Board of Education Honors Students and Staff at Awards Ceremony

West Hartford's Semi-annual Board of Education Awards were held Tuesday evening at King Philip Middle School.

Board of Education chairman Bruce Putterman told a packed auditorium at that this is one of his favorite nights of the year – a time the board honors students and faculty for notable performance in the area of academics, athletics, leadership, arts, and communications.

"We've been talking about the awards that our high schools have received, the rankings from U.S. News & World report, but the learners are just as much a part of that. Tonight it is appropriate to recognize the students' role," Putterman said.

A steady stream of students walked across the stage, shaking hands with board members Putterman, Terry Schmitt, Ellen Brassil, and Naogan Ma.

"Even though our students only walk across the stage for a few seconds, our hope is that they will savor this for time to come because they earned it," Putterman said at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The complete list of honorees provided by the West Hartford Board of Education is found below.


Connecticut Association of Boards of Education: Each year CABE recognizes two students from each participating high school and middle school who have demonstrated outstanding leadership.  Students must have a willingness to take on challenges, the capability to make difficult decisions, concern for others, willingness to commit to a project, diplomacy, and the ability to see things clearly and honor commitment. The following students are the recipients of the Connecticut Boards of Education Award for distinguished leadership in school activities and daily life:

Thomas Cook and Sophia Dzialo              

: Kyle Rodriguez and Olivia Basil  

: Kayla Golden and Matt Wilcox

: Syeda Naqvi and Avery Schott

King Philip Middle School:Rachel Schunder and Joseph Siegel

Boy Scouts of America: Eagle Scout is the highest- ranking award given to only a select few for their demonstration of leadership and service. Only about 4% of Scouts have earned the rank since 1911. To earn the Eagle Scout rank, a boy scout must fulfill requirements in the areas of leadership, service, and outdoor skills. A number of specific skills are required to advance through the ranks of Tenderfoot, Second Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. Hall student Shane Negus and Conard student Edward Wilson have been awarded the rank of Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America.

Daughters of the American Revolution: Hall student Alexandra Joel and Conard student Nelson Torres have been chosen as the recipients of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizenship Award , honoring them for leadership, dependability, service, and patriotism. The DAR award is voted on by members of the senior class.

Petit MS Youth Award: Congratulations to student Cameron Gregory for being named the 2011 Petit MS Youth Award recipient. In addition to being an active fund- raiser, Gregory was just six years old when he created a Walk MS team and the MS Super Kids to honor his friend’s mom who battles MS. In two years, Cameron has raised more than $2,700, with the hope of raising another $2,000 this year.

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center: Webster Hill student David Newman has been holding a lemonade stand with his cousin in order to raise money to support the Craniofacial Department at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center over the past three years. With monies raised, David has been able to provide parents with specially made bottles called Pigeon Bottles which are made to help feed babies with craniofacial anomaly. The bottles are expensive items for parents to purchase. “I know what these babies have to go through and after talking to my parents, they thought it was a great idea to raise money for the families of the Craniofacial Team,” said David Newman. The Connecticut Children’s Craniofacial Team treats about 600 children a year.

West Hartford Police Officer of the Year: Police Officer Jose Rivera was honored by the Town's Exchange Club as the West Hartford Police Officer of the Year. He has been employed by the police department since 1993 and currently works as the school resource officer at Hall High School. He is also a hostage negotiator and a Spanish interpreter for the department. Officer Rivera has been described by many as friendly, compassionate and intelligent. Police Chief Tracey Gove said Officer Rivera is a servant leader — someone who gives priority attention to the needs of others. "He is always professional, courteous, willing to help out and has a positive attitude," Gove said. "He is well-liked throughout the department and at Hall High.”

National Conference for Community and Justice: NCCJ recently announced their 2012 Youth Human Relations Award winner, Hall High student Sophia Dzialo. Each year NCCJ celebrates one youth leader from Connecticut and one from MA who have distinguished themselves by exemplifying the principals of NCCJ in their daily lives. The list of characteristics of past winners is long, some include: 

  • a past ANYTOWN delegate
  • leader in their school or community
  • someone who practices respect and caring for others, open-mindedness, not just tolerates but celebrates differences, leads by example, is committed in their fight for human rights and dignity, and one who believes that oppression of anyone is an oppression of everyone.  Sophia is a senior at Hall High who has shown determination, resilience, responsibility, and dedication towards carrying the mission of NCCJ into her community.

