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CAPSS Winners

April 4, 2024
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CAPSS Winners

Principals of Amity schools recently presented students with the annual CAPSS (Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents Awards to honor students who do well academically and are valuable members of their community.  Here are the winners of this year’s awards and what impressed  the administration:

Amity Middle School - Bethany

Tiari Young (Team Black) is a positive peer role model and a diligent student.  She has displayed resilience and independence academically, always striving for peak performance in everything she tries, including achieving all grades in the A range in seventh grade.  She participates well in class, is an enthusiastic learner, and displays an inherent talent for performance.  To this end, Tiari was featured backstage in our school musical, Matilda Jr. this year and her stage crew performance was outstanding.  Tiari can also be enjoyed through her performances in Advanced Strings, where she plays beautifully.

Maintaining a healthy balance in her life, Tiari is also involved in our No Place for Hate club, which encourages positivity and acceptance in our community.  Overall, Tiari is awesome.

Riley D’Andrea (Gold Team) is a role model for other students not only through his strong academic performance, but also as an active Amity community member.  As a seventh grader Riley completed the school year with almost all A’s for the year, and this trend has continued in eighth grade, demonstrating Riley’s consistent work ethic and dedication to academic excellence.  He can always be counted on to work well with his peers, offer support when needed, and take on leadership opportunities

Outside of the classroom, Riley has dedicated time to the community, particularly at the AMSB annual Color Run, for which Riley helped to encourage others to attend, helped raise money for the PTSO, and helped to set up and clean up before and after the event.  He is also a member of the AMSB cross country team and is a leader on the Midstate Rugby team.

Riley is a huge support at home as well, tutoring his younger brother in math, and he can be relied on by his neighbors to help take care of pets and watch the home when they are away.  Most of all, Riley is kind, caring, and embodies the Be AMITY acronym; he is always his best self.

Amity High School

Anchal Bahel serves as the class president for the Class of 2023 since her sophomore year of high school, and this year she also serves as the co-chair of the ARHS Student Government’s Principal’s Committee.  As the chair of this committee, Anchal is responsible for developing the agenda and running the bi-weekly meetings between the principal and the 20-member student committee to address issues of school climate as well as collaborating with the principal to author the Student Happenings newsletter of school events that is sent to all students weekly.

In other areas of school life, Anchal is a four-year member of the selective Science Research Program, and her research has led to opportunities for her to partner with researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine and to have an article published in Arthroplasty Today.  She is a reporter and the News Section Editor for the ARHS student newspaper, the President of our National Honor Society chapter, team captain of our Academic Decathlon team, vice president of the Amity Connections peer mentoring program, a peer tutor, a member of the National English Honor Society, and an orientation leader for our Link Crew program.

Anchal is also an active member of our community outside of school, serving on the Woodbridge School District Strategic Planning Team, founding a company called Student Stress Solutions, and working to advocate for leadership roles for girls in science and government.

Francis Cavallaro serves as the Student Body President for the ARHS Student Government, a role that has him in charge of the efforts of our 100-member student government to improve the quality of life and schoolwide programs for students.  In this role he has served as a student representative on last summer’s Principal Selection Committee, as the master of ceremonies at our return-to-school pep rally at the start of the year, as a student representative to the PTSO, and as a liaison between the student government and the school administration.

In other areas of school life, Frank has been a four-year member of our selective Science Research Program and is currently a semi-finalist for the Coca-Cola Scholarship due to his independent research in this program, is a four-year member of our cross-country, basketball, and volleyball teams, serves as the co-president of our Robotics team, is a member of the National Honor Society, and helps support the transition to high school for our newest students as an orientation leader for our Link Crew program.  Frank is also an active member of the community outside of school.  He is an Eagle Scout in Troop 12 Milford, has served as a student representative on the Town of Orange Youth Services Committee since 2018, and is a head coach and worship leader for the Trinity Church Sports Camp.

