People in the News

Dean's List for Spring Semester 2013

The following residents were named to the dean's, presidents', and/or merit lists at their respective colleges and universities for spring semester 2013, unless otherwise noted. Their class years reflects that which was true at the time they received the honors.

• Curry College: Andrew Marinaro.

• Duke University: Albert Thomas DeCaprio, a public policy major and the son of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony DeCaprio of East Haven.

• Gateway Community College, Fall 2012: Anthony M. Deieso, a student in the liberal arts and science degree program pursuing professional studies in medicine.

• LIM College: Rita M. Falanga.

• Southern Connecticut State University: Kenneth Alba, Briana Amodio, Andre Armour, Tina Arpino, Mercy Baldino, Matthew Benevento, Bryan Bennett, Kylie Bias, Amanda Bogdan, Ashley Bureau, Ann Carusone, Halima Cecunjanin, David Cifuentes, Lidia Curcio, Francesca Demaio, Lauren Doll, Jamie Dynderski, Brittney Ehrler, Brittany Emielita, Jacqueline Fetzner, Melanie Fotheringhame, Michael Fronte, Bianca Gambardella, Joseph Grillo, Mary Higgins, Sara Jacobowitz, Linken Janvury, Sarah Lukaszek, Elena Miller, Frank Morale, Nicholas Naclerio, Anthony Oddo, Oscaima Ovalles, Marianne Pagan, Noelle Rascati, Taylor Rispoli, Shannon Russo, Karren Micah Saldi, Allison Sanchez, Morgan Smith, Nabeel Syed, Kayla Tarantino, Ninh Truong, and Monica Zielinski.

• Wentworth Institute of Technology: Michael Kucharski.

Academic and Extracurricular Achievements

• Albertus Magnus College graduates Sara Mancini and Danielle Serio have been inducted into Kappa Gamma Pi, the national Catholic college graduate honor society.

• Albertus Magnus College's Laurel Awards Winners: Sara Mancini received the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants' Merit Award, awarded to the major with the highest grade point average; Lindsey L. Vernon received the English Award for Academic Excellence.

• The American Legion Ladies Aux. Unit 89 of East Haven's scholarship recipient for the year 2013 is Alysha Ciscone, a senior. She will attend Eastern Connecticut State University. Marra Melchor, a junior, is the Laurel Girls State Program recipient. She is interested in government and will attend Eastern Connecticut State University.

Natalie Bonito, a senior at East Haven Academy and the daughter of Louis and Janet Bonito, has been inducted as a member of the National Junior Honor Society. A student at the Dance Connection for 11 years, Bonito also participates in karate at American Marshall Arts studio, plays saxophone in the school symphonic band, sings in the school chorus, acts in the school plays and is in the drama club, sings in the St. Vincent De Paul Church Choir, and volunteers her time at the Hagaman Memorial Library. She has been awarded for her perfect attendance at school and the physical fitness award. She plans on attending an all-girl Catholic high school.

Peter Cestaro, age 8, with the help of his parents and grandparents constantly travels to New York for TV auditions and interviews. He recently landed his first job with Toys R Us. Since then, he has had three small parts on TV: a Japanese reenactment film; a Life Time Series (the "Husband" episode of My Life Could Have Been a Lifetime Movie); and Orange Is the New Black. Cestaro has worked for Nickelodeon and is currently working on a video with Ariana and Toy Rose for her new song, "You Know When you Know." The 2012 fall model for DKNY, he spends five hours a week at Studio BE in North Haven, and takes hip hop, break dancing, tap, and singing lessons. He also takes piano lessons with Kathryn Scaiia, and is a choir member at St. Vincent de Paul Church.

Steve Comeau, a graduating senior at Notre Dame of West Haven, was one of two seniors selected to address his class at Notre Dame's annual Senior Dinner following the school's Baccalaureate Mass.