Excellence in Citizenship Awards:  The Office of the Secretary of the State annually sponsors The Excellence in Citizenship Awards for eighth grade students in order to recognize outstanding young people throughout Connecticut who are active participants in their community and their school. This award recognizes students who demonstrate volunteer service to the community, involvement in citizenship or character building organizations, good scholastic record, participation in student government programs, good student attendance, and leadership ability to motivate others to actions to benefit the community. Congratulations to Bristow student Kyla Barry for being selected as a recipient of the Excellence in Citizenship Award from the Secretary of the State.

Connecticut Education Association: Congratulations to teacher Clare Taylor for being named the recipient of the John McCormack Award for Teaching Excellence. Because of Clare’s depth and breadth of experiences, the commitment she has shown to excellence, and her dedication to furthering the profession, the committee selected Clare for this prestigious award. Clare will receive an honorarium and will represent Connecticut at the Salute to Education Gala in Washington, D.C. Her name will also be submitted for consideration to receive the National Education Association/National Foundation for the Improvement for Education Award for Teaching Excellence



Best Communities for Music Education in the US:  West Hartford Public Schools music department was recognized once again as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education in the US” by the NAMM Foundation (National Association of Music Merchants).  NAMM Foundation’s mission is “to ensure that all children have access to quality music education programs that encourage lifelong participation in music making.”  The foundation honors school districts with a strong dedication to music programs for their unwavering commitment even as the economy challenges local and state governments.  The award was based on a survey that measured across curricular and programmatic criteria as well as public support. Detailed information regarding funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs was provided. In 2012, the 13th annual “Best Communities” survey recognized 166 school districts and 10 schools (9 in Connecticut) out 237 that submitted surveys. Each district receiving the “Best Community” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Accepting tonight is Andrew Mayo, Department Supervisor.

Connecticut Art Education Association: The Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards is the oldest and largest competition recognizing creative excellence in the visual arts. Students throughout Connecticut compete to have their work showcased. Once a student has won the Gold Award, he or she is eligible to compete at the national level. The following students have won either the Gold or Silver in competition:

Felipe Di Poi: Gold Key for Art Portfolio, CAEA Judges Award and $10,000 cash scholarship – Felipe also received a Gold award for his portfolio at the National Scholastic Art Competition in New York City.  He is one of 15 students to receive a Portfolio Gold medal which is the competition’s highest honor.

Rachel Margolis: Gold Key for Ceramics and Glass as well as a Canton Clay Works Best  in Ceramics Class scholarship

Maura McDermott: Gold Key for Art Portfolio

Jennifer Ros: Gold Key for Painting

Carly Gorman: Silver Key for Printmaking

Stephanie Lowe: Silver Key for Drawing

Sam Wunder: Silver Key for Drawing

All-State Music Festival:  All-State members are selected by audition.  Acceptance into the All-State Festival means that students are among the best in CT.  The following students were selected for the 2011-2012 CT Music Educators Association (CMEA)

All-State Music Festival:

Band:  Alex Belser (tuba), Emily DiMatteo (clarinet), Max Dvorin (clarinet ), Leo Epstein (trumpet), Joshua Florez (oboe), Evan Ferguson-Hull (clarinet), Haley Hanenbaum (flute), Emily Isko (clarinet), Celeste Kurz (clarinet), Elizabeth Maier (flute), Nikaya Smith (clarinet), Rebecca van Stolk-Cooke (clarinet), Jane Yu (flute)

Choir: Dennis Aspell, Jacob Cohen, Jared Graveley, Taylor Hadra, Neal Hambrecht, Dean Marino, Rebecca Schwartz

Orchestra:  Zoe Barlow (bass), Cody Bigenho (violin), Raffi Boden (cello), Edward Huang (string bass), Selah Kwak (violin), Nathan Kwak (viola), Grace McCormick (viola), Leah McGovern (viola), Kaila Piscitelli (cello), Tiana Piscitelli (violin), Shelby Saunders (cello), Sophie Wheeler (cello).

