On Thursday morning, May 18Wilton 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.

Often generating the most applause are the announcements of students who will be attending the United States Military Academy. This year two students were appointed: Jake Enman and Connor Murphy.

In addition, WHS Principal Dr. Robert O’Donnell announced that WHS senior Avni Gupta was awarded a National Merit Scholarship, and WHS senior Lukas Koutsoukos was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar.

The following is a complete list of awards presented at Thursday’s ceremony.

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: Thomas Fletcher
  • Brown — combines academic excellence with clarity in written and spoken expression (Presented by Adam Laliberte): Yana Giannoutsos
  • University of Chicago — outstanding student, visible in school and in community with a lively mind: Arian Shah
  • Columbia — outstanding academic achievement (Presented by Linda Ciliberti, and Kelly Holtz): Saniya Shah
  • Columbia University School of Engineering — outstanding scholarship in math and science: Jack Levanthal
  • 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)Arjun Patel
  • Dartmouth — outstanding academic scholarship, strong character, and positive contributions to the school community (Presented by Lorien Saumier) — Jessica Fang
  • Endicott — Exhibit strong leadership skills inside and outside the classroom.  Have a desire for hands-on learning through internships and experimental learning: Illeas Paschalidas
  • Gettysburg — academic achievement in American history: Sayuki Layne 
  • Harvard — outstanding academic scholarship (Presented by Michelle Cota): Shayna Wilson-Spiro
  • University of Michigan — outstanding achievement in creative writing (Presented by Cheryl Watson): Sienna Magazino
  • Princeton Alumni Association of Fairfield County — outstanding academic scholarship (Presented by Freda Boguchwal): Shawn Gregory
  • Sacred Heart — academic achievement while contributing to one’s community (Presented by Kevin Slater)Stephanie Tang
  • St. Lawrence — academic achievement and significant commitment to community service: Ryan Cohen
  • Saint Michael’s — academic achievement with a social conscience: Jonathan Andriuk and Grace Biondo
  • Smith — outstanding academic scholarship and commitment to making a difference (Presented by Karen Birck): Grace DiBuono-Krafick
  • Suffolk — exemplifies a commitment to education and the school community: Sophia DeStefano
  • Trinity — outstanding achievement in English (Presented by Steve Sobolewski): Kate Rusin
  • Tulane — embodies Tulane’s motto of “Not for one’s self, but for one’s own,” and has demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, and public service: Ethan Lipper
  • University of Virginia — well-rounded student representing the Jeffersonian ideals of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship: Rohil Jain
  • Yale — outstanding academic scholarship: Anant Srinvasan

APPOINTMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY (Presented by Bob O’Donnell)Jake Enman and Connor Murphy

SERVICE TO AMERICA AWARD The Drum Hill DAR Service Award is given to the few seniors who are committed to entering a service academy or an ROTC program at their university, following high school graduation. This dedication to serving the country through college and a commitment afterward is an outstanding example of the focus on education, history and its preservation, citizenship, and patriotism for which the DAR stands. (Presented by Nan Merolla)Reina Calafell, Jake Enman, Harish Subramanian, Connor Murphy 

THE ROB MAHER SCHOLARSHIP — Presented to a quiet friend, kind and well-rounded; someone who willingly tries new activities, especially in the arts, and who just as enthusiastically shows up for others (Presented by Ceci Maher and Tom Dubin): Lucy Beach

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): Sierra Schattenfield

PTSA BOOK AWARDS — Presented to seniors who have demonstrated the highest quality of performance in specific subject areas (Presented by PTSA member Sue Robins, Associate Principal Brian Keating, and the WHS Instructional Leaders)