• Connecticut Fire Prevention Poster Contest Winners: Momauguin School students Bionca Polanco (Grade 5) and Lesley Lares (Grade 4). Each winner received a $50 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble and was honored with an award presentation in Mayor Maturo's office in the East Haven Town Hall.

• The East Haven Merit Award recipients for 2013 are Amy Derbacher, Janice and Anthony Romano, and Janet and Peter Cianelli.

Sarah Golbazi, a sophomore at Sacred Heart Academy, earned physical science third honors at the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair for her project "Can natural substances replenish the body better than a specialized substance?"

• Sacred Heart Academy senior Cecelia Fanning, the daughter of Timothy and Rita Fanning, earned the distinction of 4.0 Gold Tassel Scholar in recognition of holding a cumulative, four-year minimum average of 4.0 or higher. Fanning will attend Quinnipiac University. She also won a Quinnipiac Merit Scholarship and is a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society, Chorus, Peer Connection, Prom Committee, and the Key Club. Her service includes the St. Michael's CCD Program, Hagaman Memorial Library, and the Sacred Heart Academy Auction.

• Joseph Melillo Middle School's Scholar Leaders were eighth-graders Angelina DeBenedet and Michael Comesanas. They were recognized at the Connecticut Association of Schools 29th annual Connecticut Middle Level Schools Scholar Leader Awards Banquet at the Aqua Turf Club.

• Leadership Encourages Asset Development (LEAD) youth leadership conference participants included Corinne Palmer, age 15, and Donita Canieso, age 16, students in the SADD chapter at East Haven High School.

Chelsea Madonna earned an accounting assistant certificate, an associate degree, from Middlesex Community College.

Adam Melillo earned a master's in education from the University of Saint Joseph.

• Mercy High School Graduates: April Colwell and Ashley Imlej.

Samantha O'Brien was awarded a college scholarship by The Watershed Fund, a non-profit organization established by the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority. O'Brien is pursuing a degree in environmental science.

Alec Palmer, a senior at Hamden Hall Country Day School, received the Acapella Music Award, the Greenberg Theatrical Award, and the 2013 All American Student Award from the Hamden Hall Parent's Association for demonstrating good character, service and loyalty to school, family, and community. He was voted student body president for the upcoming school year and was accepted into the Princeton Peer Leadership Mentoring Program. Alexis Palmer, a sophomore at Hamden Hall Country Day School, received the Perennial Pines Athlete award and was recognized for lettering in three varsity sports her freshman year: field hockey, basketball, and softball. She also received the George "Sonny" Coughlin Athletic Award. Alec and Alexis Palmer are the children of Warren and Donna Palmer.

• Princeton University Book Award Winners: Maria Melchor and Brady Reynolds, students at East Haven High School.

Katherine Prota graduated from Hamden Hall Country Day School and will attend the College of the Holy Cross. Her mother, Hamden Hall alumna and trustee Maria Prota, presented her diploma.

Stephanie Nicolle Santino, daughter of Linda Santino of East Haven and Peter Santino of Branford, graduated cum laude from Southern Connecticut State University with a bachelor's in education and psychology. She was on the dean's list throughout her entire college education, graduating with high honors. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Felix DelGiudice of East Haven and the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Santino.

Sarah Walstedter, age 6, the daughter of Lisa and Scott Walsteder, was selected as a state finalist and represented Connecticut at the National American Miss Pageant in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, in the Princess category. She was first runner up for Casual Wear Modeling, third runner up for Photogenic, and second runner up for Talent. She was also the Art Contest winner, Miss Personality winner, the Best Thank You Note winner, and the National American Miss Spirit Award winner. She also achieved the Queen second runner up.

Alexandra Walz graduated from Hamden Hall Country Day School; she will attend the University of Connecticut.

Honor Roll Students

• The Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall in Milford, 4th Quarter 2012-'13: Kaitlyn Mingione (freshman, high honors), Sarah Parlato (junior, high honors), Erin McCann (freshman, honors), and Tierney Riccitelli (sophomore, honors).