Jazz Band:  Sam Moffett (tenor saxophone)

Connecticut Association of Schools Arts Recognition Award:  Each year, CAS and the Westfield Corporation recognize two students in visual and/or performing arts from each member high school.  This year, Allyson Covello, Kimberly Janvier, Serena Kassow and Will Niedmann received the Connecticut High School Arts Award from CAS - Allyson for her excellence in music, Serena in music and theatre, and Kimberly and Will in theatre.  Congratulations! In addition, at the elementary level, Angel Guevara and Maia Paige from were named recipients of this award for their outstanding citizenship, cooperative skills, and artistic ability in performing arts at the elementary level. 

ACDA Eastern Division Conference: Joy Harisprasad was selected to perform with the High School Honors Choir at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Eastern Division Conference. Selection is based on audio submission. Joy was one of 200 invited to participate in Providence this past February.



U.S. News and World Report: West Hartford Public Schools is thrilled to announce that U.S. News and World Report has just issued its high school rankings, and both Conard and Hall High Schools are ranked in the top ten high schools in the state of Connecticut, with Conard ranking second (200th nationally) and Hall placing sixth (322nd nationally). U.S. News and World Report based their rankings of over 22,000 public high schools on college readiness, with a focus on Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate participation and success rate. Five hundred high schools nationally were given Gold Medal designation.

Both Conard and Hall stand out in the list of top ten schools in that they are large, comprehensive high schools that educate a diverse student body, and provide opportunities for all students, regardless of social or economic factors to succeed. West Hartford has always been proud of its schools, and this recognition acknowledges the students, parents, teachers and administrators for their hard work. West Hartford’s commitment to education is well known throughout our state, and, as this illustrates, the nation. Please join us in congratulating the Conard community, and Principal Pete Cummings, and the Hall community, and Principal Don Slater, on this prestigious recognition!

Presidential Scholars Program: Congratulations to Hall High Student Regan Considine for being selected as a 2012 US Presidential Scholar. This June, Scholars will attend National Recognition Weekend in Washington, D.C.  Scholars will be presented with the US Presidential Medallion to commemorate their being chosen for this prestigious award. These scholars have all demonstrated leadership, scholarship, contribution to the school community, and outstanding accomplishments in the arts, sciences, humanities, and other fields of interest. One male and one female student are chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Allyson Covello, a student from Hall High, was named a candidate in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Candidates were selected from nearly 3.2 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2012. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 48th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. We celebrate both Regan and Allyson for this wonderful accomplishment!

National Merit Scholarship Finalists: The National Merit Scholarship program identifies exceptional high school students and encourages them to pursue rigorous college studies. Finalists submit a detailed scholarship application and document their very high academic performance. Awards are given on a state-by-state basis. Hall students Allyson Covello, Annabelle Davey, Arvind Narayanan, Michael Porth, Rebecca Stambler and Emily Vasington have been named National Merit Scholarship Finalists. Allyson Covello, Arvind Narayanan, and Rebecca Stambler have advanced to Recipient status and will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship.

Connecticut Association of Schools: Congratulations to Hall student Ashwini Joshi for being named the recipient of the Governor’s Scholar Award. Ashwini is one of 30 finalists selected from nominations submitted by 187 member high schools of CAS. The purpose of the program is to recognize academically talented high school students from throughout the state. An essay on an assigned topic must be completed. Members of the Governor’s Scholars Committee judge the completed applications and assign a composite score based on GPA, PSAT or SAT scores, CAPT scores, and the student essay. The 30 students with the highest scores are selected as “Governor’s Scholars” and will receive recognition as well as information on participation in courses and research projects at selected Connecticut colleges and universities.