  • English (Presented by Michelle Cota and Jim Sheridan)Lukas Koutsoukos and Avni Gupta
  • Career & Technology Education (Applied Arts) (Presented by Caitlin Schmidt) 
    • Business: Advait Maheshwari and Samantha Slough 
    • Media Production (Presented by Maria Breece): Evan McDonnell, Marius Gheorghe, and Jeanette Rosenthal
  • World Languages (Presented by Christine Higgins and Lauren Kantor)  
    • French: Lukas Koutsoukos 
    • Spanish: Avery Samai 
    • German: Emma Porricelli 
    • Latin: Gayathri Kaimal 
    • Greek: Lukas Koutsoukos 
    • American Sign Language: Norah Saumier
  • Mathematics (Presented by Cindy Cherico and Evelyn Sabol)Justine Biersack 
  • Theater Arts (Presented by Heather DeLude)Logan Thompson 
  • School Counseling for Citizenship & Character (Presented by Pamela Scott): Logan Thompson
  • Public Speaking (Presented by Kevin Slater)Isabella Furman and Yana Giannoutsos 
  • Science (Presented by Matt Hoyt): Felix Wimsatt
  • Social Studies (Presented by Dave Wilock)Gayathri Kaimal and Lukas Koutsoukos
  • Music (Presented by Malcolm Karlan) 
    • Band: Connie Gao
    • Choir: Henry Purcell 
    • Orchestra: Sebastien Shaw
  • Art (Presented by Sue Brandt)  
    • Advertising: Griffin Turner 
    • Ceramics: Colton Hall 
    • Computer GraphicsAlexander Dempster 
    • Digital Media: Jenna Soltis 
    • Drawing: Elizabeth DeFeo 
    • Fashion: Lily Wickersham 
    • Painting: Emma Lusignan 
    • Photography: Isabella Mouracade
    • Sculpture: Caroline Yoon
  • Library Learning Commons (Presented by Ken Dunaj): Brandon Charles 
  • Physical Education/Health (Presented by Kelly Holtz): Maddie Mosquera and Jamie Parrotta
  • Support Services (Presented by Joy Lawrence): Amelia Corrigan

SCIENCE AWARDS — Presented for distinguished contributions and accomplishments in the field of science (Presented by Matt Hoyt)

  • W. Gehret Kleinspehn Science Award — Presented to a senior showing strong interest, achievement, and enthusiasm in all of the sciences and humanities: Lukas Koutsoukos
  • Society of Women Engineers Award — Presented to two seniors for academic achievement in science and mathematics with an interest in pursuing engineering: Henry Rowley and Mia Cawley
  • The Wilton Land Conservation 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 David McCarthy)Jill Roberts
  • The Wilton Land Conservation Trust Book Award (Presented by David McCarthy)Ethan Lipper and Anna Morello
  • 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 Nancy Greeley)Lucy Corry

MATHEMATICS AWARDS (Presented by Melissa Giovanniello and Christian Willaum) 

  • Math Contest Honorees  
    • AMC 12 top scoreSaaransh Khandelwal and Arian Shah
    • AMC 10 top score: Aiden Sharp
  • Fairfield County Math League Award Recipients: Saaransh Khandelwal, Lukas Koutsoukos, Jack Levanthal, Advait Maheshwari, Arjun Patel, Arian Shah, Aiden Sharp, and Sebastien Shaw
    • Junior Top Scorer in Fairfield County: Arian Shah
    • Junior Top Scorer in CT state meet: Arian Shah
    • Sophomore Top Scorer in Fairfield County: Aiden Sharp
    • Sophomore Top Scorer in CT state meet: Aiden Sharp

WORLD LANGUAGE AWARDS — (Presented by Christine Higgins and Lauren Kantor)

  • World Language Scholar Award — presented 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: Lukas Koutsoukos
  • AATF Outstanding Senior in French: Lukas Koutsoukos
  • German Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany Award: For outstanding achievement in the study of German language and literature: Cindy Rodriguez-Jimenez
  • National German Exam Gold MedalistsMatthew Barymow and Daniel Zoubarev
  • CT State Latin Exam Gold Medalists (summa cum laude)
    • Latin I: Quint Furman
    • Latin III: Sydney Gow
    • Latin IV: Nick Huberty, George Huberty, Gayathri Kaimal, Aaron Griffin, and Dylan Bernheim
  • National Latin Exam Gold Medalists (summa cum laude)
    • Latin I: Quint Furman
    • Latin II: Milan Petrosyan, Caleb Sharp, Aiden Sharp, and Imran Mazzarulli 
    • Latin IV: George Huberty

G. EVANS HUBBARD HISTORY ESSAY AWARD — Presented by the Wilton Historical Society to two WHS students to recognize excellence in historical scholarship and writing. Named for one of Wilton’s preeminent early historians, the award honors the students whose essays best demonstrate the use of original research and promote the relevance of historical study. (Presented by Nick Foster): Ryan Cohen and Daphne Mills-Rentz  

NATIONAL ECONOMICS CHALLENGE (AP Division) — (Presented by Freda Boguchwal)

