On Thursday morning, May 25, 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 WHS principal, Dr. Robert O’Donnell)

  • Brandeis – outstanding student committed to social action and Civic engagement:  Michael McElroy
  • Brown – exhibits excellent verbal and written communication skills:  Morgan McCormick
  • College of Holy Cross – exceptional academic achievement:  Emily Torkelsen
  • Columbia – outstanding academic achievement (Presented by Don Schels)Kyle Maatallah
  • Columbia University School of Engineering – outstanding scholarship in math and science:  Albert Wei
  • Cornell – demonstrates the Cornell spirit by showing an awareness of cultural diversity while being an excellent student, good citizen and innovative thinker (Presented by Matt Hepfer):  Jonah Hirsch
  • Dartmouth – outstanding academic scholarship, strong character and positive contributions to school community (Presented by Steve Bell) Andrew Noonan
  • Denison – proven record of academic achievement and an interest in English literature, creative writing or poetry, and committed to service within the school and community:  Duncan Vogel
  • Eastman School of Music – outstanding accomplishment and contribution to the music department (Presented by Marty Meade) Katherine Barbour
  • Fairfield – outstanding scholarship with concern for others and a commitment to school and community (Presented by Rusty Hurd) Eleanor Hoch
  • Gettysburg – academic achievement in American history:  Sophia Kammerman
  • Harvard – outstanding academic scholarship (Presented by Freda Boguchwal):  Cameron Berg
  • Mount Holyoke – outstanding academic scholarship (Presented by Marie Aspinwall):  Cara Kilmartin
  • Randolph – academic achievement and a leader outside of the classroom:  Andrew Beecher
  • St. Lawrence – academic achievement and significant commitment to community service:  Ashleigh Hawthorne
  • Saint Michael’s – academic achievement with a social conscience:  Nicole Case and Kevin Connolly
  • Salem – outstanding achievement in the classroom, active involvement in quality high school activities and displays       exceptional character and commitment to the community:  Ishani Shah
  • Smith – outstanding academic scholarship and commitment to making a difference:  Sophia Kaplan
  • Trinity – outstanding achievement in English (Presented by Steve Sobolewski):  John Erardi
  • University of Chicago – outstanding student, visible in school and in community with a lively mind:  Tor Aronson
  • University of Michigan – outstanding achievement in creative writing:  Ryan Ettie
  • University of Virginia – well rounded student representing the Jeffersonian ideals of scholarship, leadership and citizenship:  Adriana Curtis
  • Vassar – demonstrated excellence in the humanities:  Eve Ogdon
  • Wellesley – exceptional academic scholarship, character while making significant contributions to school or community:  Jessica Highland
  • Yale – outstanding academic scholarship:  Michael Wallace

GOVERNOR’S SCHOLARS OF CONNECTICUT FOR 2017:  Thirty scholars from CT selected. (Presented by Dr. O’Donnell):  Michael Wallace

2017 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR:   Three scholars from CT and 161 students from across the U.S. were selected. (Presented by Dr. O’Donnell)Jackson Walker

DELTA KAPPA GAMMA BOOK AWARD:  Presented to a junior looking toward pursuing a degree in education. (Presented by Mr. Schels):  Madison Paradis

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 Karen Birck):  Eva Greco

PTSA BOOK AWARDS:  Presented to seniors who have demonstrated the highest quality of performance in specific subject areas. (Presented by PTSA President Savet Constantine, Don Schels and the instructional leaders)

  • English – Adrienne Coslick and Victoria Koenigsberger
  • Business & Tech Ed – Business/Jessica Bartels, Computers/Emily Zimmerman
  • Family & Consumer Science – Child Development/Olivia Stella, Culinary/Christopher Paulino
  • Reading – Dylan Galimi
  • World Languages – French/Elizabeth Healy, Spanish/Victoria Koenigsberger, German/Emily Mitrione, Latin/William Heffernan, Greek/William Heffernan
  • Mathematics – Elizabeth Healy and William Heffernan
  • Theatre Arts & Public Speaking – Theatre Arts/Christopher MacKay, Public Speaking/Phoebe Anderson and Ryan Farinas 
  • Science – Quentin Thouvenot and Stephanie Xie
  • Social Studies – Lucas Adams, Hannah Armstrong, Nicole Babkowski and Perry Seelert
  • Music – Band/Nickia Muraskin and Ravi Siripuram, Choir/Ilissa Davison, Orchestra/Katelyn Aznaran
  • Art – Drawing/Jonathan Gibney, Computer Graphics/Emma Keating, Photography/Kyle Nash, Ceramics/Daniel Gassel, Painting/Catherine Frankel
  • Library Learning Commons – Corey Sabia
  • Physical Education/Health – Shreyas Iyengar and Isabel Meltzer
  • Support Services – Anna Holt and Michael Lindberg
  • School Counseling for Citizenship & Character – Isabella Jones and Jack Wood