Gates Millennium Scholar: Congratulations to Conard senior Jennifer Huynh for being selected as one of the 1,000 Gates Millennium Scholars for the GMS Class of 2012. Jennifer was commended for her leadership, community service and academic achievements. Twenty-four thousand students applied, making this year’s the largest and most competitive group of candidates in the program’s history. This honor distinguishes her as a Leader for America’s Future. As a Gates Millennium Scholar, funds will be available for her to attend any U.S. accredited college or university of her choice. In addition, if she pursues graduate studies in the fields of Computer Science, Education, Engineering, Library Science, Mathematics, Public Health or Science, she may be eligible for GMS fellowship funding for her education through the master’s and doctoral levels.  Jennifer will be attending Babson College in the fall.

Mathematical Association of America: The AMC 10 (American Mathematical Competitions) and the AMC 12 are 25- question, 75-minute, multiple-choice examinations in high school mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem-solving skills. Many problems are designed to challenge students and to offer problem-solving experiences beyond those provided in most upper level school mathematics classes. 

The American Invitational Mathematics Exam is a 15-question, 3-hour exam intended to provide further challenge and recognition, beyond that provided by the AMC 10 or AMC 12 to high school students with exceptional mathematical ability.

The following Conard students have been named winners in the competitions:

Andrew Bertini:   by virtue of his score on the AMC 12, was named the school winner

Isaac Oda-Bayliss:   by virtue of his score on the AMC 10, was named the school winner.

The following Hall students have been named winners in the competitions:

Arvind Narayanan and Jane Yu:   by virtue of their scores on the AMC 12, have qualified to participate in the AIME competition.

Leo Tinone: by virtue of his score on the AMC 12, was the school winner of the AMC 12 competition and qualified to participate in the AIME competition.

Dale Yu: by virtue of his score on the AMC 10, was named a school winner of the AMC 10 competition and qualified to participate in the AIME competition.

West Hartford Middle School Spelling Bee: Congratulations to King Philip eighth grade student Marina Tinone for taking First Place in the third annual West Hartford Middle School Spelling Bee. This is the second time that Marina has won the title of best speller in the middle schools, as she won the title two years ago as a sixth grader. She correctly spelled the word “counterfeit” to win the prize. Mackenzie McDonald of King Philip was the runner up. Both Marina and Mackenzie will go on to represent West Hartford at the upcoming regional spelling bee where the winner goes on to the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee.

Securities Industry and Financial Markets: Congratulations to Smith STEM School for winning First Place in the State for the Elementary Division of the Stock Market Game. Students were given a hypothetical $100, 000 and were to invest it in an online portfolio, buying stocks, bonds and mutual funds during a ten-week period. This team, made up of Math Quest students, invested in two companies – one was Apple and the other, which won them the game, was Amazon which gained over $30 per share on the last day of the contest giving them a gain of over $10,000 for one day! The team came in first out of 96 teams and will be going to an awards program at the Hartford Courant. The following students made up the team: Gus Bacon, Ellis Brown and Ethan Penn.

Odyssey of the Mind: The Odyssey of the Mind Program is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities to students in grades K through college. Working in teams, students apply their creativity to solving problems ranging from engineering challenges to literary classics.  Participants learn teamwork, and that a group is a more powerful thinking force than an individual. Students spend several months developing a solution to their selected problem that they then present at competition at the state and possibly international levels.   

The following students will be going on to the International Competition at Iowa State University on May 23, 2012:

1st Place: Charter Oak International Academy, Quest, Division I, Odyssey Angels Problem: 

Sam Gordon-Wexler, Iris Madsen-Bibeau, Julia Neal, Shelia Nguyen, Maia Paige, Elijah Suarez, and Auden Woolfson

1st Place: Charter Oak International Academy, Quest, Division I, To Be or Not To Be Problem:

DeAhna Fisher, Isabel Hogendorn, Janelle Isaacs, Georgia Kraus, Tram Nguyen, Isaiah Perry and Madison Yearsley

and Quest teacher Michele Hadlock, coach of both teams.