  • Council for Economic Education Individual Scores of High Distinction: Jackson Duncan, Thomas Welch, Akhilesh Nareddy, Charles Johnson, Nicholas Tournas, Keerthi Vijay, George Hahn, and Joshua Zheng
  • 2023 Fed Challenge competition (the Economics of Globalization) Keerthi Vijay, Heather Plowright, George Hahn, Vihan Jayawardhane, Jackson Carbonier, Jackson Duncan, Arnav Balaji, and Aditya Mital

CAREER PRACTICUM AWARD — To a senior who has shown outstanding achievement in Career Practicum (Presented by Jennifer Vonella)Sam Valente

CAPTAIN SAM POLIS AMERICAN LEGION POST 86 MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP — In recognition of academic achievement by a senior pursuing a technical career (Presented by Post 86 Adjutant Paul Niche)Caiden Torres 

THE JAMES B. WHIPPLE AMERICAN LEGION POST 86 STUDENT AWARD — 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 (Presented by Post 86 Adjutant Paul Niche)Natasha Dinshaw and Harish Subramanian

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 (Presented by Brian Keating)Cindy Rodriguez-Jimenez

WILTON YOUTH COUNCIL AWARDS — (Presented by Ginna Yerrall)

  • 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: George Hahn
  • Wilton Youth Council Award — Presented to a graduating senior who has demonstrated genuine respect and sensitivity for others that reaches above and beyond the norm: Avery Samai 

“YOUNG AMERICAN” LEADERSHIP AWARD — Presented to a senior for outstanding citizenship and academic excellence (Presented by Paul Niche on behalf of the Western Connecticut Military Officers Association): Mia Cawley

HUGH O’BRIAN (HOBY) FOUNDATION AWARD — Presented to a sophomore demonstrating leadership and scholarship potential (Presented by Brian Keating): Madeline Shukovsky

D.A.R. GOOD CITIZEN AWARD — Presented to a senior for exemplary citizenship and service to school and community (Presented by Nan Merolla)Lucy Beach

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 Nick Foster): Gayathri Kaimal

GREGORY AND ADAMS AWARD — Presented to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, character, and achievement in the WHS Mock Trial Club (Presented by Dr. Robert O’Donnell): Gayathri Kaimal and Phillip Shim

FAIRFIELD COUNTY BANK SCHOLARSHIP AWARD — Presented to a senior whose good character is exemplified by service to the community. (Presented by Carol Johnson)Vihan Jayawardhane

WILTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SCHOLARSHIP AWARD — Presented to a senior who demonstrates academic achievement and community service (Presented by Carol Johnson): Avni Gupta

THE WILTON ROTARY CLUB BUD BOUCHER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP —  Presented to two seniors who have best exemplified “service above self” as demonstrated by their commitment to volunteerism for their school and for the Wilton community (Presented by Carol Johnson)Keerthi Vijay and Joshua Zheng 

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 (Presented by Jack McFadden): Mia Cawley

WILTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT JOHN J. CAHILL AWARD — Presented for outstanding community service (Presented by Brian Keating): Lucia La Orden Oro

WILTON WOMAN’S CLUB ELIZABETH STERNAD SCHOLARSHIP — Presented for outstanding community service, strong character, and leadership (Presented by Maitè CubiletteMuth): Lucia La Orden Oro

THE WILTON FAMILY YMCA AWARD — Presented to seniors who have demonstrated values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility to young people.  (Presented by BobMcDowell): Ella Arghirescu, Justine Biersack, Katherine Costanzo, Tess Gunning, Virginia Hastings, Michael Jankowski, Sydney Lillis, Heather Plowright, and Matt Senneff

WILTON REPUBLICAN TOWN COMMITTEE LINCOLN SCHOLARSHIP in memory of Henry “Bud” Boucher — To the graduating senior who wrote the most compelling essay in response to this year’s essay challenge — To defend free speech, now under attack by many who want to ban speech that makes others uncomfortable (Presented by Toni Boucher and Peter Wrampe): Samira Ayoub

WILTON DEMOCRATIC TOWN COMMITTEE CIVIC LEADERSHIP AWARD — Awarded to two seniors based on their passion and dedication to participate in civic issues that improve the quality of life in their chosen communities (Presented by Tom Dubin): Gayathri Kaimal

