Last Thursday, Old Rochester Regional High School honored the most academically accomplished undergraduates at the underclassmen awards night. Each subject awarded certificates of excellence to the students with the highest averages in their classes; specialty awards were presented to students of further achievement.
Principal Michael Devoll began the night by welcoming the friends and family in the audience. He moved swiftly onto the award presentations, beginning with the American Legion Awards for the juniors selected to attend Boys State or Girls State due to their leadership qualities. Boys State and Girls State are week long camps where students are immersed in a mock government. The students can run for and hold positions similar to the state’s government, learning about civics along the way. ORR gave Stephen Burke, Michael Kassabian, Gerald Lanagan, Ian MacLellan, Austin Salkind, Morgan Browning, Madeline Cafarella, Jaclyn Dyson, Ashley Pacheco, and Angela Weigel the opportunity to attend Boys State or Girls State.
Continuing with the theme of leadership, Devoll presented the MassStar Leadership Award next. This award goes to a sophomore student who was nominated to attend the three-day MassStar Citizenship Conference. This year’s conference has the theme of “Find your Guide,” so participating students will work on finding their individual leadership style, choosing mentors and partners, and guiding themselves and others to achievement. ORR gave Michaelah Nunes the opportunity to attend the MassStar Citizenship Conference.
The next set of awards was presented to freshmen students who will be going to the six-week summer camp, Project Contemporary Competitiveness. This selective camp allows students to take entertaining classes based on their interests, including everything from physics and marine biology to web design and the performing arts. Emma Cadieux, Ashley Clapp, Aubrie Isabelle, Abigail Johnson, Jacob Juneau, Avery Nugent, Nicole Ochoa, Molly Richards, Mary Roussell, and Riley Youngberg will be representing ORR at Project Contemporary Competitiveness.
Moving from honoring leadership to honoring service, Community Service Learning club advisor Mary Cabral took the stand next to present the Presidential Service Awards. A total of 15 underclassmen earned Presidential Service Awards throughout the past year. Alysha Cote, Andrea Harris, Benjamin DeMello, Cate Feldkamp, Jaclyn Dyson, Julia Nojeim, Julianne Mariner, and Nicole Gifford earned bronze awards, meaning they completed over 100 hours of community service. Ashley Pacheco, Isabella King, and Kylie Machado earned silver awards, meaning they completed over 175 hours of community service. Deianeira Underhill, Benjamin Dion, Madeline Cafarella, and Natasha Shorrock earned gold awards, meaning they completed over 250 hours of community service. These students all earned a certificate of achievement, a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States, and a pin.
The academic awards were presented next, beginning with the Science and Technology awards. This department honored Jennifer Aguiar, Ryan Beatty, Tayler Glavin, James Goulart, Andrea Harris, Michael Kassabian, Jonathan Kvilhaug, Evan Portelance, Shannon Lynch, Benjamin Mimoso, Evan Roznoy, and Austin Salkind with certificates of excellence. ORR also gives the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award to the top science student in the school each year. This year’s recipient was Austin Salkind.
The Unified Arts department presented certificates of excellence to Samantha Kirkam, Sarah Pinhancos, Marie Sylvester, William Taylor, Bradley Weedall, Catherine Ball, Jonathan Kvilhaug, Victor Morrison, Holly Frink, Colleen Garcia, Samuel York, Hannah Cormier, Zenobia Nelles, and Max Wolski for high achievements in the art or music classes.
The Classical and Modern Languages department presented certificates of excellence to Hannah Nadeau, Max Wolski, Isabella Bernardi, Samantha Malatesta, Ryson Smith, Madison Barber, Katelyn Bergenheim, Alexis Sweeney, Hannah Guard, Michaelah Nunes, Jennifer Aguiar, Paige Watterson, and Julia Nojeim for high achievements in the Latin, Spanish, or French language classes. Jennifer Aguiar earned two certificates in this department, as she is an accomplished student of both Spanish and French.
The English department presented Hannah Guard, Tyler Mourao, Paige Watterson, Hayli Marshall, Andrea Harris, Jillian Sethares, Heather Nadeau, Catherine Cunningham, Marie Sylvester, Victor Morrison, and Michael Kassabian with certificates of excellence for high achievement in their classes.
The Family and Consumer Science department awarded Mikalya Demanche, Tayler Glavin, Jentelle Rioux, Kristina Sauerbrey, Margaret Wiggin, and Emily Josephson with certificates of excellence for high achievement in classes such as early childhood education, childhood development, and sports nutrition.
The Mathematics department presented certificates of excellence to Jennifer Aguiar, Mason DaSilva, Austin Salkind, and Drew Robert. Austin Salkind earned two certificates in this department, as he is an honorable student in both the Honors Pre-calculus and the AP Statistics classrooms. Stephanie Vanasse, head of the Mathematics department, also recognized the students who had outstanding performances in the American Mathematics Competition and the Math Olympiad.
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal was presented next, going to a junior who has high potential in the areas of math and science. The recipient of this annual award receives a scholarship of $1,500 per year if they attend Rensselaer after graduating high school. This year’s recipient was Andrea Harris.
The Social Studies department presented Erin Costa, Paige Watterson, and Michael Kassabian with certificates of excellence for high achievement in their classes. Colin Everett, head of the Social Studies department, also presented certificates for outstanding research papers to about ten students per grade. These students were honored for their superb research and exceptional thesis development.
With the academic department awards completed, the evening moved on to the perfect attendance awards – ironically, most of the recipients were not present. Devoll continued with the principal’s recognition awards. These three awards go to one student in each underclassmen year who Devoll feels has earned special recognition. While Devoll chose the three recipients based on qualities other than solely academic achievement, all three are honor roll students.
The freshman principal’s recognition award went to Brooke Santos. As president of her class, Santos has proven herself to have great potential as a leader, always contributing at meetings. Devoll awarded the sophomore principal’s recognition award to Jacob Plante, a student who is always happy to be at school, said Devoll. The junior principal’s recognition award went to Michael Kassabian. As the junior class president, Kassabian has also proven himself to be a promising leader. Devoll said Kassabian will be the “driving force” for his class as a senior next year.
Devoll next introduced a new award to be presented annually at ORR: the Cape Cod Five Tech Award. This award goes to a student who shows potential and interest in the technology and engineering department. The recipient receives a free laptop to further their education. This year’s Cape Cod Five Tech Award went to sophomore Seth Gomes.
Director of Curriculum and Instruction Elise Frangos took the stand next to speak about the Tri-Town Education Foundation’s funding for enrichment programs at Old Rochester district schools. She then presented the Lighthouse Book Awards to juniors Courtney Tranfaglia and Ian MacLellan. Each earned a certificate and a $25 gift card to Marion’s book store, The Bookstall.
The last award of the night was the Harvard Book Award, presented to the top academic junior student. This year’s recipient was Austin Salkind.
With all the awards presented, the students and families enjoyed a brief time for refreshments, mingling, and pictures before the evening ended. The accomplished students were all smiles, proud to be recognized for their hard work.
By Renae Reints