CT History Day: CT History Day, a research opportunity, is part of the National History Day Program. This annual competition engages students in grades 6-12 in the process of researching and interpreting a historical topic related to an annual theme, “Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History.” Local historians, educators, and other professionals judge the students’ entries. Local winners go on to a State competition and potentially to the National History Day contest joining students from across the country. The following students placed in the regional competition and advanced to the State finals April 28, 2012:

1st Place Individual Exhibit: Hugo Barrillon from Sedgwick for “Apple Takes a Byte Out of the Computer Market”

1st Place Individual Exhibit: Alexandra Falcon from Hall for “The Virtue of Intolerance: The Rise of the Flapper and the Birth of American Society.” Alexandra took Second Place in her category at the State level and will advance to the National level.

1st Place Individual Exhibit: Sam Porcello from Sedgwick for “Samuel Colt’s Revolver-lution: From Precision to Promotion.” Sam took First Place at the State level in his category and will advance to the National level.

1st Place Individual Performance: Remony Perlman from Hall for “The Insanity Defense”

1st Place Individual Performance: Alanna Uthgenannt from Sedgwick for “Eleanor Roosevelt: Revolutionary Humanitarian” Alanna also won the National Archives Use of Primary Sources in the State competition

1st Place Individual Documentary: Jessie Xu from Bristow for “The Chinese Cultural Revolution.” Jessie took Second Place at the State level in her category and will advance to the National level.

1st Place Individual Documentary: Chris O’Sullivan from Hall for “Youth of Yugoslavia in the Overthrow of Milosevic.” Chris took First Place at the State level in his category and will advance to the National level.

1st Place Group Performance: Ellie Bavier and Kati Kopp from Sedgwick for “Sixties Revolution in Fashion”

2nd Place Individual Documentary: Liz D’Andrea from Sedgwick for “Coco Chanel Revolutionizes Fashion”

2nd Place Individual Paper: Jack Moore from Sedgwick for “Reactions to David Duke”

2nd Place Group Exhibit: Chloe Amaya and Lily Forand from King Philip for “Guide Dogs: A Revolution for the Sight Impaired”

2nd Place Group Performance: Grace Burns and Lena Proietti from Sedgwick for "Fashion Roulette”

3rd Place Individual Documentary: Paul McCann from King Philip for “Music & Apple"

3rd Place Individual Documentary: Chinedum Uche from Hall for “Television:  Revolutionizing the World with a Click.” Chinedum took Second Place at the State level in his category and will advance to the National level

National Latin Exam:  Congratulations to the following Conard and Hall students who have won awards for their outstanding performances in the National Latin Exam this year. More than 100,000 students from 50 states and 8 foreign countries take this impressive test. 

The following students earned summa cum laude Gold medals:

Latin I:  Hannah Finn-McMahon

Latin II:  Ethan Freund

The following students have earned maxima cum laude Silver medals:

Latin I: Kaitlin Beach, Matthew Henderson, Mohammed Malik, Mary Majerus-Collins, Ari Klau, Leah Goldman, Monica Zhang, Kaitlin Rice

Latin II: Julie Kelman, Deena Cohen, David Katz, Jacob Kerzner, Jonathan Sussler, Caroline Reger, Michael Feldman, Matthew Piccone, Matthew Houpert, Robert Krulee, Jasmine Hall, William Kerin, Joy Hariprasad, Zach Forenza-Bailey

Latin Poetry IV:  Vuong Dang

American Association of Teachers of French:  Hall, King Philip, Conard, Sedgwick, Bristow and Norfeldt students have won recognition from the American Association of Teachers of French not only at the State level, but at the National level as well.  Students took tests that consisted of listening and reading, placing them tops in the country out of 93,000 students who took the exam. The following students have been named award winners in the National French contest:

From Hall: Olivia DiPoi, Isabella Falkovich, Timothy Henning, Carmen Hatchell, Tanner Hoelzel, Elizabeth Maysonet, Jackson Zinn-Howthorn

From King Philip: Meghan Alquist, Isabelle Amato, Margaret Barnett, Emma Brody, Lydia Chelli, Lara Cooper, Emma Dalton, Madeline DeFilippis, Thomas Evelein, Lili Fishman, Marissa Freed, Patrick Ganci, Aditi Joshi, Caitlyn Krueger, Severin Konefal, Chloe Li, Nicholas Lombardo, Alessadra Mitrano, Alexandra Myers, Honor O’Connell, Grace Olson, Joshua Onyirimba, Bethany Oryirimba, Bridget Patterson, Erin Principe, April Small, Michael Stambler, Molly Sullivan, Michelle Tang and  Marina Tinone, Dale Yu.  

