Student and Staff Achievements for June 2017

image of the words: great job!

At each monthly Board of Education Meeting, we are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of select students and staff members. Following are those who will be recognized at the June Monthly Board Meeting.

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth
Toquam Magnet Elementary student Neev Sahgal was recently honored as one of the brightest young students in the world by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY). Neev participated in the CTY Talent Search, a rigorous, above-grade-level assessment. He was recognized for scoring exceptionally high and received a certificate of high honors at an awards ceremony held at Yale University in May.
21st Annual CABE Student Leadership Award
Cloonan Middle School students Kieran Johnston and Caroline Kavanagh, and Scofield Magnet Middle School students Gaurov Bansal and Ahhsha Crooks were chosen from among the 416 students recommended to the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) to receive a Student Leadership Award. This award honors Connecticut high school and middle school students who exhibit exemplary leadership skills, including willingness to take on challenges, making difficult decisions, concern for and ability to work with others, commitment, diplomacy, and understanding issues.
National Invention Convention Competition
Springdale Elementary School fifth graders Isabella Wasserman and Yasmin Khammouch qualified for the Connecticut Invention Convention State finals, which were held at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) in Storrs. The state Invention Convention is the culmination of a year-long learning program designed to develop, encourage and enhance students' critical thinking skills through invention. Wasserman invented “Treet Picks,” edible sticks for appetizers, and Khammouch invented “The Super Dry 2000,” an umbrella with a storage bag. Wasserman was selected as a winner at the state level and competed in May in the 2017 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo.
Fourth Annual STEMfest
The Stamford STEMfest is a day-long event featuring hands-on activities and exhibits about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for students and their parents, which was held in Mill River Park.  Curriculum Associate for Science Beth Eiseman and SPS parent and Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) volunteer Kim Kempton dedicated countless hours to make the annual STEMfest a success drawing more than 1,000 participants throughout the day.
2016-2017 Harvey Milk-Sylvia Rivera Award
Academy of Information Technology and Engineering (AITE) Guidance Counselor Christine Bisceglie earned the 2016-2017 Harvey Milk-Sylvia Rivera Award for Challenging Discrimination Related to Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation, one of nine Connecticut Education Association (CEA) Human and Civil Rights Awards. AITE Business Teacher Sean Peterson nominated Bisceglie for her work in helping to form the Coalition for Respect, whose mission is to foster an understanding between LGBTQ youth and adults.  The coalition, which comprises community advocates, teachers, religious, medical professionals and parents, provides professional development, districtwide meetings, panel discussions and other events to support both students and educators. She received the award at the organization’s Summer Leadership Conference.
CMEA All-State Honors Ensembles
Four Westhill High School students: Seniors Will Bruno (bass) and Benjamin Freedman (tenor), under the direction of Jonathan Curri; and Juniors Brian Kaether (violin) and Noah Schaffer (percussion), under the direction of Michael Wyatt, qualified for the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) All-State Honors Ensembles. All-State Honors Ensembles are made up of a select few of the top musical talent in the state. Auditions took place earlier this year with performances this spring in Hartford.
Net Generation of Youth Summer Scholarship
AITE student Andrew Branson won this year’s “Envision Your Future,” competition sponsored by Net Generation of Youth (NGY). Andrew was awarded a full scholarship to attend the National Student Leadership Council’s International Diplomacy summer institute in Washington, D.C. this summer. Among the requirements of the scholarship is his ongoing participation in the international NGY community and sharing his experiences.
2016 Connecticut CTE Assessment for Personal Finance 
The 2016 Connecticut Statewide Career and Technical Education (CTE) Assessment ranked Westhill High School (WHS) number one, out of 40 participating Connecticut schools, in the area of Personal Finance for the third year in a row. Under the direction of WHS Academy of Finance Teachers Kim Kumar, Karen Kurtz, Nicole Sansone and Steve Temelini, WHS students’ mean score was 18% higher than the state’s average. Additionally, 86% of WHS students who took the assessment met the state requirement compared with 31% statewide. Westhill also had the third largest number of students tested in this concentration in Connecticut.
9th Grade Latin I Prize
WHS student Skye McCleod is the winner of the 9TH Grade Latin I Prize, of $500, offered by Dr. Allen Ward, Professor Emeritus, UCONN and Past President, Classical Association of Connecticut. Ward offered the incentive to encourage WHS students to study Latin. The prize was awarded to the WHS Latin I student with the highest average for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Stamford Public Schools Student Athletes
The following student-athletes from the Class of 2017 have been actively recruited to participate in collegiate athletics:
  • Allie Buzzeo, Western New England University, Softball
  • Marthe Guirand, Molloy College, Basketball
  • Stefan Jones, Delaware Valley University, Lacrosse
  • Scott Moreau, Western Connecticut State University, Lacrosse
  • Lauren O'Neill, Adelphi University, Softball
  • Karol Preneta, Jacksonville University, Rowing
  • Jairy Sandoval, Southern Wesleyan University, Lacrosse
  • Freddy Widmer, Beloit College, Soccer
  • Matt Alswanger, Tufts University, Football
  • Edylise Aquino, Moorisville State College, Softball
  • Makhi Barnett, Southern Connecticut State University, Discus and Football
  • Marc Deluca, University of Connecticut, Pole Vaulting
  • Dean DePreta, Roger Williams University, Baseball
  • Chelsea Domond, Northeastern University, Soccer
  • Natalie Druehl, Temple University, Soccer
  • Jordan Goins, Western New England, Wrestling
  • Gabriella LaConna, Ithaca College, Softball
  • Lauren Lazo, Denison University, Field Hockey
  • Michael Lisinicchia, Post University, Baseball
  • Blake Newcomer, Salisbury University, Baseball
  • Michael Newman, Massachusetts Maritime Academy,  Baseball
  • Kaira Ramon, University of Bridgeport, Softball
  • Samantha Ripegno, Western Connecticut University, Field Hockey
  • Paige Sottosanti, Lehigh University, Field Hockey
  • Kylie Watson, Mooresville College, Equestrian
36th Annual COLT Poetry Recitation Contest
Six AITE students were awarded prizes at the COLT Poetry Recitation Contest, a statewide contest organized annually by the Council of Language Teachers in Connecticut (COLT). More than 600 students participated across the state this year. AITE’s Language Department uses this competition as an instrument to promote poetry teaching and generate interests in poetry reading, performances and translation. AITE has participated for the past 10 years.
  • Isabella Aristizabal, Gold Medal, English as Second Language
  • Sarah Broder, Bronze Medal, Mandarin Chinese
  • Richard Marroquin, Silver Medal, Heritage Spanish
  • Ivianna Morales, Bronze Medal, Heritage Spanish
  • Scott Rigardy Petit-Homme, Silver Medal, Heritage Spanish; and Bronze Medal, Heritage French
2017 FBLA Award Program
The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Awards Program recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. The State Leadership Conference involved 34 schools and more than 600 students from across Connecticut who competed in a number of categories to become eligible to compete at the National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, California. The following WHS students qualified for the national competition:
  • Matthew Alswanger, Job Interview
  • Rachel Fein, Business Law
  • Liam Gelling, Video
  • Matt Greco and Tyler Lasicki, Business Plan
  • Cooper Healy, Evan Kaplan and Gabriel Yaghoubian, Banking and Financial Systems
  • Nicholas Smeriglio, Impromptu Speaking
  • Cristian Smina and Rishi Jaaswal, Introduction to Financial Math 
  • Nicole Somerstein, Personal Finance
  • Courtney Xu, Accounting
  • Jared Yaghoubian, Economics