• Joseph Melillo Middle School, Marking Period 4: Grade 8, High Honors - Tia Adinolfi, Joseph Aloi, Rachel Amatruda, Keyri Ambrocio, Mikayla Avallone, Daisy Barrionuevo, Alexa Battaglino, Anthony Cofrancesco, Michael Comesanas, Niam Coward, Connor Dattilo, Angelina DeBenedet, Paul DeMaio, AnnMarie DiNicola, Michael Dogolo, Karina Escobar, Matthew Gambardella, Karla Gonzalez, David Hernandez, Jamie Hribko, Rosselle Iriarte, Justin Keish, Hannan Khan, Jessica Knapp, Megan Lendroth, Selena Malaterra, McClay Marshall, Stephen Martidale, Ryan Massimino, Daniel McCarthy, Samantha Miranda, April Moss, Ronald Nieto, Tina Paolillo, Vincent Paolillo, Naiya Patel, Rima Patel, Tamer Perry, Jessica Pethick, Salverio Proto, Christian Ramirez, Liliana Ramirez, Juliana Reynolds, Austin Rivera, Brianna Ruggiero, Jack Scalesse, Darly Sepulveda, William Share, Christian Silvernale, Nicholas Sims, Vanessa Sinchak, Peter So, Michal Sosniak, Nikolas Spadacenta, Danielle Stefania, Jascha Unabia, Ashley Walker, Andrea Williams, and Jack Zimmerman.

Grade 7, High Honors - David Adaos, Richard Allen, Brayan Canas, Debora Carpanzano, Amber Conte, Louis Dang, Anthony DeBenedet, Jay Donaldson, Mani Finoia, Makenzie Fiorillo, Sofia Fiorillo, Bieanca Francois, Megan Fulgieri, Spencer Goldberg, Rose Greenspun, Alexa Gutierrez, Christie Gutierrez, Nicholas Kluth, Erica Lucero, Tyler McNulty, Kevin Medina, Estefania Melchor, Sandra Milano, Lizeth Morales, Christa Nuzzo, Summer Onorato, William Pajeski, Adam Perrotti, Edward Popolizio, Daniella Portal, Carlos Portilla, Dylan Ramrattan, Robert Scalesse, Mark Smith, Jenna Souza, Jordan Stout, Julian Swan, Christopher Teto, Nhi Trinh, Olivia Turek, Matthew Twarowski, and Elizabeth Zembrowski.

Grade 6, High Honors - Jianna Clement, Mikayla Cretella, Zachary Danz, Kellianne Deko, Christian Deluca, Spencer Donaldson, Bryce Donovan, Giro Esposito, Jenna Gonsalves, Rachael Lai, Victoria Meeker, Bojana Mitrovic, Miranda Morman, Matthew Moss, Gabriella Murtagh, Amanda Pascale, Ayushi Patel, Hannah Pellegrino, Kevin Pettis, Mariona Raucci, Stephanie Redding, Megan Roberts, Alicia Szewc, Ramoon Touch, and Sabrina Womble.

Grade 8, Honors - Peter Capone, Brian Carballo, Amber Ciscone, Alexis Cooper, Justin Cossidente, Tyler Esposito, Jake Ferrara, Vincent Franco, Devyn Gargano, Justin Higgins, Selina Khantikone, Briana LaFontaine, Reinaldo Martinez, Rayonna Millhouse, Zachary Pellegrino, Lauren Pfannenbecker, Megan Rohne, Tahjai Thompson, Charles Underwood, Gabriela Villalta, and Shawn Wagner.