From Conard: Elodie Currier and Liliana Harrington

From Sedgwick: Madison Carr, Thomas Costello, Bryce Halter, Leah Kelly and Zoe Schaefer

From Bristow: Meghan Cobb, Ana Mangini, Daniela Moran, Natalie Nanez, Samuel Weinberg, and Jakob Woods Weber

From : Alexander Carducci, Bridget Daly, Joshua Fernandes, Aoife Kootsookos, Sean Maffucci, Pierce Newman, Olivia Pascon, and Liam Stone

National Spanish Exam: The National Spanish Examination is an online, standardized assessment tool given voluntarily by over 3000 teachers throughout the U.S. to measure proficiency and achievement of students who are studying Spanish as a second language. The National Spanish Examination is the most widely used test of Spanish in the U.S. Congratulations to the following King Philip Middle School students:

Gold AwardDaniel Gitelman

Silver Award: Talha Bhatti, Michael Ciccarello, Oisharya Dasgupta, Lydia Henning

Bronze Award: Amina Lampkin, Qasim Malik, Pablo Miras- DeSimone, Eli Perry

Medusa Mythology Exam:  Over 6,000 students from across the U.S., Canada and Europe annually participate in this exam. The 2012 theme was “Malicious Monsters and Monstrous Mortals!” The following students were Bronze Medal winners in this highly competitive international test of Greco-Roman Mythology for students of the Classics: Michael Feldman, Awad Osman, Virginia Burns, Keith Kindall, Ian Mentus, Erez Bittan, Brian Teitelbaum, Sara Schulwolf and Vuong Dang

Connecticut State Scholastic Chess Championship: Congratulations to Hall student Daniel Rozovsky for winning First Place in the Connecticut State Scholastic Chess Championships. Daniel will now become the State representative for the National Scholastic Chess Championship in the State of Washington this summer. 

Technology Student Association: The Sedgwick Middle School chapter of the TSA participated in the 2012 CT TSA State Conference which was held at RHAM High School in March. Competitive events were determined at the national level and then carried down to the state level. TSA is proud to announce the following award winners from Sedgwick Middle School:

Transportation Systems: Participants apply and document the engineering design process and mathematical principles and scientific concepts used in the research, design, construction, testing and evaluation of a rubber band-powered boat. Performance ratings of the boat were based on a combination speed and payload capability measurements.

1st PlaceKyle Armstrong

2nd PlaceCharlie Hosek

3rd PlaceDylan Wu

Problem Solving: Participants use problem solving skills to develop a finite solution to a stated problem given on-site.  Participants work as a team to provide the best solution, which is measured objectively.

1st Place: Kyle Armstrong, Trevor Ratchford

2nd Place: Charlie Hosek

3rd Place: Robert Seecharran, Tanner Bruttomesso

Video Game Design:  Participants are required to design, build and launch a World Wide Web site that features the team’s research about a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM)-related topic.

1st Place: Tim Rak, Tanner Bruttomesso, Dan Newton, Charlie Hosek

2nd Place: Ben Ratchford, Trevor Ratchford

3rd Place:  David Giles, Jackson O’Sullivan

Promotional Design: Participants create and produce a color pin design that is appropriate for trading at the national TSA conference.

1st Place: Jackson O’Sullivan

Techno Talk:  Participants demonstrate the ability to work together in teams of randomly paired students in order to build and replicate a structure using limited communication.

1st Place: George Murray

2nd Place: Denny Puka

Flight: Participants study the principles of flight and design in order to fabricate and test-fly gliders. Gliders must be designed to be launched from a catapult that is provided on site. Flight duration of the gliders and documentation of the design process are the primary elements of the evaluation.

