WHS Students Honored at 2021 Virtual Academic Awards Ceremony [VIDEO]

On Thursday, May 27, the Wilton High School Academic Awards were presented via a virtual video ceremony for the second year in a row. 

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 a well-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: Jack Dodman

University of Chicago — outstanding student, visible in school and community with a lively mind: Olivia Newfield

Columbia — outstanding academic achievement: Hayley Sayewitz

Columbia University School of Engineering — outstanding scholarship in math and science: Faizaan Ali

Cornell — demonstrates the Cornell spirit by showing an awareness of cultural diversity while being an excellent student, good citizen and innovative thinker: Soham Damle

Dartmouth — outstanding academic scholarship, strong character, and positive contributions to school community: Rebecca Hsu

Gettysburg — academic achievement in American history: Catherine Campbell

Harvard — outstanding academic scholarship: Rhea Raghaven

Mount Holyoke — outstanding academic scholarship: Catherine Adams

Princeton Alumni Association of Fairfield County — outstanding academic scholarship: Avery Baumel

Randolph — academic achievement and a leader outside of the classroom: Gavin Fusco

St. Lawrence — academic achievement and significant commitment to community service: Gillian Lipsky

Saint Michael’s — academic achievement with a social conscience: Hannah Pettibone and Aidan Thornbrough

Smith — outstanding academic scholarship and commitment to making a difference: Alice Ding

Suffolk — exemplifies a commitment to education and school community: Thomas Tang

Trinity — outstanding achievement in English: Tyler Hough

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: Isabella Andjelkovic

University of Virginia — well-rounded student representing the Jeffersonian ideals of scholarship, leadership and citizenship: Joseph Eustace

Wellesley — exceptional academic scholarship and character while making significant contributions to school or community: Emily Mrakovcic

Yale — outstanding academic scholarship: Ria Raniwala

Appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy

Kira Howard

League of Women Voters Edna Jones Memorial Book Award  

Recognizing a female member of the junior class who has demonstrated interest in government: Aislynn Conway     

PTSA Book Awards 

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

    • English: Connor Allen and Sophia Ramirez
    • Applied Arts/Business & Video Production
      • Business: Ryan Sorbo
      • Video Production: Jacob Arnowitz and Ryan Siegel
    • Applied Arts/Family & Consumer Science 
      • Child Development: Georgia Mills Rentz
      • Culinary Arts: Brielle Flavin and Jaime von Bartheld
    • World Languages 
      • French: Connor Allen
      • Spanish: Sophia Flaim
      • German: Michael Kepner
      • Latin: Ryan McElroy
      • Greek: Mickey Wilcox
      • American Sign Language: Olivia Becraft
    • Mathematics: Jack Hall
    • Theater Arts: Elizabeth Johnson and Anthony Rushevich 
    • Public Speaking:  Ashlyn Manfro and Michael Pien
    • Science: Shane McCaghey and Michael Pien
    • Social Studies: Connor Allen, Isabel Cronin, Catalina King, and Lily Mikita
    • Music 
      • Band: Isabelle Braten
      • Chorus: Ryan Lynn 
      • Orchestra: Matthew Koleszar
    • Art
      • Ceramics: Zoey Araquel
      • Photography: Eli Grass and Christina O’Sullivan
      • Sculpture: Davis Cote
      • Drawing: Rory Hess
      • Computer Graphics: Emily D’Onofrio
      • Digital Media: Nicole Zollino
    • Library Learning Commons: Lumo Sato
    • Physical Education/Health
      • PE/Health: Timothy Grace and Caroline Judelson
    • Support Services:  Michael Basanese and Christopher Sandys
    • School Counseling for Citizenship & Character: Elizabeth Connolly and Davis Cote

Science Awards

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

    • W. Gehret Kleinspehn Science Award — Presented to two seniors showing strong interest, achievement, and enthusiasm in all of the sciences and humanities: Piper Chase and Jack Hall
    • Society of Women Engineers — Presented for academic achievement in science and mathematics with an interest in pursuing engineering: Ian Kineon and Maya Snyder
    • 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: Alessia Cawley
    • 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: Eli Grass
    • The Wilton Land Conservation Trust Book Award: Julia Elmasry
    • 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: Melissa Arenas

Mathematics Awards  

    • Math Contest Honorees:  
      • AMC 12 high score: Advait Maheshwari
      • AMC 10 high score: Sean Meng
    • Fairfield County Math League Top Performers: Sean Meng, Advait Maheshwari, Anjo Therattil, Michael Pien, Sebastien Shaw, Jack Leventhal and Aryan Shah

World Language Awards

    • 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: Sophia Flaim
    • German Consulate of Federal Republic of Germany — For outstanding achievement in the study of German language and literature: Victoria DiRocco
    • National German Exam Gold Medals:  Joseph Eagan, Everett
      Lee, Lukas Witze and Daniel Zoubarev
    • National Latin Examination Gold Medals
      • Latin I: Alexandra Cole and Lila Fox
      • Latin III: Alexandra Fordsman

