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    Wednesday, September 27, 2023

    Rotary Club names New London Students of the Year

    New London Rotary Club’s 2023 Students of the Year gather at the Pilot House at Ocean Beach Park on May 18, 2023. Photo courtesy of Todd Gipstein

    The New London Rotary Club held its annual Student of the Year event May 18 at Ocean Beach Park’s Pilot House, honoring one student from each of the city’s 10 schools, plus a New London Adult Ed graduate.

    Students honored were recognized for their kindness and leadership. They were introduced by Barry Neistat, who initiated the program and is chair of the Rotary committee that decided on the award winners.

    Award winners were:

    Sofia Allias, representing the Regional Multicultural Magnet School, who was described as caring, open-minded, knowledgeable, principled, a thinker and a risk-taker. She is fluent in French and working to improve her Spanish language skills in addition to English.

    Oscar Omar, representing Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School, who was described as a standout student athlete who always gives his best and leads by example.

    James Colegrove, representing Winthrop School, who was described as genuine, kind and thoughtful as well as honest, bright and accepting. He created a positive bulletin board for students and gives up two recesses a week to help struggling kindergarten students read.

    Abigael Dumas, representing St. Joseph School, who was described as an A student in both academics and serving the community. She also is very accepting of others and takes her education seriously.

    Jacob Eduardo, representing Jennings School, who was described as compassionate, hardworking, respectful and welcoming. He also inspires others to do their best by going a step beyond himself.

    Lucy Fader, representing the Williams School, who was described as committed to athletics and the arts. An all-star soccer player, Lucy is also proficient in basketball and lacrosse and will attend Penn State University in the fall.

    Abagail Gaspard, representing ISAAC School, who was described as a remarkable student and natural leader who has been a role model and inspiration for others. An MLK Scholar in 2022, Agagail will be attending Norwich Free Academy in the fall.

    Ruby Larrea, representing Nathan Hale School, who was described as someone with a positive attitude and a ready volunteer. She performed in the school’s production of “101 Dalmatians” and participated in an art show at Mystic Museum of Art, winning an award.

    Giovanni Morrison, representing New London Adult Ed, who was described as having a positive attitude, chairing the Student Leadership Council. He is currently at Three Rivers Community College and hopes to work in law enforcement.

    Leighla Ruiz, representing Harbor School, who was described as respectful and responsible and well as bright and inclusive. She has won the Physical Education MVP Award multiple times.

    Rocio Alejandra Vega, representing New London High School, who was described as always going above and beyond as well as being resilient, compassionate and involved. As a scholar, she serves as an example for younger students while also being friendly and helpful.

    Mayor Michael Passero delivered opening remarks, congratulating the students, and local businessman Scott Gladstone gave the keynote speech, recognizing the role of parents and teachers in instilling positive values.

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