3rd Place: Harrison Bissonnette

UConn Department of Family Studies:  Students in the Individual and Family Studies classes did research in the area of lifespan development.  The research was presented as a trifold poster and/or PowerPoint presentation at the annual Department of Family Studies Student Conference in Storrs. Posters and presentations were judged according to the criteria set forth by UConn. This group of students chose to do their presentation in the Excellence Award category where they did a PowerPoint presentation of their research to 200 plus students from 14 schools who were attending the conference. Their research was titled “Born this Way: The Nature/Nurture Debate.” It centered on how nature or nurture in childhood affected the lives of several famous serial killers.  Congratulations to the following Conard students for winning the Excellence Award Grand Prize: Kayla Benedetto, Rose Clarke, Brenna Dannhauser, and Jenna Epstein.

Chemistry Olympiad: The 2012 Chemistry Olympiad was held at UCONN on March 15.  Thirteen students from Hall High participated. These students were AP Chemistry students that were also part of the Chem Club, an after school club where they participated in chemistry labs and discussions.  The Hall team scored Second Place among participating high schools. Jane Yu qualified and took the National Chemistry Olympiad exam. Jane also received the Anna J. Harrison Award for being the female student with the highest score on the local exam. Congratulations to the following Hall students for taking Second Place in an exceptional performance in the American Chemical Society competition designed to stimulate and promote achievement in high school chemistry: Molly Borden, Micheal Carducci, Celeste Cyriac, David Dobrynin, Clare Hern, Edward Huang, Elizabeth Humble, Ashwini Joshi, Julie Kelman, Isabel Nip, Sarah Schwartz, Kendall Teare, and Jane Yu.


All-State: All-State student athletes have distinguished themselves as elite athletes in their sport in the State of Connecticut. Criteria in individual sports are dependent upon overall placement in State championship meets, while team sport individuals are nominated and selected by the State coaches of that sport. The following Conard and Hall students received All-State recognition:

All-State Honors in Gymnastics: Shannon Bouvier, Ellen Bridgman, Taylor Hadra, Katie Newton, Amanda Sloan

All-State Honors in Swimming: Thomas Casper, Jacob DiBella, Tyree Seymour, Christopher Warren, Greg Youngstrom

All-State Honors in Wrestling: Lucas Muntz

CT High School Coaches Association: Congratulations to Hall High student Aidan Coll for receiving Academic All-State Honors among athletes in Connecticut, determined by measuring GPA and varsity sports participation. Aidan qualified for Academic All-State Honors in Boys Basketball. The CHSCA also recognized Charles Claffey as the Coach of the Year in Boys Golf and Nick Moffo as the Coach of the Year in Girls Soccer. Coaches are nominated by their peers or an administrator and voted in by the CHSCA Selection Committee.

United States Tennis Association: The US Tennis Association has chosen The West Hartford Public Schools to receive the 2011 USTA School Tennis Program of the Year Award. The USTA, WHPS Health and Physical Education Department and Human and Leisure Services partnered to run an after school program at four elementary schools which culminated in a jamboree. Key figures making this elementary tennis program a success were coordinators Rosey Bonner (Department Supervisor for Health and Physical Education), Marc Blanchard (Human and Leisure Services) and teacher-coaches Kim Hoffman, Glenn Horowitz, Josh Satlof, and Jim Solomon.

All-Courant Team Honors:  Each year the Hartford Courant sports writers pick the top players for various sports in the state based on positions and talent.  Congratulations to the following Conard and Hall athletes: 

All-Courant in Boys Swimming: Thomas Casper, Jacob DiBella, Tyree Seymour, Christopher Warren, Greg Youngstrom

All-Courant in Girls Basketball: Moira Honyotski

All-Courant in Indoor Track: Ezra Holmes, Edward Wilson

All-Courant in Wrestling: Johnny Bello, Lucas Muntz

All-Courant in Gymnastics: Shannon Bouvier, Katie Newton

Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference: Hall students Aidan Coll and Perri Silverhart and Conard students Jane Giuffrida and Neal Hambrecht are this year’s recipients of the CIAC Scholar-Athlete Award given to a graduating senior, male or female, with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, good citizenship, and who is also a varsity letter winner. Congratulations!


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