Grade 7, Honors - Alyssa Aceto, Zachary Anastasio, Michael Astorino, Marcos Ayala, Peter Barone, Carmen Bellonio, Megan Boone, Jonathon Buckley, Anthony Buffone, Stephen Collins, Olivia Coyle, Alexis DeMarco, Dominic DeRosa, Ayanna Galarza, Allesandra Gargiulo, Colleen Hanlon, Anthony Jaramillo, Vonsai Keth, Alexandria Nettis, Kaitlyn Onorato, Anthony Pettola, Angel Ramos, Kayla Reinoso, Antonio Romano, Ratha So, Francesco Suraci, and Jeffrey Wynne.

Grade 6, Honors - Thomas Ashmore, Mary Battle, Jake Edwards, Jenna Esposito, Stephanie Gentile, Ambar Gomez, Brianna Green, Britney Heras, Daniel Hernandez, Moleka Khun, Kevin Kim, Haley Kozlowski, Alfred Mascola, Jasmin Mena, Brian Miranda, Taylor Myers, Leah Reed, Leslie Rivera, Jose Rodriguez, Odali Rodriguez, Tina Son, Thais Torres, and Jonathan Valdez.

• Mercy High School in Middletown, 4th Marking Period 2012-'13: Danielle Andrews (sophomore, first honors), April Colwell (senior, second honors), Amy DeFilippo (freshwoman, second honors), Ashley Imlej (senior, first honors), and Sabrina Streeter (junior, first honors).

• Notre Dame High School of West Haven, 3rd Term 2012-'13: Dontae Abbate (freshman, third honors), Brandon Aceto (senior, second honors), Alexander Ailes (junior, second honors), Nicholas Andreozzi (sophomore, third honors), Devan Avena (sophomore, second honors), Anthony Bagnoli (senior, second honors), Tyler Buccini (junior, second honors), Robert Cantafio (junior, first honors), Dylan Carrano (junior, first honors), Christopher Cofrancesco (junior, first honors), Anthony Coss (sophomore, second honors), Michael D'Onofrio (sophomore, first honors), Daniel Gonzalez (sophomore, first honors), Eric Johnson (freshman, second honors), Colton Kopcik (sophomore, first honors), Zachary Korwek (senior, first honors), Evan Mastriano (sophomore, first honors), John McGovern (senior, first honors), Arthur Natalino (junior, first honors), Lawrence Paquin (senior, third honors), Christopher Perry (senior, first honors), William Reynolds (senior, second honors), Christopher Stoddard (senior, first honors), Brandon Wynne (senior, first honors), and Aleksander Zbikowski (sophomore, first honors).

• St. Vincent de Paul School, 2nd Marking Period 2012-'13: Marchella Abbate (grade 7, general honors), Albert Ackerson (grade 8, general honors), Jillian Bauknecht (grade 6, general honors), Joseph Castellano (grade 7, high honors), Dominick Crisci (grade 8, high honors), Michael Dion (grade 5, high honors), Brandon Duryea (grade 8, general honors), Nicholas Esposito (grade 7, high honors), Brianna Ferraiolo (grade 7, general honors), Nicholas Furino (grade 4, general honors), Gabriela Garcia-Perez (grade 5, general honors), Sophia Klump (grade 7, general honors), Taylor McCarroll (grade 8, general honors), Andrew McGovern (grade 8, general honors), Michael Mancuso (grade 8, general honors), Ava Maselli (grade 5, high honors), Shannon Mastriano (grade 8, high honors), Teresa Palmieri (grade 5, general honors), Giuseppe Piscitelli (grade 8, high honors), Carmine Russo (grade 6, general honors), Taylor Spadory (grade 8, high honors), Sophia Tripodi (grade 4, general honors), and Kyla Whalen (grade 4, general honors).

• Xavier High School, 2nd Term 2012-'13: Joseph Criscuolo (junior, honors) and Joshua Swanson (junior, high honors).

Career Achievements

Mary Amendola has become an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple, Inc.

• Animal Control officers Owen Little and Anthony Purificato were recognized for their outstanding service to the citizens and animals in town during Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week.