Allen Liu stands out across the board with his high academic achievements, leadership, and involvement.  He has consistently taken the hardest classes that Amity offers, including 11 AP classes.  Allen was also selected to be a part of our Science Research Program all four years, where he is conducting experiments in renewable energy.  With a love of computer science, Allen taught himself a variety of coding languages, took courses in the subject, and now uses his knowledge and passion as a programming coach for a youth robotics team.  He also started and is co-president of the Amity Hack Club, spent the last three years as the tech coordinator for Student Government, is the web designer for the Woodbridge Together club, and is the president of the Amity Chess Club.

Athletically, Allen is a captain of the Amity swim and dive team and is part of a club swim team as well.  Allen also works as a lifeguard and elementary swim instructor. Additionally, Allen shows leadership as a Link Crew Leader, helping with our high school transition program.  Allen is a bright and engaged student who has a great future ahead of him.

Nina Carmeli is a well-respected and visible member of the student body who is involved in a wide variety of activities in both the school and the community.  A four-year member of Student Government, Nina currently serves as the social media coordinator.  She has also served on the Principal’s Committee and is currently the Community Outreach Committee chairperson.  Nina is the founder and president of the Inclusion at Amity club, which focuses on making Amity a more inclusive, accepting, and diverse community.  She is also a member of the Trident staff, currently serving as the Arts Section chief editor.  Nina is also an active participant in the Girl Up club, No Place For Hate, Peer Tutoring, and Link Crew.

She has worked hard to earn membership in National Honor Society, National English Honors Society, National Spanish Honor Society, and Tri-M National Music Honors Society.  Outside of Amity, Nina is committed to her passion for music and is also very active at her temple.  Nina’s commitment to studying violin for the past 10 years has resulted in numerous experiences and accomplishments.  She is the third chair first violinist in the Greater New Haven Youth Orchestra, first violinist in a local quartet, violinist in the Temple Emanuel Band, and has participated in the Southern Regional Music Festival for three years.

At Temple Emanuel, Nina serves as a Hebrew School teacher and serves as the student representative on the Temple Emanuel Board of Directors.  Nina takes great pride in these impressive accomplishments.

Grace Mahon is a visible member of the Amity community through athletics, theater, and service opportunities.  Currently, she serves as president of Class Act Council, designed to empower schools and their students to take ownership for all issues related to sportsmanship within the athletics department.

Additionally, Grace is co-president of Amity Unified Theater where she is responsible for leading typical peers and members of the SAILS program in theater related activities.  A two-year member of Link Crew, Grace enjoys her role as a mentor to incoming freshmen.  Regarding athletics, Grace has participated in Outdoor Track for the past two years where she was a state qualifier in High Jump.

Grace’s greatest commitment was to swimming.  A four-year member of Amity Swimming and Diving, she served as the captain this past season and has received All-State recognition for multiple years.  She also participates in a Club Swim team outside of school.  Her passion for the sport has led to her commitment to continue swimming next year at the University of New Hampshire.

In the artistic realm, Grace has been involved in theater as a cast member in each of the Amity Spring musical productions.  She also volunteers as a camp counselor for the Amity Creative Theater summer camp.

Aside from school activities, Grace is active in her church, where she volunteers for community events and participates in the Appalachia Service Project in West Virginia.  Grace’s diverse interests keep her energized and connected to her community.

Katherine “Katie” Sim is a standout in the Class of 2023!  Katie is leaving Amity a better place than when she arrived.  Academically, Katie works tirelessly to be an engaged and successful member of her challenging courses.  In 2022, Amity awarded Katie the Lasell University Book Award for her academic and community service efforts.

Taking AP Environmental Science course raised Katie’s awareness of sustainability and she helped start an Amity Club that collected unused cafeteria food that was to be thrown away and they dropped it off at a local homeless shelter.  Amity Connections, our peer mentor program is robust today and it would not have been so successful without Katie’s eagerness to make it happen.  Katie was a founding member and has been a leader throughout her time, serving as vice president her sophomore year and president in both junior and senior years.  This program means a lot to Katie, and she has helped market, plan, and execute the peer mentor model.  Katie is also a two-year member of the Amity’s Link Crew and Chinese National Honor Society.

Outside of Amity, Katie babysits for a local family and works at a Cape Cod boutique.  Katie Sim will be missed!

This is an opinion not necessarily endorsed by the Woodbridge Town News.

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