Schools laud ‘stars’
Amanda Mozea of Sunderland goes to Frontier
Michael Duclos of Greenfield goes to GHS
Kala Chapalonis of Ahtol goes to AHS
Jessica Gilmore of Orange goes to Mahar
Kaitlin Grant is fron Shelburne Falls and goes to MTRS
Amanda Mozea of Sunderland goes to Frontier
Brienne Paradis of Greenfeild goes to PVRS
Malorie Savage of Orange goes to FCTS
Christian Sawicki of Erving goes to TFHS
TURNERS FALLS — “For any who ever had any doubt about what the future brings for us as we move into our retirement, they need to be in this room,” said superintendent of the Franklin County Technical School James Laverty, closing this year’s superintendents’ award ceremony.
Tuesday evening, representatives of each of the eight area public high schools presented a senior with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents’ certificate of academic excellence, praising students for application and success on and off the academic field before an audience of proud family and educators.
Mark Prince, interim superintendent of the Gill-Montague Regional School District, described the eight as stars.
“What incredible potential we have in this room,” Prince said. “You can feel just from the words the places these kids are going to go.”
Jessica Gilmore of Orange was this year’s outstanding senior from the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District.
Allison Hartshorn described her former seventh-grade science student as “one of the kindest and most marvelous people I have ever had the opportunity to teach.”
Gilmore is ranked first in her class and participates in Key Club, National Honor Society and the International Club. Outside of school, she plays street hockey and is a youth group leader for her church.
Gilmore has made three mission trips to Ecuador, where she has helped to build medical clinics, delivered food and medicine to orphanages and visited prisoners.
Gilmore hopes to study law in college so that she can continue to reach out and improve the lives of those in need.
Hartshorn said Gilmore demonstrates an innate intelligence and an unusual degree of world knowledge combined with compassion for that world.
Superintendent Dayle Doiron said Brienne Paradis, this year’s winner from Pioneer Valley Regional School, has always sought out challenges, excelling academically and as an athlete.
“She has gone the extra mile to pursue her enduring interest in the medical field and challenge herself,” Doiron said.
Doiron said Paradis, of Greenfield, has tied with two others for the top class ranking while pursuing a rigorous program of studies including every Advanced Placement course offered at the school and all but one science elective.
Paradis is president of the National Honor Society and French Honor Society chapters, class secretary for two years and captain of the cross country, track and field and indoor track teams as well as a three-year volunteer in the Baystate Franklin Medical Center emergency room and was recently named to the governor’s youth advisory council.
Michael Duclos of Greenfield is this year’s Greenfield High School award recipient.
Principal Donna Woodcock said teachers describe Duclos as friendly, motivated, polite and an exceptional young man.
Woodcock said Duclos ranks first in his class and relishes the challenge of a difficult course load he is nevertheless able to balance with varied extracurricular activities.
Duclos is president of the school’s NHS chapter, a four-year member of the student council and Key Club, and has volunteered teaching children to skate and as a peer tutor.
Duclos has played varsity hockey and basketball for four years, as well as golf, football and soccer.
Duclos intends to pursue his interst in math and science as an engineer.
Malorie Savage of Orange is this year’s winner of the Franklin County Technical School award.
Superintendent James M. Laverty said he interviewed seven candidates and selected Savage based on her passion for her chosen field.
A student in the culinary arts program, Savage has maintained excellent grades while taking all her academic classes this year at Greenfield Community College, where she intends to pursue an associate’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, according to Laverty.
Culinary arts instructor Ben Pike said the program will be sorry to lose her but feel comfortable and confident setting her out in the world.
Savage has played on the field hockey and basketball teams and works over 30 hours per week at the Greenfield Grille, where she began her cooperative learning tenure doing prep work and was quickly promoted to a chef on the line.
Amanda Mozea of Sunderland took the award for Frontier Regional School.
Superintendent Regina H. Nash said Mozea has earned respect for her academic and athletic accomplishments, “but most of all Amanda is valued for her humanitarian work and her care and compassion for others.”
Competing in track and field, Mozea is the 2009 Western Mass. shot put champion, has been on the honor roll all four years at Frontier, and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.
“Habitat has taught me the value in things that I take for granted every day, the roof above my head for example and all the work that went into making that roof,” Nash quoted Mozea as saying.
Mozea has been elected class secretary four years running, participates in NHS and extra-curricular activities including photography club, string ensemble, the literary magazine and yearbook.
Mozea has applied to Smith College, Williams College, Harvard University, Yale and Columbia.
Kala Chapalonis of Athol took the Athol High School award.
Principal Brian Beck said Chapalonis has never shied away from challenge.
Chapalonis is at the top of her class, a member of student council and NHS president, in which capacity she coordinated a student-hosted debate for state representative candidates in October.
A member of the Catalyst Group, Training Active Bystanders, Best Buddies and Core Values Leadership Team, Kala has had a substantial impact on the quality of the culture and climate of AHS, according to Beck.
“She has not only served as an exceptional example for all the students who will follow in her footsteps and those who sit in her classes now, but is one of the rare students who will leave behind her a legacy of improvement of her school and community,” Beck said.
Christian Sawicki of Erving earned this year’s award for Turners Falls High School.
Principal Patricia Gardner described Sawicki as bright, articulate and compassionate, relating how he donated his proceeds from a field trip fundraiser to another student who could not afford to go.
Sawicki ranks third in a competitive class, according to Gardner, demonstrated his drive and commitment in a successful bid for class president against a three-year incumbent and has even stepped forward to teach his AP statistics class in the instructor’s absence.
Gardner said Sawicki has been integral to the soccer and ice hockey teams, is captain of the hockey team and has taught local youth to skate with a Franklin County skating program of which he is head youth coordinator.
Sawicki hopes to go to medical school to become a psychiatrist.
Mohawk Trail Regional School District
Mohawk Trail Regional High School Principal Lynn Dole described Kaitlin Grant as a leader with a strong commitment to serving her community.
“We are extremely proud of her and know that she has just begun,” said Dole, who gave the absent superintendent’s presentation.
Grant, of Shelburne, is ranked first in her class, is president of the Mohawk NHS chapter, Key Club secretary, student representative to the Mohawk Arts and Education Council, a figure skater, soccer player and flutist.
Grant performs with the Mohawk Concert Band, Concert Chorus, Jazz Band and Select Chorus, the Shelburne Falls Military Band and Ja’Duke theater.
Grant has interned at the Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, worked as a children’s ski instructor and plans to study chemistry in college.