• Ensign Heather Douglas enlisted in the United States Navy two years ago as an Aviation Ordnanceman Airman after receiving two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree from the University of New Haven in criminal justice, psychology, and criminology respectively. She was stationed at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach with VFA-211, Fighting Checkmates Fighter Squadron where she earned a Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal and was promoted to Petty Officer Second Class. She deployed on the USS Enterprise's final voyage in 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Douglas is on her way to becoming an Intelligence Offier for the Navy; she was accepted into the Officer Candidate School program in Newport, Rhode Island. Her family is Kevin, Jamie, Jennifer, and Brittany Douglas of East Haven and her husband Jacob Gotliboski of Newtown.

Joseph Fazzino has been named to the President's Team at Liberty Bank. Fazzino is a Liberty Bank Customer Service Specialist; he was recognized as a top customer service employee at a recent special annual company celebration.

• DiMatteo Group in Shelton hired Patricia A. Golino as a commercial lines account manager. Golino will act as a liaison for clients regarding coverage, claims, endorsements, and billing issues for DiMatteo Group's commercial lines department. She also provides customer service to DiMatteo's commercial lines customers and assists them with insurance decisions.

James D. Spina, a former East Haven teacher, received the Outstanding Higher Education Professional Award from the Neag School of Education Alumni Society of the University of Connecticut.

Josh Urbano has been promoted to Director of Dining Services for Waveny Care Network, New Canaan, following a steady course of promotion over the past three years. Urbano will oversee and manage dining operations at Waveny's Farm Road campus, which includes food services for the Care Center, the Village, the Adult Day Program, and Meals on Wheels, as well as at New Canaan Inn.

Service Awards and Recognitions

Andrew Calabrese was recognized by the St. Andrew Apostle Society for his outstanding service and dedication to the society, Italian heritage, and the greater New Haven community.

• The Connecticut Marine Trades Association (CMTA) presented Senator Len Fasano (R-34th) with an award for "Special Legislative Recognition" during the CMTA Trade EXPO. Fasano responded to constituents who faced devastation and damage done to homes and businesses- including in the Cosey Beach of East Haven-following Tropical Storm Irene.

The Reverend John LaVorgna, pastor of Our Lady of Pompeii Parish, received the Greater New Haven Women's Division of the American Committee on Italian Migration Award.

Pat Vissichio was an honoree at the St. Andrew the Apostle's 113th Italian Festa held at Wooster Square in New Haven.

Acts of Community Service and Charitable Contributions

• East Haven Adult Ed students Roosevelt Brockett, Casie Pagano, and Alexisa Toro organized a fundraiser to keep the program open.

Robert D. Hoff held a tag sale benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation at the East Haven Senior Center. The event helped raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes.

John Massimino donated his original oil painting Private Villa to the Hamden Art League's Goldenbells exhibition as a fundraising opportunity for an exhibit award in memory of Vera Nargi.

Mikayla Raffone, Miss CT Pre-Teen, has been participating in charitable events including helping with a food and clothing drive at Ikea for the victims of Hurricane Sandy; participating in the Buddy Walk, the Alzheimer's Walk, the MADD Walk, and a walk for the American Cancer Society; raising and donating $350 for the Dream Come True Foundation of Western Connecticut; and holding a food drive for the Connecticut Food Bank at Stop & Shop. She also participated in the Columbus Day Parade in New Haven. Raffone plays volleyball and basketball in school, is a member of the school band, the chorus, and the drama club, and she maintains a straight A average in all of her classes, while preparing to compete for the National Title in California.

Grace Surprenant, a first-grader at Deer Run Elementary School, donated 12 inches of her hair to Wigs for Kids, an organization based out of Ohio that provides free wigs to children with cancer.

Bianca Tomassini, a sophomore at Hamden Hall and president of her class, helped to organize the school's second annual Pink Out Day. The initiative raised more than $1,900 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.


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