (Presented by Mary Bendix):   Griffin King

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. (Presented by Leslie Nolan):  Isabel Saltzman     

MID-FAIRFIELD COUNTY BOARD OF REALTORS COMMUNITY SERVICE SCHOLARSHIP  Presented to a senior for academic achievement combined with service to the Wilton community.  (Presented by Peg Koellmer)Jeromy DiGiacomo       

FAIRFIELD COUNTY BANK SCHOLARSHIP AWARD  Presented to a senior whose good character is exemplified by service to the community. (Presented by Carol Johnson):   Stephanie Walsh     

WILTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SCHOLARSHIP AWARD Presented to a senior who demonstrates academic achievement and community service.  (Presented by Carol Johnson):   Victoria Baggio   

GREGORY AND ADAMS AWARD  Presented to two seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, character and achievement in the WHS Mock Trial Club.  (Presented by Susan Goldman):  Theodore Molina and Michael Rowland 

ROTARY CLUB OF WILTON “SERVICE ABOVE SELF” AWARDS Presented to two seniors who have reached out to help other students or the greater community.  (Presented by Frank Spencer):  Claire McCullough and Theodore Molina

GEORGETOWN LIONS CLUB FRANK A. CLARK SCHOLARSHIP Presented to two seniors who will attend a Connecticut State University and are engaged in community service.  (Presented by Jim Kleiber):  Paul Luchansky and Harold Wendorff     

WILTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT JOHN J. CAHILL AWARD  Presented for outstanding community service.  (Presented by Bill Vasale):   Nicole Khanna

WILTON WOMAN’S CLUB ELIZABETH STERNAD SCHOLARSHIP Presented for outstanding community service, strong character and leadership.  (Presented by Shelley Sternad Dempsey):   Victoria Baggio and Jessica Kobsa 

THE WILTON FAMILY YMCA AWARD  Presented to seniors who have demonstrated values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility to young people.  (Presented by Bob McDowell):  Victoria Baggio, Anna Clark, Rebecca Hersch, Emma Holmquist, Rachel Pak and Robert Reif       

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.  (Presented by Rich Sanzo)Evelyn Caty, Amanda Craven, Elizabeth Craven, Shannon Golden, Ashley LiJai Nagpal, Kellyann O’Donnell, Matthew Ravichandran, Zachary Verrilli, Ryan Walsh and Katherine Williams

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.  (Presented by Bob O’Donnell):  Victoria Baggio

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS HERFF JONES LEADERSHIP AWARD  Presented to a senior who demonstrates outstanding leadership skills.  (Presented by Bob O’Donnell):  Dean Kim          

CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS “LEADERSHIP AWARD”  Presented to two seniors for outstanding leadership at Wilton High School.  (Presented by Bob O’Donnell):  Alexander Scaperotta and Alexandra Troy     

THE FAIRFIELD COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL PRINCIPALS “SCHOLAR-LEADER AWARD”  Presented to two seniors who demonstrate excellent scholarship and leadership. (Presented by Bob O’Donnell):  Maya Seshan and Michael Williams       

CAPSS/SUPERINTENDENT’S AWARD  Presented to two seniors for community service, academic ability and leadership services to the school and community.  (Presented by Kevin Smith):  Cole Hawthorne and Ilana Olin       

CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF BOARDS OF EDUCATION “STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD”  Presented to two seniors who are recognized leaders at Wilton High School.  (Presented by Bruce Likly):   Dean Kim and Jessica Kobsa    

CHIP GAWLE SCHOLARSHIP funded by Ambler Trust  Presented to two seniors for superior leadership, scholarship and dedication to the WHS Band.  (Presented by Bob O’Donnell):  Elliot Connors and Rachel Pak

THE PAM COLE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP  Presented to a deserving senior who demonstrates a creative passion in fashion/art design and who plans to further their creative education with a constructive post-graduate plan.  (Presented by Karin Venditti):  Kellyann O’Donnell

NICK D. ZINICOLA SCHOLARSHIP  Awarded to a senior who captures the essence of Nick’s spirit and values.  (Presented by Nisia Todd and Mr. and Mrs. John Zinicola):   David Schneidman

DR. ROBERT J. JACOBS MEMORIAL AWARD In appreciation of students who “left their mark” for others to see. (Presented by Bob O’Donnell):   Project Change – Student Design Team, School Climate – Dylan Bayer, Andrea Benalcazar, Emma Braten, Yuhe Cai, Katherine Carpiniello, Joel Darkwah, Nicholas Davatzes, Jeromy DiGiacomo, Cole Hawthorne, Dean Kim, Griffin King, Klaudia Kotonski, John Maggio, Jai Nagpal, Jacob Oliver, Celine Orabi, Shriya Pathania, Benjamin Pellicano, Sophie Phelan, Katherine Reid, Sommer Rogg, Noelle Roseman, Brennen Ryan, Alida Schefers, Emma Vail, Jackson Walker, Ryan Walsh, Essence Williams, Connor Wyman and Stephanie Xie      

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.  (Presented by Rich Sanzo):   Elliot Connors and Riley Wadehra  

THE MELISSA McFADDEN MEMORIAL FUND SCHOLARSHIP    Presented to a senior who has successfully worked with children with disabilities and intends to pursue this field in the future.  (Presented by Kim Murphy, Christina Foley and Jack and Deborah McFadden)Jack Ciaccio

WHITNEY SHERMAN MEMORIAL AWARD  Presented to a senior who has been confronted with an extraordinary challenge, yet maintained a positive outlook and is an inspiration to all.  (Presented by The Sherman Family)Caelan Webb      

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.  (Presented by Wallace and Christie Shaw) Griffin King  

NATIONAL HISPANIC RECOGNITION PROGRAM  (Presented by Bob O’Donnell)  National Hispanic Scholar Mariana Lebrija

NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM  (Presented by Bob O’Donnell and Rich Sanzo)

  • National Merit Commended Students:  Albert Cai, Kevin Chabrier, Kevin Collins, Elliot Connors, Andrew Floyd, Shannon Golden, Jack Heinemann, Christina Holmgren, Jessica Huffman, Daniel Jensen, Katherine Kenneally, Dean Kim, Jessica Kobsa, Mariana Lebrija, Ashley Li, Claire McCullough, Theodore Molina, Andrew Murphy, Riley Nichols, Ilana Olin, Matthew Ravichandran, Joseph Saldutti, Catherine Sanna, Alexander Scaperotta, Maya Seshan and Jacob Zellmer
  • National Merit Finalists:  Rachel Pak and Derek Thomas
  • National Merit University of Wisconsin-Madison Scholarship:  Derek Thomas