Johnna Bakalar and Wesley Kocurek, grade 8 students at Shelton Intermediate School, and Margaret Siu and Daniel Guerrera, grade 12 students at Shelton High School, have been awarded the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Superintendent/Student Recognition Award in acknowledgment of their leadership, service to the school, academic prowess relative to ability, and service to others in the community, at a ceremony held at Grassy Hill Lodge, Derby, on December 8.
Freeman Burr, Superintendent of Schools in Shelton, made the presentation as part of a program designed by school administrators to recognize students who have served their schools and communities while maintaining good scholastic progress.
The Superintendent/Student Recognition Program awards a Certificate of Excellence at the discretion of the local superintendent of schools according to a distribution formula set for all state school districts. Awards are generally given during American Education
Week in order to provide a meaningful focus for each school district and to enhance the quality of the Certificate.
Johnna Bakalar is a bright, multi-talented young lady with a passion for helping others. She exudes energy and enthusiasm for her many activities while achieving academic excellence. She has played soccer year round since first grade and has a penchant for acting, attending theater camps and taking voice lessons. Through her involvement with
her church, she is a counselor helping younger children. As a role model of good citizenship, Johnna is a most worthy recipient of this prestigious award.
Wesley Kocurek is a bright young man who is a role model of determination. He is a straight-A student while maintaining a rigorous schedule of extracurricular activities. Wes is Co-Captain of the cross country team, runs track, and has played indoor soccer for four years; however, his true passion is martial arts, where his class rank is Captain. He has taken lessons three times a week since first grade, participating in competitions, attending summer camps, and assisting with younger students performing at charitable events throughout the state. Wes is a scholar leader and athlete who excels in all aspects of his life.
Margaret Siu is an extremely conscientious and highly motivated young lady who has excelled in a highly competitive honors/advanced placement program. She possesses creativity, high intellectual ability, self-discipline, and academic motivation, while showing a positive attitude in class, exhibiting exceptional effort, and working well with others and independently. Her time management skills are exceptional as she balances her studies with an extremely busy schedule of school and community activities. Margaret is a high
honor roll student, CAPT scholar, member of the National and Spanish Honor Societies, member of Student Council Executive Board for the past four years and Student Council President. Her leadership has been shown in organizing school events, as well as fundraising events for local charities. Through her volunteer services with the Valley United Way Youth Leadership Program, she works with other Valley school leaders to promote special events, brainstorm means to improve community activities for Valley youth, and discuss school leadership issues. Margaret never hesitates to assist her school or peers when help is needed. She has earned the respect and admiration of her peers and teachers for her unending contributions to her school and community.
Dan Guerrera possesses all the best qualities of a student, athlete, and responsible citizen. As a member of both the National and Italian Honor Societies and excelling in a highly competitive honors/advanced placement program, he ranks fifth in his graduating
class. Dan was elected to the American Legion Boys State and was a Barnum Festival King nominee. He is on the executive board of the Student Council, a member of the yearbook staff, Italian Club, and is a three sport varsity athlete. He is captain of both the hockey and baseball teams and was named to the All-SCC academic team in football, hockey and baseball. Dan does an exceptional job of balancing his studies with an extremely busy schedule of athletics and school and community activities. Dan collected food donations for the Spooner House, raised funds for the Adopt-a-Family project,
served as a camp counselor, and has supported the Shelton Food Bank through the Hockey Booster Club. Dan is a fine representative of Shelton High School.
In attendance were Shelton High School Headmaster Dr. Beth Smith and Shelton Intermediate School Headmaster Ken Saranich. Also attending were board members Kathy Yolish, Paula Ellis, Jay Francino-Quinn, Kate Kutash, Mike Pacowta, Win Oppel,
and Arlene Liscinsky.
CAPSS, the statewide school superintendents' professional organization, is based in West Hartford and provides professional development, personal support, statewide conferences, legislative information, and educational services to its membership. This is
the twenty-fifth year of the CAPSS Superintendent/Student Award Recognition Program, developed to strengthen the relationship between students and school administrators.