WILTON LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS NONPARTISANSHIP AWARD — This scholarship, established to honor longtime Wilton resident and League leader Tina Gardner, recognizes the ideal of community service in a non-partisan context. Presented to a senior, who like Tina, has served the community in a non-partisan way in politics. The recipient understands what it means to serve the community in work that is simultaneously political — including registering voters, providing information about elections and what will be on particular ballots and candidate debates — and yet also non-partisan(Presented by Brian Keating): Samantha Mims 

WILTON GO GREEN SCHOLARSHIP AWARD — Presented to a senior who has demonstrated their passion for the environment and taken action to foster sustainable behaviors in their daily life (Presented by Tammy Thornton): Natasha Dinshaw

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 Brian Keating): Dylan Bernheim, Ella Christ, Lucy Corry, Amelia Fleming, Whitney Hess, Stephen Scavetta, Lyra Sharma, Rishi Vaddiraju, and Reagan VonLoeaser

EXCELLENCE IN EXTRACURRICULARS (EXEC) SCHOLARSHIP — Presented to two seniors for their outstanding impact on extracurricular clubs at Wilton High School with their leadership, achievement, and mentorship in their clubs (Presented by Jackson Duncan): Samira Ayoub and Avery Samai

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

CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS “LEADERSHIP AWARD” — Presented to two seniors for outstanding leadership at Wilton High School (Presented by Bob O’Donnell): Jordyn Yee and Riya Shah

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): Jackson Duncan and Connie Gao

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): Joy Ren and Colin Tsai

CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF BOARDS OF EDUCATION “STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARD” — Presented to two seniors who are recognized leaders at Wilton High School (Presented by Board of Education Chair Ruth DeLuca): George Hahn and Avery Samai

DR. ROBERT J. JACOBS MEMORIAL AWARD — In appreciation of students who “left their mark” for others to see (Presented by Bob O’Donnell): Keerthi Vijay and Riya Shah, founders of Team STEAM

THE “JACK” AWARD — Given in memory of John A. Sussenguth to a graduating young man or woman who combines scholarship with leadership, who gives of self with warmth and friendship, who are accomplished in the arts or athletics, and who fulfills these ideals with a joy and zest for life (Presented by Brian Keating): Molly Snow

THE CESAR JIMENEZ PTSA SCHOLARSHIP AWARD — Presented to two seniors who have shown leadership in improving the community at WHS and are willing to make personal sacrifices to achieve success for the greater good (Presented by PTSA and Board of Education member Nicola Davies): Lukas Koutsoukos and Henry Purcell

THE MELISSA McFADDEN MEMORIAL FUND SCHOLARSHIP — Presented to seniors who have compassionately worked with people with disabilities and may intend to pursue this field in the future (Presented by Christina Foley and Jack and Deborah McFadden): Michael Byrnes, Kelly Morello, and Heather Plowright 

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 (Presented by Brian Keating): Colin Rafferty

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): Gayathri Kaimal

NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM (Presented by Bob O’Donnell and Brian Keating)

  • National Merit Commended Students: Ella Arghirescu, Dylan Bernheim, Ryan Bi, Nora Choukri, Nathan Downs, Amelia Fleming, Clarissa Greis, Alexander Kurtz, Lucia La Orden Oro, Sydney Lillis, Jack Michael, Akhilesh Nareddy, Nikolai Naydenov, Henry Purcell, Adi Rathni, Joy Ren, Riya Shah, Lyra Sharma, Sebastien Shaw, Phillip Shim, Rachel Thomas, Rishi Vaddiraju, Keerthi Vijay, Alexander Wang, Samik Wangneo, Felix Wimsatt, Jordyn Yee, Luke Yerrall, and Zack Yuschuk
  • National Merit Finalists: Lucy Beach, Justine Biersack, Garret Bouvier, Aaron Griffin, Avni Gupta, Vihan Jayawardhane, Gayathri Kaimal, Lukas Koutsoukos, Henry Rowley, Sean Thomas, Thomas Welch, and Joshua Zheng
  • National Merit Scholarship: Avni Gupta  
  • U.S. Presidential Scholar: The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership. This senior was one of the only 161 high school seniors in the country recognized for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. (Presented by Bob O’Donnell): Lukas Koutsoukos 

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1 Comment

  1. Congratulations to all of the award winners – well done and best of everything going forward!

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