Business — CSCPA Award

Presented to two seniors who have excelled in accounting: Ryan Sorbo and Sean Sullivan 

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: Ian Kineon and Catalina King

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: Sophia Ramirez

Wilton Youth Council Awards

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: Roen Crameri and Justin Rosenthal

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: Catalina King and Sean Sullivan

Hugh O’Brian (HOBY) Foundation Award 

Presented to a sophomore demonstrating leadership and scholarship potential: Jackson Duncan

DAR Good Citizen Award  

Presented to a senior for exemplary citizenship and service to school and community: Davis Cote

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: Thomas Petrillo

Fairfield County Bank Scholarship Award  

Presented to a senior whose good character is exemplified by service to the community: Jeremy Lucas

Wilton Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Award 

Presented to a senior who demonstrates academic achievement and community service: Ryan Siegel

Gregory and Adams Award  

Presented to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, character, and achievement in the WHS Mock Trial Club: Ryan McElroy

Rotary Club of Wilton “Service Above Self” Awards 

Presented to two seniors who have reached out to help other students or the greater community: Kira Howard and Anastasiya Pshyk

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: Connor Allen 

Wilton Volunteer Fire Department John J. Cahill Award  

Presented for outstanding community service: Anastasiya Pshyk

Wilton Woman’s Club Elizabeth Sternad Scholarship 

Presented for outstanding community service, strong character, and leadership: Piper Chase

The Wilton Family YMCA Award  

Presented to seniors who have demonstrated values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility to young people: Lilly Byrnes, Olivia Crisafulli, Kayla Fernandes, Lily Gibbons, Ian Kineon, Olivia Topalian and Lily Umphred

Wilton Republican Town Committee Lincoln Scholarship  

To the graduating senior who wrote the most compelling essay in response to this year’s essay question, “As a high school senior and knowing what I know now, what would I tell my
freshman self?”: Anastasiya Pshyk

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 lives: Chloe Funtleyder

Mid-Fairfield County Association of Realtors Scholarship  

Presented to a senior for service to the greater community: Alexander Cameron

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: Piper Chase, Sarah Collias, Joseph Eagan, Sarah Gassel, Caroline Gruseke, Janet Johnson, Alexandra Magnusson, Rosemary Martin, Isadore Palacpac, Jack Rosen, Sam Rosen, Lily Umphred and Quinn Wiseman

Excellence in Extracurriculars (EXEC)  

Presented to a senior for their outstanding impact on extracurricular clubs at Wilton High School with their leadership, achievement, and mentorship in their clubs: Alessia Cawley

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: Anika Engel

Herff Jones Leadership Award — Presented to a senior who demonstrates outstanding leadership skills: Justin Rosenthal

Connecticut Association of Schools Leadership Award 

Presented to two seniors for outstanding leadership at Wilton High School: Victoria DiRocco and Neil Satsangi

The Fairfield County Association of Secondary School Principals Scholar-Leader Award

Presented to two seniors who demonstrate excellent scholarship and leadership: Sarah Bates and Benjamin Kesselman

CAPSS/Superintendent’s Award  

Presented to two seniors for community service, academic ability, and leadership services to the school and community: Brielle Flavin and Thomas Petrillo

Connecticut Association of Boards of Education Student Leadership Award

Presented to two seniors who are recognized leaders at Wilton High School: Connor Allen and Kylie Bell

The Karin Venditti Memorial Scholarship

Awarded to a senior interested in pursuing a career in nursing: Rachel Calabrese

Robert J. Jacobs Memorial Award  

In appreciation of students who “left their mark” for others to see:

    • WHS Meditation Room “The Cave”Caroline Safko
    • Wilton Educational TV Jacob Arnowitz, Ryan Siegel,
      Joseph Eustace and Harrison Forland

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: Elizabeth Connolly and Davis Cote

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: Jacob Arnowitz and Lily Gibbons

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: Lilly Byrnes and Lily Umphred

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: Matthew Cunningham

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: Victoria DiRocco

National Merit Scholarship Program

    • National Merit Commended Students: Brycen Addison, Vasundhara Bagchi, Sarah Bates, Anika Bhagavatula, Piper Chase, Sarah Gassel, Evan Kauh, Benjamin Kesselman, Everett Lee, Ryan McElroy and Michael Pien
    • National Merit Finalists: Zachary Abud, Connor Allen, Jack Hall,
      Nathaniel Newcomer, Sophia Ramirez, Nathan Wang and Austin Xie
    • National Merit J. Walter Thompson Company Scholarship: Nathaniel Newcomer
    • National Merit James E. Casey Scholarship sponsored by The UPS Foundation: Ahrav Soi
    • National Merit University of Chicago Scholarship: Nathan Wang
    • National Merit University of Chicago Scholarship: Austin Xie
    • National Merit Scholarship: Connor Allen