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

  • W. Gehret Kleinspehn Science Award:  Presented to two seniors showing strong interest, achievement and enthusiasm in all of the sciences and humanities:  Elizabeth Healy and William Heffernan
  • Society of Women Engineers:  Presented for academic achievement in science and mathematics with an interest in pursuing engineering: Emma Braten and John Gioffre
  • The Wilton Conservation Land Trust Scholarship in memory of Dan Cappel:  Presented to a senior who has demonstrated a commitment to the environment, extracurricular activities, community service and academics. (Presented by Donna Merrill):  Emma Helman
  • The Wilton Conservation Land Trust Book Award:  (Presented by Donna Merrill)Christopher Colbert
  • The Renewable Energy Environmental Science Scholarship Award:  Awarded to two seniors who, through their class work, have 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): Rebecca Poirier and Jackson Wehrli
  • Wilton Garden Club Marybeth Wheeler Memorial Scholarship Award:  Presented to two seniors who have shown an interest and achievement in nature, horticulture, botany or ecology. (Presented by Allison Sanders):  Sara Pollak and Emily Zimmerman


  • Math Contest Honorees (Presented by Stephen Bell):  Chandler Scheurkogel, AMC 12; Jeffrey Huang, AMC 10
  • Fairfield County Math League Top Performers (Presented by Melissa Giovanniello and Christian Willaum):  Adrian DeSimone, Vedika Karandikar, Charles Li, Randolph Ramirez, Rishabh Raniwala, 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:  Vedika Karandikar
  • Northeast Conference Awards:  For excellence in the study of a World Language:  French/Adrienne Coslick, Spanish/Ryan Carlson, German/Alida Schefers, Latin/Erin Bronner, Greek/Erin Bronner
  • CT COLT Poetry Contest Gold Medal:  Niamh McCarthy
  • Association of American Teachers of French:  For outstanding senior in French:  Nickia Muraskin
  • German National Exam Gold Medals:   German 2/Nicholas Ivanov and Nicholas Koleszar, German 3/Robert Killian and Anna Maria Onnerud, German 4/Natalie Ivanov and Connor Roche
  • National Latin Examination Gold Medals:  Latin I/Nicholas Lin, Latin II/Mia Ruefenacht, Latin IV/Erin Bronner
  • National Greek Examination:  Greek I – Purple Ribbon (Perfect Score)/Eleanor Hoch, Alexander Koutsoukos and Mia Ruefenacht; Blue Ribbon (Highest Honors)/Andrew Tsantilas; Greek II – Red Ribbon (High Honors)/Michael McElroy; Attic Tragedy – Red Ribbon (High Honors)/Michael Wallace

CAREER PRACTICUM AWARD:  To a senior who has shown outstanding achievement in Career Practicum (Presented by Lorraine Morlath)Maxwell Weisman

BUSINESS – CSCPA AWARD:  Presented to a senior who has excelled in accounting (Presented by Kathy Soderholm):  Justin Sorbo

NATIONAL ECONOMICS CHALLENGE (Presented by Freda Boguchwal):  David Ricardo Division, 2nd Place Team, CT – Harrison Brandt, Ryan Gabriele, William Santacroce and Brendan Skewis; Adam Smith Division (AP), 4th Place Team, CT – William Heffernan, Cole Lipsky, Justin Sorbo and Michael Wehrli; AP Division, High Individual Score Distinction – Lucas Adams, William Heffernan and Michael Wehrli

REYNOLDS & ROWELLA “STRENGTH IN NUMBERS” SCHOLARSHIP:  For excellence in the study of accounting (Presented by Gregory Pepin)Jessica Bartels and Justin Sorbo

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):  Christopher Paulino

THE JAMES B. WHIPPLE AMERICAN LEGION POST 86 STUDENT AWARDS:  To one senior girl and one senior boy in recognition of the possession of those high qualities of Courage, Honor, Leadership, Patriotism, Scholarship and Service and a willingness to help others on their own initiative. (Presented by Post 86 Adjutant Thomas Moore):  Brianna Meehan and Zachary Melo

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 Don Schels):  Vedika Karandikar

WILTON YOUTH COUNCIL AWARDS:  (Presented by Vanessa Elias)

  • 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:  Kaitlin McNamara and Kaitlin Zappaterrini
  • Wilton Youth Council Award:  Presented to two graduating seniors who have demonstrated a genuine respect and sensitivity for others that reaches above and beyond the norm:  Hannah Armstrong and James Mannix

HUGH O’BRIEN FOUNDATION AWARD:  Presented to a sophomore demonstrating leadership and scholarship potential. (Presented by Don Schels)Elizabeth Yoon

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

D.A.R. GOOD CITIZEN AWARD:  Presented to a senior for exemplary citizenship and service to school and community. (Presented by Bob O’Donnell)Jackson Walker

WALTER R.T. SMITH STUDENT HISTORIAN AWARD:  Given by The Wilton Historical Society and presented to a senior for outstanding achievement and interest in history and a record of community service. (Presented by Leslie Nolan)Nina Mellin

MID-FAIRFIELD COUNTY BOARD OF REALTORS COMMUNITY SERVICE SCHOLARSHIP:  Presented to a senior for service to the Wilton community. (Presented by Elizabeth Boscaino):  Sara Pollak

FAIRFIELD COUNTY BANK SCHOLARSHIP AWARD:  Presented to two seniors whose good character is exemplified by service to the community. (Presented by Carol Johnson)Hannah Armstrong and Ian Filaski

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

GREGORY AND ADAMS AWARD:  Presented to two seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, character and achievement in the WHS Mock Trial Club. (Presented by Matthew Mason):  Michaela Avallone and Isabel Bouvier

WILTON ROTARY CLUB “SERVICE ABOVE SELF” AWARDS:   Presented to two seniors who have reached out to help other students or the greater community. (Presented by William Glass and Carol Johnson):  Meaghan Downey and Samuel Muirhead

GEORGETOWN LIONS CLUB FRANK A. CLARK SCHOLARSHIP:  Presented to a senior who will attend a Connecticut State University and is engaged in community service.  (Presented by Bob Mecozzi):  Jack Wood

WILTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT JOHN J. CAHILL AWARD:  This year, presented to two seniors for outstanding community service whose fathers have given of themselves. (Presented by Bill Vasale)Sarah Nachbar and Isaac Reeves

WILTON WOMAN’S CLUB ELIZABETH STERNAD SCHOLARSHIP:  Presented for outstanding community service, strong character and leadership. (Presented by Lorraine Winsor) Claire Burke, Meaghan Downey and Jessica Wiener

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):  Jessica Bartels, Meaghan Downey, Erynn Fray, Paige Gladstein, Elizabeth Healy, Emma Kauffeld, William Suchy and Alessandra Uriarte

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 Don Schels)Aaron Breene, Adrienne Coslick, Pippa Gosden, Elizabeth Healy, William Heffernan, Shreyas Iyengar, Nicholas Johnson, Isabella Jones, Zachary Melo, Corey Sabia, Perry Seelert, Ravi Siripuram, Ashley Vitarelli, Elizabeth Ward and Sage Zunda

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 Koenigsberger

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

CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS “LEADERSHIP AWARD”:  Presented to two seniors for outstanding leadership at Wilton High School. (Presented by Bob O’Donnell):  Julia Vitarelli and Brandon Zheng

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):  Brooke Amodei and Jackson Walker

CAPSS/SUPERINTENDENT’S AWARD  Presented to two seniors for community service, academic ability and leadership services to the school and community. (Presented by Bob O’Donnell):  Ian Sanders and Stephanie Xie

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):  Emma Braten and Samuel Muirhead

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):  Erin Bronner

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)Samuel Muirhead

DR. ROBERT J. JACOBS MEMORIAL AWARD:  In appreciation of students who “left their mark” for others to see.  (Presented by Bob O’Donnell)Peaceworks Club, Yellow Dress Performance – Teen Dating Violence Awareness – Kaitlin Zappaterrini, Kaitlin McNamara, Garavi Angreji, Elizabeth MacDonald, Haley MacDonald, Christopher MacKay, Nickia Muraskin, Daniella Chavez, Allison Farago, Johanna Griep and Benjamin Schmitt

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 Don Schels):  Henry Strmecki and Rebecca Wistreich

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):  Paige Gladstein

WHITNEY SHERMAN MEMORIAL AWARD:  This year, presented to two seniors who have faced extraordinary challenges with courage and determination, yet maintained a positive outlook and are an inspiration to all. (Presented by the Sherman Family)Sara Pollak and Alida Schefers

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)Rebecca Poirier

NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM (Presented by Dr. O’Donnell and Mr. Schels)

  • National Merit Commended Students – Isabel Bouvier, Erin Bronner, Scott Brown, Ryan Carlson, Adrienne Coslick, Ian Filaski, Vedika Karandikar, Elizabeth Kenneally, Victoria Koenigsberger, Haley MacDonald, Ryan Purdy, Alison Purvis, Randolph Ramirez, Grace Schaller, Alida Schefers, Ravi Siripuram, Jackson Walker and Rachel Waters
  • National Merit Finalists – Elizabeth Healy, William Heffernan, Nicholas Johnson, Nickia Muraskin, Stephanie Xie and Brandon Zheng
  • National Merit Boston University Scholarship – Nicholas Johnson